10 Best Open World Nintendo Switch Games of All Time

To see the complete, up-to-date list, visit our ranking of the best open-world Nintendo Switch games of all time.

10. Starlink: Battle For Atlas

Opening our list is a sci-fi adventure that boasts stellar space races and immersive worlds. Lead your ragtag group of pilots as you are making your way through the vastness of space.

Ubisoft gives Nintendo Switch players a glimpse of that No Man’s Sky experience, albeit without the procedural generation. If you’re into the toy-to-life hobby, Starlink rewards toy collectors as they virtualize these collectibles into transformable and moddable weapons for your in-game starships!

Kids who enjoy this game will definitely enjoy the experience, but those who want to step their game up might gave spend a few bucks to maximize Battle for Atlas in its entirety.

Pure Nintendo gave it a 7.50 out of 10 saying that “Whether or not you are a Star Fox fan, you should definitely give this game a go.

It’s an interesting concept that’s been going on a few years ago, but Starlink doesn’t really hit that mark to innovate the TTL aspect of it. It still receives a playscore of 7.86.

9. L.A. Noire

Since 2011, L.A. Noire stood the test of time. Rockstar’s beloved neo-noir open-world adventure game is still part of many conversations involving great video games.

For starters, it does so well with its narrative and story that it makes everyone feel like a detective. Especially with its ridiculously accurate facial technology. You could literally see how smug their faces are when you try to ask them personal questions. Switch users can finally enjoy what this L.A. Noire fuss is all about.

GameSpot isn’t all to friendly with its 7 out of 10 score. Saying, “It may not work the best under pressure, but it's well worth replaying or experiencing for the first time on Nintendo's convertible console.”

Sure, it may not be the best on the Switch graphical and performance wise, but its compact capabilities make the game more accessible.

As an open-world title, it doesn’t really do much since there’s only a little you can do as you go door to door questioning people. But despite its fallbacks on the Switch console, L.A. Noire is still a respected title that deserves the praise it gets, and we can’t wait for a sequel. It receives a playscore of a 7.88.

8. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

It’s no doubt the Switch was designed for kids too. This casual open-world adventure isn’t something you see on most mainstream video games. It’s an honest tale of light versus dark, coupled with adorable animations and over-the-top cuteness.

You explore the world of Gemea overrun by a mysterious dark presence. Your job is to clear out these pesky threat and use the power of spirits to purge them from the land. As a kid’s game, it’s pretty straightforward. Explore its lush open-world at your own pace. Befriend people, craft some stuff, and pet some creatures.

There are no boss fights present and certainly no difficult spikes set out to ruin your experience.

Nintendo World Report gave it an 8 out of 10, saying that “It does a fantastic job of making a captivating atmosphere that’s both fun to explore and filled with things to do.” But, it’s obviously not perfect. NintendoLife gave it a 6 out of 10. Saying that, “We’d recommend this to anyone looking for a relatively shallow game that doesn’t take a whole much of a time investment…’’

It receives a playscore of 7.94.

7. LEGO City Undercover

Who doesn’t enjoy LEGO games? As much as they are hit or miss, they are a stable production of time-consuming titles that give any player that ‘young at heart’ feel. LEGO City Undercover is an original game that doesn’t rely on popular franchises. As a skilled Police Officer, your job is to stop crime and put notorious men behind bars.

Not borrowing any known locations from iconic movies, LEGO City Undercover has an original open-world ready for exploring. Much of the game’s charm is in its main character, Chase McCain. Living the life of a crime-fighting hero with a bit of the klutz.

Pure Nintendo gave it a 7.50 out of 10. Stating that, “LEGO City Undercover is a fun and very funny ride into an original LEGO world…’’As a mere port, it does have its fun moments, even for returning players, like its multiplayer modes.

NintendoLife gave it a 6 out of 10. Stating that the game isn’t as good when it was released on the Wii U a few years ago. It also adds that, “...There are also some technical issues that hold it back, with odd graphical blemishes - a pity as the updated engine is generally an improvement...”

It receives a playscore of 8.22.

6. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition

The king of kings. Microsoft’s sandbox open-world game is every YouTuber’s favorite game to play that’s not Fortnite. This Switch edition is the perfect way to enjoy its infinite possibilities. Build a world of voxel-based wonder.

Dual Shockers is all too impressed with this Switch version, giving it a 9 out of 10. Saying that it’s “... arguably one of the, if not the best way to enjoy the game.”

There’s no denying that. Switch’s portable capabilities give us more freedom to enjoy our created worlds “on-the-go” with no issues. Even USGamer gave it a 9 out 10. Also saying that, “It stands below its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts in the size of the world it can build, but makes up for that by being a pitch-perfect portable experience.“

It’s the ideal game available to play on the Switch, and we’re glad it has enough content to lure us into its never-ending adventure. A playscore of 8.26.

