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The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games of All Time

With talks of the Nintendo Switch successor on the horizon, it seems like the current Switch is finally nearing the end of its life cycle. Over the past seven years, we’ve received some outstanding exclusives on the platform – some of which have gone on to set new standards in the industry. There’s no denying the monumental impact of the Nintendo Switch and its strong software lineup. In celebration of the console, we’re ranking the 10 best Nintendo Switch game of all time, from Pokemon to Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, among others.

Before we begin, we have a big disclaimer. We’ll not be including Wii U ports or remakes/remasters on this list. However, we have made an exception for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the sheer amount of content added to the game during its Switch lifespan has made it feel like an entirely new experience. Additionally (and it’s sad to say this), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be excluded as it launched on the Wii U as well. We want this list to reflect games that you can only find on the Switch.

Some honourable mentions include Pikmin 4, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Bayonetta 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Engage, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Super Mario Party and Splatoon 2.

10. Pokemon Sword/Shield

Starting off this ranking is Pokemon Sword/Shield. While it may not reach the heights of the franchise’s older games on the Game Boy or Nintendo DS, Sword/Shield remains the best Switch exclusive Pokemon game and it’s still a lot of fun to play as a traditional Pokemon game, flaws and all. Thanks to new features like Dynamax and Gigantamax, it’s a fresh take on some tried-and-tested tropes that synergises well with the game’s always-addictive core gameplay loop of catching and training Pokemon.

9. Splatoon 3

Splatoon has always been a phenomenal competitive third-person shooter from Nintendo but the third game in the series really reached its full potential. The minor and major tweaks that Splatoon 3 implements, like weapon classes and swim forms, all add up to make a compelling, highly entertaining shooter that stands the test of time. If you’re looking for good online fun where the stakes are high and intense matches blaze by in an instant, look no further.

8. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Despite Super Mario Odyssey innovating on the 3D gameplay first introduced with Super Mario 64, Super Mario Bros. Wonder proves that its 2D side-scrolling roots still have a lot to bring to the table too. More importantly, it’s just as innovative and wholesome as Odyssey with plenty of creative ideas hitting you over the head in literally every well-crafted stage. Wonder‘s forward momentum and inventiveness is a great sign for future side-scrolling platformers in the series.

7. Metroid Dread

Speaking of side-scrollers, Metroid Dread was the franchise’s return to its roots; a challenging, engaging platformer that delivers great storytelling and compelling gameplay in equal doses. It’s certainly not for everyone – we’d even argue that the first-person Prime series caters better to the mainstream market – but for players seeking the same adrenaline rush of Metroid‘s humble origins, there’s no better place to look than Dread.

6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

There’s something oddly relaxing and simultaneously demanding about social simulators. Animal Crossing: New Horizons exemplifies these traits perfectly. It’s a time-sinker that demands your attention every step of the way but also charms you with its simplistic yet addictive social management features, making for a game that’s very difficult to put down. Trust me, even after 100 hours, you’ll feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface and want to continue building and managing your dream island.

5. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

It’s almost unbelievable that a game like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 even exists on the Switch. The series has been known for pushing boundaries when it comes to sheer scale and emotional character-driven storytelling but the third game turns everything up to 11. It’s ludicrously massive with a ton of fantastic RPG content packed into a tiny cartridge – mesmerising and unmissable, there’s a lot to love about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 as one of Nintendo’s crowning achievements on the hybrid console.

4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

As we mentioned before, Mario Kart 8 technically launched on the Wii U first but the difference between that version and the current Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch is night and day. Nintendo crammed a bunch of content into the game thanks to frequent, surprisingly dedicated updates over the years. From new courses to new characters and modes, it’s no wonder that it’s the highest-selling Switch game of all time. Grab some friends, sit back and spend countless hours throwing blue shells around.

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

If there’s one game to rival Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in terms of content, it’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The crossover fighting series has been going on for decades but 2018’s Ultimate elevated it to ambitious heights that are still unreachable by most fighting games today. We can’t even begin to name the amount of crossover fighters featured in this excellent package from across numerous franchises like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Persona and much more – all clashing with a very wide collection of Nintendo’s beloved mascots.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

When you think of games that will go down in history as the best of its kind, Super Mario Odyssey is one that should absolutely come to mind for 3D platformers. What Nintendo achieved with Odyssey is nothing short of remarkable, innovating the long-running series with so many fresh ideas that it’s hard to pin-point what it doesn’t do right. The fact that Odyssey was also a year-one release for the Switch back in 2017 might’ve contributed to the console’s enormous success in the beginning.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

You’ve might’ve already guessed it but The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom triumphs this list as not only the best Nintendo Switch game ever made but one of the best games of all time, period. Yes, it’s Breath of the Wild but better in almost every conceivable way. Thanks to the introduction of the many inventive abilities like Ascend, Ultrahand and Recall, it’s mind-blowing trying to figure out how Nintendo pulled it off. Most of all, it encourages experimentation – break, bend and twist the game to your liking, there’s no wrong way to play Tears of the Kingdom. It’s a masterpiece and a well-deserved one at that.

Writer
Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

1 Comment

  • Nikki_boagreis 24 February 2024

    My personal favorite Switch game is Animal Crossing New Horizons.

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