Cast your minds back, if you will, deep into the mists of time, all the way back to 2018. Yes, it's only a couple of years ago, but a lot has happened since then, not least where Nintendo Switch is concerned! After a barnstorming opener which featured genre-defining winners like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, there were questions as to whether Nintendo could come close to matching the level of software quality (and quantity) of Switch's launch year.
Of course, 2018 was the year Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would drop with practically every video game character in the known universe (and that's only a mild exaggeration!) in attendance. Couple that with Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, Super Mario Party, Nintendo Labo and some choice Wii U ports and you could hardly call 2018 a slouch. Add in a deluge of third-party and indie offerings and you couldn't move for brilliant titles to play at home or on-the-go, as you'll see from the following list of the 50 best games from 2018.
We here at Nintendo Life Towers didn't rank these ones, though - this ranking is dictated by the user ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's database. This means that this list changes according to your ratings. If you've previously rated your Switch games (the ones released in 2018), 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 2018 and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of thirty ratings (we’ll up this to fifty as more ratings pour in) to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.
So, let's dive into the best Switch games from 2018 according to you lovely people...
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.
In a cynical era where nostalgia is pumped for all its worth with endless soulless remasters, Katamari Damacy Reroll serves up an engaging and rewarding game that hasn’t let any of its original charm or personality be lost in the transition from one platform to another. With support for gyro controls and multiplayer – not to mention a degree of performance that sees it run smoothly in both handheld and docked mode – this Switch edition is easily the best way to play it outside of blowing the dust off your old PS2.
The Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle illustrates perfectly why the humble side-scrolling fighter was the toast of video gaming in the late '80s and early '90s. Addictive, enjoyable and – perhaps most important of all – bloody good fun when played co-operatively with friends, all of the titles in this seven-strong compendium are worth your time, and by adding robust local and multiplayer support, Capcom has done its utmost to ensure they find favour with a whole new generation of gamers. If you're not a fan of the genre then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but for everyone else, this is a must-have download.
Sky Force Reloaded is a fun shmup with a good variety of dangers to deal with and one that gives you a number of options to deal with them. Stages can be tough, but when you nearly make it you'll want to dive back in and try again, certain you know how to do better this time around. Sometimes you'll be forced to replay them in order to proceed further in the game, whether that's grinding for stars or looking to achieve a medal, although that can still feel fresh due to tackling the stages a different way. The thrill of finally beating a tricky level can be dampened by the realisation you need to go pick up a handful of medals however, but it can be fun to return to a previously tricky stage and ease through thanks to an improved craft. Sky Force Reloaded may force you to spend time with it and feel like a grind as a result, but for the most part, the time invested is enjoyable.
Sega's had more than one stab at creating a comprehensive collection of its best Mega Drive titles and, as a result, Sega Mega Drive Classics does lose some of its impact due to sheer familiarity; for example, we already have an immaculately-ported version of Sonic on the Switch eShop right now. Even so, it's hard to argue with the 50-odd games that ship with this new compendium, and only a fool would contest the fact that it showcases some of the best games of the 16-bit era. The modern-day enhancements are welcome too, and while this isn't the first time many of these games have gone portable, it's a real boon to be able to play the likes of Phantasy Star IV or Story of Thor on the bus. When you take into account how much quality there is on offer here, Sega Mega Drive Classics becomes an easy recommendation.
Mark of the Ninja: Remastered is an utterly stellar stealth game and it’s lost none of the magic that made the original such a critical darling. Strong art direction, an engaging story, well-paced open gameplay, and a slew of extra content all combine to make for a near-flawless experience that you certainly won’t want to miss out on. We’d give this game a high recommendation to all Switch owners; it’s the best stealth game money can buy in the Switch library, and one of the best ones in any console library.
Darkest Dungeon has always been an RPG that finds ways to make life uncomfortable for the player, and this Switch version manages to add a couple of usability issues to that list. However, this remains a dauntingly deep, thoroughly absorbing dungeon crawler that will swallow you up for hours at a time.
Iconoclasts is a memorable, thought-provoking, and enjoyable take on the Metroidvania genre which manages to stick out from the crowd with its chipper presentation and deeper storytelling style. Couple those elements with some of the best 16-bit sprite work we’ve seen and a killer lineup of awesome boss encounters, and you’ve got another must-have for the Switch library. Don’t miss out on this one.
Mega Man 11 is an excellent resurgence for the Blue Bomber, imbuing the tried-and-true classic gameplay with modern touches and new ideas that expand on existing concepts in interesting ways. The underlying action platforming gameplay is just as tight and challenging as you remember, and when combined with the new visuals and extra options for replayability, you’ve got a game that’s every bit as good as those that came before, while surpassing them in some ways. Mega Man 11 is a modern classic, a fitting refresh for a beloved series, and we’d highly recommend you add this one to your Switch library whether you’re a newcomer or you’ve been playing since the NES days. Bravo, Capcom.
Overcooked 2 is a fantastic sequel to a co-op classic, building on the gameplay ideas from before in meaningful new ways while polishing up what was already there. There is a lingering sense that this is more of the same, but it’s such a blast to play that you’ll hardly be focused on the lack of any major innovations; overall, this feels like a stronger execution of the original vision. Overcooked 2 is a game that’s full of personality and heart, and we’d recommend this one to anyone looking for a fantastic party game with a large helping of DLC content to keep you in the kitchen for a long ol' time.