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...
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 when the multiplayer mode arrives (presumably at some point next year) the game will become even more essential. Isaac Newton once attributed his remarkable discoveries in the realms of mathematics, astrology and theology to the fact that he was "standing on the shoulders of giants"; his outstanding work was only possible because of the geniuses that came before him. The same could be said of Tiny Metal; it may be light on original ideas, but it's a towering achievement regardless.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers the kind of warm-hearted, knock-about action the series has become famous for, all wrapped up in a truly impressive open world package. It’s a shame that the underlying mechanics remain so defiantly clunky, while the controls seem a little haphazard in places. Multiplayer is curiously inessential, too. Ultimately, though, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2’s generosity of spirit and lightness of tone mean that it’s likely to win over a whole new generation of fans.
48. RiME (Switch)
RiME on Switch is something of disappointing experience in comparison to versions on other platforms, despite the obvious quality of the game itself. As a puzzle-led adventure RiME is enjoyable, atmospheric and at times deeply moving; all of these qualities were undone at launch by spotty performance, low resolution visuals and a frame rate which sputters along like a battered car engine. When played docked things were just about passable, but in handheld mode the game's technical problems sapped away the satisfaction of playing it. Post-release patches have improve the experience to an extent, though, and the Switch version isn't utterly crippled by the technical problems it had at launch. Enough of RiME's magic remains on show to make the experience worthwhile on Switch, although we'd still recommend playing the game elsewhere if that's an option.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was a massive game on other platforms and is even bigger on Switch. The visual downgrades were expected, but the removal of the gray filter present on other platforms arguably makes the Switch version look better overall. The brilliantly rendered cutscenes, deep character customisation and fine-tuned fighting mechanics make for a title that is easy to pick up but hard to put down. This is another case of a game that makes one wonder just how much developers can do with Nintendo's diminutive console. Fans of fighting games and Dragon Ball alike should definitely consider picking this one up.