When Nintendo unveiled the Switch, people were excited, to say the least — excited, but cautious. After the Wii U’s rocky life and less-than-desired sales, this could have been another disappointing attempt at something new. However, as is well known today, the Nintendo Switch quickly became one of the most popular consoles available, and still dominates the industry.
With the option to either play at home on the TV or take it with you at any time, the simple feature was something everyone kept loving, and so more and more games made their way to the hybrid console. With ports, remasters, and plenty of original titles, these are the best Nintendo Switch games of all time.
Updated on September 26, 2023 by Rebecca Phillips: Looking for great games to add to your Nintendo Switch catalog? These are the absolute best games that the platform has to offer. We’ve added yet another title to this list, so you’ll never be short of amazing Nintendo Switch games.
19 Pikmin 4
- July 21, 2023
- Puzzle, Real-Time Strategy
After a long wait, fans of the Pikmin series finally got a new title with Pikmin 4 on Nintendo Switch, and it was certainly worth the wait. Just like the games that came before it, Pikmin 4 seamlessly blends real-time strategy gameplay with the adorableness of the Pikmins, as well as the new addition of Oatchi the dog.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or this is your first time in the world of Pikmin, the fourth entry is a fantastic place to jump in. With the help of the titular Pikmin, you’ll be exploring new environments, taking on challenging enemies, and making some interesting discoveries.
18 Splatoon 3
- September 9, 2022
- Third-Person Shooter
The Splatoon series is one of Nintendo’s most colorful and creative IPs, and the third entry, Splatoon 3, is no different. It takes what made the previous two iterations so popular — fun, fast third-person shoot gameplay, a distinct aesthetic, and lots and lots of ink — and refined it.
Splatoon 3 also adds a bunch of new content in the form of weapons, challenges (such as Salmon Run) and DLC. Of course, the classic Turf War mode returns, made all the more exciting through the gameplay tweaks and improvements made in this title.
17 Hollow Knight
- February 24, 2017
- Team Cherry
Hollow Knight has become one of the most well-known Metroidvanias since its launch in 2017, thanks in part to its challenging gameplay and beautiful art style. The game is full of haunting, yet gorgeous, environments to explore across Hallownest, and you’ll find plenty of tough bosses to take down in your travels.
As well as drawing from the Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight easily slips into the realm of Soulslikes too, so don’t let its charming graphics fool you and expect things to be easy. You’ll need to equip your best charms and hone your mastery of the Nail.
16 Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Pokemon Legends: Arceus took a new direction to many of the previous Pokemon games that came before it. Your character is mysteriously sent back in time to the ancient region of Hisui by the Mythical Pokemon Arceus, where Pokemon are much more dangerous than they are in the future.
The game has big, open areas for you to explore and see Pokemon in their natural habitats, and, thanks to the innovative catching mechanics, you can throw Poke Balls at them without them even noticing you. Legends: Arceus takes the core pieces of Pokemon everyone loves and gives it all a new coat of paint, making for an exciting experience for fans and newcomers alike.
15 Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
If you’re looking for a fantastic RPG to play on Nintendo Switch, you can’t go wrong with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. This expansive game takes place across two hulking titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis — talk about a unique setting.
The game begins in Colony 9, with Shulk studying the legendary weapon, the Monado, in hopes of unlocking its secrets to protect the world from the Mechon. The game has vast, beautiful environments to explore, a compelling narrative, and plenty of side quests to keep you playing for hundreds of hours.
14 Kirby And The Forgotten Land
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the series’ first platform adventure that takes place in full 3D, giving Kirby full reign of the screen. While you’ll be using favorite Copy Abilities from across the series to help Kirby rescue the Waddle Dees, you’ll also be able to use new ones: Ranger and Drill.
Despite being completely abandoned, the New World is bright and colorful and an absolute pleasure to explore, especially when Kirby uses Mouthful mode to swallow a car. You’ll see new faces like the adorable Elfilin, as well as returning figures like the fan-favorite King Dedede.
13 Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Evee
Pokemon Let’s Go
- November 16, 2018
- Game Freak
There are a few Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch, with Scarlet & Violet being one of the latest for the mainline series. However, with technical issues and widespread disappointment from many fans, the best on Switch remains to be the Let’s Go games.
Remakes of classic Pokemon games, these two games are not only a fantastic entry point for anyone to start on a Pokemon game, but also a great way to harken back to the old-school experience of Pokemon games, with a modern take.
12 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
A port of the popular Wii U platformer, Super Mario 3D World came to the Nintendo Switch in 2021. This game combined classic Mario gameplay with 3D environments, making for some fun and challenging levels. Playable in co-op and featuring many worlds, this was the perfect game to bring over from the Wii U.
However, to add to this, the Switch version launched with the Bowser’s Fury expansion. This is essentially a standalone game, with its own story and slightly tweaked gameplay style, adding something fresh for even those who had already played the original 3D World. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Mario, this is an easy and worthwhile choice of a game on Switch.
11 Stardew Valley
- February 26, 2016
- RPG, Simulation
After launching to overwhelming success on PC in 2016, Stardew Valley was always going to make its way to consoles. Little did we know, however, that the perfect console to settle on would launch just a year later.
