With its hybrid home console/portable form factor, the Switch is the most versatile console around right now, and so its best games feel equally at home on the big screen and on the bus.
Whether you have the original Nintendo Switch or the cheaper, portable-only Switch Lite, there's plenty to keep you busy. Franchise favourites like Mario or The Legend of Zelda obviously appear, but deeper cuts include Splatoon 2 or the strangely captivating exercise game Ring Fit Adventure.
So without further ado, here are the Switch games we love so far. Also check out our round-up of the best 3DS games.
Best Nintendo Switch games 2020
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1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Switch's Best Game
Originally set to come out on the Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was not only a Switch launch title, but also the system's flagship game. It's a sprawling open-world adventure that's undeniably the biggest Zelda title yet.
New additions to the series include loot drops, crafting, and cooking, while the expansive overworld stretches as far as you can see. The lush cel-shaded graphics feel like a natural evolution from the Wii's Skyward Sword, while the audio boasts another franchise first: voice acting.
This is the best launch title on any console in years, and feels era-defining, reshaping what we expect from open-world games.
Read our full The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review
2. Super Mario Odyssey - The Best Platform Game
Super Mario Odyssey is easily one of the best Mario games in a decade and Nintendo has crafted a game full of fun and surprises.
It's a beautiful balancing act of classic gameplay and new features that makes Odyssey feel fresh but familiar. Cappy could've been a gimmicky addition but is actually a stroke of genius. Super Mario Odyssey is a must for Switch owners, young and old, and will no doubt go down as a classic.
Read our full Super Mario Odyssey review
3. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe – The Best Racing Game
One of the best games for the Switch was actually already one of the best games on the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 was the best entry in the racing series in years, and this version is even better.
There are a few new additions to justify the re-purchase: courses and new characters from Splatoon and elsewhere, the return of Battle Mode, all of the original game's DLC, and eight-player local multiplayer. There are also a few new items and the ability to carry two items at once.
It's not a major update, and it might be tricky for anyone who already has Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U to justify the upgrade - but if you missed it the first time, this is a great way to get your hands on a brilliant game.
Read our full Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review
4. Ring Fit Adventure – Exercise While You Play
Ring Fit Adventure hits the sweet spot for an exercise title. There's enough depth to the RPG elements to keep you coming back day-in, day-out, without ever becoming so inaccessibly deep as to put anyone who's never touched Skyrim.
More importantly, it actually delivers a proper workout. You can work at your own pace, but if you're committed you can push yourself hard, and the Ring-Con offers enough resistance for proper upper body sessions. If you want to, you will sweat, and you will get sore, which is more than you can say for every exercise game out there.
Ring Fit Adventure is a measurable step forward from Wii Fit, with enough complexity, depth, and progression to keep players coming back and hopefully save the Ring-Con from dusty relegation to the back of the cupboard - at least for a few months.
Read our full Ring Fit Adventure review
5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - The Best Fighting Game
'Ultimate' is undoubtedly the word. Just about everything that every Smash game has ever offered is here once again in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with more characters, stages, modes, and hidden references than anyone will have the time to fully process.
Every fighter and stage from all the previous entries are back, joined by plenty of new faces, and extensive new singleplayer, and a whole new Spirit mechanic that adds RPG stats and buffs as an extra layer of complexity on top of it all.
If Smash Bros. Ultimate has a fault, it's the same as its strength: there's just so much here that it's impossible for anyone to take in, and in the early hours especially it's an overwhelming experience, with little work done to guide new players in. Maybe even Smash needs a little more editorial oversight than this, but at least you can't ever accuse Nintendo of shortchanging its fans.
Read our full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review
6. Splatoon 2 - The Best Multi-player Shooter
Splatoon was one of the surprise hits for the Wii U, and a welcome reminder that for all of its reliance on big hitters like Zelda and Mario, Nintendo is still capable of creating brilliant original games when it wants to.
Nintendo's take on the online multiplayer shooter is very... Nintendo. That means quirky character design, a fun setting, and a brilliant new twist on tired shooter mechanics. Instead of shooting bullets, you fire ink, which can hurt your foes, but more importantly covers the arena. The team with the most ink wins, but it also gives you advantages like faster travel and refilling your ammo as you go.
