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The 5 Best Nintendo Switch Games of All Time

by Brittany Vincent 13 May 2022

Whether you're a casual gamer or you live and die by your console or PC, there's no denying it: the Nintendo Switch is a ridiculously popular system. There's a good reason for that, too. Whether you want a good, portable way to enjoy your favorite games from other systems or you want to experience Nintendo exclusive titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there are plenty of fantastic games to choose from.

But we understand that it can be extremely difficult to wade through hundreds of titles, especially since the Switch's library continues to grow ever larger by the day. There are only going to dozens more in a couple of weeks' time, and the collection will continue to grow astronomically until Nintendo releases an additional console and moves on from this generation. So if you're ready to go all-in on the Switch, check out some of the best games you can possibly buy on the system.

We've compiled the five best games on the Nintendo Switch you can purchase right now, in no particular order. Be sure to add them to your collection, physical or digital, and you'll be able to enjoy these timeless adventures for years to come.

Super Mario Odyssey

To be fair, most of the Mario adventures that accompany a new system launch or debut close to a new console are generally fantastic. Super Mario Odyssey is no exception, building one of the most memorable and inventive worlds for the plumber to explore yet on such a small handheld. Mario sets off on his biggest 3D adventure yet on a globe-trotting adventure that finds himself chasing down Bowser, who's trying to get Princess Peach to marry him. He has no chance, since Mario's got a new sidekick Cappy, who's capable of letting Mario take over the body of just about any character in the game.

But this game is much more than a new story for Mario and Peach or a villainous set of actions for Bowser. It steps outside the Mushroom Kingdom to introduce dozens of new locales like beaches with water made of soda and 2D areas where 3D Mario flattens out for some retro platforming, and does this all to great effect. Plus, there’s so much to do it’ll make your head spin, with some great cameos to boot. It's still very much the Mario you know and love, but tweaked to perfection. Whether you're more of a Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy fan, this Odyssey has something for you.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a majestic, breathtaking example of everything the Switch is capable of. Just when you think you've seen everything the game has to offer, there's still more to uncover. That's the power of this beautiful world, as it pulls you in and never lets you go. It's a stylistic evolution of the Zelda series (with a pending sequel) that takes familiar concepts and expands them with concepts found in modern open-world RPGs to create something bold, fresh, and new. The kicker? There’s another entire game in the works that will follow this one, just in case you think you’ve discovered everything and done all of the things the game asks of you.

As you're left to guide Link through a regressive vision of the kingdom of Hyrule to keep the villainous Ganon before wreaking havoc once more on the world, you're faced with a litany of quests and missions to complete. Each step forward throughout the gorgeous land of Hyrule is a real treat, and the expansive world means you're always discovering something new. It's Zelda like you've never known before, and a technical marvel for the system. If you only pick up one title on the handheld, let it be this one. There’s just one thing to watch out for: the fact that you may soon have difficulty enjoying any other game as much after you experience this one.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

For anyone who loves fighting games or challenging their friends (and bots), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a must-have. It also features some of the most intriguing crossover characters you'll ever come by in a video game setting. In fact, there are over 74 characters to unlock and brawl with as you beat Pikachu to a pulp with Metal Gear’s Solid Snake or steal the show with Persona 5's Joker after beating the pants off of King Dedede. It's a collection of fighters and characters from throughout Nintendo's storied history, with plenty of third-party title friends along for the ride.

It's the biggest, most exciting Smash yet, and even if you skip out on the multiplayer battles, its surprisingly deep single-player story mode will keep you busy for hours. And if you're in a competitive move, you can flex your gaming muscles by taking on all comers in the various tournaments and events throughout the gaming community, as even a few years past its release, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate remains the pinnacle of multiplayer gaming, It's an all-around title that you simply have to add to your arsenal, especially if you love all things Nintendo (and the companies that work closely with Nintendo).

Bayonetta 2

Want to see how it feels to play a game with a heroine who's pure, fluid energy? Can decimate anything she touches? You want to meet Bayonetta, especially if you missed out on her debut game. Both are now on Switch, and Bayonetta 2 is one of the greatest slices of action-packed hack-and-slash action you'll get on the system. It's evident from the moment you start the game. Its brand of slick, chaotic, and addictive action is positively unmatched, even among genre greats like the Devil May Cry series.

You don’t control the lithe Umbra Witch so much as become her, chaining together a mixture of buttery-smooth combos movements that feel like a natural extension of your being. But it’s much more than that. This sequel expands on the lore behind the witch herself and her reason for becoming who she is in several ways. So if you’ve been interested in the lore or want a reason to get invested, this is the game that’ll do it for you. Gorgeous level design, larger-than-life boss battles, plenty of costumes and unlockables combine to make Bayonetta 2 one of the greatest games you can grab on the Switch – even if you played it back on Wii U. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with getting ready for the third game, which is on its way very soon.

Splatoon 2

Splatoon has quickly grown to be one of Nintendo's most beloved IPs since its debut, and its sequel is every bit as good as the first game, if not better. It's exciting, colorful, challenging, and works just as well as a single-player adventure as it does a multiplayer game. There are only a handful of titles you can say that about, but in Splatoon's case, it's true, every single bit of it.

You take control of a squid/human hybrid as you take part in colorful turf wars with the degenerates of the Octarian race. Whether in single-player or multiplayer modes, you'll shoot, roll, and spray rainbow-hued ink using a variety of guns, rollers, and bombs. It's even deeper the second time around, with plenty of unlockables, customization options, and players online at all times of the day to rumble with. Feeling fresh? You will be after you swim with Splatoon 2. And here’s something to look forward to: Splatoon 3 is on the way, later this year.

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