The Nintendo Switch has an incredibly strong library of games, with many worth recommending. For our 10 absolute favorite games, however, you can check out the list below. It’s a list we will be updating as often as games worthy of inclusion release. We will kick games off and add new ones as the Switch’s library grows.
Please note that while the list below contains 10 entries, we aren’t actually ranking them – if a game has made it this far (and managed to stay here), it’s a must-play, period. As such, we’ll be listing entries in reverse chronological order. Also, you’ll find a rundown of previous entries at the bottom of the list. While those titles have gotten bumped for bigger and better experiences, they are still all great games in their own right and worth exploring if you’re already caught up on the latest hits.
Here are Game Informer’s picks for the top 10 games on the Switch.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Release: January 28, 2022
Pokémon Legends: Arceus stands as the biggest change of pace for the long-running franchise. Set in an ancient version of Sinnoh, you’re tasked with exploring a large world to fill out the first Pokédex. Though not a true open world, the sense of freedom still feels liberating as does the less restrictive battle system where players can freely sneak up, challenge, and even evade Pokémon. We loved capturing never-before-seen versions of our favorite pocket monsters and a bevy of side quests, plus an engaging main narrative, kept us glued to our Switch screens. Pokémon Legends: Arceus has its faults, but it represents a strong first step towards what we hope is the start of a new series. | Our Review
Release: October 8, 2021
Metroid fans have been begging Nintendo for a brand new 2D Metroid adventure for nearly two decades. Thankfully, when Nintendo finally delivered, it didn’t disappoint. As the name implies, Dread is a tense experience, full of challenging boss fights and deadly robots who doggedly chase Samus across the various biomes of Planet ZDR. Metroid’s classic exploration-based platforming remains intact, and we eagerly hunted down new upgrades like the Phantom Cloak and the Spider Magnet. The race to 100 percent was over all too quickly, but we can’t wait to see what Dread’s big story reveals mean for the series’ future. | Our Review
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Release: February 12, 2021
Rereleases rarely capture our full attention these days, but the Wii U’s 4-player Mario title was so joyful and fun that we couldn’t resist jumping back in for the Switch port. As if that wasn’t enough, Nintendo also included a brand new single-player campaign titled Bowser’s Fury. In this standalone experience, Mario travels across Lake Lapcat, completing various platforming challenges to collect Cat Shines. The larger, open-world design of Bowser’s Fury feels incredibly refreshing for a Mario experience, and we loved how each act ends in a Kaiju-sized boss battle. | Our Review
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Release: March 20, 2020
The tranquil, low-stress Animal Crossing: New Horizons hit at the exact right time in the world. With the news cycle becoming more tumultuous since 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers refuge in the form of a virtual tropical island. Building and customizing your house and island the way you see fit is immensely rewarding as New Horizons delivers a fun daily loop full of goals and rewards. | Our Review
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Release: July 26, 2019
The Fire Emblem series has built a cult following through handheld platforms in recent years, but with Three Houses, the turn-based strategy series explodes back onto TVs in the best way possible. Featuring outstanding strategic gameplay, a fun story to interact with and influence, and multiple paths to take through the narrative, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the best strategy games available today. | Our Review
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Release: December 7, 2018
A crossover event two decades in the making, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate represents the series in its most realized form. Containing superb fighting mechanics, a terrific suite of modes to play, and a roster of fighters that features every character in series history and then some, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is all but an essential title for the Switch. | Our Review
Super Mario Odyssey
Release: October 27, 2017
Every Nintendo console has to have at least one fantastic Mario platformer, and the Switch is no exception. Mario Odyssey released a few months after the launch of the console and it hits all the Mario checkboxes necessary to be considered a classic, plus a few surprising new ones. It’s whimsical, has perfect controls, tons to discover, and features a city level where all the humans have normal proportions while Mario runs around as his short, cartoony self. It’s a strange adventure and a must-have for Switch owners. | Our Review
Release: October 5, 2017
The future of Harvest Moon is unclear and its recent past is underwhelming. Thankfully, Stardew Valley exists and improves on nearly every mechanic that series popularized. Managing a farm may sound like a chore, but in Stardew Valley it’s a joy. Watching your crops grow over time and selling them for profit while getting to know the townspeople creates an experience that is difficult to put down. Adding the portability of the Switch only makes the experience better. | Our Review of the PC version
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Release: April 28, 2017
Far more than a simple port of the excellent Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, Deluxe includes all the game’s DLC (extra tracks, racers, and cars), and Battle Mode, which was curiously absent from the original release. Playing split-screen Mario Kart is always a hit, and having a version of the game with two controllers you can take anywhere makes it the perfect showcase for the Switch. | Our Review
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Release: March 3, 2017
We’re not exaggerating when we say The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever made. We gave it the rare 10/10 in our review and gave it our 2017 Game of the Year award as it sets a new high standard for open-world video games. Being able to go anywhere you can see on the map has never been more true than it is in Breath of the Wild and it is also filled with the kind of excellent puzzle-design you expect from a Zelda experience. It’s a journey you won’t soon forget and the optional DLC packs add additional challenges and new items worth pursuing to the overworld. | Our Review
The games considered for this list that didn’t make the cut, or have been cut since we originally published this article: Pokémon Sword & Shield, Hollow Knight, Fortnite, Celeste, Golf Story, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Splatoon 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Doom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Sonic Mania, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition, and recent classics that have been ported, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Inside, and Axiom Verge. They’re all still great games, so give them a try, too!