2019 has been a fantastic year for Nintendo Switch owners so far, with a stellar lineup from the platform holder itself joined by a near-endless stream of brilliant third party games. Finding the time to play them all is by far the biggest problems facing anyone with a Switch or Switch Lite!
Nintendo's console got off to a rocketing start in 2017 with the heavy hitters of launch game The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, and that continued into 2018 with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate while third parties and indie devs really took Switch to their hearts, too, releasing quality new games and ports aplenty.
2019 has gifted us several top-drawer Nintendo-made Switch titles in the form of Super Mario Maker 2, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and recently the quirky Ring Fit Adventure and Luigi's Mansion 3, but every week has brought more essential games to the eShop from other studios, huge and tiny alike. With Pokémon Sword and Shield still to come this year, 2020 is going to have its work cut out to beat 2019 in the software stakes.
The following list of the 50 best games from 2019 (so far) is ranked according to the user ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's database. Therefore, this list can change according to your ratings. If you've previously rated your Switch games (the ones released in 2019, that is), 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 to cast your vote and affect the list.
Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games for 2019 and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of just ten ratings to become eligible at the moment (we’ll bump this up as more ratings pour in), so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.
So, without further prevarication, let's take a look at the best Switch games from 2019!
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order isn’t a groundbreaking, narrative-heavy reinterpretation of the comic characters you know and love, but then again neither were the first two games. In that regard, it’s a very faithful sequel that mines the vast roster of characters from the comics while including plenty of nods to the current state of the more modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it doesn’t do anything particularly new or outstanding, it embraces the brainless fun of its brawler combat with gusto, and it’s at its absolute best when played with a team of player-controlled supers. Excelsior!
At its heart, Overwatch on the Switch was always going to be a bit of a tough sell. Those who somehow haven’t played it yet could easily buy a better-performing version on other platforms, while those who have played it to death may be put off by the weaker performance and the lack of shared progression. Even so, having the capability to play a match of Overwatch while using the restroom is '2019 living' at its absolute finest, and the kind of flexibility offered up by the Switch’s portability is not something to be understated. Overwatch on Switch comes recommended, but with the caveat that you should consider first why you’re buying it. If you intend on playing it plenty in handheld mode, we can’t recommend it enough, but if you play mostly docked to the TV, consider first buying it elsewhere.
A stuttery frame rate isn’t enough to derail one of the most memorable FPS campaigns of yesteryear. Doom 3 still has the power to unnerve and while elements of it may be showing their age now, the overall package – complete with the BFG Edition improvements and expansion packs – still guarantees value for money.
If you’re new to the series, Yoshi’s Crafted World has colour and charm to spare, even if its inventiveness is largely limited to its looks. For Yoshi fans, it does exactly what you expect it to, which is perhaps the worst thing we can say about it; it contains few genuine surprises. The game is delightfully presented, though, and makes for another very solid entry in Nintendo’s ever-growing pantheon of material-based platformers. If you’re looking to share a light-hearted platformer with the family, or simply relax in a big chair with a cup of something warm and a comfy pair of socks, be sure to have a spare pair ready – Yoshi's Crafted World will charm the ones you’re wearing right off.
We struggle to recall a dystopia quite as cheerful as the one found in Pikuniku. It’s a short game, but one packed with heart and imagination, with a great single-player component and excellent couch co-op that can genuinely be enjoyed by anyone. It makes us remember the fun we had cutting pieces from our friends in Snipperclips, but where we occasionally hit a brick wall with that game, Pikuniku sidesteps frustration in favour of a breezy and charming adventure; a perfect salve if you need a break from the backlog, but don’t dive in expecting endless hours of gameplay.
Mortal Kombat 11 is the best Mortal Kombat since MK2, a bold and bombastic entry that boasts a fighting model that finally matches the slapstick theatrics of gory Fatalities. It's further proof that MK, much like Street Fighter, has just as much relevance today as it did in the '90s thanks to the way its evolved while retaining its core identity. On Switch, it's a performance-first experience that nails 60fps, and boasts every mode and mechanic from other versions, only with a noticeable downgrade in the aesthetics department. The heavy-handed application of microtransactions aside, MK11 could be a contender for the best fighter on Nintendo Switch.
Untitled Goose Game boasts more inventiveness, creativity and charm than the vast majority of titles on the Switch eShop, and offers a believable game world that's a real pleasure to explore, investigate and – of course – cause merry havoc in. Superb physics, excellent controls, surprisingly robust AI and unique presentation all combine to make this a real highlight in the Switch's library – it's only the brevity of the experience that lets it down, but this really is a case of quality over quantity.
Trials Rising is the (mostly) full package you’d want on Switch. With its huge list of tracks to tackle and all the races and trick-based stunts you could ask for, RedLynx has served up the best instalment in the series since Trials Evolution. With a killer soundtrack, tons of customisation and an impressively deep tutorial mode, it’s only really let down by a tutorial-free Track Editor. The drop to 30fps might put off those also playing on other platforms and the drop in visual fidelity can be hard to miss at times, but despite its blemishes, Trials has proved it's right at home on Nintendo Switch.