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Best Switch Games: Top 10 games to buy for Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is one the most popular consoles around, offering up some of our favourite games. But it can be hard to know which game you should indulge in next, and that’s where we come in. 

Our team of experts has plenty of experience reviewing games, from the biggest titles of the year to smaller games that might fly under the radar – we’ve seen it all. And since we have all this collective knowledge, we decided to assemble a list of all our favourite games for the Nintendo Switch. 

We also recognise that everyone has different tastes when it comes to games, so we’ve made sure to include a wide variety of different genres. That includes some of our favourite Nintendo games, alongside some third-party titles that are well worth your time. 

Every game on this list has been played by a member of our expert team, where we test out as many of the mechanics and features as possible. That’s to ensure that you’re getting first-hand advice from real people.

If this list isn’t sparking your interest right now, make sure to bookmark this page and come back soon, as we’ll be continually updating this list every time a new high-scoring game arrives on the Nintendo Switch. 

We also have plenty of other best games lists for anyone who wants to look a little further than the Switch; our best PS5 games list is perfect for anyone who’s recently bought the latest PlayStation, and our best Xbox Series X/S games list is for all the Microsoft lovers out there.

How we test

Learn more about how we review games

We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.

Metroid Dread

Best challenging game on Switch
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Pros

  • Excellent combat
  • Great range of weapons and upgrades
  • Jaw-dropping cinematic cutscenes
  • Stealth sections add variety

Cons

  • Recycled mini boss battles
  • May be too difficult for some

Metroid Dread is one of our favourite games that we’ve tested on the Nintendo Switch, with faultless combat mechanics and stunning 3D cutscenes. We noted in our review how bright and bold the colours looked, especially on a Switch OLED, with Samus’ suit almost popping out of our display.

We do concede that this game may not be for everyone; we found that the harder difficulty may make this a little inaccessible for younger players, though we loved how challenging this game was. Relentless pursuers in the stealth sections really upped the scare factor for us, and made the title feel really satisfying to complete. 

Unlike other Metroidvania games, we loved how Dread always felt like a non-linear game but proved difficult to get completely lost, despite having so many vast areas to explore. We also liked how many skills and upgrades you can unlock, including the Phantom Cloak that enables you to turn invisible and avoid detection. 

There are plenty of other Metroidvania-style games to consider if Dread seems like too much of a challenge, including Ori and the Will of the Wisps, while indie gems such as Hollow Knight retains the high difficulty but swaps sci-fi guns for melee weapons. But if you want a game in the same vein as Super Metroid, then Metroid Dread is our top recommendation.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Metroid Dread Review

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Best wholesome Switch game
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Pros

  • Beautiful, adorable and a joy to look at
  • All of its systems are wonderfully deep and rewarding
  • Builds upon everything that came before it
  • Ferociously addictive and remarkably paced

Cons

  • There’s only a certain amount of things to do per day
  • Deeper relationships with islanders would be great

Moving from one of the hardest games on our list to one of the most relaxing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best game our reviewer played in 2020 and is still one of our favourite titles two years on.

After being dropped off on an island, you’re given the freedom to explore and build up your own community, slowly upgrading a tent into a huge house. From the moment we made it onto Tom Nook’s island we were enraptured, with wonderfully inclusive avatar creation and vastly expanded options for hairstyles and skin tones.

During the review, we noted that there are plenty of things you can do each day, with the game actively encouraging you to poke and prod at everything you see. This added to our overall sense of wonder as you explore more of your island. 

Further down this list, we’re also going to be talking about Stardew Valley, which is another amazing option if you’re looking for a little more structure in your fantastical-fake town. But while Stardew Valley is a little more complex, New Horizons is perfect for players of all ages and we guarantee that even after days of gameplay you will be coming back for more.

Reviewer: Jade King
Full Review: Animal Crossing New Horizons Review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Best racing game on Switch
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Pros

  • 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 on Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may be a remastered edition of the Wii U entry, but we found the Switch’s bonus of portability really took this game up a gear, allowing you to get some laps in on your daily commute before committing to a Grand Prix on the big screen back home.

Our reviewer’s favourite aspect of this game is Battle Mode, making a welcome return to the series and featuring five modes. Each one is incredibly fun to play and brings in eight well-designed battle courses. The new courses keep the game feeling fresh and the extra modes make the game feel a lot more full, giving players even more to conquer. 

With many games on this list coming in as single-player experiences, this is one of the best multiplayer titles available in general, never mind just for the Switch. Our review found local multiplayer (which is supported with up to eight consoles) to be extremely worthwhile, as you can race against friends or take on players from around the globe. 

