Hundreds of games have been released for the console since the Nintendo Switch was launched in early 2017. Which ones are really worth it? We list the best and most popular games for the Switch.
The Nintendo Switch convinces with the almost always great in-house productions by Nintendo, but also has worthwhile insider tips from other game developers to offer. We took a closer look at the best games for the Nintendo Switch in various tests. Here we summarize for you which games have convinced us and other games websites the most. We also give recommendations from the editors and give you an insight into the games most popular with gamers for the Nintendo Switch according to the current top sellers on Amazon. Finally, we answer a few important questions about buying the console.
The best games for the Nintendo Switch: This is how we chose
Below are the top 10 best rated games for the Nintendo Switch. The placements are based on the rating on Metacritic, a website that aggregates the ratings from specialist media and users. We limit ourselves to the ratings of the specialist media. Information and assessments about the game are based solely on our own tests and experience.
1st place – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Not only is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the best game for the Nintendo Switch, it’s also one of the best games overall. At Metacritic, the adventure game tops the list with 97 points, GIGA rated Zelda: Breath of the Wild with 9 out of 10 possible points in the test. No wonder, as the game is considered a good one modern reinterpretation of the famous Nintendo franchise. An open world can be explored more or less freely in it. Unlike in earlier parts, there are numerous ways to reach your goal, and you won’t be taken by the hand for every step, but you can try it out for yourself.
The playing time is also convincing: You can alone in the main game 50 hours spend – and then you’ve just played through the main story. If you want to explore every little corner of the world, you have almost 200 hours to do. With the two DLCs that have been released so far, there are more than 20 hours on top.
The atmosphere is unsurpassed for a Zelda game, the graphic style is unique, the characters have a new design and are still reminiscent of the original. But with a little dedication you can even Newcomerswho have not played a previous Zelda. Zelda: Breath of the Wild does not have a multiplayer mode, as is typical of the series.
- Coherent action adventure
- Open world with a lot of freedom
- Very long playing time
- Can be overwhelming at the beginning
- The vast world is often empty
- No multiplayer
2nd place – Super Mario Odyssey
Just behind with 97 points at Metacritic is Super Mario Odyssey, a new 3D platformer with Ninbtendo’s iconic character. Clever innovation: the lively cap Cappy, which takes possession of other characters and even opponents. In addition, various “worlds” can be traveled, each with unique features convince.
There is also one that matches the switch local co-op mode, in which one player takes over Mario and another the character Cappy. The latter is not a big challenge, so the mode is more aimed at parents who want to play with their young child. Co-op is less suitable for two players with similar skills, as there is a risk that the second player will quickly get bored.
The varied main story can be found within 12 hours be played through. If you examine every corner and don’t want to miss any collectibles, you can be busy with Super Mario Odyssey for up to 60 hours. A recommendable game, in our test for Super Mario Odyssey we scored 9.5 out of 10 points.
- The strengths of the series have been successfully modernized
- New playful possibilities thanks to “Cappy”
- Beginner-friendly, also suitable for smaller children in co-op
- Co-op is not particularly demanding for the second player
3rd place – Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
In third place with 93 points for Metacritic is Divinity: Original Sin 2 in the Definitive Edition. Of the pure download titles was only released for the hybrid console in September 2019. The game was first published in 2017, but only for the PC at that time. GIGA also tested the game, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 even scored a 9.5 out of 10 possible points in our test.
The role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin 2 challenges you from the start, the Game mechanics are very complex, you are seldom taken by the hand. It starts with the character creation: what you choose also influences which stories and quests you will experience. But almost all paths are open to you in the game. Do you want to defeat an enemy by turning them into a suicidal chicken? No problem! However, the game is less suitable for beginners or newcomers to the genre.
The scope of Divinity: Original Sin 2 knows how to convince: If only the main story is important, you still spend more than 50 hours in the world. If you want to explore every corner, you need 140 hours. And since different characters mean different stories, there is even a high replay value.
- Old school RPG
- Infinite possibilities
- Very long playing time
- Lack of beginner-friendliness
- Requires a long training period
- For adults only
4th place – Undertale
Undertale is a very special game: There are countless monsters that you can fight in the dialogue-based adventure. But you can also do without fighting completely. To do this, you don’t have to sneak past the opponents, you can simply make peace with them and make friends. How you decide has a decisive influence on the further course of Undertale. This fascinated players so much that the indie game appears in numerous top lists to this day. This is also the case on Metacritic, where the game took fourth place with 93 points.