This sequel is mostly like more of the same (though boasts a new co-op horde mode), but that's no bad thing, and it includes new weapons, maps, outfits, and music. We're sold.
Read our full Splatoon 2 review
7. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - The Best Turn-based Strategy Game
It might not be as exciting as Super Mario Odyssey but Mario teaming up with those pesky Rabbids makes for a lot of fun on the Switch.
In this game you create a team mixed from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Rabbid versions of each of them, to take on enemies in various levels. The core gameplay is turn-based strategy - similar to the XCOM series - with a variety of movement options, unlockable weapons, and special abilities.
At first the strategy is simple and accessible, but before too long it amps up, using environmental obstacles and tools like Chain Chomps and pipes to create a fast-paced, refreshing strategy title that should appeal to gamers of every level. By the end it gets seriously tough, and you'll need your wits - and smart use of the skill tree - to make it to the end.
There's also a huge amount of replayability, with extra challenges and secret sections for each of the game's worlds, and silly in-jokes hidden everywhere you look.
8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - A Meditative Experience
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will take its place as one of the Nintendo Switch staples, with its gentle pace, positive gameplay and beautiful surroundings.
The desert island offers players the chance to build something literally from nothing, and go at whatever speed they feel comfortable with. The new rewards system - Nook Miles - also encourages you to get involved in all aspects that the game offers.
The multiplayer gameplay is a bit of a faff, and having cloud saves wouldn't go amiss. Nonetheless, this is still an addictive title that will keep you hooked for months to come.
Read our full Animal Crossing: New Horizons review
9. Nintendo Labo - Play Games With Inventive Cardboard Controllers
Nintendo Labo is unlike any game we've played before. It's like taking Google Cardboard and multiplying it by 100.
The game comes in two kits, the variety kit and a robot kit. We've played the former which will be the best place to start for most people.
Essentially the game gives you instructions to build elaborate contraptions made almost entirely of cardboard. In the variety kit, there are five so called Toy-Cons to make including a piano, motorbike and fishing rod.
Once you've made them, you can play sort of mini games. The Toy-Cons have moving parts and are mind-bogglingly clever.
Beyond playing the associated games, which can get old quite quickly, you can mess around in garage mode. Here you can do simple graphic coding to make the Toy-Cons do different things. You could make reeling on the fishing rod make the car move forward.
You can even use the motorbike to play Mario Kart 8: Deluxe.
It might be quite pricey, but you need to remember that the fun of Labo lies in the building as well as the games themselves.
Read our full Nintendo Labo Variety Kit review
10. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening – Best Retro Fun
This old-school Game Boy title was long considered one of the stranger titles in an admittedly odd videogame series, so it's a real treat that Nintendo decided to give it a comprehensive - yet faithful - overhaul for its latest portable system
Link's Awakening on Switch is an accurate recreation of the original game's world, puzzles, and dungeons with just a few tweaks. The extra Color Dungeon from the game's first re-release is included here, item switching controls have been streamlined, and there's a new dungeon building mode too - but beyond that, it's all authentic.
Except for the visuals of course. They've been overhauled from the ground-up in the latest reinvention of the Zelda franchise, this time in its most tactile yet. The world is rendered in a visual style that sits somewhere been plastic and porcelain, a reflective sheen coating every chunky little character or delicate blade of grass.
The result is an utterly beautiful game balanced by devious, old-school gameplay and puzzles that's an absolute treat whether this is your first visit to Koholint Island or your tenth.
11. Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Ghoulishy Great Fun
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a slick reminder that Luigi remains Nintendo’s most wasted asset (sorry Waluigi fans), and he and the ghosts are as charming and characterful as anything in a mainline Mario game.
Once again you're tasked with exploring a giant haunted building (though technically it's a hotel this time around, not a mansion) with just a flashlight and a vacuum cleaner to capture your spectral foes.
