Home Top 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games 2023: Every must-play Switch title

Best Nintendo Switch Games 2023: Every must-play Switch title

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Best Nintendo Switch Games 2023: Every must-play Switch title

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The Nintendo Switch has now been out for a whopping six years. In that time, it amassed a huge gaming library with an impressive variety. But which are the very best Nintendo Switch games that you can buy?

We’re in a great position to answer that question, with our team of experts reviewing all of the major Switch releases each year. Any game that earns at least a 4-star rating is considered for this round-up so you can be confident you’ll be getting a top-notch experience.

We’ve made sure to include a variety of games here too, so there will be a Switch game for everyone, whether you’re a fan of racers, platformers, shooters, RPGs or something you’ve never experienced before.

We’ll also make sure to update this list as soon as we review another high-scoring game on the Nintendo Switch, with plenty of promising games on the horizon such as Pikmin 4.

If you want to broaden out your games search even further, then take a look at our Best PS5 Games, Best Xbox Series X Games, Best PC Games and Best Games roundups for even more options. 

Best Nintendo Switch games at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we review games

We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best adventure game on Nintendo Switch

Pros

  • New building mechanic opens up endless possibilities
  • Hyrule feels even bigger with new locations to explore
  • New fuse ability offsets frustrations for weapon durability
  • An engaging story that builds on Breath of the Wild

Cons

  • Dungeons still feel lacklustere compared to old Zelda games
  • Slightly choppy performance due to ageing hardware
  • Some controls can feel a little clumsy

Breath of the Wild has long been regarded as the very best game to play on the Nintendo Switch, but that could be about to change. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, builds upon its outrageously good predecessor with new game mechanics, an ambitious story and a new-look Hyrule to ensure there are new locations to explore. 

The best upgrade of them all is Link’s new ability to build new constructions. Link can build virtually anything from a makeshift hot air balloon to a Max Max-style monster truck. This new feature also enables you to upgrade weapons, whether that’s fixing an icicle to a sword or using a boulder as a hammer. 

Tears of the Kingdom has some outstanding puzzles too, which require you to think outside the box in order to complete. It does admittedly use the same blueprint as Breath of the Wild, with hundreds of shrines dotted across the kingdom, but they make use of all of the new gameplay mechanics to prevent the sequel from ever feeling stale. 

If you enjoyed Breath of the Wild, then you’re guaranteed to love this sequel. We really do believe this is the absolute best Nintendo Switch game you can buy right now, so make sure it’s right at the top of your wish list. 

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review

Metroid Dread

Best challenging game on Switch

Pros

  • Excellent combat
  • Great range of weapons and upgrades
  • Jaw-dropping cinematic cutscenes
  • Stealth sections add variety

Cons

  • Recycled mini boss battles
  • May be too difficult for some

Metroid Dread is one of the best Nintendo Switch games we’ve tested, with faultless combat mechanics and stunning 3D cutscenes. We noted in our review how bright and bold the colours looked, especially on a Switch OLED, with Samus’ suit almost popping out of our display.

We do concede that this game may not be for everyone; we found that the harder difficulty may make this a little inaccessible for younger players, though we loved how challenging this game was. Relentless pursuers in the stealth sections really upped the scare factor for us, and made the title feel really satisfying to complete. 

Unlike other Metroidvania games, we loved how Dread always felt like a non-linear game but proved difficult to get completely lost, despite having so many vast areas to explore. We also liked how many skills and upgrades you can unlock, including the Phantom Cloak that enables you to turn invisible and avoid detection. 

There are plenty of other Metroidvania-style games to consider if Dread seems like too much of a challenge, including Ori and the Will of the Wisps, while indie gems such as Hollow Knight retains the high difficulty but swaps sci-fi guns for melee weapons. But if you want a game in the same vein as Super Metroid, then Metroid Dread is our top recommendation.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Metroid Dread Review

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Best wholesome Switch game

Pros

  • Beautiful, adorable and a joy to look at
  • All of its systems are wonderfully deep and rewarding
  • Builds upon everything that came before it
  • Ferociously addictive and remarkably paced

Cons

  • There’s only a certain amount of things to do per day
  • Deeper relationships with islanders would be great

Moving from one of the hardest games on our list to one of the most relaxing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best game our reviewer played in 2020 and is still one of our favourite titles two years on.

