Best Nintendo Switch Games


imageWith nearly 93 million units sold, Switch is on pace to overtake Wii as Nintendo’s best-selling home console of all time.If Switch has proven anything, it’s that a console is truly defined by what you can play on it, and with such a vast library of excellent games, choosing only 25 of the best Switch games has proven to be difficult.

Advertisement This list was assembled by the entire IGN content team — including our resident Nintendo experts, the NVC podcast crew — and represents what we think are the best games to enjoy on the Switch right now, whether you’re picking one up for the first time or have been a platform enthusiast since day one.So without further ado, these are our picks for the 25 best Nintendo Switch games.

More on the Best of Nintendo:

Best Nintendo Switch Black Friday Deals Best Nintendo Gifts for 2020 Top 100 NES Games The Top 25 Switch Games (Fall 2020 Update) 26 IMAGES 25.Ring Fit Adventure Have you played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker?

YES NO Sure, exercising is good for you, but it’s got two pretty big drawbacks: one, it costs a lot of money to join a gym and, two, it’s kind of boring.Ring Fit Adventure fixes both of those problems by gamifying exercise and letting you work out from home while somehow making the entire experience feel like a fun, casual RPG.By strapping the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con to your leg and with the strange, brilliant new Ring-Con peripheral, Ring Fit encourages you to use your whole body to battle monsters, collect coins, level up, and push past your personal bests — all while giving you a serious workout within the confines of your living room.It proves that exercising can be fun — especially whenF it’s thousands of dollars cheaper than hiring a personal trainer, too.

Ring Fit Adventure made our list of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives .

Release Date: October 18, 2019 | Developer : Nintendo | IGN’s Ring Fit Adventure Video Review | IGN’s Ring Fit Adventure Wiki

24.Link’s Awakening With its charming, toyetic visual style and bizarrely dark undertones, the vast island of Koholint in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has never looked better than it does on Nintendo Switch.

Link’s shipwrecked adventure on a mysterious island rife with eccentric characters and sprawling dungeons has always been one of the stranger Zelda stories, and this remake allows new audiences and aging fans alike to appreciate it on a modern system.It modernizes the classic beloved Zelda game with a shiny new coat of paint, some excellent quality of life improvements, and loads more hidden collectibles but, ultimately, its greatest accomplishment is retaining the weird, haunting, beautiful feeling of the original Game Boy game.

Another Zelda remake, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD , was released in July.IGN’s review called it “a fantastic Zelda adventure that’s aged like wine, even if Wii U -era motion controls still aren’t great.”

Release Date: September 20, 2019 | Developer : Nintendo, Grezzo | IGN’s Link’s Awakening Video Review | IGN’s Link’s Awakening Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

23.Astral Chain Astral Chain is PlatinumGames at its best.It’s got it all: a unique story; deep character customization with a variety of play styles, and – of course – power-armored robot pets.On top of all that, it’s got some of the most satisfying, challenging, and fast-paced combat you’ll see on the Nintendo Switch.

If you’re a fan of other PlatinumGames like Bayonetta, Vanquish, or Nier: Automata , Astral Chain won’t disappoint.

In other news from Platinum, the developer revealed Bayonetta 3 gameplay (alongside a 2022 release window) during the latest Nintendo Direct .

Release Date: August 30, 2019 | Developer: PlatinumGames | IGN’s Astral Chain Video Review | IGN’s Astral Chain Wiki

22.SteamWorld Dig 2 SteamWorld Dig 2 is a textbook example of everything a sequel should be: bigger, smarter, and just straight up more fun.

Guiding Dorothy through SWD 2’s labyrinthine caverns searching for loot and upgrades is a challenging and charming twist on the classic “Metroidvania” style and has a gameplay loop that will undoubtedly keep you up into the wee hours of the morning for “just one more run.”

The series’ next game is a co-op, third-person action adventure called SteamWorld Headhunter .

Release Date: September 21, 2017 | Developer : Image & Form International AB | IGN’s SteamWorld Dig 2 Video Review | IGN’s SteamWorld Dig 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

Every IGN Monster Hunter Review 12 IMAGES Advertisement 21.Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate The Nintendo Switch makes it possible to get the best of both *worlds* with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate .

You can play using a comfortable pro-controller, but you can also slay its more than 100 monsters in person with friends.On top of the ridiculous amount of content packed in, you can also play as an adorable cat and pet alpacas.

Two new Monster Hunter games have come to Switch this year: Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2 .

