The Nintendo Switch is getting old as it enters its seventh year of life — in console years, it’s practically ancient — but that hasn’t stopped the platform from having some of the best games out there. In addition to being a great device for third-party games and indies, the platform thrives thanks to its exclusive slate of first-party Nintendo titles. And, in terms of success, it helps that the company almost never discounts its games. You’d be hard-pressed to find The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for anything less than full price. And yet, it’s worth it. There is a lot to choose from when deciding what to play on Switch, but these ten games are a great place to start.
10. Super Mario Odyssey
Mario’s Nintendo Switch adventure is one of the plumber’s best games ever. It feels massive but is always a true joy to play. The combination of fun settings like New Donk City with abilities that let Mario take the powers of creatures in the world make for one of the more inventive outings the series has ever had.
9. Bayonetta 3
Platinum Games’ beautiful witch Bayonetta still delivers the high-octane action that fans excepting her third entry. While the story may leave devoted fans feeling a little upset, the action has never been better thanks to the inclusion of large-scale battles.
8. Golf Story
Mario Gold: Super Rush is the dedicated Nintendo golfing game on the Switch, but it isn’t the best. Golf Story is a golfing game with RPG elements that does everything you want in a Mario golf game but a little better, and cuter with its pixelated graphics. New golf courses introduce absurd twists to the game and make every hole an exciting challenge to tackle.
7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
There is a reason Animal Crossing: New Horizons became a global phenomenon when it was released in 2020. Yes, part of that has to do with the timing in spring 2020 when a lot of folks were suddenly indoors a lot more, but also because it is just a delightful cozy game that lets you enjoy your own little island. Even if you have gotten the highest rating for your island, catching up with neighbors and decorating is always a nice way to relax.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Of all the Pokémon games available on the Nintendo Switch, the best is still Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Giving players an open world to explore in a new way with redesigned battles is just the adrenaline shot the series needs to be exciting for long-time players. Even with Scarlet and Violett offering a newer experience, Arceus is still the way to go.
5. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
Ubisoft and Nintendo’s unlikely partnership that began with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle continues with Sparks of Hope. The hilarious pairing of Mario characters with Rabbids is surprisingly charming and is wrapped up within a remarkably competent tactics game that spans gorgeous worlds.
4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
This dating sim, I mean strategy game, will have you sinking dozens of hours into it. Three Houses takes the signature strategic combat of the series and spices it up with more relationship mechanics that let you get to know the game’s cast — and even romance them. Going down the handful of different routes the game has to offer is rewarding and makes this an almost endlessly replayable title.
3. Metroid Dread
The most recent original title in the Metroid series is a perfection of the 2D side-scrolling action-adventure game. Building on the amazing Metroid Fusion, Dread is classic Metroid game that has the player exploring a sprawling map to discover new powers. If you aren’t a fan of the 3D adventuring offered in Metroid Prime, then Dread is the perfect game to try.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the culmination of decades of work from Tetsuya Takahashi. It stands out as perhaps the best RPG on the console, offering nearly one hundred hours of content wrapped up within one of the most impressive and emotional narratives ever in video games. It may seem like a daunting task but it is one well worth embarking on.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
What else could take the top spot? It had to be Tears of the Kingdom. The game is one of the best ever made, and somehow tops Breath of the Wild in almost every way imaginable. The expansive world and endless potential of new abilities like Ultrahand make this a toybox without comparison and is easily a must-have for any Switch owner.