Remember 2017? While it might be something of a hazy memory now, that was the fateful year when Nintendo released the Switch to the world. The portable powerhouse would hit the ground running with the wonderful The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild upon its March 2017 launch.
July 2017 saw the colourful splatfest Splatoon 2 land on Switch and it would soon be joined in October 2017 by the amazing Super Mario Odyssey. Quite a year! Of course, there were many more great games released in 2017 on the Switch, and we've taken the liberty of rounding them up for you below.
Now, before you tell us this top 50 is terrible, you should know that the order here is taken from the user ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's database. This means that the list is fluid and the rank can change according to the rating. If you've previously rated your favourite Switch games (the ones released in 2017, we mean), 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 will enable you to cast your vote and affect the list.
Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games for 2017 and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of fifty ratings to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.
Without further ado, let's dive into this selection of the best Switch games from 2017...
This release was the third time we'd played through this game, yet on each occasion a more feature-packed and improved iteration revealed itself. Despite its 2010 roots - and pop culture references to match that time - it stands up extremely well, as pixels this stylish and action this chaotic don't lose their edge. Retro City Rampage DX is still an anarchic, almost overloaded game that bombards the senses while, at the same time, maintaining impressive polish in its gameplay. Whether you're playing it for the crazy story, excessive retro-styled violence or a mix of both, it still has the goods.
Tiny Metal has the core mechanics nailed down brilliantly, even if it has cribbed much of its structure from the famous Advance Wars franchise. Upon this handsome foundation Area35 has crafted a tactical wargame which is every bit as compelling, addictive and challenging as its inspiration, while adding in a storyline of surprising drama and complexity. The robust single-player campaign - twinned with some great one-off maps in the Skirmish mode - is worth the price of admission alone, but the arrival of its multiplayer mode makes it even more essential. Tiny Metal may be standing on the shoulders of giants, but it's a towering achievement regardless.
48. RiME (Switch)
RiME on Switch is a disappointing experience in comparison to versions on other platforms, despite the obvious quality of the game itself. It's an enjoyable puzzle-led adventure, deeply atmospheric and moving at times, although these qualities were undone at launch by spotty performance, low resolution visuals and a frame rate which sputtered along like a battered car engine. Docked play was just about passable, but in handheld mode the game's technical problems sapped away the satisfaction of playing it.
It should be noted, however, that post-release patches have improved the experience to an extent. It remains very far from perfect, and we'd still recommend playing the game elsewhere if that's an option, but enough of RiME's magic remains to make the experience worthwhile on Switch.
Thumper is a fantastic video game, an extravagant rhythm experience that's also a brutal assault on the senses. It's extremely difficult - painfully so at times - yet we feel the need to persevere, retrying tough stages over and over again. Even when that's done, the drive for better ranks remains simply because the game compels us to play on. The only real flaw of Thumper, in actual fact, is that it offers so little respite and no 'easy' mode for players. Some may scoff at that, saying it's a game designed to be tough, but the downside is that without that optional concession the game will be inaccessible and impenetrable for some players. That's a pity, as for those up for the challenge it's a wonderful - albeit gruelling - gaming experience.
RIVE is a fantastic addition to the Switch eShop and stands as an amazing twin-stick shooter. Incredible presentation, tight gameplay, high difficulty, and lots of replayability combine for an unforgettable experience that we would highly recommend you check out. Two Tribes outdid itself with its final game and although the company will be sadly missed, it couldn’t have gone out with more of a bang.
Despite the enduring fame and commercial success the Musou games have, in the past they've come dangerously close to self-parody, and it's easy to see why critics of the series consider them to be little more than repetitive button-bashers. Thankfully Fire Emblem Warriors is anything but; it combines enjoyable combat with real-time tactics, faithfully paying tribute to the two franchises it fuses together. Musou fans will love the fantasy setting and blade-based action, while Fire Emblem followers will appreciate the strategic wrinkles that series adds to proceedings. While the story is largely forgettable, there's plenty of fan-service for Fire Emblem lovers here. Despite the addition of deeper tactics we fear that Fire Emblem Warriors may still be too samey for those who have struggled with Koei Tecmo's franchise in the past, but everyone else should definitely give this a try; it may well be one of the best Musou outings yet seen.
LEGO City: Undercover doesn't quite stand up as well as it did when it originally came to Wii U; series improvements have come in the years since that leave this one looking slightly dusty in comparison. There are also some technical issues that hold it back, with odd graphical blemishes - a pity as the updated engine is generally an improvement - along with performance issues in co-op and handheld mode.
That said, played as a console game in single player, like its original, this still offers an easy-going and slightly anarchic fun time. The same crazy storylines, set pieces and scenarios are still here, as are the cheesy jokes riffing on famous movies. LEGO City: Undercover's case isn't quite as convincing as it was in 2013, but it still has plenty to offer.
It's clear that the team at Lizardcube are massive fans of the original Wonder Boy III, and that affection translates into what is without a shadow of a doubt the definitive version of a game which has previously been ported to the Game Gear and PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16. The new visuals are sumptuous and the soundtrack - which uses traditional instrumentation rather than computer-generated audio - proves just how catchy the original tunes were. Despite the passing of the years Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap remains a perfectly-pitched non-linear action adventure which must surely rank as one of the best of the 8-bit era. Its biggest failing is the fact that like the Master System original, it can be completed in the space of an evening. Still, that evening will be one of the most enjoyable you can possibly spend with your Switch, making this a thoroughly recommended purchase.
This re-heated Wii U port is a Pokémon fan's dream come true – rather than relying on turn-based combat to see who is the very best, you can take to a 3D arena and smash seven shades of poop out of a rival 'mon to finally decide once and for all who is (Nido)king or queen. Robust single and multiplayer options make Pokkén Tournament DX one of the most impressive competitive fighters on Switch, although the lack of mechanical depth may put off serious fighter fans.
L.A. Noire's troubled development resulted in accusations of poor management at Team Bondi, the fallout of which was enough to effectively sink the studio. Despite its troubled history, it's heartening that players are being given the chance to revisit Los Angeles on Nintendo Switch. While the game's myriad faults remain and the revised interrogation system fumbles its chance to fix one of the most egregious part of the game, the great acting, stunning atmosphere and amazing facial animation all combine to make this a detective adventure that's worth experiencing, despite its rough edges. It wasn't a faultless game back in 2011 and that hasn't changed now, yet it somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts. We suspect it will be regarded as a pioneering classic in the future; few games treat the player to such a grown-up and mature experience as this, and that's important for the video game industry as a whole.