Nintendo Switch has amassed a huge amount of great games since the console launched over three years ago. Of course, this abundance of riches leaves us in something of a pickle - too much software, not enough time to play it all. In fairness, it's a lovely problem to have. Help! There are too many excellent games to choose from!
But what are the best games on Switch so far? Well, we asked Nintendo Life readers to rate their favourite Switch games since launch and the list below is the result according to the User Ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's games database. As with our round-ups of the 50 Best Games from various consoles, years and series, the order here is fluid which means our Best Switch Games change over time reflecting new releases according to their rating. That way, you can be sure it's up-to-date whenever you look.
If you've yet to score your favourites, you can cast your 'vote' by clicking on each game's rating below. Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games (click the Games tab at the top of the page) and get rating. A game needs a minimum of fifty ratings to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the best Switch games ranking below and get your favourites on the list. And if you'd like to see the best Switch games of individual years (so 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020), we've got you covered, too.
Without further ado, let's dive into this selection of the best Switch games you can play in 2021...
Inside is the spiritual successor to Limbo and it builds on its predecessor in every imaginable way. A grimly beautiful platform-puzzler that, while brief, is packed full of jaw-dropping highlights, its dark tone won't be for everyone, but it's been executed brilliantly, with gently taxing physics-based conundrums woven into a haunting wordless narrative. It's a very similar game to its predecessor in many ways, with side-scrolling elements, a gorgeous, moody art style, and a vulnerable protagonist at the heart of it. Everything's just bigger, better, and more affecting.
It takes a surprising amount of effort to beat Minecraft at its own game, but we’d argue that Dragon Quest Builders 2 in many ways surpasses its inspiration in fun factor and replayability. The melding of JRPG conventions with the open-ended and creatively focused sentiments of sandbox gameplay proves to go over much smoother than you’d expect, especially now that Square Enix seems to know what it’s doing with this sub-series. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a much more confident game than its predecessor, boldly expanding on its concepts, fixing many of its flaws, and providing an overall more robust adventure experience that fans won’t want to miss out on. Charming characters, a well-tuned gameplay loop, and near endless replayability ensure that you’ll be coming back to this one for quite some time, and though the performance issues are disappointing, we’d still highly recommend you pick up Dragon Quest Builders 2.
Final Fantasy VII presented gamers with one of the biggest conundrums of our time: is it Aeris or Aerith?
Pronunciation posers aside, this game represented the series' 3D debut and was the first mainline game to not appear on a Nintendo platform. Therefore, Square took full advantage of the space available on Sony's CD media that simply wasn't available on Nintendo's cartridges at the time.
In many ways, FF7 is a relic. If you were there at the time, it likely affected you deeply; if you've never played it before, it's influence quickly spread across the entire genre and you'll most likely have seen everything it has to offer done elsewhere, and better in the intervening years. That's only natural--and it happens to all the very best games--but if you can overlook the odd clunky mechanic and antiquated piece of design, the core game here is as brilliant as it ever was.
Okami HD is an utterly fantastic piece of software, and we feel you’d be doing yourself a disservice to pass on it. It's a 40-hour adventure that emulates Zelda wonderfully, adds in plenty of memorable mechanics, features one of the most beautiful art styles in gaming, and is completely playable on the go, to boot. It may be showing its age a bit visually and its combat is sometimes a little on the easy side, but Okami is an important, fun, and notable landmark in gaming history — and one of the easiest recommendations we can make for your Switch library.
Super Mario Maker 2 takes everything you loved about Super Mario Maker and turns it up to eleven. It's got more of everything that made the original so phenomenal: enemies, themes, game styles, gizmos, powerups, the Story Mode having an actual story, multiplayer, and more (and slopes, of course). The list of additional gubbins is truly massive when you take a step back. There are a few small issues here and there — the online is still hilariously obtuse in a way only Nintendo could make it, and the slight awkwardness of button-based building is disappointing after how natural it felt on the Wii U GamePad — but they're overwhelmingly dwarfed by the sheer joy and unbridled freedom that exceeds the original in spades. Realistically this game poses the question as to whether Mario Makers are the future for 2D Mario as a whole.
45. DOOM (Switch)
DOOM is one of the best first-person shooters we've ever played - an incredible game, flaws and all - and it's certainly one of the best in its class on Switch. There's a certain magical quality about having a game this good on the go. Its brilliant campaign is reason enough to pick it up, but DOOM's multiplayer was also surprisingly good, with small arenas that make matches feel reminiscent of the halcyon days of first-person shooters when Unreal Tournament reigned supreme. While it's perhaps not as polished as it is on other formats, having DOOM in portable form is a revelation, and developer Panic Button deserves high praise for porting over id Software's classic title so brilliantly.
Digital Eclipse did a great job with all the details in Mega Man Legacy Collection, presenting the original games in their best possible light, while tossing in a handful of extra features and challenges on top to sweeten the deal. The rewind feature is a welcome inclusion that helps to mitigate the difficulty of some of the games, and the overall quality of the series difficult to dispute. We would highly recommend you pick this one up — all the included extra features coupled with the ability to play these games both at home and on the go make it a no-brainer.
Cuphead was an absolute masterpiece when it originally launched on Xbox One and nothing has been sacrificed in its move to the Switch. A run-and-gun boss battler dressed up like a 1930s Fleischer or Disney animated short, it’s the same visually jaw-dropping, aurally delightful, knuckle-whiteningly difficult game it was on Microsoft’s console and the Switch’s library is all the better for its presence. Its focus on intense boss battles won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into we can’t recommend it enough. Just look at it!
Octopath Traveler was developed by the Square Enix studio behind Bravely Default, and boy does it live up to those high expectations. From its dazzling art style to its mechanics, it's the kind of game that keeps an eye on the past while walking bravely into the future. All elements link together perfectly to make for a harmonious and immersive experience that you’ll find difficult to put down. We’d recommend Octopath Traveler to both fans and newcomers of RPGs; it does a fantastic job of straddling that line of accessibility and depth, satisfying both camps with its dizzying amount of content. Classic-inspired gameplay, an orchestrated soundtrack, and a unique approach to storytelling make this a game that you won’t want to miss.
From its opening moments upon a prison ship bound for Fort Joy to non-stop adventures that take you across the high seas to the Reaper’s Coast, Nameless Isle and beyond, Divinity: Original Sin 2 simply dazzles. In its seemingly endless parade of well-written characters, hilarious narration, deep and rewarding physics-based combat and the myriad ways in which it allows to you to engage and toy and with its systems, this is a truly epic RPG that revels in choice more than any other that’s come before it. It takes the old-school isometric style of Baldur’s Gate, layers it with an unparalleled level of attention to detail and fuses it with a thoroughly modern take on meaningful player decisions, resulting in one of the greatest role-playing games available on any platform; and it’s all here, present and correct on a portable console.