In a little over two-and-a-half years Switch has amassed a huge amount of software. Of course, this abundance of riches leaves us in something of a pickle - too much software, not enough time to play it all. In fairness, it's a very nice problem to have - Help! There are too many excellent games to choose from!
To help you sort through the pile of new games dumped on the eShop every week, we asked Nintendo Life readers to rate their favourite games and the list below is the result. As with our round-up of the 50 best 3DS games of all time, the order here is taken from the user ratings associated with Switch games on this site's database AND the ranking is fluid - it changes over time reflecting new releases according to their rating.
If you've previously rated the games, just sit back and enjoy. If, however, you've yet to give your personal score, clicking on each game's rating below will enable you to cast your vote and affect the list. Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games (click the games tab at the top of the page) and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of fifty ratings to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.
Without further ado, let's dive into this selection of the best Switch games until now...
If you haven’t played Cave Story yet, you need to; it’s an essential title for any fan of Metroidvania style games. Its wonderful pacing, fantastic controls and charming visuals make it a must-have for fans of the genre, especially those that have yet to play it. If there was the equivalent of a required reading list for games, Cave Story+ would be on it.
Owlboy is a three-pronged attack of success: the gameplay is tight, satisfying, and remains fresh throughout; the game’s world is visually stunning thanks to some truly masterful pixel art and you’ll find yourself really caring about the cast of characters and the world surrounding them thanks to a compelling storyline and background lore. This is a game that is absolutely worth your time and we urge you to consider giving it a go.
While some of the games included in this compendium are rendered somewhat superfluous by the fact that far superior sequels and updates exist alongside them, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection remains an utterly essential purchase for any self-respecting fighting game fan. This is like a history lesson in how the one-on-one fighter has evolved over time. The experience really benefits from using the right controller; while the Joy-Con are perfectly acceptable when you're hosting impromptu local multiplayer challenges and the Pro Controller's D-Pad is passable, we found the 8bitdo SN30 and SN30 Pro pads to be much better options, and if you have an arcade stick that's compatible with Switch, now is the ideal time to dig it out – this is fighting game nirvana, pure and simple.
While Digital Extremes hasn’t quite perfected the formula it needs to make Warframe completely accessible - the sheer number of interconnected systems and customisable elements suggests it never quite will - it still offers a co-operative third-person shooter with all the MMORPG elements you never thought you’d see running on Nintendo Switch. From the impressive visual fidelity Panic Button has maintained, to the sheer breadth of content you can access for free, Warframe represents another milestone for the console.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Final Fantasy VII is the sort of game that speaks for itself, a touchstone of game design that played a large role in setting the standard of RPGs for years to come. It goes without saying that you should give Final Fantasy VII a shot if you consider yourself to be a fan of RPGs, as this is an experience unlike any other in many ways. With that being said, it’s also the sort of thing that has since been surpassed in almost every manner by games that took the concepts it introduced and expanded upon them in plenty of new and more interesting ways. Final Fantasy VII is a relic of its time, but that doesn’t mean it’s to be respected any less; if you can look past the obviously antiquated elements, this is a well-paced, engaging RPG that’s still fun to play today.
Brace Yourself Games has crafted a unique Zelda game which fits in perfectly with the rest of the family. A transfusion from Crypt of the NecroDancer gives the old top-down template a fresh spin but it still manages to feel like Zelda. By allowing a talented indie developer to play in the universe, Nintendo has gained a fantastic entry in the franchise that feels like a celebration – specifically of its music, a part of the series destined to take a back seat as the majesty of Hyrule is increasingly conveyed through the scale of its world rather than melodies from the days when the 'kingdom' was really a walled garden. Cadence of Hyrule is not just a brilliant game, it's a brilliant Zelda game - one that you won't want to miss.