The best Nintendo Switch games for 2022
The Switch has only been on the market for five years, yet it appears to be on track to becoming the company’s best-selling “home console” ever. After experiencing considerable pressure, Nintendo was making its first tentative steps into mobile gaming with Miitomo and Super Mario Run shortly before. Fast-forward to today: Everything is coming up roses for Nintendo as a result of the hybrid design of the Switch and an ever-growing game library that features unexpectedly robust third-party support.
The Switch’s online store, on the other hand, isn’t the most user-friendly, so this article is designed to assist those who are unfamiliar with it. These are the games you should have in your collection right now. We update and expand the list as necessary. Also, don’t worry if you own a Switch Lite; every game on our list is fully compatible with it.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The best game in the series thus far is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It simplifies many of the cumbersome elements seen in previous games, providing players with a strong incentive to continue developing their island community. As you’d expect, it also looks better than any preceding entry, putting you even more behind on filling your virtual house and wardrobe. Sound design reaches ASMR levels of brain-tingling comfort. And, yes, it’s no surprise that New Horizons is an incredibly calming refuge from the madness when we’re all trapped at home during a worldwide epidemic.
From the time the initial trailer debuted until I’d spent a few hours playing it, I was undecided about Astral Chain. It all seemed a little too ordinary, almost as if it were a paint-by-numbers action game. I shouldn’t have been so concerned; PlatinumGames’ creator, who created the Bayonetta series, has produced one of the more unique games in recent years.
You play as an officer in a special force that battles this danger in a world where the planet is constantly assaulted by creatures from another dimension. The gimmick of the game is that you may domesticate these animals to create Legions that you can then use in battle. Battles are played out with both your character and the Legion (or Legions) controlled at once to combat waves of mobs and bigger, more difficult foes. You’ll also utilize your Legions (or Legion(s)) to solve crimes and explore environments while engaged in combat.
Astral Chain is a detective game with platform challenges, fights, and a little too much of everything. Each case in the game is split into chapters, and the story begins well enough. However, it soon degenerates into a mishmash of anime clichés, including twists and arcs ripped from some very popular series and films. The minute-to-minute gameplay is sufficient to keep you engaged for around 20 hours throughout the main campaign and significant end-game content.
Is Astral Chain capable of reaching the heights of NieR: Automata? No, not at all, but its battles and settings are frequently superior to that game, which is overall one of my favorite generations. It’s well worth your time if you can get it for less than $50 these days.
Celeste is a lot of things. It’s a fantastic platformer, but it’s also a puzzle game. It’s extremely tough, yet it’s also very approachable. It puts the importance of gameplay above all else, but it also has an outstanding narrative. Celeste is a beautiful, emotional and memorable contradiction in gaming developed by Matt Makes Games, an indie studio behind the excellent Towerfall. So Celeste is worth purchasing no matter what platform you have because of its room-based levels and clear 2D visuals, but its floor-based stages and blurred 3D artwork make it an exceptional game to play on the go with the Switch.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI is a plainly traditional Japanese role-playing game. The protagonist is silent, like in most RPG games, and he’s actually a legendary hero. After that come the battle system, which has barely evolved throughout the series’ decades.
(The reason this limited edition includes a 16-bit version of the game is that the mechanics and narrative function equally well in less graphically rich environments.) While the tale follows some typical RPG conventions, it takes an unexpected turn later on. And it’s all because of one person. RPGs require compelling tales, and this one has one. It doesn’t hit its stride until much later.
The series’ tenth appearance is also an event for Dragon Quest fans. The game heavily alludes to the first game, taking place in the same narrative universe hundreds of years later, without getting too far into the story.
Despite the fact that it’s available on rival consoles, the Switch version of Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu is perhaps the most polished. The characters, which are created by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame, dance around smoothly despite the hybrid console’s limits. There’s something simple yet right about playing a classic JRPG on a Nintendo system, in spite of how hard it might be to explain.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an outstanding game. Intelligent Systems made a number of modifications to the series’ formula for its debut on the Nintendo Switch, and the end result is a game that successfully reconciles Fire Emblem’s dual personalities. You’ll spend half your time as a brilliant commander organizing troops across varied and interesting battlefields. The other half? You’ll be playing as a teacher at the finest institution in the country, teaching kids and forming relationships.