While there are plenty of other cart racers on the Nintendo Switch, including the likes of Team Sonic Racing and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fuele, nothing comes close to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe given its wealth of characters, race courses and items.

Reviewer: Brett Phipps
Full Review: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Best adventure game on Switch
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Pros

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

Cons

  • So-so voice acting
  • Minor performance dips

Coming in as one of the best Switch games we’ve ever reviewed, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably one of the very first titles you should add to your library. 

We loved how this game unleashes you on the huge world of Hyrule and dares you to explore, with no cumbersome tutorials eating up the first hour of gameplay. The game promotes freedom like we’ve not seen before, with a landscape that is undeniably beautiful and awash with vibrant colours.

Our review also found this game to be surprisingly challenging, yet incredibly rewarding at the same time. Discovering the Master Sword was one of the most satisfying gaming experiences we’ve had in recent years. 

With the incredible variety of gameplay on offer, it’s no wonder why Breath of the Wild is still a fan favourite all these years later. And if this masterpiece isn’t to your taste, we have plenty of easygoing entries coming up, like Super Mario Odyssey, which is one of the most accessible and fun Nintendo Switch games to delve into.

Reviewer: Brett Phipps
Full Review: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

Super Mario Odyssey

Best 3D platformer on Switch
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Pros

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

Cons

  • Some of Cappy’s moves require motion controls

Everyone’s favourite plumber is back, since we couldn’t possibly limit Mario to just one place on this list. This is possibly the best Mario has ever been, with our review claiming that Super Mario Odyssey features some of the most satisfying gameplay that we’ve seen from Nintendo’s mascot. 

Odyssey sees Mario team up with Cappy, a sentient hat that can take on any form he chooses, from frogs to dinosaurs to massive totems. He feels great to use, with the controls feeling tighter than ever, and more ways to manoeuvre thanks to Cappy’s abilities. 

You’re tasked with finding all the Power Moons in the various worlds, as well as rescuing Peach yet again. We really enjoyed venturing off the beaten path or attempting to reach the highest point on the map, as doing so often rewarded us with another Power Moon to encourage experimentation.

We reckon this is a great game to buy for children (or adults) of all ages, with an accessible difficulty, charming style and the same Mario we’ve known and loved for 41 years. Already played Super Mario Odyssey? There are still plenty of other platformers to get excited about, including Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which you can read more about further down.

Reviewer: Brett Phipps
Full Review: Super Mario Odyssey Review

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Best new Pokémon game
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Pros

  • Most innovative Pokémon game to date
  • So many side quests to get through
  • Great new game mechanics mixed
  • Pokémon and people look quirky

Cons

  • The gameplay at the end gets repetitive
  • Poor graphics quality
  • The world looks remarkably boring

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the refresher that the franchise needed, with brand new gameplay mechanics that make capturing monsters more fun than ever before.

There are over 25 hours of the main campaign to get through, with dozens of sidequests after that, which means this is a great choice for anyone looking for their next big project. While this isn’t the most challenging game, it’s still incredibly charming and is a perfect Pokémon game to get into, whether you’ve played it before or not. 

We loved the satisfying gameplay loop that Arceus sets up, where you go to a new area, capture some monsters and then complete the main task. While less open-word than Breath of the Wild, there are still plenty of opportunities to wander around and explore all the nooks and crannies that Pokémon could be hiding in. 

We think that Arceus is one of the most innovative Pokémon titles to date, as it puts a whole new take on an old story and offers up brand new mechanics that will shock the most veteran players. But if you’re craving a more classic Pokemon game, then check out the likes of Pokemon Sword and Shield or Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Dazzling Pearl instead.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Stardew Valley

Best farming simulator for Switch
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Pros

  • Endlessly fun, addictive and rewarding
  • So much depth to its many mechanics
  • Adorable in its writing and presentation
  • You’ll lose dozens of hours tending to your farm

Cons

  • Pixelated visuals might not be for everyone

Another incredibly wholesome Switch game to pair with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Stardew Valley gives you the chance to move to the countryside and build your own farm after you inherit an abandoned plot of land in Pelican Town. This is one of the most charming games we’ve played for the Switch and our reviewer noted how endlessly fun and addictive this title is. 

With over 150 hours of experience, we were still finding new things to do, such as unlocking minecarts to quickly traverse the town and discovering new food to create and sell. Our reviewer noted how rewarding the gameplay is; you’re always progressing, whether that involces adding another chicken to your coop or developing a romantic relationship with one of the villagers in town, there is always something to do. 

