Remember 2017? While it might be something of a hazy memory now, it was the fateful year when Nintendo released the juggernaut that is the Nintendo Switch to the world. The portable powerhouse would hit the ground running with the wonderful The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild upon its March 2017 launch.
Of course, there were many more great games released in 2017 on the Switch, and we've taken the liberty of rounding them up for you below. Now, before you tell us this top 50 is terrible, you should know that the order here is taken from the user ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's database.
This means that the list is fluid and the rank can change according to the rating. If you've previously rated your favourite Switch games (the ones released in 2017), just sit back and enjoy. If, however, you've yet to give your personal score for some (or all) of the games below, clicking on each game's rating will enable you to cast your vote and affect the list.
Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games for 2017 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 from 2017...
Has-Been Heroes is a game that is full of great ideas but gets dragged down by poor execution. The way it combines RPG and roguelike elements with basic tower defense gameplay has so much potential that it unfortunately can't live up to in the face of imbalanced difficulty curves and unwieldy controls. It feels much more like a proof of concept that, with time and updates, could some day lead to a great adventure.
Super Bomberman R is a no-frills entry in a series which has been dormant for far too long. It's hard to believe, but it has been so long since we had a proper Bomberman title on a Nintendo console, and the Switch's unique focus on local multiplayer makes this a perfect fit - we can finally put the Sega Saturn version with its cable-tangling multitap accessory in the cupboard. Support for Switch Pro Controller as well as single and dual Joy-Con play - along with local network and online multiplayer - made this the go-to multiplayer launch title for old-school gamers and a steady flow of free updates means it's only got better since then. Those who have never played a Bomberman title before and want to see what all the fuss is about should certainly check this out with a bunch of friends, although for those flying solo it might be a less fulfilling experience.
Snake Pass was a real gem in the early Switch library, and is certainly worth a look for anyone looking for colourful palette cleanser between massive releases coming on a monthly basis. You probably won't have played a game like it before — which certainly can be a double-edged sword — but it's a fresh experience that will keep you engaged until the very end. Solid visuals, unconventional gameplay, a memorable soundtrack and a decent amount of replay value make this well worth your time, and we absolutely give it a recommendation. If you're looking to take a chance and play something unique, then Snake Pass is well worth a look.
Yooka-Laylee is a worthy modern tribute to the collectathons of yore, and it is highly recommended for Switch owners. This feels like a game that belongs in 1996, but with all the quality improvements of a game made 20 years later, making for an excellent blend of new and old. Though it can be a little uneven at times, the game as a whole manages to successfully achieve its goals. Do yourself a favour and give this one a go; it may not have been too well received to begin with, but Playtonic has polished it up nicely and it's is a worthy addition to the Switch library for retro platforming fans.
If a list were to be created of games available on Switch that make you say “oh, just one more go” for approximately four hours, this would sit right on top. An addictive, beautifully presented experience that will bring you hours of joy/frustration, GoNNER seems a perfect match for the Nintendo Switch console – offering a gameplay style suited to both quick bursts of play and longer, dedicated sessions.
Possibly too tricky for some players, it requires a lot of determination and offers little respite - expect to be thrown back to the start countless times as you try to progress. If you’re the type who enjoys a serious challenge we recommend giving this title a go; it's one that will reward those who stick with it the most.
Stunningly stylish and with an irresistibly kinetic sense of motion, Kamiko is a true gem. It's a quick ride, to be sure, but gorgeous pixel-art visuals, a lush soundtrack and three very different characters with plenty of speedrunning potential make it well worth coming back to. A uniquely appealing, action-packed package, this is an easy recommendation for any Switch owner.
If the only question you have prior to playing Ultra Street Fighter II is "I want to know if this is the ultimate version of Street Fighter II", then chances are you're going to come away impressed. The gameplay is as tight and enjoyable as ever, and there's a simplicity to the game engine which makes it incredibly appealing. Sadly, Capcom's attempts to add value to this likeable yet aging template fall totally flat. Buddy Mode is so brief it borders on being pointless, while Way of the Hado – complete with its laughable motion controls – is something you'll only fire up once. Unfortunately, Ultra Street Fighter II represents Capcom at its most lazy and exploitative; this really should have been a low-cost digital download. It's still a fantastic one-on-one fighter, but if you need another version of this game in your life, you should perhaps explore cheaper options.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers the kind of warm-hearted, knock-about action the series has become famous for, all wrapped up in a truly impressive open world package. It’s a shame that the underlying mechanics remain so defiantly clunky, while the controls seem a little haphazard in places. Multiplayer is curiously inessential, too. Ultimately, though, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2’s generosity of spirit and lightness of tone mean that it’s likely to win over a whole new generation of fans.
As an ode to the RPGs of the past, I Am Setsuna succeeds in recreating the sort of adventure you experienced on older Nintendo hardware. Its combat system is the main supplier of this nostalgia, with the deep active time battle system, the number of weapons and moves you can perform, and the time management aspect.
But those not looking to take a trip down memory lane may be left wanting more. In terms of pure gameplay hours this offers a reasonable return on investment, but the no-thrills plotline and gameplay outside of combat could have been fleshed out. I Am Setsuna could be the perfect complement to your Nintendo Switch, but if you're not foaming at the mouth with nostalgia it's an optional purchase.
Mighty Gunvolt Burst improves on the original Mighty Gunvolt in just about every conceivable way, and stands as a worthy successor to the classic Mega Man series. It perfectly transplants that classic run ‘n’ gun gameplay while adding a wealth of new additions and elements to keep you engaged for a long time. Though these new elements are a little rough around the edges, they nonetheless add a lot of value to the package and the flexible nature of the game allows you to completely ignore them if you so choose. We certainly give Mighty Gunvolt Burst a strong recommendation; for anyone looking for a meaty and high-quality retro title, your search is over.