After being dropped off on an island, you’re given the freedom to explore and build up your own community, slowly upgrading a tent into a huge house. From the moment we made it onto Tom Nook’s island we were enamoured with wonderfully inclusive avatar creation and vastly expanded options for hairstyles and skin tones.

During the review, we noted that there are plenty of things you can do each day, with the game actively encouraging you to poke and prod at everything you see. This added to our overall sense of wonder as you explore more of your island. 

Stardew Valley is another amazing option if you’re looking for a little more structure in your fantastical-fake town. But while Stardew Valley is a little more complex, New Horizons is perfect for players of all ages and we guarantee that even after days of gameplay you will be coming back for more.

Reviewer: Jade King
Full Review: Animal Crossing New Horizons Review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Best racing game on Switch

Pros

  • Battle Mode is a superb addition
  • Plenty of challenge here for all skill levels
  • New assists for beginners work a treat
  • So many tracks and racers

Cons

  • Some will want a brand-new Mario Kart on Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may be a remastered edition of the Wii U entry, but we found the Switch’s bonus of portability really took this game up a gear, allowing you to get some laps in on your daily commute before committing to a Grand Prix on the big screen back home.

Our reviewer’s favourite aspect of this game is Battle Mode, making a welcome return to the series and featuring five modes. Each one is incredibly fun to play and brings in eight well-designed battle courses. The new courses keep the game feeling fresh and the extra modes make the game feel a lot more full, giving players even more to conquer. 

With many games on this list coming in as single-player experiences, this is one of the best multiplayer titles available in general, never mind just for the Switch. Our review found local multiplayer (which is supported with up to eight consoles) to be extremely worthwhile, as you can race against friends or take on players from around the globe. 

While there are plenty of other cart racers on the Nintendo Switch, including the likes of Team Sonic Racing and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, nothing comes close to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe given its wealth of characters, race courses and items.

Reviewer: Brett Phipps
Full Review: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Pikmin 4

Best strategy game

Pros

  • Fantastic return to the series
  • Night expeditions are wonderfully stressful
  • Caves and Dandori challenges to explore
  • Animation looks crisp and vibrant

Cons

  • Cutscenes can go on for too long

If you’re looking for a unique game that combines adorable graphics with great strategic elements then Pikmin 4 is a very easy recommendation. It reinforces its predecessor’s strengths by adding in new Pikmin types, new gameplay styles and Oatchi, the sweet Rescue Pup that joins the player on their journey. 

The story of Pikmin 4 is slightly convoluted but easy to follow, with no prior knowledge of the franchise needed. Players are mainly tasked with gathering as many Pikmin types as possible, collecting treasure and rescuing stray members of your crew who have gotten lost on this strange, new planet. 

Pikmin 4 introduced two new types of Pikmin to the franchise; Ice and Glow Pikmin. Ice Pikmin can freeze bodies of water and can even freeze certain enemies, making them vital allies in a fight. Glow Pikmin primarily appear in the Night-time Expedition sections; they can fly, go underwater and once charged up they can transform into a large, glowing green ball that descends upon enemies to inflict massive amounts of damage. The inclusion of these new Pikmin will add a lot more variety for veterans of the series and give new players even more types of Pikmin to discover and play with. 

The animation in Pikmin 4 can only be described as enchanting; every area is dripping with personality and buckets of colour, making every experience really pleasing to the eye. The relatively simple gameplay and general aesthetic make this game ideal for younger players, although older players will still find some challenges in the later sections of the game.

Pikmin 4 is unlike almost every other game on this list and is a very easy title to play for hours on end. Whether you’re familiar with the franchise or not, Pikmin 4 offers up enough variety for it to be a must-have in your Switch library. 

