It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for; we’ve made a list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time!
As the most popular console in the United States alone for the last 30 months straight at the time of writing, it’s safe to say that the Nintendo Switch is the most popular next-gen console of our time.
The same story goes for here in the U.K too, with many households having multiple Switches, just like back in the glory days of the DS.
And the OLED Switch… what a masterpiece!
Why is this console so popular? Well, one factor is the portability aspect of Nintendo’s hybrid powerhouse, and the other is the fantastic list of games.
Because with names like Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pokemon on the roster, the Nintendo Switch was always going to be successful.
But which are the best Nintendo Switch games on the shelves? Which titles grab audiences by the collar and pull them into another world, and which games are so good that they’re impossible to put down?
Check out our list of the best Nintendo games below and find out!
Table of Contents
1. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (2017)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only the best Nintendo Switch game of all time, but it’s also the best game I’ve ever played, period.
Strong words, I know, but still, I stand by it.
There’s a reason that the Switch shipped with a new Zelda game. Zelda sells consoles; it’s one of the greatest gaming franchises of all time, and Breath of the Wild brought things to the series that none of us ever thought possible.
Hyrule as your whole playground… who doesn’t like the sound of that!
The essence of what makes a Zelda game is still a dominant force behind the success of this title; solve puzzles, defeat big foes, and save the world. Now, however, players can climb anything, experience weather changes, wield new abilities, pick up mammoth weapons, and glide from great heights.
Cook food, craft items, and blow through weapons like there’s no tomorrow. Yes, you don’t just stick with one weapon or collect them through dungeons now. Pick them up from anywhere and steal them from enemies.
Oh yeah, it’s real warfare now folks. It’s a brand new mechanic that make the game so much different and far more panicky when you’re playing against a tough opponent.
Plus wielding a bow while riding around never… ever gets old.
And let’s give a little shout out to some of the deadly enemies; the Hinoxes, Lynels, and Guardians. Guys, you’ve caused me to swear and shout more than any other enemies!
I’m also a huge fan of the shrine and spirit orb system, allowing players to choose which skillset, health or stamina, they upgrade too.
2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
Does Mario Kart 8 Deluxe really need an introduction? We all loved it for the Wii-U, and the Switch Version game it that polished finish that has made it the best selling Nintendo Switch game thus far with 45.33 million sales!
The world’s most intuitive racing series loved by millions can now be played in handheld mode with wireless play and removable joycons for tabletop multiplayer.
There’s even an auto go and auto steer function if you’re new to gaming. All that’s left to do is hit that fire button and pump your opponents full of shells!
Mario Kart World Tour is a cool game, but there’s nothing like playing a bonafide Mario Kart title on the bus using a real console with all the feels and surprises we associate with this epic series.
The Deluxe port has all the same courses and characters as the Wii-U version with some extra’s thrown in for good measure. Play as the Inklings from Splatoon, check out new vehicles, and power along some epic tracks such as the Hyrule circuit!
Listen; there’s a reason why people love Mario Kart so much. From Super Mario Kart right though to Mario Kart 8, this series has provided us with a means of switching off and enjoying some simple, accessible fun no matterour gaming ability.
Let’s hope Mario Kart 9 drops sooner rather than later!
3. The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom (2023)
The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom takes the 3rd spot in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time!
Stepping back into Hyrule again was always going to feel amazing, but no amount of waiting or guessing could have prepared us for how big this game is. We knew the sky would be involved in the game, but we had no idea that Link would be heading through the Depths on his mission to find out what has happened to Princess Zelda too!
This game brought something that has never been seen before in a Zelda title too – the building mechanic. You can pretty much put anything on anything and make any kind of vehicle your heart desires.
Make fan gliders, fuse enemy parts to swords to make them stronger, and create monstrous battle machines that are capable of taking down Hinoxes and Lynels.
The Zonaite collecting from the depths is fantastic, as are the evil villains who lurk down there. There are lots of faces from the first game to reconnect with too (as well as some unsavoury ones that you might wish had disappeared completely).
This game is huge, and sometimes it can feel a little bit daunting. But stick with it, it is an absolute masterpiece.
