Top Picks: Best Nintendo Switch Games to Play Now

The Nintendo Switch continues to captivate gamers of all ages with its versatile gaming experiences and an ever-growing library of titles. From epic adventures to competitive multiplayer showdowns, the Switch offers something for everyone. Our curated list highlights the top Nintendo Switch games that you should be playing right now. These selections are based on expert opinions, player feedback, and overall impact in the gaming community, ensuring that you’re getting the cream of the crop for your gaming sessions in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey remain timeless picks, offering open-world exploration and innovative platforming respectively.
  • For multiplayer enthusiasts, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are the go-to titles for engaging and fun-filled sessions with friends and family.
  • RPG lovers will find deep narratives and strategic gameplay in Fire Emblem Engage and the charm of classics like Super Mario RPG.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Kirby and the Forgotten Land cater to all ages, providing relaxing gameplay experiences and adorable adventures.
  • Indie gems like Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley, and Celeste showcase the creative and diverse offerings available on the Switch, each with its unique charm and challenges.

Essential Adventures: Top Adventure Games on the Switch

Essential Adventures: Top Adventure Games on the Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – An Open-World Masterpiece

Embarking on an adventure in Hyrule’s sprawling open world is an experience like no other. Breath of the Wild redefines freedom in a Zelda game, allowing players to climb and explore with an unprecedented sense of scale. The shift from traditional dungeons to numerous Shrines offers a fresh take on progression, ensuring that the sense of discovery remains constant.

The beauty of Breath of the Wild lies in its ability to blend the familiar with the innovative, creating a Hyrule that is both nostalgic and new. The game’s open-world design encourages experimentation and rewards curiosity, making every journey through Hyrule a unique tale.

While the game was a launch title for the Switch, it continues to be a benchmark for adventure games on the platform. Its critical acclaim is reflected in its enduring popularity and the anticipation for its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom. For those who have yet to experience this masterpiece, it’s not just a game—it’s a journey that reshapes what we expect from the genre.

Super Mario Odyssey – A Platforming Gem

Super Mario Odyssey represents a masterclass in 3D platforming, offering a blend of nostalgia and innovation that has captivated gamers of all ages. With its release on the Nintendo Switch, players have been treated to a sandbox-style adventure filled with vibrant worlds and an array of new gameplay mechanics.

The game’s freedom is unparalleled in the series, with large, open levels ripe for exploration. Each level is a treasure trove of Power Moons, obtained through platforming prowess, defeating enemies, and solving puzzles. Mario’s new partner, Cappy, adds a fresh twist to the gameplay, enabling a host of new moves and abilities.

Super Mario Odyssey is often regarded as one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch, providing a stress-free experience for younger players through its cooperative mode.

Here’s a quick glance at the game’s details:

Platform(s) Release Date Developer Genre
Switch October 27, 2017 Nintendo Platformer

Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or a seasoned veteran, Super Mario Odyssey is a title that promises pure, sublime joy and stands as one of the best Super Mario games ever made.

Metroid Prime: Remastered – A Classic Reimagined

Metroid Prime: Remastered brings the classic adventure to the Nintendo Switch with a stunning visual overhaul and modernized controls that breathe new life into the iconic game. The environments of Talon IV have never been more immersive, with updated textures that enhance the atmospheric art style and core gunplay that fans adore.

The remastered version does an exceptional job at realizing the original vision, making it a must-play for both veterans and newcomers to the series.

While the game maintains its solitary exploration and combat elements, some aspects like backtracking and navigation can be challenging. However, the updated controls and the palpable atmosphere make it a rewarding experience.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons:

  • Pros
    • Palpable atmosphere
    • Incredible remastered visuals
    • Updated controls
    • Art style that has aged beautifully
  • Cons
    • Intimidating for newcomers
    • Simple story
    • Backtracking can be tedious
    • Navigation may be difficult

Despite a few drawbacks, Metroid Prime: Remastered is a wonderful experience for anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch, offering both nostalgia and a fresh take on a beloved franchise.

Competitive Thrills: Must-Play Multiplayer Games

Competitive Thrills: Must-Play Multiplayer Games

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – The Ultimate Fighting Mashup

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sets the bar for fighting games on the Nintendo Switch, delivering an all-encompassing experience that’s as much a competitive sport as it is a tribute to video game history. It’s the ultimate celebration of the franchise, boasting an unprecedented roster of over 80 fighters and more than 100 stages, ensuring that every match is as unique as the players themselves.

