10 best Nintendo Switch exclusive games

By Aaron Potter | | | 747 |

So you’ve just picked up a Nintendo Switch and are looking to play the best of what the platform has to offer. Luckily, we at Console Deals have got you covered! The beauty of Nintendo’s new hybrid console is that you can play great games on the go as well as at home on the big screen. This is a list of the best exclusive Nintendo Switch games that look and feel great to play on either, guaranteeing you a good time whether you’re on the bus to work or relaxing on the sofa.

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Previously underserved by the Wii U’s lacklustre sales, Mario Kart’s eighth instalment was able to enjoy a second wind thanks to a souped-up, remastered version in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Drifting around corners as the Mushroom Kingdom’s eclectic cast of characters has never been more thrilling than on the Nintendo Switch, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s new anti-grav sections and overhead racing offering a degree of spectacle that makes boosting past your friends even more of a blast.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features 48 vibrant tracks to play on across 12 cups – four of which were only previously purchasable as additional DLC on the Wii U, but are now available right from the off in this definitive Nintendo Switch version. We say definitive because, in addition to being the most feature-complete Mario Kart 8 package, your ability to break off two Joy-Con and get a couch co-op race going in minutes is truly a modern marvel.

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Digital Download

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    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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    Nintendo Switch

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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    2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    Arguably one of the best games to ever be released alongside a Nintendo console’s launch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blew everyone’s expectations away with its emphasis on unrestrained freedom of movement through a living, breathing upon world. It does away with the dungeon-based formula of prior entries and asks players to trust their own instincts and immerse themselves within a version of Hyrule that has gone unprotected for hundreds of years.

    What sees Breath of the Wild stand so highly above its peers is its insistence to let players go anywhere and climb anything. Eventually you’ll come across what are known as shrines; essentially acting as mini-dungeons that are quickly resolved and gift Link with the ability to improve his health or grip. Both are useful in the bid to defeat Ganon, whether you’re brave enough to tame all four of the divine beasts beforehand or not. Breath of the Wild is a Nintendo Switch essential.

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    Nintendo Switch

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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    3. Super Mario Odyssey

    Super Mario Odyssey

    If Galaxy saw him shoot off to space and Sunshine let him chill on vacation, Super Mario Odyssey sees Nintendo’s little, moustachioed plumber go on a global trip around the world. He’s still attempting to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s grasp, who this time is intent on marrying the poor girl. Thus kicks offs a new 3D platforming adventure for Mario, where players must gather as many Power Moons as possible to power the eponymous ship and stop the wedding before it’s too late.

    Odyssey’s gimmick is Mario’s iconic hat, which he can now throw on the head of any enemy you see in order to take possession of them. Doing so feels weird at first, but eventually becomes second nature. Each possession lets you unlock a new way of traversing through whatever world you find yourself in, whether it’s using Bullet Bills to boom across large gaps or capturing one Goomba to form a tower of many and get to high places. Super Mario Odyssey is colourful, creative and fun, rendering not only one of the best Nintendo Switch games, but the best Mario game in a while.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Mario Odyssey Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Mario Odyssey

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Mario Odyssey

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    4. Splatoon 2

    Not one to promote the gritty and gruesome visuals which typically come with most online shooters, leave it to Nintendo to create one of the most inventive takes on the genre that is kid and adult friendly. Splatoon 2 successfully iterates on the original Wii U title, tasking teams of 4 squidlings and inklings to go at it during online matches while trying to cover the map in your team’s colour. Whatever team has covered the map in the most ink is the winner.

    In addition to a dedicated online component, Splatoon 2 also features an in-depth campaign mode which will see your player-created inkling splodge their way through plenty of colour-filled levels and creative bosses. It’s a nice warm up before entering the heat of online matches, letting you hone your ink-shooting skills before taking the action online. Splatoon 2 continues to be supported with new events and weapons – even in 2019.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Splatoon 2 Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

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    Nintendo Switch

    Splatoon 2

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    5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Donkey Kong Super Smash

    They said it couldn’t be done, but in 2018 we got confirmation in a Nintendo Direct announcement that every known playable fighter ever from Smash Bros. history would be appearing in the Nintendo Switch version. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its title, featuring a staggeringly large roster of 74 characters – and that’s not taking into account the six additional fighters confirmed for those that pick up the Fighter’s Pass.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also sees a revised campaign mode make its debut in World of Light. In it, players are tasked with restoring the spirits of all 74 characters by doing battle with them and overcoming certain challenges that sees most mimic the moves of other characters from game history. The online portion is also more robust than it’s ever been, in frantic fights that support all major Nintendo Switch controller options.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Smash Bros Ultimate

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Smash Bros Ultimate

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    Nintendo Switch

    Super Smash Bros Ultimate Digital Download

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    6. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance heroes

    Having stayed on hiatus for 10 years, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series returned in full force in 2019 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch with the release of The Black Order. It’s an isometric beat-em-up brawler for all the best reasons, casting players as a team of four classic Marvel superheroes from a staggering roster of 36. From here you’ll chase your way through such iconic locations as Asgard, Wakanda and more, chasing down Thanos and his Black Order in an effort to retrieve the Infinity Stones.

