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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Best Nintendo Switch Games So Far (July 2018 Update)

Switch Games That You Need To Play


The release of the Nintendo Switch marked the beginning of a new generation for Nintendo. After the lukewarm reception of the Wii U, many were beginning to wonder if the company would be able to survive in today's console market. However, it defied all expectations with its hybrid console/handheld console. Alongside the Switch's release was the universally praised The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, giving it the killer app it needed to quickly rise to the top of console sales charts and dramatically increase Nintendo's revenue. In the year since its launch, there has been no shortage of amazing games coming, from huge first-party games like Mario and Splatoon to indie darlings like Owlboy and Celeste. There's even great third-party games, like Octopath Traveler and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The library only seems to be expanding and improving with every consecutive release.

In this feature, we're taking a look back at the best Switch games so far. This includes games that have received a score of 8 or higher on GameSpot since the console's release, as well as reviews for new games and updates to reviews of older games that were ported to Switch. Check out our choices for the best games released on the Switch. And with the console's library continuing to expand, make sure to check back often as we update this feature over the coming weeks and months.

For an analysis of Nintendo Switch's first year, be sure to read our retrospective feature discussing the console's various successes and failures. In addition, you can also check out our features detailing all the Wii U games we ported to Switch, 13 things we want to see from the console.

The Switch already has hundreds of games, so many that some are bound to fly under our radar. The games covered here are only a small handful of the experiences out there. Which games do you think are some of the Switch's finest? Let us know in the comments below.


Octopath Traveler -- 8/10


"Despite the lackluster stories that pull you through the world, Octopath thrives on its character progression and the temptations of high-level challenges and rewards. The promise of new jobs, exciting boss fights, and powerful gear will inspire you to poke around every corner, and there are no shortage of discoveries to strive for. And all the while, you're treated to one of the most interesting and effective re-imaginings of a retro aesthetic around. Octopath will likely be a divisive game due to its fractured storytelling, but it's one worth playing despite its lesser qualities. Its high points are simply too good to ignore." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Captain Toad


"Despite a smattering of minor complaints, Captain Toad stands as a pint-sized version of Nintendo's stellar first party pedigree. It's among the best Mario spin-offs around and a delightful iteration on old ideas." [Read the full review]

-- Daniel Starkey


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus -- 8/10


"As long as you're able to play the entire game in docked mode, The New Colossus is the same fantastic game it is on other platforms. It runs well and, despite some minor visual compromises, it still looks pretty good. Handheld mode is unfortunately far less optimized, and the Joy-Cons simply don't feel as good to use as the Pro Controller. If Switch is your only way to play it, The New Colossus is absolutely worth your time--just not on the go." [Read the full review]

-- Kallie Plagge, Associate Editor


West of Loathing -- 8/10


"There are a few minor issues--inventory management on Switch becomes cumbersome as you collect an increasing amount of things, fights with a lot of enemies can obscure some pertinent information, and the stakes sometimes feel a little too low to be completely motivating. But West of Loathing's focus on maintaining a flexible, open-ended nature and lighthearted, humorous feel keeps you engaged in what feels like an imaginative pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons campaign, led by a game master whose only goal is to make sure you're laughing and having a fun time. West of Loathing's visuals are monochromatic, but there's enjoyable comedy painted between every line, a pitch-perfect Spaghetti Western soundtrack, and a full spectrum of role-playing possibilities to choose from that make it a consistently enjoyable madcap cowboy jaunt." [Read the full review]

-- Edmond Tran, Editor and Video Producer


BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle -- 9/10


"Whether playing through the story mode alone or against hardened opponents online, Cross Tag Battle is an absolute joy with a surplus of possibilities within its wide roster and versatile fighting system. Even with all the ridiculousness of the overarching plot, I reveled in the charm of my favorite characters and embraced the many moments of fan service. It's a masterful unification of styles and mechanics from four different universes that compels you to dig deeper and dedicate the time to getting the most out of the beloved members of this cast." [Read the full review]

