Nintendo’s latest home console, it’s hard to deny the impact the Nintendo Switch has had for the company’s reputation. After the downward trend of the Wii U, the Switch saved Nintendo and put them back in the forefront of the industry. They have the most interesting tech, they have the most interesting games, and they cater to the strengths of the medium more than either Sony of Microsoft.
But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee good games. The Switch undeniably has the best set of exclusives this generation, but it’s also home to an alarmingly high amount of exclusive shovelware— bad games that are only on the Switch. Some of which are even part of Nintendo’s flagship franchises.
10 MUST OWN: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
The latest and greatest entry in the Fire Emblem franchise, Three Houses is a magnificent return to form for the series. While the 3DS games helped popularize the franchise, the style and tone of those games left a lot to be desired from veteran fans. While Three Houses does cater to newer fans, it does so by marrying old and new Fire Emblem together.
The story is reminiscent of the series’ earlier entries, presenting a more thoughtful and mature narrative. Characters are the best they’ve been in a long time, and the actual plot is one of the series’ most gripping. The maps aren’t perfect by any means, but the core gameplay is fresh enough where that’s not as big an issue as it should be.
9 SKIP: Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee
Pseudo-remakes of Pokémon Yellow, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee serve as a bridge between the mainline Pokémon games and Pokémon Go. While it’s an interesting product and does recreate Kanto very nicely, it’s far from the series’ best entries and isn’t really comparable to the main games when it comes down to it.
Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee might serve as a nice enough introduction to the franchise for younger gamers, but there’s no reason not to start anyone looking to get in``to Pokémon with the upcoming Sword and Shield. Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee will be redundant before 2019 is up.
8 MUST OWN: Collection Of Mana
Home to three of the greatest action RPGs of all time, Collection of Mana is one of the best ways to experience the Mana franchise. Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana are both present and they hold up terrifically. For the first time ever, Trials of Mana, formerly Seiken Densetsu 3, also has an official English release.
Really, Trials of Mana is worth the price of admission alone. It’s one of the best action RPGs on the SNES and it’s still worth a few playthroughs today. None of the games are particularly long either. FFA is under 10 hours, and both SoM and ToM can be completed in around 20 to 25 depending on how much grinding is done.
7 SKIP: Snipperclips
A lot of early adopters of the Nintendo Switch likely have fond memories of Snipperclips. It looks cute, it’s easy to pick up and play, and it was one of the few games to launch with the Switch that made good use of the joy-cons. It’s just that, outside of the novelty of owning a Switch and playing the Switch, there’s no real meat to Snipperclips.
It’s a very repetitive, very trivial game that exists primarily to show off the joy-cons. It can eat up some time, but he Switch’s library is healthy enough at this point where there will always be better alternative to Snipperclips, especially in the puzzle genre.
6 MUST OWN: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
No Nintendo home console is complete without Super Smash Bros. The Nintendo 64 had the original, the GameCube had the persistent Melee, the Wii had the almost epic Brawl, the 3DS and the Wii U shared the fourth entry, and the Switch is home to none other than the series’ ultimate potential.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate really does feel like the franchise at its absolute peak. It doesn’t feel possible that the series could reinvent itself any further, but Ultimate might very well mark a new era for Super Smash Bros. Its competitive scene is the healthiest the series has ever seen with virtually non-stop activity.
5 SKIP: Super Mario Party
Mario Party is clearly a cursed franchise at this point. No matter what Nintendo does with the series, little good ever comes out of it. Super Mario Party should have been a chance for reinvention. A Mario Party game that goes back to the series’ roots with actual online compatibility.
Super Mario Party technically does do that, but in the most bare minimum way possible. It feels as shoehorned in as ever, just in the direction of nostalgic fans specifically. It’s clear that Nintendo has no clue what to do with the once incredibly simple Mario Party franchise. A pity considering its relevance during the Nintendo 64’s heyday.
4 MUST OWN: Golf Story
The rare indie title exclusive, Golf Story is a golf game/RPG hybrid that really knocks both halves out of the park. As a gold game, it’s probably the best on the Switch. It’s easy to pick up, easy to play, but challenging to master. Its mechanics are far richer than they may initially seem.
As an RPG, it’s got a lovable world with great gameplay mechanics. Its only real fault is that it does fall on the shorter side of RPGs, but that’s ultimately for the best since it prevents the pace from ever getting tedious.
3 SKIP: The World Ends With You: Final Remix
Far and away the best game on the Nintendo DS, The World Ends With You: Final Remix is one of the worst remakes on the Nintendo Switch, if not the outright worse. The game simply doesn’t work with the Switch’s control scheme. A lot is lost in the transition, and the remake is built off the iOS version, not the DS, keeping combat simplistic.
In the DS version, the action was fluid, dynamic, and legitimately involved both characters via the two screens. The Switch version simplifies things considerably while retaining little of the mechanical depth. Worse yet, the remixed soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired.
2 MUST OWN: Super Mario Odyssey
What Super Mario 64 was for the Nintendo 64, Super Mario Odyssey is for the Nintendo Switch. It’s an entirely new style of Mario, one that flips the script and will fundamentally change the platforming landscape. Odyssey is a bigger Mario game than ever before and it feels appropriately epic in every way imaginable.
Better yet, Cappy adds a deeper level of depth to the Mario formula. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Super Mario Odyssey is the most mechanically nuanced platformer Nintendo has ever developed. It manages to put Sunshine to shame in terms of platforming depth.
1 SKIP: 1-2 Switch
Wii Sports came with every single Nintendo Wii. Nintendo Land came with most Wii Us, and 1-2 Switch sat on store shelves for being an overpriced tech demo that very blatantly should have been packaged with the Nintendo Switch in order to show off the console’s features. That would have been a sensible use of the game. As a product, it’s just not good enough.Nor is it cohesive, or particularly well designed, or even engaging. It has none of the style or polish of Wii Sports and Nintendo Land. It’s very bland and dry, almost uninspired if not inherently attracted to the Switch’s early iconography.