Since Undertale is a single developer’s game, the Circumference not too big. A run takes between six and twenty hours. For this it is worthwhile to go through the game again afterwards and to decide contrary to the first run. So you get a second, completely different story.
Opinions also differ on style: with the Pixel optics and the focus on black and white, which is only occasionally broken by splashes of color, not all players are warm by any means – you might think that this is a game from the C64 era. However, if you get involved, you will get an unparalleled gaming experience that is rarely found in more expensive productions.
- Unique gaming experience in an interesting world
- Easy to learn gameplay
- Cheap price
- Style takes getting used to
- Short playing time
- Big difference to AAA titles
5th place – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The multiplayer classic Smash Bros. from Nintendo got a new edition for the Nintendo Switch. The basic principle remains the same: On platforms, characters from Nintendo games and games from other manufacturers beat each other up and try to push each other into the abyss. It’s totally chaotic and a lot of fun. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers that Most extensive character line-up to date of the series. Numerous helpers, Pokémon and items are added to the 72 playable fighters in the main game. If you have the Season Pass, you will get six additional characters. At Metacritic the game got 93 points.
As usual from the series, the screen is packed to the top in the fights and therefore quite confusing. If you are not exactly a pro player, you need more luck than skill to win – but this makes the game motivating for beginners as well.
Do you want to get deeper into the gameplay, you have to more complex gameplay mechanics to calm down. You can’t avoid it, especially in online mode. The same applies to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as to many other games: easy to learn, difficult to master. But that’s what makes the game so motivating. You have the main story through in 22 hours, in principle you can spend an unlimited amount of time in local co-op or online multiplayer. So the game is definitely worth the money. We gave Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 9 out of 10 points in the test.
- Easy to learn, difficult to master
- In principle, playable for an unlimited time
- Party fun for up to eight players locally & four players online
- Largest character line-up in the series, 72 playable fighters
- Relatively confusing during battles
- It often takes more luck than skill to win
6th place – Celeste
Outwardly, the indie game Celeste might look cute. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the download title. The gameplay is reminiscent of the genre-related game Super Meat Boy. Celeste is a very demanding platformer. Deadly dangers lurk around every corner, if you cannot overcome them, your character dies and you have to start again at the beginning of the area.
The areas are not that big though, so you won’t lose a lot of progress. And that’s how Celeste stays Always motivating despite the crisp level of difficulty. We liked that too, so that Celeste made it into our top list of insider tips of 2018. The game is also rated 92 points by Metacritic.
The story of the game is relatively serious and adult, Celeste is not necessarily intended for children. It’s about self-doubt and fearswho have favourited the main character Madeline as she climbs the eponymous mountain Celeste. The playing time is not exactly extensive at eight hours. But that’s not too bad, because Celeste is an indie game that doesn’t cost too much.
- Cheap price
- Always demanding despite the crisp level of difficulty
- Emotional story
- Relatively short playing time
- Not suitable for children
7th place – Bayonetta 2
Bayonetta 2 appeared for the first time in 2014 for the Wii U. The port for the Nintendo Switch followed in 2018. Kind: Bayonetta 1 is also included here. In the action fireworks you take control of the umbra witch Bayonetta, who brings down opponents with her various weapons in the most stylish way possible. The hack-and-slay action game is only suitable for adults due to the stylized fantasy violence.
Like its predecessor, Bayonetta 2 also knows with the crazy, creative design and successful gameplay convince. Partly is the Plot a little thin. If you just want a fun gameplay with an incredible amount of action, you can take it courageously. Bayonetta 1 is around 11 hours long, Bayonetta 2 a little shorter.
With 92 points, the game lands in 7th place on Metacritic. We tested Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U and rated it 8 out of 10 points.
- Two games for the price of one
- Well done, fun gameplay
- Crazy game world
- Thin plot
- Suitable for adults only
8th place – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
In 2017 Nintendo decided to release Mario Kart 8 as a deluxe version after the Wii U for the Nintendo Switch. The action racing game came out just two months after the console, takes full advantage of the Nintendo Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can be enjoyed on TV and in handheld mode. If you connect several consoles wirelessly, twelve players can compete with one another. A four-player co-op mode is available locally on the television.
