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The 5 best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now

Best Nintendo Switch games you can play now

Looking for some of the best games available to play right now on the classic Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED Model or Nintendo Switch Lite? Well, we've got you covered.

We love the Switch's ever-expanding library, full of family-friendly games and more advanced titles for more skilled players. Out of the hundreds of Nintendo Switch games available right now, our in-house gaming experts have selected our top five picks so far for 2024.

Our top picks for the best Nintendo Switch games

Best Nintendo Switch game overall: "Super Mario Bros. Wonder"

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Release date: October 20, 2023 | Genre: Platforming | Rating: E

One of the newest adventures in the beloved "Mario" series is a total gem. You get to pick from the classic character lineup, including Mario, Luigi, princesses Peach and Daisy, Toad and Toadette, the mischievous Nabbit, and Yoshi before you set off to explore the Flower Kingdom. In addition to jumping over mushrooms and dodging the likes of Goombas and Piranha Plants, you'll zip through Warp Pipes and gathering Wonder Seeds peppered throughout every level.

These Wonder Seeds are game changers, giving Mario and the gang some pretty wild new looks and abilities, like turning into an elephant. Imagine trapping your foes in bubbles with a special flower, or drilling right through barriers with a mushroom. Then there's the Wonder Flower. This thing can animate pipes, summon hordes of enemies and shake up your character's appearance and skills in unexpected ways.

You can also collect badges, which are power-ups for every character scattered about the world. Want to spice up your moves? Grab an action badge. Looking to beef up your skills? A boost badge is what you need. And for the players craving that extra edge, expert badges are there to uncover even more surprises. 

Whether you're all about that solo journey or you're ready to join forces with up to three other players, this game's got you covered. You can gather your crew for some couch co-op on a single Switch, or connect online to bring the party to your pals no matter where they are. 

Be sure to read our full game review to discover all of the reasons why this is one of the very best Switch games ever released.

Best Nintendo Switch real-time strategy game: "Pikmin 4"

Pikmin 4

Release date: 7/21/23 | Genre: Simulation | Rating: E10+

"Pikmin 4" is the fourth in a series of strategy games where you're a member of the Rescue Corps, a tiny group of characters looking to save their leader, Captain Olimar.

They work with squads of adorable aliens called Pikmin, who can perform a variety of tasks, from carrying objects to fighting enemies to lifting heavy objects to walking underwater. It's your job to direct them so they can help you.

There's also an adorable dog named Oatchi, who steals the show every time he comes onscreen. It's going to be a tough competition of cuteness, between the Pikmin and Oatchi.

There's also a swath of fun multiplayer competitions. You can challenge others to find treasures, for example.

"Pikmin 4" is a fun respite from the norm when it comes to challenging strategy. It's easily one of the Switch's cutest adventures, though it's also deep and satisfying (and not just for kids). 

Best Nintendo Switch remake: "Mario vs. Donkey Kong"

Metroid Remastered

Release date: 2/16/24 | Genre: Puzzle / Action | Rating: E

Hang onto your plumber's wrench, because Mario is back for a new, Nintendo Switch exclusive adventure. This time, his costar (and in this case, his arch nemesis) is none other than Donkey Kong.

This game is all about puzzle solving, so if you don't have the patience to figure out how to help Mario maneuver his way through each level, this game isn't for you. Sure, there's a fair mount of running, jumping, climbing and pouncing, but this is mainly to help Mario move around and solve puzzles. 

"Mario vs. Donkey Kong" is based on a Game Boy Advance title released almost 20 years ago. Even if you mastered that game back in the day, you're in for a new and potentially more challenging experience.

Gamers who fondly remember playing this will enjoy the nostalgic elements. For younger gamers, 'Mario vs. Donkey Kong' offers something new and unique.

This game can be played on any Nintendo Switch system. It supports handheld mode, tabletop mode and TV mode. It's a one or two player game. Be sure to get the full scoop about "Mario vs. Donkey Kong" by reading our in-depth and hands-on review

Best Nintendo Switch action-adventure: "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom"

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Release date: 5/12/23 | Genre: Role Playing / Adventure | Rating: E10+

If you're a Nintendo Switch owner, you've got to make sure you snap up "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," or you'll be missing out. This game takes you on another epic adventure with Link. 

This is your ticket back to the sprawling area you first explored in "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," but this time, you're not just wandering the land.  You're also taking to the seas and soaring through the skies. There's a whole new level of freedom in how you can explore. With fresh abilities to master and weapons to forge, the possibilities feel endless.

"Tears of the Kingdom" offers a lush, action-packed playground where you'll face off against formidable foes and unravel the land's deepest secrets.

As the successor to the wildly popular "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," this game doesn't just live up to its legacy; it continues and expands on it. There's a good reason it continues to dominate the Switch bestseller charts.

Best Nintendo Switch role-playing game: "Super Mario RPG"

Super Mario RPG

Release date: November 17, 2023 | Genre: Role-playing | Rating: E

Nintendo Switch breathes new life into the 1996 Super Nintendo classic "Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars" with this remaster, and knocks it out of the park.

While respecting the SNES original's soul, the remake shines with polished graphics and refined gameplay. This isn't your average RPG, after all. It stars your favorite Mario characters, who embark on a quest to (you guessed it) save Princess Peach.

It's a colorful, whimsical adventure, set up like a darker game like "Final Fantasy," but with a more lighthearted approach. It's a great starter RPG for younger players, or those who aren't familiar with more advanced RPG game mechanics. 

Seasoned vets will appreciate how closely this remake sticks to the original game's vision. Our in-house gaming experts have published a full review of this exciting game, so be sure to check it out.

Other Nintendo Switch games we highly recommend

The 5 best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now

Although there are many more Switch titles that offer fun, challenging and immersive gaming experiences that we didn't include in our latest top five roundup, there are other titles that deserve honorable mentions, like "Hogwarts Legacy" -- an adventure in wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Another Nintendo Switch game we're huge fans of is "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" (which we believe should be a part of every gamer's library). It too is suitable for gamers of all ages and skill levels.

A few of other other top recommendations include: "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," "Pokemon Sword and Shield," and "Kirby and the Forgotten Land." 

One game we're looking forward to is "Princess Peach: Showtime!" It'll be released March 22, but is now available for preorder.

Is the Nintendo Switch worth it?

If you want a Switch, you should absolutely get one. It really shines in its ability to support at-home and on-the-go play. If you love the idea of switching between a home console and mobile gaming that you don't need a smartphone for, the Switch might just be your perfect match.

Nintendo is known for serving up some seriously addictive and exclusive game franchises like "The Legend of Zelda," "Super Mario," and "Animal Crossing." It's also the social butterfly of gaming consoles, perfect for multiplayer sessions whether you're lounging with your family or challenging friends. And with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can compete against gamers located just about anywhere.

Keep in mind, the Switch doesn't come in a one-size-fits-all configuration. There's the original model, the less expensive Switch Lite (that only offers a handheld gaming mode), and the fancy Switch OLED. That version offers a crisp and bright screen, longer battery life between charges and enhanced sound. 

Out of the video game consoles out there right now, we like the Switch because it offers the largest selection of family-friendly games, including many multi-player games that parents can play with their kids, or that siblings of different ages can play together. You also have access to games starring some of the world's most famous characters. Plus, the Switch offers games that'll appeal to older and more highly skilled gamers. Between the vast and diverse game library and the different ways people can play their favorite games on this system, it offers a really good value.

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