The best Nintendo Switch games you can buy right now

10. The Jackbox Party Pack 3

Genre: Party
Price: $24.99/£18.99

What is it? A compilation of hilarious quiz show-themed party games from the team behind You Don't Know Jack.

Why should you buy it? This is what the Switch was made for - the kind of thing you can bring anywhere and have fun with a group of friends instantly. The Jackbox Party Pack 3 combines the sequel to the always-ridiculous guessing game Quiplash, along with Trivia Murder Party (a quiz show that pits you against a serial killer), deductive reasoning game Guesspionage, Tee K.O. (which forces you to design t-shirts based on clues), and the bluffing game Fakin' It. You don't even need extra controllers, as everyone syncs up and answers questions via their mobile phone or tablet; the only caveat is that you need some kind of internet in order for everyone to play along. Each of the included games are funny, witty, and utterly ridiculous, and a perfect fit for Nintendo Switch.

9. Tumbleseed

Genre: Roguelike
Price: $14.99/£11.99

What is it? A 'rolly' roguelike where you need to steer a tiny seed up a mountain using only your analogue sticks to control a tilting stick. 

Why should you buy it? Because you like games that will beat you into a pulp before you finally master them. Tumbleseed looks simple on paper. Tilt a board with your analogue sticks and steer a tiny seed up a mountain. How hard can it be? The answer is exceptionally. Holes mean death. Enemies mean death. Everything means death. And then it clicks as you juggle seedling power ups, carefully dodging pits while collecting crystals from felled enemies. Every movement matters and while Tumbleseed is utterly unforgiving and will send you back to the bottom of the mountain as your pitiful number of lives deplete, you'll be hitting restart without even thinking about it. A must play. 

8. Snake Pass

Genre: Platformer?
Price: $19.99/£15.99

What is it? A 3D platformer in the vein of N64/PS2-era classics, but you're a snake.

Why should you buy it? Snake Pass is a strange one. There are no enemies - just you as a googly-eyed snake, a bunch of shiny objects to collect, and myriad obstacles in your path. It looks like the Rare platformers of old, but there's one huge difference: you can't jump. Because you're a snake. It takes some getting used to, as it forces you to relearn everything you thought you knew about 3D platforming, but once you get it, there's something magical about winding around bamboo poles and figuring out the right way to coil yourself to reach a giant gold coin hanging precariously off a ledge suspended above a bottomless pit. It's surprisingly fun and charming, and will help fill that Mario-shaped void in your life (for at least a little while).

7. Arms

Genre: Fighter
Price: $59.99/£49.99

What is it? A unique fighter from the house that brought you Splatoon

Why should you buy it? Arms is a fighting game for the masses. Rather than forcing you to learn an endless list of combos and counters, Arms places all of its focus on your pugilists' two stretchy limbs. That's not to say it isn't deep: each fighter has unique abilities and an array of special arm types to use, which allow for a wide variety of strategies. While it's a bit light on single-player content, a solid foundation and the promise of additional free content on the way ensures that Arms will have a place in our Switch systems for months to come.

6. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

Genre: Platformer
Price: $19.99/£17.99

What is it? A complete reskin of cult classic Wonder Boy 3, complete with the ability to switch between hand-drawn animation and the original 8-bit sprites.

Why should you buy it? Wonder Boy doesn't have the same cultural appreciation that Metroid or Castlevania does, but that those who grew up with the series (along with spin-offs like Adventure Island) attest to its quality. Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon's Trap in particular is important because it helped laid the groundwork for a generation of non-linear platformers to follow. In the 2017 remake (which drops the numbering), developer Lizardcube lovingly takes the same game - passcodes and all - and applies a gorgeous painterly aesthetic on top of it, complete with an all-new soundtrack. It's a bit archaic in spots, but the fact that it holds up so well with minor gameplay changes is a testament to how far ahead of the curve it was in 1989.

5. Minecraft

Genre: Building simulation  
Price: $29.99/£19.99

What is it? A beautifully blocky, open-world, creative sandbox for you to build, destroy, and mine anything you want. 