-- Michael Higham, Associate Editor


Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection -- 8/10


"That's more or less the story of the 30th Anniversary Collection. It won't satisfy every specific demand, but it's still a big collection of awesome games and behind-the-scenes content that no Street Fighter fan should miss. Street Fighter is a series worth celebrating and Digital Eclipse has managed to do so in a manner that feels respectful to the series and to the people who keep the spirit of arcade battles alive." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition -- 8/10


"Those returning to the fray will likely be a little disappointed as there just isn't enough new content to rouse fresh excitement. For newcomers, though, Hyrule warriors is a delightful, bizarre outing that opens up the Zelda series, taking us places we've been before, just with thousands of monsters and awesome, screen-clearing magical attacks." [Read the full review]

-- Daniel Starkey


Battle Chasers: Nightwar -- 8/10


"Beyond the challenge of combat, Battle Chasers is sustained through the strength of its story, a rollicking tale that takes our heroes literally to hell and back. It's bolstered by some sharp dialogue, gorgeous artwork, and an ensemble that plays extremely well off of each other. Lots of work has gone into Nightwar since its first release, and the balancing improvements make it an easy game to recommend on all platforms." [Read the full review]

-- Justin Clark


Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze -- 9/10


"Tropical Freeze isn't a heavy-hitter from Nintendo in the same way Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey are, but it's a fantastic platformer that's bursting with creativity and expertly designed challenges. It's tuned just right--always tough but rarely frustrating--to ensure that even the most common moments feel great. If you missed out when the game first debuted back in 2014, give it a shot today. It easily stands the test of time." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Bayonetta 2 -- 10/10


"But it's a challenge you'll want to experience again as soon as you put down the controller. Bayonetta 2's combat is so expertly constructed, and its presentation so joyously insane, that you'd have to try so very hard to get bored of it all. In a year filled with the promise of ever more elaborate experiences on all the shiny new hardware, that Bayonetta 2--a homage to classic game design and escapism--should be the most fun I've had playing a game all year is unexpected. But maybe it shouldn't have been. After all, its predecessor still stands as one of the finest games of its genre. To have surpassed that with Bayonetta 2, and to have created a game that will be remembered as an absolute classic, is nothing short of astonishing." [Read the review]

-- Mark Walton


Celeste -- 9/10


"It's a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I'd been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain." [Read the full review]

-- Oscar Dayus, Staff Writer


Dragon Quest Builders -- 8/10


"The excellence of Dragon Quest Builders illustrates the versatility of this 30-year-old franchise as much as it speaks to the engrossing appeal of Minecraft-inspired creation. The story-advancing draw of quests goes hand-in-hand with the depth of a crafting system that cleverly uses monster drops as some of the game's building tools. Whether you want to focus on completing assignments or build with no specific purpose, the game is feature-rich enough to suck up untold hours, even if this happens to be your first Dragon Quest experience." [Read the review]

-- Miguel Concepcion, Editor


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 8/10


"The original version of Skyrim is still an immense, engrossing RPG, and the quality, number, and variety of its quests makes it as easy to become lost in its world as ever. With the addition of Zelda-themed gear that's actually useful--and the fact that you can play anywhere--the Switch version of Skyrim is a great excuse to revisit a much-loved RPG." [Read the full review]

-- Kallie Plagge, Associate Editor


Golf Story -- 8/10


"It can take a little while for the narrative to ramp up in Golf Story and for you to feel like you've really cultivated the skills of a champion, but based on the sheer scope of what the game delivers, there's likely something for everyone to enjoy whether their shtick is mini-golfing or terrorising delinquents with frisbees. It has successfully captured the trappings of yesteryear's RPGs, and the witticisms and idiosyncrasies of the characters you encounter are a great palate cleanser between rounds. Switch has had a swathe of indies hit its eShop recently, but if you're looking for something that'll give you satisfaction in terms of an interesting story and a rewarding mechanic, then Golf Story is certainly par for the course." [Read the full review]

-- Ginny Woo


Gorogoa -- 8/10


"Few games take the concept of altering reality to as artistic a level as Gorogoa. This labor of love made chiefly by one developer is a gorgeous and intriguing puzzle game that works because of its stunning art and intelligent puzzle design. Far from a traditional game, Gorogoa is a slow and methodical trip into the surreal." [Read the full review]

