It’s always hard to create ‘the best’ lists, as we all have personal preferences when it comes to games – some like RPG’s, some like strategy. Regardless of that, I’m going to try anyway, just remember that these are my personal favourite games that I think every Switch owner should own, which means that a game that you think is the greatest might not be included. Feel free to give me some abuse in the comments.
Before I start the list I’d like to say that this list will be updated from time to time as new games get released, however, I will keep previous games listed in the ‘Honorable mentions’ section found at the bottom of the page. Anyway, without further ado, my top 10 must-own Switch games are as follows:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Zelda, in my opinion, is without a doubt the best Switch game I have played. The story campaign, combat and puzzles are all on par, if not better, than previous Zelda games and the graphics are beautiful. If you’re new to the Zelda series then you should know it’s an action-adventure game and you can easily pick up Breath of the Wild and not be lost. In other words, you don’t need to have played the previous titles in order to know what’s going on and who is who. The only thing I get slightly annoyed at in Breath of the Wild is the sheer volume of reading; only a few of the NPC interactions actually have voice lines, but other than that the game is beautifully crafted.
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario needs no introduction, he’s probably the most iconic video game character ever created, and Super Mario Odyssey is probably our little Italians best game so far. The hit platform game thought outside of the box for this one, and instead of simply controlling Mario you also control his hat, which is possessed by a hat spirit named ‘Cappy’ (very original). It sounds strange but it’s been implemented flawlessly and adds some really cool and innovative features into the game.
The aim of the game—as with almost every other Mario game—is to save the Princess, and to do that you’ll need to travel through various kingdoms from desert worlds to cities, each with their own unique challenges and enemies. I also like how the game is more like a sandbox with no linear path to follow and no set way to get to the end game; you could avoid all of the main objectives if you wanted and still finish it. This is Super Mario at its best and is a must own for Switch owners, and if you can’t afford it right now why don’t you just listen to the Super Mario Odyssey vocal theme song, something Nintendo has never done before which shows how much time, effort, and love was put into creating this masterpiece.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
It’s the best selling Switch game ever and was the fastest selling Nintendo home console game in Europe ever. Yeah, it’s a pretty good game. If I’m honest, not a whole lot has changed compared to older Smash Bros titles; sure, there are new maps and characters, but at it’s core it’s still the same Smash Bros we all know and love. Of course, that’s not a bad thing, in fact we quite like Nintendo’s ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude.
P.S yes Waluigi is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
This is the first indie game on the list, but it won’t be the last. I have a slight obsession with indie games and the Switch has enhanced this obsession due to the sheer number of quality indie games available. Moonlighter is a perfect example of an indie game done right; it has charming graphics, great gameplay and the polish to go with it.
Moonlighter sees you take control of a young shopkeeper who needs to venture into abandoned mines that are filled with enemies that want to kill you for no apparent reason other than the fact that you’re invading their territory. Upon killing these enemies you’ll be rewarded with ‘artifacts’ which you can then to sell to customers in your bustling shop. There are plenty of upgrades to spend your shops profit on, from shop and town upgrades to weapons and armour, so you never feel like a mine run was pointless, even if you have to teleport back home early because you have no health.
Hollow Knight is a charming 2D Metroidvania game that takes place in the underground world of Hallownest. It’s the type of game that, on occasion, may make you feel like you want you to throw your controller out of the window and eat the game cartridge, but on the whole it’s an extremely enjoyable experience. The aim of the game is to make your way through Hallownest and reach the Hollow Knight while fighting various bugs, bosses, and other mobs along the way. Once you reach the Hollow Knight you have to defeat him in one way or another, depending on both how you do this and on your past actions you will then get one of three different endings to the game. There are various upgrades you can purchase from NPC’s during your journey which will help you progress further, and you can also find soul vessels which provide you with more soul/health.
