1. Super Mario Odyssey
Freedom is the central theme of Nintendo Switch Super Mario Odyssey, and it is magnificent. The red-hatted plumber no longer needs to advance straight ahead, unlike in prior Mario games. Every level, from the majestic wilderness of Fossil Falls to the busy city of New Donk City, is a toy box full of platforming challenges, unexpected mysteries, and many forms of silly fun now that the timer has been removed. Mario can also be dressed as a pirate, cowboy, clown, or mafia enforcer from the Roaring Twenties. Similar to à la Mario 64, a 3D Mario game, but instead of gathering stars, you hunt for nearly 1,000 moons to power your airship. It’s one of the most endearing and pleasant games we’ve played in a long time.
2. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not your normal Pokémon game. Legends: Arceus is technically a distant prequel to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, but that’s the only significant overlap it has with the mainline series. It is set in the far past, right around the time when pokécitizens started constructing pokécities, before the first pokédex even existed. In the entire series, this is the first open-world game—a significant yet welcome change. The hub-and-spoke layout of the game’s missions is modeled off Monster Hunter’s. In comparison to prior games, the fight system is also less rigidly structured, with stats determining which Pokémon move first and how many times they can attack consecutively. Pokémon can also mess you up. Beware!
If you’re a fan of the Pokémon series, you should try it.
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Despite what you might believe, everyone can enjoy Nintendo’s cute life simulation in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The fact that this game debuted during a global pandemic cannot be overlooked. New Horizons offered a pastel-colored haven for players of all skill levels to collectively get lost in as people all across the world stepped up social distancing techniques. The game is straightforward enough: Pick fruit, collect bugs, and look for pricey seashells in order to make enough money to establish a quaint island town. Since everything happens in real-time, there is a strong incentive to play every day for a short while (or longer). Did we also mention that every character is a talking animal? Suitable for anyone looking for a virtual hangout. Those who value tranquility, composure, or cuteness.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
We will be talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for years to come because it is such a brilliant and surprising video game. It also differs from every previous Zelda game. Zelda games were characterized for years by “no.” You need to wait till later to get here, because you can’t solve this puzzle until you have the necessary object. The best Zelda game to date is Breath of the Wild, and it does so by simply accepting that accolade. Any tree, cliff, or dungeon wall is climbable. Four major tasks are given to you, which you can complete in any sequence you see fit in an open universe. The Expansion Pass DLC also includes a Hero’s Path Mode that tracks your progress over up to 200 hours of gameplay and new challenge modes to test your combat skills, as well as a ton of new items from the Zelda franchise’s past that you may find and wear.
5. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Do you enjoy Halloween time? Do you enjoy the paranormal? However, are you also perhaps a little bit of a wimp and don’t enjoy all the gore, blood, and dread that comes with popular horror games? If yes, you ought to play Luigi’s Mansion 3, a wonderful third-person adventure full of exciting combat and entertaining puzzles. The satisfying ghost smashing Luigi’s vacuum pack provided during the battle is noteworthy. Experience a beautifully paced journey in a spooky hotel. The hotel you explore contains a number of entertaining levels with unique features like a desert, a movie studio, a pirate ship, and a castle that you won’t find in a real hotel. Even while the game can be challenging at times, there are so many secrets and hidden treasures (yep, ghosts evidently like to bury a lot of money) that it never gets boring.
Hades is a roguelike unlike any other. The recent game from Supergiant Games shares many characteristics with typical roguelikes, such as tight action, random combat, an endless cycle of failure, and incremental advancement, but stands apart by being a narrative masterwork. You take on the role of Zagreus, the recalcitrant son of Hades, in this ancient Greek underworld game. All of your favorites appear in one form or another, from all-powerful Olympians like Zeus and Athena to historical figures like Achilles and Eurydice. Supergiant successfully reinvented these ancient characters in a contemporary setting, completely developing dozens of characters as though they were part of a grim rom-com. Every death moves the plot along, but not always in a straight route.
7. Hollow Knight
In its vast underground kingdom, the little epic Hollow Knight crams an incredible number of secrets, obstacles, and rewards. With its desolate country, challenging enemies, cluttered areas, and the threat of losing progress upon death, it is somewhat reminiscent of Dark Souls. It also has a platforming DNA with games like Super Meat Boy and Ori and the Blind Forest, which both feature wall slides and air dashes. Those who choose to brave the underground bug realm of Hallownest will be rewarded with one of gaming’s greatest spelunking adventures as it bakes up those components before frosting on a layer of its own unique mood. Hollow Knight is well worth your time; it’s surprising, difficult, gratifying, and unintentionally amusing. It also plays quite well on the Switch.
If you’re a fan of the Pokémon series, you should try it.
8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The long-loved Super Smash Bros formula is perfected in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for both the competitive gamer and the button-mashing 7-year-old. The ancient platform fighter that we have been fixated on since 1999 is back, but this time it has a massive roster of 76 combatants. It can take a year to really master one but trying them all is more enjoyable. Smash Ultimate is a video game WrestleMania and a museum of famous Nintendo figures. The rulesets, fighter balancing, and stage hazards can all be changed. With all that content and the variety of ways to use it, Smash Ultimate appeals to both a throng of yelling amateurs and a middle school birthday party. Smash Bros. Ultimate offers both series veterans and beginners alike a robust character list (pretty much every character from prior games is there), new arenas with new dangers, and a single-player story.
9. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
First of all, they gave Mario a gun. The game incorporates a number of unique mechanics that set it apart while also using the original genre as a point of departure. By dashing, jumping on enemies, and using pipes, you can extend your turns in creative ways. A single character can travel the entire map in one go, wrecking devastation wherever they go, if you play your cards well. The Rabbids based on the well-known Nintendo characters works so well because Ubisoft is fully familiar with them. The game is also a massive love letter to everything Mario. By the end of the game, you might even find yourself substituting the Rabbids for the original Mario characters. Rabbids is a surprisingly substantial game because of its vast challenge mode and several hidden secrets. Then, of course, there is DLC, which includes additional characters like Donkey Kong, harder courses, and new gameplay elements. Do we need to remind you that the Luigi Death Stare is a real move?
10. Metroid Dread
“Metroid” is in “Metroidvania” for a reason. The most recent example of why this series has earned its place in the pantheon of video games is Metroid Dread, the first mainline Metroid game in almost twenty years. You are surely familiar with the typical characteristics of the genre: tight platforming, densely packed levels, several upgrades, and extensive backtracking. The genre tropes are all present in Dread, which actually compiles them into a greatest-hits collection of Metroid references. It’s challenging but not unrelenting, perplexing but not frustrating, and ultimately a fun journey through one of Nintendo’s largely unexplored games. Metroid is back, darling, and it’s better for all Switch users. It sounds strange to suggest that a game belongs to a category with its own name, yet Metroid Dread is among the better games in the series. A lot of your time will be spent fighting your way across the side-scrolling landscape, going back to retrace your travels and discover new regions, and engaging in brief battles with some uninteresting-looking robots.