The Nintendo Switch is both a home console and a portable gaming system, and the company’s dedication to exclusivity is a major factor in the Switch’s success.
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While platform-exclusive features may annoy some players, they are often essential for retaining a high level of service and growing your user base.
Here, we’ll take a look at the finest Nintendo exclusives currently available, highlighting both Switch and Nintendo eShop titles that can’t be found anywhere else.
In the future, we will add more games to this list, so come back and let us know if we forgot any!
Super Mario 3D World Bowser’s Fury
Nintendo has been hard at work porting Wii U and 3DS games to the Switch, with Super Mario 3D World Bowser’s Fury being the most recent release.
Following Bowser’s invasion of the Sprixie Kingdom in the original Wii U game, Mario and company set out to save the adorable critters.
The gameplay is very similar to previous Super Mario games, with the exception of a character selector and the new Super Bell power-up, which transforms the player into a cat and allows them to climb walls and scratch enemies.
Switch owners get both the original game and a new campaign where Mario and Bowser Jr. team up to take down Fury Bowser and protect Lake Lapcat.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Despite the series’ longevity, Nintendo’s latest Animal Crossing entry, New Horizons, for the Switch in 2020, is a home run.
The series has always put an emphasis on personalization, allowing players to decorate their town and populate it with a cast of animal villagers with distinct personalities.
With the addition of a crafting system and the freedom to change the look of your otherwise barren island at any time by building roads, rivers, and cliffs, New Horizons elevates the tried-and-true formula to new heights.
Although there are a lot of new things to organize, pets to meet, and debts to settle, it’s best to take things slowly and methodically, day by day.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a reworked port of the Wii U game of the same name that comes with downloadable content (DLC) and additional features released after the game’s initial release.
New characters have been added to the roster, such as Bowser Jr., Dry Bones, King Boo, Gold Mario, and male and female Inklings from the Splatoon video game.
Boos and Super Mario Kart Feathers are also back as collectibles, and the Battle Mode has been rebalanced in response to player feedback about its difficulty in the first game.
If you can get your hands on a Wii U, by all means give that a go and enjoy Mortal Kombat 8, but the Switch version is much more convenient and features enough improvements to be worth the price of admission on its own.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Although Nintendo’s history with its fanbases hasn’t always been smooth, especially in the Super Smash Bros. community, the company spared no expense in creating Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The end result is an exciting arena fighter featuring a cast that reads like a who’s who of Nintendo’s first-party mascots, plus a few special guests.
The ruleset is one of the game’s strongest points because it can be modified to suit the skill level of the players.
You can test your mettle in competitive matches that put your skills to the test, or you can engage in chaotic four-player battles with game-breaking environmental hazards, items, and power-ups.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild is available for the Wii U, but it is more widely recognized as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, and has even sold more units than the console itself.
Players only needed the portability of BOTW and the nostalgia it evoked for the original Zelda games to buy it.
However, some of the new mechanics, like cooking and weapon durability, add a welcome layer of challenge and strategy.
Last but not least, BOTW boasts the series’ biggest and most detailed world, complete with a plethora of secrets and locations to unearth.
Super Mario Odyssey
You get a brand new adventure across 16 worlds filled with coins and collectibles, new outfits for Mario, and more in Super Mario Odyssey, the ultimate 3D Mario game.
Gameplay-wise, it’s reminiscent of Super Mario 64, with Mario being able to perform a wide variety of jumps and tricks that lead to challenging but rewarding platforming missions.
That isn’t to say that Cappy just coasts on the success of its ancestors, though; it actually grants Mario some brand new abilities, like the ability to possess non-living things.
When navigating the worlds of Odyssey, defeating enemies, and solving puzzles, this adds a new strategic layer.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi is one of Nintendo’s most popular mascots because of the numerous stand-alone games dedicated to him.
Yoshi’s Crafted World for the Nintendo Switch is just one of many puzzle-platformers featuring the amiable green dinosaur.
It takes inspiration from games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World, expanding on their tactile presentation while introducing a new switch mechanic that allows the player to change their point of view and uncover previously hidden objects.
Although we have some complaints about the game’s lack of challenge and its clumsy co-op controls, we can’t help but give the game high marks for its original visuals and level variety.
The unique squid-based shooting gameplay from the original Wii U game returns in Splatoon 2, and the Switch’s improved controls only enhance the experience.
Inklings are humanoid squids who enjoy battling it out with ink-powered weapons to mark the opposing team’s color on the ground, ceiling, and walls.
