The Nintendo Switch has been on a tear since it launched last year. It started off strong with what ended up being 2017’s Game of the Year — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — and kept up the momentum this year with a reign of addictively fun games such as Octopath Traveler and Mario Tennis Aces.
The Switch isn’t just a good platform for first-party Nintendo titles, it’s a host to a wide range of stellar third-party role-playing, strategy, action, adventure, shooters, and more. If you’re looking into picking up a Switch or on the lookout for more games to add to your library, we’ve compiled a list of the best Nintendo Switch games available today.
‘Enter the Gungeon’
Developed by Dodge Roll and published by renowned indie studio Devolver Digital, Enter the Gungeon is one of the Switch’s absolute must-play indie titles. Enter the Gungeon is a challenging dungeon crawler with twitchy shooting mechanics and copious amounts of loot to uncover. It’s also a roguelike, though not in the traditional sense. All rooms stay the same, but the enemies, treasure, and location of the rooms are randomly generated.
Working your way deeper and deeper into the dungeon is a difficult task filled with worthwhile rewards. With great mechanics, entertaining lore, and mysteries to discover in every dark corner, Enter the Gungeon is an enthralling action experience. Although available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, the top-down retro aesthetic feels great when playing in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch.
The original Splatoon reinvented the multiplayer shooter by taking the emphasis off of simply eliminating enemies, and its unique ink-spraying online matches were unlike anything we had ever seen before. The Switch sequel, Splatoon 2, largely sticks to the formula we saw previously, but its inventive new multiplayer maps and weapons make the game even more engaging. The game’s humor is also back in full force, with puns galore and user-created artwork that is both hilarious and terrifying.
For those more interested in playing cooperatively, the Salmon Run mode is a great addition to Splatoon 2. Groups of four players must collect golden eggs while fending off waves of evil Salmonids, and it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Just make sure all your friends have their own systems, as the game doesn’t support split-screen multiplayer.
Read our full Splatoon2 review
‘Bayonetta’ and ‘Bayonetta 2’
Nintendo’s exclusive games have traditionally been family-friendly, so it came as a big surprise when the company released the stylish and decidedly-adult action game Bayonetta 2 as an exclusive for the Wii U along with a port of the original. It expanded on PlatinumGames’ previous hack-and-slack title with an even crazier supernatural narrative filled with anime-worthy set pieces, gratuitous fan service, and an improved combat system that cut out nearly all the frustration of the original Bayonetta.
Both games are definitely worth playing, and they’re available together as a $60 bundle on Nintendo Switch with extra improvements. They still run at a glorious 60 frames per second, regardless of whether your system is docked or not, and the touch controls introduced in Bayonetta 2 are now available in both games.
Read our full Bayonetta 2 review
‘Mark of the Ninja: Remastered’
If you missed out on Mark of the Ninja when it originally launched in 2012, now’s your chance to play one of the best 2D stealth games of all time. Let’s be real. 2D stealth games are few and far between, and it’s still miraculous how well Mark of the Ninja takes on this tricky act.
You play as an unnamed ninja who must work through areas by sneaking past and covertly eliminating enemies. Some areas are in plain daylight, others are in darkness. What’s really interesting about Mark of the Ninja is how it makes you feel like an actual ninja. It doesn’t let you see everything on screen — If your ninja can’t see an enemy, neither can you. Upgraded visuals and a few neat additions make Mark of the Ninja: Remastered a must-play for stealth fans, even if you’ve played the original already.
‘Overcooked Special Edition’
It’s not often that we’d classify a cooking simulator as an action game, but Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked happens to be one of the most heart-pounding action experiences available on Switch. You and up to three friends are tasked with saving the Onion Kingdom from invaders. The only way to do that is to feed them — a lot. Across an eclectic series of kitchens, you chop, cook, and serve dishes such as pizza and burgers to restore order to the kingdom.
