The Nintendo Switch has an incredibly strong library of games, many of which are worth recommending. However, for our 10 absolute favorite games, check out the list below. It’s a list that we will update as often as games worth including. We’ll be launching games and adding new ones as the Switch’s library grows.
Keep in mind that while the list below contains 10 entries, we’re not really ranking them – if a game has come this far (and managed to stay here), it’s a period you have to play. As such, we will list entries in reverse order† You will also find an overview of previous entries at the bottom of the list. While those titles have been bumped for bigger and better experiences, they’re still all great games in their own right and worth exploring if you’re already up to date on the latest hits.
Here are Gaming Tech Gear’s picks for the top 10 games on the Switch.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Release: January 28, 2022
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the biggest change of pace for the long-running franchise. In an old version of Sinnoh, you have to explore a large world to complete the first Pokédex. While not a true open world, the sense of freedom still feels liberating, as does the less restrictive combat system where players can freely stalk, challenge, and even dodge Pokémon. We loved capturing never-before-seen versions of our favorite pocket monsters, and a slew of side missions, plus an engaging main story, kept us glued to our Switch screens. Pokémon Legends: Arceus has its flaws, but it’s a strong first step towards what we hope will be the start of a new series. † Our review
Release: October 8, 2021
Metroid fans have been begging Nintendo for a brand new 2D Metroid adventure for nearly two decades. Thankfully, when Nintendo finally delivered, it didn’t disappoint. As the name implies, Dread is a thrilling experience, full of challenging boss battles and deadly robots that doggedly chase Samus through the various biomes of Planet ZDR. Metroid’s classic exploration-based platforming remains intact, and we’ve eagerly hunted for new upgrades like the Phantom Cloak and the Spider Magnet. The race to 100 percent was over all too soon, but we can’t wait to see what Dread’s big story means for the future of the series. † Our review
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Release: February 12, 2021
Reissues rarely get our full attention these days, but the Wii U 4-player Mario title was so upbeat and fun that we couldn’t resist jumping to the Switch port again. As if that wasn’t enough, Nintendo also added a brand new single-player campaign titled Bowser’s Fury. In this standalone experience, Mario travels across Lake Lapcat, completing various platforming challenges to collect Cat Shines. Bowser’s Fury’s larger, open-world design feels incredibly refreshing for a Mario experience, and we loved how each act ends in a boss fight the size of Kaiju. † Our review
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Release: March 20, 2020
The calm, stress-free Animal Crossing: New Horizons was born at just the right time. With the news cycle turning tumultuous since 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers a haven in the form of a virtual tropical island. Building and customizing your home and island the way you want is hugely rewarding, as New Horizons offers a fun daily loop full of goals and rewards. † Our review
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Release: July 26, 2019
The Fire Emblem series has built a cult following through portable platforms in recent years, but with Three Houses, the turn-based strategy series is exploding back to TVs in the best possible way. With excellent strategic gameplay, a fun story to interact with and influence, and multiple paths to progress through the story, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the best strategy games available today. † Our review
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Release: December 7, 2018
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a crossover event two decades in the making, represents the series in its most realized form. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate includes excellent fighting mechanics, a great array of modes to play and a lineup of fighters featuring every character in the history of the series and then some. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is anything but an essential title for the Switch. † Our review
Super Mario Odyssey
Release: October 27, 2017
Every Nintendo console should have at least one fantastic Mario platformer, and the Switch is no exception. Mario Odyssey was released a few months after the console’s launch, and it hits all the Mario checks needed to be considered a classic, plus a few surprising new ones. It’s whimsical, has perfect controls, lots to explore, and features a city level where all the people are normal proportions while Mario runs around as his short, cartoonish self. It’s a strange adventure and a must-have for Switch owners. † Our review
Release: October 5, 2017
Harvest Moon’s future is unclear, and its recent past is disappointing. Fortunately, Stardew Valley exists and improves on almost every mechanic that has made the series popular. Running a farm may sound like a chore, but in Stardew Valley, it’s a pleasure. Watching your crops grow over time and selling them for a profit while getting to know the townspeople creates an experience that will be hard to put down. Adding the portability of the Switch just makes the experience better. † Our review of the PC version
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Release: April 28, 2017
Much more than a simple port of the excellent Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, Deluxe includes all of the game’s DLC (additional tracks, racers, and cars) and Battle Mode, which was curiously absent from the original release. Playing Mario Kart in split screen is always a hit, and a two-controller version of the game that you can take anywhere makes it the perfect showcase for the Switch. † Our review
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Release: March 3, 2017
We’re not exaggerating when we say that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever. We gave it the rare 10/10 in our review and gave it our 2017 Game of the Year award for setting a new high standard for open world video games. It’s never been more true than in Breath of the Wild that you can go anywhere you see on the map and it’s also packed with the kind of excellent puzzle design you expect from a Zelda experience. It’s a journey you won’t soon forget, and the optional DLC packs add extra challenges and new items to the overworld. † Our review
The games that qualify for this list that didn’t make the cut, or have been removed since we originally published this article: Pokémon Sword & Shield, Hollow Knight, Fortnite, Celeste, Golf Story, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Splatoon 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Doom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Sonic Mania, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition and recent ported classics, Shovel Knight : Treasure Trove, Inside and Axiom Verge. They’re all still great games, so give them a try!
Follow these links to read similar lists for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One!