10. BioShock: The Collection (Switch)

BioShock: The Collection (Switch)
BioShock: The Collection (Switch)
Publisher: 2K / Developer: 2K
Release Date: 29th May 2020 (USA) / 29th May 2020 (UK/EU)

BioShock: The Collection stands as yet another fantastic port in Switch’s ever-growing library, combining three excellent games and all their DLC into one convincing package. Stable performance, engrossing narratives, fun gameplay, and lots of content make this one an easy recommendation, even if these releases show their age from time to time. If you’re looking for a series of strong single-player shooters to pick up for your Switch, look no further — it’s tough to go wrong here.

9. Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch)

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch)
Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 18th Sep 2020 (USA) / 18th Sep 2020 (UK/EU)

We had an absolute blast playing through these three gems all over again, especially now they look sharper than ever. It’s a shame that the presentation is practically barebones with no bonus content beyond the soundtracks, but there can still be no denying the quality of the games on offer here. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the Beatles’ Greatest Hits of the video game world, and is an absolute treat whether you’re reliving it in HD or discovering it for the first time.

Unfortunately, if you didn't grab it before it was delisted on 31st March 2021, you'll have to rely on the secondhand market if you want a copy of this triple pack of platforming goodness. It's certainly not too hard to find, though.

8. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch eShop)

Streets of Rage 4 (Switch eShop)
Streets of Rage 4 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Dotemu / Developer: Dotemu
Release Date: 30th Apr 2020 (USA) / 30th Apr 2020 (UK/EU)

Streets of Rage 4 is the very best the series has ever been. Its hand-drawn graphics breathe new life into Wood Oak City and its inhabitants, the soundtrack is outstanding and the combat feels better than ever. Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games and Dotemu managed to completely modernise the look and feel of Streets of Rage, expanding on the experience without losing sight of what made the original games so popular to begin with – and the handful of additions made to the action here serve only to enhance the classic core gameplay, resulting in one of the best side-scrolling beat 'em ups we've played in a long time.

And the Mr X Nightmare DLC is pretty tasty, too. A truly fantastic brawler.

7. DOOM Eternal (Switch eShop)

DOOM Eternal (Switch eShop)
DOOM Eternal (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Bethesda / Developer: id Software
Release Date: 8th Dec 2020 (USA) / 8th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

DOOM Eternal has undergone one of the most severe visual downgrades we've ever seen in order to get the game running on Switch, but the fact that it runs at a solid 30 frames per second and, most importantly, is still fantastically good fun means this 'impossible' port is nothing short of a miracle. The looks may have taken a hit, but the non-stop action, incredible soundtrack and sheer satisfaction in taking out hordes of demons all add up to a game that is just as pure as it was on other formats.

6. Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch)

Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch)
Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 30th Oct 2020 (USA) / 30th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Visually, Pikmin 3 Deluxe doesn't push the boat out much further than the original Wii U version did. Where its changes lie are in its revamped control system and the addition of a new Side Stories mode. Neither are necessarily transformative enough to warrant double dipping if you're perfectly happy with your Wii U copy, but if you're one of the vast majority who don't have a Wii U copy, this Switch update is unquestionably the best way to play it.

5. A Short Hike (Switch eShop)

A Short Hike (Switch eShop)
A Short Hike (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Whippoorwill / Developer: Adam Robinson-Yu
Release Date: 18th Aug 2020 (USA) / 18th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)

A Short Hike is a fat-free experience from top to bottom – or should we say bottom to top? It's the kind of game that makes us just sigh with happiness when we recall our time with it, and even having played it through to its ostensible conclusion multiple times, we know for a fact there are still things to see and do on that mountain. What we have here is something of an apotheosis – a milestone in indie games akin to Cave Story, or Spelunky. The very best bits of multiple game genres, stripped of all padding and bloat, mixed perfectly into a delicious video game stew that only gets richer and richer the more you play. An exploration in every sense of the word, A Short Hike is cute without being twee, challenging without being obnoxious, and emotional without being cloying. A landmark game for all ages. Don't miss this one.

4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 20th Mar 2020 (USA) / 20th Mar 2020 (UK/EU)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes the series and not only drags it back onto home consoles, but improves upon every single facet imaginable. There's more to do, more to see, more to change, more to mould, and more to love; fans and first-time players are going to find themselves losing hours at a time gathering materials, creating new furniture, and making their island undeniably theirs. Every moment is unashamedly blissful, with excellently-written characters that truly feel alive and an island paradise that gives back infinitely more than you put in. Back when Animal Crossing: New Leaf hit the shelves all those years ago and created a whole new generation of fans, many people were wondering how Nintendo could possibly top it, but here we have our answer. This is a masterpiece that it's worth buying a Switch (or two) to play.

3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Switch eShop)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Switch eShop)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Switch eShop)
Publisher: iam8bit / Developer: Moon Studios
Release Date: 17th Sep 2020 (USA) / 17th Sep 2020 (UK/EU)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is not just a great sequel; in many ways, it outdoes Ori and the Blind Forest. The addition of more customization options, a greater focus on combat and a better-developed story (all in an incredibly beautiful game that's running at 60 frames per second) means it comprehensively outshines the original. It pushes technical boundaries so far beyond the previous game that performance was shaky even on Xbox One X at launch; that it runs on Switch at all is, well, utterly remarkable. That's not to say it was flawless when it launched on Switch, but following a patch from Moon Studios, the game is in even better shape than ever and we really can't recommend it enough. It's a supremely enjoyable platform adventure which everyone should experience.

2. Hades (Switch eShop)

Hades (Switch eShop)
Hades (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Supergiant Games / Developer: Supergiant Games
Release Date: 17th Sep 2020 (USA) / 17th Sep 2020 (UK/EU)

Hades is a sublime mix of satisfyingly gritty and flexible combat, a wonderfully vibrant art style and genuinely fun and engaging narrative. Supergiant Games has an excellent track record with games like Bastion and Transistor, but this really does feel its finest hour, a rip-roaring rampage through the underworld that's arrived here on Switch in a port that's nigh-on perfect. Even if you're yet to be swayed by the admittedly repetitive ebb and flow of roguelikes, we passionately urge you to at least give this roguelite a try; for fans of the genre or anyone even remotely interested, this is one heavenly vision of hell that we highly recommend you sacrifice yourself to.

1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (Switch)

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (Switch)
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Monolith Soft
Release Date: 29th May 2020 (USA) / 29th May 2020 (UK/EU)

There’s almost nothing one can reasonably complain about with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. It's an already-excellent JRPG that has been improved in nearly every conceivable way, short of a complete reimagining. On top of the fantastic story, enjoyable combat, and incredible world design, Monolith Soft has included an entirely new epilogue story arc while improving upon and polishing up nearly everything in the base game, from progression systems to visuals to UI design.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is easily one of the greatest RPGs available on the Switch. It goes without saying that if you were ever a fan of the original, or of RPGs in general, you absolutely must get this game for your collection. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a fan, we would still strongly encourage you to think about it; this is the standard against which all RPGs should be judged.


Disagree with this ranking? Time to get rating your favourites, then! Remember, this is a fluid, ever-changing selection governed by each game's Nintendo Life User Rating. If you haven't rated your favourite games of 2020 yet, simply click the User Rating star on each entry and score the game out of 10.

With so many games, lots are going to fall through the cracks. What are your favourites that perhaps didn't make this top 50 games of 2020 (yet)? Share your thoughts below.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.