Release Date : August 28, 2018 | Developer : Capcom | IGN’s Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Video Review | IGN’s Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon


Splatoon 2 Splatoon 2 is one of those rare games you can play for more than a year and still not be tired of it.Many players hoped for a fast port to Switch to hit the ground running, but what we got was an impressive sequel with an all-new single-player campaign and plenty of incredible, and free, post-release content.

Splatoon 3 is coming to Switch in 2022.Nintendo showed off new gameplay and plot details during its latest Direct.

Release Date: July 21, 2017 | Developer : Nintendo | IGN’s Splatoon 2 Video Review | IGN’s Splatoon 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

19.Paper Mario: The Origami King Paper Mario: The Origami King may not a perfect game – or, in fact, not even the best entry in the Paper Mario series – but it is one of the most charming adventures on the Nintendo Switch.

While most of the RPG trappings of the earliest entries of the franchise have been stripped away in Origami King, it’s more than made up for by an interesting new take on the battle system and one of the funniest, silliest stories in any game to date.

Release Date: July 17, 2020 | Developer: Nintendo| IGN’s Paper Mario: The Origami King Video Review | IGN’s Paper Mario: The Origami King Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

18.Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Retro’s second entry in their Donkey Kong Country series is every bit as charming and challenging as Rare’s SNES trilogy.The Switch port of the Wii U original features an easy mode with Funky Kong but retains all the white knuckle platforming that made Tropical Freeze a hit back in 2014.Boasting some of the best boss fights and most original challenges in a platformer in the last decade, and a charming Saturday morning cartoon art style, it’s a must own on Nintendo Switch.

Release Date: May 4, 2018 | Developer: Retro Studios | IGN’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Video Review | IGN’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

17.Pokemon Sword & Shield Pokemon Sword & Shield finally brought mainline Pokemon games to home consoles – even if it’s only by default, since the Switch is both a handheld and home console.Beyond seeing hundreds of monsters in HD on your nice big TV, Sword & Shield brought with it a slew of welcome changes, including several quality of life improvements, the removal of random encounters, and Gigantamaxing, which basically gave your favorite Pokemon the Stay Puft treatment.

It’s also the first game in the franchise to include post-launch expansion packs, The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra , which include both new and classic Pokemon to add to your collection.

The Pokemon Company recently responded to fans’ increasing criticisms of the series, saying the development team has “been through a lot — seen, heard [a lot].”

Release Date: November 15, 2019 | Developer: Game Freak | IGN’s Pokemon Sword & Shield Video Review | IGN’s Pokemon Sword & Shield Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

16.Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is widely considered one of the best JRPGs ever made.You’ll never want to leave Alrest, even after spending 100+ hours exploring its huge open world.

You play as Rex, a salvager turned hero and “Driver” to the legendary Blade Pyra.

Characters are extremely well written, there are dozens of Blades to unlock, all with their own unique look and personality, and the combat system is satisfying and complex.

Release Date: December 1, 2017 | Developer : Monolith Software | IGN’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Video Review | IGN’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

15.Spiritfarer It’s not an easy thing to make such a cheery, colorful game built around such a heavy topic, but Spiritfarer manages to have very real conversations about life and death with a warm smile and a plentiful amount of comforting hugs.This lovely town manager has you ferrying friendly souls to their ultimate rest, building them homes and growing close as you do.It’s a downright gorgeous mix of a building game and a platformer, and one that’s not quite like anything else available on Switch or elsewhere.

Release Date: August 18, 2020 | Developer: Thunder Lotus Games | IGN’s Spiritfarer Wiki | Buy It Here: Nintendo


Stardew Valley Stardew Valley is a wonderfully open-ended farming sim.You’ll forge your own country path with fishing, fighting, farming, and falling in love.Additionally, being able to take advantage of the Switch’s sleep mode helps take some of the pressure off of not being able to save in the middle of a day, even if a few other bugs in the port are still waiting to be squashed here.

Stardew Valley creator Eric Baron, aka ConcernedApe, revealed his next game to be Haunted Chocolatier .

Release Date: October 5, 2017 | Developer: ConcernedApe | IGN’s Stardew Valley Video Review | IGN’s Stardew Valley Wiki

13.Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle faced no shortage of skepticism before its launch.But Ubisoft Milan’s robust strategy game proved itself with some truly challenging levels and accessible but complex turn-based gameplay, while also finding a way of marrying the Rabbids and Mushroom Kingdom’s senses of humor into one, charming experience.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope , a sequel to Kingdom Battle, was revealed during E3.It’s scheduled to hit Switch in 2022.

Release Date: August 29, 2017 | Developer: Ubisoft Milan | IGN’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Video Review | IGN’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

Super Mario Maker 2 World Maker, Koopaling, and Super Mario Bros.

