25 best Nintendo Switch games you can buy right now

20. 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.

19. 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.

18. 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. 

17. 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.

16. 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.

15. 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.

14. 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. 

13. 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 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.

12. Mario Tennis Aces

Genre: Sports
Price: $59.99 / £49.99

What is it? The latest entry in the long-running Mario Tennis series, bringing you all your favourite Nintendo characters in their tennis kicks. 

Why should you buy it? For the first time since Mario Tennis: Power Tour on the Game Boy Advance, a Mario Tennis game has a story mode. Technically it's called the Adventure Mode, but it still sees tennis being taken very much out of the box. It's not just about hitting bright green balls around anymore; there are boss battles, challenges, quests and other battles beyond the classic tennis. All that is still there, of course, but there's another layer again to it in Aces, linked to new Power Moves that basically make this Smash Bros x Mario Tennis. Are you in? Yeah, course you are.

11. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Genre: Openworld RPG
Price: $59.99 / £49.99  

What is it? A sprawling, decadent openworld RPG filled with dragons, magic, and a bloody civil war with you right at the centre.  

Why should you buy it? Let’s ignore the fact that in Skyrim Nintendo Switch you can fight dragons with your bare hands. Let’s also ignore the stunning scenery that oozes character, whether it’s the dismal, unnerving forest of Falkreath or the golden trees swaying near Riften. Don’t pay attention to the grand total of 244 quests, or the DLCs included in the Switch edition that’ll have you journeying to new lands. Instead focus on the motion controls. They’re damn good, allowing you to raise a hand to your chest to block with a shield, or tilt the Joy-Cons to aim where you’re firing a handful of fire. You can even pick locks with your bare hands now, for Talos’ sake (as long as they’re holding Joy-Cons, that is). Skyrim on the Switch will make you feel connected to Tamriel’s world like never before, and is essential for any RPG lover. 

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