Nintendo has had a great run of games for the Switch, but other makers haven’t slacked off.
Because Nintendo Switch has so many users, both small and big developers have worked hard to make their games work on it.
That means you can play even better stuff. So, what are the best games for the Nintendo Switch?
The games on this list aren’t all exclusive to the Switch, but they are all best played on the latest Nintendo device.
We’ve tried to make this list of the best Switch games as diverse as possible so that everyone, from JRPG fans to Super Mario fans, can find something to enjoy.
So, here are the games we think are the best Nintendo Switch Games.
- 30. Moonlighter
- 29. Triangle Strategy
- 28. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- 27. Mario Party Superstars
- 26. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- 25. Minecraft
- 24. Live A Live
- 23. Octopath Traveler
- 22. Bayonetta 2
- 21. Paper Mario: The Origami King
- 20. Super Mario Maker 2
- 19. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- 18. Metroid Dread
- 17. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
- 16. Hollow Knight
- 15. Pikmin 4
- 14. Stardew Valley
- 13. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
- 12. Monster Hunter Rise
- 11. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- 10. Luigi’s Mansion 3
- 9. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
- 8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- 7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- 6. Astral Chain
- 5. Splatoon 3
- 4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- 3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- 2. Super Mario Odyssey
- 1. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
If you want to see the best pixel images you’ve ever seen, Moonlighter is the place to go.
This wonderful game has a “just one more day” loop like Stardew Valley, but instead of taking care of a farm, you’re a part-time dungeon crawler and part-time store.
It’s one of the best Switch games. During the day, you decide how much to charge for each of your hard-earned things, try to keep thieves from stealing them, and save enough money to rebuild the town.
But at night, you’re in the tunnels looking for things to sell in your shop and trying to beat the boss monster that lives in each one while trying to stay alive.
Its addictive gameplay loop means that it will be one of those games that eats nights for breakfast, sometimes literally, and makes a groove in your Switch library. Moonlighter is not like many other games.
29. Triangle Strategy
Look, we don’t like the name either, but give it a chance. Triangle Strategy has a lot to offer fans of classic games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and Tactics Ogre.
Under the strategic surface is a suspenseful political tale, and almost every choice you make affects the way your story goes.
Who you talk to, who you save, who you kill, and the choices you make along the way all test your strength and help you make good decisions.
The battles are also amazing, so if you like strategy games, this is a must-play for you. Read our full thoughts in our great review of the Triangle Strategy.
28. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Aside from the fact that Toad and Toadette are so cute, you should buy this game just for them, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is also one of the best ports from Wii U to Switch.
It’s a great puzzle game where each level is a puzzle box or model that you can move through, poke, prod, pull, push, and otherwise interact with to find its secrets and get to the golden star at the end of the level.
Each one is beautiful, complicated, and just hard enough to make you feel good about yourself when you finish it.
You can also go back and try some extra tasks, which makes this little puzzle last longer than you might have thought.
Just wait until you see the new Super Mario Odyssey-themed levels that are only on the Switch.
It’s a lot of fun to be able to walk through miniature versions of Odyssey’s Sand, Metro, Cascade, and Luncheon Kingdoms. These levels are just as well made as the rest of the game’s levels, too.
All of this makes sure that it stays high on our list of the best Switch games.
27. Mario Party Superstars
There’s no party like a Mario Party, and it’s great that Mario Party Superstars brought the series back to its former glory by fixing the problems with Super Mario Party and adding a lot of joy.
With more than 100 minigames from previous games and some of the most reliable and easy-to-use online features in a Nintendo game to date, this is a great game to play with friends, and thanks to the many online modes, you can even play for hours by yourself to get better. Our full thoughts on Mario Party Superstars are in our article.
26. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
People say that most great art isn’t appreciated during the artist’s lifetime, and when Retro Studios announced in 2014 that they were making “just another” Donkey Kong game, people’s first reactions went from being unimpressed to outright angry.
Well, they were all wrong about Retro’s power, because Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has stood the test of time and is now called one of the best 2D platformers ever made for a Nintendo console.
Even though DK isn’t a monkey, the game is also on our list of the best monkey games.
The bright and colorful visuals and the genius music by the legendary David Wise give the levels a lot of personality and make them more interesting.
Yes, it’s hard as nails, but if you’re really having trouble, there’s a great new mode called “funky” that helps younger players and lets you enjoy this game in all its icy glory.
Even if you’ve played Minecraft before, having it on Switch means you can take it anywhere and enjoy building.
You can play with a friend on the local network, which is ridiculously easy to set up. Once your world is loaded, just put one of your friend’s Joy-Cons on your Switch, press +, and hand it back to them.
