Best Switch Games 2018
Image: Nintendo Life

Cast your minds back, if you will, deep into the mists of time, all the way back to 2018. Yes, 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.

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...

50. Mark of the Ninja: Remastered (Switch eShop)

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.

49. Dragon Quest Builders (Switch)

Both classic Dragon Quest RPG and Minecraft-style building sim, Dragon Quest Builders takes just enough ingredients from each side of the developmental kitchen and gently stirs them into a dish that never manages to overpower either of its core mechanics. If you’ve ever wanted to try Mojang’s ubiquitous hit but found it a little too intimidating in its vagueness, then this is the alternative for you. Fun, empowering and Dragon Quest to a tee; its combat and camera can be a little erratic, but they never manage to derail your new building adventure.

48. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Switch)

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a ruthlessly faithful recreation of some of the earliest successes in 3D platforming. Levels are slick, gorgeous to look at, and recreate the feel of the originals superbly. Newcomers to the series may be put off by the steep difficulty spikes and little to no explanation of some of the finer mechanics. All the fun and the foibles of the original three games are here, for better or for worse, and despite some odd design choices it still manages to be a really enjoyable retread of some old classics, warts and all. This is definitely worth a look if you're a fan of 3D platformers, but just as was the case back in the '90s, Crash isn't in quite the same league as Mario when it comes to playability, inventiveness and entertainment. If you're after a nostalgia trip, though, it's tough to beat.

47. GRIS (Switch eShop)

We’re very careful when we use this word, but Gris is a masterpiece. Its jaw-dropping visual style and heart-wrenching score combine for one of the most emotional pieces of interactive art you’ll ever play. It may be too short for some, its puzzles may be on the simple side and the lack of any real challenge may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is a game focused more on fragility than ability and as long as you’re willing to go along for the ride, it’s one that will stick with you for a very long time indeed.

46. Night In The Woods (Switch eShop)

Less of a game, and more of an interactive story with some light platforming and exploring to tie it all together, Night In The Woods is one of the most rewarding experiences you can play on Nintendo Switch. A curio better played for yourself than described by us, it’s an indie title that will no doubt leave an impression with its enchanting soundtrack, disarming story, and instantly identifiable character arcs. Strange and wonderful in equal measure.

It's an excellent game, although it should be noted that the controversy surrounding its troubled co-designer, including historical allegations of abuse prior to his passing, may affect your opinion and influence a purchase decision. As always, it's up to individuals to determine if they still wish to support a game, developer, publisher, or platform holder given the available information and wider context.

45. Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! (Switch)

You’ll want to consider forking out for the taiko peripheral to see the Japanese drum-fun of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! at its best, but Switch’s touchscreen makes this an easier recommendation than it would otherwise be. The motion controls should be avoided with extreme prejudice – they’re simply unworkable – and a few odd design decisions, not to mention an excess of loading screens, take the shine off what is a beautifully bold and bouncy game. Fortunately, the Party Game section helps shore things up, offering short bursts of multiplayer fun as a credible stopgap until a Rhythm Paradise arrives on Switch.

44. Katamari Damacy REROLL (Switch eShop)

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.

43. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (Switch)

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s a gorgeous-looking game with a fantastic soundtrack and does its spiritual predecessors proud by nailing the Wonder Boy mechanics while still offering something that will appeal to modern audiences. As long as you can appreciate that it’s still very much an old-school game at heart and you’re going to get some 8-bit era platforming trickiness as a result, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy playing through this adventure for the 12-15 hours it’ll take you to beat it. It may not be Wonder Boy by name, but it’s definitely wonderful by nature.

42. Mega Man 11 (Switch)

Mega Man 11 was an excellent resurgence for the character, 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.

41. Arcade Archives Donkey Kong (Switch eShop)

Available on console for the first time since being tucked away as a bonus in Donkey Kong 64, this is the original game from which this whole beautiful mess spawned — the Mario series, the DK series, and Nintendo's enormous empire of evergreen gaming.

Mario (or rather Jumpman) may seem quite limited in his abilities (and death by such short falls is very old-school), but Donkey Kong is still a fun game. Tougher than the NES port, high-score chasing can get addictive. For fans of the game and the OG arcade cabinet's vertical orientation, Hamster's TATE mode-compatible Arcade Archives release is something of an 'ultimate edition'. Three versions of it with a few display options and the usual array of modes and online leaderboards make this a great choice and the best way to revisit this arcade classic. The movement might feel stiff and the animation rudimentary, but give it time and DK's iconic charm is sure to win you over.