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...
TowerFall sets the standard for excellence in local multiplayer, creating a fun and endlessly replayable experience that’s sure to be a blast every time you play. Although the single-player content is a bit thinner than we’d like and the omission of online may be disappointing to some, we’d argue that there are few games that better exemplify the unique multiplayer strengths of the Switch. TowerFall is perfect anyone looking for a great party game for their Switch; the easy to understand mechanics and near-bottomless depth will ensure that this one will be a house favourite for years to come.
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.
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.
Iconoclasts is a memorable, thought-provoking, and enjoyable take on the Metroidvania genre which manages to stick out from the crowd with its chipper presentation and deeper storytelling style. Couple those elements with some of the best 16-bit sprite work we’ve seen and a killer lineup of awesome boss encounters, and you’ve got another must-have for the Switch library. Don’t miss out on this one.
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.
While Wolfenstein II's graphical downgrade is hard to miss, that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is one of the best single-player FPS experience you can have on Switch right now. The lack of a multiplayer mode (the versions on other consoles didn’t have one either, so don’t worry about being short-changed) still grates, but with its brilliantly-written story and intense action, not even 2017’s excellent DOOM port can stand up to B.J.’s latest war on the Reich.
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 the 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. It's the perfect shmup on the perfect system. The old king sits once again in its rightful throne atop the shmup mountain.
A beautiful little game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a winner whether you're after puzzling or jump button-less platforming. With beautiful visuals and an upbeat soundtrack, it's is a real gem; a wonderful and gorgeous 3D platform puzzler fit for all ages, and one which you should definitely experience if you're yet to. The two-player co-op Nintendo added makes this offering even tastier with Toadette joining the Captain, and there's even a nice little nugget of DLC for once you've polished off the main game.