Nintendo Switch dropped over three years ago and ever since, gamers everywhere have celebrated the hybrid console, helping it sell to date more than 53 million consoles around the world. Many of the unit’s games saw a huge uptick in popularity once the pandemic hit, as the extra free time and increased stress of living melted into one perfect recipe for the colorful, rewarding escapism Nintendo has provided since founding in 1889 but more prevalently since beginning to release video games in the mid-1980s.
We looked across the board at the top-rated games available for Switch and found some predictably popular classics revamped for the system, as well as some upcoming surefire hits making their way to the market this summer. Take a look below to see what folks are playing and why, and get ready to add a few adventures to your gaming library.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Far and away the most talked-about game for Switch right now, Animal Crossing lets you build a fantasy world where you use resources found in your deserted island paradise to create everything from necessities to creature comforts and hang out or do business with your friends along the way. Players are impressed with how wholesome and relaxing the gameplay is, with many leaving reviews like, "It's relaxing and just a peaceful building/collecting game," and "Never thought I'd have so much fun doing nothing." One unique aspect of the game is that it matches the time of day and season with your real life experience so it's almost like you're going outside, even if you're still in lockdown.
Rumors that Mario Kart 9 is on its way haven't swayed gamers from snatching up version 8 in spades to play on their Switch, as witnessed by its standing as the top-rated game for the unit on Best Buy's website. Going strong since its release in 2014, MK 8 has over 20 thousand reviews on the site with an unbelievable 99% giving it a five or four star rating and only a handful of threes. Pros included in countless reviews include its family-friendliness and great graphics, and several buyers prefer it over the original. As one raves, "This edition of Mario Kart is amazing! From the graphics all the way down to audio and the controls. Everything feels like an upgrade from the Wii U version."
Just like in real life, Nintendo's Carnival Games are played in exchange for tickest that you can cash in to get new snazzy outfits with crazy hats and pants for your guests, and the fun stays innocent so the whole family can play along. Whether you're shooting basketballs and knocking down pesky clowns, there's a fun time to be had for everyone as you can tell by the gushing reviews left by over a thousand players on Amazon alone. Be prepared to spend a little time with it though, as the more intricate and fun games unlock only by first beating the beginner-level challenges to start.
Another top-rated pick from Best Buy is the Super Mario Odyssey for Switch that lets you enter a 3-D world to "save Princess Beach from Bowser yet again," which will definitely tick off some nostalgia points for many while introducing a whole new generation to the wonders of Mario's universe. " I love the story line and love how there is so much more to do once the main story has been completed," one player glows about Odyssey, but has one small gripe to add: "My only complaint is that I feel like Luigi is considerably under used and hope that he'll be given a bigger role other than the whole "Balloon World" thing once there's additional downloadable content available for this game." Still, nearly 16,000 five-star reviews can't be wrong, so grab Odyssey and get ready to explore the whole kingdom.
Coming soon, the Origami King release in the Paper Mario series is already out-pacing classics and newcomers faves alike as Mario addicts await an adventure where he joins his new partner Olivia as they "battle evil Folded Soldiers, repair the damaged landscape, and try to free Princess Peach’s castle from the clutches of King Olly in this comedy-filled adventure," according to the run-down of gameplay on GameStop. Grab a copy now and expect it to arrive on or before the official release date of July 17th.
If you're a Nintendo person, you're already familiar with the Smash Bros. and their antics, but now you can welcome new fighters Simon Belmont and King K. Rool into the proverbial ring with "enhanced speed and combat at new stages." As one thrilled buyer reports, "It's in no way perfect, but there's just so much good that I don't see how anybody can be sad. It's a game I'm going to be playing for years, and I'm going to enjoy it for years." They go on to explain that it presses all the buttons to be found in a Nintendo game: nostalgia for the older millennial or Gen X parents, fun for kids and their friends, and new players can delight in finding ways to enjoy the game with their friends as well, whether they're children of the literal variety or just young at heart.
The 1-2 Switch appeals to a variety of users because while it is still a video game and likely to connect with younger players, older members of the game will enjoy the face-to-face connection it demands in the play. Many bizarre and hilarious games are found here, from cow milking to dance-offs, and it touts itself as an instant energy injection to any party or family fun night.