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Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

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Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

Editor’s note: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was not eligible for this award due to the timing of its release.

It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best Nintendo Switch exclusives of 2018. Voted on by our editors, these were the best games that really brought the best out of the Nintendo Switch.

Let’s start with some honorable mentions, and then our top vote-getting runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!

Honorable Mention: Super Mario Party

nintendo switch game releases for october 2018, best nintendo switch games

Contributor Darby Hallman: Super Mario Party is a return to form for the series in the best way possible. After several missteps, Nintendo focused on the Mario Party formula that we’ve grown to love while also injecting fun surprises where they make sense. Where Super Mario Party thrives the most is accessibility and variety. Whether you’re an experienced gamer or someone who has never touched a controller, the game’s concept is easy to understand. Roll your dice, go after the star, play a mini-game, repeat.

However, the variety of the mini-games and the chaos of the items and random events means that it’s hard to game the system. Mini-games change often, some valuing reaction time, some problem-solving, some motion controls and some pure luck, ensuring that no one player stays on top too long. This entry also has fun additions like custom dice blocks that make choosing a character more meaningful and allies that can add numbers to your roll, creating epic moments when they come in clutch to get you that star.

While this might sound a little obvious, Super Mario Party is the perfect party game and one of the best Nintendo exclusives of 2018. Breaking off four joy-cons and passing them around is just too easy, and it’s hard not to love Nintendo’s signature brand of chaos. The game takes advantage of the Switch in fun ways, using motion controls, HD rumble, and the console’s portability in ways that few other games have managed to do. While it could use a few more game boards, Super Mario Party is a stellar addition to the Switch library and further cements the Switch as the ultimate local multiplayer console.

Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

Second Runner-Up: Mario Tennis Aces

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Contributor Jamie Payne: Mario Tennis Aces isn’t just one of the best Nintendo exclusives of the year; it’s one of the best Mario sports games ever made. There, we said it.

We could go on and on about the awesome story mode, and the great, diverse cast of characters, but the quality of Mario Tennis Aces is really a result of its perfectly executed core gameplay. Playing tennis is a joy in the most chaotic way —comparable to that of a fighting game. It’s one of the most strategic 1-on-1 sports games out there.

Filling up your energy meter, finding the best time to use it, and countering your opponent’s zone shots and special shots are just some of the things you have to worry about during a match. It may sound a little complicated, but give it a bit of time, and it becomes immensely satisfying.

It was hard to stay optimistic about Mario Tennis Aces after the lackluster Mario Tennis Open and offensively bad Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Just a competent Mario Tennis game would have sufficed after those two disappointments, but Camelot went above and beyond that, completely reinventing the over-the-top tennis gameplay in the best way possible. Mario Tennis Aces is, simply put, an ace video game and one of Nintendo’s best exclusives of 2018.

The Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

First Runner Up: Pokemon Let’s Go

pokemon let's go pikachu and eevee

Staff Writer Irwyn Diaz: Pokemon Let’s Go is our passport back to Kanto, and oh boy, have things changed. Nintendo’s attempt to switch up the series was a bold and brave move, but the payoff was well worth it.

Let’s Go strips down everything we’ve seen in the series, bringing us back to the roots. At the same time, it’s also adapted some more streamline mechanics from the Go games. The lack of random encounters and wild battles might have been a huge shocker at first, but it definitely felt like a welcome addition to Pokemon Let’s Go. Catching ‘mons has never felt as exciting, compelling, and rewarding as it does now.

These new experiences, along with an impressive visual overhaul, mark Let’s Go as one of the best series starting points for new players. Somehow, Nintendo’s managed to preserve what made us all love Pokemon in the first place while keeping up with the times. Perfect for both veterans and newcomers, Pokemon Let’s Go is hands down one of Nintendo’s best exclusives of this year.

Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives of 2018

Winner: Octopath Traveler

switch, octopath traveler

Staff Writer Irwyn Diaz: Octopath Traveler is a look back at what made us love classic RPGs in the first place. It invites you in with its whimsical world of adventure, mystery, and wonder waiting around every corner.

There’s plenty to delve into in the world of Osterra, and we get to see it through different eyes. Octopath Traveler unfolds into a spiraling adventure of eight different heroes who set off on their own journeys, which all connect into one epic conclusion. However, Octopath doesn’t always delve into the greater evil, but rather focuses on the individual struggles each person goes through on their journey. We found ourselves connected with each tale, cheering on our favorite heroes through each chapter.

Octopath Traveler also makes the most out of the classic turn-based combat with a strategic twist. Players have the freedom of building up their units and surging into battle with a myriad of possibilities on the battlefield. Weaving through skills and attacks never gets tiring, and it’s always a battle of wits as you’re forced to keep plenty of factors in mind during combat. And thanks to the Switch’s portability, players can enjoy on-the-go adventures or those long play sessions on the big screen.

If anything, this game is a love letter to those who still enjoy traditional role-playing games in today’s ever-changing gaming climate. It stands as one of the Nintendo Switch’s best role-playing games as well as its best exclusive of 2018.

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