The first early access game to ever make our best PC game list, and the final product is a wonderful match for the Nintendo Switch. It’s an action-RPG developed by the same team that created Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre. You take on the role of Zagreus, son of Hades, who’s having a little disagreement with his father and wishes to leave the underworld.
To do so, Zagreus must fight his way through the underworld’s many levels and up to the surface. You’ll collect “boons” from a variety of ancient gods such as Zeus, Ares, and Aphrodite as you make your way throughout the game. Each level is structured into rooms packed with demons, treasures, and sometimes a smaller adversary.
The player leaves on the same location every time, with levels rearranged, as Hades is a “roguelike” game. With that in mind, the things you find might be utilized to access and improve new weapons and abilities that reside between sessions.
The intriguing story of Hades attracted our attention first and foremost for its gameplay: you may have a lot of fun for 30 minutes or several hours. As the game approached completion, the narrative, world-building, and character began to solidify – there’s so much to do, so many people to meet, and even some romance included. You may spend hundreds of hours playing without getting bored.
A fantastic game that was a sleeper hit, and one of the rarest cases of this on Kickstarter. Hollow Knight is a 2D action-adventure with elements of Metroidvania in the style of Burton. Set in a vast, crumbling land with subterranean caverns that you’ll explore as you gain new mobility and attacking abilities for your character, a burtonesque bug-like creature. The developers instead relied on environment and mood to tell their tale, and it succeeds tremendously.
If you’re seeking for a challenging but yet approachable retro RPG with charming chiptunes, look no further than the Unfinished Swan. It’s got everything you loved about classic games on PC: fighting things that go bump in the night, exploring ruins and dungeons, interacting with NPCs… As far as I’m concerned, it’s superior to every other game out there.
In addition, the game’s cinematic quality and rich storyline will amaze you. The stylized visuals and well-spoken characters are a welcome change from the typical survival shooter. It has a great sense of humor and levity built largely on the wonderfully animated and voiced characters you encounter. There’s really no excuse not to pick up this game now that it’s so cheap and high-quality. You just have to trust us on this one.
Into The Breach
What is the point of a turn-based strategy game if it isn’t turn-based? Into the Breach, an independently developed roguelike in which you command mechs to stop an alien invasion, defies expectations. While its basic principles are comparable to XCOM (or Fire Emblem, for that matter), what it does with them is fascinating.
A turn-based strategy game, like chess, is a game of planned moves and anticipated countermoves. You devise a move, anticipate what your opponent will do next, think ahead to what you’ll do next, and so on until you force them into a corner and win. The game informs you in no uncertain terms at the start of each Into the Breach turn exactly what each opponent character will do, down to the exact square they’ll end on and how much damage they’ll inflict. There are no hit percentages, no random events, and no luck; every turn is a puzzle with clear solutions on how to emerge victorious.
The average game length is only around 20 minutes, and they’re designed to be very replayable in the style of a roguelike. There are several different mechs with new attack and defense mechanics to learn and master as you combine them to create your own team once you’ve mastered the fundamentals. This is a must-have for fans of either puzzle or turn-based strategy games.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is a landmark entry in the series, possibly one of the finest games of this decade. It pulls the long-running franchise into contemporary gaming with a perfectly balanced difficulty curve and an incredible open world to explore. Crafting, weapons that degrade, almost too much to collect and do, and a gentle narrative tucked away for players to discover on their own There’s enough here for everyone, even without the amusing DLC add-ons.
Disco Elysium Final Cut
Disco Elysium is a one-of-a-kind game. ZA/UM’s debut title, it’s a huge science-fiction RPG that draws more from D&D and Baldur’s Gate than contemporary action games. In reality, there isn’t much of a fight in the game; instead, you’ll be building your character, selecting their strengths and limitations, and carrying out D&D-style skill checks to progress through the narrative.
You’ll be enhancing your skills and boosting stats with items, but the game’s mechanics will mostly melt away in favor of a fascinating narrative that features some of the greatest writing to ever appear in a video game.