In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are all content of the original including the DLC of that time available, all characters and routes are unlocked from the start – only the parts for the car are gradually obtained. This gives you 36 characters and 12 cups with a total of 48 racetracks. In addition to the classic cup driving, there is also again some battle modesthat are not about getting through the racetracks as fast as possible. Instead, it is important to survive the longest or collect as many coins as possible. The core of the game is, as always, the multiplayer mode, which is almost perfect – whether on the couch, with locally linked consoles or via online multiplayer.
In terms of play and graphics, little has changed compared to the Wii U. That’s a good thing, because driving down the crazy and varied routes with popular Nintendo characters and hacking yourself with all sorts of fun weapons is just as much fun on the Switch as it is on the Wii U and it still looks very attractive. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also suitable for children, but has a certain tactical structure and requires enough skill at higher levels to motivate even experienced players over the long term. From our point of view, Mario Kart 8 is a must buy for the Switch.
On Metacritic, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was rated with 92 points. We did not test the new Switch version; the game for the Wii U received 8 out of 10 points in the test.
- accessible arcade racing game
- great multiplayer modes
- Long-term fun high
- Hardly any changes to previous parts
9th place – Inside
Even more than on previous Nintendo consoles, games for adults can be found on the Nintendo Switch. One of them is the atmospheric indie horror game Inside. The low-color, atmospherically dense platformer from the developers of the playfully similar “Limbo” leaves you again look at a dark world through the eyes of a little boy. The nameless protagonist walks past zombie-like people who shuffle through the area as if lost in thought and ignore you.
Even if the zombie people don’t harm you, there are enough opponents who want you evil. You cannot fight, so you have to avoid your opponents as much as possible. Aside from exploring, that is above all Solving environmental puzzles Main part of the game. The point of criticism is the short playing time of just three to four hours, which is due to the atmospheric, unique experience can overlook – especially since the game is not a full-price title. At Metacritic Inside is rated with 91 points, we at GIGA gave 9 out of 10 possible points in the test.
- Atmospheric platformer
- Gripping, dark story
- Cheap price
- for adults only
- Short playing time
- Style takes getting used to
Rank 10: Dragon Quest XI S: Champion of Fate – Definitive Edition
The JRPG Square Enix deserves 10th place with a Metacritic average rating of 91. The plot of Dragon Quest XI S – a boy gets into an adventure by chance, realizes that he is the reborn hero from a long ago epoch and has to save a world alien to him – may not be the most innovative story under the sun . But the 11th part of the Dragon Quest series, which has been popular in Japan for decades, does a lot technically right: A epochal soundtrack, a sophisticated one turn-based combat system and comic graphics that have been lovingly adapted to the limited capabilities of the Nintendo Switch. The highlight: If desired, the game can be played in a 2D top view, which, in its pixel style, is reminiscent of titles such as Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana from the good old 16-bit era.
- Loving anime style
- Dozens of hours of gaming fun
- Playable without knowing the predecessor
Recommendation from GIGA # 1: Animal Crossing – New Horizons
This list cannot exist without Animal Crossing: New Horizons, because the game is a cultural phenomenon. Appeared at the beginning of 2020 practically at the start of the Corona crisis, the title blossomed into a million seller and the perfect virtual haven for fans all over the world in a very short time. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons you do Endless vacation on a (not entirely) lonely island, make friends with anthropomorphic inhabitants, collect resources, expand and beautify your home. Thanks to the co-op feature and online mode, you can easily visit friends and benefit from new resources and items.
There is something to do every day on the island, even after weeks there is no boredom. Achievements sweeten every task, no matter how small, with valuable nook miles that can be spent on new hairstyles or furniture. At Eule Eugen, you can hand in purchased paintings, caught fish and insects, excavated fossils or sea creatures fished out of the water and build an impressive museum. Or you can just make a lounger and relax with a cocktail on the beach.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is completely non-violent, decelerated, creative and simply lovingly designed from front to back. It is suitable for children (from approx. 8 years) and adults alike.
