The best Nintendo Switch games May 2023

The best Nintendo Switch games really are something to behold. From world epics to racing games and dungeon crawlers, here are the best Switch games.

Best Nintendo Switch games: Metroid Dead character slides under an enemy

What are the best Nintendo Switch games? After five years, 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 favourite titles.

From big, 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
  • Hades
  • 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
  • Splatoon 3
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Dredge
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Switch games: Xenoblade 3 Chronicles character with a sword

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Out of all the games that were released last year, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the one 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. There’s no better game to play on the Switch right now.

You can read our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review.

Best Switch games: Mario and the gang light up the sky in Sparks of Hope

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 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 ground strategy game.

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.

Best Nintendo Switch games: A herculean character carries a sword on his shoulder in Hades

3. Hades

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.

Best Nintendo Switch games: Metroid character takes out an enemy in Metroid Dread

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.

Best Nintendo Switch games: Kirby jumps off the ground with his arm in the air

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 and then become the vending machine, 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.

Best Nintendo Switch games: A mech stands overlooking ruins in Into The Breach

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?

Best Nintendo Switch games: Five RPG characters from Divinity Original Sin 2

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 the best RPG 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.

Best Nintendo Switch games for kids: Mario, Luigi, and Toad race in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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.

Best Nintendo Switch games: Link readies his bow in Breath of the Wild

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.

Best Nintendo Switch games Splatoon 3: Three Splatoon characters covered in paint

10. 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.

11. 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.

Best Switch games: A fishing boat sails towards an island in Dredge

12. Dredge

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 realise there’s a lot more than you realise hiding below the surface.

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. 

Best Nintendo Switch games Tears of the Kingdom: Zelda holding the Master Sword, blade down, looking at it solemnly.

13. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom turns the dial up a notch on many of the accomplishments of Breath of the Wild, another one of the best Nintendo Switch games.

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 read PocketTactic’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review here.

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.