Best Nintendo Switch Games 2018: All the best experiences on the hybrid console

The Nintendo Switch has had a phenomenal opening year, boasting a library of titles so vast and impressive that it’s hard to believe the system is so young. With the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 already gracing the platform, players are spoilt for choice.

So, Trusted Reviews has gone through the console’s entire library and picked out the very best games you can play right now, ensuring we’ve explored many genres so there’s something for everybody below. As new great games emerge, our list will change to reflect that.

Rumours are already swirling that a revision for Nintendo Switch is in the works to release in 2019, so in the coming months all of the games in this list could look and play even better than ever. Only time will tell… For now, read on and enjoy!

Related: Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Pros:

  • Beautifully realised and huge open world
  • Incredible depth
  • Very satisfying gameplay
  • Beautiful art direction
  • It’s tough, but always fair

Cons:

  • So-so voice acting
  • Minor performance dips

Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece of modern game design. Its beautiful open world is absolutely packed with unique mysteries to discover, all of which feel brilliantly rewarding in their own way.

Despite overhauling many of the series’ core ideas, it’s quintessentially Zelda, updated for the modern age with what feels like an imaginative stroke of genius.

You’ll also stumble upon a number of firsts for the franchise, such as voice acting, shrines and an expansive open world that never, ever holds your hand.

Buy now: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for £47.99 / $46 from Amazon

Super Mario Odyssey

Pros:

  • The best Mario has ever been
  • So many nods to the series’ history
  • Hundreds of Power Moons to collect
  • Looks stunning
  • Phenomenal soundtrack

Cons:

  • Some of Cappy’s moves require motion controls

Super Mario Odyssey is near-perfect. It carried ginormous expectations, but somehow Nintendo has managed to leapfrog over the bar by a huge distance. Offering the most satisfying gameplay experience of any Mario game to date.

Some will debate whether or not it matches Galaxy, but for me it does, thanks to its brilliant reinvention of the sandbox formula and incredible use of so many different tools.

You’ll become obsessed with collecting outfits and Power Moons, and fall in love with every kingdom you visit. Nintendo has had a wonderful 2017 and is rounding it off in style with the best Mario.

Buy now: Super Mario Odyssey for £41.99 / $48.70 from Amazon

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Pros:

  • Looks absolutely gorgeous on Nintendo Switch and on the TV
  • Battle Mode is a superb addition
  • Plenty of challenge here for all skill levels
  • New assists for beginners work a treat
  • So many tracks and racers

Cons:

  • Some will want a brand-new Mario Kart game on Switch

Nintendo has delivered the definitive Mario Kart experience to Nintendo Switch. Combining the greatest Mario Kart ever in the form of MK8 with the versatility and dynamism of the Switch is a match made in heaven.

With plenty of new customisation options to help newer players get to grips, as well as added depth via new levels of drift boosting, 200cc trial modes and the all-new Battle Mode, this is an absolute must-buy for Nintendo Switch owners.

Buy now: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for £41.49 / $54.70 from Amazon

splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

Pros:

  • Looks gorgeous both on Switch and TV screen
  • Multiplayer still a unique and fun offering
  • Plenty of new guns, each fun to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t feel like a full sequel
  • Can be slow to get into a match

Splatoon 2 is a multiplayer shooter unlike any other, and it’s exactly the charming outing you’d expect from Nintendo. Instead of bullets, your weapons are filled with coloured ink used to splat your enemies and cover the environment in paint.

Matches are incredibly fast-paced and satisfying, offering a tense competition that always feels fun and refreshing. You’ve also got a meaty solo campaign to dig into alongside a bunch of neat customisation options for your personal squid kid.

With new maps, weapons, clothes and Splatfest competitions being introduced all of the time, there is no better use of online multiplayer on Nintendo Switch right now, especially if you’re after something, fun, fast and stupidly adorable.

Buy now: Splatoon 2 for £44 / $53 from Amazon

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Pros:

  • An absolutely stunning world
  • Deep combat system that isn’t at all complicated
  • So much fun to play
  • The two worlds work really well together

Cons:

  • Not much to do outside of combat
  • Sharp difficulty spikes

Nobody imagined Mario and Rayman’s Raving Rabbids would make such a wonderful match. We especially didn’t expect the pairing to translate into a deep, compelling and unbelievably charming strategy title.

We had lots of fun with the game, as you can see from his 8/10 review:

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is yet another great Nintendo Switch exclusive, and one of the most original Mario titles we’ve seen in a long time. It may not do much outside of the core combat, but even that is enough to keep you entertained for its duration.”

Buy now: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for £37.50 / $39.99 from Amazon

ARMS

Pros:

  • Brilliant motion controls result in a genuinely fresh fighting experience
  • The best online game Nintendo has ever released
  • It looks great
  • Surprising amount of depth to the combat

Cons:

  • Traditional controls don’t feel great
  • Lack of single-player content may leave some feeling cold
  • Annoying arms-unlock system

ARMS is another example of Nintendo creating something entirely new and it working a treat.

A boxing game like you’ve never played before, ARMS lets players take on friends on the couch or online and take full advantage of the Joy-Con’s motion controls. Throwing punches with twists and turns to bend your character’s spaghetti-esque mitts, there’s a surprising level of strategy involved in what at first looks like a simple bash-em-up.

