The best Switch games available right now!

The Switch is not even a year old yet and already has an incredibly vast library of wonderful games. So many, in fact, it might be overwhelming to new owners! Back on launch day there were only a few games to choose from, but now the eShop is bursting with so many great games that it might be hard to sort through them all given Nintendo's less than stellar filtering options. But fret not, because I am here to give you my personal recommendations of games I have owned and played. I'll try to keep it updated with the best stuff going forward, and also be sure to check back at my list of games to look out for in the future!


Games to Play with Friends, Right Now!

The Nintendo Switch is a console pretty much tailor made for local multiplayer, and there are tons of great games already available that showcase this versatility. Here are the games I've personally played and enjoyed with friends.

 

Super Bomberman R

This Switch launch game caught a lot of flack for its $50 price tag, but I bought it anyway because of my longstanding love for Bomberman. Since release, however, it's inexplicably gotten a ton of support from Konami in the form of free updates that have fixed most of the game's problems and added extra content nobody expected. These updates have added 60fps support, 10 new stages, 13 new characters from other Konami series like Castlevania and Silent Hill, and even an entirely new party mode called Grand Prix. Even more surprisingly, the game features no microtransactions even though it seems perfectly designed for them. All unlocks are obtained by acquiring in-game currency by playing.

Price: $50 MSRP, but frequently on sale

Number of players: 8

Physical version ✓

Online play ✓

However, don't go into this game expecting a big 3D adventure like the old N64 and GameCube games. It goes one step further than more recently downloadable releases that were only multiplayer, but the campaign of this game features classic top-down Bomberman gameplay, hence the "Super Bomberman" namesake. You can play the campaign with a friend, though!

 

Snipperclips

Price: $30 physical (includes $10 DLC)

Number of players: up to 4

Physical version

Online Play

Another launch game that sold so well, it just received an expanded retail edition. Snipperclips is a cooperative game where you play as pieces of construction paper that must cut each other into shapes to solve puzzles. Surprisingly, it also includes a competitive "blitz" mode that features Mario Party-like minigames. It was originally developed to by a small independent studio, but Nintendo loved their work so much that they decided to publish it. It's easy to see why! Snipperclips is the type of quirky, charming game Nintendo themselves would make.

The "Plus" edition includes 30 new puzzles, a mode where you start as random shapes, and a few other additions.

 

Fast RMX

Price: $20

Number of players: up to 4 splitscreen, 8 online

Physical version ✗

Online Play ✓

Do you like F-Zero? Do you wish Nintendo would make a new one? Well, too bad! You'll have to settle for the excellent Fast RMX. They even got the F-Zero GX announcer! The Fast Racing series (which could really use a better name) first began on the Wii as a downloadable title that received little attention. It's sequel, Fast Racing Neo, was released on the Wii U, a system that few people owned. It's time for some recognition! The game features all the content from Neo as well as 12 new courses, a campaign mode, and support for 4 players locally. Like F-Zero, it's a 60fps high-speed futuristic racer, but the twist is that your vehicle has two modes (orange and blue) that you must switch between to avoid obstacles and gain speed boosts.  It's a great racing game that shouldn't be overlooked.

The developers have continued to support it with free content as well. Six new tracks and a time attack mode have already been added.

 

Worms WMD

Price: $30

Number of players: up to 6 local or online

Physical version ✗ (coming 2018)

Online Play ✓

I feel like maybe Nintendo created the Switch just so Worms could be on it. There isn't a more fitting multiplayer game for the system than this. 2016's WMD is perhaps the best game in the long-running series, and now you can play it anywhere with anyone. I would have killed for this when I was a kid, instead of playing the knockoff Snails with my friend on my Tapwave Zodiac.

The Switch version features all of the content from the other releases, including the pre-order "all-stars" content, and a few new additions like a space theme, mushroom and tree house forts, three new outfits, and three new hats.