5. Dragon Quest Builders 2

I mean, if there’s standout titles like Minecraft, there’s also other games who borrow the same mechanics but adding it with their own little touch. Square Enix’s open-world JRPG has a lot in store for die-hard Minecraft 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 a tragic apocalypse.

RPG Site loved the game so much they gave it a 9 out of 10. Stating that, “Dragon Quest Builders 2 is in every right a proper sequel. It takes the good from the original Builders title and improves upon its weaknesses.” The addition of new biomes, some fresh stuff to do and other interesting gameplay overhauls make the adventure interesting and fun to play.

At its core, it’s a JRPG game. You build your character, customize him from top to bottom and let him explore a magical world filled with unlimited potential.

However, most of the game’s concerns come from its story. Game Rant gave it a 7 out of 10 saying 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.” But despite its story concerns, most of the critics loved it including French reviewer Jeuxvideo and JeuxActu who gave it a 9.00 and 9.50 respectively.

For us, it receives a playscore of an 8.46.

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The Xeno series has come a long way and fans are delighted to finally play a Xenoblade entry for the Nintendo Switch.

This one takes open-world to a whole new degree. Monolith Soft’s blessing to Nintendo’s hybrid console is a force to be reckoned with. Amongst the other great open-world titles, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was a step in the right direction to perfectly utilize the Switch’s capabilities.

It’s the third entry to the Xeno Chronicles and it takes us into a world covered in a sea of clouds. And as an ARPG with open-world elements, lead your team of three party members and explore its breathing and living world while slaying monsters and other mechanical titans.

Nintendo Insider gave it a 9 out of 10. Stating that, “...to have the chance to explore such a remarkable world so soon after the Nintendo Switch arrived is an opportunity not to be missed”.

But despite its great presentation, the game’s weakest point lies in its story. Game Zone gave it a 7.50 out of 10, saying that, “.. it doesn’t captivate like its predecessor namely due to a messy learning curve and a story that doesn’t quite draw you in as well.”

Among all these reviews, one common thing is present: if you’re into JRPG, this game is a must-play. It has a playscore of 8.44.

3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

If there’s a Minecraft game on a certain console, another game that’s always on the same league when it comes to accessibility is Bethesda’s award-winning open-world RPG.

At this point, we won’t even be surprised if Skyrim comes out for Smart Refrigerators. Time and time again, Skyrim’s hype doesn’t die. It’s a recommended RPG for veteran players and a fun game to simply mess around with.

Skyrim on the Switch is still the same, but it utilizes some of its hardware gimmicks like its haptic feedback and motion controls.

Most of the major reviewers praise the game’s portability, saying that it’s the best way to play Skyrim since you can easily put it down when you’re about to do something else. Canadian Reviewer CGMagazine gave it a 9 out of 10. Stating that ‘’I’d say having Skyrim on something I can fit in a messenger bag and take with me anywhere supersedes any of that pointless debate.”

And as a port, there’s no easy way to deal with its graphical downgrades. However, Skyrim’s experience is undoubtedly refreshing when you’re playing it on Nintendo’s hybrid console. It receives a playscore of an 8.48.

2. The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild

When the Switch released, it opened a flood gate of amazing titles that made the console a must-buy, even for casual gamers.

Breath of the Wild was the prime example of a game that is an absolute must-buy when you think of getting a Nintendo Switch. The sheer amount of content and the enveloping beauty of post-apocalyptic Hyrule is enough to cover hours and hours of fun. It’s easily one of the best open-world games of this generation.

Major reviewers gave this game a perfect 10 out 10. Including GameSpot, USGamer, IGN, Polygon, Nintendo Insider and a whole lot more. GameSpot on the other hand, applauds the game’s sense of adventure. Saying that, “It's a game that allows you to feel gradually more and more empowered yet simultaneously manages to retain a sense of challenge and mystery....”

There is no doubt about its insurmountable success. The only gripe most players have is that they don’t have enough time to explore every nook and cranny Hyrule has to offer. IGN even said that, “Breath of the Wild is a masterclass in open-world design.” Even until now, players are still discovering secrets and other hidden game mechanics that could make our first experience easier.

It is a fantastic open-world game, and we need not say much. It receives a playscore of 9.36.

1. Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo games are so good the only competition they have is themselves. Link’s solo adventure is on par with Mario’s own quest! Only by a few points ahead.

In Odyssey, help Mario save Princess Peach from the hands of Bowser again. Like Super Mario 64, you get to explore a fascinating world but with more details and so much stuff to do. Its platforming elements are a thing to behold and it’s a huge upgrade from its previous entries.

Even Dual Shockers, who gave it a perfect 10, said that, "Super Mario Odyssey is by no means a perfect game — or even the best 3D Super Mario platformer — and thankfully the game doesn’t need to be." Video Gamer also mentioned that, "After all this time a new Mario game can feel as fresh as any that preceded it."

This is Mario we’re talking about and over the years they’ve been consistent in delivering high quality platforming and open-world adventures. New Donk City is beautiful, and this game is an obvious masterpiece.

It has a playscore of a 9.37.

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