This sequel, which is considerably dialogue-heavy, now features full voice acting, bringing the interesting world to life in a new way. After launching on PC, PS5 and Stadia, Final Cut is now accessible for all previous home consoles – including Nintendo’s Switch. Although loading times are somewhat longer than on other platforms, Disco Elysium is an experience unlike any other in the Switch library, which is why it gets this spot.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The sharpness and vibrancy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe demonstrate that it is a fine upgrade to the Wii U original. Characters race about with animation and appeal, and Nintendo has created larger, more open courses to accommodate up to 12 racers. Gravity-defying hover tires and automatic gliders have been added to this version of Mario Kart for when you leap off ramps, making races even more visually exciting, but at its heart it’s still Mario Kart – simple, pure gaming pleasure.
The added storage and the option to extend your battery life are a big appeal, but it’s also an excellent showcase for the Switch’s many playing modes: two-player split screen anywhere is accessible, as is online racing or switch-on-switch havoc. For now, this is the definitive edition.
OlliOlli and its sequel, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood, were notoriously difficult to master. They were maddening but also extremely gratifying when you executed the correct number of tricks and grinds for a high score.
I was concerned that the colorful and inviting new direction for the series would omit a level of difficulty, but I shouldn’t have been. Roll7 developed a game that is considerably more approachable than the previous games in the series — but one that retains the twitch-response gameplay and score-chasing highs for people who love them.
It’s difficult to encapsulate the elements that make OlliOlli World so enthralling, but it incorporates intense difficulties with tiny breaks where you may really get into that elusive flow state and just perform tricks, ride rails, and generally tear through a course without thinking too much about what you’re doing. The music, sound effects, art style, level design, and number of moves you can execute all contribute to this feeling – even though the game appears to be completely different from its predecessors, the final product is always the same: skating pleasure.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
When it initially came out in 2013, Super Mario 3D World was overlooked by critics and players. When compared to the best games of the past, it is unfairly neglected because so few people had a Wii U. It’s a fantastic translation of classic Mario gameplay into 3D (Mario 64 is incredible, but unless you’re a speed-runner, it doesn’t quite have the intensity of the NES or SNES games). It’s also a fantastic multiplayer game since you can play simultaneously with three other players and race through levels — each stage winner gets to wear a crown in the following.
The ability to play online games remotely has now come, which is a huge advantage. The main addition is Bowser’s Fury, an all-new game that incorporates elements of Super Mario Odyssey and 3D World. There are several inventive tasks that feel like they’ve come straight out of Odyssey, with the whimsy and quickness of a Wii U game. (It should be mentioned that Bowser’s Fury is only suitable for one or two players, unlike the main game.) 3D World alone would be an excellent purchase, but as part of a combo deal with Bowser’s Fury, it becomes an incredible bargain.
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario’s latest adventure, Super Mario Odyssey, isn’t likely to represent the huge shift that Breath of the Wild was for the Zelda franchise, but it’s a great Mario game that has been improved over the last two decades. Yes, we did get some important modern changes, such as maps and fast travel, and the power-stealing Cappy is a fantastic addition to Mario’s standard abilities. But there is plenty of that fundamental joy of discovering puzzles, racing to collect items, and exploring landmarks in this wonderful world.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
This is the finest distillation of Nintendo’s online fighting game thus far. With even more characters from outside of Nintendo’s stable, the series’ debut on Switch extends the fun even further. Perhaps Cloud, Solid Snake, or Bayonetta from Final Fantasy VII will be your new favorite character if you’re tired of Mario, Pikachu, and Metroid’s Samus. There are about 80 characters to play with here (though 10 of them are inaccessible until after launch).
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s new single-player mode, in which you customize fighters with stickers, takes place across several special event conditions to unlock more characters and, yes, even more stickers. The core concept of each Super Smash Bros. game is fast-paced chaotic fights with an extremely simple learning curve. Yes, some stuff is perplexing or overpowered at first sight, but your unique attacks are only a two-button combination away. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has insatiable battles built into its DNA (once you’ve adjusted limitations) to ensure exciting confrontations for everyone involved.