Burnout Paradise Remastered (Switch)

Burnout Paradise Remastered (Switch)Burnout Paradise Remastered (Switch)
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Criterion Games
Release Date: 19th Jun 2020 (USA) / 19th Jun 2020 (UK/EU)

The open-world approach of Burnout Paradise had a profound influence on the driving genre, although Nintendo platforms haven't been blessed with an abundance of open-world racers. Criterion's excellent Need for Speed: Most Wanted came to Wii U, but didn't make the splash it should have thanks to that console's disappointing sales. Having this precursor on Switch--and any entry in the beloved Burnout franchise--is a treat sullied only by the substantial price tag it carried at launch.

However, it runs at a lovely 60 fps and despite various elements showing their age a little, it's still a super slick ride that performs well on Switch. We'd recommend keeping an eye out for a sale with this one.

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Minecraft (Switch)

Minecraft (Switch)Minecraft (Switch)
Publisher: Mojang / Developer: Mojang
Release Date: 21st Jun 2018 (USA) / 21st Jun 2018 (UK/EU)

You know Minecraft, right? The open-world sandbox game where you mine and, indeed, craft materials to survive and shape the world to your liking. Not much else to say really. The Switch version is very solid, and portable to boot. All in all, rather good.

Green Hell (Switch eShop)

Green Hell (Switch eShop)Green Hell (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Forever Entertainment / Developer: Creepy Jar
Release Date: 8th Oct 2020 (USA) / 8th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Green Hell is a brutally tough, deep and satisfying open-world survival sim. It suffers from the same inherent repetition and often infuriating difficulty as most other examples of its genre, but these are problems offset here by satisfying crafting and construction systems, clever smartwatch and body inspection elements and a story mode that easily trumps the vast majority of offerings we've come across in a survival sim. If you can make peace with the Switch's graphical downgrade, missing multiplayer aspect and some minor control issues, what's here is sure to satiate any cravings you may have for some seriously tough survival sim shenanigans.

Subnautica + Subnautica Below Zero Double Pack (Switch)

Subnautica + Subnautica Below Zero Double Pack (Switch)Subnautica + Subnautica Below Zero Double Pack (Switch)
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Release Date: 14th May 2021 (USA) / 14th May 2021 (UK/EU)

When Unknown Worlds announced they were bringing Subnautica to Switch we were hugely excited, this is one of our all-time favourite games after all, but it was excitement tempered with a degree of scepticism as to how on earth they'd manage to cram the entire experience onto Switch in a properly playable manner. As it turns out, we needn't have worried as this is a super solid port of Subnautica and its sequel that — besides a few loading stutters here and there and some scenery pop-in that's present in every other version of the game — successfully delivers one of the very best open-world experiences on any platform to Nintendo's hybrid console. If you're purchasing one or the other separately on Switch we'd still plump for the original game, as Below Zero's fleshed out narrative and on-foot sections dilute the overall experience ever so slightly, but, regardless of which you choose, you're in for a mighty good time here with two of the best survival games available anywhere.

Immortals Fenyx Rising (Switch)

Immortals Fenyx Rising (Switch)Immortals Fenyx Rising (Switch)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2020 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Immortals Fenyx Rising tries to capture lightning in a bottle with its Breath of the Wild-inspired open-world gameplay, but ends up being more of a lightning thief; it's not as nice to look at and the puzzles aren't as satisfying. Still, the combat is fun, the storytelling is excellent and, despite not being anywhere near as polished as Nintendo's 2017 effort, it certainly does a passable impression. If you crave more Zelda and don't mind the off-brand version, go for it, but if for some reason you still haven't played Breath of the Wild, then that's the game to go for.

Dying Light Platinum Edition (Switch)

Dying Light Platinum Edition (Switch)Dying Light Platinum Edition (Switch)
Publisher: Techland / Developer: Techland
Release Date: 19th Oct 2021 (USA) / 19th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)

Dying Light on Switch is quite a remarkable achievement. Its ambitious open world full of zombies is unlike anything else in the Switch’s library and, between the core campaign and six years of constant DLC updates, there’s potentially hundreds of hours of enjoyment to be had here. Granted, all of this comes at the cost of performance that can be middling compared to other platforms, but this is neatly balanced out by the convenience of playing in handheld mode and developer Techland has done a mighty fine job getting this open world running well on portable hardware. Switch owners who rarely play in portable mode may want to pause and consider buying it elsewhere, but we'd strongly encourage handheld gamers to consider this excellent Switch port.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo SPD
Release Date: 3rd Mar 2017 (USA) / 3rd Mar 2017 (UK/EU)

Battling Skyrim for the title of 'Most Painfully Obvious Inclusion', if you own a Switch and it's not simply an Animal Crossing portal, you owe it to yourself to get Breath of the Wild. Its version of Hyrule is one of the most cohesive, polished and watertight open worlds on any platform and we've lost literal real-life days exploring its hills and dales, peaks and valleys, nooks and crannies. It's one of the best games Nintendo has ever made; of course it's here.

Think we've missed something? Don't agree with the selection above? Let us know below and we may massage the list above to include other open-world games.

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, 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, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Run and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, 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, and the Best Switch Collections And Compilations.

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 Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, as well as Every Nintendo Switch Online NES Game and Every Nintendo Switch Online SNES Game.