The nintendo-switch may not be the most powerful console on the market, but the sales numbers don't lie. It's one of the most profitable systems of all time, and many people agree that it offers some of the best video gaming experiences available today. But which games have reached the top of the rankings? In this article, we'll explore the 10 best Nintendo Switch games, according to user ratings on Metacritic. We'll also include console-exclusive games, so don't expect to find them on PlayStation or Xbox.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition – 8.8
The first game on our list is an instant win. The remastered Switch version of the beloved 2010 game, Xenoblade Chronicles, makes a grand debut. If you appreciate rich worlds, captivating characters, sci-fi aesthetics, and solid RPG gameplay, then Xenoblade Chronicles is for you. Originally released 13 years ago for the Wii, this game has become a spiritual successor to the games XenoGears and XenoSaga Chronicles. It won over players with its captivating narrative, fun mechanics, and incredible setting on the bodies of two battling Titans. The Definitive Edition is an enhanced version with many quality of life improvements, graphics updates, improved user interface, gameplay improvements and music. In addition, it includes a new epilogue focused on the character of Melia. The success of Xenoblade Chronicles is therefore not surprising, and the main character, Shulk, even made an appearance in Super Smash Bros.
2. Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe – 8.8
Kirby, one of Nintendo's iconic mascots, makes an appearance in our list. Kirby may not have the same fame as Mario or Link, but he is one of Nintendo's most recognizable characters. Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe is another Switch remaster that takes on the acclaimed Wii title, Kirby's Return to Dreamland. It manages to capture the nostalgia of the original while adding new features. Besides the visual improvements, it includes an epilogue that lets you play as a previously non-playable character, Magalor. The game also offers an awesome co-op mode that lets you and three friends blast through levels as various characters from the franchise. The original game was released in 2011 and marked the return of the traditional platform format for Kirby after an 11-year wait. The fact that this remake is rated so highly proves that it was worth it.
3. Super Mario Odyssey – 8.9
It's no surprise to see Super Mario Odyssey on our list. Mario is one of Nintendo's most iconic mascots, and this game proves that the character is still relevant decades after his video game debut. Super Mario Odyssey is a great platform game with unique gameplay loops and exciting realms to explore. Each world is full of fun things to do and places to discover. In addition, the mechanics of the cap, called Cappy, add a touch of freshness. Whether you throw it as a weapon or use it to possess NPCs, it's a must-have gaming experience. It's surprising to see this game ranked as low as number eight, especially considering its status as one of the best titles on the Mario list.
4. Astral Chain – 8.9
Police officers battling interdimensional monsters with sci-fi weapons isn't the usual premise for a Nintendo game, but Astral Chain is an exception. Although some of you may not be familiar with Astral Chain, it is a sci-fi action game set in a futuristic megalopolis where dangerous creatures called chimeras are invading the Earth. As a member of Neuron, a special police force, you face these creatures in thrilling action sequences using the Astral Chain mechanic, which allows you to attack in unique ways. Another key feature is the ability to control a series of captured chimeras, which you can use as living weapons. This gives a unique feel to the game's gameplay. Astral Chain may have sold in smaller quantities than Super Mario Odyssey, but for those who purchased it, it seemed to have been well-liked.
5. Kirby and the Forgotten Land – 8.9
It seems Nintendo fans can't get enough of the little pink guy, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of its best games. Released on Nintendo Switch in 2022, it was quickly acclaimed. This is Kirby's first venture into 3D platforming, and he succeeded in his first outing. You can run around as this endearing character, explore fun environments, fight bosses, and use his iconic copy ability to take control of other creatures. Additionally, Mouth-to-All Mode lets you stretch to take control of objects, which sets it apart from its predecessors. It was unexpected to see a Kirby game in 3D in 2022, but it won over players.
6. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes – 8.9
Many expected a Fire Emblem game to make this list, but perhaps it was the unexpected form of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes that came as a surprise. This dynamic action game is an offshoot of the main Fire Emblem Warriors game, but it offers a different take on the franchise. Despite sales being much lower than those of Super Mario Odyssey, those who bought it seemed to like it. This non-canon title puts you in the shoes of a new character, Byleth, and allows you to choose one of three houses to join, each offering a different story and ending. You can then immerse yourself in the action by defeating countless enemies with satisfying gameplay mechanics. It's a perfect marriage between Fire Emblem and Warriors, and if you love both franchises, you'll be in heaven.
7. Pikmin 4 – 8.9
Pikmin might not be everyone's first choice among Nintendo's iconic franchises, but this endearing series deserves its success. Coming in fourth place on our list, Pikmin 4 is the first mainline game in the series since 2013's Pikmin 3, which is a decade later in 2023. The game proves that the core concept of Pikmin is still incredibly fun. It features fun levels to explore, strategy to consider, lots of items to collect, great music, and a charming art style. It also comes with plenty of content for New Game+ mode gameplay, including Night Expeditions, which transform the game into a tower defense mode, adding welcome variety to the gameplay. And the green Pikmin, I love them! This game captures what makes Nintendo special, which is why it is rated so highly.
8. Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX – 9.0
Here, the surprises begin to be felt. No one would blame you if you weren't familiar with the Monster Rancher series, as these games are more popular in Japan than the rest of the world. That's why it's surprising to see it ranked so high on this list, surpassing well-known franchises like Fire Emblem, Kirby, and Super Mario. The Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX games, released in 2021, are remastered versions of the first two games in the series, originally released on PlayStation. In these games, you collect and breed monsters in a life simulation format. You then train them to enter tournaments where they compete in battles. Although it may be reminiscent of Pokémon, these two series started around the same time. However, one achieved worldwide fame, while the other remained relatively unknown in the West. The ranking of Monster Rancher 1 and 2 DX, well above Pokémon Scarlet, is therefore a surprise.
9. Touken Ranbu Warriors – 9.2
Yet another Warriors game, but this time based in an entirely different universe. Touken Ranbu is a free-to-play collectible card game in Japan, but it is little known outside the country. The fact that he got a high place in this ranking is therefore a surprise. The series allows players to travel back in time to stop a malevolent force from changing the course of history by bringing legendary swords back to life and gathering enough of them to form an army. However, these swords are depicted in the form of attractive men. This game features basic hack-and-slash gameplay, with card game elements and dating sim elements. Unlike other Warriors games, the gameplay in Touken Ranbu Warriors is quite basic, which contrasts with the other games on this list. Reviews from critics are mixed, but in terms of popularity, this game has clearly succeeded.
10. Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher – 9.4
Finally, first on our list is Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher, a game that brings together the Monster Rancher series with the Kaiju universe of Ultra-Man, the beloved Japanese superhero. In this game, you raise giant Kaiju monsters and make them fight. It features over 200 Kaiju, many of which are from the Ultra-Man series, such as Garamon, Alien Baltan, Gomora, Zetton, and many more. The game has all the elements that Monster Rancher fans love: fun levels to explore, strategy, collectibles, great music, and a charming art style. In addition, it offers a multitude of content in New Game + mode. A notable feature is the night expedition mode, which turns the game into a tower defense mode, adding variety to the gameplay. Although the core gameplay remains similar to the Monster Rancher series, the giant Kaiju battles bring a unique dimension. It's the highest-rated game on this list, despite iconic titles like Metroid Dread, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild not making the top 10.
There you have it, here are the 10 best Nintendo Switch games, according to gamers on Metacritic. While some of these choices may seem surprising, they speak to the diversity of gamer tastes and the depth of the Nintendo Switch library. There's something for everyone, whether you prefer RPGs, platformers, strategy games or life simulations. The Switch continues to appeal to gamers around the world with its varied and captivating titles. What are your favorite games on Nintendo Switch? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments.