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

If you’ve purchased a Nintendo Switch, but don’t know which game to play next, then you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up the very best Switch games that we’ve reviewed.

We review all of the major releases for the Switch, both published by Nintendo and third-party companies. Any game that receives at least a 4-star rating will be considered in this top 10 best list.

We’ve made sure to include as much variety as possible, and so we’ve featured the best Switch games for racing, platforming, shooting and more.

Every single game on this list has been reviewed by one of our experts, as we make sure to reach the end credits and try out every available mode so we can offer the best possible buying advice.

We’ll be updating this list on a regular basis, so if you can’t find a game you fancy, it’s worth keeping this page bookmarked. There are some exciting Switch games set for release later this year too, including Pokémon Scarlet/Violet and Bayonetta 3, so check back to see whether they make the cut.

We also have plenty of other round-ups for the best games on other systems, including best PS5 games, best Xbox Series X/S games and best PC games.

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 the best Switch games we’ve tested, 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 enamoured 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. 

Stardew Valley 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-Fueled, 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

Splatoon 3

Best multiplayer game on Switch
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Pros

  • Short but sweet story mode
  • Great variety of weapons
  • Salmon Run is now playable 24/7
  • Lots of customisation options

Cons

  • Lack of new multiplayer modes
  • Very few major changes from Splatoon 2

Splatoon 3 is the best Switch game for multiplayer shootouts right now, featuring a wide range of weapons from ink-spitting paintball pistols to rollers that can squash enemies like a bug. For this new entry, Nintendo is even introducing katanas and bows to the mix for even more variety.

Aside from the classic Turf War battles, other fantastic multiplayer modes include the co-op venture Salmon Run, as well as Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz which are creative spins on other multiplayer shooters. Winning matches will see you unlock more advanced weapons, as well as additional accessories for beefing up your stats.

Nintendo has added a completely new single-player campaign, acting as bitesize tutorials and challenges for various ink-based mechanics. It doesn’t take long to complete, although there are lots and lots of optional missions you can jump in to test your skills.

The only major criticism we have about Splatoon 3 is that it’s very similar to its predecessor, besides the new story mode. But if you’re happy for more Splatoon action, or you’re a newbie to the series, then we can’t recommend this threequel enough.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Splatoon 3 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

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Best co-op 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

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Best action RPG on Switch
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Pros

  • Engaging and emotional story
  • Spectacular action-packed cutscenes
  • Incredible music and great visuals
  • Expansive and detailed high-fantasy world

Cons

  • Combat can feel repetitive
  • Weak progression system
  • Little incentive for exploration

If you’re looking for a massive action RPG to play on the Nintendo Switch, then Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is our top recommendation. This high fantasy world is breathtaking, with various environments and wonderfully detailed monsters that roam the planet.

The story follows six characters trapped in a perpetual war, featuring classic Japanese tropes such as talkative monsters and giant mecha combat suits. But despite the high fantasy backdrop and action-packed cutscenes, Xenoblade still provides an emotional story that’s both captivating and relatable.

Monolith Soft has been incredibly ambitious with the gameplay too, scaling up to 7-character parties for combat, and allowing you to swap between character classes at any point in the game. During the review, we did find the combat to become repetitive without a deeper progression system, but it still kept us entertained throughout the 50-hour adventure.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may not be for everyone, as its lengthy campaign may well put some people off, but it’s still a fantastic entry for the Nintendo Switch library. It will be a surprise if many games in 2022 will have a better story.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

Best hack and slash game on Nintendo Switch
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Pros

  • Entertaining battles
  • Multiple storylines to explore
  • Engaging characters
  • Quirky and interesting art style

Cons

  • Too many cutscenes
  • Fights can become repetitive
  • Camera can be annoying

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is one of the best games you can find on the Nintendo Switch. Our reviewer found this title to be thrilling, with the hack and slash combat allowing players to rack up rewarding combos in seconds. 

You have the choice of three narratives when it comes to the story, with players being able to join either the Scarlet Blaze, Golden Wildfire or Azure Gleam factions. Our exploration of the Scarlet Blaze story took our reviewer around 20 hours to complete, but there are easily hundreds of hours of content to get through, which is ideal for anyone looking for their next big project. 

The quirky art style is also wonderful to look at, with each character having their own distinct aesthetic that matches their personality. Speaking of the characters, each one is engaging and well-written, with the game encouraging players to get to know their team through bonding exercises and gift-giving.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve played a Fire Emblem game before, Three Hopes is such an easy recommendation. The fast-paced combat and engrossing story will keep you playing for hours, with the Switch’s portability making this an ideal title for anyone who’s usually on the go.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

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 Switch 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

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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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