Remember 2017? While it might be something of a hazy memory now, that was the fateful year when Nintendo released the 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.
July 2017 saw the colourful splatfest Splatoon 2 land on Switch and it would soon be joined in October 2017 by the amazing Super Mario Odyssey. Quite a year! 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, we mean), 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...
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.
Super Mario Bros. being playable on a Nintendo system is not particularly surprising, but that it should first appear on Switch in its VS. incarnation was unexpected. The excellent gameplay, catchy music and a large chunk of the levels are still present, but the new stages make for a different feel that muscle-memory won't get you through. Those levels may have since appeared in The Lost Levels, but their inclusion here alongside changes to existing levels (including a different solution to a multi-path puzzle) make for a still enjoyable but tougher alternative way of playing, with highscore chasing also adding to the fun thanks to the online leaderboards. Even if you can play through the regular version of the game in your sleep, VS. Super Mario Bros. is an excellent - and challenging - choice for platforming fans.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was a massive game on other platforms and is even bigger on Switch. The visual downgrades were expected, but the removal of the gray filter present on other platforms arguably makes the Switch version look better overall. The brilliantly rendered cutscenes, deep character customisation and fine-tuned fighting mechanics make for a title that is easy to pick up but hard to put down. This is another case of a game that makes one wonder just how much developers can do with Nintendo's diminutive console. Fans of fighting games and Dragon Ball alike should definitely consider picking this one up.
This release was the third time we'd played through this game, yet on each occasion a more feature-packed and improved iteration revealed itself. Despite its 2010 roots — and pop culture references to match that time — it stands up extremely well, as pixels this stylish and action this chaotic don't lose their edge. Retro City Rampage DX is still an anarchic, almost overloaded game that bombards the senses while, at the same time, maintaining impressive polish in its gameplay. Whether you're playing it for the crazy story, excessive retro-styled violence or a mix of both, Retro City Rampage still has the goods.
Thumper is a fantastic video game, an extravagant rhythm experience that's also a brutal assault on the senses. It's extremely difficult - painfully so at times - yet we feel the need to persevere, retrying tough stages over and over again. Even when that's done, the drive for better ranks remains simply because the game compels us to play on. The only real flaw of Thumper, in actual fact, is that it offers so little respite and no 'easy' mode for players. Some may scoff at that, saying it's a game designed to be tough, but the downside is that without that optional concession the game will be inaccessible and impenetrable for some players. That's a pity, as for those up for the challenge it's a wonderful — albeit gruelling — gaming experience.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime caught us by surprise; we were expecting a great multiplayer party experience but ended up with something much more than that. If you have a great bunch of friends and the necessary controllers, be sure to gather everyone 'round for some challenging but hilarious teamwork. If you don’t, or if you prefer playing alone, load the game up anyway and enjoy an intense, strategically-minded campaign with a warm and welcoming exterior. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime deserves to be played and should most definitely be on your eShop wishlist – we’re still in love, for sure.
It's clear that the team at Lizardcube are massive fans of the original Wonder Boy III, and that affection translates into what is without a shadow of a doubt the definitive version of a game. The updated visuals are sumptuous and the soundtrack, which uses traditional instrumentation rather than computer-generated audio, proves just how catchy the original tunes were. Despite the passing of the years Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap remains a perfectly-pitched non-linear action adventure — a Metroidvania before the term coagulated into existence — which must surely rank as one of the best of the 8-bit era. It can be completed in the space of an evening, but that evening will be one of the most enjoyable you can possibly spend with your Switch.
VOEZ is a beautiful rhythm game with a generous supply of songs and gorgeous artwork that makes you want to keep going back for more. The rhythm gameplay feels accurate and fits the songs nicely for the most part, particularly in harder difficulties, with a nicely designed learning curve to allow players to get into the swing of things.
The soundtrack can start to feel quite repetitive at times, with a number of songs blending together to create what feels like filler, and the sound quality could be a little better with some songs sounding quite compressed, but overall this doesn't dampen the enjoyment of the game too heavily. VOEZ is a very good entry to the rhythm genre and one to consider for portable, tap-along loveliness.
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.
The Switch’s eShop is saturated with bucketloads of high-quality content. This is great in one way, of course, but stumbling across hidden gems within it will get tougher as time goes on. Gorogoa is one such gem; a puzzle game quite unlike any other that deserves your attention. It is a little on the short side, but the creativity that has been put into its design, and the effect it will have on you during your time exploring its gorgeous world, is something that you’ll want to experience. If you’re looking for something new to try, this would be an excellent choice.