If somehow you don’t already know it, Stardew Valley is one of the most popular farming and life-sim games out there, using cute, pixelated graphics to present your new life in a quiet town. Tend to your farmland, mingle with the townsfolk, make friends and start a family, and discover the secrets of the Valley. A must-play, and the Switch makes for the perfect way to do so.
10 Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fans of the Fire Emblem series were eager to see the first title on Nintendo Switch and just what it would offer, and needless to say that Fire Emblem: Three Houses delivered well. While it strayed from some of the traditional aspects, it still wore the series identity proudly, and this gripping plot made for an enjoyable experience from battle to battle.
You take the role of Byleth, engaging in tactics, managing your troops, and all the while continuing your role as a professor at the academy. The game develops significantly as you play, and whether you’re here for the strategy, the life-sim aspects, or the story, you won’t regret giving it a go.
9 Metroid Dread
- October 8, 2021
- Action, Adventure, Metroidvania
Another classic series that people couldn’t wait to see come to Nintendo Switch. Metroid Dread continued the adventure of Samus as she becomes trapped once again on an alien planet — only this time, there are some serious threats hunting her down.
As you descend further into this planetary facility, you’ll discover some secrets about what went on, and learn more than you bargained for. With the deadly EMMI robots coming after you and instilling you with that feeling of Dread, you must do whatever it takes to get out alive.
8 Monster Hunter Rise
Though it is now available across all major platforms, Monster Hunter Rise began its life on the Nintendo Switch in 2021. Bringing in popular new mechanics to the series, such as the Wirebugs for traversal, this title was well received by fans.
With the Sunbreak DLC further expanding this already hefty game, it’s easily one of the best games available on the console. It may be a little niche or seem daunting to dive into, but with a fantastic and active online community all fighting alongside each other, there’s no better time to give it a try.
7 Metroid Prime: Remastered
Metroid Prime is the alter-ego of the series, leaving behind the 2D action for a first-person shooter adventure. It was incredibly popular on the GameCube when it first launched, and spawned a trilogy following its success.
With this remaster, the game looks and plays better than ever, and quickly became one of the most highly-rated games available on the Nintendo Switch. Even if you’ve never played these games before, or have only dipped into Metroid Dread, this is an excellent game that you won’t regret picking up.
6 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Fans of Super Smash Bros. absolutely love Super Smash Bros., so when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launched in 2018… well, they loved it! This game brought together the biggest roster of fighters we had ever seen, and threw them into a story mode that you could work your way through.
With extra DLC fighters from other series, and then even more DLC fighters later on, it kept growing into the ultimate Super Smash Bros. game. So many new and old fans delved into this one, and it will continue to grow strong for a long time yet. If you love fighting games or want something to play with some friends, this is an excellent pick.
5 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8
- May 30, 2014
- Nintendo EAD
People all over the world will always adore Mario Kart, so bringing the title from Wii U to the Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was a plan that could never fail. With so many tracks and characters to play as, this game often dominates the party scene, where families and friends will gather for a grand prix before breaking out into arguments and laughter.
Since launch, the game has also gotten the Booster Course Pass DLC, wherein waves of new tracks — remastered from older Mario Kart titles — made their way to Mario Kart 8. This adds an extra and ongoing reason to dive into the game, even if you’ve already played it on the Wii U.
4 Super Mario Odyssey
Mario has shown up on this list a few times now, and you would expect the mascot of Nintendo to have a strong presence on the console. However, the biggest Mario game on Switch to date is Super Mario Odyssey — a fantastic 3D platformer fans can get lost in as they collect coins and moons.
As a spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, Odyssey was aiming to be the next step in this style of game, and it achieves that in so many ways. While it won’t hold the nostalgia many have for 64, it does solidify its place as one of the best games to play on Nintendo Switch.
3 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Even at the best of times, Animal Crossing is a series that has fans absolutely encapsulated for a long time. However, when Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched in 2020, so many people flocked to the game as a way to share this little slice of paradise and hang out from all around the world, and it made for a beautiful experience.
Even now, with so much added in and even a DLC to explore, New Horizons is a game that anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch should own. Whether you want to spend hours upon hours tending to your town, or just want to pop on from time to time to do a little fishing, this game is the perfect escape — at home or on the go.
2 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Launching alongside the console in 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a game many had been anticipating for a long time. Originally intended for the Wii U, the game saw numerous delays and changes until it eventually made it to the debut of Nintendo’s newest console. Needless to say, it met great success.
Praised as one of the best video games of all time, Breath of the Wild pushed the expectations of an open-world game, and redefined the genre, paving the way for future games to follow. With a vast world, plenty of secrets to discover, and a creative physics system to play around with, it remained the best game to play on Nintendo Switch for a long time.
1 The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
The long-awaited follow-up to Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom took the formula and made it even bigger and better. While it does use the same map, so a lot will feel more familiar than mysterious, it offers enough to make everything feel like a fresh experience.
Construct unimaginable devices, soar the skies and delve deep below the surface, and use your new powers as you prepare to find and destroy the returned Demon King, Ganondorf. With an incredible story, unique abilities to play around with, and that gameplay loop fans will already love, Tears of the Kingdom earns the title of the best game on Nintendo Switch.
NEXT: Best Indie Games On The Nintendo Switch, Ranked