The Nintendo Switch might be the most versatile video game system available on the market. Play it as it comes with the Joy-Con controllers attached, connect the Joy-Cons to the Charging Grip while projecting the Switch on a screen, or hook up as many as eight Joy-Cons to share the fun among friends and family — there are seemingly endless gaming configurations to relish with this system.
Since the Switch’s marked flexibility allows you to play games from more than just one approach, developers have subsequently created some of the most multifaceted games that players have ever seen. Take, for instance, the indie classic Overcooked! 2: The difficulty of each level fluctuates depending on how many people are connected, adding nuance to the game every time you play. And while it’s ideal for group play, the game is no less fun and challenging to enjoy on your own in handheld mode.
Buy It! Nintendo Switch with Joy-Cons, $299; amazon.com or walmart.com
To maximize the use of your Switch, we’ve rounded up the 19 best Nintendo Switch games according to ratings from real gaming customers. You’ll find them all on Amazon or Walmart, including classics like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and highly anticipated releases like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Many of them are even on sale! Check out our list below, and read on to see what makes them so great.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Pokémon Sword
- Pokémon Shield
- Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Overcooked! 2
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
- Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection
- Untitled Goose Game
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Super Mario Party
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- NBA 2K20
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
- Mario Tennis Aces
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Buy It! Animal Crossing: New Horizons, $59.99; amazon.com or walmart.com
It’s been a very long wait, but the newest installment of one of Nintendo’s most beloved series is finally (almost) here: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the sequel to 2012’s New Leaf for the 3DS, will be released on March 20. It sees the return of several familiar faces, including Tom Nook and the sassy animals waiting for you to befriend them, but there are significant changes — including the introduction of a crafting system that requires you to collect materials in order to build your furniture rather than just buying them from Nook. The game is already a best-seller on Amazon, proving just how much stature Animal Crossing holds in the gaming community.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Buy It! Pokémon Sword, $49.49 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com
Buy It! Pokémon Shield, $59.99; walmart.com
Officially the fastest-selling Switch games ever after outpacing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield initially received some backlash for not including the National Pokédex, which allowed players to access all the Pokémon from previous installments. However, fans have since embraced the twin games, with Amazon shoppers giving Sword and Shield 4.7 and 4.8 stars, respectively, from more than 10,000 combined reviews. They’re both welcome additions to the classic series, and you can find Sword discounted right now.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Buy It! Luigi’s Mansion 3, $53.70 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com or walmart.com
One of the weirdest series in the Mario universe, Luigi’s Mansion properly puts a spooky spotlight on an oft-overlooked character. Luigi and his friends are invited to a high-rise hotel only to have things go awfully wrong when the invitation proves to be a trap engineered by King Boo. To rescue his friends, Luigi wades through every floor with help from Polterpup and Professor E. Gadd, as well as his trusty ghost vacuum device. The third installment in this franchise is best enjoyed via handheld mode, where the motion control and vibrations add a hands-on thrill when sucking and smashing poltergeists with Luigi’s vacuum. Its popularity and critical acclaim has kept it on Amazon’s best-seller list for weeks, and earned it a 4.8-star rating from more than 6,000 reviews.