- Loving island building simulation
- Weeks of fun
- New free content regularly
- Also suitable for children
- Only one island per console
- Co-op mode on a console is not much fun
Recommendation from GIGA # 2: Ring Fit Adventure
Gambling and getting fit? This works out. One Joy-Con is placed in a leg strap, the other one clicks into a minimally elastic ring that is about the size of a pizza plate. Belt and ring are included with Ring Fit Adventure, The price and packaging of the game are therefore slightly higher than the normal title. From the pursuer’s perspective, you let a heroine or hero whiz around in the game by running in place. The faster “in real”, the faster in the game: the leg strap registers the movements of the player and implements it amazingly reliably on the screen. Collecting items, overcoming obstacles and defeating opponents again works with the eponymous Ring that you have to push and pull flexibly. The game has programmed various exercises that have to be used in combat and have different levels of effectiveness against the numerous monsters – from classic squats to yoga exercises, the execution of which is monitored with a leg strap and ring. If you want, you can put together your own training program. There is a certain amount for the exercises strength and endurance necessary, so the game is only aimed at young people and adults.
The concept works. A few quick and sweaty Get rid of lockdown pounds, is hardly better or easier than with Ring Fit Adventure. It’s amazing how many exercises are possible with this concept and the ring – almost every part of the body can be trained. Information on muscles, health and nutrition as well as support for warming up and stretching and a few mini-games complete the game. That the story is arbitrary and a bit silly is left open – that’s not the point. Because if you play Ring Fit Adventure, you work up a sweat and sometimes get sore muscles. That’s a big credit for a video game.
In the GIGA test, Ring Fit Adventure achieved a rating of 8.5 out of 10 possible points. The average rating at Metacritic is “only” 83% – but because of the unusual concept, the game belongs in this list from our point of view.
- Wide range of fitness exercises
- Ingenious ring concept
- Motivational accompaniment in the game
- Irrelevant story
- Not suitable for children
Nintendo Switch: which is your must-have title?
Whether you’re on the go, at home on the couch, playing alone or against other players, the Switch is exactly the right console for it. And by the end of the year, the Switch will also get numerous games. Tell us what’s your must-have title for Nintendo Switch?
The most popular Nintendo Switch games according to Amazon
Amazon’s Most Popular Switch Games List reflects the current popularity of Switch games rather than an “all-time leaderboard”. From our point of view, this is just as worth considering, because this list is more volatile and reflects trends. So the following are the 10 games that currently top the Nintendo Switch bestseller list (As of August 11, 2020):
1st place: Animal Crossing – New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 13 tips to get you started
2nd place: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 – to the test
3rd place: Minecraft
Minecraft – These are the best mods for PC and PS4
4th place: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – to the test
5th place: Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party – to the test
6th place: Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey – to the test
7th place: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – to the test
8th place: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – to test
9th place: Pokémon sword
Place 10: Pokémon Shield
Pokémon Sword and Shield – for testing
Nintendo Switch: Who is the console suitable for and what alternatives are there?
The Nintendo Switch is certainly the most accessible of all the consoles currently on the market. she offers Games for all ages: Parents can play co-op games with their children such as Super Mario Odyssey, for adult gamers there are games such as Dark Souls and The Witcher 3. And even target groups without a gaming context can be contacted with Dr. Kawashima’s brain jogging and Ring Fit Adventure.
The Nintendo Switch can do both connected to the TV as well as mobile in Handheld mode be used. In this respect, the console is just as suitable for gaming in the living room at home as it is when traveling by train, plane and as a passenger in the car. thanks to the Multiplayer function and the game modes for up to twelve players, the console is perfect for small and large families and a real hit for every party.
Alternatively there is currently the PlayStation 4 on the market, which is currently the best-selling console of the current generation. Microsoft offers the Xbox One, which is more powerful and can even display real 4K with the Xbox One X. However, both consoles can only be used stationary. As a handheld alternative, the consoles of the Nintendo 3DS family offer themselves. The latest model here is the New Nintendo 2DS XL. And of course you can also play on PC and laptop. For most games, however, a new model with a powerful graphics card is required.
There are now three different models of Nintendo Switch on the market. The classic version from 2017, the model number always with “HAC” can be played on TV, as a handheld or in table mode. All Nintendo Switch software works on it, and a Joy-Con set consisting of two Joy-Cons is included. The Joy-Cons have HD vibration and an IR motion camera. The Nintendo Switch is in two colors available. You can choose between the completely gray console and the console with Joy-Cons in neon blue and neon red. Additional Joy-Cons can now also be purchased in other colors. The combination of neon pink and neon green is particularly popular.
The screen is a 6.2-inch LCD, the resolution in handheld mode is 1,280 x 720. With the Joy-Cons connected, the console is 102 × 239 × 13.9 mm in size and weighs 398 grams. Without Joy-Cons, their weight is reduced to 297 grams. The main drawback of the old version was the battery life. In the meantime, the console has been replaced by a new version in stores, the old version can only be bought second-hand.
