Cast your minds back, if you will, deep into the mists of time, all the way back to 2018. Yes, it's only last year but a lot has happened since then, not least where Nintendo Switch is concerned! After a barnstorming opener which featured genre-defining winners like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, there were questions as to whether Nintendo could come close to matching the level of quality (and quantity) from Switch's launch year.
Of course, 2018 was the year Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would drop with practically every video game character in the known universe (that's only a mild exaggeration!) in attendance. Couple that with Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, Super Mario Party, Nintendo Labo and some choice Wii U ports and you could hardly call 2018 a slouch! Add in a deluge of third-party and indie offerings and you couldn't move for brilliant titles to play at home or on-the-go, as you'll see from the following list of the 50 best games from 2018.
We here at Nintendo Life Towers didn't rank these ones, though - this ranking is dictated by the user ratings associated with Switch games on Nintendo Life's database. This means that this list changes according to your ratings. If you've previously rated your Switch games (the ones released in 2018), 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 to cast your vote and affect the list.
Can't see your favourite? Head to our library of Switch games for 2018 and input your own ratings. A game needs a minimum of thirty ratings (we’ll up this to fifty as more ratings pour in) to become eligible, so it's entirely possible to influence the ranking and get your favourite games onto the list.
So, let's dive into the best Switch games from 2018 according to you lovely people...
Benefiting from the performance tweaks made by the transition from old-gen to current-gen hardware - and the same smooth mapping of its controls to the Joy-Con - South Park: The Stick of Truth proves itself just as good a fit on Nintendo Switch as South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Both a pastiche of classic RPG tropes and a wonderfully empowering example of how to make a great modern take on the genre, this is still one of Obsidian’s best exports and as authentic as any episode of the cult TV show it’s so closely tied to.
The Nintendo Switch version of South Park: The Fractured But Whole is no great leap on from the mechanics of the first game, but it still offers both an ideal introduction for players looking to try out a turn-based RPG and a worthy addition to any genre fan's collection. If you never played the first instalment, and you’re a fan of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s two-decade-long animated lampooning, then you’ll love just how authentically authentic it is. From the 2D recreation of every inch of the Colorado town (including a taco shop run by Morgan Freeman, naturally) to the unflinching satire of every demographic imaginable (a ‘Hooters’-style bar run by kids, anyone?), it’s as true to the franchise as any of its myriad TV seasons.
In a cynical era where nostalgia is pumped for all its worth with endless soulless remasters, Katamari Damacy Reroll serves up an engaging and rewarding game that hasn’t let any of its original charm or personality be lost in the transition from one platform to another. With support for gyro controls and multiplayer – not to mention a degree of performance that sees it run smoothly in both handheld and docked mode – this Switch edition is easily the best way to play it outside of blowing the dust off your old PS2.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is a great time-sink game, featuring mindless but fun action gameplay that offers up the potential for dozens - if not hundreds - of hours of content. Though it certainly feels like a game that’s too bloated in places, it manages to balance the Zelda and Dynasty Warriors elements well. Group all of that with stellar presentation and impressive portable gameplay, and you’ve got a game that does a great job of doing something new (and weird) with a classic Nintendo property. We’d give this one a recommendation, especially to fans of the Zelda series who have always wanted there to be some sort of 'anniversary' game. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition may not have a ton of depth, but it’s way more fun than it has any right to be, and you’d be missing out by not picking up this complete edition.
Sega's had more than one stab at creating a comprehensive collection of its best Mega Drive titles and, as a result, Sega Mega Drive Classics does lose some of its impact due to sheer familiarity; for example, we already have an immaculately-ported version of Sonic on the Switch eShop right now. Even so, it's hard to argue with the 50-odd games that ship with this new compendium, and only a fool would contest the fact that it showcases some of the best games of the 16-bit era. The modern-day enhancements are welcome too, and while this isn't the first time many of these games have gone portable, it's a real boon to be able to play the likes of Phantasy Star IV or Story of Thor on the bus. When you take into account how much quality there is on offer here, Sega Mega Drive Classics becomes an easy recommendation.
The Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle illustrates perfectly why the humble side-scrolling fighter was the toast of video gaming in the late '80s and early '90s. Addictive, enjoyable and – perhaps most important of all – bloody good fun when played co-operatively with friends, all of the titles in this seven-strong compendium are worth your time, and by adding robust local and multiplayer support, Capcom has done its utmost to ensure they find favour with a whole new generation of gamers. If you're not a fan of the genre then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but for everyone else, this is a must-have download.
Iconoclasts is a memorable, thought-provoking, and enjoyable take on the Metroidvania genre which manages to stick out from the crowd with its chipper presentation and deeper storytelling style. Couple those elements with some of the best 16-bit sprite work we’ve seen and a killer lineup of awesome boss encounters, and you’ve got another must-have for the Switch library. Don’t miss out on this one.
While some of the games included in this compendium are rendered somewhat superfluous by the fact that far superior sequels and updates exist alongside them, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection remains an utterly essential purchase for any self-respecting fighting game fan. This is like a history lesson in how the one-on-one fighter has evolved over time. The experience really benefits from using the right controller; while the Joy-Con are perfectly acceptable when you're hosting impromptu local multiplayer challenges and the Pro Controller's D-Pad is passable, we found the 8bitdo SN30 and SN30 Pro pads to be much better options, and if you have an arcade stick that's compatible with Switch, now is the ideal time to dig it out – this is fighting game nirvana, pure and simple.
Mark of the Ninja: Remastered is an utterly stellar stealth game and it’s lost none of the magic that made the original such a critical darling. Strong art direction, an engaging story, well-paced open gameplay, and a slew of extra content all combine to make for a near-flawless experience that you certainly won’t want to miss out on. We’d give this game a high recommendation to all Switch owners; it’s the best stealth game money can buy in the Switch library, and one of the best ones in any console library.
Overcooked 2 is a fantastic sequel to a co-op classic, building on the gameplay ideas from before in meaningful new ways while polishing up what was already there. There is a lingering sense that this is more of the same, but it’s such a blast to play that you’ll hardly be focused on the lack of any major innovations; overall, this feels like a stronger execution of the original vision. Overcooked 2 is a game that’s full of personality and heart, and we’d recommend this one to anyone looking for a fantastic party game with a large helping of DLC content to keep you in the kitchen for a long ol' time.