2 Mushroom Update 13 IMAGES 12.Super Mario Maker 2 Super Mario Maker 2 helped us achieve our childhood dreams of building our own Super Mario levels.OK, technically the first game did that, too, but the sequel took everything great about the original and somehow made it even more charming and wonderful.Not only are its 100+ story mode levels absolutely brilliant, but its accessibility as a viable game design tool is second to none — game designers of the future will almost certainly cite Super Mario Maker 2 as one of the catalysts for their careers.SMM2 is truly one of the Switch’s best experiences: a challenging platformer that satisfies your creative urges, and offers a near-infinite stream of delights.

Release Date: June 28, 2019 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN’s Super Mario Maker 2 Video Review | IGN’s Super Mario Maker 2 Wiki

11.Celeste Celeste is a surprise masterpiece.Its 2D platforming is some of the best and toughest since Super Meat Boy , with levels that are as challenging to figure out as they are satisfying to complete.

But the greatest triumph of Celeste is that its best-in-class jumping and dashing is blended beautifully with an important and sincere story and an incredible soundtrack that make it a genuinely emotional game, even when your feet are planted firmly on the ground.

Release Date: January 25, 2018 | Developer: Matt Makes Games | IGN’s Celeste Video Review | IGN’s Celeste Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

10.Hollow Knight Hollow Knight is one of the best modern MetroidVania ’s available, using all the pieces that make the genre so great in the first place without feeling derivative of anything that came before it.

The expertly crafted map that is the kingdom of Hallownest has an absurd amount of paths to explore, bosses to fight, and secrets to uncover.That’s all drawn in a somber but expressive art style that gives the adorable bug people who live their lives, and stories, of their own.It can undoubtedly be a challenging and demanding game, but what you get out of will be a reward worth far more than you put in.

A sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong , is in development for Switch.IGN’s hands-on Silksong preview said it’s like Hollow Knight “but with the speed cranked up to 11.”

Release Date: February 24, 2017 | Developer: Team Cherry | IGN’s Hollow Knight Video Review | IGN’s Hollow Knight Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon


Slay the Spire There’s something about Slay the Spire ’s balance of strategy and randomness that makes it an endlessly replayable puzzle.

Assembling that perfect combo of synergistic cards can feel incredible, but there’s also a joy in scraping your way to victory despite the odds never quite falling in your favor.

With that potent package on the Switch’s mobile platform — with some fairly decent touch control options, we might add — it’s a miracle we’ve ever stopped playing it.

Release Date: January 23, 2019 | Developer: MegaCrit LLC | IGN’s Slay the Spire Video Review

8.Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Mario Kart 8 ’s encore on Nintendo Switch didn’t just keep the online community alive and added returning favorites like Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, we also got a brand-new “cops and robbers” team mode with Renegade Roundup, all of the great DLC stages, and even some guests from the Splatoon universe.It’s not a new game, but one so good, it deserved to reach a bigger audience on Switch right away.

Mario Kart 8 is the best-selling racing game in U.S.history.

To date, it’s sold nearly 39 million copies worldwide.

Release Date: April 28, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Video Review | IGN’s Mario Kart 8 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

Advertisement 7.Hades Roguelikes don’t always appeal to everyone, but Hades has somehow found a way to win over even those with a distaste for them.Fighting your way out of the Greek underworld is a ruthless and challenging affair, but every failure is rewarded in a way that somehow makes them exciting in their own right.

Instead of just notching up each loss and moving onto the next, the moments between each run push Hades’ excellent storytelling to the forefront, giving you opportunities to learn more about its charming characters and grow close to them – as well as improve the prince of the underworld’s abilities and weapons.It’s that meaningful mix of progression and infinitely repeatable escape attempts (coupled with genuinely fantastic writing, art, and action) that make Hades as delectable as Ambrosia itself.

Release Date: September 17, 2020 | Developer: Supergiant Games | IGN’s Hades Video Review | IGN’s Hades Wiki | Buy It Here: Nintendo


Luigi’s Mansion 3 Luigi’s Mansion 3 is essentially a FrankenLuigistein’s monster of the first two games, a mashup of both that creates the perfect Luigi’s Mansion experience.Charming, clever, and absolutely gorgeous to look at, Luigi’s Mansion is 17 levels of pure ghost-hunting joy.

Working your way through each of the haunted hotels may never extremely challenging, but the creative boss fights and deviously hidden collectibles will keep you busy for a dozen hours or more.The excitement of getting to a new level just to see its theme (TV Studio! Sewer Maze! Egypt!) is well worth the price of admission, plus the game opens with Toad driving a bus.Priceless.

