What are the best games on the Nintendo Switch?
If you are at a loss with what Nintendo Switch game to pick up next then you have come to the right place. This list is what I believe are the best Nintendo Switch games currently available for the console.
The Nintendo Switch is rapidly becoming our favourite way to play games. Nintendo really has seemed to recover after the ill-fated WiiU (RIP) and are pumping out game after game. With the Switch, Nintendo is being a lot more friendly towards 3rd party & indie developers and this is making its library very impressive indeed!
Handheld is definitely my preferred method of play for a lot of games but, I can’t deny some look and feel a lot more spectacular on the big screen; Zelda & Xenoblades 2 are prime candidates for this.
I decided it was time to sit down and list out my favourite Nintendo Switch games so far. Our list in no particular order but is compiled of games we have played to death and we think are worthy of praise!
BAYONETTA 1 & 2
Bayonetta is just the kind of Hack n Slash Nintendo fans deserve… I mean sure we did get both these games before on the WiiU but, these ports don’t feel like ports if that makes sense! Bayonetta feels like it was made for the switch, both games run great and the fast pace and, somewhat, campy action gameplay lends well to both handheld and regular play. Playing as the amnesiac Umbra Witch Bayonetta, it is your task to piece together your past and find out where you fit into the grand narrative. I won’t elaborate further on the story as the story is not what Bayonetta is all about, Bayonetta is all about action… and action it does very well. Each attack you pull off has a feeling of satisfaction behind it and makes you realise that Bayonetta really is a badass. Attacks are fluid, satisfying, cool to look at and just feel ‘Right’.
As an Umbra Witch, Bayonetta is capable of shapeshifting, using various firearms (with all four limbs!) and can even use her hair to summon screen filling demons to take care of her adversaries. Gameplay is rated at the end of each section, which awards players a grade based on their performance through the level much like Devil May Cry which was also created by Hideki Kamiya.
Bayonetta 2 is more of the same really, with a new hair cut and some additional polish. This is not a bad thing, After playing Bayonetta I was delighted to jump immediately into the sequel. Bayonetta 2 feels a little more story driven and relies a fair bit on callbacks from the 1st game. This said Bayonetta 2 stands on its own two feet and you wouldn’t really have to play the 1st game to understand the core mechanics. Out of the two, I would say the 1st game is the better of the two and it will be interesting to see where Platinum games go with the Bayonetta 3.
Although well suited for both handheld and regular play, I would recommend playing using a pro controller. especially if you plan on longer sessions with either game. Sometimes the tiny buttons on the joy con can get a little fiddly after the cramp has set in.
DISGAEA 5 COMPLETE
I love Disgaea. In fact, I love pretty much every Nippon Ichi Software game I have played so I may be somewhat biased. Disgaea is a somewhat hard series to describe, It is an SRPG with over-the-top anime style characters in which you play as a Demon Overlord and Disgaea 5 complete is no exception to that rule. You play as Killia a curry loving overlord who is out for revenge. On your journey, you will meet/recruit a colourful band of misfits whose personal stories are usually where the comic relief comes in. In terms of value for money, Disgaea 5 is insane, Each item in the game has a dungeon within it, Each character can be levelled up lvl9999 & each character is capable of dealing millions of damage (Given the right training). There is a reincarnation feature that lets you take a fully levelled 9999 character and put them all the way back to level 1 with a couple of inherited moves and a stat bonus. Not to mention that the Switch edition comes with all DLC included! I’ve put in 120 hours alone and I’ve not even completed most of the games hardest challenges. The writing is hilarious and a must play for any SRPG fans.
There is also Disgaea 1 Complete if you would like to see the series at its roots. Personally, I think the refinements in Disgaea 5 make it a better game for both veterans and newcomers. Disgaea 5 Complete does a good job with its tutorials and if you have not played a Disgaea game before, you are going to need them!
