The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is a game old-school Nintendo would have never allowed on its home consoles, as was the case until its stance softened with a previous iteration on Wii U and New 3DS; the Switch, ultimately, feels like a perfect fit. It's a game you can pick up and play for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, you can jot down or screenshot your favourite seeds, there are daily challenges, the ability to play in any of the Switch's control configurations and also couch co-op. These features make this a great title for those looking for something a little more portable to add to their Switch lineup, while it naturally also works well enough when played on the TV.
While Nintendo has definitely changed its stance in the last few decades, this game feels like a blend of old-school mechanics and new-age thinking; it's an homage to the challenge and style of old games, while simultaneously presenting itself stylistically as being something more contemporary. If you're looking for a game that will be different each time you play it, look no further.
L.A. Noire's troubled development resulted in accusations of poor management at Team Bondi, the fallout of which was enough to effectively sink the studio. Despite its troubled history, it's heartening that players are being given the chance to revisit Los Angeles on Nintendo Switch. While the game's myriad faults remain and the revised interrogation system fumbles its chance to fix one of the most egregious part of the game, the great acting, stunning atmosphere and amazing facial animation all combine to make this a detective adventure that's worth experiencing, despite its rough edges. It wasn't a faultless game back in 2011 and that hasn't changed now, yet it somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts. We suspect it will be regarded as a pioneering classic in the future; few games treat the player to such a grown-up and mature experience as this, and that's important for the video game industry as a whole.
This is yet another excellent port of Minecraft, nothing more and nothing less. The versatile setup of the Switch allows this to be the most easily accessible, convenient and playable version to date. Of course, it's a game that’s often best enjoyed with others, and both online and offline multiplayer are supported here, with up to four players allowed locally and eight players online. If you want to play the best portable version of the game, look no further.
Both classic Dragon Quest RPG and Minecraft-style building sim, Dragon Quest Builders takes just enough ingredients from each side of the developmental kitchen and gently stirs them into a dish that never manages to overpower either of its core mechanics. If you’ve ever wanted to try Mojang’s ubiquitous hit but found it a little too intimidating in its vagueness, then this is the alternative for you. Fun, empowering and Dragon Quest to a tee; its combat and camera can be a little erratic, but they never manage to derail your new building adventure.
36. ARMS (Switch)
The core fighting mechanics of ARMS are easy to grasp - especially when you're using the pleasantly intuitive motion controls - but they showcase the kind of depth which rewards dedicated players. Mixing up light and charged punches with your dashes and leaps allows you to create an almost balletic style of play, but add in grabs, stuns and features unique to each stage and you've got a truly formidable foundation to build on. The lure of collecting Arms will keep you glued to your console even if you only choose to play solo, but ARMS also proves its worth online; getting into a match is an effortless affair in the most part and for those who want to take things to the next level, Ranked Matches provide the ideal means of proving your skill.
The complete oddball of the family, Tetris 99 offers a truly unique way to play the tried-and-tested classic, even if the overall package feels a little lightweight. Playing live against 98 others is chaotic, and the action feels fast, precise, and wonderfully addictive. It’s seriously difficult, too – we’d fancy our chances in Fortnite over this any day – and we’re impressed with the fact that it's forced us to play the game with a completely different approach to our usual slow-and-steady ways. Signing up for Nintendo Switch Online just to play this game might be a bit of a stretch, but if you’re already a member, what are you waiting for? It’s free, and it might just become your next favourite time sink.
Undertale is a brilliant and smartly designed game that understands well what makes a good RPG work; so much so that it can upend expectations and deliver something that’s almost a satire of the genre. It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game that manages to surprise so often and in so many unique ways, and even if it doesn’t look like much, Undertale has way more going for it under the surface. Excellently written characters, a genre-bending battle system and a solid soundtrack make this one an easy recommendation, especially to RPG lovers. Do yourself a favour and give this one a download.
A beautiful little game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a winner whether you're after puzzling or jump button-less platforming. With beautiful visuals and an upbeat soundtrack, it's is a real gem; a wonderful and gorgeous 3D platform puzzler fit for all ages, and one which you should definitely experience if you're yet to. The two-player co-op Nintendo added makes this offering even tastier with Toadette joining the Captain, and there's even a nice little nugget of DLC for once you've polished off the main game.
One of modern gaming's true online multiplayer success stories, Rocket League is an essential addition to the Switch's striking library. The spirit of the game has been transferred perfectly, with the added benefit of portable play which opens up the chance to host local matches with your Switch owning mates wherever and whenever you fancy. Developer Panic Button has done an utterly fantastic job with this port, but technical wizardry aside, what really matters is that the core game is so addictive, so compelling, so enjoyable and – perhaps above all else – so deep. Don't let anyone tell you that Rocket League is simplistic or lacks longevity; the vibrant community that has grown up around Psyonix's masterpiece renders that viewpoint wholly incorrect. It rewards skilful play and perseverance, and new tactics and strategies seem to flow from each and every match you partake in. Only the occasional network niggle throws shade on this otherwise sublime release, but it's still an essential online experience.