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is an easily accessible game, playable either solo with AI-controlled partners or in co-op with friends, that makes the simple act of button-mashing fun. You’ll wail on hordes of various thugs, grunts and bosses, combining superpowers to unleash what’s known as synergy attacks to take down bosses and foes much quicker. Ultimate Alliance 3 is an addictive way to dive into the Marvel universe.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

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    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

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    7. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

    When Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was announced at E3 2017 most people thought that Nintendo was crazy to sully the world of Mario with that of Ubisoft’s slobbering rabbid characters. Little did we know, however, that the folks over at Ubisoft Paris and Milan were cooking up one of the best, most charming turn-based strategy games to release on consoles since 2013’s Fire Emblem Awakening – to the point that it has made our list of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives.

    While at first it might seem strange to see the likes of Mario, Luigi and Peach wield a weapon, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle serves up heaps of satisfying turn-based gameplay that makes battles both thrilling and fun. Your team of three consists of mushroom kingdom characters as well as rabbids, each boasting their own special moves that makes them an asset when used each turn. If you don’t normally enjoy strategy games but have always been curious, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a great place to start.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

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    Nintendo Switch

    Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

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    Nintendo Switch

    Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

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    8. Yoshi’s Crafted World

    Yoshi games have a bit of a reputation as being extremely easy, but this is more than made up for in Yoshi’s Crafted World thanks to its inherent papercraft charm. The entire world has been constructed with the idea that everything is card, paper and glue, letting you explore the finished product in the first half of the level before getting a behind-the-scenes look by completing it in reverse.

    Yoshi’s Crafted World is entirely played on a 2.5D plane, seeing you guide Yoshi through obstacles and having him eat enemies which can then be pooped out as an egg and used to solve puzzles. Backed up by a kindergarten-like soundtrack and wildly inventive, it’s a game that’s sure to brighten up your mood and lift your spirits – hence why it makes our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Yoshi's Crafted World

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    9. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

    Tropical Freeze

    Ideal for anyone craving a bit more of a challenge than you’ll find in the average Super Mario 2D platformer, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a visually vibrant spin-off that sees you swoop, swing and bounce your way through the jungle tropics just as an ice dragon swoops in to freeze Donkey Kong Island. It’s the work of none other than Viking-themed baddies called the Snowmads, kicking off one hell of a side-scrolling platforming adventure.

    Tropical Freeze is another Wii U port that made its way to Switch, but brings with it a few new refinements that makes it less daunting for Donkey Kong newcomers. You’ll still be taking down enemies, finding bananas and collecting letters, but a newly added “Funky Mode” exclusive to the Switch version grants Kong the ability to hover and take more hits. Suddenly, one of the best 2D platformers ever made can now be enjoyed by everyone – especially with the Switch’s added convenience.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

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    Nintendo Switch

    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

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    10. Octopath Traveller

    The 16-bit days of Sega Megadrive and Super NES saw an influx of sprawling RPGs that let you control a squad of adventurers that set off on an epic journey (usually to save the world). Octopath Traveller is a direct homage to this type of gaming, replicating the pixel art styles of games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger to engross you in a wildly new tale. The game takes its name from the fact that there are 8 characters to play as in total, playable in any order you choose.

    Not only is Octopath Traveller’s world and characters rendered in the 16-bit style, but it also sports a new type of graphical aesthetic called “HD-2D”. This gives the appearance that you are moving through a diorama. All 8 of the characters feature unique backstories and missions to complete, with overworld battles consisting of parties of 4. If you’re looking for something new but has its roots in nostalgia, Octopath Traveller could be it.

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    Nintendo Switch

    Octopath Traveler Digital Download

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    Nintendo Switch

    Octopath Traveler

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    Nintendo Switch

    Octopath Traveler

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    Honourable mentions

    If you’re STILL at a loss of Nintendo Switch games to play, here are a few honourable mentions that aren’t Nintendo Switch exclusive but are still worth a mention. All are cracking in their own right, only further serving to highlight the eclectic library thriving on Nintendo’s hybrid platform.

    SteamWorld Dig 2

    What do you get when you splice the digging gameplay of Dig Dig with the back-and-forth interconnectivity found in games like Metroid and Castlevania? You get SteamWorld Dig, of course! And better yet its bigger, and unabashedly better sequel SteamWorld Dig 2 is now available on the Nintendo Switch. Directly following on from the original game’s events, you play as Dorothy: a steam-powered prospector in search of her partner (and first game’s protagonist) Rusty. This affords you the freedom to explore the Earth below in any direction you wish, with SteamWorld Dig 2 introducing new power-ups, new enemy types and new ways to explore the hazardous caves.

    Nintendo Switch
    Nintendo Switch

    SteamWorld Dig 2

    £16.99

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    Doom

    2016’s Doom reboot was a revelation to most first-person shooter enthusiasts. Rather unexpectedly, players were encouraged to run and shoot against demons head-on as opposed to taking cover and just popping off shots from far away. The Nintendo Switch port features this same anarchic action, challenging players to shoot their way across Mars and through the pits of hell in one of the most grotesque games you’re likely to play on a Nintendo platform. Chainsaw and Shotgun at the ready!

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    Nintendo Switch

    Doom

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    Starlink: Battle for Atlas

    The likes of Skylanders, LEGO Dimensions and Disney Infinity may have put the final nail in the coffin as far as toys-to-life games are concerned, but that didn’t stop Ubisoft from giving it their own rendition via an intergalactic ship-based adventure that placed players firmly in the driver’s seat. Starlink: Battle for Atlas takes place in the Atlas star system, with you heading up the resident peace-keepers by going planet to planet and ridding them of any invading alien menace. You can buy toy spaceship add-ons for those who like to display desk ornaments, but they’re not essential to play.

    Nintendo Switch
    Nintendo Switch

    Starlink: Battle for Atlas

    £10.00

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