Changes to the game’s maps, game modes, and equipment are regularly updated to keep things fresh and provide an impressive amount of variety for a multiplayer-focused title.
Classic player versus player modes like King of the Hill and Capture the Flag are present, as are more unique modes like Salmon Run, in which a team must work together to survive waves of enemies.
WarioWare: Get It Together!
Minigame fans will enjoy the WarioWare series, and the addition of cooperative play in Get It Together makes for a great time.
While playing, Wario and his pals find themselves trapped inside his new video game console and must work together to find a way out.
This is portrayed in the game through a series of minigames called “microgames,” in which players have a limited amount of time to achieve a specific objective.
The microgames in Get It Together are, like those in its predecessors, meant to be easy to pick up and play again and again without losing any of their appeal.
Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Although combining Nintendo’s Super Mario with Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbits might not seem like a good idea on paper, it actually turns out to be a fun and successful crossover in the games.
Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a tactical role-playing game (RPG) in the vein of XCOM, but it takes place in a dystopian Mushroom Kingdom.
In-game, you’ll form a squad of three players, any combination of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, or one of the four Rabbids in their respective costumes.
The Rabbids are a welcome addition that helps lighten the mood in what is otherwise a surprisingly challenging strategy game with a deep combat system.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Like Yoshi, Donkey Kong has appeared in his fair share of spin-off games, most notably the side-scrolling platformers in the DK Country series.
The latest installment is a welcome return to form for the series, which is widely regarded as some of Nintendo’s best platformers of all time.
In the game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the banana-loving, tie-wearing ape fights an army of arctic-themed villains who want to freeze his tropical paradise.
The Switch port improves upon the original in a few ways, with extra collectibles for completionists and a new, more relaxed “Funky Mode” for everyone else.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
In Luigi’s Mansion 3, Mario’s lanky and neurotic younger brother investigates a haunted hotel after his pals mysteriously vanish.
Luigi once again dons his Poltergust device, this time with an upgrade courtesy of Professor E. Gadd, to aid him in his ghostly dealings.
As a result, Luigi learns how to catch ghosts and solve puzzles by guiding Gooigi, an ethereal double of himself who can pass through walls of solid metal and vanish in liquids.
The unexpected inclusion of local co-op and online multiplayer modes is a great way to extend the game’s replay value beyond the single-player campaign.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Despite experiencing its share of ups and downs over the years, the Paper Mario RPG subseries managed to make a comeback in 2020 with the release of The Origami King for the Switch.
Mario, now reduced to paper form, must stop the evil king from folding the Mushroom Kingdom into origami and turning its citizens into his evil minions in this imaginative tale.
The gameplay introduces a number of series firsts, including a reimagined battle system in which Mario must strategically rotate rings on a radial battlefield to deal maximum damage.
Due to the critical and commercial success of The Origami King, we can expect Nintendo to continue the Paper Mario series.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
We chose to include the updated version of Link’s Awakening rather than the original Game Boy release due to its improved visuals, responsive controls, and portability on the Switch.
It’s also very different from other Zelda games because it doesn’t take place in Hyrule and doesn’t involve the Triforce or Princess Zelda in any way.
The remake is a faithful recreation of the original in every respect, including the top-down perspective, gameplay, and story, which sent Link on a mission to collect eight magical instruments in order to awaken the legendary Wind Fish.
Despite some opposition from purists of the original game’s pixelated aesthetic, any Zelda fan should check out the remake’s new in-game dungeon creator.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
As time went on, Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series shifted to focus solely on portable systems, with both Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates debuting on 3DS.
However, with Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the Nintendo Switch, the series returned to home consoles.
You play the part of a professor at an elite school where the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, and the Golden Deer all have a presence.
Recurring systems like permadeath, combat arts, and weapon durability complement the mix of tactical turn-based battles and social sim management that feels so rewarding.
SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
Image & Form, a Swedish indie studio, has consistently impressed us with their games, right up there with Supergiant Games.
Their most recent game, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, is the latest in their popular SteamWorld series of action-platformers and turn-based RPGs.
You’ll be in charge of leading a band of brave heroes through a hand-drawn world and into battle using unique decks of 100 cards related to each hero.
Card battles are incredibly nuanced, letting players carve out their own strategies while discovering a world with a fantasy/steampunk aesthetic.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus
The Switch will get remasters of Diamond and Pearl in 2021, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be a single-player RPG set in the Pokemon universe.
