As we creep closer to the cosy days of gaming winter, the list of top notch Nintendo Switch games gets longer and longer – and we haven't even hit Super Mario Odyssey yet. Despite the fact the Switch hasn't yet been around for a year, there are some big hitters already lurking on Nintendo's hybrid, from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 to the glorious The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Even if you ignore those major releases, there's a wealth of smaller but no less fun games out there on the eShop, just waiting to be snagged.
That's why we've compiled a list of the best Nintendo Switch games you can buy right now. While this won't be a definitive list until we've gotten about a year's worth of games, we'll continue updating this page with recent releases worthy of your time and money. And whether you're looking for party games, 2D platformers, or big 3D adventures, the Switch has you covered. Oh, and if you want to know what's still to come, check out our upcoming Nintendo Switch games.
20. Super Bomberman R
Genre: Action maze game
What is it? The first new entry in five years, this once again sees you outmanoeuvre opponents in a 2D grid in attempts to trap them with bombs.
Why should you buy it? After five long years and a huge Bomberman-shaped hole in our hearts, the combustible icon is back. The rules are simple: drop bombs to trap opponents in cul-de-sacs while avoiding those dropped by others. Explosions fan out up, down, left, and right - never diagonally or through objects - making this is a tense game of angles and evasion. Some puzzles don’t age, and Bomberman is one. It gets a lot more manic when there’s eight characters on screen simultaneously. Setting up a match is simple: you can play locally, each of the up-to-eight players using half a Joy-Con or pro controller; against others online; or scan the surrounding area for nearby Switch owners.
19. World of Goo
What is it? A Switch port of one of the original indie darlings.
Why should you buy it? There's a good chance you've probably already bought World of Goo before, either on Wii, PC, or mobile devices, but if you haven't, here's the gist. You've got a bunch of goo balls, and you need to build towers in order to reach a pipe to deposit as much liquid as you can, all while avoiding buzzsaws and other finicky obstacles (such as gravity). It's still a hell of a game, even nearly 10 years after its original release, whether this is your first time playing or you're a goo expert.
18. Lego City Undercover
Genre: Open-world platformer
What is it? An open-world Lego game with a cheeky sense of humor
Why should you buy it? $60 is a lot to ask for a four-year-old port of a Lego game, but if you haven't played this one yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It's a kid-friendly GTA game, complete with a huge city to explore and wreck, vehicles to drive, and puzzles to solve. On top of all that, it's a genuinely funny game, mining cop movie tropes and other pop culture references for its story. It didn't get a ton of love on the Wii U, so if you're looking for a family-friendly adventure, pick this one up - the Switch port is actually pretty comparable to the PS4 version, too.
17. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!
What is it? A co-op puzzler where you have to snip bits of paper off each other in order to move objects around and activate buttons.
Why should you buy it? The Nintendo Switch is a portable co-op machine, and Snipperclips is one of the best ways to test that functionality right out of the gate. Simply hand one of the Joy-Cons to a friend and use it like a SNES controller to move your little paper people around, cut each other into shapes, and work together to make a basketball go into a hoop, activate a pencil sharpener, and more. It's a game you can play by your lonesome if you so choose, but it's way more fun with a friend, and there are a ton of additional modes and minigames outside of its handful of puzzles to solve.
16. Blaster Master Zero
What is it? A reimagining of the NES classic following the adventures of a boy and his tank.
Why should you buy it? Blaster Master has always been one of those retro games that plays way better in your head than it does in reality. The original married 2D tank action with overhead exploration segments in inventive fashion, but clumsy controls and cheap deaths make it hard to go back to. Zero takes many of the same concepts, and updates them for the 21st century. Difficulty is far more balanced, an abundance of save points will keep you from pulling your hair out, and its retro-inspired graphics and animations are way smoother and more stable than the NES could have ever pulled off. Blaster Master Zero plays like your memories - and in some ways, it's even better.
