25 best Nintendo Switch games you can buy right now

20. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Genre: Platformer
Price: $59.99 / £49.99

What is it? The best Wii U game ever is now on Switch.

Why should you buy it? If you missed out on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze the first time around thanks to its Wii U exclusivity - which is entirely plausible - you need to catch up on DK's latest adventures. This is a gem of a 2D platformer that's been remastered for Switch, running at 720p HD in handheld mode and at full 1080p HD on the big screen. Donkey Kong has never looked so good.  You'll be side-scrolling through a variety of stunning levels, and thanks to a wide range of enemies and challenges, it never feels dull. And if you want our advice, it is best played with the soundtrack on full blast. 

19. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+

Genre: Roguelike
Price: $39.99

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? Get past the aesthetic fuelling 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 -  and there's one hell of a game here from Edmund McMillen. 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. Want laser tears or maps to every level? How about one giant tear droplet to steer around the demonic enemies? 

Every run is completely different and always relentlessly, offensively wonderful. 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. Oh, and in further temptation, hunt down the physical edition now available in the EU for a special retro-style actual manual like one you got in the '90s, and some adorable Isaac stickers.

18. Bayonetta 2

(Image: © Nintendo, Sega, Platinum Games)

Genre: Action
Price: $49.99 / £39.99

What is it? An exhilarating hack ’n’ slash adventure.

Why should you buy it? Originally released as a Wii U exclusive, Bayonetta 2 has now been re-released on Switch, and it means that you now have no excuses not to play it. Although, when the heroine is a witch with magical hair and (literally) killer stilettos, you won’t really need an excuse not to. This Switch release allows you to experience some of the most action-packed, brutal moments from the last decade of gaming wherever you want. Although it’s a shame the resolution is locked to 720p, even on your TV, it doesn’t detract from the fact it’s a better game than it was on Wii U, even if you look at the major frame rate improvements alone. The game looks stunning regardless, and if you’re an action game fan in the slightest you owe it to yourself to play Bayonetta 2. In fact, when you buy Bayonetta 2 you actually go one better, because you get the original game thrown in for free too. Bargain.

17. Owlboy

(Image: © D-Pad Studio)

Genre: Adventure / Platformer
Price: $24.99 / £18.99

What is it? A gorgeous old-school platformer that’s a real hoot to play.

Why should you buy it? Owlboy is a platformer with a difference. It’ll still have you exploring Metroidvania-style dungeons, but your mute half-owl/half-boy protagonist Otus doesn’t really have any abilities or upgradeable skills beyond a dash and a spin, oh and the ability to fly. That latter one is key though, as it enables him to carry around various allies, giving him the powers that he’ll need to solve puzzles, defeat the various beasties invading the land and eventually save the world. New skills are dripped through, but used in a way that a Zelda or Mario title would - at specific times and in certain locations. Nothing feels overused or overdone. Owlboy just wants to make sure you want to keep playing, and with gameplay as compelling as this and a masterful use of pixelart graphics, there’s plenty to make you keep coming back for more. 

16. Golf Story

Genre: Golf RPG (yes really)
Price:
$14.99/£13.49

What is it? It's a brilliant pixel art RPG crossed with a golf sim, with added tongue-in-cheek comedy.

Why should you buy it? Nintendo and Camelot's Game Boy Color take on golfing was a revelation, even for people who hate golf. Mario Golf GBC combined RPG-lite character upgrades and progression with a simple and intuitive arcadey version of golf - and it happened exactly once. Sidebar Games has clearly taken this to heart, and has made its own full-on golfing adventure, complete with eight unique environments, side-quests, and even a story. I don't even like golf and I'm addicted to this.

15. Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Adventure

Genre: Point-and-click adventure
Price: $39.99/£39.99

What is it? One of Telltale's best episodic adventures in one neat package with a story and world based around the blocky excellence that is Minecraft.

Why should you buy it? Not only is it the first of Telltale's games to come to the Switch, but it's also utterly brilliant. Even if you aren't a Minecraft fan, there's plenty of comedy, action and block-based jokes to chuckle at and you'll appreciate the way Telltale's engine works so seamlessly on the Switch. Of course, if you are a Minecraft fan this should be a no-brainer, especially with the Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition being so brilliant too. You can be Minecrafting on Switch all the time in all the ways.

And plus, you get a lot of game for your money. The Complete Adventure gets you all five episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode and the three episodes of the follow-up Adventure Pass released last year. 

14. 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.

13. 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.

12. Kirby Star Allies

Genre: Action / Adventure
Price:
$59.99 / £49.99

What is it? Classic Kirby platforming action, but with four-player co-op thrown in for good measure.

Why should you buy it? Playing out a bit like a cross between Smash Bros and a traditional Kirby game, Kirby Star Allies is all about teamwork. Go it solo with AI buddies, or enlist up to three real life ones, and you'll soon realise Kirby Star Allies is utter brilliance. Half the time, it's all about classic sidescrolling, platforming action, but then roll in the fact that you can have different powers, abilities and combinations of the two and you end up having a four-player co-op brawler that can often feel like Super Smash Bros. It might not quite scratch that Smash Bros. for Switch itch, but it's utterly fantastic nonetheless. 

11. 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. 

Click on to the next page for the top ten games on Nintendo Switch!