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Wii like to party: Must-have Nintendo Switch games for single or multiplayer

With the Nintendo Switch library featuring over 4,400 titles, finding the right one for you could be tough. Whether you're into RPGs, party games, or action platformers, chances are there's a Nintendo Switch game out there that you'll love.
josh-slate
taylor-clemons
Written by Josh Slate, Contributor and  Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Amy Lieu

The Nintendo Switch is possibly the most unique console ever seen. With the ability to work as a handheld device or a tabletop console with a built-in kickstand or with a TV, it's truly versatile. The console's look and colors catch the eye, too -- and the games are no different. 

There are titles for just about anyone on the Nintendo Switch. From RPGs to party games, you can enjoy a night on the couch by yourself or host a party with your friends, with the variety of titles the Switch library offers. 

Also: The best game consoles

To help you decide which titles are must-haves and guide you to the ones that might match your gaming preferences, I have broken down different hit games by category. And I personally played many of them.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 180+ hours of story content
  • Beautiful open-world setting
cons
  • Frame-rate issues with some cutscenes
  • Graphics lack contrast
More Details

Tech specs

  • Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG
  • File Size: 14.4GB
  • # of Players: 1
  • ESRB Rating: E10
  • Time to 100% Complete: 189 hours

As one of the most popular titles amongst the Nintendo gaming community, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild emerges as the best Switch game -- even though it was released over five years ago.

Although there are 29 Zelda games, you don't need to have prior experience playing the line of games to understand the storyline in Breath of the Wild. Of the 27 games released before it, it's the first one featuring a fully open world to explore. While roaming through vast fields and various other landscapes, players must solve over 100 puzzles, battle enemies, and hunt for food and elixirs that are essential to the progression of the game.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Unmatched customization
  • Very relaxing
cons
  • Not much in-game guidance
  • Island shop closes at 10pm
More Details

Tech specs

  • Genre: Simulation
  • File Size: 10.2GB
  • # of Players: Single System (1-4), Local wireless (1-8) Online (1-8)
  • ESRB Rating: E
  • Time to 100% Complete: 356 hours

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is possibly one of the most relaxing games on the Switch. After being dropped off on a deserted island with only five other critters, your goal is to create an island of your own while completing quests and missions along the way. You will need to collect materials, construct furniture and tools, and build your own world to share with people on the same system or online.

The most unique thing about this game is that the time and season match your location. Other fun features include becoming friends with your island residents, fishing, catching insects, and snorkeling.

After playing this game for a week, I understand the hype surrounding Animal Crossing: New Horizons and highly recommend this title. Though it has multiplayer capabilities, the story and amount of content that this game has for single-player gaming are incredibly impressive.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 48 tracks plus DLC available
  • New 200cc mode
  • New characters
cons
  • Revamped Wii U game
More Details

Tech specs

  • Genre: Racing
  • File Size: 7.4GB
  • # of Players: Single System (1-4), Local wireless (2-8), Online (2-12)
  • ESRB Rating: E
  • Time to 100% Complete: 52 hours

Mario Kart is one of the most iconic games of all time, but who knew the game could get even better and better? Many thought the game hit its peak with the Wii version, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had solidified its spot as the best racing game on the Switch. 

The game features its normal 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc modes -- and adds a mirror mode as well as an insanely tough 200cc level. This game can be challenging for even the best players.

With Nintendo Online, you can play against people no matter their location. But it's also a great game to play locally on your TV. I had a fierce battle with my friend the other night while playing, and let's just say the last lap got quite intense. If you're competitive, or even just a casual gamer, you can't go wrong with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Online multiplayer
  • Kept most popular Wii Sports games
  • Competitive AI
cons
  • Not compatible with Nintendo Switch Lite
  • Somewhat simple games
More Details

Tech specs

  • Genre: Sports
  • File Size: 2.1GB
  • # of Players: Single System( 1-4), Online (1-2)
  • ESRB Rating: E10+
  • Time to 100% Complete: N/A

One of the many things that made the Nintendo Wii such a great console was the free game that came with it: Wii Sports. This classic sees a revamp in Switch Sports, which features an assortment of new games. New sports include: Soccer, badminton, volleyball, and chambara. As well, it still keeps two of the most iconic games, bowling, and tennis -- with golf coming later this fall. 