For me, the building mechanic sometimes distracts from the main story, however. That’s why I’ve put it in third place, but that’s just my opinion. So many people would tell me i’m wrong in a heartbeat!
Read our official review: Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review
4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes the 4th spot in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time! It’s been dubbed as one of the most relaxing games to get stuck into of all time, giving players a chance to escape the norm with good ‘ol Tom Nook.
Take a trip to a tropical island and enjoy a different type of freedom with anthropomorphic animals in this fantasy life-sim game. Make your own version of paradise and live the way you’ve always wanted… again, with talking animals at every turn.
It’s not just a case of saying ‘hey presto’ and kicking back though. Oh no; players have to craft their dreams ad work hard for them, creating tools in order to grow, build, and find natural resources.
As with other Animal Crossing titles, the seasons have a role to play in what can grow at specific times of the year. Certain things happen at night too, so playing at different times of the day (or non stop) is often recommended.
So many people bought this game through the coronavirus pandemic just to escape being locked down indoors. Still, thanks to the portable nature of the Nintendo Switch, you can carry on this epic adventure in the great outdoors now that the world is back to normal!
5. Super Smash Bros Ultimate (2018)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might not take the top spot in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time, but it’s certainly the best brawler title in the world right now.
It’s also the biggest fighting title ever made too, with over 77 characters plus tonnes more being announced all the time from famous Nintendo franchises and beyond.
Play everywhere from the Mushroom Kingdom to Pokemon Stadiums, battling in key locations from all your favourite series.
Because who doesn’t want to see Banjo and Kazooie squaring off against the blockheaded dude from Minecraft.
Whether you’re a button-masher or a super-smasher, there are so many different ways to beat opponents in this fast paced game. It’s action like you’ve never experienced before… unless you’ve played any of the other Smash Bros. titles, that is…
And I still maintain that seeing ‘New Challenger Approaching’ is one of the most exciting screens on any game ever made too, especially with so many different fighters to keep track of!
I’m not gonna lie, I’m terrible at Smash Bros. whenever I play against my mates, which is why I sacked them all off and just play solo now instead!
6. Luigi’s Mansion (2019)
Luigi’s Mansion 3 takes the 6th spot on this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time!
From the first moment that I turned this game on, I was transported back to 2002, twelve years old and sitting in front of my Gamecube. This series has been one incredibly popular with gamers of all ages due to its sense of humour, the (not so) spooky nature of the characters, and Luigi’s lovable persona.
Mario is old news, guys; Luigi’s where it’s at!
Luigi, Mario, and the gang have been invited to a hotel for a complimentary stay. It soon turns out that the hotel is run by ghosts, and Luigi’s companions are soon trapped within paintings.
After finding the Poltergust 3000, Luigi must defeat all of the ghosts and save his friends. With a little help from the unflappable Professor E. Gadd, Luigi can wield new and exciting abilities including Gooigi, a slime version of the green wonder himself that can slip into pipes and through cracks!
It’s always nice to see Luigi in the spotlight, and these games never fail to put a smile on your face. They certainly take a degree of thought and are difficult at times, and there’s so many secrets to uncover you’ll still be playing it years after purchasing!
If you’re looking for games like Luigi’s Mansion 3, then we have an article just for you.
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus (2022)
Changing the formula up and bringing open world adventures to the world of Pokemon, Pokemon Legends: Arceus sees players taking to the Hisui region riding steeds and throwing hand crafted Poke balls at little roaming critters.
Yeah; it’s Pokemon, but not as you know it.
Thus far, the main Pokemon canon has largely revolved around heading between gyms and then a final challenge to test your strength. This time, Gamefreak have reinvented the wheel, adding in new features such as Space Time Distortions, Noble Pokemon, and crafting your own items.
Catching Pokemon is so much different too, with the ability to sneak up and throw balls at them in the wild without having to battle them first. You actually have to catch them unawares to get points in your new physical Pokedex – book!
In addition to the new play-style there’s new Pokemon, a chance to discover a whole new region, open world areas that provide some very powerful “challenges” and now, for the first time ever, you can get mounts.
Flying, climbing, riding Pokemon on water and digging up treasure is now a thing, all thanks to the mount mechanics.
And to add the cherry on top, the storyline is great, making you discover how you fell from the sky, and an attempt at catching some legendary Pokemon before the end credits.
