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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Namco Museum does a great job of highlighting the illustrious lineage of one of video gaming's most famous arcade companies; not only is it packed with addictive games that will keep you glued to your Switch for many weeks to come, but it boasts excellent emulation, a host of options, online leaderboards, a special challenge mode for each game and a new version of Pac-Man VS. which is sure to become the go-to party title for many Switch players. While there are a couple of titles that we'd have swapped out for other, more worthy offerings from Namco's past, you're still getting an excellent selection of games for a reasonable price here.
LEGO City: Undercover doesn't quite stand up as well as it did when it originally came to Wii U; series improvements have come in the years since that leave this one looking slightly dusty in comparison. There are also some technical issues that hold it back, with odd graphical blemishes — a pity as the updated engine is generally an improvement — along with performance issues in co-op and handheld mode.
That said, played in single player like the original, this still offers an easy-going and slightly anarchic fun time. The same crazy storylines, set pieces and scenarios are still here, as are the cheesy jokes riffing on famous movies. LEGO City: Undercover's case isn't quite as convincing as it was in 2013, but it still has plenty to offer.
This re-heated Wii U port is a Pokémon fan's dream come true – rather than relying on turn-based combat to see who is the very best, you can take to a 3D arena and smash seven shades of poop out of a rival 'mon to finally decide once and for all who is (Nido)king or queen. Robust single and multiplayer options make Pokkén Tournament DX one of the most impressive competitive fighters on Switch, although the lack of mechanical depth may put off serious fighter fans.
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.