A little while back I wrote up a list of the Top 5 Worst Nintendo Switch games. Admittedly, I should have known better than to write it so prematurely; there have since been other titles that could have easily taken some of the slots on that list. Nevertheless, I think I have waited long enough to declare the opposite side of the spectrum: My favorite Nintendo Switch games…in no particular order. I can’t make up my mind on how I would rank these specific titles. Either way, these are the games that I would wholeheartedly recommend to any Switch owner. Of course, they are the ones that I’ve had the most fun with and gotten the biggest everlasting impressions out of. It’s time we have a look at…
There were lots of quality indie games on the Nintendo Switch. I had to think hard about which of them I wanted to dedicate a slot to; from long-running series like Shantae and Blaster Master to Slime-San and Kamiko, it was hard to narrow it all down. In the end, I had to give the nod to Golf Story. There was so much in that game that I fell in love with since its debut announcement, and it lived up to my exceptions greatly. Of the golf-related games on the Switch, this one’s my favorite bar none.
It was fascinating to see the long-forgotten RPG/golf hybrid gameplay of handheld Mario Golf entries return to form. Golf Story adds even more to the mix by providing its own fun new mechanics and a variety of characters that fill the RPG portions with personality and humor. The pixel art is practically breathtaking, and the golf gameplay has the simple, yet challenging kind of hook that encourages players to master it. It’s an understatement to say fifteen dollars is a generous asking price for this golfer’s paradise.
(For more details on Golf Story, feel free to read my review.)
Hey, I didn’t say I wouldn’t include Wii U ports! Even then, why should I not? There are going to be lots of people that missed out on these games the first time. Plus, no matter what platform you’re playing on, the Mario Kart games will always be some of the most addictive multiplayer experiences out there. That holds especially true with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
This is my go-to Nintendo Switch game for online races galore, and the speedy item-throwing chaos never ceases to provide childlike fun. I also like the fact that this Switch version has a much better battle mode than the Wii U original. Dedicated arenas are back and there are plenty of crazy ways to duel on them. I tend to have just as much enjoyment out of these as I do the races.
(For more details on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, feel free to read my review.)
I can’t stress enough how amazing Sonic Mania is! There isn’t a more blissful time I could have had with any other title in the franchise. The momentum-based platforming formula that made the SEGA Genesis games masterpieces in the first place is back in full force here and the attention to detail in everything is a fantastic reminder that the people that made this game love Sonic enough to know how to get the best from the series.
If you’re on the fence or are new to the franchise, this game could very likely be the one to reel you in. Once you have the knowledge of any self-respecting Sonic fan, you’ll begin to appreciate all the little nods and details that Sonic Mania incorporated into every inch of its blatantly passionate design. I can’t get enough of i, and neither can the fans that prioritize gameplay over aggressively flawed stories.
(For more details on Sonic Mania, feel free to read my review.)
Fun fact: I’m not a huge Zelda fan. I own A Link to the Past but it’s in my backlog and I struggle to pull it out. So when I learned Breath of the Wild would be one of the few launch titles for the Nintendo Switch, I was a little worried I wouldn’t get into it. Still, it was better for me to pick it up with the console instead of Super Bomberman R and…ugh…1-2 Switch…since I knew it would tide me over until more games come along. Then I quickly became engaged with the game from start to finish.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a very special game. There’s a reason it topped The Game Awards: It’s freaking amazing! The scale of the world is phenomenal and the amount of stuff you could do and the amount of different ways you could progress is practically endless. Making discoveries within Hyrule and beyond is so incredibly satisfying; much like the intense battles one could have with the various enemies that keep people on their toes. I know Breath of the Wild is a lot different from other entries but I think it’s about time I start checking them out nevertheless.
What can I say? This was the game that single-handedly convinced me Nintendo learned from their errors with the Wii U and that I had to get a Nintendo Switch as soon as possible. It has been seven years since the last free-roaming 3D Mario game and the last fifteen since this sub-series was non-linear. Not only does Super Mario Odyssey prove to be a return to form but it purposefully takes its sandbox format to the extreme.
Although not entirely as open-ended as Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey takes enough cues to feel like eighteen games in one in its own right. The sheer quantity of content crammed into this game is mindblowing yet Nintendo managed to execute everything in the finest fashion possible. From the hundreds upon hundreds of missions to the minigames (with online leaderboards no less) and loads of ways to goof around in these absurdly creative worlds, Super Mario Odyssey reminds the entire video game industry what fun is like. I still can’t even believe this game exists. It’s a dream come true.
(For more details on Super Mario Odyssey, feel free to read my review.)