The Switch has been out for a good while now, and has amassed a huge list of high quality titles, but which ones are the best? Below is a list of our top 5 best Switch games.
The absence of a fully fledged Final Fantasy game on a current generation console is always a concern, and the early days of the Switch showed no signs of attracting the behemoth of a JRPG series to it’s shores. Happily, Square Enix had other plans in the form of Octopath Traveler, and quenched the turn based thirst that existed.
It’s a fantastic example of the genre, and of the developers inclination to continue to push the envelope therein. The game focuses on 8 widely differing characters, each with their own heartfelt stories to tell, all encompassed by the latest incarnation of the turn based battle system, involving finding your foes weaknesses and exploiting them. On top of this, each character has their own special skill available outside of combat, ranging from bartering with shopkeepers to charming onlookers. This is all packaged within a pseudo 3D world in which the characters and art are displayed in 2D, but on a 3D background, which manages to enhance an otherwise played out visual formula. Sure, the Switch might not have an exclusive mainline Final Fantasy game, but in Octopath Traveler it has something just as good.
Fire Emblem Three Houses
We love a good Fire Emblem here, if that wasn’t already obvious, so the news that the Switch was getting an exclusive brand new title immediately had us drooling. Still, given the series’ recent track record with the hardcore audience, we weren’t quite sure how it would turn out.
As it turns out, our trepidation really wasn’t necessary: Intelligent Systems knocked it out of the park. There might be more of a social element – somewhat ‘Persona-esque’ you might say – but beneath it exists the beating heart of a tactical RPG master. Every single step, menu selection or battle action oozes a certain visual quality, every voice over well suited and each battle animation portrays it’s characters mannerisms to a tee. Multiple story routes and innumerable customisation options solidify this as a classic Fire Emblem title, a worthy addition to the genre and an essential Switch purchase.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
As we write this, hurtling as we are towards the fall of 2019, we’re around 70 monsters deep on our playthrough of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, and we’re not even half way yet. That being said, during the Switch’s formative months the attendance of a Monster Hunter title in the Switch line up was a point of hopeful discussion, it’s absence leaving a hole in an otherwise star studded release.
Capcom, clearly having noticed the furore, took their latest handheld offering and gave it a huge upgrade in content, a smattering of visual polish and G rank, the height of hunting skill. What we have then, is the finest example of monster hunting to be released yet, featuring a staggering array of monsters, equipment, locations and quests, all produced with that familiar tongue in cheek charm. Action games find their peak with the Monster Hunter series, and the series reaches it’s own pinnacle here.
Super Mario Odyssey
Gamers of a certain age – over 30 shall we say – have an odd relationship with Mario titles. We remember having immense amounts of fun with the games of our youth, hopping around a fresh new 3D world in Mario 64 for example, or digging for shortcuts and secrets throughout World, but we tend to think that we’re over it now, preferring rather to stick to genres we’ve grown to love. Surely we’re too old for the capped plumber now.
Without fail, every single time, we’re proved one hundred percent wrong.
Much like Galaxy proved on the Wii, Odyssey comes along and reminds us exactly where games began: Fun. Mario Odyssey is just plain fun. There is no deeper meaning, no statistics to maximise and no dark mystical story to peel away at. Just Mario, a huge variation of enemies, worlds and features, each immaculately built to house the new star of the show – Cappy – and it’s trans-formative abilities. It’s a wonderful blend of exploration and curiosity, that somehow manages to lend further depth to the Mario formula without diluting it, and allows the series to continue to be the quintessential title for every Nintendo console owner.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Much like the Fire Emblem title detailed above, new Zelda titles tend to come with a slight dose of scepticism. They’re never bad games, far from it, but tend to come with some form of baggage at times. The Wind Waker was housed in a dying console and ended up straddling three, Skyward Sword was enjoyed but not loved, Twilight Princess the same. The series itself is home to some of the best games ever created, but Breath of the Wild again led a tortured creation, straddling both the Wii U and the Switch. Topping it all off was the knowledge that it was an open world title. How could it cope with the behemoths of the genre like The Witcher 3 et al?
Nintendo, seemingly working at the top of their form, summarily demolished the competition in astonishing fashion. Breath of the Wild is not just a great game, it’s an amazing achievement itself. The world is enormous and chocked full of charm, excitement and adventure, and accomplishes this whilst looking incredible, despite the numerous shortcomings of it’s console platforms. Link is a joy to control and the array of combat and exploration options on offer is truly staggering, including some wonderfully creative physics based toys.
The true genius of this title however, is the sense of excitement it manages to instil in the player, no matter where they turn. In letting the player off the leash completely, a developer can often sign a death warrant to their title, yet Nintendo inexplicably managed to plan for every eventuality. Were this any other title, wandering an open world to your hearts content would land you in trouble – perhaps you run into a high level zone or stumble into story locked content – yet here it does not, if anything you’re rewarded for doing so. It’s like they knew exactly how a gamer would feel.
Truly, a remarkable title, and one that no Switch owner should miss.