 

Rocket League

Price: $20 digital, $30 physical, $40 collector's

Number of players: up to 6 local or online

Physical version ✓ ( and a collector's edition is coming Jan 16th)

Online Play ✓

You're no doubt familiar with Rocket League by now. Even if you haven't played it, you've probably at least heard of it. I'm not a bit online multiplayer guy, but even I enjoy crazy chaos of Rocket League. It's soccer with rocket-powered cars. What's not to like? It's also cross-platform compatible so you can play with Xbox and PC players! The Switch version even includes cars based on Mario and Samus.

Although it can be pretty competitive, one of the things I love about Rocket League is that nearly everybody is bad at. The crazy physics make it hard to control, and that's part of the appeal. Online matches are complete chaos in a good way. Rocket League also features online split-screen, which is a feature I always appreciate that give you the best of both worlds.

 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Price: $60 MSRP

Number of players: up to 4 split-screen, 12 local or online

Physical version ✓ 

Online Play ✓

The best Mario Kart ever, even better. Should you buy this again if you had it on the Wii U? Hell yeah! Should you buy it for the first time if you never owned a Wii U? If you don't, you probably hate fun. It features all of the content ever released for the Wii U version, plus the Splatoon squid kids, the ability to hold two items, new pink mini boost, and an actual real battle mode instead of whatever the hell it was they tried to do with the original version.  The fixed version of battle mode includes the classic balloon battle, shine thief, bob-omb blast, and a new mode called renegade roundup that plays like cops and robbers.

 

ARMS

Price: $60 MSRP

Number of players: up to 4 local or online

Physical version ✓ 

Online Play ✓

Nintendo's unique take on fighting games is about as fun and charming as you'd expect. Unlike other fighting games, Arms uses a behind-the-back perspective and remedies this odd angle by having your punches travel across the arena. Unlike most people, I was sold on this game from the moment I saw it because it looked like a ton of fun. It is! Like Rocket League, Arms also has one of my favorite multiplayer features: the ability to play online matches with a friend in split screen, so you can team up with somebody in real life and take on opponents online.

Although some complain it's content-lite because there's really no story mode, it seems just fine to me as far as fighting games go. Besides arcade mode and ranked one-on-one fights, Arms also features an online "party" mode that throws you in a (really visually unique and interesting) lobby and pairs you up randomly with people in various game modes. I enjoy this because it keeps the game constantly fun and fresh. Maybe you're fighting one opponent, or maybe it's a three-person free-for-all. Maybe it's a team battle or a team game of volleyball. Maybe you're dunking your opponent into a basket or competing to hit the most targets. Arms is full of crazy surprises like that.

Like Splatoon, it's continuously getting free updates. So far, four characters and three stages have been added in addition to a couple of new modes. Recently, Nintendo has also been doing "party crash" events where playing with certain characters or weapons can earn you bonus currency and unique badges for your profile.

 

Games to Play on Your Own, Right Now!

Whether you want to play during a commute or while just lazing in bed, the Switch has so many games now that there's something for everyone!

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Price: $60 MSRP

Multiplayer

Number of players: 1

Physical version ✓ 

Do I even have to say it? This is the best Zelda game ever. If you don't own a Wii U, you should buy a Switch just to play this game. If you've played that version, I can't really recommend buying it again unless you want to replay it on the go considering it's exactly the same.

Don't know what makes Breath of the Wild so special? Imagine your favorite open world game, except the world is filled with secrets, you can climb everything, and the dungeons you come across offer a challenge with a reward instead of just rooms full of enemies to kill. Within the first first hour of the game, you're given every tool you'll ever need and set free to do whatever you want in any order you want. You can even immediately fight the final boss. The amount of freedom and creativity here is unprecedented. And if you really can't get enough, there's now two expansions. 

 

Super Mario Odyssey

Price: $60 MSRP

Multiplayer ✓

Number of players: 1 or 2 locally

Physical version ✓ 

Odyssey is one of the best games of 2017, and one of Mario's greatest 3D adventures. It's packed full of fun and creativity that can be enjoyed by just about anybody. See our review for more information.