This is one of the best Pokemon games to date.
8. Kirby And The Forgotten Land (2022)
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the latest offering in the Kirby canon, and what a game it is. It only dropped in the beginning of 2022 and it’s already bagged the silver medal in our best Kirby games.
This is the closest we’ve come to having a game like The Crystal Shards in a very long time. And I’m going to be honest with you… it’s much better than Super Mario Odyssey!
I know many of you will think that’s sacrilege., especially considering that The Forgotten Land looks similar to Mario’s latest outing, but it’s true!
Kirby’s back transforming into cool objects once again, inhaling everything from cars that can zoom around and ram into objects to tanks with dome serious shooting power.
But why enjoy all this excitement alone? Play with a mate in the co-op mode with one of you controlling Kirby and the other using the super cool Banana Waddle Dee.
It’s the Waddle Dees that are in danger in this game, and Kirby has to save them from a lifetime of misery. If you fancy playing one of the best games like Luigi’s Mansion 3, then you’re certainly on the right tracks!
9. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
Get ready for Mario to venture into more weird and wonderful worlds in Super Mario Odyssey. In this next entry in our best Nintendo Switch games list, he also heads into a place that looks remarkably like New York City, complete with yellow cabs and angry residents!
I know Link was the posterboy for the Switch and helped to sell the console, but Mario games have always grabbed people by the collar and made them spend their hard-earned cash.
Take one look at the level of detail in Super Mario odyssey and you’ll be reaching for your card without even realising it! With so many new worlds outside of the Mushroom Kingdom to explore via the Odyssey, you’ll have serious trouble ever putting it down!
Remember how much we loved Ezlo, the cantankerous hat that Link donned in the Minish Cap? Well, Mario has his own headgear sidekick now – Cappy!
Cappy is a talking hat that helps Mario reach new places, attack enemies, and take control of items and characters.
Become a moustachioed T-Rex, a moustachioed tank… basically anything plus a moustache.
There’s a cool new mechanic where you have to purchase clothes on each level using different coins. Some areas will only open up if you’ve bought the garb favoured by that world, while others are just to mix up Mazza’s wardrobe.
The Switch mixed up Zelda with BotW, and Odyssey certainly gave the Mario canon a much-needed shake-up too!
10. Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023)
Super Mario Bros Wonder has changed up the Mario 2D side-scrolling formula for good. This could well be one of the trippiest games we’ve ever played, and it’s got some great new items and abilities that provide maximum excitement while playing.
The wonder flowers for example open up so many new possibilities, especially because you don’t know what’s going to happen when you touch one until you’ve touched it!
The levels are exquisitely designed too, with so many vibrant colours coming into play as well as an absolutely incredible soundtrack.
The game doesn’t take too long to complete, which is a little disapointing considering how much games cost these days, and we would have preferred the Boss Levels to be a little harder with more variety when it came to how to defeat them.
Still, this game is still one of the best Nintendo Switch games we’ve ever played and is without a doubt the best Super Mario 2D game around!
Read our official review: Super Mario Bros Wonder review
11. Pokemon Sword & Shield (2019)
I couldn’t choose between Pokemon Sword & Shield, so, while we’ve showcased Zamazenta on the cover up above, I’m putting both games down.
Hey, it’s a two for the price of one – what’s not to love?
Every Nintendo Console has to have a cracking Pokemon game, and the Switch certainly doesn’t disappoint.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the 3D explorative Pokemon titles like Pokemon Colosseum, and having the chance to explore new lands through the original game and the DLC content with tonnes of pocket monsters along for the ride certainly made the Retro Dodo team very happy!
Everything about this game is perfect, from seeing Pokemon wandering around the Wild Area to dashing from place to place via your trusty bicycle.
Like Zelda: Link’s Awakening, it feels fresh and familiar in equal measure.
The different towns and cities in Pokemon Sword and Shield provide the scenes for many battles and hidden treasures. Venture from sleepy country villages through to desert paths and ice caverns in search of Pokemon to train and battle with.
This game would have gone further down this list if it wasn’t for Hop, the most annoying side character in the history of all games. That guy is one cocky son of a … well, he’s cocky, and he’s also no where near as good as you.