With a plethora of content for both multiplayer enthusiasts and solo players, the game’s depth is undeniable. The addition of Fighter Passes further enriches the experience, introducing new characters and arenas to the already vast selection.

The game’s single-player mode is a journey in itself, featuring a 20+ hour adventure with full-on boss fights and expansive world maps. It’s a testament to the game’s ability to engage players beyond the multiplayer arena, providing a comprehensive package that has solidified its position as a definitive title for years to come.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Racing Fun for Everyone

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe stands out as the premier racing experience on the Nintendo Switch, offering a blend of accessibility and depth that caters to gamers of all skill levels. With its comprehensive Battle Mode and a plethora of tracks and characters, it’s a game that keeps on giving.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is often ranked by fans as the best first-party sports game available on Nintendo Switch, providing endless combinations of kart setups and a fresh experience every time.

The game supports up to 4-player local play, making it a perfect pick for family game nights or parties. The addition of new assists for beginners ensures that even the youngest or most inexperienced players can join in the fun without frustration.

Here’s a quick look at what makes Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a must-have:

  • More than 40 racers and 48 tracks
  • Extended Battle Mode for varied gameplay
  • Two item slots for strategic racing
  • Driving assistance settings for newcomers

While it’s true that some may yearn for a brand-new Mario Kart title on the Switch, the sheer amount of content and the polished gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe make it a timeless classic that continues to shine.

Splatoon 3 – Inky Shootouts and Team Tactics

Splatoon 3 continues the series’ tradition of vibrant and engaging team-based multiplayer action. Released on September 9, 2022, this third-person shooter has quickly become a favorite for its colorful battles and strategic gameplay. Players take control of Inklings, competing in 4v4 matches with the goal of covering the arena in their team’s ink.

Despite some criticism for not introducing many new multiplayer modes and making only minor changes from its predecessor, Splatoon 3 stands out for its refined mechanics and the introduction of new weapons, including katanas and bows. The game’s fine-tuning and additional customization options have elevated the multiplayer experience, making it a standout title on the Switch.

The single-player campaign, ‘Return of the Mammalians,’ adds depth to the game with 70 missions and five boss fights, ensuring that there’s plenty to do even when you’re not battling it out online.

For those new to the series or veterans looking for more, Splatoon 3 offers a buffet of content that promises hours of fun. It’s not just a game; it’s a competitive playground that keeps players coming back for more.

Immersive Role-Playing: Best RPGs for Switch Enthusiasts

Immersive Role-Playing: Best RPGs for Switch Enthusiasts

Fire Emblem Engage – Strategy and Storytelling

In the latest installment of the storied franchise, Fire Emblem Engage elevates the tactical RPG experience. The game introduces the Engage mechanic, a strategic twist that allows players to fuse units with iconic heroes from the series’ history, unlocking new abilities and powerful attacks.

The combat system has been refined with user interface improvements and the return of the weapon triangle, offering a deeper tactical layer. Fans of the series will appreciate the homage to classic characters, while newcomers may find the depth of strategy both challenging and rewarding.

Fire Emblem Engage cuts straight to the action, focusing on what the series does best: intricate turn-based battles. The optional Permadeath setting enhances accessibility, allowing players to tailor the difficulty to their preference.

While the game’s story is straightforward, it’s the periods of action interspersed with quieter moments for character interaction and mini-games that truly shine. Fire Emblem Engage is a testament to the series’ enduring appeal, balancing homage with innovation.

Super Mario RPG – A Timeless Classic

The Super Mario RPG remake has brought a beloved classic back to life, allowing a new generation to experience its charm. With its simple yet engaging story, filled with humor and classic Mario-style slapstick, it’s a game that’s as enjoyable now as it was in the ’90s. The remake stays true to the original, ensuring that nostalgia is well-served for those who remember the original release.

While the RPG elements may be lighter compared to other titles, they provide an accessible entry point into the genre. The combat system emphasizes timing over complexity, making it a perfect fit for newcomers and younger players.

