The Nintendo Switch has racked up a huge number of great games since its launch over two years ago. The Japanese video game company has finally started listening to the demands from western fans for more third-party titles, and more importantly, fresh additions to everyone’s favorite Nintendo franchises. We’ve compiled a list of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives, and we’ve made sure that all these titles can’t be found anywhere else — even on other Nintendo consoles. That is, of course, unless you count the newly-announced Nintendo Switch Lite.
Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo moved away from the open-ended 3D Mario platformers during the 3DS and Wii U’s lifecycles, preferring to focus on course-based levels instead. That changed with Super Mario Odyssey, a whimsical game that brought back all the wonder and discovery of Super Mario 64, but added in the character Cappy to completely change how you approach obstacles.
Cappy’s capable of turning Mario into nearly any object or enemy he comes across; he can traverse giant lava pits, sneak through narrow openings, and even go 2D in order to run along a painting on a wall. The gorgeous, jazzy soundtrack makes every moment even more joyful, and the bizarre and creative environments are unlike anything we’ve seen in a Mario game before.
Read our full Super Mario Odyssey review
Super Mario Maker 2
A sequel to one of the Wii U’s best games, Super Mario Maker 2 is an absolute joy on Nintendo Switch, whether you’re an eager level designer or just a 2D Mario enthusiast. On the design side of the coin, Nintendo has added some really cool features like custom clear conditions and slopes. The level design suite features an easy drag-and-drop system that works well with either a controller or touchscreen in handheld mode.
Nintendo also included a full-fledged campaign mode featuring 100-plus zany levels that really capture what Super Mario Maker 2 levels are all about. Even if you don’t want to make your own courses, Super Mario Maker 2 is brimming with excellent platforming content.
Read our full Super Mario Maker 2 review
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Perhaps the cutest game on Switch, Yoshi’s Crafted World is a cleverly crafted sidescroller set in a reworked version of Yoshi’s Island. Everything looks as if it was built out of cardboard and paper, giving Yoshi’s latest adventure a unique sense of charm.
Though it adheres to the same set of mechanics in most Yoshi sidescrollers, depth is added, allowing you to move into the backdrop of environments and toss eggs off into the distance, both behind and in front of you. Along with lengthy platforming levels, there are a variety of novel stages, such as one that puts you inside of a giant Yoshi mech. Better yet, Yoshi’s Crafted World can be enjoyed cooperatively on one console, making it an ideal experience for a parent and child.
Kirby Star Allies
One of the most kid-friendly franchises in Nintendo’s library, Kirby has floated through the air and copied enemies’ abilities for decades; and his first outing on the Switch understands what makes Kirby great. The basic 2D platforming structure remains largely unchanged in Kirby Star Allies along with Kirby’s ability to steal powers but now he can also recruit enemies as part of his squad.
Kirby can even combine powers together to create even more powerful attacks during particularly challenging areas, and if you can’t handle the game alone, you can bring up to three friends along for the ride. It’s certainly one of the easier game on the Switch, but if you want to introduce your kids to the system, Kirby Star Allies is a great choice.
Read our full Kirby Star Allies review