The berry system makes a return alongside new features such as camping and cooking for you and your Pokemon. Grab the DLC content and keep the game going with more legendary Pokemon to catch and even more side quests to solve!
12. Super Mario 3D World (2021)
Super Mario 3D World takes the 13th spot in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time!
If you played the Wii U version, then there’s nothing much different between this and the original, bar characters running faster and some tougher bonus modes. That being said, it’s still a fantastic game in its own right and a credit to the Switch, especially as you can play on the go!
Play as Mario. Luigi, Peach, and Toad as they complete levels together! Grab mates to play co-op or go it alone, picking up exciting powers such as the Super Bell to unlock cat character abilities.
Everyone loves Cat Mario!
As with pretty much all Mario games, 3D world is a vibrant and energetic adventure with classic Mushroom Kingdom graphics. And, in true Nintendo fashion, four people can play in the same household and not just online.
Couch co-op will never die!
Expect lots of goomba stomping action and coin collecting through fast-paced side-scrolling levels. And the best part is that you don’t have to save Peach for once!
Yes, proving that she can be kick-ass when she’s not wasting time being captured, Peach runs, climbs, and cat scratches along with the others as they hurtle through the game.
And don’t forget to check out Bowser’s Fury too. It’s a shorter game than the main offering but looks absolutely fantastic, and boy is Bowser furious!
13. Super Mario Maker 2 (2019)
Ever thought that the Super Mario games were too easy or just not ultra impossibly hard? Super Mario Maker 2 can sort that out immediately!
A Mario game where you make levels from scratch to play through and then share with users all over the globe. Maybe courses filled with hundreds of Goombas and lasers too?
Now we’re talking!
As well as all the course building excitement from the 1st game, there’s now a cool Story mode with 100 courses.
Still, if you came here to put Bowser on a bullet bill or make a course that’s one massive downhill slip-n-slide, then fill your boots!
With a Nintendo Switch Online membership, players can play other creators courses and leave feedback too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving with an infinite number of ways to play!
14. Metroid Dread (2021)
When we first heard rumours of a new Metroid game, we hoped we were finally going to be seeing Metroid Prime 4 dropping. Metroid Dread, a side scrolling game like the Metroid titles of old initially felt like a bit of a cop-out.
Until we played it.
This game is true perfection. Ok, so it’s a bit of an homage to Samus’ SNES days, but is that a bad thing? The graphics, the gameplay, the movesets, Samus’ kick-ass actions – it’s a brilliant game for both nostalgic gamers or new Switch fans alike.
So what’s the deal in Metroid Dread?
We’ll, Samus is on Planet ZDR, trapped by an evil force and under constant threat from murderous robots.
Sounds like something she can tackle no problem!
Like other Metroid games of old, players need to resist old areas with new powerups to be able to access new secrets and playable areas.
Destroy the those killer robo-warriors and even throw an amibo or two into the mix!
15. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening takes the 15th spot in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time. I went to pick this up while travelling around Italy in a camper van and couldn’t put it down!
This game was always a classic on the GBC. The story is different but feels oh so familiar at the same time, with other Nintendo enemies such as Goombas and Bloopers making cameos.
In the same way as Pokemon Let’s go Pikachu updated the classic Pokemon Red and Blue, this Nintendo Switch port has not only updated a terrific game, but it’s also made it more accessible for a new generation of gamers.
Instead of being based in the usual realm of Hyrule, Link washes ashore on Koholint Island. The same dungeon-crawling gameplay from the other early Zelda games aplies, though new features such as Dampe’s dungeon maker provide fans with a whole new way to play.
Koholint looks incredible with a new makeover and updated graphics. Ok, so it looks a little cutesy, but it’s not exactly a hack ‘n slash game after all. Collecting seashells to get new abilities adds an extra reason to keep playing, and the adventure itself is super engaging.
Once again, I could go on and on about Link’s Awakening. Any Zelda game is a winner in my book, and while I’ve played the game 100 times before on the GBC, the Switch version will always be one of the best Nintendo Switch games in my collection.
16. Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020)
Super Mario 3D All-Stars isn’t just a Nintendo Switch game… ok, it is, but its also a slice of Mario gaming history.
