The Nintendo Switch has only been available since March, but it has seen a number of impressive exclusive video games released for it. From open-world odysseys to fast and furious action, the console has been a fantastic platform for both younger and older gamers.
Its ability to be used as both a home console and portable device means owners can have a quick blast on a game while out and about then seamlessly pick up from where they left off when they get home.
If you’re a new Switch owner tor looking to get a deal in the New Year sales, we’ve picked out the biggest and best games on the system. Whether it’s an iconic Nintendo hero making a comeback, a family-friendly fighting game or a frantic battle against monstrous demons, there’s something for everyone.
Any doubts about Nintendo’s new console seem to have been thoroughly allayed by this latest entry in the main series of Mario games. With high review scores across the board, the diminutive plumber’s new adventure has been a critical and commercial hit.
An encounter with perennial foe Bowser at the start of the game sees Mario’s iconic red cap swapped for a ghostly sentient hat with the ability to possess objects and other beings. This allows you to temporarily adopt new forms and gain various abilities to help you in your quest to rescue Princess Peach.
An essential game for any Switch owner, our reviewer Ryan Brown said: “Super Mario Odyssey outshines almost all of its previous titles and could possibly be the best 3D platformer ever made.”
It’s been out on other platforms for a while, but Rocket League has finally made its way to the Switch. Essentially ‘football with cars’, you drive a variety of vehicles around giant arenas and attempt to score goals. There are also basketball and ice hockey-style modes.
Definitely more Mario Kart than FIFA, it’s accessible and fun – perfect for some quick multiplayer action (either local or online) on Christmas Day while you wait for the turkey to finish cooking. The Switch version also supports cross-platform play, meaning you can compete against Xbox One and PC players online.
Up until a few years ago, the idea of Nintendo making an online multiplayer shooter was up there with flying pigs and hell freezing over. Not only did it actually happen, but the game did well enough to warrant a sequel. For the unfamiliar, Splatoon does away with bullets and killing.
Instead, players use weapons that fire paint, with each team assigned a different colour. Whoever covers more of the level in their team’s hue at the end of a round wins. With a PEGI age rating of 7+, it’s highly suited to families, so if you know a young one who’s a bit young for Call of Duty’s 18-rated gameplay, this is certainly a viable option.
In his review, Ryan Brown writes: “Splatoon 2 continues the original’s legacy of being one of the only child-friendly shooters, providing genuine challenge and enjoyment to all ages with its fantastic multiplayer gameplay and smart single-player campaign.”
After putting their own spin on multiplayer shooters with Splatoon, Nintendo have also given fighting games a whirl with ARMS, a beat-em-up that’s simple to pick up and play.
The roster of combatants is made up of robots with extendable arms (hence the name) and a variety of attributes. It’s bright and brash, and you can use the Switch’s motion controls if you fancy giving your forearms a workout, although if you want a bit more precision you’re best off sticking with a controller.
Our review said : “Bringing the colour, music, charm and instantly-iconic characters that Nintendo are well known for, ARMS is an incredibly fun twist on the fighting game genre.”
More over-the-top arcade racing action with Mario and company in the latest Mario Kart game. This one adds anti-gravity sections on the tracks along with some new characters and power-ups, including the Crazy Eight which rewards the player with a whopping eight items.
There’s also the Super Horn, which lets racers defend against the notorious (and usually unavoidable) blue shell. Jeff Parsons’ review called it “the best Mario Kart to date. The graphics are crisp and colourful and the gameplay is as tight as ever.”
The first must-have title for the Switch, Breath of the Wild takes the beloved Zelda franchise into true open-world territory. Taking place in a huge, wonderfully rendered environment, hero Link must once again defeat the evil Ganon and save the kingdom of Hyrule.
There’s a freeform approach to combat, exploration and puzzle-solving, with players given multiple ways to progress. The addition of a crafting system and breakable weapons means you’ll have to manage your resources carefully if you want to win the day.
Reviewer Jeff Parsons called it “a rich gaming experience that offers seasoned Zelda players a breath of fresh air and newcomers an engaging adventure to get to grips with.”
2016’s reboot of the legendary first-person shooter series made its way to the Switch this year, and while its graphics aren’t as impressive when compared to the Xbox One and PS4 versions, the superlative gameplay has translated perfectly to Nintendo’s console.
Plus being able to play one of the most acclaimed FPS games of all time on your commute via the Switch’s handheld mode has to be a bonus. If you know a Switch owner who’s yet to take on the hordes of demonic hellspawn, this will certainly put a smile on their face on Christmas morning.
In his review, Ryan Brown said: “For the most part, it delivers. It’s the very same action you know and love on a Nintendo console, and it’s fantastic.”
With the Avengers: Infinity War movie not due out until May 2018, superhero fans are chomping at the bit. However, this latest Lego-based video game spin on Marvel’s comic book heroes might just take the edge off the wait.
Sticking to developer Traveller’s Tales’ usual formula, you’ll choose from a massive roster of Marvel characters and explore a range of recognisable locations to solve puzzles and collect a plethora of studs and bricks, interspersed with humorous cutscenes.
This time around there’s also a Battle Arena mode, where up to 4 players compete in various multiplayer games types. While the game doesn’t do much to shake up the series, reviewer Aodhan Gregory called it “bigger and better than ever.”
Yes, it first came out in 2011. Yes, it’s been re-released about 50 times. But Bethesda’s vast open world game has made its way to Nintendo’s console, and if you know a Switch gamer who loves massive fantasy RPGs, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of hours of gameplay to be found here. Fight dragons, explore dungeons and interact with the denizens of this sprawling land in a bid to
This version even includes a Link costume, Master Sword and Hylian Shield to make your character look just like the Legend of Zelda hero.
2017 has been a year of surprises. One of them being this crossover between Super Mario and Ubisoft’s adorably ugly Rabbids. Even more of a shock was the form this took: a turn-based strategy game that takes some of its cues from XCOM.
But Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle manages to be highly accessible, meaning that even those new to the genre will be able to jump into the tactical action. Assemble a team made up of Mario characters and take on the Rabbids in pitched battles, using the specific skills of each member to whittle down your enemies.
Before Resident Evil 7 came along, the confused mess that was Resident Evil 6 left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. It seemed like Resident Evil had lost its way, opting for hollow, relentless action movie stylings instead of the creeping horror the franchise built its reputation on.
However, Resident Evil Revelations – a spin-off from the main series – showed that there was still hope. With the slower and more deliberate pace of its forebears, Revelations was a return to form, and now Switch owners are able to experience the terror. Taking control of Resi’s stalwart heroine Jill Valentine on board a creaking ocean liner. it’s up to you to uncover the cause of a bioweapon attack.
The collection also includes Revelations 2, which follows the fortunes of iconic characters Barry Burton and Claire Redfield as they attempt to survive on an island populated by mutated creatures.
This polished-up version of the acclaimed 2011 adventure is a brilliant crime thriller that puts you in the shoes of a police detective in 1940s Los Angeles. While there’s the odd bit of action, the focus here is on examining crime scenes, collecting evidence and interrogating witnesses or suspects.
The facial animation – created using special motion capture techniques on real actors – has an uncannily real feel to it, which comes into play when trying to decide if the person you’re grilling has something to hide.
Dripping with atmosphere and style, if you know a gamer who loves a good mystery and didn’t get round to playing it first time round, then this is definitely worth considering.
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