What are the best Nintendo Switch games? While the console has been out for a while now, the Nintendo Switch line-up is just getting better and better. While it launched with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – still one of the best Nintendo Switch games on the system – it’s been joined by a series of fantastic exclusives and ports of some of your favorite titles. So, we’ve put together a list of the best Switch games in 2023.
From classic platformers to open-world epics, there’s something for everyone on the Nintendo Switch. Whether you’re looking for the best Nintendo Switch kids games or the best free Switch games, we can guarantee you’ll find something on this list to enjoy. But, overall, there are some absolutely top-tier games on the Nintendo Switch that you really should get your hands on if you haven’t already dived into their vast and diverse worlds.
The best Nintendo Switch games are:
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
- Metroid Dread
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Into the Breach
- Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Splatoon 3
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Pikmin 4
1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a Switch exclusive that stands out from the crowd. Arguably one of the best Switch RPG games out there, Xenoblade Chronicles signals the end of the trilogy, tapping into the story of the warring nations, Keves and Agnus.
The story will feel familiar to those who’ve played the first two games, but the mechanics, particularly as you get to grips with Noah, Eunie, Lanz, Mio, Sena, and Taion, will completely change the way you think about the series.
The characters are utterly captivating, the world is stunning – even if it does push the Switch to its max – and the combat is satisfying. You can read our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review here to find out more about why we love XC3.
2. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
When Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was first announced, it proved to be a pretty divisive move by Nintendo. Not everyone was convinced that a partnership with Ubisoft for a strategy game would pay off in the way Nintendo hoped, but they were quickly proved wrong.
Kingdom Battle was a triumph and it led to the creation of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope just five years later, which, despite some key differences like a lack of co-op, has given us yet another great Switch strategy game.
This time around it feels less like XCOM, giving you the freedom to operate out of the strict grid you often found yourself in before. And that means tactical decisions are far easier to make, making for a more accessible experience.
It takes a little while to get used to, but it’s a solid improvement from the first. Read more in our Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope review.
Hades is a phenomenal action RPG with a roguelike structure, with some of the best combat you’ll see in a roguelike paired up with an absolutely gorgeous world full of well-written and engaging characters.
Every death in Hades is canon, with characters commiserating (or mocking) you each time you try and fail to escape from your father’s domain – he’s the titular Hades, you see – to get to the surface. As you play, several different progression systems will slowly unfold around you
You can play this all day if you want, but it’s well-suited for quickfire play sessions, making it perfect for the Switch. And once you’ve played it, you’ll also be eagerly awaiting the Hades 2 release date like the rest of us.
4. Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread is probably the best 2D Metroid game ever made, but it’s also one of the best adventure games ever made, as Samus Aran explores the sprawling planet of ZDR, with most of her powers stripped away after defeat by a savage enemy.
The Dread of the title comes from the EMMIs that hunt you throughout certain areas of the game when this action-adventure game turns into a fast-paced horror as you try to steer Samus to safety.
You’ll regain most of your powers throughout the game, but Metroid Dread never lets up. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it for the achievement of getting through it.
5. Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Only Kirby could make the end of civilization into a joyous adventure. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a lovely warm hug of a game, as you wander around eating everything and fighting monsters with a variety of different abilities.
Forgotten Land hits a lot of the same notes as Super Mario Odyssey but beats Odyssey because it’s the only Nintendo Switch game where you can inhale a vending machine, turn into said vending machine, and begin swatting nearby enemies with cans.
Simple design and thoughtful puzzles elevate this platformer to legend status, although the beauty of it is you’ll barely notice how hard the game is working for your affections. It’s comfort food in videogame form, easily making it one of the best Switch games available right now.
6. Into The Breach
Into the Breach could just be the perfect strategy game for the Nintendo Switch. The Kaiju-splattering strategy game is at its best played in short bursts, and the small-scale fights look beautiful on the Switch’s screen too.
In reality, Into The Breach isn’t so much a strategy game as it is a puzzle game and, in its finest moments, it feels like the most rad version of Chess you’ve ever played. Chess concepts like trading value will even work here, it’s just that instead of using a bishop to shield your king, you’re firing a giant chest-mounted laser to kill the monsters trying to eat an inhabited apartment block. What’s not to love?
7. Divinity: Original Sin 2 — Definitive Edition
The Switch has become a great place to play RPGs that have already found their audience on other platforms. A good RPG game on the Switch is like carrying a paperback, you have an incredible story in your pocket any time you want it.
