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The 25 Best Nintendo Switch Games of All Time

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Loveleen Kaur/ONE37pm

It may be hard to believe, but the Nintendo Switch has already been around 2017. That's five whole years it's had to amass a fantastic game library, containing everything from ports of popular titles to platformers and other adventures starring some of Nintendo's most recognizable characters.

That's why it can be difficult to choose which game to start with, whether you've just gotten a Switch, or you're looking to grow your library. We've sifted through the entirety of the collection of Switch titles available now to curate 20 of the best games the system has to offer.

Get ready to dive in and experience the best of the best, in no particular order. You might want to keep those wallets at the ready, though. It's going to be hard to resist adding all of these games to your cart.

1. 'Super Mario Odyssey'

Mario sets off on his biggest 3D adventure yet on a globe-trotting adventure that finds himself chasing down Bowser, who's trying to get Princess Peach to marry him. He has no chance since Mario's got a new sidekick Cappy, who's capable of letting Mario take over the body of just about any character in the game.

It steps outside the Mushroom Kingdom to introduce dozens of new locales like beaches with water made of soda and 2D areas where 3D Mario flattens out for some retro platforming and does this all to great effect. It's still very much the Mario you know and love but tweaked to perfection.

Whether you're more of a Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy fan, this Odyssey has something for you.

2. 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features the largest amount of characters (from Nintendo and beyond) to unlock and brawl with as you beat Pikachu into stuffing with Solid Snake or steal the show with Persona 5's Joker after beating the pants off of King Dedede. It's a collection of fighters and characters from throughout Nintendo's storied history, with plenty of third-party title friends along for the ride.

It's the biggest, most exciting Smash yet, and even if you skip out on the multiplayer battles, its surprisingly deep single-player story mode will keep you busy for hours. And now that all the characters are available as DLC, you've got no shortage of faces to find a main in.

3. 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a majestic, breathtaking example of everything the Switch is capable of. It's a stylistic evolution of the Zelda series that melds familiar concepts and expands them with concepts found in modern open-world RPGs to create something bold, fresh, and new.

As you're left to guide Link through a regressive vision of the kingdom of Hyrule to keep the villainous Ganon before wreaking havoc once more on the world, you're faced with a litany of quests and missions to complete. Each step forward throughout the gorgeous land of Hyrule is a real treat, and the expansive world means you're always discovering something new.

It's Zelda like you've never known before, and a technical marvel for the system. Plus, it's getting a sequel -- get ready for that!

4. 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'

One of the most adorable adventures you can embark on with your Switch is the newest entry in the Animal Crossing series. Run your own tropical island full of animal villagers, catch bugs and fish, decorate your own home, and dress up your villager to customize them and make them your own.

It's relaxing, it's fulfilling, but most of all, it's addictive in all the best ways. It also happens to be ridiculously popular and accessible, and a good way to while away the hours while you’re stuck at home trying to quarantine should you find yourself down with the (COVID) sickness.

5. 'Mario Kart 8: Deluxe'

Whether your favorite track is Rainbow Road or you find yourself cursing out blue shells with every breath, you know and love Mario Kart. This Switch version is the definitive way to play the game, with the same pick-up-and-play fun the series has been known for since it made its triumphant debut.

You can hit the track with up to 8 local players, take your racing prowess online, and play as just about any of your favorite Nintendo characters, even those outside of Mario titles. Rev up your engines and snag the best version of Mario Kart around. We fail to see how it could get any better than this.

6. 'Super Mario 3D All-Stars'

Super Mario 3D All-Stars collects three Mario games, including Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, in one affordable package. With these games only on the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii respectively, this Switch version makes it much easier to enjoy them all wherever you are.

They're exemplary of what different generations of Mario platformers can offer, and absolute must-buys for anyone who's a fan of the most popular brothers in gaming. There are hours of gameplay packed into this collection too, so you get triple the value.

7. 'Pokémon Sword and Shield'

The Pokémon series expanded significantly with the addition of Sword and Shield. Taking place in the Galar region, the game served up a selection of brand new Pokémon as well as co-op raid encounters, a wide expanse where players can train and capture Pokémon called the Wild Area, and plenty of new ways to interact with the game world. It acted as something of a bridge to the content that would come later, with two massive pieces of DLC and mechanics that would set the stage for new entries. Both games are still well worth playing, especially for Poké-newbies.