The new version of the Nintendo Switch, which was released in mid-August 2019, looks just like the old version. Scope of delivery and functions are the same, only small adjustments have been made. The console, its model number always with “HAD” starts, is characterized above all by an improved battery life. It is also more energy efficient and is characterized by less heat generation. According to idealo.de, the Nintendo Switch currently costs between 280 and 320 euros.
In addition to the classic Nintendo Switch, there is now also one Nintendo Switch Lite. It can only be played in handheld mode. Joy-Cons are not included and must be purchased separately. The Joy-Cons are necessary for certain software, so not all software can be played on the Switch Lite without further ado. You can find out which games are compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite and which you need additional hardware for on the official Nintendo website.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch LCD screen, so it is slightly smaller than the classic console. The resolution remains the same anyway. The dimensions of the Nintendo Switch Lite are 91.1 millimeters x 208 millimeters x 13.9 millimeters, with 275 grams it is a lot lighter than its big brother. The battery life unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired here as well. Unfortunately, the console is actually intended for gaming on the go. But it is 193 to 206 euros significantly cheaper than the classic Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch Lite is currently available in gray, yellow and blue, and there is also a white model with pink and blue elements to match the Pokémon Sword and Shield games.
In addition to the console, the scope of delivery of the classic Nintendo Switch includes the following:
- Nintendo Switch Docking Station (for charging & connecting to the TV)
- 2 Joy-Con controllers (either in gray or in neon blue / neon red)
- 2 Joy-Con brackets for table mode + wrist straps
- HDMI cable with a length of 1.5 meters
- Power supply / charging cable
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and of course the individual game software are available separately.
In contrast, the scope of delivery is very manageable. In addition to the console, only a charging cable is included.
The Nintendo Switch is one very energy-saving console. If it is not connected to the power supply, it consumes just 0.2 watts in standby mode, 7 watts in the menu and 11 watts when playing. If you charge the console in parallel, the consumption increases to a maximum of 18 watts. For comparison: The competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft still have a power consumption of 80 to 90 watts. Fortunately, the console’s temperature development is also within limits. Usually the back gets up to 40 degrees warm when you play in handheld mode.
The Battery life depends entirely on the model you own. The old version of the Nintendo Switch (model number with “HAC”) only lasts for 2.5 to 6.5 hours, the improved model (number with “HAD”) lasts for at least 4.5 to 9 hours it is empty. The battery performance of the Nintendo Switch Lite is similar to that of the old Switch: after 3 to 7 hours it is over. How long the console can hold out depends not only on the screen brightness but also on the game – the more complex the graphics, the shorter the runtime.
While the PlayStation 4 is available with either a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive, the internal memory of the Nintendo Switch just 32 GB. That is hardly enough for 4-5 full price titles. Zelda alone: Breath of the Wild eats 13 GB. Fortunately, the memory of the Nintendo Switch can be very easily can be expanded with micro SD cards, the limit here is 2 TB – that will go a long way. There is already 128 GB for cheap money, so there is enough memory for several Switch titles at the same time. The console has 4 GB of RAM.
In order to be able to use your Nintendo Switch on TV, the following steps must be observed:
- Open the cover on the back of the docking station for the Nintendo Switch.
- Plug the power supply unit and HDMI cable into the corresponding places inside the docking station and close the cover again.
- Plug the power supply into a socket.
- Plug the HDMI cable into the appropriate place on the television.
- Remove the Joy-Con controller from the console (there is a small round button on the back of the controller that must be held when removing).
- Plug the console into the docking station. If it is correctly placed, the screen lights up briefly and shows the charging icon.
- Check whether the corresponding HDMI input is selected on the TV.
The Nintendo Switch Online subscription service allows you to do the above Access to online multiplayer and the service’s smartphone app, which gives you access to voice chat. You don’t need the app to play locally. At the moment the service costs 19.99 euros per year, family membership for up to eight accounts is available for 34.99 euros. But you also get the following service-exclusive features:
- Access to online multiplayer.
- Access to the smartphone app for Nintendo Switch Online to use the voice chat feature.
- Numerous playable SNES and NES games for the Nintendo Switch.
- Permanently save games in the cloud to protect you from losing game data if the console is defective.
- Exclusive bonuses such as Nintendo Switch Game Coupons or certain special offers.
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