Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games of 2019 | Games of the Year

The Nintendo Switch is only 2 years old but it is getting more and more fantastic titles each year. Visit our list of the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2019 for the full catalog.

10. WarGroove

Our first entry is a revitalization of the age-old Tactics genre. Commonly dubbed as a spiritual successor to ‘Advanced Wars’, Chucklefish’s vibrant indie game combines retro sensibilities with a deep turn-based mechanics.

The Switch may have Fire Emblem leading its strategy genre, but WarGroove feels like a breath of fresh air amidst the hybrid console’s smorgasbord of titles. NintendoLife gave it 9 stars out of 10. Calling WarGroove “ one of the best titles you can find...and an easy recommendation to anybody looking for a deep and cerebral experience for their Switch..”

Its success obviously comes from its presentation. It’s simple and easy to pick up, but another reason for its praise is its staggering amount of content, AND by staggering we mean you’ll be soaking hundreds of your hours into this game. There are multiple modes to choose from including its creative Level-Editor feature. It gives us an almost infinite amount of playtime and it’s the perfect opener on our list as it goes hand to hand with the Switch's portability feature.

What’s not to love about a game that lets us take control of adorable Attack Dogs? It receives a playscore of 8.40

9. Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

It’s not rare to see games coming back decades after its original release. This Definitive Edition of the tenth mainline Tales entry arrives to the Western shores with polish and brand new content. Terca Lumireis looks better than ever and the Switch is the ideal platform to experience this JRPG wonder again. Nintendo Insider’s scored it a 9 out of 10. Praising the Switch’s portability features.

This definitive edition isn’t just a mere remaster, it almost feels like a new game with a ton of fresh additions including two new characters, Patty Fleu and Flynn Scifo. It also goes without saying that this rework finally introduces a fully voice-acted story.

Overall, it’s the perfect game to get acquainted with the Tales series. It’s the kind of PlayStation 2 quality JRPGs that offer enough content for anyone seeking for a good story and it receives a playscore of 8.42

8. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

The Switch may not have the latest Final Fantasy titles available yet, but this is the closest thing we have at the moment for some great modern FF games. Like Tales of Vesperia’s Definitive Edition, this version comes with whole new surprises that, in turn, makes this a completely different game.

The biggest change for this re-release comes from its The International Zodiac System. A gameplay rework that improved its ‘sluggish’ combat in its vanilla days. This major overhaul adds much-needed depth to its gameplay loop as you can switch between characters and more customization from its Zodiac Sign and Job trees.

Most reviews praised the game’s fantastic remaster work, which not only include the Zodiac rework, but also graphics and audio. Critics like Nintendo World Report called The Zodiac Age the best FF game on the Switch yet, “...but with many titles still available, hopefully, it won’t be the last.”

The subpar Fantasy story remains the same, which is enough to merit criticism. But despite all that, The Zodiac Age is a great FF title for the Switch and it receives a playscore of 8.47

7. Dragon Quest Builders 2

The Switch has Minecraft, yes, but Square Enix has Dragon Builders. Square’s open-world JRPG has a lot in store for die-hard sandbox fans and JRPG veterans.

It’s a sequel to 2016’s Dragon Quest spin-off which takes us into a whole new Dragon Quest universe where we rebuild it’s fallen world after an apocalypse. RPG Site loved the game so much they gave it a 9 out of 10. Saying “Dragon Quest Builders 2 is in every right a proper sequel.... and improves upon its weaknesses.”

This sequel features the addition of new biomes and other interesting gameplay changes that make the adventure fun to play for all ages. Although it’s a sandbox game, at its core, it’s still a JRPG. You build your character, customize him from top to bottom and let him explore a magical world and take down monsters.

As a videogame built for kids, the story and its multiplayer suffered a slight setback. Game Rant’s 3.5 out of 5 argued that “... it is a well-made game, but the story mode can be a drag and the multiplayer implementation may not be what fans expect.”

Nonetheless, these issues are completely minor as its overall experience is home to limitless potential. A playscore of 8.51

6. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Nintendo loves their iconic Hylian hero and what better way to do that by taking you back into his most adorable adventure 25 years ago. Like entering a time-traveling machine, Link’s Awakening is the remake we’ve all been waiting for that outshines all iteration of its title starting from the 1993 original.

It wasn’t the usual Zelda game where Link goes around exploring Hyrule and spend most of his time breaking pots, it’s all about our boy waking up in a mysterious island and doing all he can to survive in its dangerous overworld.

This 2019 version preserves all the best things from its 1993 title and with a ton of fresh content to add a whole new flavor into the action-adventure mix. Link’s Awakening was praised for its impressive Remake design, which improved almost everything out of the original especially in its beautiful toy-like 3D visuals that makes the journey more accessible to kids and young adults.