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Pikmin 4 Review

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Best platformer for younger children

Pros

  • Fantastic range of features and copy abilities
  • Adorable and beautiful level designs
  • Merry Magoland feels like a game in its own right
  • Works great as a multiplayer game

Cons

  • Main missions may be too easy for some
  • Co-op is limited to local play

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a fantastic game, even if it won’t appeal to all audiences due to its family-friendly focus. One of the biggest advantages of this game is that you can play with up to three friends via local play, with iconic characters like Meta Knight, King Dedede and Waddle Dee being playable characters. Jump through the campaign with a friend or play alone as you help to rebuild Magolar’s Lor Starcutter ship.

The campaign is made up of five levels, which are all beautifully designed. Our reviewer noted how vibrant and detailed this game was, with cute monsters and cutscenes waiting around every corner.

Kirby is also kitted out with a fantastic range of copy abilities that transform the pink puffball into something new. Pick up the Sword copy to slash your way through the stage like Link, or the Fire copy to burn down sections of the stage. There are 25 regular copy abilities and five super copy abilities throughout the game, which gave us a great incentive to replay old levels and see what secrets we could uncover with every new ability. 

The main downfall of Return to Dream Land Deluxe is that it does not offer any intricate platforming or challenging bosses, meaning that hardcore gamers may not find as much satisfaction here as in some other Switch titles, like Super Mario Odyssey or Bayonetta 3. However, we would still encourage anyone to pick up this title, as not only does it offer up gorgeous aesthetics, but it is also the perfect game to play with family and friends and could introduce younger gamers to everyone’s favourite pink puffball.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Best new Pokémon game

Pros

  • Most innovative Pokémon game to date
  • So many side quests to get through
  • Great new game mechanics mixed
  • Pokémon and people look quirky

Cons

  • The gameplay at the end gets repetitive
  • Poor graphics quality
  • The world looks remarkably boring

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the refresher that the franchise needed, with brand new gameplay mechanics that make capturing monsters more fun than ever before.

There are over 25 hours of the main campaign to get through, with dozens of sidequests after that, which means this is a great choice for anyone looking for their next big project. While this isn’t the most challenging game, it’s still incredibly charming and is a perfect Pokémon game to get into, whether you’ve played it before or not. 

We loved the satisfying gameplay loop that Arceus sets up, where you go to a new area, capture some monsters and then complete the main task. While less open-word than Breath of the Wild, there are still plenty of opportunities to wander around and explore all the nooks and crannies that Pokémon could be hiding in. 

We think that Arceus is one of the most innovative Pokémon titles to date, as it puts a whole new take on an old story and offers up brand new mechanics that will shock the most veteran players. But if you’re craving a more classic Pokemon game, then check out the likes of Pokemon Sword and Shield or Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Dazzling Pearl instead.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Best co-op game on Switch

Pros

  • Enough content to last for weeks on end
  • Massive levels to explore
  • Revamped combat keeps you more engaged
  • Co-op is an absolute blast

Cons

  • Space battles are a bit mundane
  • Camera sometimes gets in the way

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is our absolute favourite Lego game, once again focusing on collectables while revisiting all of the most memorable moments in Star Wars history.

Compared to previous Lego games, we found the combat to be a lot more engaging and requires more than simply mashing buttons to take down the enemy. Our reviewer mentioned that it’s still very much accessible for younger players, but there are more options on how you can get through a level. 

We loved rummaging around the barren wastelands of Tatooine and the wealthy streets of Canto Bight, which are filled to the brim with secrets, collectables and Easter eggs. We wouldn’t class these as open-world locations, although the levels did remind us of Super Mario Odyssey, as you’re free to explore at your own pace.

The co-op aspect of this game is also wonderfully implemented, and we loved seeing characters that weren’t much use in previous titles get their time to shine. While Lego games may not appeal to everyone, any Star Wars fan will love the massive amounts of content here. And if you’re looking for additional Lego games on Nintendo Switch, check out Lego City: Undercover and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full Review: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

Splatoon 3

Best multiplayer game on Switch

Pros

  • Short but sweet story mode
  • Great variety of weapons
  • Salmon Run is now playable 24/7
  • Lots of customisation options

Cons

  • Lack of new multiplayer modes
  • Very few major changes from Splatoon 2

Splatoon 3 is the best Nintendo Switch game for multiplayer shootouts right now, featuring a wide range of weapons from ink-spitting paintball pistols to rollers that can squash enemies like a bug. For this new entry, Nintendo is even introducing katanas and bows to the mix for even more variety.