Buy It! Overcooked! 2, $34.49 (orig. $39.99); amazon.com
The Onion Kingdom is in trouble after the Onion King accidentally resurrects the “Unbread” zombies, who proceed to wreak havoc upon the world; you’re tasked with saving the kingdom one recipe at a time. Overcooked! 2 can be stressful, especially when playing with friends and trying to figure out who must do what in order to make it through increasingly difficult levels, but the game is all the more fun for it, too. As a reviewer on Amazon wrote, it’s a “great game to play and fun to yell as you cook (win or lose),” and gamers on Amazon have given it 4.7 stars. Pro tips: Keep an eye on exactly what’s needed for the next order, and make sure to aim when you’re tossing ingredients.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Buy It! The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, $49.49 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com
It’s no wonder Nintendo chose this game to accompany the Switch’s release back in 2017. Three years on, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still a wondrous game full of exciting discoveries. Its open-world design makes it an entirely customizable venture — you can spend the entire time just picking apples and never fighting ultimate villain Canon, or run towards the Big Bad at Hyrule Castle within the first five minutes with nothing but a tree branch. The result is a game that provides different experiences for players every single time, and obviously shoppers agree — the game has a near-perfect 4.9-star rating, and 9,400 reviews (and counting) on Amazon.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Buy It! Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, $34.99 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com
The Tokyo Summer Olympics is just months away, and playing Nintendo’s crossover game is the next best thing to actually competing. The titular characters arrive at the Olympic Stadium to find a strange retro gaming system waiting for them as a “gift” (it’s secretly a trap from Bowser and Dr. Eggman). Similar to Jumanji, the gaming console sucks in the protagonists and transports them back in time to a pixelated world set at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and similar to other Mario games, you can choose your own adventure: Zoom through adventure mode and find out what happens to Mario and Sonic in 1964, or spend all your time in the impossibly addicting archery event. Shoppers say they love playing this with family, and as one Walmart customer wrote, “It was everything I wanted it to be and more.”
Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection
Buy It! Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection, $32.50 (orig. $39.99); walmart.com
Ubisoft remixed its 2014 best-seller, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, with its successor, Rogue, to create The Rebel Collection exclusively for Nintendo, and the result is the best parts of Black Flag elevated via the Switch’s features. You can aim guns and pistols and ship weapons via motion control, which is something that the Switch does better than any other platform. Even gamers who played the PC version of Black Flag say that The Rebel Collection is a “must-buy” and “worth the doubloons.”
Untitled Goose Game
Buy It! Untitled Goose Game, $19.99; amazon.com or walmart.com
The Untitled Goose Game was perhaps the most viral video game of 2019, and the idea behind it is surprisingly simple: You play as an innocent-looking goose whose whole purpose in life is to annoy the honk out of the game’s inhabitants. From a grouchy farmer to a stumbling boy’s glasses, you let nothing and nobody out of your goose-y grasp. Its setting in a quaint English village, as well as its pleasant background music, only make the hijinks even funnier in contrast, and while Untitled Goose Game is short, it’s certainly one of the most delightful games out there right now. As a reviewer put it, “What’s not to love?”
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Buy It! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, $59.88; amazon.com or walmart.com
Another classic Nintendo game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can be extremely technical for those who care about strategy and how to kick their opponents as far as possible, or it can be straightforward for spammers who just care about stomping as much as possible with the “Down B” maneuver. Either way, it’s a riotous good time amid all the smashing chaos, and the mayhem is exactly why fans love it: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate currently enjoys a 4.8-star rating from nearly 11,000 reviews on Amazon, and gamers have called it the “best Smash Bros games to date.”
Super Mario Party
Buy It! Super Mario Party, $39.99 (orig. $59.99); walmart.com
The ultimate board game with your favorite Mario characters, Super Mario Party switches up the 22-year-old formula by including online multiplayer mode for the first time. And those who loathe the car mechanic can rejoice — it has been completely eliminated in this installment. The Switch’s ability to connect up to eight controllers makes this the perfect crowd-pleaser, and a reviewer on Walmart called it “a great game for families and friends to get together and play lots of challenging mini-games. The visuals are pretty and provide hours of gameplay.”
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Buy It! Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, $49.94 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com or walmart.com
The new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is even better than its Wii U predecessor. Similar to Super Mario Bros., this franchise stars the character that first gave prominence to Nintendo in the U.S. jumping and swimming in jungles with his trusty sidekick, Diddy Kong. There are familiar comforts from older versions throughout this game, but for the first time you’ll be able to play as Funky Kong, a recurring character previously only seen as a transporter for the Kong family. It’s “a marvelous game” and “one of the best side-scrolling platformers ever,” according to a reviewer on Amazon.