While this game isn't quite as good as the original, it will fill the void of Wii Sports in your life. I have enjoyed playing this game a lot, and it makes me get up and move around -- especially when games get competitive.

Speaking of competitive, this game features online play allowing you to compete with people from all over the globe. If you have a friend over, you can compete together in games like volleyball, bowling, and tennis with online matchmaking.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • 100 minigames
  • Excellent variety in boards
  • Classic Nintendo party game
cons
  • Multiplayer is needed for best experience
  • Online communication is somewhat limited
  • No motion controls
More Details

Tech specs

  • Genre: Party
  • File Size: 2.1GB
  • # of Players: Single System (1-4), Local wireless (2-4), Online (1-2)
  • ESRB Rating: E
  • Time to 100% Complete: 47 hours

Mario Party Superstars is the newest installment of the incredibly popular Mario Party line of games. With five boards stemming from the Nintendo 64 version, it allows you to compete with others through 100 classic games. While you can play this game by yourself in practice mode, it's most enjoyable when playing with people you know. 

What is the best Nintendo Switch game?

The worst feeling is when you spend your hard-earned money on something and then don't enjoy it. That's common in the gaming realm, especially as games are retailing at their highest prices ever. But you won't have to worry about buyer's remorse with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's worth every penny.

Offering 189 hours of playtime to completely beat the game, the open-world lets players explore breathtaking landscapes en route to defeating Calamity Ganon and restoring Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stands out as a challenging-yet-rewarding game that brings a new installment to a historic franchise.

Nintendo Switch game

Price

# of Players

Time to 100% Complete

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

$59.99

1

189 hours

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

$50.99

4

356 hours

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

$49.99

4

52 hours

Nintendo Switch Sports

$39.99

4

Variable by player

Mario Party Superstars

$59.99

4

47 hours

Which is the right Nintendo Switch game for you?

With over 4,000 games to choose from in the Nintendo Switch store, how do you figure out which games to choose? Well, consider these when deciding which games are the best fit for you.

Choose this Nintendo Switch game…

If you want…

The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild

A Nintendo-exclusive story game that will challenge you through puzzles with breathtaking graphics

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A Nintendo Switch relaxing game where you create your own island with friends or by yourself

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

A Nintendo classic cartoon racing game that's perfect for playing online

Nintendo Switch Sports

A Nintendo Switch game that gets you moving and provides a new spin on an older version

Mario Party Superstars

A Nintendo Switch game perfect for playing with friends in person

How did we choose these Nintendo Switch games?

The Nintendo Switch is such a fun console to play, and the five games included on this list are just a few of the many highly rated games available.

I factored in popularity, time to complete the story in full, genre, and multiplayer functionality when narrowing down the choices. While other consoles feature more popular games, most games available on the Switch are specifically for the Switch due to Nintendo developing most of the titles, including all of the ones included here.

I have personally played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Nintendo Switch Sports, and I especially recommend each of those titles.

Is it worth buying a Nintendo Switch in 2022?

In short, yes. The variety of games and uses that this console offers makes it a must-have for gamers. It is great for families, parties, or even just playing on the couch by yourself.

What new games are coming out for the Nintendo Switch in 2022?

There are plenty of great titles being released for the Nintendo Switch this fall and winter including: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Splatoon 3, and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.

For a full list of all the games being released this year, go here.

What are the best accessories to get for my Nintendo Switch?

With such a big screen, scratches are inevitable. Screen protectors and cases are two of the most important accessories to get if you frequently play in handheld mode. But, for competitive gamers, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a great purchase, so you can beat all your friends.

You can see a full list of the best Nintendo Switch accessories here.

Are there alternative Nintendo Switch games worth considering?

There are so many games to choose from on the Nintendo Switch store. With most of these games being exclusive to the Switch, it's hard to pick just five. While these games didn't make our top-five, they are definitely worth your time.

Editorial standards

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