10 Exclusive Nintendo Switch Games That You Have To Play
The Nintendo Switch release came with exclusives right away, and they were pushed long after it as well. To this day, the console still receives exclusive games meant to win modern gamers over. The Switch competes with the PS4 and Xbox One X, both incredibly powerful consoles. While it’ll never be as beefy, many of its games are charming and mechanically unique to such a degree that they make the console worth it.
Here’s our list of best Nintendo Switch exclusive games – expect to see plenty of Mario:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
There’s no hiding from how good this title is. Nintendo strove to make a high-quality, open-world Zelda and they succeeded completely. This Nintendo Switch exclusive game is one of the reasons that the Switch succeeded so hard at launch.
It’ll inspire you with wanderlust and nostalgia, and has enough content to last for a truly huge amount of time. The game is also extremely open to creative use of its items, offering immense replayability for those wishing to have some fun after exploring the world and fighting Ganon for the nth time. Speedruns tend to look hilarious.
Super Mario Odyssey
A highly polished take on the 3D Mario experience. Odyssey didn’t quite have the same uproar as BotW, but nevertheless maintains its position as one of the best games on the Switch. An extensive collect-a-thon filled with goodies to find and secrets to explore.
Mario never controlled as smoothly. Great area design coupled with new abilities that shake things up greatly compared to previous titles make this a unique experience even for hardcore fans of the series/franchise. There’s also a fair amount of additional content, a rather (in)famous example being a minigame where players hide collectibles in areas for other players to find.
Super Mario Maker 2
Another Nintendo Switch exclusive game with infinite entertainment. SMM2 comes with a bunch of new features compared to its prequel and allows you to enjoy the limits of what a classic Mario game has to offer, the likes of which were previously only seen in modified roms. Make your own amazing levels, compete with others for how fast you can clear them, or challenge yourself in gauntlets of the hardest levels ever made!
It’s a unique experience that certainly has less base content than many other titles, but will keep you occupied for ages to come with the amazing community experience. There’s no excuse to miss out on this title unless you dislike classic Mario gameplay as a whole.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Lots of Super in these titles, eh? Ultimate has a few issues, mostly pertaining to online play hiccups, but is a great new installment in the series. Offering new characters as well as those that veterans of Smash will enjoy, as well as a bunch of new content, the game will captivate you even without online play.
Of course, the real fun begins when you fight against other players, turning this into an endless romp much like SMM2. Can you prevail? The only reason not to get Ultimate is if you specifically have a gripe with its gameplay formula.
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby games haven’t missed a beat for a long while now and Star Allies continues the trend. This is a wonderful, not to mention adorable platforming experience that’s exactly what you’d expect from a high-quality Kirby game.
The main difference in this one, as the name implies, is allowing up to four Kirby characters (be it random enemies or bosses) to fight together, offering new strategic plays and combined abilities. A wonderful new part in the series that, while it doesn’t change things up, offers what anyone who knows the pink puff will greatly appreciate.
Splatoon 2 has received a fair amount of criticism for being a meh sequel, but this doesn’t make it a meh game in any regard. While it can feel like DLC for its prequel at times, it’s overall a highly polished, intensely fun experience.
Between the hardcore yet adorable multiplayer and the sizeable single player campaign, you have yourself the Switch’s go-to exclusive shooter, and it doesn’t even have real guns! Of course, the TPS gameplay isn’t for everyone, so some may choose to miss out on this lovely game.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
A great title in the Fire Emblem series, Three Houses hones previous mechanics and offers newfound levels of customization, as well as a reworked combat system. You’re looking at a strategy RPG that you can play for weeks without getting bored, and the storytelling and lovable characters the series is known for are there as well.
While one of the previous titles – Awakening – further explored the dynamic between combat and the life and relationships of the very characters doing the fighting, Three Houses has further perfected the balance and interactions between the two. The game might be hard to start for some, but learning it isn’t a chore.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
This version of the game comes with further customizations, the massively fun Battle Mode, a new way to boost and similar improvements and additions all across. If you like Mario Kart, or competitive racing games as a whole, you’ll love this title.