Buy It! NBA 2K20, $34.99 (orig. $59.99); walmart.com
The NBA 2K series is one of the most popular franchises across different systems for a reason: There’s no other game with quite as sophisticated artificial intelligence. As usual, you get to play as your favorite NBA team, mimicking the strategies, strengths, and weaknesses it possesses in real life. A significant change to the series here is the inclusion of the WNBA, so you’re now able to play as legends like Sue Bird and Candace Parker. Gamers have given it 4.6 stars, and it’s consistently one of the best-sellers in its category on Amazon.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Buy It! Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, $44.99 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com or walmart.com
Do you really need a reason to play one of Nintendo’s most legendary games ever? Mario Kart 8 Deluxe once more offers players all the fun and excitement that comes with racing through its various tracks and hitting opposing drivers with red turtle shells, and this time there are seven new characters to choose from — including King Boo of Luigi’s Mansion and Dry Bones from Super Mario Bros. “We’ve come a long way from Kart 64,” said a gamer who gave it five stars on Walmart. “Really great gaming experience. Smooth as butter, great music, fun sound effects, very immersive.” Another game with impressive reception, it currently has more than 8,400 reviews on Amazon and a 4.9 average star rating.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Buy It! The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, $49.99 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com
When it was released for only the Xbox, PS4, and Microsoft Windows in 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was one of the most well-received games of the year. Switch players were finally given the chance to play it when a Nintendo version dropped in October 2019, and the action game didn’t disappoint its users. Controlling the monster hunter, Geralt, has never been easier with the Switch’s smooth controls, and once you’re done exploring the vast world of Wild Hunt, there’s always the Netflix show to fulfil your Witcher cravings. “Every Switch owner who’s an RPG fan should buy this game,” said one reviewer on Amazon, while another added, “This is an excellent way to experience the game anew.”
Super Mario Odyssey
Buy It! Super Mario Odyssey, $49.94 (orig. $58.88); walmart.com
Like any other Super Mario game, our favorite Italian plumber is once again on a rescue mission to save Princess Peach from the brute Bowser. This time, Mario must not only traverse different levels, but also various kingdoms. However he’s not alone: he’s accompanied by Cappy, a hat that Mario can throw to gain a jumping boost. Like Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey is another great open-world game, with gamers on Walmart calling it “one of the best titles in the series.”
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Buy It! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team Dx, $59.99; amazon.com or $57.18; walmart.com
2020’s newest Pokémon game is a remake of the first games from the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, both of which were released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. Once again, the protagonist has been turned into a Pokémon and is partnering up with another to restore a mysterious imbalance in the world. The game is beautifully stylized with picture book-like art designs. It’s been a constant on the best-sellers list on Amazon for weeks even though it was only released at the beginning of March, proving just how popular and beloved this game is amongst Pokémon fans.
Mario Tennis Aces
Buy It! Mario Tennis Aces, $44.99 (orig. $59.99); amazon.com or walmart.com
One of the best games to play with family and friends, Mario Tennis Aces lets you roam through the Mushroom Kingdom as Mario, who must find and rescue Luigi from the power of Lucien, a cursed tennis racket. The adventure mode contains some wild adventures (tennis on a pirate ship with splattering squid ink, anyone?), and the good old-fashioned tournament mode will easily keep you hooked for hours. Shoppers have given it an average 4.5-star rating on Amazon and call it “easily the best Mario Tennis game in the series.”
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Buy It! The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, $49.94 (orig. $59.94); walmart.com
Another action RPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim tasks the player with defeating Alduin, a large black dragon prophesied to be the destroyer of worlds. The land of Skyrim, like Hyrule from Zelda, is another open-world expanse that the protagonist can explore. However, unlike Breath of the Wild, you can play from either a first-person or a third-person perspective, and you’ll have the ability to customize your character’s gender and race, among other factors. Another successful entry to the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim was released to PS3, Windows, and Xbox 360 in 2011, and the makers finally debuted a Switch version in 2017. One reviewer wrote of it, “The game is so expansive that you could spend 100 hours of gameplay and still have things to do”; like other titles on this list, Skyrim is even more interesting and captivating on the Switch than on any other console.
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