Release Date: October 31, 2019 | Developer: Next Level Games | IGN’s Luigi’s Mansion 3 Video Review | IGN’s Luigi’s Mansion 3 Wiki

5.Fire Emblem: Three Houses Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes the series to new heights, deftly blending grueling battles with an expansive social hub that allows for near limitless customization as you recruit, train, and bond with the memorable characters on your team.

Its unique take on a three-pronged story ensures that no matter which house you choose, the engrossing plot that unfolds always leaves enough mystery to make multiple playthroughs incredibly hard to resist.

The Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC Expansion Pass , which added seven new missions as part of the Cindered Shadows side story, is now available.

Release Date: July 26, 2019 | Developer: Intelligent Systems | IGN’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses Video Review | IGN’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses Wiki

4.Animal Crossing: New Horizons Released on the doorstep of a global pandemic, Animal Crossing: New Horizons provided a much need escape to many, selling nearly 34 million copies to date.

Routine and discovery play equally important roles as you plan the perfect layout for your island, make friends (or enemies) with all your villagers, and invite your friends to your own little utopia to trade items and swap secrets.It’s brilliant in its simplicity and masterful in the way it encourages players to keep up with chores, redecorate and/or reshape entire plots of land, or burn dozens of hours trying to catch rare fish or find every last seasonal item.It certainly helps that all the writing is supremely funny and that, hundreds of hours in, you’re still able to chuckle at a random comment or find genuine inspiration in the places you’d least expect.Taking a cue from many of Nintendo’s Switch editions of their long-running franchises, Animal Crossing New Horizons does little to completely reinvent the franchise, but it makes a great series even more accessible, more exciting, and more wonderful than it has ever been.

Be sure to check out all the big news from Nintendo’s recent Animal Crossing Direct , including details on its Happy Home Paradise DLC .

Release Date : March 20, 2020 | Developer : Nintendo | IGN’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons Video Review | IGN’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon


Super Mario Odyssey A masterclass in 3D platforming, Super Mario Odyssey seamlessly blends the best elements from nearly every Mario game with an entire portfolio of new gameplay mechanics to create something both nostalgic and courageous.New players will adore stomping through the vivid and vast new worlds, while seasoned veterans will stick around after the credits to unlock the hundreds of challenges that await their skill and dexterity.To put it succinctly, Super Mario Odyssey is pure, sublime joy and one of the best Super Mario games ever made.

Release Date : October 27, 2017 | Developer : Nintendo | IGN’s Super Mario Odyssey Video Review | IGN’s Super Mario Odyssey Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

2.Super Smash Bros.

Ultimate Super Smash Bros.Ultimate is exactly what its name implies: it’s the ultimate incarnation of Nintendo’s now 20-year-old brawler series.It’s a celebration of Smash a whole, filled with more fighters and levels than ever before, and packed to the gills with over 1000 more characters from all across gaming.“Everyone is here!” may have started out as just another tagline, but it’s one that Nintendo has impressively backed up, and it’s made Ultimate the definitive Smash for a long time to come.Add a 20+ hour single-player mode with full-on boss fights and huge world maps and it’s easy to get lost in Ultimate.Super Smash Bros.

Ultimate had a lot to live up to with that name, but it has undoubtedly done just that.

Smash Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai recently revealed how Nintendo managed to get Sora in Smash .

Release Date: December 7, 2018 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN’s Super Smash Bros.Ultimate Video Review | IGN’s Super Smash Bros.

Ultimate Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

1.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild And lastly, the ultimate Best Nintendo Switch game is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Let’s face it, the Zelda series was long overdue for a major change, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and scale in the palm of your hand.Now widely considered one of the best games of all time, Breath of the Wild tells an epic story, as you glide, cook, and battle your way across a beautifully ruined version of Hyrule.It helped reinvigorate The Legend of Zelda in a way that fans had only dreamt of, easily propelling it to the number one spot on our list and in our hearts.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release window has been set for 2022 .

Release Date: March 3, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN’s Breath of the Wild Video Review | IGN’s Breath of the Wild Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon

Upcoming Switch Games The latest Switch release is the exclusive JRPG Shin Megami Tensei 5 .Our review praised its “excellent JRPG combat and deeply rewarding customization.”

Next up is Pokemon Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond on November 19.Our latest Shining Pearl/ Brilliant Diamond preview said the remakes are “the old-school Pokemon games we’ve been missing.”

Moving into December, Switch owners have two notable releases to look forward to, both of which are out December 3.The first is Danganronpa Decadence , a collection of the series’ first three games plus Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp.

The second is Big Brain Academy: Brain vs.Brain , the latest installment in Nintendo’s brain-training franchise..

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