MK is similar to Kirby in the sense that none of its titles have been a letdown for a long time, and 8 Deluxe is no slouch in this department. Enjoy brand new levels, create your perfect vehicle, and become the best racer around. It was always fun, and it’s still fun.
Pokemon: Let’s go
This Nintendo Switch exclusive game is comes in two editions, Eevee and Pikachu, this Pokemon game is unlike any other. The core mechanics have been greatly changed, and the game focuses far less on strategy and battling and more on catching Pokemon and interacting with them. The leveling system has also been overturned, allowing you far more control over how your Pokemon’s stats turn out.
As a whole, fans of the strategic and competitive aspects of traditional Pokemon games may dislike the changes, but the game is so outstanding out of context that it’s hard to dislike by pretty much anyone. Great effort was put in to show the Pokemon universe in a far more calming and utopian view. Great for younger gamers and still enjoyable for everyone else.
Super Mario Party
Many games offer an engaging storyline or extensive campaign, so it’s refreshing to see a Mario Party game on the Switch in this day and age. Super Mario Party is a mix of old mechanics that have been improved to meet modern standards, combined with a dose of freshness that offers never-before seen content.
Some of the features include unique abilities for characters, a single-player mode that’s helpful for training, new minigames such as the acclaimed River Survival and new strategies you can use to best your competitors, such as playing the long-time game by assembling followers. A great way to spend an afternoon.
This section contains some games that you may find on systems other than the Switch. Getting the Nintendo Switch specifically for them is still a perfectly valid move, of course, especially if you consider the other, exclusive games.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Octopath Traveler both offer exciting takes on the RPG formula. XC2 is an anime-styled modern JRPG with quirky characters, heavy customization and exploration and plenty of humor and fanservice. Octopath is a more reserved game that oozes charm, telling a compelling story and keeping things at a realistic and savvy tone despite the fantastic setting, and trying to pull you into the world.
- DOOM is a brilliantly remastered take on the eternal shooter. Put yourself in the shoes of Doomguy AKA the Doom Slayer and mow down demons with never-before seen brutality. The Switch version of DOOM had to make compromises to run properly, but you could hack DOOM to run with potato graphics and it’d still be fun. (People have actually done this)
- Cuphead plays like a bizarre mishmash of Contra and Gunstar Heroes and offers the famous traditional cartoon aesthetic, a unique experience with plenty of fun and challenge to be had If you’re into run n’ gun games. This one focuses almost entirely on the bosses.
- Hollow Knight gives us a brilliantly designed and balanced Metroidvania experience, with a grim setting that has been compared to Dark Souls, and adorable bug characters. This is a title that’ll be remembered to years to come for both its gameplay and appearance, so don’t miss out, because it’s playable on Switch!
- Fortnite – you know this game.
- Rocket League, in which you play ball with jet-propelled cars. An incredibly fun and addictive multiplayer experience with a ridiculous concept.
- Stardew Valley is perhaps the best casual gaming experience on the console. Harking back to titles such as Harvest Moon, it offers a truly extensive amount of content, be it storytelling, farming, interacting with other characters or exploring a “dungeon”. Extremely fun if you want a break from traditional action games.
- Genesis/Megadrive and SNES games will be available soon, and NES games are already available.
The Nintendo Switch was never made to be a powerhouse console, instead focusing on its unique features like portability and one-of-a-kind controls. This made Switch game developers focus far more on adding unique features to their games as well.
While other consoles boast with impressive graphics and newfound levels of polish, or perhaps sheer content, Switch games do their best to be unique experiences. Even the sequel games all add their own personal flair and plenty of brand-new mechanics to existing formulas.
While some Switch ports may pale in comparison to others, the device’s other features and great hallmark games compensate, making it a solid gaming platform.
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