Christmas has come and gone. You’ve gotten yourself a brand-new Switch console from the man with the bag…or maybe just some money and gift cards…and you’re looking to fill the console’s menu with a bundle of games to play. Unlike previous Nintendo efforts that barely had any playable games, the Switch boasts almost too many. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or lost while navigating the eShop.
That’s where we come in!
We’ve had the pleasure of playing the Switch from Day 1 and these are the best we’ve played:
Honorable Mention: Brawlout
We still haven’t gotten official word that a Smash Bros game will be coming to the Switch, though let’s be honest, it’s a no-brainer to eventually show up, but in the meantime, you’ll have to settle with this indy clone. The controls are close enough to the original that you can pick up and play with little trouble, and the characters are unique enough to draw interest, but this didn’t make the list for one simple reason: its ridiculously difficult to unlock new characters and stages. Unlike Smash’s dual ways to unlock more players, this one forces you to grind away for hours upon hours, which gets a little old.
15. The Sexy Brutale
A heavily story-driven game, this one offers quirky characters, unique gameplay, and a deeply engaging story. Set in a very exclusive mansion/casino where all the patrons are murdered in a single evening, you play an old priest caught in a Ground Hog Day style timewarp until you can save each of the guests and uncover the mystery that fuels the strange mansion.
14. Shantae – 1/2 Genie Hero
A modern take on a classic-style game, Shantae recalls to mind old-school Disney platformers like Ducktales and Darkwing Duck on the classic NES, though much shinier, with fun transformations, and a plethora of DLC so the fun just keeps going. I know this game has been around on other systems, but if you haven’t experienced it yet, you owe it to yourself to give this a whack.
13. Fire Emblem Warriors
I would have rated this game a little higher on the list because the gameplay is fun and the action is fierce, the characters are numerous, and it’s a giant time-spend. A great game that you’ll no doubt love playing co-op with a friend. However, if you aren’t a super fan of the Fire Emblem series, some of the magic is inevitably lost on you. For my money, Hyrule Warriors was the better game, as Link and I are ride or die for life, but there are enough similarities here to still make this a thoroughly enjoyable game. Plus, ya know, who doesn’t want to ride around the battlefield on a pegasus?
12. Puyo Puyo Tetris
One of my favorite games of all time makes a return to form on current gen consoles. Tetris, complete with the classic music, is joined here by the Sega classic Puyo Puyo, which, with its complexity, is nearly the exact opposite in every way from its counterpoint. Of course, they had to add a weird narrative to the game’s single player mode and give you a couple of extra characters to unlock through puzzle-based mastery, and that’s fine, but this game shines in its nostalgia and party-based 4-player shenanigans.
11. Mr. Shifty
This top-down thriller marries a fun crime-driven story with super-powered mechanics and mostly-destructive environments to bring a game that you’ll certainly gravitate to. The titular character is a teleporting thief who breaks into the wrong building and gets trapped by the owner in a labyrinth of high-tech security traps and heavily armed thugs, fighting desperately to get out again.
10. Ittle Dew 2
Take the old school Zelda games, add a refresh on visuals, and blend with a large helping of humor. That’s what you get in the Ittle Dew series. The game isn’t overly long, and you can get through most of it with a little heavy grinding in a day or two, but the fun comes in not knowing what to expect next, with dungeons ranging from an art gallery to a flooded basement, all to compile the pieces of the island’s only raft.
9. SnipperClips: Cut It Out Together
One of the most unique launch titles recently got an update that added plenty more value to the game and gave fans everywhere reason to dust it off. If you like puzzles, teamwork, and giggling at cute characters making ridiculous faces, you’re going to need this one in your arsenal.
This was a tough one to pick. 2017 was the year that game developer 10 Tons began releasing their back-catalogue on Nintendo’s latest system. With game after game proving to be quality, top-notch entertainment, it’s no secret that they also became my favorite indy game studio. The trick was picking which game would represent them on this list. I was very close to picking Tennis in the Face, but I opted for the first game I played by them: a dark and gritty, top-down shooter that’s part Judge Dredd, part Robocop. The game gives ample reason to replay levels, as well.
7. Splatoon 2
Nintendo’s first real shot at e-sports is the arena shooter, Splatoon, and the sequel here adds all the right elements to further enrich the game. Salmon Run adds a little more than just the 4v4 the game became known for. More friend support, buffered graphics, and more weapons and gear than you can shake a stick at make this one a lock for you and your Switch-loving friends. On top of that, the inkling characters have become so popular, they’ve started popping up in other games…
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Can you really have a list like this that doesn’t include Nintendo’s famed racer? Sure, it’s a repackage of the Wii U game that not many had a chance to play on the under-performing system, but it was a near-perfect version of the game. Plus, it comes with all the DLC, plus a retooled battle mode and a few extra characters, like the inklings. Hopefully they’ll show up on the inevitable Smash Bros.
5. LA Noire
I’m a longtime fan of the GTA series, but I’m such a Nintendo guy that I never picked this title up in its initial run. Thankfully, with the HD remaster, it came to Nintendo, and I was blessed with the gem that it is. A mature and gripping gameplay experience that doesn’t ignore the developer’s GTA stylings, but rather embraces them. Yes, it takes its time in the beginning to walk you through the basics and get you used to how the game mechanics play, but then the training wheels come off, and it feels like the cop’s POV of GTA…but, ya know, set in the 40s. Which is not a bad thing.
4. SteamWorld Dig 2
In my opinion, SteamWorld Dig 2 is the king of the indy games of 2017. The story was absolutely brilliant for a sequel, the gameplay was fast, fun, and frantic (at times), and the game gets surprisingly deep. Pun intended. The whole idea is to dig to the center of the Earth and find your friend. There’s a vast history and lore within the SteamWorld games, which fans can look forward to visiting and revisiting in future installments.
3. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
We’re supposed to get a new core Fire Emblem game on the Switch this year, but I have a hard time believing it will be as good as this game. Yes, they could have done a better job with classes of fighters, such as only melee characters, but everyone has a gun, and you just need to deal with it. I have. It’s the 21st century. Nobody carries around a sword…not even in the Mushroom Kingdom. The battle system is surprisingly deep, surprisingly addicting, and the humor of the Rabbids adds another level that sets this apart from any competition. This one was a surprise sleeper hit for me and one I’ve been recommending to everyone.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
I was admittedly surprised by this game. I wasn’t wowed by the last couple entries into the Mario series, but this one grabbed hold of me, held tight, and didn’t let go. Thankfully, Nintendo isn’t shy about shaking things up with their franchises, and the new game mechanic of the magical hat adds so much flavor to this game that it’s ridiculously hard to put down. Sure, the sheer number of power moons to collect is laughable and daunting, but I was relieved to find loads of extra content to keep me busy once the story was completed.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This shouldn’t really come as any surprise. For my money, this is the best game of 2017 on any console. The story was top-notch, the open-world element translated brilliantly to the Zelda franchise, and Nintendo never shies away from giving it that extra special touch of magic they instill in all of their games. And, of course, with the DLC, you can cruise around Hyrule on a souped-up motorcycle. Who wouldn’t want that?
Did your favorite game miss the list? Let us know below!