Once you get hooked on ARMS, it’s hard to stop playing, as there’s always a new challenger on the horizon.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Pros:

  • Huge and beautiful world
  • Deep yet accessible combat
  • Plenty of stuff to do
  • Nia is bloody lush
  • Amazing soundtrack

Cons:

  • Easy to be overwhelmed in the opening hours
  • Inconsistent localisation
  • Performance problems in certain areas

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a positively staggering JRPG offering hundreds upon hundreds of hours of content for players ready and willing to dig into its sprawling story and uncompromising systems. Its addictive combat system is complemented by an excellent ensemble cast you’ll come to root for as they aim to save the world of Alrest.

At times it’s hard to believe something like this is running on Nintendo’s portable console as you climb vast mountains and trawl through dark industrial cities. It’s one of Monolith Soft’s finest efforts yet and feels right at home on Switch. With the new expansion, there’s even more reason to check it out.

Buy now: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for £46.99 / $51.46 from Amazon

The Messenger

Pros:

  •  Looks and sounds great
  •  Brilliant platforming
  •  Level design great as a platformer and Metroidvania
  •  Some excellent surprise revelations

Cons:

  • The writing is hit and miss

Despite the writing, which is definitely an acquired taste, The Messenger is a truly excellent classic platformer and a bloody good Metroidvania. There’s enough of a twist on both genres to make it stand out in an increasingly crowded market. It looks great, plays great and is just challenging enough to keep you engaged while kicking your butt from time to time.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition

Pros:

  • Includes all DLC content for the game
  • Motion controls work well
  • Nintendo-themed exclusive items

Cons:

  • Really begun to show its age
  • Lacks visual upgrades of other current-gen editions

One of the biggest games of all time – and one that has come to every console under the sun since its initial 2011 launch – now comes to the Switch as a Special Edition.

Sporting special Nintendo-inspired skins, motion controls and of course the ability to play the game as a portable, this is an incredible proposition.

It may not offer the high-res graphics of its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts, but this is the first Skyrim you can play on the loo… we think.

Buy now: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for £41.98 / $50.99 from Amazon

Snipperclips

Pros:

  • Ingenious puzzle action
  • Superb co-op play
  • Infectious sense of fun
  • Silly four-player party modes

Cons:

  • Doesn’t really make the most of the Switch

If you’re looking for a fun, accessible and downright hilarious multiplayer experience on Nintendo Switch, look no further than Snipperclips. With a Joy-Con in hand, you and up to four friends can work together or duke it out in a series of addictively creative puzzles.

All of these are designed wonderfully around the Switch’s portable screen, making it perfect for popping out in the cafe or on a commute. The charming shapes you control only add to the fun, pulling off a series of ridiculous facial expressions as they contort across the screen.

Buy now: Snipperclips for £24.76 / $29.63 from Amazon

DOOM

Pros:

  • Still manages to look excellent on less powerful hardware
  • The best port to Switch thus far
  • Works great with the Pro Controller

Cons:

  • Naturally makes visual sacrifices on Nintendo’s platform
  • Framerate takes a hit in intense sequences
  • Smaller analogue sticks affect aiming

When DOOM was first announced for Nintendo Switch we were genuinely blown away. We never imagined such a bloody, demanding shooter would makes its way onto Nintendo’s console. But here it is, and despite some visual compromises, it’s a great experience.

The satisfying gunplay, ferocious monsters and fantastic setting remain, and it plays great on Nintendo Switch both docked and in portable mode. Keep in mind that the multiplayer mode is a separate download, unlike other platformers.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus has also landed on Nintendo Switch in recent months, providing us with another helping of brutally brilliant first-person shooters to play both at home and on the move.

Buy now: DOOM for £40 / $50.16 from Amazon

Mario Tennis Aces

mario tennis aces

Pros:

  •  A ridiculously good core mechanic that never gets old
  •  One of the finest multiplayer experiences on Switch
  •  Accessible and deep simultaneously
  •  Could offer something for quite some time

Cons:

  •  Single-player may leave some wanting
  •  RPG system is light at best

Mario Tennis Aces is awesome and a must-have if multiplayer experiences are your thing. It blends silliness with seriousness really quite brilliantly and is a testament to Nintendo’s efforts within this space. No one else would ever even comes close. 

Into The Breach

Pros:

  • Ingenious combination of block puzzle and tactics
  • Creates stories through its gameplay systems
  • Beautiful musical score

Cons:

  •   Won’t necessarily convert those who don’t enjoy the genre

Into The Breach, Subset Games follow up to smash hit space-em-up FTL, brings together turn-based tactics, intricate systems and big stompy mechs to create one of the best strategy games on the Nintendo Switch.

At its best, ITB plays like Chess. Your three mechs pick their way through populated areas, trying to take out giant bugs with the minimum of collateral damage. ITB is at its best when it asks you to choose between two terrible outcomes: do you want to sacrifice your star pilot or an apartment complex full of innocent civilians?

Think we’ve missed a biggie? Let us know your favourite Nintendo Switch games over on Twitter or Facebook @TrustedReviews

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