-- Jason D'Aprile


Kirby Star Allies -- 8/10


"Star Allies is yet another Kirby game, but it's up there with some of the best. It's an artistic showcase, and a great opportunity for co-op platforming. The one real complaint you can levy at it is that it gates off its more challenging aspects, but the fact that they are present to begin with will please anyone who's grown weary of the series' painless platforming." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild -- 10/10


"No matter how gorgeous its environments are, how clever its enemies are, and how tricky its puzzles get, the fact that Breath of the Wild continues to surprise you with newfound rules and possibilities after dozens of hours is by far its most valuable quality. It's a game that allows you to feel gradually more and more empowered yet simultaneously manages to retain a sense of challenge and mystery--which, together, creates a steady, consistent feeling of gratification throughout the entire experience. Breath of the Wild is a defining moment for The Legend of Zelda series, and the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle -- 9/10


"Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle exudes off-beat optimism that never dissolves. It's a consistent delight, no matter how challenging the road becomes, because Kingdom Battle's unique turn-based tactics system is in every way a pleasure to engage with. Coupled with the annoyingly infectious allure of Rabbids, and the always delightful, colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is an implausibly engrossing formula that is positively challenging and endlessly charming." [Read the full review]

-- Edmond Tran, Editor


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- 9/10


"For Mario Kart fans, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might look like more of the same with small Double Dash-inspired tweaks. But thanks to a series of updates both big and almost unseen, it's the version of Mario Kart to get. If you don't own a Wii U or skipped out on Mario Kart 8 the first time around--or even if you've played it before--Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is worth your time. It plays beautifully on Switch in both handheld and docked mode, and its core racing is as exciting as ever. And, most notably, it completely revamps the original's lackluster Battle Mode, rounding out an already great racing game." [Read the full review]

-- Kallie Plagge, Associate Editor


Mr. Shifty -- 8/10


"Mr. Shifty isn't a huge game in terms of length, but the three- to four-hour campaign is ample. It's like a shot of adrenalin, offering an exciting, intense experience, and it's easy to forgive the game's performance flaws when it so consistently makes you feel like a badass." [Read the full review]

-- James O'Connor


NBA 2K18 -- 8/10


"NBA 2K18 is a hardcore sports simulation. If you want to get good, you have to put in the work. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve your skills no matter how you want to play. And the fact that there's so much to do is a bonus, because on the court, NBA 2K18 is also an amazingly well-crafted experience." [Read the full review]

-- Seth Macy


Night in the Woods -- 9/10


"From beginning to end to epilogue, Night in the Woods is ultimately open to individual interpretation. How you relate to it depends on your own experiences and choices, including Mae’s dialogue and who you decide to spend time with. Though its charming and angsty story works well on its own merits, it’s special because of how it prioritizes conveying emotion over telling a straight narrative." [Read the review]

-- Kallie Plagge, Associate Editor


Owlboy -- 9/10


"Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it's bittersweet to see it end. As you relish the outcome of the final battle and watch the closing cutscene, you can't help but reflect on the beginning of your adventure and how far the world and its inhabitants have come. You'll never be able to play Owlboy for the first time again, but the memories of its magic moments stick with you. This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling." [Read the review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 Plus -- 8/10


"Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 creates an exciting dynamic where ghosts are still dangerous, but the overall game is more forgiving than the original--and it’s more entertaining as a result. Arcade ports tend to be games we play in short bursts--mostly for the nostalgia factor. Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 certainly relies on that nostalgia to a point, but it handles the classic game in a way that plays with expectations to surprise you. It’s the same game enhanced in the right directions to be make an old concept fun, innovative, and challenging all over again." [Read the review]

-- Jason D'Aprile


Puyo Puyo Tetris -- 8/10


"Overflowing with colorful personality, Puyo Puyo Tetris revels in its weirdness. It provides solid versions of both puzzle games and merges the two in bizarre, frantic ways that adds a fresh dash of style to these long-running series. With an array of game variations spanning single-player, along with on- and offline multiplayer, it's an incredibly meaty package that should satisfy gamers for a long time to come." [Read the full review]

