The Nintendo Switch is full of quality exclusive games. Here are the best Nintendo Switch exclusives, ranked from worst to best.
Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives Ranked
For a launch title, 1-2 Switch is actually a pretty decent game on its own. It’s just up there as one of the very best Nintendo Switch exclusives you can get your hands on. Packed full of fun mini-games, this is a great one to bring with you to social gatherings. 1-2 Switch shows off all the unique capabilities of the Switch itself, including the HD rumble and the detachable Joy-Cons.
The biggest problem with this game, though, is its price and what it has on offer. 1-2 Switch gets pretty boring and one-note after a while, especially when everyone gets used to the mini-game rules and are familiar with how the Joy-Cons work. It’s a decent party game, but the Switch has an even better one up its sleeve. More on that later.
Yet another charming little launch title, Snipperclips was one of the pleasant surprise releases back when the Switch first hit shelves. With each player taking control of a little scrap of paper, you had to work together with your partner to cut each other up into specific shapes to solve simple environmental puzzles.
It sounds simple in concept, but Snipperclips can get pretty tricky as you approach the later levels, and you’ll need proper coordination if you want to succeed. It’s a great game to take on the go with you, and it’s perfect for bonding time between two people.
Kirby Star Allies:
Kirby Star Allies sees the return of everyone’s favorite pink puff ball. In this entry, Kirby returns with even more crazy superpowers, and he’s able to recruit enemies to fight alongside him to clear levels. The game also supports local co-op, with every player taking control of a different character.
Kirby Star Allies is decent as well, but we found ourselves rather disappointed with how easy the game was. This is probably one of the least challenging platformer games out on the Switch right now. It’s cool to be able to play this with friends, but once you breeze through it, there’s little else to keep you around.
Developer by Sidebar Games, Golf Story is a great nostalgic trip for fans who enjoyed Mario Golf on the Gameboy. Golf Story is a beautiful 2D RPG that has you level up and resolve conflicts by, um, playing golf.
Players take control of a young boy who decides to become a pro golfer in an attempt to recreate the nostalgia he had from playing the sport with his dad when he was young. Golf Story features tons of cool golf courses, and the golfing mechanic itself is rather enjoyable. The golf courses get increasingly wackier later on, where you’ll have to navigate a ball past a group of zombies. It’s insane.
ARMS – Top 10 Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives
ARMS is up there with Splatoon as one of the most innovative new IPs Nintendo has come up with in the past few years. Making use of the Joy-Cons (though you can play with traditional controls, too), players will have to literally punch and dodge in order to best their opponents in this competitive fighting game.
While the game’s story/campaign mode is a little lacking, ARMS makes up for it with other fun game modes and online competitive play. Nintendo has also been supporting this colorful fighter with consistent updates to keep things fresh. It’s certainly different, but that’s what makes it stand out as one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives out there right now.
Fire Emblem Warriors
If you’ve ever played a Musou or Warriors game, you already know what you’re getting into with Fire Emblem Warriors. As the title suggests, Fire Emblem Warriors is basically a Warriors game, but with characters from all over the Fire Emblem series. In addition to the traditional hack-and-slash gameplay, FE Warriors also introduces a strategic element whereby you can instruct your allied units to move around the map and defend an area.
Just like any other Warriors game, Fire Emblem Warriors can get a little grindy and repetitive the more you get into it, but it’s still a fun pick-up-and-play title whenever you have some free time.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
We, like many others, rolled our eyes when Ubisoft and Nintendo first unveiled Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. However, we quickly changed our minds when we actually got some hands-on time with it.
Mario + Rabbids is an excellent turn-based, strategy RPG that takes the best parts of the Mushroom Kingdom and meshes it with the wacky insanity of the Rabbids. Rabbid Peach is easily one of the best video game characters we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the past year, and it certainly helps that the strategy gameplay itself is so compelling on its own.
Mario Tennis Aces
Mario Tennis Aces takes tennis itself and dials things up to 11. Armed with a trusty racket, Mario must protect the Mushroom Kingdom and save his friends from an evil tennis racket by traveling the world and playing tennis with everyone he sees.
The campaign itself is pretty short, but it brings us through so many different themed courts, and there’s always a twist to keep you on your toes. Outside of that, Mario Tennis Aces is a pretty fun online game as well. You can team up with friends or play against them, or if you’re bringing your Switch to a party, feel free to challenge your friends to a round of wacky virtual tennis. This is one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives available right now.
Super Mario Party
The Mario Party series is back in a big way with Super Mario Party on the Nintendo Switch. This is one of the best Mario Party games we’ve seen in the series, and it’s absolutely packed with awesome mini-games and game boards that you can play locally with your friends and family.
