42 Best Nintendo Switch Games Of 2020

Photo: shutterstock
42 Best Nintendo Switch Games Of 2020
Self

Winter is approaching and we’re all supposed to be isolated at home anyway, so now is a great time to get sucked into the best Nintendo Switch games and keep ourselves entertained. With expansive multiplayer gaming options, the Nintendo Switch might just be the only chance at group socialization we have for the foreseeable future.

RELATED: 40 Best Online Multiplayer Games To Play With Friends

Since its 2017 release, Nintendo Switch has become a staple for both at-home and on-the-go gaming. No other console release has seen a reaction quite like the Nintendo Switch. Like, seriously, there’s a new must-have game every month — who can keep up?

With an expansive library of games and updated consoles, like the portable-only Switch Lite, hopping on this trend late is actually a good thing. You can really explore your options and find the best games for you.

Here are the 42 best Nintendo Switch games to get your hands on.

Because since we’re so spoiled for choice, we’ve narrowed down these games based on their gameplay, aesthetics, and multiplayer options. All you have to do is decide the best options for you and make a purchase!

1. Paper Mario: The Origami King

Set in a 2D version of Mario, this game is a charming, almost retro take on the classic Paper Mario series. Mario and his pals must fight to prevent the entire Mushroom Kingdom from being turned to origami. 

(Walmart, $59.99)

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda games are possibly the best games ever made. Don’t fight me on this, Mario Kart fans. This Switch game is so good that it somehow managed to outsell the Nintendo Switch itself upon launching! Don’t ask how, I don’t understand either. 

(Target, $59.99)

3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

What better way to practice your entrepreneurial skills than by establishing your own resort on a deserted island in Animal Crossing? Spruce things up and attract new islanders by making your own version of paradise. 

(Target, $59.99)

4. Splatoon 2 

In a classic Nintendo twist, the violence of a shooting game is made fun and child-like by swapping bullets for paint and human target for, well... just about any target you feel like decorating. It’s barely a sequel from the first installment of the game, so that might be a problem for Splatoon lovers, but it’s still a Switch essential if you’re used to playing on other devices. 

(Walmart, $39.99)

5. Untitled Goose Game

In this hilarious slapstick game, you get to live out absolutely no one’s fantasy of being a goose. But not just any goose — a mean goose whose sole purpose is to ruin the lives on the villagers in the town you inhabit. Hop between gardens setting up pranks, stealing hats, and scaring neighbors with your irritating honk. 

(Walmart, $19.99)

6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

This sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns first appeared on the less popular gaming console, the Wii U, but has been adapted for the Switch and given the success it deserves. It’s surprisingly very challenging in comparison to its predecessors, but you do have the option of playing in Funky Kong Mode, an easier setting, when the going gets tough.

(Walmart, $49.94)

7. Arms

Arms is a relatively new entry into the fighting game genre. If you’re a lover of Splatoon, this game bears a lot of visual similarities with its cartoon aesthetics and sci-fi elements. You’re basically just swinging fists at your friends but with a few more challenges and powers involved.

(Target, $54.99)

8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Probably one of the best multiplayer Switch games ever made, this is a great expansion on the classic kart racing game with tonnes of playable characters and exciting new tracks. 

(Walmart, $49.94)

9. Bayonetta 2

It’s an all-out adventure with fast-paced combat, crafted animations, and outstanding fashion choices. By purchasing this game, you automatically receive a download code for the first installment, so you’ll be nicely prepped for Bayonetta 3, which has a much anticipated but unconfirmed release.

(Target, $59.99)

10. Overland

Eerie and captivating, this post-apocalyptic strategy game will take you from coast to coast across the US in whatever beaten up car you can find, fighting to muster up supplies and survival methods. 

(Target, $24.99)

11. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Smash Bros. Need I say more? This is the biggest line-up of your favorite and new favorite characters than any other version of the game. Which means new challenges, faster fights, and plenty of multiplayer options.

(Target, $59.99)

12. Stardew Valley

If Sunday afternoon was a game, it would be Stardew Valley. You’re a small-town farmer with limited coins trying to build up your wealth and expand your ranch. Laid-back and fun, this is the kind of game you can play while watching TV or riding on the train without worrying about missing your stop. 

