Nintendo Switch has taken over the handheld gaming market. Well, not really, but since the console premiered in 2017 it has been steadily growing it’s fanbase and accumulating an impressive game catalog.

Which game’s available today on Nintendo’s newest console are worth checking out? Let’s have a look.

 

Night in the Woods

Year (Switch):2018
Developer:Infinite Fall

Let not the art of the game fool you – Night in the Woods is anything but a cutesy adventure featuring anthropomorphic animals.

The main character of the game, Mae Borowski, has dropped out of college and returns to her hometown to reconnect with friends and family. What seemed like a good idea at first turns into a nightmare. With Mae’s friend different and town unlike she remembers it, she must deal with her deteriorating mental state and muster the courage to venture into the woods in search of a kidnapped teen.

Night in the Woods (Switch)

The game explores several difficult subjects, like mental disorders, loneliness, coming to grip with the past and embracing the future, and many more. The game received positive reviews from critics and placed high on top lists of 2017 indie games.

Key features
  • exploration-driven gameplay,
  • with platforming elements thrown in for good measure
  • engaging story about confronting one’s past and dealing with the emotional baggage of growing up

Bayonetta 2

Year:2018
Developer:Platinium Games

Whoever had played the previous installment of Bayonetta needs no convincing to pick up the second one. For the undecided, here’s a quick recap.

Bayonetta 2 is a prequel to the original Bayonetta, and features breakneck action, with the main character, the titular demon hunter Bayonetta, cutting and shooting through the hordes of demons and angels alike.

Bayonneta 2 (Switch)

The gameplay features remain mostly unchanged: Bayonetta can user both firearms and melee weapons, combining moves into combos and perform brutal finishers. A new feature of the game is the Umbran Climax, which boosts Bayonetta’s strength and range. Bayonetta 2 received positive reviews from the critics, who praised the game, despite little changes made in the gameplay mechanics.

Key features
  • exhilarating combat mechanics
  • combining melee, gunplay and bullet time
  • an off-the-rails story featuring one of the most badass protagonists

Gris

Year:2018
Developer:Nomada Studio

Gris, unlike many of the titles on this list, proves that video games can still be an aesthetic experience.

Featuring a remarkable combination of ethereal, stylized graphics, reminding of the watercolor painting, the game takes the player through an emotional rollercoaster, leading them through the tale of Gris, the main the protagonist of the game, who wakes up in a strange, colorless world.

Gris (Switch)

She embarks on a quest to return color to this mysterious land by collecting starlight, scattered across four different areas. Gris received high acclaim form critics who praised the game’s artistic design, the music accompanying the player throughout the gameplay and the somber yet poignant story.

Key features
  • beautiful story told in a minimalist way
  • unique graphic design

Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu/Eevee

Year:2018
Developer:Game Freak

Gotta catch ’em all! Pokemon Let’s Go throws the player into the shoes of young Pokemon trainer in the Kanto region, in a game filled with exploration and fighting.

Let’s Go features the RPG system of Pokemon battles, while also introducing several new features. The game utilizes the Joy-Con controller of the Switch in catching the Pokemon. If one of the Joy-Cons is used by another player, they can join in the game and help with fighting and catching Pokemon and fighting NPC Pokemon trainers.

Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu

Depending on the version of the game, the player starts with either Pikachu or Eevee, who travel on the player character’s arm in the overworld and notify them about nearby items. The game received favorable reviews from critics who praised Let’s Gos nostalgic charm.

Key features
  • over 150 Pokemon to catch
  • innovative controls utilizing the Switch’s Joy-Con controller
  • the charm and nostalgic feel of the game

Hollow Knight

Year:2018
Developer:Team Cherry

If you’re longing for the classic, Metroidvania-style adventure, Hollow Knight should be your first pick for the Switch.

In Team Cherry’s action-adventure game, the player controls the titular Hollow Knight, who travels the depths of the underground kingdom of Hallownest. As the player progresses through the game, they will face increasingly stronger enemies and bosses.

Hollow Knight (Switch)

Luckily, the player can use the nail to strike enemies from close range and equip various spells to fend off the adversaries from afar. Along the way, the knight will meet different NPCs, who will explain elements of plot and lore, aid him on his quest or act as vendors, where the player can sell collected items. The reviews of Hollow Knight were highly positive, with some critics dubbing it “the new classic”.