If you don’t want to go exploring alone, you can play the game online or try one of its minigames, such as Battle (straightforward PvP), Tumble (a race with shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the path as quickly as possible).
There are a lot of awards, which is nice because they give you something to work toward, but at the end of the day, even if you play Minecraft for tens of hours, you never feel like you’re done.
It’s a chance to try new things and be ambitious. Structures that you could only imagine before are suddenly possible, as long as you have the means.
Think of Minecraft as a polite host who will make you and anyone you choose to play with crazy happy. This is true whether you’re stubborn, easygoing, or just crazy curious.
Either that, or you’ll get some TNT and blow everything up. Which is fun as well. It deserves to be on our list of the best Switch games.
24. Live A Live
Live A Live is a version of a Super Famicom game from the 1990s that was only available in Japan. It is made up of a bunch of short stories set in different times and places.
All of the short stories stand on their own, but each one explores something new and tells a rewarding story.
The HD-2D upgrade is beautiful and the best example of the graphics engine we’ve seen so far. Without giving anything away, the ending does tie together a lot of different parts in a very rewarding way.
In our full Live A Live review, we gave this fun RPG a highly sought-after score of 10.
23. Octopath Traveler
The thing that Octopath Traveler does best is size. Any other game would only focus on one hero, but Square Enix’s JRPG tells the story of eight, yes, eight heroes, and each of their stories is told beautifully and with the same weight, which is quite a feat.
It’s a great collection of stories set in a world that looks like old JRPGs, especially in terms of art style, and its turn-based gameplay is some of the best in the JRPG genre.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should put Octopath Traveler on your list of games you want to play right away. Or, best of all, between your thumbs.
This is a great addition to the list of the best Switch games.
22. Bayonetta 2
What do you call a witch who enjoys blowing things up?
Mike Bayonetta… Anyway, Bayonetta 2 is a great example of how well PlatinumGames works, and it’s a good thing it wasn’t stuck on the WiiU forever.
Both games in the series are available on Switch.
They are both great action games with a wild eye for detail, but we like the sequel a little bit more because of its big set pieces and the fact that it sometimes nods to Nintendo.
Both games are incredible action games that any fan of the type has to play.
It’s easy to see why this figure bigger than life has been in so many games. She was great in the first game, but everything gets better in the second, which is more lively and full of action.
Even if you haven’t played the first Bayonetta game, you don’t have to worry because many copies of the second game come with a download code for it.
If you are one of Bayonetta’s many loyal fans, check out our guide to her figures.
21. Paper Mario: The Origami King
Paper Mario: The Origami King might not be the RPG you were hoping for, but it is unique.
Nintendo has captured the fun, silly spirit that has always been a part of the Paper Mario series and added a ton of new features, such as a ring-based battle system.
It will have you twisting and turning your enemies into place before hitting them with hammers or stomping on them with your boots.
During Boss fights, stationary takes a dark turn. In the end, this is a fun, light-hearted tribute to Super Mario with a strong story, great humor, and great characters.
20. Super Mario Maker 2
Since there have been so many 2D sidescrolling Mario games over the years, it was hard to see where the series could go next.
So Nintendo gave the tools to the fans, which made us very happy. You can make your own levels in the way of old Mario games, but make them as tricky and hard as you can.
Super Mario Maker 2 adds a lot of fun new things to the formula, like slopes, new worlds, and new styles.
It even gave us a taste of what a Zelda Maker would be like with a NES Link power-up that copied the skills of the hero of time.
Where else could Mario go?
Who can say?
But until then, there are thousands of great Mario levels to play, so there’s no need to hurry.
19. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a must-have for the Switch if you want more standard, dungeon-focused gameplay.
It takes the Game Boy Color game Link’s Awakening DX and gives it a new art style with a chibi-like toy town feel.
This makes it one of the cutest and best-looking games on Switch. In this way, it feels like a whole new game, even though it still has the same feel and story as the quirky original.
This is definitely one of the best games for the Switch right now.
18. Metroid Dread
Talk about being late in a stylish way. Metroid Dread is the sequel to the GBA game Metroid Fusion from 2001.
Samus finally comes back, but it feels like she never went. Dread could be the best game in a series that has been going for 35 years.
The controls are smooth, the guns are fun to use, and the world is filled with a lot of atmosphere. It has a lot of things to do, and if you use the Metroid Dread amiibo, you can do even more.
After so many years, Dread brings the epic Metroid story to a close, and there’s a lot of backstory for players to enjoy.
But if this is your first Metroid game, you’re about to play an amazing action-adventure game that also happens to end a story.
This is a good place to start, and if Dread turns you into a Metroid fan, then welcome to the club!
17. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a strategy game that works really well, even if you don’t like strategy games.