8. 'Metroid Dread'

Metroid has long been known as the challenging side-scrolling adventure starring one of the gaming industry's most indomitable bounty hunters. This journey, starring Samus Aran, follows Aran to the planet ZDR as she investigates the source of a strange transmission being sent out into the world. It's not only an extremely difficult game that requires players to keep their wits about them but the first game starring Samus on the Nintendo Switch. It’s certainly a fantastic debut with that in mind and an excellent play.

9. 'Bayonetta 2'

Bayonetta 2 is one of the greatest slices of action-packed hack-and-slash action you'll get on the Switch, and it's evident from the moment you start the game. Its brand of slick, chaotic, and addictive action is positively unmatched, even among genre greats like the Devil May Cry series.

You don’t control the lithe Umbra Witch so much as become her, chaining together a mixture of buttery-smooth combos movements that feel like a natural extension of your being. Gorgeous level design, larger-than-life boss battles, plenty of costumes, and unlockables combine to make Bayonetta 2 one of the greatest games you can grab on the Switch – even if you played it back on Wii U.

10. 'Dark Souls: Remastered'

The Dark Souls series is one of the most challenging of all time, and it tests just about anyone who decides to jump in. It's been given a loving update with Dark Souls Remastered, and on Switch, which means you can take it with you wherever you go. Much of the extreme difficulty in Dark Souls comes from the visceral and satisfying combat between you and the creeping terrors that lurch toward you in-game looking to end your life. The game might look slow and methodical, but you'll have to keep your wits about you if you ever want to make any sufficient progress, and that's part of the game's enduring appeal.

11. 'Tetris 99'

If you consider yourself good at Tetris, this is the multiplayer game for you. Tetris 99 takes the concept of a battle royale and melds it with the classic puzzler, to awesome effect. You play Tetris simultaneously with 98 other people and work to become the last player standing. Every line you clear can be sent to your opponents as junk to mess up their flow, and the better you play, the longer you'll stay in-game. The best thing? It's free to play if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. If you thought the PlayStation 4's Tetris Effect was an interesting riff on the puzzler, wait until you see how crazy things can get with Tetris 99.

12. 'Xenoblade Chronicles 2'

Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an excellent, sprawling adventure that immediately sucks you in from the very beginning with its unique approach to world-building and memorable characters. It's also one of the meatiest, most enjoyable RPGs the Switch has in its library. It isn’t a direct sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles or any sort of continuation to Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Instead, it’s a brand new adventure that takes place entirely on a cloud sea where enormous creatures named Titans can be found. The last bastion of humanity has taken to living on the Titans, but they’ve started to die out as well. It's your job to figure out what's going on so that the symbiotic relationship between humans and Titans isn't affected. This lengthy, complex adventure is exemplary in terms of storytelling, combat, and keeping players intrigued. You'll wonder where a third game is right away, that's for sure.

13. 'Ring Fit Adventure'

Love gaming but hate exercise? Ring Fit Adventure lets you play an actual game to help you get in shape. It comes with a special ring peripheral to help you get your exercise on, and you follow a story while you play and burn calories. This is one creative way to make a fitness plan, and it's fun and simple to set up. Plus, the entire family can get in on the fun, which only spreads the desire to get fit. And if you need motivation, this game has it in droves.

14. 'Diablo III: Eternal Collection'

Diablo has always been a classic when it comes to dungeon crawlers and looting. Now you can play the newest version and prior titles with you on the go or with friends! This special Switch collection brings the first three Diablo games together for one of the most awesome co-op collections the system has seen. This particular version can support up to four players on the same system with just one copy of the game. Since it's on Switch, there are also Nintendo-centric Easter eggs, like a Cucco pet, Ganondorf's armor, and even a Triforce character portrait frame all taken from The Legend of Zelda series.

15. 'No More Heroes'

No More Heroes is an irreverent action game that serves up the humor in droves. It's a rock-and-roll fever dream from the mind of Suda51 that'll take you on one bizarre trip. This hyper-violent, stylized action-adventure follows assassin Travis Touchdown as he works to become the #1 assassin of all time (or die trying), all because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you love a side of adult laughs with your hack-and-slash games, you'll want to line up and play this game, now that it's arrived on the Switch.

16. 'The World Ends With You: Final Remix'

The World Ends With You: Final Remix isn't unique to the Switch or smartphones, because it used to be a DS-only title. Now that it's been remade for Nintendo's handheld console, you can take on the role of Neku Sakuraba, a teen who's just been forced to take part in a harrowing competition called the Reapers' Game.