Stardew Valley has four seasons to enjoy, with a divine soundtrack that has dedicated tracks for each time of the year, all of which fit perfectly with the constantly evolving world around you. Our favourites were the Summer songs, as the cheery melodies got us ready to run outside in the morning and harvest our new crops. 

If you’ve already invested hundreds of hours into Stardew Valley and want a game with a similar vibe, then check out the likes of Moonlighter, Farming Simulator and Terraria. But for any gamers who want to kick back and relax, Stardew Valley is such an easy recommendation and one of the most delightful games of the past decade.

Reviewer: Jade King
Full Review: Stardew Valley Review

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Best Lego game on Switch
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Pros

  • Enough content to last for weeks on end
  • Massive levels to explore
  • Revamped combat keeps you more engaged
  • Co-op is an absolute blast

Cons

  • Space battles are a bit mundane
  • Camera sometimes gets in the way

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is our absolute favourite Lego game, once again focusing on collectables, while revisiting all of the most memorable moments in Star Wars history.

Compared to previous Lego games, we found the combat to be a lot more engaging and requires more than simply mashing buttons to take down the enemy. Our reviewer mentioned that it’s still very much accessible for younger players, but there are more options on how you can get through a level. 

We loved rummaging around the barren wastelands of Tatooine and the wealthy streets of Canto Bight, which are filled to the brim with secrets, collectables and Easter eggs. We wouldn’t class these as open-world locations, although the levels did remind us of Super Mario Odyssey, as you’re free to explore at your own pace.

The co-op aspect of this game is also wonderfully implemented, and we loved seeing characters that weren’t much use in previous titles get their time to shine. While Lego games may not appeal to everyone, any Star Wars fan will love the massive amounts of content here. And if you’re looking for additional Lego games on Nintendo Switch, check out Lego City: Undercover and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full Review: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

A great 3D platformer for children
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Pros

  • Great range of copy abilities and upgrades
  • Inventive puzzles thanks to Mouthful Mode
  • Challenging and rewarding mini games
  • Varied and gorgeous level designs

Cons

  • Main missions will be too easy for some
  • Not as ambitious as Mario and Zelda games

Potentially one of the best games on this list to be enjoyed by children, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is brimming with charm. While some of the levels may be a little too easy for some – and for those people, we will point back to Breath of the Wild – we still loved the goofy animations and endearing mechanics. 

The linear level design is similar to Super Mario 3D Land, but with oodles of unique features to keep this game feeling unique. We rode rollercoasters and fled from boulders, meeting an abundance of adorable enemies along the way. The platforming here is not tight or intricate, as Kirby can happily inflate himself and float away if you mistime a jump, but we still loved gobbling up enemies and stealing their abilities.

In a similar vein to The Skywalker Saga, there is a huge emphasis on seeking out collectables here. This gave the game more depth and meant we could keep exploring every level to find all the kidnapped Waddle Dee characters that needed to be saved. 

We think this is a perfect entry point for younger gamers who just want to experience a colourful adventure. Other easy 3D platformer games include SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated and Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Nintendo Switch Sports

Best sports game on Nintendo Switch
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Pros

  • Fantastic motion controls
  • More variation in the sports
  • Character customisation options
  • Detailed and wholesome backgrounds

Cons

  • Football and Volleyball don’t hit same heights as other sports
  • Overall game feels slower
  • Leg strap has limited use

Nintendo Switch Sports is the latest sports game from Nintendo and one of the biggest nostalgia throwbacks we’ve had in a long time. Our reviewer loved revisiting the old sports – Bowling, Tennis and Chambara – and the simplistic motion controls that anyone can pick up. 

The new sports – Volleyball, Football and Badminton – add some variety to the title, with Football coming with a new mode that allows you to strap a Joy-Con controller to your leg and take a free-kick. Our favourite sport ended up being Badminton, as it feels really satisfying to launch the shuttlecock to the back of the court, or do a drop shot to throw off your opponent. 

Bowling also shined, as not only can you relive the joys of 2006 Wii Sports, but the new Special mode gives players the chance to really test their skills. Each lane is different, with moving blocks, spinning disks and bridges cropping up to make it even harder to knock down every pin.

We think that Switch Sports is a fantastic party game, and many of us can attest to the competitive spirit that arises when four people are going toe-to-toe in a bowling match. Younger players will also love this game thanks to the simple motion controls and vibrant graphics, making this a staple title for your Switch. 

If you’re a big fan of wacky sports games, make sure to check out Mario Tennis Aces or Rocket League, and also keep your eyes on the upcoming Mario Strikers: Battle League.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Nintendo Switch Sports Review

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FAQs

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No, you cannot currently watch Netflix on the Nintendo Switch.

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Yes, Minecraft is available for purchase on Switch.

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