Be warned, though; Super Mario Party has been known to destroy friendships and relationships, so get ready to see some of your friends’ competitive sides emerge. Super Mario Party comes with tons of hilarious mini-games that will either require a group of players to work together or compete against each other, and this is, without a doubt, the best party game you can get on the Switch right now.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Top 5 Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was a nice bookend to the Switch’s 2017, and stands as one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusive games. After console owners were bombarded with major hits like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was a nice palate cleanser.
With Xenoblade 2, Monolith Soft has created an absolutely massive RPG with a beautiful world to explore. The combat system starts off rather slowly in the early hours, but it gets deeper later on, and once everything clicks and fall into place for you, it’s a joy to play. While the game does look a bit rough in handheld mode, and the story can get a little too anime at times, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still one of the densest RPGs available on the console, and it’s perfect for hardcore JRPG fans.
When Splatoon 2 first launched as one of the Switch exclusive games, I was initially skeptical as it just seemed like a slightly enhanced version of the original Wii U game. However, Nintendo’s support for this mega-hit third-person shooter has been phenomenal, and we’ve seen so many new map and weapon inclusions to shake up the game in the past year.
In Splatoon 2, you’ll take control of a kid (or a squid?) and you’ll splatter your opponents with ink guns. Turf War is just as satisfying as you remember it, and there are even more gameplay modes to check out if you ever decide to go competitive. Splatoon 2 also received its Octoling expansion earlier this year, which allowed players to create their very own Octoling avatar.
Splatoon 2 is such an innovative and feel-good shooter that still has a very strong following and player base to this day, and it’s not hard to see why. If Nintendo would just make their online infrastructure better already, this game would be unstoppable.
Super Mario Odyssey
2017 saw the return of our favorite Italian plumber in a big way. Super Mario Odyssey is a massive collect-a-thon game that puts players in control of Mario, who must once again save Princess Peach from the evil Bowser, who’s sporting an impressive coif this time around.
Super Mario Odyssey also introduces Cappy, a sentient hat that allows Mario to take control and assume the form of any living being he throws the hat on. It’s not as sinister as we’re making it out to be, we promise. Cappy is a fantastic mechanic that keeps the collect-a-thon feeling fresh, and while we didn’t feel that Odyssey could quite reach the heights of Super Mario 64 or Galaxy, it’s still an excellent game in its own right and one of the very best Switch games on offer right now.
Project Octopath Traveler was one of the more interesting Square Enix IPs we saw during the Switch reveal event. A classic-looking 2D, turn-based JRPG developed by the juggernaut RPG company itself? Sign us up.
While Octopath Traveler definitely has its shortcomings, it more than made up for those in other areas. For starters, this game is absolutely breathtaking. The ‘2D-HD’ sprites and backgrounds are gorgeous, and they provide a modern twist to that classic SNES JRPG look. Octopath Traveler also features a beautiful and moving soundtrack that is instantly iconic and memorable. Presentation-wise, this game is an A+.
The implementation of the eight different characters and stories may be divisive for some, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t think the game’s combat system was anything short of compelling. Octopath Traveler is the best turn-based RPG you’ll find on the Switch, and here’s hoping that Square Enix decides to create more games with this nostalgic template.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Was there ever any doubt? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had been in development for so long that fans could scarcely believe their eyes when it finally released alongside the Switch itself.
Breath of the Wild is unlike the classic Zelda games you might be used to. This time around, the game goes open world, and it’s totally ripe for exploration. Breath of the Wild is a little lacking when it comes to fleshed out side stories, but it excels at being a fun open world game that never fails to reward players for actively exploring and going off the beaten path. The game’s cel-shaded art style is breathtaking as well, and this version of Hyrule is truly a sight to behold.
Combat is simplistic, but Link is equipped with awesome Sheikah powers to deal with his enemies and solve puzzles. The weapon degradation system is annoying, but there are always more powerful weapons to pick up. Nintendo probably could’ve done a better job with the game’s bosses and dungeon designs, but Breath of the Wild is just so great at being an open world game that these complaints feel minor in comparison. Breath of the Wild is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word, and if you’ve got a Switch, you’ve got no excuse for passing this one up. This is easily one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives, if not the best.
And that does it for our ranking of best Nintendo Switch exclusives. What are some of your favorite Switch Exclusive games? Let us know in the comments below.
14. 1-2 Switch
The biggest problem with this game, though, is its price and what it has on offer. 1-2 Switch gets pretty boring and one-note after a while, especially when everyone gets used to the mini-game rules and are familiar with how the Joy-Cons work. It's a decent party game, but the Switch has an even better one up its sleeve. More on that later.
Z is a ridiculous fangirl of Metal Gear and anything Souls-related. She has a B.A. in history but thinks her time is better spent as the resident Reviews Editor around these parts. She also thinks Amazon's Kindle is the greatest technological invention in the world. You can reach her at [email protected]