Armed with only a black and white pin and his phone, he’s got to figure out how to emerge from the contest victorious — or be “erased.” A sprightly young girl named Shiki joins him and the pair defeat enemies called "Noise" while completing a new mission each day for seven days. The purpose of Reapers' Game is unclear at the outset, but all is soon revealed as you play through the game. You won't soon forget this unique RPG.

17. 'DOOM'

Looking for an awesome way to experience the killer Doom remake that has everyone talking? It’s still awesome on Switch. Run and gun through maps riddled with skull iconography, bleak decorations, and other set pieces that'll have players greedily ripping into enemies left and right. It's a modernization of one of the greatest shooters of all time, and something that should signal a renaissance for fans, especially with Doom Eternal on the horizon. Get ready to get your BFG on. It’s just like the old days, but even better.

18. 'Astral Chain'

Ever wanted to be a cop, but...in space? PlatinumGames' Astral Chain is a Switch exclusive that tasks players with joining the Neuron special police task force, working to infiltrate the Astral Plane. There's been an attack by strange life forms known as the Chimera. What do you do? Hack and slash your way to victory while taking in the style Astral Chain practically oozes. If you love games like Bayonetta or Vanquish, you'll feel right at home here.

19. 'Super Mario Maker 2'

Ever wanted to make your own Mario level? Super Mario Maker was created just for you. And its sequel, Super Mario Maker 2, lets you craft even more intricate projects, which fans have gone to town with. There are hundreds of levels available at any given moment online to check out: self-playing platforming levels, musical courses, and even fun nods to other Nintendo classics and game franchises. It's an extremely powerful tool that, when in the hands of seasoned Mario fans, actual magic is made. And if you're not into making your own levels, it comes packing over 100 levels in a series-first story mode to keep you entertained.

20. 'Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics'

This collection brings you a wide variety of different games to play, all in one package. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is an excellent way to enjoy a variety of different games you may never have otherwise tried. There are 51 different games here, including backgammon, mancala, checkers, hanafuda, shogi, chess, golf, and more. There are also some fun toys you can play with if you prefer to fly solo. There's something fun here for players of all ages, and lots to learn about other cultures as well if you take the time to read through the tutorials and different presentations set up throughout the game.

21. 'Monster Hunter Rise'

Love fighting massive monsters three times your size? Love exploring fantastical worlds with your friends? What if we said you could do both at the same time? Monster Hunter Rise is the latest entry in the Monster Hunter series and it brings hundreds of hours of exploration, combat, and teamwork to your favorite console. Team up with up to three of your friends, work with 14 different weapons, and do your best to hunt down some of the most fearsome creatures the gaming world has ever encountered.

22. 'Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury'

Super Mario 3D World won’t see you solving puzzles quite like some of the other cooperative games on this list. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of co-op potential to love here. Unlike puzzle games, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury gives players a way to play with their friends while still being able to do their own thing. You’ll complete levels with up to four different players, all of whom can progress however they want to. In the end, you’ll tally up your score, and whoever has the highest score takes home the crown. It’s not cooperative in the usual sense, but it’s still a fun game to play with friends and thus worthy of being included on this list.

23. 'Luigi's Mansion 3'

You don't have to be spooked alone while going through Luigi's Mansion. The first Luigi’s Mansion entry on the Nintendo Switch is a hilarious, spooky adventure for the taller Mario brother. Luigi has to venture into a haunted high-rise hotel and clear each level of ghosts he finds there with a special vacuum of sorts: the Poltergust. It's not terribly different from previous Luigi's Mansion excursions — save for the odd "Gooigi" companion that can assist you and Luigi throughout your time in the haunted hotel — but it'll definitely put a smile on your face.

24. 'Splatoon 2'

Staying fresh? You soon will be when you dive into the colorful world of Splatoon 2. Jump into this addictive adventure as a squid/human hybrid and start inking everywhere, alone or with friends along for the ride. Whether in single-player or multiplayer modes, you'll shoot, roll, and spray rainbow-hued ink using a variety of guns, rollers and bombs. It's even deeper the second time around, with plenty of unlockables, customization options, and players online at all times of the day to rumble with. Oh, and you’re going to love the soundtrack.  

25. 'Kirby and the Forgotten Land'

Kirby and the Forgotten Land isn't just the newest Kirby release, it’s also completely playable with a friend. You can start playing co-op right after the intro, and players will be able to invite a friend into couch co-op mode at any point. With co-op activated, player 1 will control everyone’s favorite pink blob, while player 2 takes on the role of a Bandana Waddle Dee. Together, you can explore the new levels and environments that the forgotten land has to offer, taking down enemies and unlocking new abilities along the way.

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