Pokémon Quest is a fun little time waster that will satisfy your collect 'em all urges if you've exhausted everything the Galar region has to offer in Pokémon Sword and Shield. You will have to splash some cash if you want to get the most out of it, but it's far from a money sink. You can get everything you need in a single purchase, or unlock most of it slowly by playing for free. It's one of the most generous freemium systems out there. Overall, it's a great jumping off point for new fans of the series, and the cutesy art style just might win over veterans. Give it a shot.
Smite was a great and fresh take on the MOBA formula back in 2014, and it’s only gotten better thanks to a consistent amount of new gods, themed events and eSports support. Switch players get this game in its most evolved form, with a roster that's pushing three figures and a vast number of modes to unlock and enjoy. It does have a higher difficulty curve than the likes of Arena of Valor, and there’s a slow grind to earn skins via the Season Pass, but the game itself is one of the best entries in the genre and it’s right here on Switch – a cause for celebration and no mistake.
It’s unknown at this point just how big of a project Deltarune will turn out to be, but this first chapter proves to be a solid, if a little too safe, take on the unique gameplay and humour that made Undertale such a hit. At worst, Deltarune Chapter 1 is just a smaller and shallower version of Undertale; at best, it’s a promising glimpse into a much more ambitious project that will hopefully grow to escape the shadow of its forerunner. Regardless, you can download Deltarune Chapter 1 for free from the eShop; see what you think.
In the highly competitive world of CCGs, PlayFusion has taken one of the biggest fantasy licences and seamlessly melded it with a card battling system that's both easy to grasp and different enough to set itself apart from its contemporaries. With the addition of extra modes, including the Arena of Echoes and Realm Trials, and the option to scan in cards from your physical deck, there's a deep and customisable experience in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions that's ideal for genre veterans. Joy-Con controls work well enough – enabling you to play in docked mode – but it's at its best when played intimately in handheld mode with the touchscreen. The need for a constant internet connection will irk some, but for those that are willing to be tethered to Wi-Fi, PlayFusion has served up a fine rival to the likes of Hearthstone.
Asphalt 9: Legends is a free and surprisingly fun arcade racing game with mobile microtransaction free-to-play gubbins that could potentially ruin the experience for you, unless you’ve played enough mobile games to know how to ignore it. The reasonably priced Starting Racer Pack significantly lessens their impact, making it feel more like a ‘normal’ premium product, so if you try the free version and enjoy it, this – and this alone – is the sole purchase you should consider.
Some might write off Realm Royale as a Fortnite wannabe, and occasionally it can feel like one if you choose to play it that way, but the core principles of its gameplay bring enough new features to help differentiate it from its BR fellows. The unique traits of its four classes make a big difference, especially to teamplay, while the combination of forges (and their crafting potential) and the ability to seek shelter when downed (as a chicken, naturally) offer a more complex, and ultimately more forgiving experience. It’s also still in its beta, so expect Heroic Leap to be improving it for years to come.
Nintendo Switch is really racking up a decent selection of shooters. Warface isn’t particularly pretty, and its approach to content access means you’ll likely spend most of your time playing with rented items and weapons, but it’s still brought solid asymmetrical online FPS action to Switch in a way no other shooter has managed thus far. It might not have the slickness of the bigger boys in the genre, but with stable performance in both modes and a huge amount of content (both now and in the future) the likes of Payday 2, Paladins, Fortnite and Warframe now have another rival for your online hours.
Okay, okay, we're cheating a little with this one - this is free to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers only, so you'll have to pony up for a subscription to access it (although there are ways to subscribe to the online service for an exceptionally reasonable price). Having said that, if you play any of your non-free Switch games online, you'll already have a subscription and Tetris 99 is therefore waiting on the eShop to swallow you whole.
The complete oddball of the family, Tetris 99 offers a truly unique way to play the tried-and-tested classic, even if the overall package feels a little lightweight. Playing live against 98 others is chaotic, and the action feels fast, precise, and wonderfully addictive. It’s seriously difficult, too – we’d fancy our chances in Fortnite over this any day – and we’re impressed with the fact that it's forced us to play the game with a completely different approach to our usual slow-and-steady ways. Signing up for Nintendo Switch Online just to play this game might be a bit of a stretch, but if you’re already a member, what are you waiting for? It’s free, and it might just become your next favourite time sink.
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That's it for our list of the best free games on Switch. Let us know which of the games above you've sampled and which you feel are most deserving of your time and, perhaps, a little money as well.