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.
Carrion is a special thing in many ways--a game which puts you in the shoes (or slithering eldritchtentacles) of the game's 'boss'--but its actual meat and potatoes structure is as formulaic as the genre gets. Thankfully, its core gameplay of tearing room after room of people into wet chunks of corpse never, ever gets old, and sustains the experience throughout. It looks superb, sounds great and is plenty of fun to play, despite some minor issues which just hold Carrion back from the absolute upper echelons of the Switch library. Still, if you're after a Metroidvania with a twist, this one is digustingly intriguing.
Paper Mario: The Origami King tries to do something different with its combat system and, to be honest, we aren't really feeling it. That doesn't mean the rest of the game isn't thoroughly entertaining, however, and while the puzzle-based battles aren't quite what a new Paper Mario game needed, they aren't so awful that everything else shouldn't be experienced as a result. It still isn't the new Thousand-Year Door fans will have been hoping for, but it's still one of the funniest games in the series and it's got a truly likeable companion character, and while the combat is far from ideal the fact that we still thoroughly recommend the game regardless should speak volumes.
A masterpiece to this day, Duke Nukem 3D is done proud by this Switch conversion. It looks and runs briliantly, the online options are a welcome inclusion and it's not compromised in any way from its earlier console release. It's a shame that a handful of previously-available expansion packs are missing, but given the low price of World Tour Edition, it feels churlish to complain. In the words of the Duke himself, come get some.
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.
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.
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.
XCOM 2 Collection on Switch is the full-fat XCOM 2 and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen experience. Virtuous has had to knock the graphics right down to the lowest setting, there are plenty of framerate issues and bugs that we've already encountered on other platforms and the not-insignificant – but hopefully patchable – problem with the game's character creation pool, but this is still a highly playable version of the game. If you can make peace with some stuttering and long loading times and aren't too offended by pretty ugly textures here and there, you'll be rewarded with one of the very best turn-based tactical titles currently available. XCOM 2 is nothing short of a masterpiece and now you can play it on the go, which we reckon is well worth any sacrifices made here.
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.
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.