K S Lane is an avid fan of the Nintendo Switch and loves reviewing her favorite games.
The Nintendo Switch has been out for several years, now, and has amassed a massive library of games. Because of the sheer number of options available, it can be difficult to decide what the best Switch games to buy for your console are.
Do you just go for cheap Switch games or do you assume that the expensive ones are better? Is the hype around games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons actually accurate? To help you out, this article lists 30 of the best Nintendo Switch games to date.
The games are ranked based on how fun they are, how much time you can sink into them, and whether they're worth their price or not. The games range from open world adventure sagas to charming indie platformers and there are plenty of family-friendly titles included, too. Games with plenty of different price points are also included, which are indicated according to the following guide:
Over $20, under $40
Bear in mind that lists like this always have an element of subjectivity. Just because you can't find a game on here doesn't mean that it's bad!
That being said, the following 30 Switch games really are some of the best that the console has to offer and it's guaranteed that you'll fall in love with at least a few of them. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the list, because there are a few great free games that have earned their place on the list!
The Top 5 Games for Nintendo Switch
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Super Mario Odyssey
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Best Overall Switch Game)
Price Point: High
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a true masterpiece of game design, which is why it's claimed the top spot on this list of the best Switch games. You play as Link, the hero of the Zelda franchise, who is given a mission to save Princess Zelda from the evil being that's captured her. To complete this mission, you must make your way across an enthralling, gigantic, open world (more on that later) and defeat four tough bosses before returning to the center of the map for the final showdown.
As you complete the main story, you collect better weapons and armor, brew elixirs and cook special meals, and interact with the hundreds of unique characters who will often give you side quests to complete. You can pump hundreds of hours into this game just completing the main storyline, because it's so easy to get sidetracked by an intriguing new quest or puzzle as you gear up for the four boss fights.
Arguably the best thing about this game, however, isn't the storyline at all. Instead, it's the vast world that you're dropped into. The map is gigantic and you unlock it in stages, giving you time to explore. You can teleport to some select locations and can use a horse to help you get around, but it's likely that at times you'll find yourself going on foot simply because you want to explore. The graphics are stunning and look fantastic whether you play your switch in portable mode or docked to a TV.
A diverse array of monsters are dotted throughout the map and the combat mechanics of the game are fun and exciting, so if you enjoy battle scenes there's plenty to look forward to. The games gives you the option to charge head in and hack blindly at enemies or to plot out a careful strategy to beat them. However, if you're less inclined to want to fight or you just want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, running away from monsters is usually simple.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably the best recent game made for any console, and the fact that it's a Nintendo Switch exclusive makes playing it feel like a privilege. If you own a switch, you should absolutely invest in this title.
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2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Best Relaxing Switch Game)
Price Point: High
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest installment in the cult-favorite Animal Crossing franchise. Given the giant community and massive excitement surrounding this game, you'd be entirely forgiven for assuming that it's overhyped. However, spend a few days with New Horizons and even the most serious of gamers will find themselves besotted.
Animal Crossing is a game that you can adapt completely to fit your play style. You're flown out to a deserted island with only a tent, two villagers, and a team of capitalistic racoons with questionable motives to run the financial side of things. The game does nudge you in a general direction (pay of your loans to increase the size of your house, provide materials so that more houses, shops, and a museum can be built on your island), but aside from that you're completely free to choose your own path. Collect recipes and craft elaborate sets of furniture, focus on making your island look pristine, visit other players; the choice is entirely your own!
One of the best things about this game is the fact that the developers have promised ongoing, free updates for all who've purchased the game. This isn't an empty promise, either; the most recent major update to the game included an entirely new game mechanic, diving. This means that even if you start to get bored of Animal Crossing, you need only wait a few months for an entirely new aspect of the game to be added and then you can dive right back in. In this way, the game is never truly finished, which means that some hard-core players have logged thousands of hours.
3. Stardew Valley (Best Value Switch Game)
Price Point: Low
Of all of the cheap Switch games available on the Nintendo eShop, Stardew Valley is by far the best. Developed by a single man, game designer Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone, Stardew Valley is a farming simulator brought to new heights. Players start with the deed to an overgrown farm and a pocket full of parsnip seeds, and from there the possibilities are endless.
Cultivate a field full of crops to earn cash, focus on raising animals, fight monsters in the expansive mine, befriend each and every villager, get married and start a family, follow along with the game's intriguing main quest line; there are a hundred different ways to play Stardew Valley. Every player will find themselves drawn to certain aspects of the game over others, which means that everyone's experience with Stardew Valley is completely unique.
The art style is nostalgic, the score is fantastic, and most people will find themselves easily spending over a hundred hours on the main storyline alone. The quality and sheer breadth of Stardew Valley, along with its affordable price-point, makes it the best value Switch game out there.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Best Fighter Switch Game)
Price Point: High
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that you can truly lose yourself in. It takes the formula of traditional fighter games and completely revamps it, offering new, addictive modes that make the game feel fresh even after dozens of hours of play.