The Nintendo Switch has been an incredible success for Nintendo. While the basic concept of the console essentially ensured it couldn’t fail (largely thanks to a prototype in the form of the Wii U), the fact is that the Switch has had amazing staying power. A huge library of excellent indie games, some truly knockout first-party titles, and the sheer convenience of the hardware have all contributed to a console that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. With that in mind, we thought now would be a great time to take a look at the best games for Nintendo Switch 2022 has to offer.
No list of the best Switch games in 2022 would be complete without The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Despite being five years old this year, no open world has yet topped Breath of the Wild’s sheer sense of unfettered exploration and discovery (Elden Ring comes close, but it’s not on Switch). Rather than peppering its map with icons, Breath of the Wild trusts you to observe your surroundings and find its many secrets and challenges for yourself, which never fails to feel exhilarating.
Taking a similar approach to Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey transposes Mario’s tight, satisfying platforming action to a series of semi-open world environments. This time, you’re not looking for stars; you’re hunting for Power Moons, and they can be found anywhere. Sometimes, you must complete a lengthy and difficult platforming challenge to earn a Power Moon; at other times, they’ll simply be buried underground or in the mouth of a friendly dog. Mario Odyssey is a worthy evolution of the series’ core formula.
With a third instalment on the way soon, now is a great time to take a look back at this improbably great multiplayer shooter (yes, really) from Nintendo. Well, we say shooter; it’s really more of a territory control game with secondary shooter elements. The core aim of Splatoon 2 is to cover as much of the enemy’s territory with paint as you can, and if you can get a few KOs on the enemy team into the bargain, that’s great too. What follows is a skilful multiplayer experience with as much or as little confrontation in it as you like.
Shu Takumi returns to the series that made his name once again in this compilation of two hitherto-unreleased Ace Attorney adventures. Localisation issues were probably what prevented these games making their way West, so it’s heartening to see Capcom overcome these issues. You play as Phoenix Wright’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, as he navigates the trains and tribulations (pun very much intended) of Victorian London and Meiji-era Japan. It’s classic Ace Attorney action, but with a new 19th-century twist.
From Software’s flawed masterpiece looks and feels great on the Nintendo Switch. It certainly hasn’t lost any of its brutal elegance; it’s still the same action RPG based around observation, stamina management, and careful exploration as it always was. Dark Souls’ abstruse lore delivery has been long-discussed, but there’s a beautiful simplicity to this game that even future From Software excursions wouldn’t capture. If you loved Elden Ring, see where it all started on the Switch.
Nobody expected this one to work, which makes its quality all the more satisfying. A Mario and Rabbids crossover with tactical combat inspired by XCOM? Ludicrous, and yet somehow, it all comes together, largely thanks to great level design and varied classes to play with. The humour is hit-and-miss; we enjoyed it because we’re huge Rabbids fans, but your mileage will vary depending on your tolerance for cartoon slapstick. Give this one a shot if you’re a fan of tactical games, though; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Subnautica devs said they wanted to bring their underwater exploration and survival game to as many players as possible, which is why it ended up on the Switch. All we can say is that we’re glad it did, because Subnautica is excellent. It’s not like other survival games; the world here is handcrafted, and you’re going to have to master its many terrors if you want to survive. From this setup emerges an organic, compelling adventure that always feels like you’re inhabiting a living, breathing world.
After the disappointment of Pokemon Sword and Shield, Game Freak and Nintendo needed to pull something seriously impressive out of the bag. Luckily, they did exactly that with Pokemon Legends: Arceus. A combination of Monster Hunter and Breath of the Wild, Arceus tasks you with completing an old-school version of the Pokedex. You must research Pokemon, catching them, battling them, and watching their behaviour in order to expand the Hisui region’s knowledge of these beautiful, strange beasts.
New Horizons was the game we all needed at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a chilled-out, “vibey” sort of game in which you must manage an island full of adorable animal residents. It’s up to you what the island looks like, and it’s also largely up to you how you fill your days. Will you fish, catch bugs, renovate the town, or just talk to its inhabitants and learn what makes them tick? A free update released late in 2021 turned New Horizons into the game it was always meant to be, adding a huge amount of free content, so check that out if you haven’t already.