7. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Ranking the Big Nintendo Switch Games of 2020
Getting a port of the classic mystery dungeon Pokemon game that was originally released on the DS was a treat for fans of the niche spin-off series but even with a new coat of paint, this title doesn’t hold up too well on Switch.
The first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon has very repetitive gameplay, the animations are stiff, and while the story is quite compelling for a Pokemon game, the later mystery dungeon games do it way better, like Explorers of Time and Darkness for example.
And with a hefty $60 price tag, it’s hard to recommend this to anyone that’s not a diehard fan of the cult series.
6. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a wacky mish-mash of Persona-styled gameplay and Fire Emblem characters that tells a story of a pop idol and features cool musical performances. It’s a turn-based JRPG that has a battle system that’s very similar to something like Persona 5, but with a little less style.
A lot of the game is spent exploring dungeons and participating in battles, but the dungeons lack any sense of polish or inspiration and some feel a bit drab and empty. And although the battles are highly engaging and challenging, the story is what keeps this game from being higher on this list.
5. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
It’s still hard to believe that Nintendo has already announced and released a prequel to one of the best video games of all time.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild changed the structure and familiarity that fans were used to and switched everything onto its head, opening up the world of Hyrule and making exploration the primary focus.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity isn’t really something you can properly compare to Breath of the Wild, though, mostly due to it being a Musou game, which is a gameplay style that was popularized with games like Dynasty Warriors.
There are tons of playable characters and you pretty much button mash your way around a restricted map, defeating thousands of the same enemies over and over again until you clear the mission.
It’s mindless fun is what it is and if you’re someone who wants to just pummel your way through Hyrule with Zelda or one of the Champions, you can do that in this game.
The gameplay may not be what Zelda fans are used to, but the story here is pretty good, allowing fans to dive into the Champion’s background a bit more, and you also get to control the gigantic machines that are the Divine Beasts, which is kind of exciting.
4. Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Not enough people played Pikmin 3 when it first came to the Nintendo Wii U back in the day, but now all of you have the opportunity to experience this delightful little tactical strategy game with some added bells and whistles.
There are new story side missions that star Olimar and Louie, there’s a hints system for those who want to breeze through the short but sweet story mode, and the excellent local multiplayer Bingo Battle mode makes a return.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe’s unique take on the genre is just the right balance of stress and relaxation and is definitely one of those Switch games in 2020 that shouldn’t be overlooked.
This makes the wait for that eventual Pikmin 4 game a bit easier to handle. But seriously though, when is it coming out, Miyamoto?
3. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a suped-up remaster of the cult JRPG classic from the Wii days, and it’s still as solid as ever. It’s massive open world is teeming with side quests, and the main cast of characters are extremely memorable.
Xenoblade’s MMO-like combat system is also something worth highlighting since it’s quite intricate and complex with mechanics that are slowly introduced throughout the 50-hour story.
This definitive edition also adds an entirely new epilogue called Future Connected that fleshes out Shulk and Melia and provides a satisfying ending to the game. Several quality of life changes also helps to make this the best way to experience this JRPG.
2. Paper Mario: The Origami King
In a year that was full of ports and remasters for the Switch, Paper Mario: The Origami King was one of the only “new” titles released from Nintendo.
It’s not the sequel to Thousand-Year Door that diehard Paper Mario fans would kill for, but it manages to comfortably straddle the line between the old titles and the lackluster newer ones like Sticker Star.
It introduces a very unique combat system that has Mario running around a grid of panels, requiring players to think strategically for all sorts of encounters. It gets old after a while, unfortunately, but it’s still neat to see Nintendo trying out fresh ideas for this sequel.
Although The Origami King may feel bloated at times in terms of its main story, there some truly memorable moments here that are worth checking out if you’re a fan of the spin-off series. The writing is also witty as ever, with tons of jokes that’ll make you smile from ear to ear.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons could not have come out at a more perfect time. The majority of the year for most people was spent indoors, quarantined due to the current pandemic, and what better way to spend time than to live a better life inside of a video game like Animal Crossing?
It’s such a vast improvement over its predecessors, introducing elements like crafting and letting folks truly have control over their island with new design tools.
You can make all sorts of cool creations in New Horizons and thanks to the multiple updates that Nintendo has released, there is no shortage of new content. Even when you think you’ve done it all, there’s always more to see.
In a downright terrible year, being able to connect with friends online in a cute game like New Horizons has made things a little bit less terrible.
For example, I personally didn’t go anywhere for the Fourth of July but I managed to squad up with some buddies of mine and we listened to music and explored each other’s island in Animal Crossing. It impacted me in such a way that other video games can’t.
New Horizons is undoubtedly Nintendo’s premiere release of 2020 for the Switch and has become a worldwide phenomenon.
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