You've got help though: Gooigi, a cross between the T-1000 and Flubber you can use to access otherwise inaccessible areas, solve puzzles, or even team up with in the new co-op mode. Plus multiplayer mayhem ScareScraper returns, along with three slight but fun competitive local multiplayer mini-games for up to 8 players.
Despite a few wobbles the mix of action and puzzles delivers too, and the only thing the game really needs is an editor: surely the 17 floors here could have been condensed down to lucky number 13?
Read our full Luigi's Mansion 3 review
12. Pokémon Sword and Shield – Best Pokemon Game
Fans have waited years for a fully-fledged Pokémon experience on a home console, and Sword and Shield are the closest we've gotten yet.
Following on from the simplified Pokémon Let's Go, Sword and Shield offer the full Pokémon experience of exploring, catching, and battling across a whole new region of the Pokémon world based on Britain.
New features like the Wild areas and the super-sized Dynamax and Gigantamax battles add fun wrinkles to the established formula, while the shift to 3D graphics means the little critters have never looked better than this.
13. Arms - Punchy Fun
Arms is a slightly odd cross between a boxing game and a shooter. The core gameplay is essentially boxing, but with a major twist: your arms are extendable.
Using the Joy-Con motion controls you can punch, block, grab, and dodge, as well as use a powered-up super attack. If you're not a fan of flailing, you can also use buttons, either on a pair of Joy-Cons, one on its own, or using the Switch Pro Controller.
There are ten colourful characters, ranging from an Egyptian mummy to a sentient green blob, and each comes with three different types of weaponised arms meaning there's plenty of variety in abilities and fighting styles from launch, with Nintendo planning to add even more as free DLC.
The single-player content is pretty light but multiplayer is where Arms really shines, with Nintendo proving once again that it can take a longstanding genre and find a way to shake it up.
Read our full Arms review
14. Carrion – You're The Monster
Carrion isn't a Switch exclusive - you can also grab it on PC or Xbox - but we think it plays best on Nintendo's diminutive console. That's not only because the smaller screen is more forgiving of the pixellated art style, but also because Carrion echoes a lineage of Metroid games from Nintendo consoles.
Described as a 'reverse-horror' game, in Carrion you control a gloopy, tentacular, blood-red alien monstrosity that breaks free of a research lab. Your goal is simply to escape, but there are an awful lot of pesky humans in between you and freedom.
Dripping with gore (this is definitely not at the family-friendly end of the Switch spectrum) and moody to the very end, Carrion nails its tone perfectly, while also slowly building up your monstrous skill set in a - mostly - linear trek through the facility.
Well worth a go for anyone trying to fill time until Metroid Prime 4 comes out.
15. Super Mario Party – Best For Playing As A Family
Mario Party is back and gone are the days of going round the board in a car. Thank goodness for that.
This Super Mario Party edition for the Switch goes back to the classic style but there's also shed loads of new features and, importantly, game modes to keep you entertained.
For starters, you can play a 2v2 team version of the board game as well as other new modes like River Survival and Sound Stage - the latter is particularly fun with rhythm bases mini-games.
In total there are 80 new mini-games, many of which are brilliant, and you can even play online for the first time ever in a Mario Party. There's plenty more to unlock in the game, too.
Furthermore, there are new characters including Goomba with each having a unique dice block so you can roll crazy high numbers or potentially bad things.
Overall, then, its a return to form for this 20-year old series. Although there's a worrying small amount of boards (just 4) for a board game, so Nintendo better release a DLC with more soon.
Read our full Super Mario Party review
16. Mario Tennis Aces - Best Sports Game
We've loved Mario Tennis games since the Game Boy edition way back in 2000.
Although not all titles in the franchise have been amazing, the Switch version is definitely worth a go. Not only does it look great, but there's plenty of depth and ways to play.
The big news is that the adventure mode is back for the first time in 13 years and sees Mario and Toad go on a quest to defeat a mysterious racket called Lucien.
It's all a bit nuts but you get to play a variety of levels, including bosses and some well-thought-out mini-games. These will all help you learn the mechanics and have a better chance of beating friends and others online.