Sorry for the lack of a trailer, but I just don't want to spoil anything. As I state in my review, I recommend everyone goes into this game as blind as possible, because discovering all the surprises for yourself is half the fun. Other than that, it's a 3D Mario through and through. If you like those, then you'll love this.

 

Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Price: $60 MSRP, but frequently on sale

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: 1 or 2 locally

Physical version ✓ 

This game sounds like a joke, but is actually an incredibly engaging strategy RPG. Like XCOM, you command a squad across various maps while battling armies of crazy Rabbids. Featuring gameplay that's deep yet simple to grasp, an eye-popping art style, and fantastic music by Banjo-Kazooie's Grant Kirkhope, it's clear a lot of love went into this game. Also, they gave Peach a shotgun and grenades, which is just hilarious.

It has also received both free and paid updates. The $20 expansion pass has some weapons, co-op maps, and new challenges so far, with another campaign chapter coming in 2018. The game just received a free multiplayer update that added a VS battle mode.

 

Fire Emble Warriors

Price: $60 MSRP

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: 1 or 2 locally

Physical version ✓ 

Remember a few years back when they made Hyrule Warriors, the game that crossed Zelda with Dynasty Warriors? Well, they've done it again with Fire Emblem. This mix honestly makes a lot more sense, even if it's not as wacky and creative since Fire Emblem is more grounded than Zelda. That being said, it takes the basic Warriors gameplay while adding in Fire Emblem touches like the weapon weaknesses, team-ups, and character switching. You'll still choose your party members for a given battle and you'll still be able to issue them orders, only now you can control them directly with crazy action combat. The game honestly gets pretty hectic, with tons of objectives on separate timers happening at once that force you to strategize with the characters at your disposal. The story may not hook you, but overall Fire Emblem Warriors is a lot of dumb fun.

It mostly caters to new fans, though, by being primarily based on the latest games for the 3DS, Awakening and Fates. Of course, Marth of Smash Bros fame is here as well. This, like most of Nintendo's games these days, is being supported with extra content, both free and paid, at least through 2018.

 

Splatoon 2

Price: $60 MSRP

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: 1 or 2 locally

Physical version ✓ 

Why isn't this listed as a game to play with friends? In all honesty, it's kind of still a pain in the ass to do so. The only surefire way to play with your pals is to make it into League Battle, which requires a ranking of B- or higher in any ranked mode. The game also lacks any form of split-screen local play. Still, the game is tons of fun to play online by yourself or over a local connection with friends, and you can't go wrong with a cooperative game of Salmon Run. The single player portion is also pretty superb, and the multiplayer continues to be updated almost weekly with free content, with support promised into 2019. The new "Clam Blitz" ranked mode is probably the best one yet! Read my review for more info.

 

Golf Story

Price: $15

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: 1 or 2 locally

Physical version  

This one is about as oddball as it sounds. Golf Story is an RPG, but instead of traditional battles you hit golf balls at things. Sometimes, you even play golf! It's a story of a man down on his luck, on a quest to become the greatest golfer... at least locally.

Obviously, this game isn't for everyone, because if you don't like golf games you probably won't like this. I like it a lot, though. The writing is pretty funny and the golfing mechanics themselves are great. The game also lets you play regular games of golf with your friends if you're into that. And, of course, it has the best game-within-a-game ever: Galf.

 

SteamWorld Dig 2

Price: $20

Multiplayer ✗ 

Physical version  

I'm a pretty big fan of the original SteamWorld Dig. It was one of those games I got on a whim and ended up loving. I'm one of the few people who actually didn't like the sequel quite as much, but it's still a solid, unique little game that combines platforming with digging and collecting to create an addictive gameplay loop.

There's no denying it's got an interesting world with lovely visuals and fantastic music. Still, there was something about the random generation and de-emphasis on combat that I enjoyed more about the first game. If you never played it, it probably won't  matter, and I'm sure most people even prefer hand-crafted levels to procedurally generated ones anyway. It certainly is a more polished game, I'll give it that.

