In nearly three years since Nintendo Switch launched the console has amassed a huge amount of great games. 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 very nice 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-up of the 50 best 3DS games of all time (and several more of our Best Games selections), the order here is fluid - our Best Switch Games change over time reflecting new releases according to their rating - so you can be sure it's up-to-date whenever you look.
If, however, you've yet to score your favourites, 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 or 2019), we've got you covered, too.
Without further ado, let's dive into this selection of the best Switch games you can play in 2020...
With fun, fast-paced combat, likable characters, and an enjoyable story that takes full advantage of its beautiful shipwrecked setting, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a top-shelf action RPG. Exploring the Isle of Seiren is as rewarding as mastering the character-swapping, hack-and-slash battle system, and both fit into an addictive feedback loop of adventuring that keeps everything moving at a quick clip. Editing issues and inconsistent image quality in handheld mode are small blemishes on an otherwise polished production, but don’t let them deter you; Ys VIII is a true gem.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s a gorgeous looking game with a fantastic soundtrack and does its spiritual predecessors proud by nailing the Wonder Boy mechanics while still offering something that will appeal to modern audiences. As long as you can appreciate that it’s still very much an old-school game at heart and you’re going to get some 8-bit era platforming trickiness as a result, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy playing through this adventure for the 12-15 hours it’ll take you to beat it. It may not be Wonder Boy by name, but it’s definitely wonderful by nature.
Final Fantasy has been an institution in the JRPG genre for decades now, and Final Fantasy IX acts as a good reminder of why. Memorable characters, a wacky (and somewhat meandering) story, deep character customisation, and plenty of incredible environments certainly help make a case for why Final Fantasy IX deserves a spot on your Switch’s SD card, even if some elements of this game’s design have aged like milk. If you’re a fan of RPGs and somehow haven’t played this yet, it’s certainly worth a download for the privilege to play this classic on the go. On the other hand, if you’re just getting into RPGs, Final Fantasy IX may be a little too obtuse and archaic to recommend when compared to more modern releases. The bottom line is that, warts and all, Final Fantasy IX remains a great RPG to this day.
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition is a fantastic port of a fantastic game, and it fits perfectly on the Switch. Deep, engaging gameplay and stylish presentation combine to make this one of the standout indie releases of the year; this is a great example of a well put-together title. If you are at all a fan of strategy games, or are just looking for a fun diversion to occupy your time for a couple of weeks, pick this up. It puts a neat twist on standard turn-based strategy gameplay, and stands as another fantastic entry in the SteamWorld series.
After almost a decade Bayonetta is starting to show her age, but that doesn’t stop this hyperactive melee/shooter action mashup from being one of the most rewarding and memorable cult hits of the previous generation. Retooled for Nintendo Switch, one of Platinum Games’ most accomplished titles feels revitalised in both handheld and tabletop modes, serving up a meaty first course in the full witchy buffet to come.
Disgaea 5 Complete offers an extraordinary volume of content, its own quirky approach to storytelling and a complex set of systems that complement each other well. There are so many terrific parts to the game, but they do get jumbled together somewhat. For Disgaea fans this game is worth a purchase, especially as it includes all DLC from the original and plays beautifully on the go. For strategy RPG fans we still give it a hearty recommendation, but with the proviso that it's more demanding and tougher to master than many of its genre contemporaries. If you're up for the challenge and time investment, and can tolerate its zany characters and settings, then it's well worth adding to your Nintendo Switch collection.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a sublime strategy experience that fans of the genre won’t want to miss out on. The engaging, character-driven plot, third-person action, deep customization options, and high replayability make this one an easy recommendation, although pacing issues and cumbersome menu management may make it a little more intimidating for newcomers to the genre. We're also undecided about where it fits in the franchise hall of fame; the original game perhaps just shades it. All the same, we’d recommend you give Valkyria Chronicles 4 a go; this is a strong return to form for the series, and it’s a great entry point for Nintendo fans.
If you haven’t gotten around to it by now, the Switch version is certainly the best way to play Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. Tight gameplay, detailed visuals, and charming writing combine to make this a Metroidvania that is a must play for any fans of this genre. We’d give this game a strong recommendation to anybody who hasn’t played it yet and would still encourage veterans to consider double dipping. Though there’s nothing groundbreaking about this re-release, it’s still the same great game that it was before, and the few minor additions are a nice bonus.
With over 100 cars and more than 25 different racing venues set over five distinct disciplines (as well as bonus DLC ones like destruction derby and drag racing), GRID Autosport is that rarest of beasts: a jack of all trades that doesn't sacrifice quality as a result. The addition of all previously released paid console DLC – right down to the cynical XP boost – is extremely welcome, but the complete removal of all local and online multiplayer features means this a strictly solo affair, and that might be a turn-off for many. Still, that doesn't change the fact that this is one of the best racing games on Switch.
We’re very careful when we use this word, but Gris is a masterpiece. Its jaw-dropping visual style and heart-wrenching score combine for one of the most emotional pieces of interactive art you’ll ever play. It may be too short for some, its puzzles may be on the simple side and the lack of any real challenge may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is a game focused more on fragility than ability and as long as you’re willing to go along for the ride, it’s one that will stick with you for a very long time indeed.