15 Best Switch Games of 2021 So Far

Whatoplay presents 15 of the best Switch titles during the first half of 2021. All arranged by playscores. To check out our full list, visit our page on all the Best Switch games of 2021.

15. Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster

ATLUS’ original JRPG series gets the remaster it needs, given that its upcoming SMTV is nearing its release. Nocturne HD was the reason why Persona existed. If it weren’t for the complex demon-talking systems SMT introduced, your anime waifus wouldn’t exist. Don’t think about anything in this game too much, though. While the story is impressive, it’s basically edgy Pokemon. This remaster was given the polish it deserves and it receives a playscore of 8.29.

14. Game Builder Garage

Nintendo seems fed up with people telling them to ‘fix their games’, so they probably thought, “why not let them make their own games instead?” Game Builder Garage is the Switch’s version of PlayStation’s Dreams. It’s a hotbed of creativity where anyone can make their own video games. Some can be impressive, while others can be questionable. Either way, it’s not like we can become game devs overnight. It comes with a user friendly approach where each input feels like its REALLY helping you. So don’t get intimidated with all the developer buzzwords, you’ll make your own game in no time. It receives a playscore of 8.41.

13. Kaze And The Wild Masks

If anyone’s looking for a Donkey Kong-like experience on the Switch, PixelDive’s indie platformer is something you should try. It harkens back to the good ol’ days of 90s gaming with its easy-to-pick-up gameplay. For 30 hours of playtime, you get to feel the nostalgia of the classic titles. Kaze has its own fair share of unique moments, but it's for the players to explore. It receives a playscore of 8.43.

12. Persona 5 Strikers

Joker and the gang’s return wasn’t something we expected. But, hey, if you’re a fan of Persona 5, this is a must-buy. In Strikers, Koei Tecmo decided to let go of the turn-based drama from the original and transformed the Phantom Thieves’ journey into a Musou-style game. The combat remains flashy and energetic, but now it’s also fast-paced and it demands more button pressing. While it is a great game, it didn’t quite hit the mark of its original. The absence of its dating sim mechanic impacted its overall playscore of 8.45.

11. Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition

PopCap’s series has come a long way. The perpetual battle between the Plants and Zombies evolves into a PvE experience. It’s far removed from the usual Tower-Defense gameplay of the original, or the third-person competitiveness from Garden Warfare. If you find its offline mode interesting, you can try to find games in its online multiplayer. Good luck finding a game, though, as the player numbers have dwindled over time. A playscore of 8.47.

10. Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Who would’ve thought we get to see Kingdoms of Amalur playable on the Switch? This classic action RPG was once the talk of the town in 2012. Creating a character and watching it tear down enemies at blistering speeds is still as satisfying as ever. Re-Reckoning adds a touch of visual upgrades to this dark fantasy world. Not only that, but it also fixes most of the issues that plagued the original, most notably a few of its stubborn bugs. It’s still a re-release, so don’t get your hopes up on new content. It may not be the best compared to current games on the market, but it was ahead of its time. A playscore of 8.53.

9. BRAVELY DEFAULT II

The latest from Square Enix’s classic JRPGs. Newcomers to the series might find this to be the perfect starting point for the series. Fans have been waiting for this game since time immemorial. Its strategic Brave and Default combat is back and it’s made even better, making each encounter feel rewarding. It didn’t really introduce anything new to the table, which is evident in some of its ratings. If you're interested in the same story quality as its previous titles, you may be disappointed by how mediocre this one is in comparison. Don’t worry though, it’s not a bad game either, receiving a playscore of 8.64.

8. Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Taking place years after the events of the first game, we once again follow Ryza as she embarks on an alchemical adventure full of wonders and mystery. As a JRPG, it’s more than just pretty anime characters. The series’ staple, synthesis, is still around. Crafting and synthesizing have been streamlined, but it’s still complex for new players. The mechanic gives more room for players to experiment. That means grinding resources through dungeon-crawling is recommended. It receives a playscore of 8.64.

7. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV

The Trails games have been celebrated for their fantastic stories and great characters. This final chapter is a culmination of the series, and it ends the Cold Steel saga with a bang. It features the biggest playable roster, including characters from previous Trails games. As a JRPG, it has over 100 hours of content, and what’s not to love about that? In other news, it looks like we’ll be seeing more Trails games in the future with this supposed leak from Epic. Cold Steel IV receives a playscore of 8.67.

6. New Pokemon Snap

This new take on Nintendo’s 1999 classic takes players into new territory in search of more Pokemon to capture. By capture, we mean taking their pictures and storing them in the compendium. There’s not much gameplay here. It’s just you documenting their ecological activities with photos. Make sure you get those angles right otherwise you’ll miss out on points. For a sixty-dollar game, it might intimidate non-Pokemon fans, but it’s safe to say that anyone obsessed with these monsters has definitely bought it. A playscore of 8.71.

5. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

t’s weird to see Crash on a Nintendo platform, but here we are. This crazy bandicoot takes us on a time-bending adventure to stop Dr. Neo Cortex. Crash will have newfound abilities at his disposal, and he’s not the only playable character around. As a platformer, expect it to be challenging, but not as frustrating as the previous entries. It receives a playscore of 8.74.

4. Little Nightmares II

The nightmare continues in this horror-platformer from Tarsier Studios. This sequel didn’t bring anything new to the table, but it still creeps the hell out of us with its unique monster designs. What it lacks in innovation makes up for its impressive worldbuilding. The world of Little Nightmares 2 is brimming with an atmosphere that feels like it’s a character of its own. It receives a playscore of 8.74.

3. Overcooked! All You Can Eat

The chaotic culinary challenges of all Overcooked titles, including its DLCs, are available in one megapack! Team17’s beloved party game invites up to four players into a torture chamber of slicing, mincing, and serving. It’s the perfect party game for the Switch this year. With just one purchase, you can enjoy everything Overcooked has to offer and play it with your friends. It receives a playscore of 8.78.

2. Monster Hunter Rise

CAPCOM’s best-selling game this year has sold more than 7 million copies on Switch alone. This latest monster-hunting craze offers more than just new monsters. The addition of the wirebug brought in more mobility and skill to your selection of 14 weapons. To this day, it still gets support via event quests. The latest 3.0 update introduces the jet-powered Valstrax to cart new and old players. Let’s hope for more monsters in the future! It receives a playscore of 9.16.

1. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

A Wii U classic makes its way to the Switch. This re-release is a celebration of all the great things the series has to offer, including a special campaign called Bowser’s Fury that’s sure to satisfy long-time fans. This theme-park-like adventure is considered the Switch’s best so far this year. It includes online multiplayer and a four-player co-op! There’s a huge amount of content here and any Mario fan will definitely find this worth the investment. A playscore of 9.34.

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