With that in mind, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is among the best RPGs you can play on the Switch. The elementally driven combat is divine – you’ll always remember the first time you cast a rain spell to douse your enemies in water and then unleash a lightning storm to electrocute and stun all of the foe at once.
But there’s also an incredibly deep world with mature storytelling. Every play session you can venture off in a different direction and meet new characters and a new world. Maybe for this quest, you’ll help two villagers turned into cows, or you’ll reunite a long-lost daughter with her father. It all fits, and the game will eventually suck you in and refuse to let you go.
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
It’s Mario Kart. What more do you need to know? This is the finest iteration of Mario Kart to date, and having this on the go brings with it the possibility of destroying every friendship in your life no matter where you are.
Mario Kart is a great game for the whole family to play with a series of assists that can level the playing field if you’re trying to play with kids or people who aren’t as good as you at video games, this will ensure everyone has a good time.
Find your favorite character and get stuck in racing your friends on basically every track that’s ever appeared in a Mario Kart title. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is undoubtedly the best Switch racing game out right now.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
A top-tier adventure game, Breath of the Wild is probably one of the best examples of gaming freedom out there. If you can see it, you can do it.
Built like an immersive sim, here you can contend with all sorts of fun features: set fire to a tree and you can use the hot air to ride up onto a nearby cliff. Heavy rain will cause you to slip and fall while climbing, or you could even kill enemies by dropping rocks on them.
You can even choose to skip the entire plot and go straight for the game’s final boss and try to give him a pasting. If you do, you’ll miss the great worldbuilding, but that’s freedom for you.
10. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
We can’t recommend Breath of the Wild without also urging you to play its sequel, Tears of the Kingdom. TOTK turns the dial up a notch on many of the accomplishments of Breath of the Wild, turning what was already one of the best games of all time into an even greater one.
Bringing a completely fresh toybox of powers and a huge open world calling your name, Tears of the Kingdom encourages a sense of exploration and discovery that is rare to come by. Pair that creativity with a more intimate and involved story, and Tears of the Kingdom is a magnificent open world adventure for long time fans of the series and newcomers looking to find a way into this iconic series.
You can find out more in our Tears of the Kingdom review.
11. Splatoon 3
Splatoon is a Nintendo classic and the latest iteration of this third-person shooting game has, unsurprisingly, bagged itself a spot on our best Nintendo Switch games list, especially after we crowned it as the best Nintendo Switch game in 2022.
With a fresh lick of paint, a new story mode, and plenty of weapons and stages to sink your teeth into, Splatoon 3 is the definitive way to play the series. It may not be as innovative as other games on this list, but it still does exactly what it says on the tin.
And if you like fast-paced shooting action, nothing else on the Nintendo Store even comes close, taking the crown against stiff competition for the best Switch FPS games.
12. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
There’s no better way to explore a vast world than in a proper Lego game. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a complete experience for any Star Wars fan and that’s because it brings all nine films into one big narrative string.
You’ll be able to explore planets, slice your friends in half with a lightsaber, and enjoy the standard slapstick humour Lego games have become known for in The Skywalker Saga, offering you hours of fun along the way.
It’s a genuinely delightful game that we’ve crowned as one of the best co-op games of all time, making it perfect for you and a friend to enjoy on your Switch. Read our Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review for more on why we love it so much.
It might look like a cute, cosy fishing simulator, but Dredge is anything but. In this indie-darling, you will indeed be trawling the high seas as a fisherman, but you’ll quickly come to realize there’s a lot more than just fish beneath the waves.
With a Lovecraftian, cosmic horror vibe, Dredge has to be one of the best games to come out on Switch in recent years and we absolutely love it.
You can read our Dredge review here.
14. Pikmin 4
Pikmin fans have had to wait a very, very long time for Pikmin 4 though it was worth the wait with one of the best Nintendo Switch games out right now. It’s bigger and better than the previous entries in many ways, though you don’t need to have played the rest to hop into this one. You’ll solve puzzles using your colorful army of Pikmin and Oatchi, a cute dog, to rebuild your spaceship, offering just the right balance of mystery and casual puzzle solving.
Welcoming to new players and veterans alike, Pikmin 4 is a delightful adventure. You can read Pocket Tactics’ Pikmin 4 review for more on the game.
Our full list of the best Nintendo Switch games available right now should be enough to keep you busy while you wait for all the upcoming Switch games to surface later this year. Check out our Nintendo Switch review to find out why it’s still one of the best portable gaming consoles – six years after its original release.