Top 10 Switch Games of 2018

As of December 14, 2018

The year has been a pivotal one for the Nintendo Switch. The console has found its own niche among the current gaming platform ecosystem. More titles, expansions and DLCs have been released, although a lot of the big ones are ports and remasters. In total no less than 1000 games were released on the Nintendo Switch; however, only 51 received a playscore®. Below are the 10 best Nintendo Switch of 2018.

Captain Toad Nintendo Switch

#10 Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Developed by Nintendo EAD
Released on Jul 13, 2018

Captain Toad is a fungi, and he's set out to follow his brothers into Nintendo's Switch console. A much beloved title on the Wii U, Treasure Tracker was released in July 2018, offering all of their original isometric puzzles and minigames, as well as brand new features straight off of Mario Odyssey.

Readjusting its controls to fit the hybrid handheld, it hasn't been the smoothest transition but it's all worth the portable experience. Staying fully intact in the transition is the absolute charm of the title. Not only does it feature one of the most likeable secondary characters in the series, Treasure Tracker's smart puzzles also shine even brighter with the advanced capabilities of the console.

On one hand, it's not a new Nintendo title. But, on the other, it presents players with the relaxing delights of an old Wii U game on a more popular, portable console. All at bargain price.

Dragonball FighterZ on Nintendo Switch

#9 Dragon Ball FighterZ

Developed by Arc System Works
Released on Sep 28, 2018

Embrace the beauty behind cel-shaded 2D characters as players dominate each others power levels in this godlike fighting game.

The game features a massive roster of all the best Dragon Ball characters with well-crafted visual and the mechanical experience created with Arc System’s magic. That means every moving pixel is crafted with precision and every character design is packed with detail.

Fights are blazing with steaming hot action, the huge selection of Dragon Ball heroes are unique and every map offers their own unique flair. Though it shares the same core gameplay throughout all of Arc Systems’ fighting games, FighterZ pays homage to the one of a kind abilities of each character. The use of Ki lets players take advantage of their energy to attack, counterattack and break opponent combos.

It’s flashy dramatic finishes also offers a fantastic hero to hero interaction. However, its high skill ceiling may intimidate newbies that want to learn more about the game.

Octopath Traveler Nintendo Switch

#8 Octopath Traveler

Developed by Square Enix
Released on Jul 13, 2018

A perfect spot for this JRPG from Square Enix. Follow eight travelers with eight adventures and eight roles. Uncover each of these character’s fate as you freely explore the world of Orsterra.

With a layered battle system, the magic of its deep and strategic turn-based combat is where the game shines the most. Even at its downtime, the retro visuals power up the nostalgia of the classic games Square offered. Each location in the vast region of Orsterra is never a dull moment. Not to mention its beautiful medieval world filled with magic, mystery and conspiracies reminiscent of the iconic Square classics.

JRPG fans will adore the game’s attention to detail and numerous JRPG cliches. However, most of the concerns revolve around its subpar storyline and heavy grinding. Each of the single character stories are fun at first, but it gets increasingly difficult as plaeyrs maintain each of their party members level. Nonetheless, it’s no excuse to not git gud and the rest of the game is very well done.

Celeste Nintendo Switch

#7 Celeste

Developed by Matt Thorson
Released on Jan 25, 2018

Who knew climbing mountains could be this fun and frustrating at the same time? Rise to the occasion in this award-winning platformer from Matt Makes Games Inc. The objective is simple, help Madeline survive her inner demons as she journeys on top of Celeste Mountain.

It may sound simple at first, but the creators aren’t going easy on most players with a patience of a walnut.

Celeste, in all its entirety, is a beautiful adventure platformer with a touching narrative and hundreds of hand-crafted levels. Jump, dash, slide, and use the environment around Madeline. There is so much to do, so much to see, and so much to overcome as it becomes increasingly clear that there are a handful of secrets inside this mysterious mountain.

From its fluid animations, responsive controls and challenging levels, Celeste is a hallmark of platformer design and it’s breaking Indie expectations with its heartfelt story, atmospheric sound, and fun-tastic gameplay. It’s a perfect platformer on the Switch.

Dead Cells Nintendo

#6 Dead Cells

Developed by Motion Twin
Released on Aug 7, 2018

An impressive bundle of genres: this indie roguelike metroidvania hack and slash game published by Motion Twin has managed to excel in every box it's been put in.

Initially, it was conceived as a combat-based action game that took inspiration from Team Fortress and Binding of Isaac. Slowly but surely, it almost took on a life of its own as it transformed into this "masterpiece" in singleplayer gameplay. Setting out to create a roguelike experience that evolved with each new weapon or skill, they seemed to have achieved that. Despite the grind that comes with each roguelike title, Dead Cells makes sure you'll find new surprises in each run. If it's not new, exotic weapons, then it's the visceral thrill of their slick and smooth combat. Besides bringing roguelike's masochistic tendencies to the casual player, critics have also heaped praise for its atmosphere, perhaps owing to its artstyle and Laulan's soundtrack.

