2022 has been a great year for the Nintendo Switch. The Super Mario creator’s hybrid gaming console has enjoyed massive success since its release in 2017, and the streak continues. From acclaimed AAA titles to surprise indie hits, fans of the platform have been spoiled for choice when it comes to quality game releases.
As the year draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the absolute best games released for the Nintendo Switch so far. Note that the following list only consists of new games. This means that ports like Persona 5 Royal and Portal: Companion Collection – as amazing as they are – won’t count.
Disclaimer: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the author. The contributions are ranked in no particular order.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Monster Hunte Rise: Sunbreak (DLC) and 8 other amazing Nintendo Switch games from 2022
The next Legend of Zelda entry may have been delayed until next year, but the Nintendo Switch was lucky enough to receive an inspired indie entry.
Tunic is an isometric action adventure that takes a page from Nintendo’s own revolutionary series. It features item-based progression, puzzle solving, and dungeon exploration without dialogue or handles, as players slice and dodge their way through enemies.
The game is a wonderful journey full of mystery, with challenges and surprises in equal measure.
2) Kirby and The Forgotten Land
The first mainline 3D Kirby entry came to the Nintendo Switch earlier this year in the form of Kirby and The Forgotten Land.
The latest adventure of the adorable pink puffball takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting, and all of his abilities are translated into a 3D platformer experience. With new enemies, level designs, copy abilities and fun transformations, this is a Kirby fan’s dream come true.
The developers at HAL Laboratory outdid themselves by bringing Kirby to a new dimension with lots of collectibles to find and levels to beat.
3) Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Pokemon Legends: Arceus marks a bold new direction for developer Game Freak. With feudal Sinnoh sandbox areas to travel through, real-time action-driven Pokémon captures, and many other quality-of-life changes, this is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the JRPG series.
The turn-based combat is one of the few familiar aspects of this experience, and it all comes together for a Pokémon game unlike any other.
4) Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Koei Tecmo and Nintendo’s crossover Warriors spin-offs have been well-received so far, and we just got another one in the form of Three Hopes.
Building on the foundation of 2017’s hack & slash entry, this game is more narratively focused. Set in the same universe as the 2019 strategy RPG, fans can choose their own house and battle hordes of enemies while strategically managing their own AI party members.
Outside of combat, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes takes a more relaxed approach with exploration, dialogue, relationships, item management and resources. At the end of the day, the game is an exciting product for fans of both the Fire Emblem and Warriors series.
5) Triangle strategy
One of Square Enix’s many HD-2D projects, Triangle Strategy is, as the name suggests, a strategy RPG. Despite its retro-inspired graphics, this turn-based tactical game has a mature narrative. In combat, the grid-driven battles are flashy yet engaging and remind players of Final Fantasy Tactics. Players who want a challenge will find it in abundance here.
Triangle Strategy may have easy progression and some familiarity for fans of the genre, but it aims to evolve the formula rather than rework it.
6) Splatoon 3
With a new story to tell, Splatoon 3 is the best iteration of the iconic third-person shooter series yet. Everything has been polished to a tee, from the inky combat and balancing to the refined level design and single player set pieces.
Throw in some smooth graphics and smooth 60 FPS performance, and Splatoon 3 makes itself a clear contender for one of the best games to play on the Nintendo Switch.
7) Neon white
Another indie hit on this list, Neon White is all about skill and style. It’s a first-person shooter-cum-platformer from Angel Matrix and Annapurna Interactive that will test your mettle to the limit.
The levels are tight and require precision as players use the card system to take down enemies and move across the course. It all results in one of the most zen-like experiences out there that keeps players coming back for more.
8) Monster Hunte Rise: Sunbreak (DLC)
The latest Sunbreak expansion for 2021’s Monster Hunter Rise delivers everything fans of Capcom’s monster-slaying franchise have been wanting – more monsters to fight and opportunities to craft new gear.
Sunrise also takes place in a new area with a fresh story and characters. The battles are just as refined as those in the base game. It goes further and sprinkles more challenges on top, thanks to new enemy attacks and Master Rank.
9) Bayonetta 3
Fans of SEGA’s underrated hack & slash series finally had their prayers answered with the release of Bayonetta 3 on Nintendo Switch.
A multiverse-centric story, new gameplay elements and refinement of the core combat make the game more than just a sequel. New weapons, Demon Masquerade transformations, and the Demon Slave monster control elements make it the most feature-rich battle the series has ever seen.
Although some fans have expressed confusion over the mismatch between varied set pieces and elements, this spectacular fighter is not one to be missed.
10) Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the biggest games on the Nintendo Switch, thanks to its massive and seamless open world.
The latest entry makes huge improvements to the gameplay formula, with over half a dozen party members and the new Ouroboros system. It may stumble a bit with its narrative, but it overflows with content, from meaningful side quests to powerful super-bosses.
The game may not be for everyone either, with its auto-attack nature and on-the-fly party management. However, those who can overcome its overwhelming nature will find a delightful RPG to enjoy.