Aside from the classic Turf War battles, other fantastic multiplayer modes include the co-op venture Salmon Run, as well as Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker and Clam Blitz which are creative spins on other multiplayer shooters. Winning matches will see you unlock more advanced weapons, as well as additional accessories for beefing up your stats.

Nintendo has added a completely new single-player campaign, acting as bitesize tutorials and challenges for various ink-based mechanics. It doesn’t take long to complete, although there are lots and lots of optional missions you can jump in to test your skills.

The only major criticism we have about Splatoon 3 is that it’s very similar to its predecessor, besides the new story mode. But if you’re happy for more Splatoon action, or you’re a newbie to the series, then we can’t recommend this threequel enough.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Splatoon 3 Review

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Best action RPG on Switch

Pros

  • Engaging and emotional story
  • Spectacular action-packed cutscenes
  • Incredible music and great visuals
  • Expansive and detailed high-fantasy world

Cons

  • Combat can feel repetitive
  • Weak progression system
  • Little incentive for exploration

If you’re looking for a massive action RPG to play on the Nintendo Switch, then Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is our top recommendation. This high fantasy world is breathtaking, with various environments and wonderfully detailed monsters that roam the planet.

The story follows six characters trapped in a perpetual war, featuring classic Japanese tropes such as talkative monsters and giant mecha combat suits. But despite the high fantasy backdrop and action-packed cutscenes, Xenoblade still provides an emotional story that’s both captivating and relatable.

Monolith Soft has been incredibly ambitious with the gameplay too, scaling up to 7-character parties for combat, and allowing you to swap between character classes at any point in the game. During the review, we did find the combat to become repetitive without a deeper progression system, but it still kept us entertained throughout the 50-hour adventure.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may not be for everyone, as its lengthy campaign may well put some people off, but it’s still a fantastic entry for the Nintendo Switch library. It will be a surprise if many games in 2023 will have a better story.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

A great 3D platformer for children

Pros

  • Great range of copy abilities and upgrades
  • Inventive puzzles thanks to Mouthful Mode
  • Challenging and rewarding mini games
  • Varied and gorgeous level designs

Cons

  • Main missions will be too easy for some
  • Not as ambitious as Mario and Zelda games

Potentially one of the best Nintendo Switch games on this list to be enjoyed by children, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is brimming with charm. While some of the levels may be a little too easy for some – and for those people, we will point back to Breath of the Wild – we still loved the goofy animations and endearing mechanics. 

The linear level design is similar to Super Mario 3D Land, but with oodles of unique features to keep this game feeling unique. We rode rollercoasters and fled from boulders, meeting an abundance of adorable enemies along the way. The platforming here is not tight or intricate, as Kirby can happily inflate himself and float away if you mistime a jump, but we still loved gobbling up enemies and stealing their abilities.

In a similar vein to The Skywalker Saga, there is a huge emphasis on seeking out collectables here. This gave the game more depth and meant we could keep exploring every level to find all the kidnapped Waddle Dee characters that needed to be saved. 

We think this is a perfect entry point for younger gamers who just want to experience a colourful adventure. Other easy 3D platformer games include SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated and Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Kirby and the Forgotten Land review

Fire Emblem Engage

Best turn-based tactical Switch game

Pros

  • Emblem Rings adds new tactical layer to combat
  • Great fan service through classic Fire Emblem heroes
  • Cuts straight to the action, with less padding
  • Optional Permadeath setting offers good accessibility

Cons

  • Could be initmidating for series newcomers
  • Little focus on characters
  • Simple story

Fire Emblem Engage is the latest entry in the turn-based RPG series, which sees you navigate a small army across a grid-based map like an elaborate game of chess.

