One of the best ways to pass the time and escape to a less-stressful world is by playing video games. The Nintendo Switch, in particular, is an excellent choice. This is because of its portability that lets you play pretty much anytime and anywhere. Not to mention, Nintendo’s done well to give the Switch an extensive library of games to choose from. However, even though there’s a wave of gaming titles available right now that should tide you over for until daily life gets back to normal (or whatever the new normal becomes), there are some games that simply stand out from the rest. The Switch Lite is another standalone alternative that only serves as a handheld console with a third of the price. You might want to hurry and check out for availability since its popularity skyrocketed especially now.
We’re talking about games that you could spend days if not weeks playing and still not be done playing.
Below, you’ll find our round-up of the best Switch games to spend hours on. If you’re new into the realm of Nintendo gaming, then you might want to get your Nintendo eShop Card if you’re planning to shop for the games below.
Mind you, we made sure to have a little bit of something for everyone. Suffice to say, you should expect a couple of surprise picks.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Kicking off our list is a game that pretty much everyone expected to be on here.
When it released in 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was met with critical acclaim and commercial success. Three years later, and it remains just as amazing to look at as when gamers first had a chance to lay their eyes on it.
Representing the biggest shift in The Legend of Zelda franchise since arguably the Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64, Breath of the Wild set a new standard for, not just the series, but for open-world games in general.
It’s a modern The Legend of Zelda through and through, complete with eye-popping graphics, a well-adjusted difficulty curve, nifty in-game mechanics that just fit, as well as an incredibly detailed open world that will take even the most hardcore of gamers hundreds of hours to explore every nook and corner.
Even when you take away all of the DLC add-ons, Breath of the Wild is a game that you can sink dozens of hours on and still be left with so much to do and accomplish.
Nearly 40 years since Tetris was introduced to the world, you’d think that there would be no way to make the experience new to you. But, apparently, Tetris can still surprise, as evidenced by Tetris 99.
The only free-to-play title on our list, Tetris 99 freshens up the age-old formula by letting players fight against, not just one, two, or three other people but against 98 other players.
This emphasis on the multiplayer experience makes every game of Tetris 99 one of the most stressful and tense-filled games of Tetris that you’ll ever play in your life and you’ll still be wanting more after every single one.
If you’re looking to take a breather, Tetris 99 has a “Big Block DLC” that you can purchase for $9.99 that lets you play Tetris in a more traditional manner.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
The Fire Emblem caters to a specific niche of gamers that loves games that can’t seem to decide what kind of genre it’s going for.
Regardless of its true genre though, Fire Emblem remains one of the most successful and longest-running franchises available on Nintendo’s consoles. The latest, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, was released in 2019, tries its best to maintain the strategic roots of the franchise, all the while inserting an engrossing storyline that will keep players invested in and out of the battlefield.
Now featuring a school system that lets players interact with their units, getting emotionally attached to your characters has become easier than ever. Unfortunately, this also means that losing each unit becomes all the more heartbreaking.
With three massive 50-hour campaigns for you to play through, each of which with multiple endings, Fire Emblem: Three Houses could very well last you for the entirety of the world’s ordeal.
Ideally, we would have loved to make this list include only titles exclusive to the Switch. However, sometimes, exemptions will have to be made, and it’s fitting that we make an exception for one of the biggest indie hits in recent years, Hollow Knight.
A game that feels more at home on the Switch than it does on the PC where it first released, Hollow Knight manages to take inspiration from the Metroid and Castlevania games of the past to create an entirely new experience that puts it right in contention as one of the best ever in its genre.
The game’s developers, Team Cherry, deserves a lot of praise for how they managed to work their way around the expected routine-ness of Metroidvania titles.
Set in a wonderful but creepy insect kingdom that’s brimming with both life and death, with deep, intricate in-game lore that will have you thinking, and multiple endings that add to the replay value to the title, Hollow Knight might just be the definitive Metroidvania title of its generation.
As an added bonus, Hollow Knight is a 2D title. This means that you can enjoy its beautifully-crafted world for hours on end without worrying about your battery being drained immediately.
The so-called “golden age” of JRPGs have long since passed. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to see an occasional JRPG release, especially when it’s as good as Octopath Traveller.
Straight from the kings of JRPGs themselves, Square Enix, Octopath Traveler feels like a blast from the past. It feels every bit like the same 16-bit JRPGs that older gamers used to play in the past, only that this one received an HD facelift while still being able to retain the same kind of atmosphere and feel that the games of old had.
Featuring eight protagonists with their own unique individual paths, Octopath Traveler is an ambitious and impressive modern take on the old JRPG formula.
While the epic world-saving story is nothing new, how Octopath Traveler gets you to that point is what makes this title stand out.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Last, but certainly not the least.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a long time coming. It’s a bizarre title, for sure, but that’s to be expected from the franchise. What you can also expect is a time sink of a title that caters to audiences both young and old.
Putting players in the shoes of the protagonist who somehow finds himself on a deserted island, it’s now up to the players to make the entire island into their own.
This is a huge step-up from previous titles. Whereas the past games only featured a village, now players have an entire island to play with. The best part? You can customize pretty much every aspect of the island, which makes everyone unique in their own right.
There’s also the local and online multiplayer element that makes this kid-friendly game a treat for the entire family to enjoy.
If you’re looking to chill your way through the lockdown, look no further than Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The Nintendo Switch might be the smallest of the current generation of consoles, but it sure does have a lot to offer. As the only portable option today, it’s nice to know that the Switch has its fair share of titles that are well worth binging on.
With that said, there’s never been a better time to invest in a Nintendo Switch. Don’t forget to get your Nintendo eShop Card as well before you start shopping.
Think about it, most of our family members will be at home. They probably already are. This means that there’s a lot of competition for who gets to use the TV, as well as the PC.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a console that you could take and play with anywhere you like?