Nintendo Life Game Of The Year 2020

2020 is all but over (good riddance!) and it's time to look back and survey the gaming battleground. Despite this year being a particularly ugly one for practically all of us, we've been lucky enough to enjoy some incredible games throughout the year which have helped to restore our spirits in our down time, enforced or otherwise.

Below you'll find the Top 50 Switch games of 2020 as ranked by readers of Nintendo Life. The order is governed by the User Ratings associated with every Switch game released in 2020 on our games database. As with several of our reader-ranked Best Games round-ups, the ranking is totally fluid even after publication, which means it's never too late to rate your collection and influence the list.

If you've yet to score your favourites, simply click your chosen games' ratings below and score as you see fit. Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games (click the Games tab at the top of the page) to find what you're looking for. A game needs to have been rated by a minimum of thirty users to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence this best Switch games of 2020 ranking and get your favourites on the list.

The best Switch games of 2017, 2018 or 2019 are available if you want to look back even further, but for now let's dive into this selection of the best Switch games of 2020...

50. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (Switch eShop)

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (Switch eShop)Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Inti Creates / Developer: Inti Creates
Release Date: 10th Jul 2020 (USA) / 10th Jul 2020 (UK/EU)

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 could've easily fallen into the Mega Man 10 trap – that is, another retro-styled follow-up that fails to make much of an impression since the gimmick has lost its lustre. Indeed, it does feel like the game could've been a little more ambitious, either in changing-up its design or upgrading its aesthetics to 16-bit level. But thanks to its somewhat higher difficulty level and a wider cast of characters, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is an extremely solid game that very slightly edges out its already excellent predecessor, and old-school Castlevania fans will absolutely love it.

49. Catherine: Full Body (Switch)

Catherine: Full Body (Switch)Catherine: Full Body (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Studio Zero
Release Date: 7th Jul 2020 (USA) / 7th Jul 2020 (UK/EU)

Catherine: Full Body is a fantastic revamp of a bonafide cult classic. With an excellent new character and several new endings slickly inserted into an already highly entertaining narrative – not to mention a slew of fun new modes – this is the definitive version of an outstanding game. If you've never played Catherine before then you're in for an absolute treat, and if you have, we'd say there's enough new content here to make it worth diving in all over again.

48. Nexomon: Extinction (Switch)

Nexomon: Extinction (Switch)Nexomon: Extinction (Switch)
Publisher: PQube / Developer: VEWO Interactive
Release Date: 28th Aug 2020 (USA) / 28th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)

47. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 8th Dec 2020 (USA) / 8th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 could never have hoped to have the same impact as the first game did, but it remains a brilliant puzzle title nevertheless. While some may feel it's not quite different enough from its predecessor, the new single-player story is just as entertaining as the last one, and the Skill Battle mode adds interesting mechanics to the mix. It's still absolutely packed with content; it's just that the first game was too, so the impact is lessened slightly.

46. Super Mario Bros. 35 (Switch eShop)

Super Mario Bros. 35 (Switch eShop)Super Mario Bros. 35 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 1st Oct 2020 (USA) / 1st Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Super Mario Bros. 35 gives Nintendo's most iconic game a jolt of life and it's massively welcome. Its matches could do with being a little shorter and it's difficult to see whether it's actually going to have changed much a few months down the line, but it says a lot about the quality of the experience that the biggest problem we have with it is that come April 2021 it won't exist anymore.

45. Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)

Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)
Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Konami
Release Date: 11th Jun 2020 (USA) / 11th Jun 2020 (UK/EU)

Sunset Riders finally gets its due as this beloved arcade classic hits Switch with a bang. It's nothing but pure side-scrolling boss-blasting fun, the likes of which are often imitated but never quite captured. There's a reason so many people remember this game so fondly; it's got personality to spare. One of the greatest games that Hamster has deigned to release and as far as we're concerned one of the crown jewels of Arcade Archives.

44. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (Switch)

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (Switch)Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 5th Jun 2020 (USA) / 5th Jun 2020 (UK/EU)

Compilation games like Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics always have a variety of hits and misses depending on your own personal taste, but there's a wide enough variety of board, card and action games here that you're sure to find a number that will appeal to you. Everything's presented with charm and warmth (terribly-written cutscenes aside) and there's an enormous amount of content on offer, whether you plan on playing solo or with others. The perfect game for if you're stuck indoors with the family? Quite possibly.

43. Two Point Hospital (Switch)

Two Point Hospital (Switch)Two Point Hospital (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Two Point Studios
Release Date: 25th Feb 2020 (USA) / 25th Feb 2020 (UK/EU)

The highest praise we can give Two Point Hospital is that it feels impossible not to have fun with it. It’s zanier than an episode of Scrubs and shot through with some of the most satisfying sim gameplay of any title this generation. It may be heavily inspired by games that came before, but in truth, it feels like a natural evolution of Bullfrog’s title, surpassing it in so many ways and is an endlessly enjoyable addition to the Switch’s third-party library. It's also arguably the best version of the game so far, given its visual similarity to other versions, and being able to carry the experience around with you makes it even more appealing and addictive.

42. Picross S4 (Switch eShop)

Picross S4 (Switch eShop)Picross S4 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Jupiter / Developer: Jupiter
Release Date: 23rd Apr 2020 (USA) / 23rd Apr 2020 (UK/EU)

Picross S4 is more of the same, yes, but that’s not exactly a bad thing given what this series is designed to offer. At its heart, this new release is little more than a content expansion, but one that offers up a strong selection of puzzles and a diverse array of modes to solve them in, all wrapped in a pleasant, friendly presentation style. Picross S4 stands as the best entry in the sub-series yet, offering up fantastic value for your dollar and acting as a great place for fans new and old to jump in. If you’ve been looking for a simple, engaging puzzle game for your Switch, you need look no further.

41. Horace (Switch eShop)

Horace (Switch eShop)Horace (Switch eShop)
Publisher: 505 Games / Developer: Paul Helman
Release Date: 21st Oct 2020 (USA) / 21st Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Horace is something very special — the only vaguely negative thing we can say about it is the fact that there are so many spectacularly brilliant indie games on Switch already vying for your attention that we fear Horace may fall somewhat by the wayside. If you have any interest in superb level design, excellent storytelling, terrific art, evocative music, great characters, hilarious situations and emotional gut-punches, Horace is a no-brainer. It's moving without being manipulative, clever without being smug, and nostalgic without being a lazy rehash. It's a platformer, but it's so much more than that.

So yes, Horace is another indie masterpiece, and every gamer who enjoys quality experiences should play it; a masterpiece that owes so much to its medium, but has the strength, creativity and identity to stand alone as something very, very special. Buy this.