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...
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.
Benefiting from the performance tweaks made by the transition from old-gen to current-gen hardware - and the same smooth mapping of its controls to the Joy-Con - South Park: The Stick of Truth proves itself just as good a fit on Nintendo Switch as South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Both a pastiche of classic RPG tropes and a wonderfully empowering example of how to make a great modern take on the genre, this is still one of Obsidian’s best exports and as authentic as any episode of the cult TV show it’s so closely tied to.
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.
While Digital Extremes hasn’t quite perfected the formula it needs to make Warframe completely accessible - the sheer number of interconnected systems and customisable elements suggests it never quite will - it still offers a co-operative third-person shooter with all the MMORPG elements you never thought you’d see running on Nintendo Switch. From the impressive visual fidelity Panic Button has maintained, to the sheer breadth of content you can access for free, Warframe is a fabulous showcase of what's possible in the F2P space, as well as what the Switch is capable of.
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.
Ikaruga is not so highly revered by chance, despite its near accidental creation. It is the result of a combination between an incredibly talented team making the most of excellent hardware, bringing in the unique double polarity gimmick that stealthy introduces puzzle solving mechanics into a bullet hell shmup. So it's no great surprise it not only remains an incredibly compelling experience, but also lands smoothly on top of our Switch shmup list. Beyond portability what truly drives this version above all others is the possibility of throwing a Joy-Con to a friend for a spot of co-op play anytime, anywhere in tabletop mode.
Itreally is the perfect shmup on the perfect system. The old king sits once again in its rightful throne atop the shmup mountain.
Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon is undoubtedly aimed at a very specific audience, and you’ll know if you’re part of that just by looking at the screenshots. If those make your heart sing, it’s definitely worth your time. It’s like Castlevania just decided to come soaring back into all our lives, and how can that ever be a bad thing? Exactly.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is a great time-sink game, featuring mindless but fun action gameplay that offers up the potential for dozens - if not hundreds - of hours of content. Though it certainly feels like a game that’s too bloated in places, it manages to balance the Zelda and Dynasty Warriors elements well. Group all of that with stellar presentation and impressive portable gameplay, and you’ve got a game that does a great job of doing something new (and weird) with a classic Nintendo property. We’d give this one a recommendation, especially to fans of the Zelda series who have always wanted there to be some sort of 'anniversary' game. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition may not have a ton of depth, but it’s way more fun than it has any right to be, and you’d be missing out by not picking up this complete edition.
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.
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.