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...
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.
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.
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 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.
RIVE is a fantastic addition to the Switch eShop and stands as an amazing twin-stick shooter. Incredible presentation, tight gameplay, high difficulty, and lots of replayability combine for an unforgettable experience that we would highly recommend you check out. Two Tribes outdid itself with its final game and although the company will be sadly missed, it couldn’t have gone out with more of a bang.
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 as a console game in single player, like its 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.
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.
L.A. Noire's troubled development resulted in accusations of poor management at Team Bondi, the fallout of which was enough to effectively sink the studio. Despite its troubled history, it's heartening that players are being given the chance to revisit Los Angeles on Nintendo Switch. While the game's myriad faults remain and the revised interrogation system fumbles its chance to fix one of the most egregious part of the game, the great acting, stunning atmosphere and amazing facial animation all combine to make this a detective adventure that's worth experiencing, despite its rough edges. It wasn't a faultless game back in 2011 and that hasn't changed now, yet it somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts. We suspect it will be regarded as a pioneering classic in the future; few games treat the player to such a grown-up and mature experience as this, and that's important for the video game industry as a whole.
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.
The Switch’s eShop is saturated with bucket loads 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.