Our top pick, and the best Nintendo Switch game is Super Smash Bros Ultimate. It’s a fun-filled and fast-paced action game featuring characters from just about all od the top Nintendo games of all time, as well as the best switch games that have appeared since 2018.
In order to help you find the best Nintendo Switch games, we tried out all of the top titles, looking for the best role-playing game, the best multiplayer video game and the best switch games for adults as well as the best games for kids. We looked at reviews and ratings for the best Nintendo Switch games, Metacritic and on Reddit, and put in dozens of hours of play and testing the best games available. We looked for games that give you a reason to keep coming back (aka replay value), ones that are heavy on the fun factor and games that excel equally whether docked or in portable mode. We also appreciated games with top notch graphics and pinpoint controls, with content that is appropriate for any member of the family. Read on for more of the top Nintendo Switch games this year.
Top 7 Best Nintendo Switch Games
#1 Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: The famous and beloved Nintendo universe fighting game goes mobile and adds new characters and items, new combo attacks and more. It also promises to include every character that has ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros. title.
Read Full Review: Super Smash Bros Ultimate Review
- Expanded fast paced action
- Every Super Smash Bros character ever
- Up to 8 player melee battles online
- Some options work better if you have GameCube controllers laying around
- New characters unlocked in unpredictable ways
This Nintendo Switch game lives up to its title as the “ultimate” amalgamation of Super Smash bros characters that ever appeared. It’s also among the best switch games to play with friends, since it supports 4-player mode automatically and can handle up to 8 players in online mode. It’s also compatible with old GameCube controllers and works just as well mobile as when docked.
With so many fantastic Super Mario video games to enjoy from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey to Super Mario Maker and more, Super Smash Bros ultimate (switch version) is one of the best party games around and also among the top Nintendo Switch games in terms of graphics, with a new feature that lets you morph the stage during a match. Plus, you get to play any and every character that has ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros game, along with some new characters from games like Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Metroid and Castlevania. Alongside Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is also available on the Nintendo Switch Lite and the Wii U. If you want to put away the screens for the night, try one of the best board games instead.
#2 Mario and Rabbids Kingdom
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A fun strategy game that takes familiar Mario characters in a totally unexpected new direction, it’s challenging and engaging for kids, yet beginner friendly and easy to get into.
Read Full Review: Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Review
- Mario themed for all ages
- Great graphics
- Easy to pick up for kids and beginners
- Somewhat shorter than some RPG fans would like
- Plot is not substantially different from other Mario titles
Whether or not you’re familiar with the characters, this Mario/ Rabbids crossover is easy to get into and might be among, if you’re looking for the best role playing game, the best Nintendo Switch games you can buy for all ages. Adults and kids alike will appreciate the well developed character animation, humorous tone and interesting puzzles.
While it may be something of an unexpected franchise pair-up, it nonetheless works. The basic plot and the world-hopping quest formula will be familiar to those who’ve played Mario games in the past, while the Rabbids antics adds a new dimension of zany, cartoony fun. If you love puzzles but don’t have a Switch, try one of the best iPhone puzzle games instead.
#3 Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Award: LONGEST GAME PLAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A deeply expansive open world quest adventure with role playing game elements, this is among the best Switch Games for adults and for fans of the Witcher series in particular.
Read Full Review: Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Review
- Complex plot offering 150 hours of play
- Great graphics
- Challenging quests
- Can be confusing for beginners
- Character development lags behind the detailed world building
An open world adventure game that includes elements of the best role playing game scenarios, this title is often listed among the best Nintendo Switch games for fans of fantasy type RPGs and of the Witcher series.
This game is the “complete edition” and includes all the downloadable content released for the title, combining for a claimed 150 hours of gameplay. The storyline is complex enough and the world building is amazingly detailed, so this seems plausible. If you love RPGs but can’t drop the money on a console, check out the best RPS games for the iPhone.
#4 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Award: BEST RPG
WHY WE LIKE IT: This gorgeous RPG brings an unprecedented level of charm and storytelling to mobile gaming, with its Studio Ghibli animated visuals and well-done musical score setting the scene.
Read Full Review: Ni No Kuni Review
- Studio Ghibli visuals
- Involving, complex game play
- Kid friendly but sophisticated enough for adults
- Game mechanics can be somewhat clunky
- The Switch’s 1080p display can cause some aliasing
This game is a Nintendo Switch portable version of the now classic PS4 role playing game Ni no Kuni. It preserves the beautiful art and the compelling, lyrical storyline from the original, and for the most part it looks amazing on the Switch’s screen.
The role-playing game mechanics work well, and fans of Studio Ghibli productions will find the cinematic elements charming and the cut scenes absolutely beautiful. Character designs are as cute and iconic as ever, and the soundtrack is excellent. If your love of this game comes from PlayStation, check out some more of the best PS4 games.
#5 Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Award: BEST STRATEGY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This empire building strategy game preserves incredible detail and expansive narrative possibility in its portable form. It contains the latest updates and expansions as well.
Read Full Review: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Review
- Historical strategy role playing game
- Beautiful map graphics
- 4 expansion packs included
- Slower paced in single player mode than some fans prefer
- Not an online multiplayer game
This game continues in mobile form the long-established Civilization PC game franchise. Fans of the original will find much to love in its portable form, making it a top choice if you’re looking for a role playing game, among the best Nintendo Switch games. It is appropriate for most ages, though if you’re not familiar with turn based, world-building RPGs it can be somewhat confusing to start.
Gameplay mechanics work well on the Switch, with few users reporting significant bugs or crashes. This version includes as a bonus four expansion packs as well: Vikings, Poland, Persia & Macedonia and Australia. If PC gaming isn’t your thing, try one of the 10 best free android games instead.