It has great, polished game mechanics that are presented in steps so you can get used to the game’s surprisingly deep tactical gameplay.
But it combines that gameplay with a real understanding of the Super Mario world and a level of detail and visual quality that makes it easy to think it was made by Nintendo.
It’s a lot of fun and deserves to be on this list of the best Switch games, especially since it adds more freedom, creativity, and Super Mario-ness to what the original game did.
16. Hollow Knight
If you’ve ever played and liked a Metroidvania game like Metroid, Castlevania, Axiom Verge, Ori & The Will of the Wisps, etc., you owe it to yourself to play Hollow Knight.
It’s harder than most games because it’s based on Dark Souls and has hard bosses hidden around every corner, a long way back to them, and a fight with yourself to get back any souls you lose when you die.
But Hollow Knight is great at making a world and making the game feel good. Hollow Knight is an amazing game to control, and every new skill you unlock makes your arsenal even stronger.
Then, the world’s wonder and the strength of the art style made me want to look in every corner.
I’m still surprised by how good this game is, and I hope Team Cherry is working hard on the sequel so we don’t have to wait too long for the Hollow Knight Silksong release date.
15. Pikmin 4
It turns out that the fourth Pikmin game is also the best.
With so many changes to the standard formula for strategy games that make them easier to learn and play, they also become the most fun.
It’s a big game with a lot to see, even after the credits roll.
New features like space dog Oatchi, ice and glow pikmin, and more make it a really memorable strategy game.
14. Stardew Valley
Oh, to live in peace. Stardew Valley is probably the most relaxed game on Switch.
In this cute farming game, you have to build and take care of a cute pixelated farm. It’s up to you to choose your crops, keep them safe, and do what you can to make money.
You can also get married, decorate your house, make friends with the other locals, rebuild the community center, explore the mines, and even go fishing.
You can play Stardew Valley in any way you want and at any speed you want. But no matter how you play, you can have hundreds of hours of great, relaxing playtime if you want it.
When you do jump in, be sure to check out our Stardew Valley fish guide.
13. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
You need Xenoblade Chronicles 3 if you want a JRPG that will really take over your world. It’s easy to spend up to 150 hours on this one because it has a huge world and a big sci-fi/fantasy story.
Combat is the best and most complicated it’s ever been in the series, and when paired with interesting systems, there’s almost no limit to how far you can go.
It’s almost a perfect game, and even though it’s not perfect, it has more than enough to make up for any flaws.
12. Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter World might have made Switch fans a little bit envious because it added some much-needed improvements to the series and had nice HD graphics.
Well, it’s now much harder to decide which Monster Hunter game is the best, because our Monster Hunter Rise review shows why this year’s Nintendo Switch version of the game blew fans away.
With Rise, Monster Hunter has never felt faster or smarter. It adds some acrobatics and a new pet, the palamute, that you can trust.
There’s also a new mode called “Rampage” that lets you kill lots of enemies at once, and playing with friends is a lot of fun.
Rise also has a huge expansion. Recently, Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak added even more material to the already huge package, and we were blown away.
You can also stay ahead of the race by using our Monster Hunter Rise skills guide.
11. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
When it comes to characters, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pulling out all the stops. With a whopping 74 characters to unlock, this is the list with the most people.
There are 11 brand-new characters in that number, and that’s before you even get to the DLC. That means you have to learn a whole new set of fighters in the middle of a fight.
Luckily, this is the best Super Smash Bros. game yet, not just because it looks great, but also because the stages are detailed and animated, the fighters move more naturally and with more flair, and the KO animations are better than ever.
There is also a single-player story that is shockingly deep. This is a lot of stuff.
10. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Bad Luigi. He goes to a lot of scary places for someone who is so easy to scare. In this entry, too, things go wrong when Luigi gets an offer to stay in a nice hotel that seems too good to be true.
Soon, he is chasing ghosts through the many floors of this creepy building. Next Level Games learned a lot from Luigi’s Mansion 2 on 3DS, and this game is not only easier to play but also looks like a cartoon movie come to life.
Luigi running away because he’s scared is funny because of how well it’s animated, and the game is fun and satisfying to master.
You’ll have a lot of fun exploring every part of the hotel to find secret treasures and piles of cash while getting rid of all the ghosts and awesome bosses that stand in Luigi’s way.
Even though it’s a funny game, the fact that it made our list of the best ghost games says a lot.
9. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Game Freak’s first attempt at making an open-world Pokemon game, and it’s a very good one.
The game takes us back in time to a time when Sinnoh was called the Hisui area. There are no towns, Pokemon Gyms, or trainers.
Instead, there is a quest to find out what’s going on in the area and make the first Pokedex for that area.
