18 best Nintendo Switch games for every kind of player in 2022

The Nintendo Switch was an unlikely success story when it launched back in 2017. It had a very limited catalogue of games but slowly over time that list has become filled with completely unmissable titles.

With the follow-up releases of the Switch Lite and the Switch OLED models, there’s never been a better time to explore Nintendo’s rich body of work.

Known for it seal of quality (it’s the white and gold sticker you can find on the back of any Switch game), if you’re buying a first-party title made by Nintendo itself then you’re in for a good time. Metroid, Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda are just a few of the properties that the company makes in house and they are still considered some of the best games ever made.

We’ll also be looking at some of the best third-party games for the handheld system including works from Bethesda, Square Enix and more.

So that you don’t miss out, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the Nintendo Switch.

How we tested

These games have been tried and tested based on how well they perform on Switch as opposed to other consoles. Some games listed here will be available on the likes of PS5, Xbox and PC, but their inclusion here is based on how well they are put to use through Nintendo’s hardware, such as portability and updated controls.

The best Nintendo Switch games for 2022 are:

  • Best overall Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: £52.99, Game.co.uk
  • Best platformer Super Mario Odyssey: £44.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best Pokémon game Pokémon Legends: Arceus: £39.99, Very.co.uk
  • Best sports game –Nintendo Switch Sports: £32.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best co-op gameKirby and the Forgotten Land: £39.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best side-scroller Metroid Dread: £38.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best turn-based strategy Fire Emblem: Three Houses: £44.59, Base.com
  • Best indie Hades: £43.39, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best racing game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: £39.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best multiplayer Super Smash Bros Ultimate: £44.99, Currys.co.uk
  • Best action RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: £34.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best party game Mario Party Superstars: £39.99, Very.co.uk
  • Best game for exercise Ring Fit Adventure: £54.99, Johnlewis.com
  • Best family game Animal Crossing: New Horizons: £39.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best detective game The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles: £32.99, Nintendo.co.uk
  • Best board game 51 Worldwide Games: £39.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best football game Mario Strikers: Battle League Football: £39.85, Shopto.net
  • Best skateboarding game – OlliOlli World: £16.65, Nintendo.co.uk

‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Release date: 3 March 2017
  • Developer: Nintendo

As Link emerges from the Temple of Restoration and gazes over the aftermath of Hyrule’s destruction in the game’s introduction, Breath of the Wild makes a simple promise: every corner of this vast landscape can be explored and none of it will be forgettable.

Sharing a launch window with 1-2-Switch and Super Bomberman, the titles were noticeably sparse compared to previous generations. But thanks to Breath of the Wild the Switch became a must-buy immediately and set a precedent for every first-party Nintendo game that came after it.

Though the news that the sequel to Breath of the Wild has been delayed until spring 2023 is disappointing, there is still plenty of Hyrule to uncover in the meantime. Not only is it this best Legend of Zelda in the franchises’ 26-year history, but it’s also one of the best games ever made.

Read our full review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

‘Super Mario Odyssey’

Best: Platformer

Rating: 10/10

  • Release date: 27 October 2017
  • Developer: Nintendo

Where would Nintendo be without its famous Italian plumber? Selling over 750 million titles across different genres, Super Mario is one of the most recognisable fictional characters around the world. With Odyssey, Mario returns to the 3D platformer genre in this globe-trotting adventure with a new sidekick “Cappy”.

It blends the classic action and mobility of previous Mario titles, such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy, with a unique twist that allows Mario to take control of new abilities to explore many of Odyssey’s different worlds such as New Donk City. It just narrowly misses out on the top spot for best Nintendo Switch game but only marginally. This really is one of the best Mario games out there.

Read our full review of Super Mario Odyssey

‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’

Best: Pokémon game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release Date: 28 January 2022
  • Developer: Game Freak

Pokémon Legends: Arceus was a gust of fresh air that the series desperately needed. Taking the same stride from Pokémon Sword and Shield, players can explore wide-open vistas of the Hisui region and capture the Pokémon therein.

Creatures can be spotted roaming the fields from afar with careful planning and apprach necessary in order to avoid startle them before capturing them and sending back to the village for research.

Legends: Arceus feels like a necessary departure for the series and with any luck, Game Freak has taken its positive reception to heart and will maintain its stride with the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which releases later this year.

Find out more about Pokémon Legends: Arceus

‘Nintendo Switch Sports’

Best: Sports game

Rating: 7/10

  • Release Date: 29 April 2022
  • Developer: Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Sports is a strong continuation of a tried and tested formula that will find near-universal appeal with anybody who remembers the glory days of the Nintendo Wii. There’s also the added benefit of online play for gamers looking to hit the courts with friends and players all over the world.

Tennis and bowling are firm favourites with new sports such as volleyball and badminton making worthy additions to the overall package. With the promise of even more games arriving in the near future, such as golf, it’s an excellent time to pick up a joy-con and have a swing. Just remember to wear the wrist-strap so you don’t break your TV.

