Certainly, I’m sure you’re very busy and I’m very busy and maybe we don’t have as much time to play games as we would like. But my hope is that with Nintendo Switch being a system that you can play at home and bring with you, we’re going to be able to find more of those moments where we’re able to play the games that we all enjoy and be able to enjoy them that much more.
As Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in Troilus and Criseyde, “But at the laste, as every thing hath ende, She took hir leve, and nedes wolde wende”. All good things must find their end.
We have reached the final entry in our Console Challenge, NPCs! This is a special day, the culmination of 1 month of writing from 29 different wordsmiths on 30 different systems parading 210 of the best games from the past 41 years of gaming.
Furthermore, it’s a day that’s dear to my heart for two reasons: Firstly, we’re about to get into some of the best titles available for the Nintendo Switch. Since launch, I have fallen for this quirky little device. I’ve enjoyed several great exclusives for it and, even better, I’ve actually found more time and opportunity to play them (and others) thanks to its hybridized nature. When it was first announced, I couldn’t really fathom how much I would dock and undock my Switch, take it everywhere. The latest system to the home console scene has indeed changed the way I play by giving this busy adult more time with the games.
Secondly, I couldn’t be happier in announcing the writer of this finale. We encountered each other shortly after we started our blogs on WordPress, having begun right around the same time and both of us focusing on video game reviews. We both came to realize that we had been separated at birth, of course. My monochromatic twinsie, Mr. Panda is relentlessly friendly and a dedicatedly prolific content creator, whom you can, and should, find at his blog mrpanda2002.wordpress.com, his YouTube channel, and on Twitter @MrPanda2002.
I’m thrilled to finally be able to feature some of his work here at TWRM! So for the cherry on top of this whole 30-Day cake, here is Mr. P and his wondrous top 7 best games for the Nintendo Switch!
*finger snapping sound effect*
-The Well-Red Mage
If you know me, this next statement won’t surprise you: I love the Nintendo Switch. It’s a console that speaks to me in every way. I resonate with Nintendo’s family-friendly franchises and have grown up absolutely loving the brand. Call me a fanboy, or a fanpanda, but I play Nintendo because they make the games I want to play. It’s why I stuck around during the early days of the 3DS and the entire lifetime of the Wii U. I was willing to get the Switch no matter what, and the concept of a hybrid portable system made it even more alluring. There’s an inherent coziness in playing a handheld, and I have embraced the ability to pull out my Switch anywhere.
I’m honored that the Well-Red Mage chose me to write up the finale for this 30-day console challenge about a system that is so near and dear to my heart. Of course, the Switch is big now, and there are probably about a zillion (panda estimate) games on it, many of them ports and many others I haven’t played. My only criteria for this list is that I’ve played it on the Switch and loved it enough to rank it here. Without further ado, here are my top seven Switch games!
#7. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Perhaps the only game on this list that doesn’t have a broad appeal, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is a hack-and-slash game like Dynasty Warriors, but with Zelda characters. Like the Definitive Edition moniker implies, this is a port of a 3DS game, which itself was a port of a Wii U game. I’ve played nearly a hundred hours of each of those games, so the fact that I enjoy this enhanced port so much speaks to its engaging content. The Adventure Mode, a set of missions sprawling across the original Zelda map, is as addictive as ever and progressing through it has been one of my biggest gaming comfort foods. Fire Emblem Warriors may technically have better mechanics, but I enjoy the character variety and references more in Hyrule Warriors.
#6. Snipperclips: Cut it out, together!
Snipperclips was a launch game for the Switch that flew under the radar because of a certain open-world game which will go unnamed (until you see it later on this list). My wife and I loved Snipperclips because of its co-op friendly gameplay and unique puzzles. Seriously, what other game lets you cut your partner so that she can carry a gigantic pencil to a sharpener? This game is utterly charming and worth experiencing with a friend.
#5. Splatoon 2
If Snipperclips was an appetizer to Switch multiplayer, Splatoon 2 is the grand feast. As a moderate fan of the original Splatoon, I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel. Yet, somehow I became really invested into this team-based ink shooter. I attribute it mostly to the expanded player base on the Switch. Online games and matchmaking are smoother than ever, and Nintendo continually pushes competition with its regular Splatfests and new modes. I particularly enjoyed Salmon Run, in which you work together with others to defeat a fish infestation. Between the multiplayer improvements and the solid single-player campaign, how could I not put this ink-redible game on this list?
#4. Stardew Valley
I’ve been a long-time fan of Harvest Moon series, so Stardew Valley, an indie spiritual successor, had always been on my radar. I waited until the Switch to play this title, and I’m glad I did. The relaxing, day-to-day farming sim is perfect for portable play, whenever and wherever. There was one point where I was watering my crops while in line for a Universal Studios ride! Since we don’t have an Animal Crossing on Switch yet, Stardew Valley will remain my go-to when I need to unwind and play out a virtual life.
As a huge fan of RPGs, I loved the original Xenoblade Chronicles and even its open-world spinoff Xenoblade Chronicles X. Naturally, I was excited to play this sequel and it didn’t disappoint. I appreciated the strong characterization and action-packed anime cutscenes. Along with gigantic titan landforms to explore and a rhythmic battle flow, I was completely invested into this 80 hour experience.
Go ahead. Get it out of your system. Game of the Year—nay, of the Decade—Breath of the Wild is not my number one. But only because there’s a more special game that tugs at my heartstrings up there. Breath of the Wild is still an absolute masterpiece. As one of the first games to return to the original’s open adventure roots, Breath of the Wild’s expansive world is a treat. I enjoyed thoroughly exploring every inch of the game and solving the puzzles hidden within its many shrines. Sure, the dungeons and some core elements break away from the standard the series has set for decades, but it’s a worthy evolution.
One of my favorite games is Super Mario 64, so I was anticipating with bated breath the return of sandbox 3D platforming in the Mario series. Whereas Breath of the Wild did a fantastic job innovating the Zelda franchise, Super Mario Odyssey downright mastered the formula of what makes a 3D Mario – smooth controls, inventive levels, and densely packed content. A bigger and better 3D platformer would have been enough, but Super Mario Odyssey 1-Upped me with one of my favorite new mechanics, capturing, where Mario can throw his cap at an enemy and take over its body. This game-changing element is pure genius and reinvigorated that Mario magic in a way I didn’t think possible. The Switch has many excellent titles, but for now, Super Mario Odyssey is at the top of my list.