The 13 best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2024, ranked

mario kart 8 deluxe bowser coin runners on nintendo switch
The 13 best Nintendo Switch games, rankedNintendo

The Nintendo Switch is home to some of the best gaming experiences this generation. (If you still don't have one or want to upgrade to the OLED console, we've rounded up the latest and best Nintendo Switch deals here.)

From first-party titles carrying that unmistakable Nintendo touch to a huge range of acclaimed indies that can be enjoyed on the go, there isn't a shortage of games to play on the hybrid console.

We at Digital Spy have debated long and hard to come up with a list of our favourite 13 games on the Nintendo Switch.

Of course, it's impossible to include everything. Such is the quality of the Nintendo Switch's library that it would have been easy to recommend 100 games – so here are some honourable mentions that just missed the cut for the final list:

With that out of the way, here are our top 13 games on the Nintendo Switch...

slay the spire
Mega Crit Games

13. Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire remains the best deck-building card game around. It's a roguelike that's less about finding the perfect card and more about finding the perfect synergy between your cards, and the execution of this idea is near-flawless.

It's also brilliant on the Nintendo Switch, with the touch screen and portability making the handheld version the most ideal way to play the game.

Buy Slay the Spire

super smash bros ultimate

12. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Ultimate doesn't change the Smash Bros. formula much, so it is no surprise that the brawling is as fun as it's always been.

The thing that makes Ultimate stand out is how – from the roster and stages to the single-player World of Light mode – it celebrates Nintendo's catalogue of games with love and passion.

Playing it is a constant reminder of how rich and wonderful Nintendo's history is.

Buy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

11. A Monster's Expedition

a monster's expedition
Draknek & Friends

We couldn't write a best-of list without including this underrated gem of a puzzle game. This immersive, relaxing and creative Sokoban-based puzzler has the player explore an interconnected two-dimensional world of islands by rolling logs to create bridges and rafts.

It's full of rewarding mechanics and moments that make it a delight to play, especially on Nintendo Switch where you can pick up and play at your own pace.

Buy A Monster's Expedition

metroid prime remastered

10. Metroid Prime Remastered

Originally released in 2002 for the GameCube, Metroid Prime is undoubtedly one of the best games of the past two decades, so when it received a remaster for Nintendo Switch in 2023, it's no surprise that it still manages to make the list of the best games currently available.

Unrivalled world-building and exploration makes the sense of discoverability unmatched in this action-adventure game, which has Nintendo icon Samus upgrading her weapons and suit to survive on a hostile planet.

Buy Metroid Prime Remastered

ann, joker and ryuji in persona 5 royal
Atlus / Sega

9. Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal is one of the most memorable and stylish games in recent years. Following a group of vigilante students taking on corrupt individuals, the story runs the whole gamut of emotions and is backed by stunning presentation that captures the rebellious spirit of the Phantom Thieves.

Playing on PC or one of the other consoles may be a slightly better experience when factoring in visual fidelity. But the Nintendo Switch version is a solid port, and being portable is a nice bonus.

Buy Persona 5 Royal

return of the obra dinn
Lucas Pope

8. Return of the Obra Dinn

Obra Dinn plays out like one huge logic puzzle. Your task is to work out the identities and the fates of 60 dead or missing people who were on board a ship by revisiting the moment of everyone's deaths.

The gameplay loop hooks you in. It's challenging yet fair, with every small mystery and riddle of the Obra Dinn solved peeling back another layer of the overarching narrative.

There aren't many puzzle games as rewarding as Obra Dinn, and it's backed by a fantastic art style that adds to its personality and character.

Buy Return of the Obra Dinn

mario kart 8 deluxe bowser coin runners on nintendo switch

7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

As a package, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the finest multiplayer games out there. The track designs are wonderful, with anti-gravity parts adding further variety, and hurling shells is as fun as ever.

The Booster Course Pass DLC doubles the number of tracks you can play, for a total of 96.

Buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

edelgard in fire emblem three houses

6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Three Houses is perhaps the best Fire Emblem in the series. The turn-based strategy remains strong, but it's the connections that you form with your allies outside of battle that elevate the experience to another level.

The two halves – the battles and the free time – go hand in hand to raise the stakes and make the story personal, as the rivalry between the three house leaders leads to a fierce and brutal war.

Buy Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Supergiant Games

5. Hades

Addictive roguelike Hades combines hack-and-slash gameplay with brilliantly developed characters to create one of the best value games available on any system, but its replayability and one-more-run mentality makes it particularly suited to the Nintendo Switch and its handheld capabilities.

Buy Hades

Maddy Makes Games

4. Celeste

Celeste is an absolute joy to play, with Lena Raine's amazing soundtrack and tough yet fair levels that get full mileage out of the game's mechanics. However, it's the way the narrative is folded into the gameplay that makes Celeste an all-timer.

Madeline struggles with anxiety and depression, and the journey that she takes as she climbs the mountain leads to an incredibly cathartic ending.

Buy Celeste

animal crossing new horizons   turkey day

3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Practically every Switch owner was playing New Horizons during lockdown in 2020. It became a substitute of sorts for real life – a place that provided escapism and an alternative way to connect with friends.

Filled with lovable villagers and tonnes of customisation options, the game has no shortage of charm and ways for players to express their creativity, and it's still worth playing today if you haven't done so already.

Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons

super mario odyssey, nintendo switch

2. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is pretty much the perfect 3D platformer. The game is one of unadulterated joy from start to finish, as Mario journeys from one colourful world to the next on his quest to once again stop Bowser.

One of the reasons for that is new sidekick Cappy's ability to let Mario possess enemies and objects to your advantage. This satisfying mechanic even makes water levels fun!

Buy Super Mario Odyssey

the legend of zelda tears of the kingdom official trailer

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

In 2023, Nintendo managed to do what seemed impossible at the time: outdo 2017's Breath of the Wild, a game considered an all-time great.

The world-building of Tears of the Kingdom is special, and the ridiculously open-ended crafting tools at Link's disposal add a fresh spin to exploration, puzzle-solving, and everything in between.

There isn't anything else quite like Tears of the Kingdom in the gaming space. It's a one-of-a-kind game and a true achievement.

Buy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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