Key features
  • classic-style 2D action
  • open-world environment of Hallownest
  • unlockable mode available after completing the game

Octopath Traveler

Year:2018
Developer:Square Enix

Octopath Traveler is a perfect example of how combining the old with the new can result in something really unique and spectacular.

OT is filled with intricate gameplay mechanics, which the players might recognize from the RPGs of old. However, Octopath Traveler is not purely sentimental trip into the past.

Octopath Traveler (Switch)

The game offers novelty, especially in the graphics department, to attract players not interested in reminiscing. In OT the player controls one of eight characters, each possessing different set of skills.

On top of that, the player can use elemental attacks and gather boost points, which can be used during the fight for upgrading the player’s attacks, etc. Each of the playable characters has their own story and begins the game in a different place. The stories of the protagonists intertwine with one another creating a unique tapestry. Octopath Traveler received positive reviews and was praised for its unique graphic style and engaging gameplay.

Key features
  • beautiful graphics
  • blending retro sprites and polygonal environments
  • 8 characters with distinct stories
  • engaging combat mechanics

Super Mario Maker 2

Year:2019
Developer:Nintendo EAD

If you ever thought to yourself “Man, this lava level is hardcore, but I bet I could make it even more difficult!”, then Super Mario Maker 2 is the game for you!

In SMM 2 the player is given the full control of the environments and assets from the Super Mario games, which they can use to create their own levels. While designing the level, the player can place the classic objects such as warp pipes and question mark bricks, and imbue them with different properties, like spawning enemies.

Super Mario Maker 2

The foes of the friendly plumber can also be tampered with and provided with upgrades, such as wings, powerup mushrooms, and many more.

The fun in Super Mario Maker 2 is only restricted by the player’s imagination. After completing the level, the player can upload it online and download levels made by other players. Super Mario Maker 2 received positive reviews, in which the critics praised the multitude of options offered by the level creator.

Key features
  • creating the player’s own levels and publishing them online
  • old-school Mario gameplay with new features

Splatoon 2

Year:2017
Developer:Nintendo EPD

The Splatoon series quickly became the flag title of Nintendo consoles. In Splatoon 2 the player has even more options of tackling enemies, in a single-player campaign or in multiplayer.

The player still chooses between to types of characters, Inklings, and Octolings, and faces off against the opponents in the battle royale arena.

Splatoon 2 (Switch)

Inklings and Octolings can transform from their humanoid forms, used for fighting, into their squid or octopus forms, in which they can travel between ink puddles of their color. Splatoon 2 added several new features, including new weapons: Dualies, dual-wielded pistols, which allow the player to dodge roll, Brellas, shotgun-like weapons with folding shields, and Inkjets, jetpacks which allow the player to hover in the air.

The game features a new mode called Salmon Run, in which the player cooperates with other to fend off waves of Salmonids. Splatoon 2 received positive reviews from the critics, who praised the gameplay improvements over the original as well as the expanded single-player campaign.

Key features
  • new features
  • including weapons and performable actions
  • new “Salmon Run” co-op mode
  • expanded story

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Year:2018
Developer:Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd.

Who would win in a match between Mario and Sonic? Now you have a chance to find out.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the players can control various characters from different Nintendo games. These heroes include the traditional ones, like Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and Samus Aran.

Super Smash Bros (Switch)

But the player can also choose to play as less obvious characters, such as the Villager from Animal Crossing, Princesses Daisy and Zelda, and… Jigglypuff? With such wacky roster, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will not get boring easily.

The game features fan-favorite modes from the previous installments, Classic and Special Smash, as well as in new ones: Smashdown, Squad Strike and Tournament. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received positive reviews and won several awards, including Gamescom’s Best Console Game for Nintendo Switch.

Key features
  • a huge roster of characters from various Nintendo series
  • dynamic gameplay mechanics

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Year:2019
Developer:Square Enix, Omega Force

Dragon Quest Builders 2 takes the known formula of Dragon Quest games and adds several new intriguing features to draw in new players.

In DQB 2 the player controls an unnamed builder, kidnapped by the Children of Hargon, a group who vowed to stop the builders from creating anything.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

As the player character escapes the captivity and washes on the shore of the Isle of Wakening, they encounter a young man named Malroth. Together, the player and the teen will embark on a quest to discover Malroth’s mysterious past and stop the Children of Hargon.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 features an open-world environment where the player can find resources and materials to use in building. New features include traveling through the sky and underwater, as well as fast travel option using the world map. The game features an online multiplayer, where up to four players can cooperate. DQB2 received positive reviews from critics.