15. Bulb Boy
What is it? A point-and-click adventure that blends Silent Hill-style horror with adorably cute characters; you won't know whether to go 'Aww!' or 'AAAH!'
Why should you buy it? Bulb Boy is basically The Binding of Isaac by way of Monkey Island, where grotesqueries (some of whom are covered in poop) accost our cherubic, bulb-headed hero across a quirky, inventive point-and-click adventure. You and your glowing noggin need to save your grandpa and puppy after your house is taken over by otherworldly abominations, figuring out a path forward in each room by combining items and discovering safe routes. Bulb Boy's brand of horror is never out-and-out terrifying - mostly just creepy and gross - which pairs nicely with the charming character designs (and Bulb Boy's distinct giggle is just the best). The game is dialogue-free, so just about anyone can play it, and the monochromatic green visual style faintly evokes classic Game Boy graphics. You can finish this one in a sitting or two, but its delightfully disturbing sights and sounds will stay with you for a good long while.
What is it? Bloody hard. It's also procedurally-generated and points-based, with a ton of enemies that want to knock your head off.
Why should you buy it? You're going to die the first time you play GoNNER. And the second time. And the third. But the more time you put into it, the better you'll get - and you'll want to, as even in death GoNNER is pretty darn endearing. You visit the god of death to pick up your head, gun, and backpack, and then jump down a worm's throat to get to whichever random level you're assigned. Jump on enemies to squish them, or shoot them with the delightfully chunky gun, or simply use your double-jump to avoid them and get to the end of the level. The controls are brilliantly precise, and there are abilities you can choose to unlock at the beginning of each level as well as secrets to discover. GoNNER is all about skill, and if you put the time into it, you'll start seeing some major returns.
13. Cave Story+
What is it? A Nintendo Switch port of one of the best cult indie hits
Why should you buy it? While the price tag is a bit steep (especially considering it's appeared cheaper on other platforms, and even launched for free back in the early 2000s), there's no denying that Cave Story is still worth supporting now that it's on the Nintendo Switch. It's the labor of love of a single developer named Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, weaving retro-styled Metroidvania concepts with an engrossing and emotional story through multiple endings. If you grab a physical copy, you'll even get a bunch of neat goodies, including a soundtrack mini-disc and full-color manual.
Genre: Rhythm action
What is it? Self described as a 'rhythm violence' game, Thumper sees you hurtling down a track as a giant bug perfectly hammering buttons to the beat.
Why should you buy it? Thumper might initially remind you of something a little gentler like Audiosurf as you glide down slick, stylised pathways with electronica in your ears but don't be deceived, this aural extravaganza requires a calm head and pitch perfect twitch reflexes. Initially your giant bug just requires a tap of A as you go over a light panel or perhaps holding a button as you crash around corners but before long you're tapping, flying, crashing down onto the track and causing tidal waves to destroy enormous floating heads... and that's only the beginning. Utterly unforgiving with a soundtrack that you can't pump into you head loud enough, Thumper is a treat for the senses and potentially RSI inducing for your thumbs.
11. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
What is it? The ultimate edition of the remake of the flash game by the artist behind Super Meat Boy.
Why should you buy it? If you can get past the, ahem, grody aesthetic fueling the Binding of Isaac's narrative - in which a young, naked boy held captive in his own home attempts to escape his mom's murderous intentions by navigating underground caverns and crying at enemies - there's a hell of a game here. Each run is a randomly generated dungeon, pulling inspiration equally from games like The Legend of Zelda and Spelunky, and as you take on a menagerie of demons, you'll pick up a variety of mysterious items which can help (or hinder) you on your quest to the bottom. Packing in the remake of the original game (now known as Rebirth) along with all of the expansions released so far, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is the definitive edition of a roguelike that will gleefully suck away hundreds of hours of your life if you let it.
Click on to the next page for the top ten games on Nintendo Switch!