Just bought a Nintendo Switch? Then you'll want to fill your game library with some fantastic Switch games as soon as possible.
For whatever reason, it's unlikely you'll be able to immediately fill your library with all of the best Switch games around; that'll take time, as there's plenty of fantastic titles available for the platform.
So we've put together a list of five Switch games that newcomers to the platform should pick up as soon as possible, as an entry point to get you started on your Switch adventure.
These games are the staple of any good Nintendo Switch library and are considered to be some of the best Switch releases of all time. What's more, they appeal to a wide range of tastes and are fun for the whole family. We think you may have heard of the first one, too...
- Best Nintendo Switch games: the most essential Switch releases
- The cheapest Nintendo Switch bundle deals and prices
- Where to buy a Nintendo Switch: where you can get a Switch Lite right now
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only considered to be the best Switch game on the console, but also one of the greatest games of all time – period. And it's a great choice for newbies and veterans of the Zelda series.
Breath of the Wild is an action adventure that sees you playing as Zelda's long-running protagonist Link. After awaking from a several hundred-year slumber, Link sets out to defeat the Calamity Ganon that threatens to destroy the kingdom of Hyrule.
Unlike other games in the series, Breath of the Wild boasts more open-world RPG elements, offering the kingdom of Hyrule to explore freely and allowing players to complete tasks and puzzles when they see fit.
Most of all, Breath of the Wild is beautiful, allowing players to take things at their own pace and making for an adventure which you can easily find yourself sinking many, many hours into. If you've just picked up a Switch then this is definitely one of the first games you should pick up for it.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the first new entry in the mainline Animal Crossing series for almost eight years, and the first entry to be playable on the Nintendo Switch – and it was definitely worth the wait.
New Horizons whisks you off to a deserted island through an exclusive Nook Inc travel package. Your job is to turn the island into a top resort, attracting new islanders by sprucing things up and creating a tropical paradise.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is packed with charm, and is the perfect game for those who want to kick back and just take things at their own pace. It’s familiar and fresh, deftly combining the old enjoyable parts of the series with some much-needed improvements and far greater depth than we’ve seen before.
This is definitely a game that can be enjoyed by the whole family – but remember, you'll have to share the one island!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Prefer a Switch game with a bit more adrenaline? You can't go wrong with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an arcade racer packed with classic Mario characters – Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Toad, Bowser, and the like – hitting the roads for some fast-paced fun. What's more, you have the option to play alone or with friends – either online, split-screen, or by linking up to eight consoles together wirelessly.
While we've seen many iterations of Mario Kart before, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is probably the best so far, packing in battle mode, new characters, all the previously released DLC tracks, and the ability to hold two special items at a time to add an extra layer of strategy to your racing.
This is definitely worth picking up for anyone who wants to enjoy Switch games with friends – especially if you're the competitive type.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. series proves that the party game has definitely found its home on the Nintendo Switch.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the ultimate Nintendo showdown, with players taking on the role of classic Nintendo characters, before duking it out in one of the game's bizarre, ever-changing arenas.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate packs in more fighters, more stages, more gameplay modes, and more tactical elements than any game in the franchise. This is, for all intents and purposes, the definitive Super Smash Bros., with everything that entails – and plenty of juicy Smash Bros DLC to keep you occupied after you've unlocked the main roster of fighters.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is another Switch game that can be played alone – but it's much better with friends. If you're looking for a Nintendo Switch game that is fun for the whole family, then you definitely can't go wrong with Smash.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Can you really have a Nintendo console without a Pokémon game? Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first core Pokemon games to make their way to the Switch. Full of charm and fun, Sword and Shield bring some much-needed gameplay optimizations to the franchise alongside some fantastic new features such as the Wild Area.
Set in the UK-inspired Galar region, Sword and Shield introduce a whole new world to investigate and new Pokémon to capture. While these two games might not live up to some of the better predecessors, they're definitely worth picking up and will suck you in for hours on end.
Not sure which of the two Pokémon games to choose? Check out our article on how to decide between Pokémon Sword and Shield, which explains the important differences between the two games.
- Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite: is bigger really better?