The Nintendo Switch has an incredibly strong library of games, with many worth recommending. For our 10 absolute favorite games, however, you can check out the list below. It’s a list we will be updating as often as games worthy of inclusion release. We will kick games off and add new ones as the Switch’s library grows.
Please note that while the list below contains 10 entries, we aren’t actually ranking them – if a game has made it this far (and managed to stay here), it’s a must-play, period. As such, we’ll be listing entries in chronological order. Also, you’ll find a rundown of previous entries at the bottom of the list. While those titles have gotten bumped for bigger and better experiences, they are still all great games in their own right and worth exploring if you’re already caught up on the latest hits.
Here are Game Informer’s picks for the top 10 games on the Switch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Release: March 20, 2020
The tranquil, low-stress Animal Crossing: New Horizons hit at the exact right time in the world. With the news cycle becoming more tumultuous as 2020 continues, Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers refuge in the form of a virtual tropical island. Building and customizing your house and island the way you see fit is immensely rewarding as New Horizons delivers a fun and addictive daily loop full of goals and rewards.
Pokémon Sword & Shield
Release: November 15, 2019
For two decades, Pokémon fans have been waiting for the series’ mainline RPGs to come to home consoles. While 2018 delivered remakes of the first-gen games in Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, 2019’s Sword & Shield represent the dream’s realization. Players get an exciting story based in an all-new region with a new generation of Pokémon, and with the titles receiving post-launch story expansions for the first time in series’ history, fans have more reasons than ever to revisit the games after becoming champion.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Release: October 31, 2019
While “Mansion” might be a bit of a misnomer since you’re exploring a haunted hotel this time around, the goofy and spooky spirit of the series is alive and well in Luigi’s Mansion 3. The fun adventure spans several themed-floors full of apparitions and other oddities as Luigi faces his fears on a quest to rescue Mario, Peach, and the Toads.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
Release: September 27, 2019
Initially launching on PlayStation 4 and PC, Dragon Quest XI garnered praise as one of the best RPGs of the console generation. However, with the launch of Dragon Quest XI S on Switch, players get an improvement over the original. This Definitive Edition adds new storylines, new quests, and all kinds of other exciting features to make it the best way to experience Dragon Quest XI.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Release: July 26, 2019
The Fire Emblem series has built a cult following through handheld platforms in recent years, but with Three Houses, the turn-based strategy series explodes back onto TVs in the best way possible. Featuring outstanding strategic gameplay, a fun story to interact with and influence, and multiple paths to take through the narrative, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the best strategy games available today.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Release: December 7, 2018
A crossover event two decades in the making, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate represents the series in its most realized form. Containing superb fighting mechanics, a terrific suite of modes to play, and a roster of fighters that features every character in series history and then some, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is all but an essential title for the Switch.
Super Mario Odyssey
Release: October 27, 2017
Every Nintendo console has to have at least one fantastic Mario platformer, and the Switch is no exception. Mario Odyssey released a few months after the launch of the console and it hits all the Mario checkboxes necessary to be considered a classic, plus a few surprising new ones. It’s whimsical, has perfect controls, tons to discover, and features a city level where all the humans have normal proportions while Mario runs around as his short, cartoony self. It’s a strange adventure, and a must-have for Switch owners.
Release: October 5, 2017
The future of Harvest Moon is unclear and its recent past is underwhelming. Thankfully, Stardew Valley exists and improves on nearly every mechanic that series popularized. Managing a farm may sound like a chore, but in Stardew Valley it’s a joy. Watching your crops grow over time and selling them for profit while getting to know the townspeople creates an experience that is difficult to put down. Adding the portability of the Switch only makes the experience better.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Release: April 28, 2017
Far more than a simple port of the excellent Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, Deluxe includes all the game’s DLC (extra tracks, racers, and cars), and Battle Mode, which was curiously absent from the original release. Playing split-screen Mario Kart is always a hit, and having a version of the game with two controllers you can take anywhere makes it the perfect showcase for the Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Release: March 3, 2017
We’re not exaggerating when we say The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever made. We gave it the rare 10/10 in our review and gave it our 2017 Game of the Year award as it sets a new high standard for open-world video games. Being able to go anywhere you can see on the map has never been more true than it is in Breath of the Wild and it is also filled 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 additional challenge and new items worth pursuing to the overworld.
The games considered for this list that didn’t make the cut, or have been cut since we originally published this article: 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, Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, and recent classics that have been ported, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Inside, and Axiom Verge. They’re all still great games, so give them a try, too!