-- Jason D'Aprile


Rive -- 8/10


"Rive is demanding, but it pushes the kind of near-thoughtless play that shoot-em-ups strive to achieve. When faced with an onslaught of enemies and environmental hazards, you'll have to think fast or die. Rive also doesn't run all that long, but what's here is excellent, top-notch action, and the game delivers some of the most memorable moments in a shoot-em-up in years." [Read the full review]

-- Daniel Starkey


Rocket League -- 9/10


"For people new to the game, they have a lot to look forward to regardless, as it's one of the most fascinating sports games in memory. Nevermind if you don't like soccer or couldn't care less about the growing esports community. Rocket League is a unique game that redefines the concept of what a sports game can be, and Psyonix continues to support it with new content on a regular basis. It's been around for a while, but now that it's on Switch, there's no better time to give it a shot." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Managing Editor


Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment -- 8/10


"Specter of Torment is a finely-crafted 2D platformer that is satisfying in all respects. Simply controlling Specter Knight--flying through the air and slicing through enemies--is a joy in itself, and being able to push your ability to control these skills in overcoming the game's cleverly-designed and challenging levels is always an exhilarating feeling. Specter of Torment is a focussed, polished, and satisfyingly challenging game that's well worth experiencing whether or not you've had the pleasure of playing Shovel Knight." [Read the full review]

-- Edmond Tran, Editor


Sonic Mania -- 9/10


"Sonic Mania methodically uses its sentimental appeal to great effect, but in the process, it heals the wounds inflicted by its most disappointing predecessors and surpasses the series' best with its smart and interpretive design. An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series' iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made." [Read the full review]

-- Matt Espineli, Associate Editor


Splatoon 2 -- 8/10


"At first glance, Splatoon 2 seems very similar to the first game. But all the small changes, and even the bigger ones in single player and League Battles, make for a fresh take on the already unique shooter. If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you're new to the game, it's a fantastic place to jump in." [Read the full review]

-- Kallie Plagge, Associate Editor


Stardew Valley -- 9/10


"The sheer number of things to accomplish in Stardew Valley can keep you interested beyond the original three in-game years you need to reach the end of your story--you may just want to start over rather than continue on. You’ll work quite hard to gather enough money for your first horse, so that you can quickly move to the mines to get a mineral to complete a bundle at the community center. It’s all centered around whatever it is you want to accomplish that day. And that’s truly what makes Stardew Valley such a lovely experience, it encourages you to go out and be the best you can be, in whichever task that brings you the most joy. Stardew Valley motivates naturally, with blissful optimism." [Read the full review]

-- Mary Kish


SteamWorld Dig 2 -- 9/10


"Every advancement Dig 2 makes to its story and mechanics strengthens your initiative to progress. There's an overwhelming sense of momentum that runs through the adventure; as if developer Image & Form sifted the original in a pan, removing its redundancies while expanding upon what made it so fun to persistently play. In your quest to acquire every upgrade and explore every nook and cranny, there's no shortage of hidden collectables to discover. And with post-game content that unlocks after you unearth every secret, the desire to keep digging intensifies. Dig 2 manages to not only be an exceptional successor, but a great adventure in its own right. Where the first game was a diamond in the rough, Dig 2 is a polished jewel." [Read the full review]

-- Matt Espineli, Associate Editor


Super Mario Odyssey -- 10/10


"Odyssey is sustained beyond its major milestones not only through colorful worlds and hidden challenges, but through the sheer joy of controlling Mario, who's never felt more responsive or dynamic in action. Even with everything new that's been introduced, Nintendo's forward-thinking platformer retains the series' classic handcrafted appeal, which is even more impressive when you realize how densely packed each kingdom is. Mario's latest outing is big, bold, and bursting with new ideas, and like Breath of the Wild, is another instance of Nintendo going above and beyond to redefine our expectations. It's a shining example of refined creativity, and another crown jewel for Switch that is without equal." [Read the full review]

-- Peter Brown, Reviews Editor


Lumines Remastered -- 8/10


"Lumines is the kind of game that temporarily rewires your brain, splicing together its ability to recognize visual patterns and audible rhythms simultaneously and forcing you to do the hard but delightful work of putting that ability to use. Having that experience so lovingly presented--and on the Switch, having Lumines handheld again for the first time in six years--is an occasion worth celebrating." [Read the full review]

-- Justin Clark




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