(Target, $34.99)

13. Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 has a near-endless variety of courses to play thanks to the insane user-created levels. In online mode, you can sample the work of other Super Mario fans or share your own designs. 

(Walmart, $39.99)

14. Celeste

This is the kind of game that will have you hurling obscenities at your control while on public transport. In a good way, of course. It’s a narrative-driven game in which you must help Madeline battle her inner demons to conquer Celeste Mountain. There are over 700 screens of hardcore challenges to keep you occupied, so strap in for the hike of a lifetime.

(Target, $19.99)

15. Nintendo Labo VR Kit

After a somewhat disastrous first attempt with Virtual Boy, Nintendo has finally perfected Virtual Reality with this starter kit. With this headset, you can be inserted into a wide variety of preprogrammed games, but for endless fun, get your hands on one of the many expansion packs and add more controllers to play with friends.

(Walmart, $38)

RELATED: 10 Best Apps & Games To Play With Friends On Your Phone

16. The Messenger

Beginning as a retro-style 2D hack and slash game, there’s a lot more to The Messenger than meets the eye. Use your ninja skills to save your village from an evil demon army in an epic acrobatic adventure. 

(Walmart, $19.99)

17. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

In possibly one of the most nonsensical crossovers ever made, Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi join forces with four Rabbids heroes to navigate their way through quests and adventures. Ridiculous as it seems to be using logistical tactics to shoot killer rabbits with lasers, the game is surprisingly very fun. 

(Target, $59.99)

18. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

This one may be a little overpriced in comparison to the range of plays in other Zelda games, but Link fans will love getting to explore a new mysterious island as their favorite character. You’ll encounter a bunch of adorable other characters as you quest to discover the truth about your whereabouts. 

(Target, $59.99)

19. Cadence of Hyrule

Cadence of Hyrule describes itself as a rhythm-based adventure game, which is just a fancy of saying they’ve crossed Zelda with Just Dance. You time your moves and attacks to the beat of the music in a groovy combat game that rivals the traditional Zelda games by allowing you to play as both Zelda and Link. Nintendo could learn a thing or two from this game.

(Walmart, $24.99)

20. Kentucky Route Zero

Nintendo Switch has become a favored platform for indie game development and, for that, we should be endlessly grateful. Indie games like this one feature some of the best, film-like animated graphics and unique gameplays unmatched by traditional games. Here you play a magic-realist adventure quest set in the barren, mysterious landscape of Kentucky.

(Target, $24.99)

21. Hollow Knight

This classically animated 2D game is disturbingly brilliant. It’s an action-packed adventure game set in a haunted world of twisting caverns and terrifying insects filled with quests, fights, friends, and foes. 

(Walmart, $15)

22. Super Mario Odessey

All bets are off in this Mario adaptation because everything you thought you knew about the game is entirely reinvented. Of course, you still have the same charm of the classic game, but this globe and space trotting adventure is filled with new abilities and quests. 

(Target, $49.99)

23. Mario Tennis Aces

Mario is a man of many talents. Here he takes his sporting prowess to the tennis courts. There are several rallies, missions, and boss battles to keep you entertained and challenge your tennis skills. It also makes for a great multiplayer game if you and your friends want to channel your inner Williams sisters.

(Target, $39.99)

24. Pokémon Sword

This classic game has faced backlash recently for slacking on updates and putting in little effort to adaptations. I hear you, die-hard Pokémon fans; some of the recent entry to the series are a little lackluster, but turning away from the game altogether will inevitably leave a Pikachu-shaped hole in all of our hearts.

(Target, $59.99)

25. Dead Cells

This game is brutal. The kind of brutal where you’ll be throwing your Switch to the side in frustration before inevitably picking it back up shortly after. It’s a tough but unique take on classic combat games by entirely removing checkpoints and levels. That means when you die, and you will definitely die and are put right back at square one. This gives you the chance to perfect more skills and move through the game more easily, albeit slowly.

(Target, $24.99)

26. Luigi’s Mansion 3

You’re probably sensing a theme running already, but that’s only because the Mario games are a Nintendo essential and impossible to leave off this list. They’re just too good! When Mario and his friends go missing in the Last Resort hotel, it's up to Luigi to find and save them. 