Dead Cells is a roguelike-metroidvania game that will see you die a lot, but with each death you should learn something new or find something which will help you progress further in the game. The merging of the roguelike and metroidvania genres has been done really well; if you’re into your roguelikes then Dead Cells is easily one of the best. My only gripe with Dead Cells is the difficulty – sure, roguelikes are supposed to be hard and get easier only with play time, but there’s some instances in Dead Cells—especially towards late game—that it feels a bit too difficult. Regardless, it’s still a great game and you’ll end up sinking many hours into it, even if most of those hours are spent dying.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
I decided to add Diablo to the list because of how well it plays on the Switch. Usually I would say that games are always better on PC, and there are some PC ports on the Switch that are much better on PC. For example, if you’ve played Warframe on the PC then you’ll have a hard time getting accustomed to it on the Switch, which is why it doesn’t make an appearance on this list even though the game itself is great. Diablo, however, is just as good on the Switch – it runs smoothly, the graphics are great, and it’s easily playable on a smaller screen (no that doesn’t mean that we like the upcoming Diablo mobile game).
Bayonetta provides players with an ‘arcadey’ hack and slash experience with fluid combat, crazy action scenes, and creative enemy types, if you’re a fan of hack and slash games then Bayonetta 2 should be at the top of your must-own list. If you ever played the first installment in the Bayonetta series that was released on the Switch then you’ll be pleased to know that not too much has changed when it comes to the core gameplay, it’s still the same brilliant game with high-paced action and incredible boss fights that you loved, just with a few upgrades and, of course, a new story. The most notable change other than the graphics is the fact that Bayonetta has had a haircut and is now sporting a short and tidy bob style; personally, she was sexier with longer hair, but it makes a lot of sense for a woman who’s daily activities involve back-flips, front-flips, and getting blood in her hair to have it short.
Splatoon takes the classic first-person shooter genre and turns it on its head. Instead of taking aim with guns and sending the bad guys to the afterlife you’re equipped with a paintball gun, and no, you don’t have to shoot other players to win. Instead, you’re placed on teams and are tasked with shooting the environment around you, covering that area of the map with your colour paint – the team that controls most of the map at the end of the match wins. This alternative to the classic multiplayer FPS formula means that, in classic Nintendo fashion, it’s not only great fun but it’s also child friendly.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 is an amazing game and arguably the best in the series so far, however, I don’t think it’s as fun playing online compared to playing in the living room with friends, so it might not be an essential game for you, unless, of course, you’re buying a switch as a family console that you will use to have some family fun. If this is the case then this coupled with Mario Party are the only two games you’ll need. Personally, I didn’t get the Switch to play with my family and friends locally; sure, sometimes when I have a visitor or if the wife wants to spend some time together I’ll combat the boredom by offering to play Mario Kart with her, but I really got the Switch to play some awesome games by myself whenever I have time, and for that single player games or online multiplayer games are better. Sure, Mario Kart 8 is playable online, but it’s just not as fun playing with random people online – it’s all about the living room action!
The games in this list have either been demoted in favour of new releases or they just didn’t make the cut when this list was created. I’ve also added some games here that the majority of Nintendo gamers will love, but I wasn’t a massive fan of them:
Octopath Traveler is a turn-based RPG game, which is why I didn’t put it into my top 10, I absolutely detest turn-based RPG games but I know that a lot of people like them. Plus, the game has been extremely popular and was met with great critic and consumer reviews. The game itself has a lot in common with the classic Final Fantasy games in terms of combat and the story is supposed to be just as good. Personally, Final Fantasy XV was my favourite FF game – you know, the one that wasn’t turn based? I played that game for so many hours, I loved it.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!/Let’s Go, Eevee!
As with Octopath Traveler, Pokemon is usually a turn-based game, however, I have traditionally always played the Pokemon series (I know, very hypocritical). I think that’s mainly because one of my favourite type of games are games that involve large amounts of loot and grinding for better gear, so I can overlook the turn-based combat as I enjoy trying to “catch ’em all”. The reason this Pokemon game isn’t in my top 10 is because it’s not the classic Pokemon game that we all know and love; this game is more like a side game, but a new ‘core’ game is in development so hopefully we’ll see that in 2019.
Stardew Valley is probably the best farming game I have ever played (not that I’ve played many, but you get my point). I first picked it up in 2016 and have spent a solid 60 hours in game. Chris, our resident farming nerd, has clocked well over 100 hours. The reason it didn’t quite make the top 10 is because I personally feel like it’s better to play this game on the PC due to the mod support and quicker updates. However, if you have no interest in playing any games on the PC then this should most definitely be on your must-buy list.
So there we have it, my 10 must own Switch games. Don’t agree with a game I listed or think there’s a game or two missing? Let me know in the comments and if they’re worthy I’ll get them added.