It receives a playscore of 8.59

5. Astral Chain

Platinum Games can do no wrong when it comes to its list of stylish and frenetic action-adventure titles. Astral Chain is a solid presentation of futuristic special effects and addictive hack and slash gameplay.

Enter a technologically advanced society where neon-lights pulsates every corner and mysterious alien creatures tear up everything. Play as an enforcer with a Robotic fighter teaming up at your side. Like most PlatinumGames' titles, engage in fast-paced flashy combat accompanied by your mechanical partner’s perfect synchronization.

Gaming Bolt gave it a 9 out of 10. Calling it ‘one of the Switch’s must-own titles’ What makes Astral Chain even more special is its exclusivity to the Switch platform, which in turn pushes the lengths of what Nintendo’s console can do and boy it delivered.

It receives a playscore of an 8.69

4. Super Mario Maker 2

There’s always a new Mario game in every Nintendo console but Super Mario Maker isn’t just jumping around and saving Princesses from another castle, it’s a game where you make your own Mario game. If you think the original has a ton of content, this sequel pushes the limits even further with almost unlimited customization features.

More customizations mean more players making impossibly difficult levels to conquer. Its open-ended level design brings more room for creativity and imagination, but also other ridiculous and goofy creations. Pick a Mario generation, visualize your torture chamber, be it from its 2D classics or its modern 3D magic, and watch how players rise and fall.

IGN’s Seth Macy gave it a 9.5, concluding with a statement “Super Mario Maker 2 does nearly everything better than its already excellent predecessor, keeping the charm of a Mario game while introducing some incredible new ideas.”

There’s a lot to unpack here, literally. Super Mario Maker 2 offers an almost limitless amount of content for level-design geeks and engineers. It receives a playscore of 8.74

3. Ring Fit Adventure

One of this year’s unexpected surprises was the Nintendo Switch’s ‘Ring Con’ gimmick that encourages exercising in a fun, rewarding and… weird way. It’s no dance-pad but it requires you to use your Joy-Cons and fit them into this circular and flexible high-tech version of a pilates ring.

What Ring Fit Adventure does, however, is integrate the RPG tropes into an effective exercising game. If Just Dance was all about dancing, Ring Fit Adventures takes you to a magical world where you get to fight enemies in turn-based combat and explore all while burning a few calories.

It’s like Wii Fit, but at least you have actual goals in this one. There’s a story here and it’s really forgettable and not part of the game’s focus. Its best feature lies in its intention… to make you sweat. This is what made this an ideal game for players who just want to exercise with a mix of mediocre role-playing goodness.

It has a playscore of 8.79

2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Definitely one of the Switch’s best releases this year. Intelligent System's Three Houses continue to be the gold standard of the tactics genre and JRPG design. Just like Trails of Cold Steel III, you are a member of a Hogwarts-like military school where you go to war instead of learning about magic.

There’s so much to do in Three Houses unlike most of the Emblem Games. This entry gives you more room for breathing such as learning various topics in seminars, training your battle skills or just simply wandering around and talking to every character you meet.

What makes Three Houses critically-acclaimed isn’t just about the improvement of its battle system. It’s the fantastic presentation of characters and narrative that makes every action you do worthwhile. Bonding with its colorful cast of characters is one of the game’s strongest suits.

GamesRadar’s perfect score of a 5 out of 5 marked Three Houses as “A MASTERCLASS IN EMOTIONALLY GRIPPING TACTICS” in a turn-based tactics game in a long, long time. They close in their review saying, “Fire Emblem: Three Houses fully realizes a new, meaningful direction for the franchise that makes it the best it has ever been.”

A playscore of 8.96

1. DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series stands the test of time. Considered as the best of the series yet, XI excels with its fantastic presentation of living that JRPG fantasy. This enhanced version is built just for the Nintendo Switch console.

Save the world of Erdrea and take on the role of the brave Hero in this one of a kind adventure. You know you've made it when you’re a playable character in Super Smash Bros. In this definitive edition, explore the magical world of Erdrea with more monsters to slay and secrets to uncover. You could even ‘switch’ between two graphical modes: the classic 2D visuals or the modern 3D graphics. Of course, it all depends on how you want your experience to be.

There is no doubt about its staggering success. Most of the reviewers, including Nintendo Insider, who gave the game a 10 of 10, said that “...the Nintendo Switch version is by far the best one to pick up."

It not only gains appreciation due to the Switch’s features. What made Dragon Quest XI the most celebrated of the series is its heartwarming story and its overwhelming amount of memorable characters. This Definitive Edition gives more depth to these personalities with more stories to tell and some nifty contributions to the party.

It is a great JRPG title and it’s definitely Switch’s strongest game yet. It has a playscore of a 9.01