It takes place in a period of Sinnoh’s history when it was known as the Hisui region and is based on Japan in the 19th century.
Along your journey to compile the first Pokedex, you’ll meet the legendary Pokemon Arceus.
Legends: Arceus features new regional Pokemon variants, dynamic environments, and exploration opportunities while remaining largely faithful to the series’ core gameplay.
Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 expands upon the foundation laid by its predecessor while also enhancing playability and ease of use in numerous ways.
With the new slope and scrolling tools, players have greater leeway in their level creation.
The sequel also includes many new block types and themes, such as the ability to build levels with Super Mario 3D World-style content.
It’s safe to say that any Mario fan would enjoy Super Mario Maker 2, whether they consider themselves a “Maker” or just like to check out what others have made.
Generally speaking, launch games for new consoles tend to be lacking in both features and content (looking at you, 1-2 Switch), but there are always exceptions.
It’s presented as a cooperative puzzle game, with up to four players working together to reshape their characters’ bodies in order to accomplish various goals.
These can range from something as straightforward as moving an object from one side to the other to something much more complex that requires careful planning and precise execution.
A downloadable update called Snipperclips Plus was made available by Nintendo after the initial release of the game. It includes 30 new levels spread across two new worlds, a multiplayer mode, and other improvements.
Vitamin Connection is another one-of-a-kind co-op game that can only be played on the Switch. In this game, two players control a Capsule Ship and must work together to destroy harmful microbes inside human bodies.
Even the aesthetic of the Joy Con is incorporated into the design of your Capsule Ship, making for a surprisingly polished little indie game.
WayForward is responsible for both the development and publishing of Vitamin Connection, and the game features the same charming cartoon characters and frantic gameplay that have become trademarks of the developer.
As they make their way through increasingly complex mazes, the two heroes must use Vitamin Beams to destroy invading viruses and solve puzzles in order to advance to the next level.
Good Job! is the final co-op game we’ll be highlighting that is only available on the Switch. You’ll play the clumsy offspring of a CEO, charged with working his way up the corporate ladder by performing menial tasks.
Typically, there is more than one way to complete a task because they are presented as environmental puzzles that require you to use various items strewn about the office to find the answers.
The office and its employees should be protected as much as possible while still being able to get your work done as quickly as possible.
In other words, well done! has more than a hundred different outfits to wear across the various floors of the office, and can be played by one person or two.
Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure is not your typical video game; it combines real-world exercise with role-playing game elements.
It makes use of Nintendo’s Ring-Con and Leg Strap peripherals to keep tabs on your motion in real time, provide strength training, and check your heart rate afterward.
Collect coins and defeat enemies using a variety of exercise-based attacks as you jog, sprint, and high-knee your way through each level’s vibrant fantasy environments.
There are more than a hundred levels spread across twenty different worlds to complete, as well as shorter minigames that can be adapted to fit any fitness level or time constraint.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
While the Switch’s library does feature a healthy helping of enjoyable puzzle-platformers, most of them are light on puzzles compared to the genre’s heavy hitters.
Originally released for the Wii U, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker received a graphical overhaul and additional content for its Switch and 3DS ports.
You play the game as Captain Toad, a timid adventurer who, unlike Mario, can’t jump and is easily frightened.
The game’s level layouts are essentially like giant Rubik’s cubes, with moving pieces and hidden areas to unlock, to compensate for Captain Toad’s lack of horizontal movement.
Cadence of Hyrule
We still can’t believe Nintendo gave an independent studio The Legend of Zelda, one of their most prestigious and well-known properties.
But they did, and the team at Brace Yourself Games made a rhythmic smash hit by combining the best elements of Zelda and Crypt of the Necromancer.
You can take control of either Link or Princess Zelda as you fight your way through procedurally generated dungeons and overworlds.
The rhythm-based combat in Cadence of Hyrule features remixes of classic Zelda tracks, and the game’s gorgeous pixel art is also noteworthy.
Last but not least, Golf Story is a fantastic independent adventure game that combines role-playing elements with gameplay inspired by sports.
You take on the role of a fading golf pro who has one final chance to win back his wife by competing on the PGA Tour.
At first glance, it seems like a retro-style golf game where you use a three-click system to sink shots, but the game soon dismantles that assumption.
Hundreds of optional activities and hidden areas help you do this, and many of them have solutions that have to do with golf.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Developer and publisher Nintendo
The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom/Europe (EU) release dates are March 20th, 2020.
With Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo has not only brought the series back to home consoles, but has also vastly improved upon every facet of it. Fans and first-time players alike will lose hours at a time gathering materials, creating new furniture, and making their island undeniably theirs because there is so much more to do, see, change, mould, and love. Having excellently written characters that feel truly alive and an island paradise that returns infinitely more than you put in, every moment is unabashedly blissful. When Animal Crossing: New Leaf first came out and won over a new generation of fans, many questioned whether or not Nintendo could top the success of that game. If you want to experience this masterpiece, you should definitely pick up a Switch (or two).
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit (Switch)
Nintendo is both the publisher and the creator of this game.
The United States (20th) and the United Kingdom/European Union (27th) release dates have been set for April 2018.
Speaking of ingenuity and improvisation, Nintendo has managed to reinvent itself twice in a single generation with the release of Nintendo Labo. Having cardboard accessories instead of plastic ones from previous Nintendo consoles is a great way to get rid of the clutter. But none of the wonder is lost; inside a miniature home, you can play the piano, ride a motorcycle, and befriend a stuffed animal. You can do it with just some cardboard and a Switch.
With just a Switch, a pair of plastic goggles with lenses, and a slew of rubber bands and plastic O-rings, you can experience virtual reality with the help of the Labo Toy Con 04: VR Kit. cardboard, of course. Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and even Super Smash Bros. Ultimate all have VR modes that can be experienced with this.
Tetris 99 (Switch eShop)
Developer: Arika, Inc., Published by Nintendo
The release date is set for February 13th (USA) and February 14th (UK/EU).
Tetris 99, available only to Nintendo Switch Online members, adds a fresh twist to the age-old puzzler while also reducing the game’s overall heft. Playing live against 98 other people is chaotic, but the action feels fast, precise, and wonderfully addictive; think of it as a battle royale version of Tetris. Not only is it incredibly challenging (we’d much rather try our luck at Fortnite), but we’re also impressed by how it’s made us rethink our strategy from the ground up. It could be considered a stretch to join Nintendo Switch Online solely to play this game, but if you’re already a member, what are you waiting for? There’s no cost to try it out, and you might find that it quickly becomes one of your favorite ways to waste time.
Fast RMX (Switch eShop)
Creators and original publishers of the game are Shin’en Multimedia.
Date of Initial Public Offering: March 3, 2017 (USA) / March 3, 2017 (UK/EU)
Fans of Nintendo have been begging for a new F-Zero for a long time (seriously, Ninty, it’s about time), but the developers at Shin’en Multimedia weren’t in a begging mood. As an alternative, the developer opted to create the Fast series for Nintendo hardware. You have access to a wide range of vehicles, a number of different courses, and an unparalleled appreciation for speed. Once Nintendo finally gets its act together, it will be unrivaled. Even though F-Zero is unique, Fast RMX does a great job of satisfying your need for fast anti-gravity racing in the meantime.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)
Produced by Nintendo and published by Monolith Soft
Date of Publication: December 1st, 2017 (USA) and December 1st, 2017 (UK/EU).
The original Xenoblade Chronicles was widely considered the best Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) for the Nintendo Wii (and soon the Switch). You take on the role of Rex, a young orphaned salvager on the planet Alrest, which is submerged beneath a see topped with clouds. In order to save the world, Rex must locate a utopian nation known as Elysium, and doing so will require him to engage in a great many tactical skirmishes using a wide array of blades.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (Switch)
Nintendo published it, while Koei Tecmo created it.
On July 19, 2019, in the United States and the United Kingdom and Europe respectively, the release will be available.
As with the first two games in the series, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order does not offer a radical reimagining of the familiar comic book characters. This sequel is true to the source material in that it draws heavily from the vast cast of characters featured in the comics while also making frequent references to the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although it does nothing truly innovative or exceptional, it throws itself wholeheartedly into the mindless fun of its brawler combat, and it shines brightest when played with a team of player-controlled supers. Excelsior!
KIRBY STAR ALLIES
The first Kirby game for the Nintendo Switch is HAL Laboratory’s Kirby Star Allies. The plot is very science fiction-y, with planets and galaxies and superpowers and Dreamland and magic.
Evil priest Hyness used his magic to initiate a ritual that would break the seal on the Jamba heart, posing a threat to the planet Popstar. The Jamba Heart was broken during the ritual, and its pieces scattered across the galaxy.