You’ll catch, fight, and train wild Pokemon you find in the overworld, and you’ll work with them and the smart people you meet to figure out a big secret.
It’s a great new direction for the series, and it’s a nice change to how the core gameplay works.
8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Another niche series that is now more famous than ever is Fire Emblem.
After the success of Fire Emblem Awakening on 3DS, the series has continued to grow and get better, with many saying that Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the best game in the long-running series.
Fire Emblem is a strategy game that is kind of like anime chess. You control a team of characters and fight against other troops while leveling up and getting new weapons and skills.
You play as Byleth, a professor at a school where different groups live. The relationships between these people and the world have big effects.
With so many likeable characters in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, three different stories to play through, and some great improvements to the RPG parts of the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a big adventure that any fan of strategy games or role-playing games should play.
7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Nintendo experience isn’t complete until you’ve made your best friends mad by beating them at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
This is besides the clue in the line above. On every Nintendo system, you have to do it at some point. The Switch was made for this kind of fun that you can pick up and play right away.
Locally, up to eight people can play at the same time, so you can think you’re in a Nintendo lifestyle ad. It’s also cool that two people can use a single console to play anywhere.
But the best part is that this is the best version of a game that was already great, and it may be the best proof of how great the Switch could be.
6. Astral Chain
Platinum knows how to make action games just like Gordon Ramsey knows how to yell at people and cook things. It’s become an art form, and they always do a good job.
Astral Chain is a console-only game for the Nintendo Switch. It is made by Platinum Games and shows how good they are at action games. It also has some of the best graphics on the system so far.
You play as Akira, a police officer in a future-noir city who has to use Legion monsters as weapons.
The Legion are tied to you by the Astral Chain, and you can attack not only by yourself or with your Legion, but also by combining your moves with the chain itself.
Astral Chain is a great action game with a lot of style. It’s part detective story and all crazy. Any action fan should give it a try.
5. Splatoon 3
It works out the third time. Splatoon was a big hit in Japan and made waves in the West, but it looks like Splatoon 3 is going to take the world by storm.
With the exciting new Tri-Colour Splatfests, many changes to quality of life, and a ton of new weapons, anyone who calls Splatoon 3 an iteration has been hit in the head with a few too many Splattershots.
We’ve also been hooked on the new Tableturf Battle mode in Splatoon 3, decorating our lockers in Splatoon 3, and catching eggs in the Salmon Run mode in Splatoon 3.
4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing used to be a niche GameCube game. The one with the strange people and gyroids that move around.
Well, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has now sold more than 30 million copies on Nintendo Switch.
It became a huge hit that led to a lot of other games like Animal Crossing on Switch and a lot of plushies and toys based on the Animal Crossing series.
The series took the world by storm because of how well it was timed and how many new ways there were to change not only your house but also your island.
In HD, New Horizons looks absolutely beautiful. The people are cuter than ever, there are bugs everywhere, and the beautiful night sky creates an atmosphere that can’t be beat.
This great game got a big update as well as some paid DLC.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild takes ideas from the first Legend of Zelda game and expands on them, as well as ideas that have been developed in Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs.
It then “Nintendoizes” them, reducing them to their best parts and making them shine like hell.
It’s a world of wonder, and it lets you feel that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and text boxes that explain everything you already know.
It’s fun to play it on the TV, but the fact that you can take the Switch out of the dock and play a game of this size and scope anywhere you want is a great example of what it can do.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo didn’t stop at making the most groundbreaking Zelda game in 2017. They also made one of the best Mario games on Switch and one of Mario’s best games ever.
In Super Mario Odyssey, the world is like the “sandbox” world from Super Mario Sunshine. Our fat plumber has to explore huge levels to find secret challenges and earn the hundreds of Power Moons he needs to power his hat-shaped ship, The Odyssey, and save Princess Peach.
Mario, on the other hand, can copy the skills of almost every enemy in the game. No, he hasn’t been learning from Kirby. Instead, he’s become friends with a hat that can do magic.
Cappy lets Mario take over enemies, non-playable characters, and even random items, giving him skills and moves he’s never had before.
With so many fun ways to move and things to do, and with a variety of Super Mario Odyssey amiibo available to add to the game, Mario’s latest adventure should keep kids busy for weeks.
1. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out first, and now Tears of the Kingdom is out. This is probably the best example of what the Nintendo Switch can do, even more so than its predecessor.
It’s a creative game that gives players the tools they need to fuse and connect things to make new weapons, vehicles, and other clever tools to solve tasks or get rid of another group of Bokoblins.
It’s Hyrule again, but this time it’s bigger, wider, and has even more secrets. It’s a real pleasure, and the wait was well worth it.