And on the first day of the quarantine, up stepped Sir Nintendo Switch.
We don’t know if there’s something in everyone’s tap water at home, but Nintendo Switch fever is truly upon us this lockdown. It’s a scary time, so perhaps the nostalgic joy of the time capsule of games available is an excellent coping mechanism.
Mario Kart is enough to transport anyone years back and put a smile on their face. Better still, who wouldn’t want to go back to the feeling of catching a Pikachu to forget everything else? Either way, there are plenty of games out there to bring back the former glory of gaming years without a care in the world. Here are the best ones out there.
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart needs no introductions. This is one that’s been with us through everything, bringing joy to the whole family. It’s the kind of game you could get your grandparents or your two-year-old niece to have a go at on the Wii edition. Just remember not to let them loose on Rainbow Road. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the game to keep the family entertained through the whole lockdown. Whether it’s Mario, Yoshi or Baby Donkey Kong you want to play with, there’s hours of fun through all the different levels to smash through. Just watch out for those pesky red shells coming up behind you.
2. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Your favourite Ghost-killa is back and ready for life under the Switch. He began this journey in the days of the Nintendo Game Cube and has undergone the routine Switch makeover. Dubbed by IGN as one of the “funniest and most charming games on the Switch yet”, it’s one we could all use a bit of right now. Pounding some ghosts and ghouls into the floor to save an evil hotel is about as fun as it gets. Stand up for the true Ghostbuster.
3. Pokemon Sword/Shield
Nothing beats the nostalgia-trip of taking your new Pokemon out into the wild and taking on other trainers. In a new open-world feel, Pokemon Sword/Shield take you on a classic adventure all the way up to the Elite Four. With a universe of new and classic Pokemon to catch, there are hours of fun at your fingertips.
4. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
An essential title to fill you with the joy the brothers Mario have given us down the years. Whether it was the Game Boy, GBA, Nintendo DS or Wii, you’re bound to have come across this edition before. This keeps the classic format with new tinges and an additional character, Toadette. Better yet, with the help of a crown mushroom, Toadette can become Peachette (who can glide through the air). Added characters and more levels will have you hooked on Super Mario Bros all lockdown long.
5. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Zelda: Ocarina Of Time remains an all-time classic, and many of us will have played it growing up. Therefore, Breath Of The Wild should be a go-to for your lockdown, to channel those happy Zelda memories. This is, once again, an ambitious dive into the world of Link and co. There are puzzles to solve, quests to complete and plenty of surfaces to climb and float off. Zelda is the ideal sphere to paraglide into.
6. Super Mario Odyssey
Described by IGN as a “masterpiece” in a perfect 10 review, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the Switch’s defining titles. It’s a landscape that encapsulates what all Mario fans love with many innovative new ideas. Whether you’re slamming a 2D throwback minigame; taking on a classic boss-battle; or jumping on humans in the urban metro-kingdom area; hours of nostalgic fun await you in Odyssey. There’s even a handy new feature, powered by Mario’s hat no less, that allows you to take the form of obstacle characters. “Cappy” comes in handy when you can take the form of a lairy T-Rex or a Koopa Troopa.
7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The Animal Crossing craze has soared from the N64 to the Nintendo DS, when life was a tad more normal, to the locked-down world of the Switch. Either way, it’s here to provide us comfort with a world of animals. Dropping right at the beginning of the lockdown (March 20), it’s boomed into an Instagrammable game for users to show off their animals conversing. Whoever you are, this game provides a world of different paths to lose yourself in with bugs to catch, mountains to move and waterfalls to place.
8. Just Dance
A classic born on the Nintendo Wii is back for the Switch-up, 2020 style. In difficult times like these, who doesn’t want to bust a move to the latest edition of Just Dance. I mean, in a soundtrack that features a cowboy dance to Old Town Road, what’s there to dislike, really? Get on the dancefloor.
9. Super Mario Party
Let’s be honest—no actual board game was ever really as good as the ones in the world of Mario. The Mario party games have always reliably provided us with the best ones around, along with the funnest set of mini-games you could wish for. This title is no different. It has four main boards to play on, complete with customised character dice blocks. For the unrivalled board game of the lockdown, there’s only one place to look.
10. Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy
One of the all-time great video game characters is back on the switch to fight the evil Doctor Cortex. In classic style, you’ll swarm through the different earths smashing crates, doing flips and taking on boss battles. It’s three classic titles for the price of one, all set with new and up-to-date features.
11. Yoshi: Crafted World
Everyone loves an entire game dedicated to the world’s friendliest dinosaur. And now the Nintendo Switch has one. Yoshi: Crafted World. All the classic Yoshi characters—from Poochy the handy pup to Kamek the evil Koopa—are in this colourful game of joy that evokes the same pleasure as Yoshi’s Island did in 1995.
12. Team Sonic Racing
If you’ve played Mario Kart to death, there’s an equally fun racer arcade game with classic characters out there for you. Team Sonic Racing gets Sonic, Tails and the gang together for a rapid racecourse game. Naturally, Sonic the speedster cranks his accelerator into overdrive and guides his team to victory. Complete with nostalgic music and dialogue, this is a must-have to play with the whole family.
13. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Another remaster, but it’s great to have the legendary purple dragon that is Spyro back on our screens. Spyro still has a fire inside him burning as bright as it did in the first three editions of the original games, and they translate expertly into the big leagues of the Nintendo Switch. The puzzles and riddles remain with the cute-looking, hard-attitude of Spyro himself ramped up more than ever.
14. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
This classic format, pitting all the best Nintendo characters against one other, is back for it’s the biggest edition yet. When else would you ever get the chance to combine Mario with Final Fantasy with Metal Gear Solid with Pac-Man with Mega Man with Pokemon? That’s right. Absolutely nowhere. This is a game that has always stood the test of time and provides hours of brawling, nonsensical fun.
15. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
A mammoth-title from the prior-generation of game consoles. Often considered the greatest of the great RPG games, this is a beautiful universe to dive into. This time, it even includes optional motion controls. It’s a charming, dragon-filled, sword-swiping, fire-blazing, all-out action dreamscape—and one that, judging by the multiple remasters, truly does never get old. Not bad for a nine-year-old title.
16. Lego Harry Potter/Jurassic World/The Incredibles
Stemming from the masterstroke Lego Star Wars games dating back to the Playstation 2, this format is always worth your time. Explore the bricks of Hogwarts, the roaring nooks of Jurassic Park and the heroic puzzles of The Incredibles all available as separate titles on the Nintendo Switch. And, if you can wait long enough, a new Star Wars title is also set for release later this year.
17. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
A beloved cult hero from the world of Mario has once again got his own title. The badass of the franchise is cool-as-you-like throughout this game, where he doesn’t avoid the banana skin moments: he gobbles them up. (Being a primate and all, that’s not exactly surprising.) Nevertheless, he reigns king of the jungle as he surfs—literally at times—through the trees, defeating bosses along the way.
18. Tetris 99
If you need Tetris explaining to you, where have you been all your life? The colourful blocks raining down and causing havoc is one of the oldest games out there, and it’s been given the great, spruced-up Nintendo Switch treatment. Throw the physical lockdown puzzles away and get on the treasured Tetris format.
19. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
This revamps the classic 2005 titles on Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red And Blue. There’s plenty of Pokemon we know and love in these titles to make the die-hards and the casual gamers equally misty-eyed. Interacting with other Pokemon using Pokemon… what’s not to like?
20. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
This 2019-title is a remake of a title that first hit stores in 1993. The graphics have improved (duh) but the love of the oldest edition remains strong. You’ll drag Link and his sword through the forest after landing on the mysterious Koholint Island, searching for the giant egg. You’ll even get to take Chain Chomp for a walk and be attacked by Kirby.
21. Super Mario Maker 2
Another open-ended adventure title taking Mario on walkabout. It’s a sequel to the initial Super Mario Maker on the Wii U. You’ll be able to build your own levels in a make-it-or-break-it feel. On top of this, there’s just the 100 built-in levels for another great story mode in the Mario saga.
22. Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection
As you can tell by the title, this one is made for nostalgia. This a compilation of the many, many Street Fighter titles for the Nintendo Switch. These are already well-loved, brilliant games that have given joy to multiple generations. Go nuts and live out your childhood with a host of editions at your fingertips. We’ll be whacking on Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting for the entire lockdown.
23. Sonic Forces
In this Sonic title, you’ll actually create your own character to rescue Sonic and save the world from the clutches of the infamous, evil Doctor Eggman. With the help of the other well-known friends of Sonic, you’ll play through 2D and 3D levels. Eventually, you’ll even get to play with your created character alongside sonic himself in a joint mode.
24. Cooking Mama: Cookstar
The title that hit the DS in 2006 is back for the delicious Nintendo Switch world in 2020. If you’ve got tired of real baking and cooking new recipes during lockdown, just live through the Nintendo Switch a little with Cooking Mama: Cookstar.
25. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee!
The clever bunch over at Nintendo Switch HQ took two of the cutest Pokemon to create the Let’s Go title. You’ll get to choose between the heroic, OG legend Pikachu or the courageous Eevee. This mimics the Pokemon Yellow title and provides over 40 hours of revamped fun. You can roam the world on the big screen with the old calming music as you catch your favourite Pokémon.
26. Rayman Legends
A title remade from the 2013 edition of Rayman Legends. It’s a re-release, yes. But it remains essential for the classic character with fluid levels and a world of different moves and twists in the game that all gamers should take joy from.
27. Sega Mega Drive Collection
Does exactly what it says on the tin. From Golden Axe to Galaxy Force to Shinobi III, to Sonic The Hedgehog to Vectorman. You’ll get to play all these original Mega Drive games, with over 50-in-one to sift through.
28. Mortal Kombat 11
A well-loved game that hits the Nintendo Switch for the 11th edition. Take on your enemies in this bloody massacre of a franchise. Whether you want the simple one-on-ones or a story mode, this ticks all the boxes with new characters also available for unlocking.
29. Super Bomberman R
Bomberman has lived on through the ages and received its biggest glow-up here. It’s as old as the first Back To The Future movie—having hit the PC in 1985—but here it came to the Nintendo Switch two years after Marty’s glimpse into 2015 in the second movie. Aside from the obvious graphic upgrades, Bomberman has already made it clear—on account of lasting this long—that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Have fun blowing some blocks up in style!
30. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
This title hit the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS in 2018, taking the little mushroom-humanoid, Toad, on an adventure. It’s a beautiful puzzle game at heart and is an absolute delight to play through.