Blending genres into one beautifully satisfying and cohesive whole.

Bayonetta 2 Nintendo Switch

#5 Bayonetta 2 - Digital Version

Developed by Platinum Games
Released on Feb 16, 2018

From the makers of Nier Automata and, well, Bayonetta, Platinum Games' iconic witch makes a grand entrance to Switch. Originally bundled up with the first of the series, this digital edition comes as its own. This sequel, first released on the Wii U in 2014, comes once again to a wider audience on the newest Nintendo console. A staple in the hack and slash genre, the beauty of Bayonetta's second installment is on full display in this exclusive port.

Focused on their lead witch's angel-killing escapades, combat is first and foremost on the list of Bayonetta 2's strengths. Described as exhilarating and action-packed excitement, her new demon-summoning moves add even more to their already stellar repertoire. Suffering from a few frame rate drops and other minor quibbles, it remains a must-have for anyone with a need for hack and slash on the go.

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze Nintendo Switch

#4 Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

Developed by Nintendo
Released on May 4, 2018

Another Nintendo reboot from the Wii U, this fifth installment of the Donkey Kong Country series, first released in 2014, was one of the favorites on the console. Marking the first Donkey Kong entry on the Switch, it comes with a slew of features like new game modes, characters, and difficulty toggles that answer to the game's usually punishing platforming.

Becoming a more casual friendly experience on the Switch, it has become the biggest strengths of this port of Tropical Freeze. While it keeps the challenge of the original game, characters like the easygoing Funky, has made it easier for players to share the experience with friends. Keeping with the couch party spirit of the Switch, it's become a staple title on the console too. A fantastic platformer that's finally getting some time in the spotlight.

Hollow Knight Nintendo Switch

#3 Hollow Knight

Developed by Team Cherry
Released on Jun 12, 2018

Team Cherry's maiden game, their roguelike metroidvania burst into the videogame market in one lavish debut. Partially funded through kickstarter, and released on the PC in 2017, it was perhaps the most awaited indie port on the Switch. While it doesn't offer much the way of new features, it does successfully bring the endearing energy of Hollow Knight to the portable format.

Centered around a skull-headed Knight adventurer diving into an insect underworld, it has been highly praised both for its fantastic set-pieces and punishing boss battles. As with most successful roguelikes, it comes with responsive controls that make the grind worth. The frustration may not be everyone's cup of tea. But, on the whole, Hollow Knight is an elegant title. Striking the balance between visuals, gameplay, and exploration.

Sonic Mania Plus Nintendo Switch

#2 Sonic Mania Plus

Developed by SEGA
Released on Jul 17, 2018

An upgrade to the original Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania Plus improves the core experience of everyone’s favorite blue Hedgehog with new playable characters and a fresh jam-packed content.

Not only did it spice up the graphics of Sonic's 2D universe, but it also rekindled the classic by breathing new life to the familiar stages with new bosses and secrets to discover. However, in this Plus version, SEGA goes one step further by adding new characters to the mix, as well as a spanking new game mode.

Playing as Sonic as the game returns to its roots is pure satisfaction. There has been a ton of failed Sonic games on the market and fans can’t afford to be disappointed again. True blue fans of the franchise will consider their purchase worthwhile as it not only offers the ultimate Sonic Mania version ever, it’s also an essential update to the original Sonic Mania experience with all the good things packed in one game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

#1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Developed by Nintendo
Released on Dec 7, 2018

Released just a few days ago, Nintendo’s ultimate fighting game easily tops our list.

Literally the ultimate Smash Bros. experience. Packed with 70 heroes and heroines from various franchises, it’s a videogame fiesta! It’s all new and improved gameplay adds a ton of ways to smash your opponents out of the map.

The game doesn’t just stop there. Aside from its massive roster of heroes and new maps, a new story mode called Spirits offers a new way to play everyone’s favorite characters. With content as huge as this on the hybrid platform, it’s bound to give fans of the fighting game genre and Switch users hours and hours of unmitigated fun.

It’s only gripe, however, is its wonky online mode that doesn’t really work as intended. Lag spikes litter the place and players don’t always get a fair match with other players. But that doesn’t make the game any less appealing, it’s one of the finest brawlers of this year and it deserves the Switch’s #1 spot. It receives a PlayScore of 8.94.

To view our complete, up-to-ranking of all Nintendo Switch releases this year, visit our list of the best Switch games of 2018.

Written by and
Presented by Raine Colubio