Cast your minds back to March 3rd 2017. Do you remember where you were? I certainly do. Front of the queue, anxiously waiting for my pre-ordered Nintendo Switch.
When it comes to Sony and Microsoft, I tend to flick between the consoles each generation. Nintendo, however, has always been a constant for me. Throughout the years, Nintendo has brought us an array of home and handheld consoles. Now, after 34 years, they had found a way to create a device that could do both.
Happy Birthday, Nintendo Switch!
Last week saw the 4th birthday of, in my opinion, one of the greatest consoles ever created. Here at Zatu, we’ve decided to celebrate this in a 3 part mini-series looking at the best the Nintendo Switch has to offer. Of course, we won’t be able to cover everything as the Switch’s catalogue is pretty epic. Also bear in mind there are countless games that could make it here, these are just my personal top 5.
So, are you ready? Let’s take a look at our top 5 Nintendo Switch games.
Kicking off our top five with some hellfire is a game that was released back in 2018, Hades. This is the only game on our list that wasn’t released solely for the Switch, but how could we leave it out?! This roguelike action game sees you play as Zagreus, the son of the lord of the underworld, to try to escape and reach Mount Olympus.
Whilst some live-die-repeat games can be quite repetitive, Hades’ formula creates one of the most unique experiences in this genre. The narrative changes and acknowledges these deaths, evolving every time. Different weapons and abilities can keep the battles engaging and fresh, ruling out any feeling of monotony. The handheld aspect of the Switch is perfect for this game, letting you pick up where you left off anywhere you want. The stellar art design, voice acting, and writing all make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience on the Nintendo Switch.
Next on our top 5 Nintendo Switch games is, in my opinion, possibly one of the most underrated games: Luigi’s Mansion 3. Using Luigi, the player investigates a haunted mansion that a group of friends visited on vacation before going missing.
This is undoubtedly one of the best Ghostbuster-like games in recent years. If you’ve never played a Luigi’s Mansion game before, this is the best time to start. Suitable for fans of any age, Luigi’s Mansion 3 combines beautiful cartoon art with fun, spooky gameplay. Each floor has a different theme and with 17 floors, there’s a lot to explore.
The addition of Gooigi has taken the game’s riddle-solving to greater heights, without keeping you on the same thing for too long. And if the single-player isn’t enough for you, the multiplayer is more challenging than you might first assume. Taking down ghosts with up to 4 people has a new level of satisfaction.
It wouldn’t be a top five without a JRPG in there, right? And Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the one to fit the bill.
Your journey as Byleth starts when you encounter three students during a battle. You are soon hired as a professor at the Garreg Mach Monastery, the school the students attend, and eventually, have to decide which house you would like to take control of during your countless battles throughout the game.
The freedom that is given to you during the game ticks every single box for me and is nothing short of impressive. You can be as in-depth with your choices as you want or simply choose for everything to be automated. The catalogue of students, abilities, classes and story routes provide you with endless hours of gameplay. The power of the Nintendo Switch now allows you to take your journey wherever you like in handheld mode, where Fire Emblem has mostly been known as a home console game.
By the end of the game, I genuinely felt emotional that my journey with all of my students had ended. You create such a bond that I actually found myself poaching some of the same students when I started my campaign with another house the second time around. All three houses have completely different stories. You have not fully experienced the story until you have completed all three arcs.
There is little I can say about this game other than I believe it is the best Super Mario game there has ever been. This open-world Mario game took everything you know from previous games and fuelled it with so many more new, wonderful mechanics.
As usual, Bowser’s up to his old tricks but this time his heart is set on marrying Princess Peach. Venture through various worlds collecting Power Moons to power the Odyssey with Mario’s new companion, Cappy.
Mario looks better than ever! Especially in all those costumes, which fantastically transform into an 8-bit art style during parts of the game. New Donk City is something we’ve never seen before in a Mario game. Its semi-realistic art style brings an unexpected realism.
Collecting every single moon has never been more challenging or fun. From a T-rex to a taxi, the new mechanics of Cappy allow Mario to inhabit the world. It allows the classic platforming to combine with the open-world element.
Given that Mario has now been around 35 years, it still astounds me that Nintendo finds new ways to keep this series alive. Super Mario Odyssey is more than worthy of its spot in our top 5 Nintendo Switch games.
And finally, we come to the number one spot. Breath of the Wild was a day-one purchase for me. Since then, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have run through this game. As with Mario, I genuinely believe this is the best title in this franchise. From the graphics to the gameplay, there has never been a better time to hop into the Zelda world on your Switch!
This post-apocalyptic adventure brings Link back to save Hyrule and Zelda from Calamity Ganon. As you travel to the realms of the four champions, it doesn’t take long to see how much the Nintendo Switch has improved the visual aesthetic of these triple-A titles. Your very first view of Hyrule proves that.
One of my favourite things about this game, and one that I think is lost in modern gaming, is how little help you receive. Modern-day games will often give you hints or spoon-feed you with slight nudges as to where to go now or how to do a certain task. In Breath of the Wild, you can complete any goal in any order you want. You can spend hours upon hours going off track and exploring the landscape within the game.
You can easily spend 40+ hours just completing the story alone. If you want to collect and explore absolutely everything, you’re looking at 100+ hours, if not more. Like Mario, Nintendo continually manages to evolve Zelda with each new title. Breath of the Wild is a masterclass in gaming and whether you experience this game docked or in handheld mode, you will enjoy every moment!