Read our full review of Nintendo Switch Sports to find out more

‘Kirby and the Forgotten Land’

Best: Co-op game

Rating: 8/10

  • Release Date: 25 March 2021
  • Developer: Hal Laboratory

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the spherical pink hero’s first 3D outing and it’s one of his best yet.

Transported from Planet Popstar, Kirby is transported into a post-apocalyptic world along with his Waddle Dee friends. Each level sees Kirby rescuing each one by inhaling enemies to inherit their powers as well as a new “mouthful mode” which sees him engulf large objects to take on their forms, like cars and vending machines.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an excellent platforming adventure enjoyed alone but it also has an excellent two-player mode with the second player taking control of “Bandana Waddle Dee”. He isn’t able to transform like Kirby but his excellent mobility and spear attacks more than make up for it.

It’s an easy, breezy action adventure that Kirby fans have always wanted and Nintendo fans will appreciate.

Find out more about Kirby and the Forgotten Land

‘Metroid Dread’

Best: Side-scroller

Rating: 9/10

  • Release Date: 8 October 2021
  • Developer: Nintendo

Metroid has long been considered the black sheep of Nintendo’s vast list of original works. Mario, Zelda and Kirby are all easy sells to a market of children and adults but the promise of a space-faring adventure with horror elements doesn’t have the same broad appeal. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see Metroid Dread lean heavily into its horror roots in this latest adventure.

The story of Metroid Dread immediately follows from the last 2D game, Metroid Fusion, which was released back in 2002 on the Game Boy Advance. You would be forgiven for missing an installment that appeared 20 years ago but Metroid Dread’s introduction does fine work of catching new players up to the events to date.

By the time the credits role roughly eight hours in, Samus is far from the vulnerable-yet-determined bounty hunter trapped under the planets surface, she’s a tour-de-force and proof that the 2D Metroid formula hasn’t aged in its 35-year history. While many fans of the series will have more familiarity with the Metroid Prime series and eagerly await the fourth installment, Metroid Dread is proof that the 2D platformer is Samus at its best and the strongest case for the argument since Super Metroid on the SNES.

‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’

Best: Turn-based strategy

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 26 July 2019
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo

The Fire Emblem series has always been popular in its native Japan with a number of its hallmarks; turn-based combat, large tactical maps as well as being one of the first series to introduce “permadeath” to its characters. If they died, they were gone for good.

Three Houses is the latest instalment in this series. You play as Byleth, a mysterious mercenary-turned-professor of Garreg Mach Monastery who must choose one of three houses to lead into battle.

It balances equal parts strategic combat and social interaction with a wide cast of characters all with different traits and personalities. A single campaign can take up to 100 hours and with four possible endings to choose from, so there is a tremendous amount of replay value.

Read our full review of Fire Emblem: Three Houses

‘Hades’

Best: Indie game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 17 September 2020
  • Developer: Supergiant Games

If at first you don’t succeed, die and die again. That’s the mantra of Supergiant Games’ critically acclaimed roguelike Hades. You play as Zagreus, son of Hades who wants nothing more than to escape his father’s realm. With assistance from the gods of Olympus, players will make their way through the ever-changing halls as they make their way to the world’s surface. If Zagreus fails in his attempts, he is sent back to the start and must make his escape again.

There’s a reason it was named 2020’s game of the year by different publications. Its excellent writing, gameplay loops and soundtrack all amalgamate into a beautifully realised depiction of Greek mythology and its denizens with modern sensibilities.

‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’

Best: Racing game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 28 April 2017
  • Developer: Nintendo

The juggernaut that can’t be topped. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to be the best selling game on the Switch since it was released early in the Switch’s lifespan and for good reason; it’s the best Mario Kart has ever been. A large roster of racers, gravity-defying circuits and power-ups all contribute to the series’ timeless appeal and with a flexible control scheme designed to cater to audiences of all ages, it finds the perfect balance of being simple to learn and difficult to master.

There’s all the more reason to pick up a copy in 2022, as the first wave of the booster course pass has just been released which adds eight additional tracks to the game with the promise of 40 more on the way.

Read our full review of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

‘Super Smash Bros Ultimate’

Best: Multiplayer

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 7 December 2018
  • Developer: Nintendo

Who would win in a fight between Donkey Kong, Pikachu and Steve from Minecraft? Super Smash Bros Ultimate can help answer that question. In the latest instalment of Nintendo’s fighting franchise, every fighter that has ever appeared in the series – a grand total of 89 characters – battles it out across different stages from some of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises and beyond. With up to eight players on screen at once, each match is a chaotic mess but incredibly fun.

‘Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

Best: Action RPG

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 15 October 2019
  • Developer: CD Projekt RED

Even if you’re not a fan of the books or the Netflix series starring Henry Cavill, many gamers will be familiar with Witcher 3. First released in 2014 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has finally made its way to the Switch with this impressive port from Saber Interactive.

Sure, this is hardly the definitive version of the game which was graphically demanding even on the previous generation of consoles but the fact that it can be played portably is nothing short of witchcraft. If you missed it the first time around, you will definitely want to toss a coin to this Witcher.

