The Nintendo Switch is the newest kid on the console block, and it’s doing pretty well for itself, so far. The hardware is sleek and sexy; it’s compact and portable, it’s stationary and homey, making it both a great handheld and home console. A console cannot win on hardware alone, however. Yes, it’s cool to hold and look at, but what about doing the thing it was actually made for: play games.
Although the Switch is just a couple of months old, there are already quite a few games worth your attention. So, have no fear, it isn’t just going to be your Zelda machine, even though that was the only reason you bought a Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
All right, let’s just get this obvious one out of they way. For the one person who decided to get a Switch, but not for Zelda, who are you and let us study your brain. This game is easily the best reason to pick up a Nintendo Switch, and is arguably a big reason for the Switch’s success so far. It’s the Zelda titles of Zelda titles, ever since Ocarina of Time came out. By foregoing the series’ tropes and going back to the core of the series — adventure — it stands as the pinnacle title of the series.
Breath of the Wild, is a game you won’t be putting down for a while, once you start and jump off that plateau. Not only because of how addicting it is to play, but also because of the sheer volume of things to find and do in the game. You have 120 shrines to find and solve, 900 korok seeds to find, four divine beasts to conquer, and — easily — over a hundred hours of exploring to do. Trust us, you’ll be playing this game for a while, granted you have a life to actually live. Plus, we have an in-depth review of the game that you should definitely check out and share, please.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Nintendo is a company with its roots built deep within nostalgia, with most of the company’s mind share being associated with 8-bit/16-bit classics. Titles such as Super Mario Bros., Megaman, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and even Ducktales, is where it all started, for most people. These games that are looked back upon so fondly, and should be put on the Switch as Virtual Console titles. Seriously Nintendo, where are the Virtual Console games! Luckily, there is something to fill that void and it even takes inspiration from all those games, while being its own thing: Shovel knight.
Shovel Knight is a platformer that doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, but makes you realize how amazing that wheel is. The game takes all the best things from the classic titles, and uses them to create tight, fun, and whimsical platforming. The level designs are challenging and filled with nifty little secret and hidden ares, while also being beautiful to boot by caressing your face with its quasi 8-bit aesthetic. The music is just as wonderful, by using chiptune beats and melodies, with some songs composed by the original Megaman composer — Manami Matsumae. Plus, with Treasure Trove, you get the game plus all its DLC, which basically means you’re getting three games, thanks to Yacht Club Games. Oh, and what do you know, we also have a review for one of the DLC — Specter of Torment.
For something more co-op friendly, and so you can give one of your joy-cons to someone and share the joy, then go ahead and give Snipperclips a try. The game is full of puzzles to solve in unconventional ways, while featuring cutesy visual, similar to stationery materials. The characters even resemble the joy-con controllers. The more the merrier is the motto in Snipperclips. Sure, you could play this game on your own, but the puzzles will end up more tedious than fun in the long run. Plus, the joy of playing and solving puzzles with friends is an experience so rare these days. So, why not pick up this game and snip a piece out of your friends to solve some puzzles.
The F-Zero franchise has been dormant and forgotten for over a decade now, and the fans are still clamoring for its return. It seems that Nintendo themselves aren’t too interested in revisiting the fast-paced, futuristic racer, but luckily an indie developer is here to satisfy our cravings. Shin’en studios’ Fast RMX is the futuristic racer you’ve been looking for.
The game has all the staples that a futuristic racer should have: fast-paced racing, twitch-reaction courses, techno music, and gorgeous visuals. The game hearkens back to F-Zero and Wipeout, with vehicles that go insanely fast and courses to race on that will test your reaction speed. Along with the game are the futuristic beats to add to the adrenaline rush, while racing. Plus, this arguably has the most technical fidelity of any Switch title so far.
I am Setsuna
Released back in 2016, but still a perfect fit on-the-go for your Switch, the back-to-basics JRPG I am Setsuna. If you’ve been craving a classically styled JRPG, then this is the game for you. The game features turn-based combat, a 50 hour campaign, and the sweet JRPG-style story that all fans of the genre love. The game was fun back in 2016, but with the amount of time you’ll be sinking into this game, it’s a better fit on a handheld hybrid that you can take wherever you go.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
The Newgrounds aesthetic, roguelike finds a new home on the Nintendo Switch. There aren’t too many games that will let you fight through the hell of your mom’s basement by shooting out tears from your eyes. Well, there aren’t any at all, but that just means there’s more love to give for The Binding of Isaac.
The game has you going through procedurally generated maps and discovering new, creepy items for you to fight away the even creepier enemies. This is a game that you can easily spend 20 hours with or even 200 hours with, as there are new things to find with each new playthrough. The game can be hard and unforgiving, but what else would you expect from your mom’s basement. Just be careful not break your joy-cons because those things are expensive.
Here’s a thought to slither over your brain, what if there was a platformer without jumping. Well, there is one, and it has an unlikely protagonist to boot: Snake Pass. Yes, it’s a 3D Platformer without jumping because you play as a snake, and nature was cruel when it came to the evolution of a snake, since they can’t jump. However, video game developers were generous and managed to design a game where no jumping would be involved, but only slithering. You’ll be slithering and wrapping and crawling your way through a number of worlds to collect every item in each level, where the maneuvering being your main obstacle. So, think like a snake and get this game on the switch and not the other consoles, because things are more fun when you can take them on-the-go.
Lego City: Undercover
Every franchise will sooner or later get the Lego treatment. Batman had it, Star Wars had it, even Indian Jones had it. Now, the time has come for one video games’ most beloved franchises — which has been emulated and copied to death — to get it: Grand Theft Auto. While, this isn’t just a straight Lego skinned GTA, it is an open world Lego game similar to GTA.
You’ll be driving around a sprawling Lego city, with a lot of collectibles to get, missions to do, and laughs to be had. This is the game for cops and robbers fans, especially since the game parodies and borrows references from a lot of mainstream buddy cop and crime movies, albeit at a juvenile level. If you missed this Wii U title back in 2013, and let’s be honest everyone did, then be sure to get it for your Switch and not on your PS4, Xbox One, or PC. This is a Switch article, after all.
Neo Geo Classics
Earlier, I mentioned the Virtual Console situation on the Nintendo Switch. Well, if you’ve reached this far through the article, it still hasn’t been fixed. However, there a bunch of titles on the eShop to satisfy your retro fix, and they’re called the Neo Geo Arcade Classics. From Metal Slug to King of Fighters, you can experience all your favorite SNK titles on your brand new Switch. These titles are beloved among the hardcore gaming audience, especially fans of the classics. Most of these titles are multiplayer too, so they’re a perfect reason to use those joy-cons and have a friend play with you. Again, don’t break them since they cost almost 1/3 of the console’s price.
Mario Kart 8 (Deluxe)
The game is finally out, so you can finally play Mario Kart in HD, on the go, even though this title already came to the Wii U back in 2014. Despite it being just an upgraded re-release, who doesn’t want to play Mario Kart? You can play as the Mushroom Kindgdom’s most beloved characters, plus a couple of other Nintendo staple characters. All the DLC comes with the game, there are a couple new tracks, new characters, and even a new battle mode, which is better than the original version. Mario Kart is back, baby.
Now, they just have to fix the Virtual Console situation, seriously. I want to play all those NES, SNES, N64 — and possibly GameCube — games on my Switch. Please, we all do, Nintendo.