A lot of these fragments or shards crashed down into the Dream Land where Kirby lived, and now it’s up to the players to direct Kirby’s exploits. Adding in side characters like King Dedede, Poppy Bros. Jr., and Meta Knight only upped the ante for fun.
By pressing the X button, Kirby can also create Friend Hearts, which instantly make anyone he touches his friend. How adorable is that? Traditional Kirby abilities such as Star Spit, Slide Attack, Inhale, floating, and Air Gun remain intact. The goal is to use Copy Abilities to advance through each level. Three players have unlimited in-and-out privileges. Combining a friend’s ability with an element like fire or ice can result in an entirely new ability for the two parties.
Kirby can take advantage of his foes’ susceptibility to the elements in order to defeat them. Cool! My children enjoy this game because they get to feel like superheroes every time they play it by rescuing innocent people and preventing the evil villains from destroying the world. Actually, it’s not just them; I find myself in the same situation. That’s the way families do it!
YOSHI’S CRAFTED WORLD
Yoshi, a character from the classic video game series Super Mario, has been a fan favorite ever since his introduction in Super Mario World. In the latest adventure for the Nintendo Switch, players can give the green dinosaur Yoshi a makeover by dressing him up in a wide variety of papercraft outfits.
Coins can be used to purchase eggs with new outfits for Yoshi, which he can wear not only as a form of fashion but also as protection against enemies. He has the ability to leap great distances, pound the ground with his stomping feet, and devour his foes with the help of his long tongue, which he then uses to hatch eggs.
Numerous worlds with unique themes each contain a handful of short, but enjoyable, levels. A soothing and creative platformer in the vein of Super Mario, where you clear levels of enemies, collect flowers that smile at you, and find hidden souvenirs. The stages are all playable again if you want to go back and look for more hidden items or collect more coins.
Just incredible, wouldn’t you say? The game’s developer, Good-feel, made sure that every aspect of Yoshi’s world was carefully considered and enhanced, making it a fascinating experience for players of all ages. This is especially true for younger players, who get the impression that they are immersed in a world of opulence, madness, fun, and well-defined detail.
With each new level, the game’s adventure continues, complete with cardboard train rides, clay dinosaur helmets, and magnetic climbing holds. Every time I play this wonderful game, I’m transported back to my childhood.
SUPER MARIO MAKER 2
If you enjoy Mario games and have ever wished you could design your own Mario-themed level, then look no further than Super Mario Maker 2.
The fan-favorite features from the original game are back, and there’s even more customization options for your custom levels in the sequel. Some features were added, and others were modified to enhance gameplay and extend the game’s lifespan.
When making a new level, you can pick from a wide variety of themes and designs based on Mario. The possibilities of what you can make are practically limitless, ranging from the original Mario to the newest Super Mario Odyssey design.
Although the game (and especially the user-generated levels) has become something of a meme among gamers and non-gamers alike for its seemingly devilish impossibility when it comes to custom levels, there are some who dare challenge those levels and even triumph, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.
POKEMON BRILLIANT DIAMOND/SHINING PEARL
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the new Pokemon games you can choose from if you are feeling nostalgic for the old Pokemon games (especially the fourth generation, which was released in the Nintendo DS). Both games are reimaginings of their DS counterparts, featuring updated graphics, 3D models, user interface redesigns, new assets, and other enhancements.
Many seasoned players will appreciate the new features in both games, even if they aren’t as cutting edge as the ones they started with. While veterans will enjoy returning to familiar territory, new players will delight in exploring the fourth generation’s unique setting, gameplay, and tense narrative. Pokemon fans get to enjoy a fresh gaming experience thanks to the ability to play classic games in a new format with updated gameplay mechanics and features.
Does Nintendo have exclusive games?
Many of these games have also been released on other platforms, but Nintendo’s hybrid handheld console also features a handful of excellent titles that have never been seen before.
Is Nintendo worth buying?
The bottom line is that the Switch is an unquestionable purchase for any Nintendo fan. You can use the Switch as a home console or a handheld console, so there’s no need to buy two devices if you’re just a casual gamer.
Is Mario Nintendo exclusive?
Since the third generation of video game consoles, most Mario games have been made available exclusively for Nintendo’s various consoles and handhelds.
Nintendo’s long-running Mario franchise.
|Written by||S. Miyamoto Shigeru|
|Achieved independently||The 1981 film Donkey Kong|
|Books and magazines that can be printed|