In the realm of gaming, Nintendo has long held a special place in the hearts of players around the world. From the revolutionary NES to the beloved Game Boy, Nintendo has consistently delivered innovative and captivating experiences. In 2017, the Japanese gaming giant introduced the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console that seamlessly combines the joy of handheld gaming with the versatility of a home console. Since its launch, the best Nintendo Switch games have amassed a remarkable library, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
It isn’t a surprise that video games pull children’s attention rather rapidly. According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, that isn’t the case. Roughly nine in 10 of surveyed parents say they believe teens today are spending too much time playing video games. The research consisted of 963 parents with at least one child between the ages of 13 and 18.
While most adults wished their children played less videos games – sometimes there are real benefits to them. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that trauma victims who played Tetris within the first six hours of entering a hospital emergency room were less likely to suffer flashbacks than those that were exposed to other mental treatments. Moreover, their flashbacks were less frequent and tended to disappear more quickly. Additionally, whether done competitively or for leisure, video games were shown to improve various measures of attention, including sustained attention and selective attention. Gamers were also found to have an easier time in focusing on demanding tasks.
That being said, what are the best games on the smash-hit Nintendo console? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best Nintendo Switch games. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Switch Games, According to Avid Gamers
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The jury is still out if it’s brand new sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, will dethrone this entry, but for now it remains king. An open-world action-adventure game that received widespread critical acclaim. It offers a vast and immersive world to explore, challenging puzzles, and engaging combat mechanics.
5 years ago today, ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ released on Nintendo Switch.
The landmark entry in the franchise is highly regarded for its expansive open world and is now considered one of the greatest video games ever created. It has sold over 26M units to date. pic.twitter.com/otWaroAcod
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 3, 2022
“It’s easy to throw around the term ‘masterpiece’ simply because someone loves something, but it’s not a title given to BOTW casually. It’s something that can be seen, even five years later, by looking back on what makes the game so special,” says Screen Rant.
“I first experienced Zelda as a kid in the late 1980’s. I didn’t own it, but I had friends who did. We would rush home after school to play. We’d compare notes about dungeons and secrets during recess and over lunch. It was a game that shaped my lifelong love of the hobby,” writes Steemit. “I never thought I’d feel that way again. And then Breath of the Wild changed all that.”
“Breath of the Wild is truly a revelation, the type of game that comes around once in a decade if you’re lucky. It redefines the series while remaining true to the heart of what a Zelda game is, all while pushing the open-world genre to stunning new heights,” adds Entertainment Weekly.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
A 3D platformer that follows Mario on a globe-trotting adventure to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. It features creative and diverse levels, tight controls, and innovative gameplay mechanics. “Super Mario Odyssey is a hand-crafted 3D platformer that’s simply begging to be explored. Other than a handful of other games—the latest Zelda, The Witcher 3 and so forth—few games have inspired me to explore so relentlessly,” says Forbes, “And while that exploration is largely in service of finding Power Moons and coins, it never feels tedious or boring. Each moon is hand-placed in interesting spots. You have to look over ledges and walk around corners you barely noticed were there. The game is constantly asking you to just peer a little closer. And everywhere you go leads to something.”
According to Game Change, “Mario and his surrounding environment have never looked better. With Mario himself, it feels like Nintendo have finally nailed the look they’d been going for with previous Mario models, with the plumber excuding an almost edible quality. I want to just pick him up and gobble him down. There is more variety in terms of level themes than in any previous Mario game (more in this later) with every level sporting its own visual flair.”
“It’s almost unnerving how good Nintendo is at its job — at least, when the wizards there choose to apply themselves. Super Mario Odyssey is a embarrassment of riches, never failing to surprise for hours and hours and maintaining an unflaggingly positive feeling the entire time. It’s an essential for all Switch owners, and highly recommended for any gamer with a heart and a memory,” adds Tech Crunch.
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A social simulation game that allows players to create and manage their own island paradise. It offers a relaxing and charming experience with activities like fishing, bug catching, and interacting with anthropomorphic animal villagers.
How-To-Geek complimented the game’s looks, “While ‘HD graphics’ might sound a bit 2010, the last Animal Crossing game on a home console was City Folk for the Wii, released in 2008. This level of detail, combined with the series’ charming art style, really is a feast for the eyes. From the way the leaves rustle in the trees, to the bobbing of a fishing lure, to the joyful animation of your character catching a rare fish—it all looks so good.”
You can’t mention this game without talking about the beginning of COVID as iMore says, “March took forever to get here, but when it finally did, it wasn’t at all what anyone was expecting. For the Animal Crossing fans, it was the finish line after a very long journey for the latest entry in the series: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. For the world, there was something much more troubling ahead. Still, New Horizons arrived, and at a time when people would need it most.”
CNET talks about it being more than a game, “In some ways, it’s not actually a game, more like an exercise in sculpting. Animal Crossing gives you a ton of clay, sometimes literally, and a set of tools. Then it lets you do whatever you want.”
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
A crossover fighting game that features a massive roster of Nintendo characters, as well as guest fighters from other franchises. It offers fast-paced multiplayer battles and a variety of game modes. WIRED says, “The greatest thing about the Super Smash Bros. series is its dedication to impact. Every time a punch, kick, slash, or blast lands, it has a high likelihood of sending the victim flying—like a good superhero movie, or an anime. Every strike resonates with invisible power; smoke plumes follow these cartoon characters as they careen around their environments, almost ready to explode.”
IGN claims, “As series director Masahiro Sakurai said himself, it’s a miracle Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exists. Having Mario and Zelda duke it out against Street Fighter’s Ryu and Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud on a battlefield from Metal Gear Solid is a weird, wonderful thing that only the Smash Bros. series can deliver – and Ultimate is undoubtedly Smash Bros. done big and done right.”
It’s a massive seller as Nintendo Life says, “Nintendo sold as many copies of Smash Bros. Ultimate (15.71 million) in nine months than Street Fighter II (15.5 million) and its countless iterations have sold over 28 years. Ultimate has sold more copies than Nintendo sold Wii U consoles in that machine’s entire lifetime on the market. Ultimate can almost claim a ridiculous 1:3 adoption rate among people who own a Nintendo Switch.”
5. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Building upon the success of its predecessors, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 provides a captivating narrative, vast open-world exploration, and strategic real-time combat, inviting players into a sprawling adventure filled with rich characters and breathtaking landscapes.
“Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the best RPGs, one that pushes the series beyond it’s previous limits, without ever losing the things that make it special,” raves Pocket Tactics. “Xenoblade is itself and loudly. With every iteration, it gets more itself and louder too. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the most loudly surefooted statement in the series’ history, being what it is without a hint of doubt throughout its hundred hours. It’s the perfect video game.”
“I’m here to tell you that avoiding these games is a mistake. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is Nintendo’s most unsung recent franchise at its finest, with the series’ most mature story to date, richly varied combat that rewards any and all levels of investment, and a thorough love and appreciation for its own world,” adds Mashable. “If you need one Switch game to keep you occupied…make it this one.”
Get ready to feel things with this one, “Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the most emotionally harrowing games I’ve ever played, with a dramatic story that delves into the very nature of existence itself. All of this is wrapped up in an expansive JRPG with dozens of interconnected systems,” states Inverse.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.