There have been a lot of games that Nintendo have published for the Switch. Some of these have been Wii U ports so in fairness to games that are new, I did not put any ports on this list. Meaning, games like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze or Tokyo Mirage Sessions: #FE Encore are not in this list as they were originally released on the Wii U. There have also been some third party games that were published by Nintendo in the United States or European markets, but not in Japan. Meaning games such as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity or Octopath Traveler are not included in this list since Nintendo did not publish these in Japan. Again, this is just my personal opinion of what they have done so far.
Honorable Mention: Mario Tennis Aces
Tennis is a sport that I absolutely love to play in real life, and one of the types of sports games that I will play on the rarity of when I play sports games. I grew up on Mario Tennis on Nintendo 64 and I really enjoyed that game, especially when I played it with friends. This game had a story mode that I really liked playing since there was “bosses”, different missions that you had to complete, and different opponents to play and unlock different courts. There is a sand court, a jungle area, a spooky area, and more. The story involves Wario and Waluigi being corrupted by a evil tennis racket and you must play as Mario and save them. The story is fairly basic but the gameplay and visuals is where it shines. The music is also good overall for the game it is. There is a special ability for each playable character that unleashes a finishing blow on the opponent, that is able to be returned back to the opponent, but its hard. There are charged moves where you can slow down time in order to hit a ball back, or in order to get to the ball so you don’t lose points. The overall game of tennis is here, just with the classic Nintendo vibe with it. Nintendo did multiple updates and additional characters into the game for when it came out, but those are done. There is also an online mode that is not great as it is broken in terms of the online capability with other people. The online is fun when it actually works but it didn’t work too often for me. I enjoyed this game when I played it, but fell out of it since most people I knew didn’t buy it. I am excited for Mario Golf that is coming out in June.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Okay, this was a remake of a game from the ground up in a unique art style. Grezzo who has worked on a lot of different remakes and remasters in the past did the remake of this game, which played and looked amazing. The story is good for a Legend of Zelda title as it takes place… shhh, that’s a spoiler. The overall music and sound design is good as the music always feels correct whether it be in town, one of the dungeons, or just in the world itself. The gameplay is basically you going around the map trying to complete all of the dungeons where each one tasks you with defeating enemies, solving puzzles, and exploring different areas. It was a nice experience as some of them actually were challenging while other ones were fairly simplistic. The town as a whole was cool as you could do special tasks, or you could go into the shop and get items. There was also a fishing minigame, different side quests that you could do, a dungeon creator mode, and more scattered throughout the game. The art style was a controversy when it was first shown which some people liked it while others hated it, personally it grew on me when I played it. The game is worth a play through if you never played it, but if you have and remember all of the story and dungeons, there isn’t much you would miss if you pass on it. It looks and plays fine, but personally; I would say wait for a sale if you feel like getting it as it is fairly short at about 10 hours.
9. Splatoon 2
Multiplayer focused games are not my most favorite type of game; however, Splatoon 2 is an absolute blast when I play it with others. There is a little bit of a single player mode with some missions but it wasn’t very large in size, which made me sad since I liked the single player mode more than the multiplayer. Saying this though, they did release DLC for this game that adds more single player content that is extremely challenging in some parts. There is also a mode that you can work to clear out hoards of enemies with three other people, which is a different take on the traditional multiplayer for this game. In the town, there are shops to get weapons, clothing, a food cart, and a few other things as well. The main thing, is the multiplayer where you can create private battles with friends, compete in the regular mode with random individuals, or play in the ranked mode to see how good you are. There are many different styles of multiplayer including turf mode, rainmaker, tower control, and clam blitz. Nintendo did push a lot of updates to this game including Splatfests which pitted two different things against each other, along with adding a lot of content over time. The music is good and the amount of stages and variety is fairly large. I am hoping that in Splatoon 3, coming in 2022, has a lot more single player content and also add a lot to the multiplayer to make it feel like it’s worth going back in for another round.
8. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion has been a series that I have had a hit and miss relationship with. I really enjoyed the first game but I didn’t like the sequel as much. The third one though, was a fantastic game with a lot of variety for the levels. Luigi and his friends go to this hotel for a weekend vacation, but there are ghosts that are haunting the hotel and his friends get captured. You must save them by defeating the ghosts using the Poltergust weapon from Professor E Gadd who helps you on this adventure. You play as Luigi and as Gooigi, who is a gelatin based Luigi, to solve puzzles and escape out of the hotel with his friends. There are many different floors that you explore including a desert, a movie set, a shopping area, and so much more. The game has controls that are not the most intuitive as it takes a little while to get use to, but you’ll learn them in due time. The music is great in the game and the graphics looks absolutely stunning thanks to the nice art style. The overall gameplay is amazing and was a really fun experience when I played the single player experience. You can also play the game in local multiplayer, and there is also an online mode. There is even DLC for this game for the online mode that adds more games and floors to continue the hunt for all the ghosts. The game was such a success for this IP that I hope it continues in the future.
7. Super Mario Odyssey
Okay, 3D Mario games are some of the most fun I have with the 3D platformer genre. There is a lot to do in the many different worlds that you explore throughout the game. The variety of different levels is incredible; such as, going to the moon, the desert, the jungle, the ocean, or exploring a big city, among others. There were some bosses in this game that were actually a little harder than normal for the series which was a nice change. There were so many moons, hiding in each of the worlds that sometimes it felt like a chore to find them all; there are 999 total within the game. The controls were the most smooth that I have played in a 3D Mario game in a long time and the capture feature where you throw your hat and take over an enemy is a cool concept that I hope they explore in the future. The story is the same thing with this game; Princess Peach gets captured and you must save her. Bowser did want to marry her in this one, but this formula is just getting really repetitive for me, and I hope they do a little bit of a different story or mix it up for the next game. The music was good but only a few are absolute stand outs, including “Jump Up, Super Star”. The visuals are stunning, even for the 2D sections of the game. There is no DLC for it but I wish there was as I wanted to go back and play even more levels. Honestly, if you like 3D Mario games, this game is a must buy for the system.
6. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Okay, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a very fun game and there is a lot to do in this game compared to some of the other ones, but it is definitely not my favorite in the series. The single player adventure mode is not really great since it is just fight after fight with certain rewards and is one of the ways to unlock different characters. They removed certain things from other games including trophies, which I thought of as a big deal. They do still have assist trophies and items from the original game, but they have also added a lot of different things including a final smash meter which is a weaker final smash attack and also spirits. Spirits are helpful as they give you different bonuses within fights. I personally do not use them, but they are cool to collect . I liked going through the adventure mode and the classic mode for each character but after a little while, I didn’t really feel like continuing to finish the classic modes. They added many more modes including smashdown, squad strike, and a offline tourney as well. There is a total of 76 characters that are playable from the base game, and then DLC characters which adds a total of 12 more, making the grand total 88 playable characters. There is so much music within the game it’s hard to complain and the visuals are great. The online has some problems when it comes to the online arenas and disconnections. The game is fun with other people but playing against the AI gets boring. This is a must play for people who like the series since there is so much here.
5. Astral Chain
Okay, Astral Chain might be my favorite Platinum Games creations to this day. I enjoyed every minute of this game. Throughout the story, you control either a male or female lead character who joins in a force of officers to stop a chimera invasion. There are certain times where you are doing an investigation where you have to gather clues about what happened or is happening currently. Certain sections have stealth missions and then there are others that are platforming sequences; both of which never were a problem for me. You talk with NPCs to solve anomalies of what is happening in the world, closing different rifts where the chimera are coming from, side missions, and more. The story turns chaotic at certain points and it makes you question things about what you already know. You control five different legions that are chained to you, and must be used to help you fight against the chimera. Eventually, you will be able to unchain them but it doesn’t last forever. Each one has a different form and attack styles and you must learn how to adapt battles on the fly. Battles are fast paced and fun, and you get a score after each one depending on how you fight, just like in Platinum Games fashion. The smoothness of the game is great, even though there are occasional rough spots when it comes to pacing. The gameplay is great as a whole, the soundtrack is crazy good, the voice acting is solid, and the art style is incredible. This is a must play if you are a fan of Platinum Games or if you like action adventure games with a good story and good gameplay. This game unfortunately, is often overlooked; which is truly sad since its one of my favorites on the system.
4. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
Okay, this game is in no way close to being my favorite of the series, but it is the first time the traditional series has shown up on a home console. The gameplay and the battles are extremely easy and none of them really put up a challenge, which hurt the game. The catching of Pokémon is normalized again with hitting a button instead of what happened in Let’s Go, which I hated. The main story took me about 30 hours to get through. The wild area of the game was a new thing that they did which is basically an open world section where you can hunt down Pokémon, talk with NPCs, other players, go camping, and more. There is also raid dens that held Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokémon, which was another new feature in this game. The game was fine if you played by yourself, but there really wasn’t a lot to pull me back into this game, except for one thing; friends. Trading and trying to help each other complete the Pokédex was such a fun time with friends and since there are version exclusive ones, they want you to trade with others. Battling with others was also very fun, unlike with the NPCs. The raid dens were really fun with others as you could experience working together to take down a massive Pokémon. There was also, for the first time ever, a DLC pass that included two additional areas with new Pokémon and new things to do; including my favorite part which was the Dynamax adventures. The game overall is a okay experience, but it is so much better playing with friends then playing by yourself.
3. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Personally, I enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so much more than Xenoblade Chronicles 1. This game was an emotional rollercoaster as it starts out slow but gets intense later. You follow Rex who is a diver; that is, before he finds Pyra. In this game you are helping Pyra, and Mythra, get to the world tree. This is an action RPG with battles that have a lot of different mechanics. The game is a good 70 hours minimum through all of the different side quests that you can do, mini games, collecting different items, finding all of the different blades, and so much more. In battles, you work with blades who are formed from different core crystals. Now, this is completely random on who you get but there are common ones, and rare ones. This is a gatcha type system; however, there is absolutely no microtransactions within this game, even though they could put them in there without much difficulty, which I applaud Nintendo for not doing. The soundtrack is absolutely one of my favorite soundtracks that Nintendo created in the Switch generation. The visuals were less impressive, excluding character models, since the frame-rate and resolution is not the best in the open world, but I enjoyed the game even with these flaws. There is even a whole extra DLC pass that has a brand new story; Torna, that adds multiple hours. This game is an absolute must play for any fan of action RPGs.
2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Over 200 hours in, and I am not even done yet. In this game, you play as a professor, Byleth, who is tasked with managing one of the three houses. You get to choose which one you teach, and depending what you choose, the story goes from there. For the first part of the game, you are at the monastery teaching, guiding, and battling with and against students. You can recruit students from other houses too, which allows you to get different skills and abilities you otherwise wouldn’t. Then about the half way point in the game; there is a major time skip of 5 years. I have played the 3 normal paths, Blue Lions, Golden Deer, and Black Eagles, but there is the Church of Serios path that I have not yet completed. Then there is also DLC that adds an additional story line and an underground house. This story was hard as you cannot choose who you have in your party as it is only 4 people from the underground and there are also a few characters from other houses. It adds multiple hours of gameplay depending on how much you want to do. The overall story is amazing, the voice acting is superb, the visuals are great, and the soundtrack is absolutely crazy. This is a Strategy RPG that is pretty hard no matter what difficulty you play on. This was my first Fire Emblem but it definitely won’t be my last and I am glad that I was introduced to the series through this game.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Okay, what can I say about this game that has not already been said. This game was the first game I played on my Nintendo Switch when I got it back in July 2017 after stock was a little bit easier to find. Immediately, I fell in love with this game more than any other Zelda game that I have ever played. The exploration of this game is second to none from what Nintendo has done in the past and I am glad that the game wanted you to explore the world. There was so much that you can do in this game and people are still finding different things in it. The four different stories of the champions was really good and I enjoyed them as they tell you what happened to the world, give certain abilities that help you explore Hyrule, help you in the final boss fight, and give more enjoyment in the game. The combat is good, I just personally hate how often weapons break on you. The soundtrack is really good and the voice acting is good for when it happens. There is a lot to do including exploring towns, collecting korok seeds, completing shrines, activating the towers, and so much more. The environment even affects how you play, which feels natural. The variety of shrines were solid overall; however, there are some repeats. There is also DLC that came out for this game that adds even more to the story, and even more things to do. This game is an absolute must play if you like open world games, a fan of Zelda games, or games with good combat and lots to do.
Now, this is just my personal opinion based on my experiences of the games that are on this list. I am sure there are other people that think other games deserves to be on their lists, but again, it is all based on your personal viewpoints in gaming. These are my opinion, but what is your opinion on these kinds of games that are fully Nintendo published and that are not ports? Maybe Arms is in your list, or 1-2 Switch, or something else entirely; and you know what, that is okay. Let us know in the comments!