Key features
  • a new story set in the Dragon Quest universe
  • various character customization options
  • single-player story and multiplayer mode for up to 4 players

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Year:2017
Developer:Nintendo EPD

Breath of the Wild is the Legend of Zelda game the fans of the series had been waiting for.

BotW introduces several upgrades, including the completely remodeled physics of the game. Now objects in the world behave more realistically, allowing the player for different forms of interaction.

The metal objects will attract lightning during storms, items and weapons will degrade over time, etc. The player once again controls the character of Link, who had lost all memory of his previous adventures. Traveling through Hyrule, he strives to regain his memories and find out what calamity befell the land in his absence.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild received universal acclaim from the reviewers, who praised the game’s open-world environment, variety of content and physics. BotW was nominated to many of the industry awards, ultimately winning 29 of them.

Key features
  • open-world environment
  • new mechanics
  • completely remodeled  game physics

Fortnite Deep Freeze Bundle

Year:2018
Developer:Epic Games

Fortnite has taken the e-sports arena and the hype doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. In Epic Game’s online battle royale game, the player chooses one of several avatars and takes them into the arenas, fighting for survival against other players.

The game offers the players an option to team up into groups of up to four, taking on the opponents on the map.

Fortnite (Switch)

The game works well on Nintendo’s console, operating in stable 30fps and 1600×900 resolution. Fortinte for Switch received positive reviews from critics for being well-balanced port, despite drops in framerate.

The Deep Freeze Bundle offers several add-ons, like frostbite outfit, freezing point back bling, chill-axe pickaxe, cold front glider, and thousand v-bucks to spend in the in-game store.

Key features
  • multitude of modes to for players to enjoy
  • engaging multiplayer battle royale gameplay

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Year:2019
Developer:Team Ninja

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order brings all the fun of being the part of one of the largest comic book universes and mixes it with engaging gameplay mechanics from the people behind Ninja Gaiden series.

In The Black Order, the player can play as one of the 46 characters based on their appearances in Marvel Comics, Marvel Cinematic Universe, animations and more.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

The player can choose from many members of the Avengers, X-Men, Inhumans and other characters. The gameplay combines the hack and slash mechanics with RPG elements, allowing the player to upgrade their characters as they level up during the course of the game.

The story is based on the Infinity Gauntlet comic book saga but expanded with elements presented in MCU. MUA 3: TBO received positive reviews from critics for the large roster of playable characters and enjoyable gameplay.

Key features
  • a large roster of playable superheroes
  • engaging plot
  • co-op gameplay mechanics

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Year:2017
Developer:Nintendo EPD

Mario and his pals power slide on the Nintendo Switch console in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The game is a port from Wii U, which means a slight decrease in graphics in handheld mode. However, while docked, MK 8 on Switch still pulls 1080p in 60fps.

The game comes with all available DLCs making Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the ultimate experience Mario racing experience.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Along with new arenas, MK 8 features 6 additional characters, including Bowser Jr., Inklings and King Boo, as well as restored items of feather and the Boo, among others. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe received positive reviews and was considered the definitive version of the game.

Key features
  • includes all previously released DLCs
  • colorful tracks with multiple items to pick up
  • six additional characters to choose from

Minecraft

Year:2017
Developer:Mojang, Microsoft

Minecraft’s appearance on Nintendo Switch was all but inevitable. The sandbox/survival game has become a global phenomenon and is available almost on every console on the market.

What makes the Minecraft on Switch stand out from other ports? Pretty much nothing. But that’s good. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” seems to be the idea of porting Minecraft to Switch, as it runs smoothly in 60fps, without significant dips in quality.

Minecraft Switch

The game features achievements in survival mode, which help make it more coherent, giving player goals to accomplish. The game received high praise from critics, especially for how fresh it felt in comparison with other titles available for the console.

Key features
  • open-world environment
  • unlimited building options
  • works well as both building simulator and survival game

Since its premiere, Nintendo Switch sold almost 37 million units. That number speaks for itself. While initially distrustful of the hybrid nature of the hybrid console, the fans are loving the freshest addition to the Nintendo. With the quality of the available games only increasing, and some of the console’s exclusives being placed in the top 10s of the best games in history (*cough*breathofthewild*cough*), Switch is on the best way to becoming THE handheld console of the generation.