Engage doubles down on combat, building upon the already excellent foundations with the new Emblem Ring mechanic. This gives gamers an extra element to consider, requiring cunning strategy to defeat your foes. A Permadeath mode is available, which sees characters removed from your roster permanently after death. Although Engage provides various difficulty settings if you want a more forgiving experience.

With such a great focus on combat, the simple story does suffer somewhat, with little time to focus on the large cast of characters. But if story and character development is something you appreciate, it’s worth checking out the preceding Fire Emblem Three Houses instead, which offers it in spades.

And if you like the idea of a turn-based RPG, but find yourself a little intimidated by the number-heavy mechanics, then we recommend playing Mario and Rabbids Sparks of Hope instead.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Fire Emblem Engage Review

Bayonetta 3

Best hack and slash game

Pros

  • Fast-paced action
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Bayonetta feels great to control
  • Demon Slaves are a lot of fun

Cons

  • Story is nonsensical
  • Viola is nowhere near as fun to play
  • Camera can be annoying

Bayonetta 3 is an outlandish game that’s not fit for all audiences. However, if you’re looking for a completely new and outlandish experience, this is definitely a game to consider.

Our reviewer noted how all-out this game is, with a barrage of enemies around every corner and plenty of side missions to keep you busy. You play as multiple characters but most notably is the titular Bayonetta, who now has more powers than ever before.

Take on enemies using iconic weapons like Colour My World, or take on a boss battle with Demon Slaves. Demon Slaves come in various forms – like humanoid butterflies and giant toothy cats – and make the gameplay feel even more diverse, giving players a multitude of options when it comes to every battle.

While we did note that the breakneck speed does make the story a little hard to follow, it doesn’t have a negative effect on the gameplay, and we feel that any hack-and-slash fans could enjoy this title, regardless of if they’re familiar with the series. With so many foes to battle and such an immersive art style, we would recommend this game to anyone who’s looking for something a little different to what Nintendo usually has to offer.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full Review: Bayonetta 3

Metroid Prime Remastered

Best first-person shooter

Pros

  • Palpable atmosphere
  • Remastered visuals look incredible
  • Updated controls are a huge help
  • The art style has aged beautifully

Cons

  • Backtracking is a persistent chore
  • The game does a bad job of telling you where to go
  • Mapping the game’s locales can be a nightmare

Metroid Prime made some serious waves when it first launched on the Gamecube – taking the series from its side-scrolling roots and bringing it into the modern era with a new genre to boot. Metroid Prime doesn’t play like a lot of modern first-person shooters which is exactly why it feels like a breath of fresh air to dive into, making it a worthy addition to your Switch library.

Everything that made Metroid Prime great, including its atmosphere, art style and core gunplay, have been elevated in Metroid Prime Remastered. For starters, the game has never looked better. With the updated textures applied to Samus and the alien occupants of Talon IV, the game does a much better job at achieving the vision set out by the original title.

The Gamecube’s dated controls have also been given a refresh as you now have the option to swap over to motion controls (inspired by the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Nintendo Wii) or dual-stick controls, which more closely mirror that of a modern FPS.

What holds Metroid Prime back is its reliance on backtracking as a means of padding out the game which unfortunately, only serves to disrupt the pacing and turn progression into something of a chore at times.

The game also doesn’t do a particularly good job of telling you where to go next. A marker will be placed on your map if you dawdle for too long, but the game seems to assume that you have a near photographic memory of its many maps, which also happen to be somewhat confusing to look at.

While parts of the game haven’t aged all too well, the sum of Metroid Prime’s parts are still worth revisiting, so if you fancy diving into a unique FPS or simply want to try a different take on the series after Metroid Dread, then Metroid Prime Remastered is well worth checking out.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Metroid Prime Remastered

FAQs

Can you watch Netflix on Nintendo Switch?

No, you cannot currently watch Netflix on the Nintendo Switch.

Is Minecraft on Switch?

Yes, Minecraft is available for purchase on Switch.

Is Fortnite free on Switch?

Yes, Fortnite is free to play on Switch.

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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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