There are plenty of characters and courts to choose from, but an almost overwhelming amount of shots also. You'll need to charge up an energy bar to perform special shots to win points or try and win by breaking your opponent's racket.
It can get a bit complicated but you can play in a simple mode that lets you play with motion like Wii Tennis.
Read our full Mario Tennis Aces review
17. Doom - Best FPS
We thought that Doom was fantastic when it first landed on the PS4, Xbox One and PC back in 2016. Still, we never could have imagined that not only would publisher Bethesda decide to port the game to Nintendo's comparatively underpowered Switch, but that it would turn out so fantastic.
This is pretty much the full Doom package (the only thing missing is level editor SnapMap), including the original's post-release content like Arcade mode, which is fully unlocked from the start here - ideal for players who've already beaten the campaign on another console.
Once again you're rampaging across Mars, and later Hell itself, killing hordes of demons in a frenetic, fast-paced FPS that actively rewards you for pushing ahead. A cover shooter this is not.
Performance is surprisingly solid given the Switch's specs. Play it docked on a big TV and you'll notice the lower resolution (capped at 720p) but on the tablet screen it's never an issue, and the devs have wisely prioritised framerate over resolution, keeping things slick and smooth.
Doom obviously isn't for everyone, and the tone is a far cry from Nintendo's own output. But for Switch owners looking for something a little more on the aggressive side, this is the game to beat.
The surprise hit of the Switch's launch window, Snipperclips is the little indie game that could, a brilliant puzzle game that makes the most of the console's portability and multiplayer features.
You and up to three friends take control of colourful paper creatures. By standing in front of one another you can cut sections out of each other to form new shapes, which you in turn use to solve a variety of environmental puzzles.
It tends to quickly devolve into sheer chaos as you rotate and jump and run around, accidentally cutting each other into the wrong shapes, trying (and usually failing) to explain what you need someone else to do to solve the puzzle.
It's the ideal game to show off the Switch's portable Joy-Con multiplayer, and looks great even on the tablet screen - partly thanks to brilliantly memorable animation.
19. Kirby Star Allies
Ok so it might not be the greatest Kirby game ever but fans will not want to pass this one on the Switch.
It feels like a completely new title in the franchise on Nintendo's latest console might take Kirby to new places. However, Star Allies is more a look back at our pink friend's 25 year past by pulling together themes and elements you'll remember from previous games.
The game looks so great because, even though it's hard to believe in 2020, this is the first Kirby title in HD. A simple update in picture quality is not enough to warrant playing the game and would make it a missable entry. There's more to it than HD, though.
As the name suggests, Star Allies has a mechanic where Kirby can befriend enemies using a dedicated button. You charmingly toss a heart icon at one to become allies, including most mid-bosses.
You can bring up to three along and they're controlled by the computer. However, it's far more enjoyable if you use the multi-player feature that lets up to three of your friends jump in for up to four-way co-operative play.
It's not the most difficult of games making it great for younger players, but you will have to make use of combo powers providing some depth.
20. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
In a sense it's a shame that so many of the best Switch games so far are ports of Wii U titles, but when you consider the fact that the Switch has already outsold its older sibling, it makes a certain sense - for a lot of Switch owners, this is their first chance to ever play these games.
That's how Hyrule Warriors has been given a third (it got a 3DS port too) lease of life in this Definitive Edition, which collects every mode, character, map, costume, and more from both previous versions of the game, throws in a couple of Switch exclusives like Breath of the Wild costumes, and upgrades the whole thing to crisp HD.
If you're not familiar, it's worth noting that Hyrule Warriors isn't a traditional Zelda title: this is a spin-off from the popular (in Japan at least) series Dynasty Warriors. This is pure hack 'n' slash, throwing you into huge arenas to mow down hordes of enemies with simple attack combos, though there are tactical wrinkles too, with multiple missions and objectives popping up simultaneously, forcing some high-octane prioritisation.
It's also a big love letter to the Zelda franchise, with a story that spans multiple eras - primarily as a shameless excuse to bring in goodies, baddies, and monsters from across the franchise's history. It's not as dumb as it looks, but it's just as fun.