Why should you buy it? Because even if you’ve played it before, Minecraft on Switch means ultra portable, buildable delight. You can sit down with a friend to play together on the local network, which is ridiculously simple to set up - just put one of their Joy-Cons on your Switch once your world is loaded up, press +, and hand it back to them. You can also play online if you're not eager to go exploring alone, or try out one of its mini-games: Battle (straightforwards PvP), Tumble (a race that involves shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the course asap). A plethora of achievements makes for pleasantly directed playing as they give you something to aim for, but when it's comes down to it you never feel like you've quite beaten Minecraft even if you've been playing for tens of hours. It's an exercise in discovery and ambition, with structures that previously only existed in your wildest dreams suddenly viable - as long as you have the resources. Whether you're tenacious, easygoing, or just rabidly curious, think of Minecraft as a gracious host that will make you and anyone you choose to co-op with delirious with happiness. Either that, or you'll get your hands on some TNT and will make everything go bang. Which is also fun. 

4. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Genre: Platformer
Price: $24.99/£19.99

What is it? A collection containing the excellent Shovel Knight and every expansion to date, including the brand new Specter of Torment and the upcoming King Knight expansion

Why should you buy it? Shovel Knight (PC review here) may look and sound like a game from the 1980s, but it so much more than simple nostalgia. Featuring inventive level design and action that echoes some of the best elements from Mega Man, Mario, and Ducktales, along with a few tricks of its own, Shovel Knight still stands as one of the best modern 2D platformers out there. The Treasure Trove edition compiles every bit of shovelry released to date: the base campaign, the previously released Plague of Shadows expansion, the brand-new Specter of Torment expansion, the upcoming King Knight expansion, and a brand-new four-player battle mode.

3. Splatoon 2

Genre: Third-person shooter
Price: $59.99/£49.99

What is it? A sequel that brings more multiplayer ink-splatting madness than the Wii U exclusive original and more Splatfests too.

Why should you buy it? If you missed out on the Wii U exclusive that was Splatoon, the sequel, suprisingly named Splatoon 2, is one of the Switch's best games. It again sees you teaming up with your fellow inklings – that's half squid, half human – to try and paint the most of the map your team's colour in the multiplayer. It's easy to pick up and play, and although it doesn't feel totally fresh anymore as it's a sequel, it's still a refreshing take on the traditional shooter. There's also a robust single-player Hero Mode and a new Horde-esque mode known as Salmon Rush that is dangerously addictive and devilishly difficult on the highest levels.

2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Genre: Racing
Price: $59.99/£39.99  

What is it? The best version of Mario Kart 8 money can buy.

Why should you buy it? Apart from the telling clue in the line above, the Nintendo experience isn't complete until you've enraged your closest friends by beating them at Mario Kart. It's a rite of passage on every Nintendo console. This immediate, relatable, pick-up-and-play fun is exactly what the Switch was created for. Up to eight people can locally, letting you pretend that you're in a Nintendo lifestyle advert, and it's a novelty that two people can play anywhere using a single console. But best of all, this is the ultimate version of an already amazing game, and perhaps the most clear and brilliant example of how great the Switch could be. 

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Genre: Action RPG
Price: $59.99/£49.99

What is it? The latest entry in Nintendo's venerable fantasy franchise, which embraces its own history as often as it upends it

Why should you buy it? This is, perhaps more than anything, the biggest showpiece for what the Nintendo Switch can do. Breath of the Wild takes ideas originally introduced in the first Legend of Zelda game along with concepts expanded on by Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs and Nintendoizes them, distilling them into purest parts, and polishes the hell out of them. It's a world of wonder, and for the first time what feels like ages, it actually lets you experience that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and incessant text boxes re-explaining everything you already know. Playing it on the TV is a treat, but being able to lift the Switch from the dock and take a game of this size and scope wherever you want is a perfect summation of the Switch's potential.

Find out what's coming out in 2017 and beyond with our list of upcoming Nintendo Switch games!