If you’re new to the Switch, don’t sweat it: Nintendo’s latest device has only gotten better with time. The Switch is closing in on two years on the market, and over that period it’s accumulated a solid lineup of games, from familiar Nintendo franchises to creative indie inventions. And every single one is made better by the tablet’s hybrid nature, letting you play wherever you want. If you just unwrapped a new Switch and are looking for some things to play, here’s a good selection to get you started.
We’ve rounded up our favorite and most-used apps, games, and utilities. Look for our picks for iPhones, PCs, and Mac; our favorite games for iOS and Android, and our top choices for the PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild launched alongside the Switch last year, and it hasn’t been topped since then. No other game can match its sense of adventure as it drops you into a mysterious world and forces you to figure out how to survive. And that world is big enough that you’ll still be playing months from now.
Super Mario Odyssey
One of last year’s favorites makes the list again this year. It’s impossible to play Super Mario Odyssey without a smile on your face. The iconic plumber’s latest adventure isn’t just fun and cheery, it’s downright strange, with plenty of unexpected moments that are guaranteed to make you laugh.
Do you wish you could play online shooters, but are turned off by the violence and hardcore players? Splatoon is the game for you. It’s like a candy-coated Call of Duty where you shoot globs of paint instead of bullets, and you can spend your earnings on incredibly stylish clothes. And while the game debuted last summer, since then it’s been updated with new modes, more weapons, and a lengthy single-player expansion.
Pokémon: Let’s Go
Let’s Go — which comes in both Pikachu and Eevee varieties — is the most streamlined entry in the franchise to date. It takes the simple Poké Ball throwing mechanics of Pokémon Go, and marries them to a more traditional role-playing experience. The result is a game that’s perfect for newcomers and veterans alike.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The holidays aren’t the holidays without an all-out brawl between Mario and Jigglypuff. The latest Super Smash Bros. game is also the biggest in the series’ long history, with more than 70 characters and a huge array of features, including a lengthy single-player mode and a fantastic music player.
If you’re in the mood for something more soothing, Gris is the best four hours you can spend on the Switch. Its world is absolutely breathtaking, like an interactive animated film, and it doesn’t have many of the frustrations typically associated with games, like enemies or death. Just sit back and soak in the atmosphere.
Diablo III has been out for a long time, but it gets a new life on the Switch. There’s just something satisfying about hacking undead monsters on the go. And Switch’s portable nature means it’s easy to get in some progress wherever you are. Long-haul flights will never be the same.
There are few pure action games more intense than Dead Cells. The side-scrolling game blends the brutal combat of Dark Souls with the structure and style of Castlevania, all while immersing you in an ever-changing world that ensures you’re always facing a different challenge.
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