7 of the Best Nintendo Switch Games to Play

Playing some of the best Nintendo Switch games on a Nintendo Switch.

The Switch’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down, and the best Nintendo Switch games are just part of the reason. With a growing library of revamped classics and brand new editions featuring iconic characters like Mario, it’s hard to know what to play, but this list is here to help.

1. Best Racing Game: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Price: $60 | $85 with Booster Course DLC

Mario Kart is a long-time favorite across various Nintendo systems, but the Nintendo Switch breathes fresh life into the game by combining all your favorite tracks into one massive racing game in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It features both local and online multiplayer, making it a great party game as well.

Mario Kart Deluxe 8 gameplay showing Mario racing.

A smattering of new courses, such as Battle Stadium and Urchin Underpass, give you something new to try. With the Booster Pass, you get an unbelievable 96 courses to play. Get it separately or as part of your Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.

Play with iconic Mario characters or try out the new guest Inklings. With all the customizations, courses, and modes, you’ll never get bored, which is why this game continues to keep going strong.

If your Nintendo Switch won’t turn on, try these troubleshooting steps.

2. Best Casual Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Price: $60 | $85 with Happy Home Paradise DLC

For many, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the reason they bought a Nintendo Switch. The completely relaxed atmosphere, adorable animals, and cutesy scenes became the perfect escape from life’s daily stressors. Plus, it’s hard not to get caught up in building and customizing your own bustling community.

Playing Animal Crossing in a camp.

While it may look like a social game at first, it’s one of the best Nintendo Switch games to play, as it plays both solo and multiplayer (local and online). Yet, even when playing solo, it still feels sort of social.

One of the best parts is whenever you play, the time of day – and the season – match up to your location. There are even rainy and snowy days throughout the year. For any casual gamers, this is a must-have.

3. Best Adventure Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Price: $60

Adventuring through Hyrule is a favorite pastime for Nintendo fans. It only makes sense that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the absolute best Nintendo Switch games of all time. Every choice you make changes the game, and sometimes those choices have dangerous consequences.

Playing The Legend of Zelda, one of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Scavenge and find what you need to survive. A favorite feature for me and many others are the puzzles. Unlike many games, there isn’t just one solution. Get creative, and solve challenges your own way.

Naturally, the graphics and music are absolutely stunning and make the game a winner for just those things. If you love this one, you’ll also want to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

4. Best for Pokémon Fans: Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Price: $60

Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes a new approach: an open-world experience in the Hisui region. While it’s a spin-off versus a continuation, it’s a fun addition to the series. You’re part of an expedition team tasked with finding, documenting, and catching the native Pokémon for the first ever Pokédex.

Playing Pokemon on Nintendo Switch.

Sure, weakening, then using a Poké Ball is still an option, but this game gives you the chance to throw the ball yourself. It takes practice and skill to land everything just right, but once you do, it’s ever so satisfying.

What’s really brilliant about Acreus is that it’s more than just battling. That’s part of it, and the early battles are the best. But, it’s also about finding and exploring Hisui, making this more of a journey than just gyms and fights.

5. Best Action RPG: Monster Hunter Rise

Price: $30

Monster Hunter fans eagerly awaited Monster Hunter Rise, which is a new game in the series, versus just a port from previous systems. While it naturally has many of the same goals, such as hunt, craft, etc., Rise adds some new tricks to spice up your gameplay.

Playing Monster Hunter Rise on Nintendo Switch

One of the things that makes this one of the best Nintendo Switch games is the unique monster battles. Forget just variations on the same creatures. With the variety of monsters to hunt, you’ll need some serious strategy to beat them in their own habitats.

With 14 weapons to choose from, each weapon gives you a completely new experience. Best of all, the weapons are more balanced than ever, making this more about skill and strategy than luck.

6. Best Shooter: Metroid Dread

Price: $60

Metroid Dread lets you once again join Samus Aran, as you explore the many environments on planet ZDR. If you loved the 2D stories of Prime and Zero Mission, you’ll want to give Dread a try. After all, it was the first return to the 2D Metroid world in almost two decades.

Metroid Dread gameplay on Nintendo Switch.

Sure, it was a long wait, but trust me, the wait was well worth it. Think of it as the even better version of Super Nintendo’s Super Metroid. I’d recommend playing on your TV versus the handheld to really appreciate this game.

This serves as the finale to the main Metroid storyline. There’s constant action, and seeing Samus grow stronger as his arsenal and abilities grow, keeps you glued to the game until the last moments.

7. Best Mario Game: Super Mario Odyssey

Price: $60

No best Nintendo Switch games list would be complete without Super Mario Odyssey. It’s possibly one of the best Mario titles ever. There’s a real sense of nostalgia that perfectly blends classic and new elements together for one epic adventure.

Playing one of the best Nintendo Switch games, Mario Odyssey.

While Mario’s great, this is the story of his sidekick, Cappy. Yes, that’s his iconic red hat that just happens to have a soul and a sister, Tiara, who’s been kidnapped by Bowser alongside Princess Peach.

Cappy lets Mario become various enemies, such as Goombas, and enjoy their powers for a bit. With so many hidden gems in this game, you’ll find yourself coming back to play again and again. When you’re done, check out these other Mario Switch games.

Endless Games to Play

The Nintendo Switch is the console that shows no signs of slowing down, meaning seemingly endless great games to play. If you’re looking for even more suggestions, try these online co-op games and local multiplayer games for Nintendo Switch. You can also try these Switch apps to do more than just game.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder - Staff Writer

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.