#6 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Award: BEST SPORTS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This fun, nostalgic sports game combines familiar characters once-confined to very different platforms. It’s hugely versatile too, offering single and multiplayer and online modes.
Read Full Review: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Review
- Up to 8 players
- Versatile motion controls
- Cool 2D events
- Somewhat odd sporting choices
- Plot in story mode not the most detailed
This game is ranked among the best Nintendo Switch games for kids; it’s versatile and easy to get into, and if you’re a fan of the Mario and Sonic crossover games on the Wii, you’ll find much to appreciate in this one. New for this title, along with the sports gameplay, is a nostalgic 2D mode that simulates old Game Boy side scrolling play.
This sports game works as both a single player and a multiplayer game for the Switch. In online mode it supports up to 8 players, and even offline it can be a 4-player game, making it great for family game nights. For more fun game nights at home, check out some of the best videogames of all time.
#7 Paw Patrol On A Roll
Award: BEST KIDS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Nickelodeon adventure game is a well-done all ages licensed game, making great use of the Paw Patrol characters and locations, adding in some cool puzzle elements to the game play and keeping it E for everyone-rated.
Read Full Review: Paw Patrol On A Roll Review
- Adventure game with puzzles
- Cute Paw Patrol characters
- Appropriate for all ages
- Likely not challenging enough to appeal to older kids
- Limited multiplayer ability
With a great introduction to the platforming adventure kind of game play, this is a well done video game for ages 3-5, featuring cute Nickelodeon characters and cool, nicely-rendered environments. It’s rated E for Everyone.
While it’s probably not challenging enough for adults or middle-grades kids to get much out of, it’s one of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids in about pre-k to first grade. It supports multiple play modes and has a relatively lengthy adventure storyline, with different Paw Patrol characters having unique abilities. For more fun games that won’t break the bank, take a look at the best free windows games.
How We Decided
In order to find the best Nintendo Switch games 2019 and 2020 have given us so far, we looked for a variety of styles and intended audiences, and except for a few basic criteria such as smoothness of operation and robust saving, we judged each game’s merits according to its genre and intended function.
For all of the games we looked at, we only included those that allowed at least some single and multiplayer function, and that displayed properly in the mobile as well as docked modes of the Nintendo Switch. We gave points to games that took advantage of the Switch’s 1080p resolution and dual joystick controls.
In finding the best Switch games for adults, we only considered those games with at least 25 hours of play, with single as well as multiplayer modes, and with challenging scenarios, creative storylines and smooth, well designed gameplay mechanics. We looked at what reviewers were calling the best Nintendo Switch games, Metacritic scores and Reddit threads as well, and while a high rating was a plus, we relied on our own testing and experience to confirm.
Note: The Switch is the best gaming console to come out in the last few years and is somewhat more geared to the masses as you don’t have to worry about as many accessories like the best external hard drives for Xbox One or the best external hard drive for PS4. You pretty much are good to go with Nintendo’s platform.
Best Nintendo Switch Games Buyer’s Guide
Features to Consider
- Multiplayer Modes
If you’re planning on using the Switch to play a game the whole family or a group of your friends can enjoy, make sure the game supports multiplayer modes. Many of the best Nintendo Switch games offer both offline and online multiplayer modes. Look for at least a 4-person ability for offline multiplayer mode.
While each game studio and franchise develops their graphics differently and the style is a matter of taste, we find that people tend to prefer consistent, well-developed aesthetic graphics over extreme attempts at verisimilitude, especially in mobile form. Animated graphics tend to work very well on the Switch, as with Studio Ghibli’s Ni no Kuni port.
- Game Type
Are you looking for a traditional platforming adventure, an open world style game, a role playing game? The best Nintendo Switch game for you will depend on what category of game you’re looking for. Since the Switch has enough computing power to run even a sophisticated open world game like Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the sky’s the limit and with the possible exception of MMORPGs and immersive first person shooters, few styles don’t transition well to the Switch’s mobile format.
If you’re looking for a game for family game night or considering the best Nintendo Switch Game for kids, look at the ESRB rating and check to see if it’s one you’re comfortable with. This is especially important, needless to say, when you’re buying the game as a birthday gift.
The Switch is the best gaming console to come out in the last few years and is somewhat more geared to the masses as you don’t have to worry about as many accessories like the best external hard drives for Xbox One or the best external hard drive for PS4. You pretty much are good to go with Nintendo’s platform.
Nintendo Switch Games FAQs
What’s the best game on switch?
Depending on what you’re looking for, the best game on Switch might be a popular adventure game like Mario + Rabbids, or an exciting platform game such as Mario Odyssey, or a go-kart-style video racing game like Mario Kart, or an open world strategy game like Witcher 3, or the immensely charming and popular Animal Crossing. Perhaps, you’d like to try out some popular indie games such as the action-adventure metroidvania video game, Hollow Knight or the challenging 2D action-platformer with no checkpoints, Dead Cells.
What Nintendo Games should I buy for Switch?
Along with switch favorites such as Mario + Rabbids, Pokemon, and the aforementioned Animal Crossing, some Nintendo games that port over very well for Switch are Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8.
What’s the most popular game on Switch?
Among the most popular games on Switch as of 2020 are long time favorites including Super Mario Odyssey, two Legend of Zelda games, plus Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Animal Crossing.
Learn More About Nintendo Switch
Where else can you get characters like Mario, Yoshi and Princess Peach? Not in the best PS4 games. Or the best Xbox One games. But if you do prefer the other consoles we feature those too, as well as accessories for them like the best PS4 headset, the best Xbox One headset and the best gaming monitor.