The game’s polished graphics and refined gameplay honor the soul of the SNES original, while introducing new locations and characters that even seasoned Mario fans might not have seen. Despite some criticisms, such as the RPG mechanics feeling a bit shallow and platforming elements that can frustrate, the overall experience is a delightful journey through a whimsical Mario universe.

  • Price: $60
  • Available at: Nintendo eShop, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop

Pokémon Sword and Shield – A New Generation of Pokémon

Embarking on a journey in the Galar region brings a mix of nostalgia and innovation to fans of the series. With Pok\u00e9mon Sword & Shield, trainers can explore new Wild Areas, a refreshing twist to the franchise’s formula. These open sections are teeming with diverse Pok\u00e9mon species, visible and ready to be caught, offering a sense of freedom and discovery.

The introduction of the Dynamax mechanic, along with rotating raids, provides a fresh layer of strategy and community engagement. The game’s expansions further enrich the experience, adding new territories and creatures to the already robust Galar region.

While some may seek the novelty of titles like Pok\u00e9mon Legends: Arceus, those yearning for the classic Pok\u00e9mon adventure will find Pok\u00e9mon Sword & Shield to be a fulfilling experience, blending the series’ cherished elements with exciting new features.

Here’s a quick glance at what makes this title stand out:

  • New Wild Areas with visible Pok\u00e9mon
  • Dynamax battles and community raids
  • Expansive DLC adding to the Galar region
  • Enhanced customization options for trainers

Family Favorites: Games for All Ages

Family Favorites: Games for All Ages

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Create Your Own Paradise

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you embark on a serene journey to create and personalize your own island paradise. With the game’s robust customization features, including the innovative terraforming tool, you have complete control over the landscape. The game’s charm lies in its simple yet engaging activities such as fishing, bug-catching, and interacting with the quirky residents of your island.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has not only been a source of relaxation but also a virtual social hub where friends can visit each other’s islands, trade items, and share their creative endeavors.

The game’s success is reflected in its impressive sales figures, with nearly 34 million copies sold, making it a testament to its widespread appeal. Here’s a quick look at the game’s details:

Platform Release Date Developer Genre
Switch March 20, 2020 Nintendo EPD Simulation

Despite some critics suggesting that the game might be overrated, the majority of players find themselves enamored with the inclusive avatar creation, the expanded options for personalization, and the tranquil escape it offers from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land – A Whimsical Adventure

Embark on a delightful journey with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, a title that has redefined the franchise with its leap into 3D platforming. The game’s release on March 25, 2022, marked a significant milestone for the beloved pink puffball, as it became the best-selling entry in the series.

With its six unique worlds filled with levels brimming with secrets, Kirby’s adventure is a treasure trove for explorers and platforming fans alike. The introduction of Mouthful Mode adds a fresh twist to gameplay, offering new mechanics and a dash of humor.

The game’s charm is further enhanced by the Treasure Road time trials, which provide a quick-paced challenge that leverages Kirby’s abilities in creative ways. These trials, along with the main stages, create a compelling loop that encourages players to enhance their Copy abilities.

Here’s a quick look at the game’s details:

Platform(s) Release Date Developer Genre
Switch March 25, 2022 HAL Laboratory Platformer

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – A Blocky Galaxy Far, Far Away

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga brings the charm of the Lego universe into the epic expanse of Star Wars lore. With enough content to last for weeks on end, players can dive into massive levels that offer a fresh take on the series’ iconic moments. The revamped combat system keeps players more engaged, and the co-op mode is an absolute blast, making it a standout choice for family gaming sessions.

While the main missions might be too easy for some, and the space battles a bit mundane, the overall experience is enriched by the game’s ability to shine a light on lesser-known characters.

The game does have its drawbacks, with some players experiencing technical issues. However, the pros far outweigh the cons, making it a must-play for fans of the franchise and co-op enthusiasts alike. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Pros: Massive levels, engaging combat, excellent co-op.
  • Cons: Mundane space battles, occasional camera issues.

For those who have encountered problems, it’s worth noting that experiences vary, with some players mentioning that the game works great and is a bit better, while others have faced game crashes and pointed out a fatal flaw.