I wrote a Disgaea 1 Complete review, please feel free to check it out!
HYRULE WARRIORS DEFINITIVE EDITION
Hyrule Warriors was great on the WiiU, now Hyrule Warriors is great on the Switch! The game is yet another “we’ve included all the DLC” port of the original from the WiiU but this is not a bad thing by no means. The game runs flawlessly in handheld mode and is a pure joy to play. I feel like Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition has been somewhat forgotten amongst newer games and its a shame as the title really is a lot of fun. The game is a Dynasty Warriors-styled, Zelda fan service, extravaganza and is a must for anyone who enjoys this hack and slash type game. Hyrule Warriors has a fantastic local Co-op Multiplayer mode, where you and a friend can tackle some of the trickier maps together. If you are like me then you love unlockables & like me, you will find yourself hanging out in Adventure mode. Adventure mode is an awful lot of fun, You will be playing for hours trying to unlock each, weapon, Heart and map square. If you love Zelda & Collectables then you will find this one of the best Nintendo Switch games available I cannot recommend it enough!
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY
It looks like Bowser has Kidnapped Princess Peach again. You really would think by now she would have stepped up her security detail! This time around Bowser has decided to marry the Princess and Mario must travel from place to place to put a stop to his plans! This time Mario is accompanied by Cappy, Cappy gives Mario the ability to ‘possess’ almost anything he throws his cap at. A lot of the game mechanics come from being able to take over enemies and use their abilities to your advantage. Now, being a Mario game, this is one of the games that a lot of people brought a switch for in the first place! A true 3D exploration-based Mario has returned at last. Ever since Super Mario Sunshine released way back in 2002 we have not had a true 3D Mario game, I mean sure there’s been The New Super Mario Bros. Series and the fantastic Super Mario 3D World & Land but none of these has the same sense of freedom or gives the same desire to explore every part of the map like Odyssey does! Personally, I love the 3D Mario games as they are always a collectathon and that is my thing, however, you can play through the game like a ‘Normal’ person just getting the right amount done and moving on to the next area. This makes the game very accessible to pretty much anyone, the controls are responsive and fluid, yet you can pull off move advance manoeuvres thanks to the addition of Cappy. The game looks amazing with some great art direction and a load of different varied locales. The sound design is great as to be expected with a mainline Mario game. If you have not played Super Mario Odyssey then you need to check it out immediately! (The balloon finding pseudo-multiplayer game is a lot of fun too!)
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a similar feel to the previous Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X, including exploration the world of Alrest, the ability to run to travel pretty much anywhere seen in the distance. A nice sprawling JRPG with over the top English (Welsh perhaps?) accents and a decent battle system that starts off really simple yet, becomes incredibly complex as the hours go by. You play as Rex and follow his adventures to take Pyra to Elysium. I personally was a little lost at first with the slower paced battle system and seemingly endless tutorials, then around 10 hours in things ‘clicked’ and I couldn’t put the game down. If you are a fan of Anime and Anime tropes I would highly suggest you get this game. be prepared for a time sink though as you can easily spend 80+ hours roaming the world. As cool as it is to have such a huge RPG in a potentially handheld format I do think that the game runs a lot better docked. In handheld mode, the game suffers a little from some ‘fuzziness’ graphically but was still completely playable and great for grinding and loot hunting while doing other things. Recently the game has been expanded with Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country, a standalone DLC that is a whole new game set 500 years before the main campaign and adds up to 30 hours more gameplay! It’s well worth the price.
RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS 1 & 2
I am including these games together as there is a physical version with both packaged (Even though Revelations 2 is a download of a whooping 23.6gb!). Resident Evil Revelations was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2012 and have a more claustrophobic feel. The game is primarily set on a ship the Queen Zenobia and has tight corridors much like the Spencer mansion from the original Resident Evil. You play as fan favourite Jill Valentine & also as Chris Redfield in split stories that may or may not come together at some point ;). Jill’s sections are the typical resident evil affair of solving puzzles and navigating monster-infested tight spaces whereas the sections with Chris are usually a little more action-oriented. The sections with Jill. especially reminded me of classic Resident Evil and at times you almost felt like you were back in the Spencer mansion. The game has a classic Resident Evil gameplay style mixed with the over the shoulder camera of later games in the series and really does benefit from having the Switch’s second analogue control stick. Revelations Look great in both handheld and on the big screen, however, a few of the textures looks little grainy on the TV This is to be expected being a port of a 3DS game after all.
Resident Evil Revelations 2, in contrast, looks amazing in both modes. almost too good! Through the campaign as Claire Redfield, I did notice the occasional frame rate issue but nothing that made the game unplayable. The Vita port of revelations 2, although looking great, had terrible frame rate issues and thankfully these are absent here. Revelations 2 takes place on an Island, you play as Claire Redfield & you are assisted by Moria, Barry Burton’s Daughter. You can switch between these characters pretty much whenever you want and this makes for some interesting puzzle solving later on in the game. With the original episodic nature of the game’s release, Revelations 2 goes back and forth between Claire and Moria trying to escape and Barry trying to track them down some 6 months later. With both games being episodic in nature, this lends well to on the go gaming, that said Revelations 2 episodes are quite lengthy but do have checkpoints.
Another thing to note is both games feature a comprehensive raid mode which could be sold as their own separate games and is really quite addictive. The raid mode plays a little like the old mercenaries mode from previous Resident Evil Games. The Raid mode in Revelations 2 is so in-depth that it could be considered as one of the best Nintendo switch games if it was released as a standalone title. If you have to chose one game I would go for Revelations 2. I still find myself loading up raid mode and seeing what daily missions are available! That said, both games are a must have for any survival horror fan.
Legend of Zelda BOTW
Zelda on the Switch, a system seller for sure! Being a launch game Nintendo knew what they were doing when releasing breath of the wild. As expected from pretty much every Zelda game Breath of the wild is amazing. Nintendo has taken Zelda open world, this works surprisingly well. I was very sceptical that the game would lose its narrative & to some degree I was right. The story is very sparse but does set the scene pretty well for the devastated land of Hyrule. Link has been asleep recovering and repairing his body since the fight with Ganon. You wake up with pretty much zero information. The story is told by the characters you meet along the way helping to restore your memory. Its a nice take on the usual Zelda Formula. You still gain upgrades and collect hearts pieces but pretty much most of your ‘tools’ will be given to you early on. With the game being open you could, if you wanted to, run directly to Hyrule castle and try to tackle Ganon immediately. This, of course, would be foolish and you would be Ill-equipped. Throughout hyrule there are shrines, mini-dungeons that award you with a spirit orbs upon completion. Four of these orbs can be traded in for either a heart piece or a small increase to your stamina meter. Stamina is used as the games main technique of guiding progression, you can climb mountains and towers but a lot of them will require much more stamina then you started with. I like this method of open-endedness and it means if you think you can climb to that distant shrine up that mountain you probably can, maybe not yet, but soon. There are four traditional ‘Dungeons’ in the form of the Devine beasts, giant mechanical creatures that you can enter and face a boss at the end. These are a lot of fun and each one will result in link gaining another power and the weakening of Ganon.
There’s so much to go into regarding BOTW that I wouldn’t all fit in this list and even though this is not my favourite Zelda game it is definitely one of the best Nintendo switch games released even two years on!
Best eShop Switch games
What are the best eShop switch games? The eShop now has over 1000 games you can download and play on your switch and here are the best eShop switch games, well at least in my opinion! As a collector myself I really do hope that some of these get a physical Release.
Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is an amazing top-down bullet hell rouge like shooter. Now that seems like a lot to take in and it is, however, this is no bad thing! the gameplay is tight and fluid & you play as one of four characters who brave the Gungeon, each with their own special skills and unique abilities. In true rogue-like style, levels are randomly generated and keep things fresh on each play through. The aim is to see how far you can progress into the dungeon with each floor having a boss you must fight before progressing. Weapon and upgrades are found in chests throughout the maps and Its a real roll of the dice as to what you will get. Enemy designs are fantastic and are almost all designed after a type of bullet. There’s a nice amount of humour thrown into the design of Enter the Gungeon. There’s something extremely addictive about this game, I can find myself losing whole evenings to it after wanting to play for only half an hour. Enter the Gungeon can be likened to the Binding of Issac, it has many similarities like randomly generated rooms, end of map bosses, randomized weapons and items and great gameplay! One last feature to mention is Local Co-op. I’ve played many a game with my partner and it really is a lot of fun. And helps to divide the enemies attention. Each time I play Enter the Gungeon I usually only make it to the second floor but I always jump right back in. I cannot recommend this game enough!
Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania style game done really well. Originally starting as a Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, Hollow Knight has gone on to be what I consider the best Metroidvania game currently on the switch. The game takes place in the kingdom of Hallownest, a cartoon styled, dark land of insects. The game looks like something right out of a Tim Burton animation. Hollow Knight is dripping with atmosphere and it’s very easy to find yourself lost in the hand-drawn styled world of Hallownest. The game is pretty open-ended but, in true Metroidvania style, your progress will be halted by some kind of barricade or obstacle that you will need to overcome. These cannot be dealt with until you gain the appropriate ability or power up. Most of these tools are gained by beating a boss, so although the game gives you a sense of freedom you are in fact actually funnelled the way the developers want you to go and this is great because Hollow Knight had fantastic direction and pacing. The majority of enemies you face are bug-like creatures who drop Geo upon defeat, the currency of Hollow Knight. Geo can be used to increase the power of your Nail, which basically acts as a Sword for our protagonist.
The sprawling environments are Hollow Knight are very impressive and it feels very satisfying when you discover a new shortcut back to a new area. Collectables are also a big part of Hollow Knight also, so you will be searching every corner of the map trying to discover them. The Switch version of Hollow Knight comes bundled with all the DLC released and very soon we will have the sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong.
FINAL FANTASY IX
Final Fantasy IX takes me back to being a teenager, after waiting what seemed like an eternity it finally released on the original PlayStation. That summer I completely turned my body clock around, I was waking up at 6 -7 pm and pretty much playing FFIX all through the night! As soon as it was announced for the Switch I knew I had to grab a copy when it released. For those who don’t know, Final Fantasy IX is the 9th game in the series, a series which started way back on the Nintendo Entertainment System and was one of the best games available for the system at the time. The Final Fantasy series is one of the founding fathers of all RPG’s & Final Fantasy IX takes the series back to its more traditional style of setting. Final Fantasy VII & Final Fantasy VIII took a slightly more modern approach to art style and setting so it’s nice to see FFIX paying homage to the earlier games in the series. You play as Zidane, a member of Tantalus and also happens to be an adept thief. Your current job is to Kidnap the princess of one of the worlds most prestigious cities, Princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII (What a name!). You follow the exploits Zidane and the Princess as they eventually work together, along with a ragtag bunch of comrades, to uncover the mystery surrounding political tensions and hopefully averting a war. Now, I have completely butchered that brief description of the story but you will have to trust me in believing its very good! In fact, the story has so many layers to it that it would take all day to explain them and what a story it is. Gameplay is your typical RPG exploration with traditional turn-based battles and an in-depth & satisfying levelling system. FFIX offers so many different locales and optional content, these will keep you busy for some time with my playthrough clocking in at over 82 hours. I am sure your mileage will vary depending on your playstyle etc but you cannot deny this is fantastic value for money. If you enjoy a nice in-depth story with satisfying gameplay I would urge you to grab a copy from the eShop!