But, back in 2020, I finally got my wish, along with Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. Three of the best Mario games ever made in one place, with updated graphics, and the ability to play on the go…
… does it get any better than that?
For those of you that haven’t played any of these games before, seriously; what is wrong with you? Super Mario 64 topped our best Mario games list, Sunshine is the reason so many people bought a GameCube, and Galaxy is the trippiest title I think I’ve ever played!
While all three games have received the Nintendo Switch treatment, Super Mario 64 is the only title not to play in widescreen mode. It still looks like the original, or how we remember it anyway, which is perfect for those nostalgic vibes.
And the best bit is that you can skip between them all without even getting out of the chair and changing discs! What a win!
Check out our review: Super Mario 3D All Stars review
17. Super Mario Party (2018)
Super Mario Party is up next in this list of the best Nintendo Switch games of all time!
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I’ve put into the Mario Party series over the years. Whether playing with my mum on an evening as a kid or challenging my mates to some multiplayer madness on the weekend, these games have provided serious value for money and some truly fun times.
While Mario Party 4 will always have a special place in my heart, Super Mario Party is undoubtedly the best title yet. It’s vibrant, the graphics are superb, and the addition of special dice to spice up character selection is a nice touch.
If you’ve never played a Mario Party game before, then it’s fair to say that you’ve never lived. They don’t just provide fun and friendly family entertainment; they create a platform to crush your friends in competitive mini games…
… because that’s what gaming is about, after all!
The premise is simple; move around a board by rolling a dice. Yes it’s a digital board game with a difference, and that difference is that Mario and pals can fire items at each other, call in allies, and collect coins.
Get the most stars and win the game. Play with up to 4 people in console mode and now stretch your audience far and wide with the new online mode!
18. Pikmin 3 Deluxe (2020)
Pikmin 3 Deluxe is up next in our list of the best Nintendo Switch games of the year. Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the Pikmin franchise as a whole. It’s so exciting to play, but it’s definitely a contributing factor as to why I am bald.
Once I get into this game, I can’t stop. I can’t stop thinking about keeping those little Pikmin safe, responsible for their wellbeing and wanting the best for their futures.
Maybe I should just treat it like a game rather than real life…
So, here’s a cool fact for people who loved the first Pikmin game but felt angry about that timer… the timer has gone.
That’s right; you can spend as long as you want exploring Planet PN4-404 without worrying about the 30 days running out. That’s much better!
Plus, 2 new Pikmin have joined the ranks – a rock and a winged Pikmin. How cool is that; one heavy and one as light as air!
Take on big enemies and pull off unbelievable feats of strength… well, for little flower people at any rate!
Find more games like Pikmin here: More Games Like Pikmin
19. Splatoon 2 (2017)
Splatoon 2 is the perfect game to kick back with mates, shooting rival inklings and slip-n-sliding around courts as you try go for glory.
Imagine if you crossed Goldeneye 007 with Tony Hawks Tag mode… that’s the general vibe here.
The second offering is largely the same as the first, though a new single player mode and local multiplayer mean that there’s much more for players to get involved with.
Also, we’re looking at some serious firepower too.
Well, inkpower, but you get the gist.
Splatoon is wholly inoffensive; it couldn’t be brutal if it tried. But that doesn’t matter; it’s still one of the most exciting shooting games on the Switch and a real battle-royale that gamers of any age can enjoy.
20. Mario Strikers: Battle League Football (2022)
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football harnesses all of the excitement from the original Super Mario Strikers game for the GameCube and turns it up to 11. It’s madness from the very first whistle, with fast paced games on crazy courts where there are very few rules.
The main and only rule being which goal you need to score in… that’s about it.
If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s like Fifa crossed with Mario Kart. Players use items as they dash and slide tackle each other in order to get the ball. Time your shot right and you might even perform an unblockable Super Strike!
I got incredibly into this game when it came out, playing my friends online and upgrading my characters after winning championships. There are multiple different gear choices that you can implement in order to up character’s stats, and you can pick the ultimate team of 4 to take into battle with you.
If you thought Frantic Items on Mario Kart was intense, then you’ve seen nothing yet!
Check out our guide on making the best team: How to pick the best team in Super Mario Strikers Battle League.
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.