Innovative Indies: Standout Independent Games on Switch

Innovative Indies: Standout Independent Games on Switch

Hollow Knight – An Atmospheric Metroidvania

Embark on a haunting journey through the desolate yet beautiful kingdom of Hallownest in Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight, a title that stands as a pinnacle of the Metroidvania genre. Released on February 24, 2017, this game has captivated players with its intricate world, challenging combat, and deep lore.

The Knight’s adventure is filled with hidden secrets and formidable bosses that will test your skills in surprising ways. The game’s difficulty is matched by its elegant design and the atmospheric score by Christopher Larkin, which together create an immersive experience that’s hard to put down.

Hollow Knight is not just a game, but an exploration of a fallen kingdom, where every corner hides a story, every encounter is a challenge, and every victory feels earned.

With all DLC included, the Switch version of Hollow Knight offers a substantial amount of content, ensuring that your journey through Hallownest is as expansive as it is memorable. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect:

  • Release Date: February 24, 2017
  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • Genre: Metroidvania

Whether you’re a veteran of the genre or a newcomer, Hollow Knight is an essential addition to your Switch library, providing countless hours of exploration and excitement.

Stardew Valley – Farming, Friends, and Freedom

Escape to the charming world of Stardew Valley, where you trade the city’s clamor for the rustic life of a farmer. Here, every day is a canvas for your rural dreams, from cultivating crops to mingling with the townsfolk. The game’s brilliance lies not just in its farming mechanics but in the gradual growth of pride and attachment to your virtual homestead.

In Stardew Valley, the joy unfolds over time, as you invest yourself in the community, your farm, and the myriad of activities available. It’s a game that rewards patience and creativity, offering a sense of accomplishment that’s rare and fulfilling.

While the game’s open-ended nature encourages exploration and experimentation, it’s the relationships you build and the secrets you uncover that truly make Stardew Valley feel like home. Whether you’re fishing by the lake, fighting in the mines, or simply enjoying the seasonal festivals, there’s always something to captivate your heart in this pixelated paradise.

Celeste – A Challenging Journey to the Summit

Celeste stands as a surprise masterpiece on the Nintendo Switch, offering some of the most precise and satisfying 2D platforming since the days of Super Meat Boy. The game’s difficulty is notorious, yet it’s balanced with an emotional story and a soundtrack that resonates deeply with players.

The journey of Madeline to the summit of Mount Celeste is not just a test of skill, but a narrative of personal growth and overcoming the doubts that plague the mind.

Celeste’s gameplay evolves as new abilities are unlocked, expanding the ways in which players can navigate through the increasingly challenging levels. The game’s accessibility options ensure that players of all skill levels can experience the story, making it a poignant addition to any gamer’s library.

  • Level Design: Intricate and rewarding
  • Story: Emotionally engaging
  • Graphics: Beautiful pixel art
  • Gameplay: Tight, responsive controls
  • Soundtrack: Memorable and moving


As we wrap up our journey through the vibrant and diverse world of Nintendo Switch gaming, it’s clear that the console’s library is brimming with must-play titles. From the enchanting open-world adventures in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to the high-speed thrills of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s something for every type of gamer. Whether you’re a long-time Nintendo fan or a newcomer to the platform, these games represent the pinnacle of creativity and fun that the Switch has to offer. As the Switch continues to evolve with new releases and updates, we’ll be eagerly watching and playing along. Until then, we hope our top picks help you discover your next gaming obsession on this versatile console.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top adventure games on the Nintendo Switch?

The top adventure games on the Nintendo Switch include ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’, ‘Super Mario Odyssey’, and ‘Metroid Prime: Remastered’.

Which multiplayer games are a must-play on the Switch?

For multiplayer action, ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’, ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’, and ‘Splatoon 3’ are highly recommended.

What are the best RPGs available for Switch enthusiasts?

Switch enthusiasts looking for RPGs should check out ‘Fire Emblem Engage’, ‘Super Mario RPG’, and ‘Pokémon Sword and Shield’.

Can you recommend family-friendly games for the Switch?

Yes, ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’, ‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’, and ‘Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’ are great for all ages.

What standout indie games are there on the Switch?

The Switch has some amazing indie games like ‘Hollow Knight’, ‘Stardew Valley’, and ‘Celeste’.

Are there any new additions to the best games list for the Switch in 2024?

Yes, new additions to the best games list for the Switch in 2024 include ‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’, ‘Pikmin 4’, and ‘Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe’.