Read our full review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

‘Mario Party Superstars’

Best: Party game

Rating: 8/10

  • Release Date: 29 October 2021
  • Developer: NDcube

Super Mario Party tried to update the party formula with unique dice rolls for different characters, grid-based boards and team-building mechanics when it was released in 2018. Not all of these worked which is why Mario Party Superstars is a welcome return to a well-trodden formula.

Taking the lead from the Nintendo 64 era of Mario Party titles, Superstars goes back to basics with a number of familiar mini-games for longtime fans that focus on button controls rather than motion-based games. Players take turns rolling dice and moving around the board collecting coins and stars to win. Anyone who has ever played a board game like Monopoly will understand the premise but like the family favourite, it can also quickly lead to arguments…

‘Ring Fit Adventure’

Best: Game for exercise

Rating: 8/10

  • Release Date: 18 October 2019
  • Developer: Nintendo

Fitness games have been synonymous with Nintendo since the days of the Wii Fit and Ring Fit Adventure is the natural evolution of the fitness game. But rather than taking up space on your living room floor with a pair of bathroom scales, Ring Fit Adventure uses a pilates ring-type device and leg strap to perform its range of aerobic exercises.

What also makes this game stand out is its framing as an RPG in single player mode. Like an RPG, you wander a path by jogging on the spot and fight monsters with ab-crunches, squats and stretches. It’s a fun take on the “gaming as exercise” and after just a few minutes, you will really start to break a sweat.

‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

Best: Family game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release date: 20 March 2020
  • Developer: Nintendo

Released in the early days of lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons seemed like the perfectly idealised destination we would all want to take. Players will venture to a tropical island to begin life anew as one of several villagers looking to settle down on an island paradise, overseen by the enterprising Tom Nook.

This is the biggest the series has ever been, with custom paths, terrain building and house placement, players can make the island feel truly like their own. There’s also plenty of fish, bugs and fossils to collect as well as furniture to purchase at the shop. It’s a cheery enough title but with local and online multiplayer options, it’s also a good way to spend some quality downtime with friends and loved ones.

Read our full review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

‘The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles’

Best: Detective game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release Date: 27 July 2021
  • Developer: Capcom

Originally released exclusively in Japan in 2015, The Great Ace Attorney was a popular spin-off of the Ace Attorney series that saw the protagonist travel from 19th century Japan to become a defence attorney in Victorian London with the assistance of a copyright-safe detective named “Herlock Sholmes”.

As a defence attorney, players must investigate the scene of murders to gather evidence before taking it to court and cross examining witnesses. By pulling apart testimony and using evidence to spot contradictions, each mystery is slowly unravelled during court proceedings. While very text-heavy, these games are light-humoured and incredibly rewarding to pick apart. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles contains both the first and second game, so there’s plenty of mysteries to solve.

51 Worldwide Games

Best: Board game collection

Rating: 7/10

  • Release Date: 5 June 2020
  • Developer: Nintendo

Like it says on the box, 51 Worldwide Games includes over 50 traditional tabletop games played all over the globe. Obvious classics such as chess, backgammon and draughts are included but it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn how to play other games such as mancala, nine men’s morris and renegade.

Not every game included is as timeless as chess and some of the card games vary in quality and difficulty but there is enough in the box to at least warrant learning their rules. Nintendo’s clean presentation of each game and facts about their origins make the whole package feel like an exhibition of play throughout history and Nintendo’s own origins as a manufacturer of Hanafuda cards in 1889 is also a nice reference.

‘Mario Strikers: Battle League Football’

Best: Football game

Rating: 7/10

  • Release Date: 10 June 2022
  • Developer: Nintendo

Mario strikers battle league football is a combat sport game that sees two teams of five battle it out on the pitch. The makeup of each team means players control four of the characters on each side with the goalie being controlled independently by Bowser minion Bam Bam.

It’s quite chaotic for a football game, with offensive tackles, power-ups and “hyper strikes” dominating the screen but it’s all part of the fun. While single player modes might be on the easier side, Mario Strikers really shines in online multiplayer.

Read the full Mario Strikers: Battle League Football review to find out more

‘OlliOlli World’

Best: Skateboarding game

Rating: 9/10

  • Release Date: 8 February 2022
  • Developer: Nintendo

At its core, OlliOlli World is a skateboarding game stripped down to its most basic elements, with flips, grinds and wallrides controlled with the left stick and grabs and other variations controlled with the right. But after getting to grips with the basics, skating through each level becomes almost transcandental in the pursuit of “Gnarvana”.

With an updated art style and lo-fi soundtrack, Roll7’s latest entry into the OlliOlli series is its most fully realised yet and easily stands out as one of the best skateboarding games ever made.

The verdict: Nintendo Switch games

Even after five years, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still the game to beat on the Nintendo console. The Breath of the Wild sequel has unfortunately been delayed until next year but there’s still speculation that this new one could be the best when it does eventually launch.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a more streamlined game, then Super Mario Odyssey is about as good as Super Mario can get. Brilliant level design, creative mechanics and plenty of hidden secrets to uncover make it a true gem of the Nintendo catalogue of games.

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