 

The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+

Price: $40

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: up to 4 locally

Physical version  ✓

Another game that's not for everyone, The Binding of Isaac is a top-down twin stick shooter where you play as a boy named Isaac who ventures into his hellscape of a basement to run away from his abusive mother. The poor kid fights by shooting tears out of his eyes! Yeah, the game is weird and twisted (it comes from Edmund McMillen, co-creator of Meat Boy) but it's also pretty addictive and fun.

It's a roguelike, meaning every time you die the entire game is regenerated randomly. It's made for playing in short bursts, which makes it perfect for on the go gaming. Even if I fail miserably, it's always fun to just pop open the game and see what crazy powerups I'll collect in my current run. The game also has an absolutely massive amount of randomized content. Originally released in 2011, Afterbirth+ represents the fourth and most expanded iteration of the game. The fun really comes in seeing what combo of rooms and loot you'll get this time, and the more you play the more randomized elements you'll unlock.

If its weird aesthetic isn't your jam, there are two similar games also available on Switch with the same kind of twin-stick, randomized gameplay: Enter the Gungeon and NeuroVoider.

 

Cave Story+

Price: $30

Multiplayer ✓ 

Number of players: up to 2 locally

Physical version  ✓

There have been a lot of version of Cave Story over the years. The game is a great little nonlinear platformer made by a single guy. Since there's no 2D Metroid game on the Switch yet (and who knows if there ever will be), Cave Story is a great alternative. This version is basically the definitive version of the game, even including a co-op mode. The only one I might recommend over this is Cave Story 3D for the 3DS, if you can get your hands on it. You can play this version on a TV, though!

 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Price: $60 MSRP

Multiplayer  

Physical version  ✓

At the time I'm writing this, Xenoblade Chronicles has only been out for a few weeks. I'm now about 20 hours into this behemoth of a game, and I can safely recommend it. The original Xenoblade Chronicles was a game that I always wanted to like but could never get into. The world was pretty fascinating and I always wanted to see where the story would go, but I never cared for the gameplay at all. The battle system was complicated and too MMO-like for me and I could never get past the beginning of the game because I kept dying. For whatever reason, I was convinced to buy Xenoblade Chronicles X and ended up liking it a lot. I can't explain to you why, because I don't even know myself, but I found battles in that game to be incredibly fun and rewarding.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a sequel in name only, like Final Fantasy, but the number is meant to signify a return to the more narrative, character driven focus of the original game. I had my reservations, especially because they tweaked the battle system again so now you can't move and attack at the same time, but after playing it for myself, I definitely love it. The design and characters are the best in the series, and the combat is deep yet somehow less complicated. It's less about action and more about timing and stacking combos, kind of like a puzzle game. Obviously, these sprawling JRPGs aren't for everyone, but I never thought they'd be for me and here we are! 

I've heard complaints that the game is too "anime", which to me is a good thing as I find the story and characters in this iteration to be the best in the series so far. Then again, I'm a "scrub" who plays with the voice track in my native language. So just keep in mind that if you hate anime, you might hate this game too.

 

The End is Nigh

Price: $15 digital, $30 physical

Multiplayer  

Physical version  ✓

Another crazy game by Edmund McMillen, this one acts as a spiritual successor to Super Meat Boy. It's not quite as fresh as that game, since now there exists a game like it, but it's just as well designed. This time, you play as a little blob guy named Ash who travels into the post-apocalyptic world in search of a friend. 

Although it features the same basic platforming style and tight controls as Meat Boy, it's a slower-paced game that swaps out wall jumps for edge grabs. Each world consists of a series of interconnected levels that consist of a single screen, allowing you to analyze the layout and form your best strategy to complete it. Of course, you'll still die a lot and explode into a million pieces before respawing at the edge of the screen. If you loved Super Meat Boy and always wanted a sequel, this the game for you.