(Target, $59.99)

27. Doom

Admittedly, Doom gameplay is ever so slightly compromised on Switch in comparison to the PC or Playstation versions of the game. But given Switch is the only one of these devices that you can take with you on the go, it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to accept. In this game, you’re trapped in first-person combat with some seriously aggressive demons who you must battle with destructive guns and an army of friends in multiplayer mode. 

(Walmart, $54.99)

28. Indivisible

Drawing from Japanese folklore, this role-playing battle game features unique and exquisite 2D animations that really improve the quality of gameplay. You can choose to battle it out in combat, or roam around non-linear territories in explore mode. 

(Target, $39.99)

29. Sonic Mania

If you’re an avid gamer, it’s time to admit the hard truth: Sonic has been bad for about 20 years now... until this release. The franchise has finally been saved with this take on the classic game that preserves everything good about Sonic and updates it for modern aesthetics. 

(Walmart, $19.93)

30. Dark Souls: Remastered

Stalk the Loudran through precise and methodical battles, and hard-won victories. While the Switch version of this game isn’t quite as slick as the PC versions, aesthetics are a small price to pay for the portability of one of the best games ever made. 

(Walmart, $34.94)

31. Tetris 99

We’re living in a world so changed by the success of Fortnite that even classic Tetris is joining the battle-royale game genre with this souped-up multiplayer version of the retro game. Fill lines quickly while shooting blocks into other players screens to destroy their chance at success.

(Target, $29.99)

32. Lumines: Remastered

If you're just after a more classic version of Tetris, you’ll struggle to find it given that Tetris has strayed further and further from the original concept in their efforts to appeal to new users. Lumines is a pretty close replica though and makes for a chilled out block-dropping game. 

(Walmart, $15.87)

RELATED: 5 Reasons Couples Who Videogame Together Are The Happiest

33. Oxenfree

The game narrative of limited edition Oxenfree is so good that it could be its own supernatural teen mystery drama if Riverdale hadn’t kind of hijacked the concept. You play as Alex, who has just brought his new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight island party gone horribly wrong, when you unwittingly open a ghostly rift. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

34. Baba Is You

It might like a bit like Pac-Man, but nothing about this game is familiar or straight-forward. You challenge your brain in unique ways and must bend, break and rewrite the rules of the game to complete levels. It’s the kind of puzzle game that you’ll go to bed thinking about.

(Target, $14.99)

35. Golf Story 

I would love to have been in the board room when the creators of this game pitched this concept just to know how you make golf sound cool, fun, or interesting enough to make it into a video game. It shouldn’t work but it absolutely does, and no other game will provide good, clean fun quite like this one. 

(Target, $14.99)

36. Thumper

Thumper is a visceral and immersive take on the rhythm action drama. You're a space beetle braving the hellish void to confront a maniacal giant head from the future.

(Target, $19.99)

37. Gorogoa

As a puzzle game, Gorogoa is unlike most traditional Switch games. You’re tasked with combining lavishly illustrated tiles to match and solve complex puzzles that will help you progress and explore the strange universe in the game. It’s quite a quick game to complete, but given the low price, we can accept the quick satisfaction of finishing the levels.

(Target, $14.99)

38. Into The Breach

This turn-based indie game is an intricate creation that relies heavily on players strategy, giving you the chance to work your mind to survive through various screens. 

(Target, $14.99)

39. Kirby Star Allies

Kirby games are always fun and are a great choice for younger game players. Kirby Star Allies is a lighthearted campaign filled with colorful friends and, challenging extra modes to unlock.

(Walmart, $59.99)

40. Rocket League

Cars and soccer? Sign us up! The game really is as simple as driving a ball into a goal, but the wild graphics and multiplayer options amp it up to new levels. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

41. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Street Fighter has been the biggest name in fighting games for decades now, so it’s only right that we honor all versions of the game in this one, extensive collection. You can play the genre-building game in all its glory by sampling all the versions that made the game what it is today. 

(Walmart, $19.93)

42. Telling Lies

Playing this game feels a bit like watching Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in its eerily realistic simulation. You watch real-life video clips performed by actors to weave together threads of this mysterious story. The footage covers two years of the lives of 4 people connected by a shocking incident. 

(Target, $19.99)

RELATED: If You Play Video Games You're Smarter & More Successful, Says Study

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for YourTango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.