Overcooked‘s two-button control scheme makes it an awesome option for serious gamers and non-gamers alike. The best part about Overcooked is that it’s tailor-made for couch co-op. While you can play it solo, it’s meant to be played with lots of communication and teamwork. You’ll find yourself yelling, scratching your head, and laughing through the chaos that is serving food while trying not to fall in a pit of lava.
Overcooked 2 is the sequel to the hectic cooking co-op game, Overcooked. It doesn’t change much of the stress-inducing yet deeply satisfying formula we saw in the first game but it does refine it. There are also new features to enjoy that include a new throwing ability, new chefs, new recipes, and online multiplayer. If you enjoyed the first game, then you’ll likely love Overcooked 2. If you didn’t play the first the game, then starting with Overcooked 2 will ease you into what you missed since it’s not as frustratingly difficult and has less wonky controls.
This time around, you’ll be facing a new foe called the “Unbread” (zombie bread — get it?) and the only way to save the Onion Kingdom is to don your tallest chef hat, travel to crazy locations, and cook up complex recipes in really impractical kitchens. Overall, we’d it’s one of the best Nintendo Switch games to bring to a party. The kind that will bring you closer to your friends or have you hurling insults at each other.
Taking a look at the sidescrolling gameplay and dark 2D art style of Dead Cells may stir up some memories of times spent playing Metroid or Castlevania. Motion Twin, the developers of this highly rated indie, call it a RogueVania due to the inspiration it takes from those games. For a clearer picture of what to expect, add in a Dark Souls level of combat difficulty, roguelike castle setting, and unforgiving permadeath (short for permanent death) and you get Dead Cells.
When you combine themes like roguelike and permadeath then you’ll know that every playthrough of Dead Cells is different. But that doesn’t mean you have to die to have some fun. There’s an endless amount of weapons, hidden rooms, and passageways that will require a bit of work and skill to find. Did we forget to mention the punishing boss battles that will have you searching for the closest save point? Spoiler alert – there are none!
‘Kirby Star Allies’
Kirby Star Allies is a celebration of all things Kirby. You’ll get to re-experience the characters, worlds, and gameplay that truly have defined the series over the years. Modern platforming, explosive boss battles with enemies like Meta Knight and King Dedede, and all the cool powers Kirby can possibly inhale are signature features you’ll enjoy. There’s also the return of HAL rooms, and if you’re a fan of Kirby games and their easter eggs, this is huge!
As much of a nostalgia trip as it may be, there are a couple new features that make it feel brand new. HD graphics and four-person multiplayer definitely help shake any feelings that you might have of too much sameness. High definition visuals make the chaotic levels and vibrant worlds of Kirby Star Allies feel all the more beautiful and multiplayer truly takes the threshold for fun to the next level. At heart, it’s a classic Nintendo game with a modern twist, perfect for game night or fans of Kirby.
‘Dark Souls: Remastered’
Although it came a bit later and isn’t as pretty as the Xbox One and PS4 versions, Dark Souls: Remastered on Switch is the only way to play the notoriously challenging action game on the go. It’s a big step up from the original in terms of performance.
Dark Souls is a modern classic for its unforgiving difficulty, meticulous design, and a gameplay loop that rewards only those who take the time to learn its intricate combat system. Yes, Dark Souls isn’t for everyone, but if you’re up for the challenge, it can provide a level of satisfaction rarely found in the genre.
‘Starlink: Battle for Atlas’
Ubisoft’s toys-to-life spaceship shooter, which doesn’t actually force you to buy the toys, is available on all consoles, but Starlink: Battle for Atlas really only worth playing on Switch. That’s because the Switch version is led by Fox from Star Fox.
Although the mission objectives can get somewhat repetitive, the science fiction world of Atlas is full of exciting fixtures and the story with Fox in the mix is actually pretty solid. Ironically enough, Starlink is the best Star Fox game to come around in quite some time. The Switch is low on quality arcade space shooters, and Starlink aptly scratches that intergalactic itch.