The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games to Keep You Entertained for the Rest of Summer (at Least)

 

Video games are the sweet escape that have gotten us through the quarantined life. If you're one of the few who hasn't yet succumbed into the Nintendo Switch spiral, I'm here to tell you that it's a worthwhile investment. Whether you're looking for a constant distraction during your summer job, a way to stay connected with your friends or a portable companion on your visits to your grandparents, the Switch has you covered.

I invested in one so that I could connect with my sister in India through Nintendo's online subscription. We'd spend days battling it out in Mario Kart, collecting rare fruits in Animal Crossing and farming together in Stardew Valley. Playing together online got us through quarantine and made staying apart feel a little easier. So take this journey with me from your couch, the train or wherever you may be, and check out our top 10 games. 

  1. 1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Jet off to your own private island in this classic simulation game’s newest iteration. The game begins with your character starting a new life on an uninhabited island – and you get to build it from the ground up. There's no real ‘end’ to this game, and it can be played at your own pace.

    Animal Crossing player Laura Duclos loves how relaxing it can be. "The added bonus of new updates being constantly released keeps it from getting boring after the initial newness wears off," she adds. With endless activities, like jazzing up your island, collecting critters to complete your museum and competing for rare villagers on mystery island tours, boredom will feel like a far off notion. You can even visit your friends’ islands and debate whose 5-star island is designed the best!

    Best Buy, $59.99, shop now. 

  2. 2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    This cult-favorite action-adventure has graphics that will leave you feeling ~breathless~. It’s no wonder that Breath of the Wild won game of the year in 2017. Battle your way through picturesque vistas and sunsets as you try your hand against daring monsters that swoop out of nowhere. This game will test your strategizing, problem-solving and fighting skills, but its open-world gameplay also lets you explore the game map at your will. It gives players endless possibilities: solve quests or puzzles, uncover hidden shrines or even spend some time building up your players' stamina.

    The game’s plot follows Link awakening after a long slumber with all his memories lost. Your quest is to uncover Link’s memories and save the Kingdom of Hyrule from the evil presence of Ganon. It's this story that captivates most players. "The story, revealed in parts through some of the most developed and lovable characters (with stunning voice work which makes them come alive), constantly pulls at your heartstrings and makes you truly believe you’re in a real-world that needs saving," says Zelda lover Nishant Tripathi. You won't be able to put this game down until you've fully explored the expansive map! I’ve spent more than 40 hours on gameplay and still feel like I’ve only uncovered a quarter of it!

    Best Buy, $49.99, shop now.

  3. 3. Minecraft Dungeons    

    The newest installment from the Minecraft series belongs to the dungeon crawler genre. Much like other games from this genre, your avatar will explore a labyrinth-type environment and battle monsters along the way. Fight alone or with your friends, and progressively level up till you defeat the “Arch-Illager.”

    Enjoy Minecraft’s simple building block design, and hunt for rare treasures to help you on your crusade to victory. The game might come off as a little ‘safe,’ but the simplicity, in my opinion, makes it that much more special.

    Best Buy, $29.99, shop now.

  4. 4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe    

    If you’re like me, you probably grew up playing some version of the classic racing game Mario Kart with your friends and siblings, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn’t disappoint. The newest installment of the goofy racing game keeps true to the original wacky format, while boasting improved graphics and becoming portable!

    With Nintendo Online, you and your friends can now race together without being in the same physical space (or playing split-screen). With numerous tracks and characters to choose from and numerous battle modes to compete in, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the perfect party game.

    Best Buy, $49.99, shop now.

  5. 5. Pokémon Sword and Shield

    We’re all familiar with the typical Pokémon game format, right? Walk through grass, fight rogue Pokémon, and then face the town's gym when you're strong enough? To fans’ glee, these two new games take place in the new Galar region set in Great Britain, and introduces two new features.

    In terms of battle, players now get to “Dynamax” Pokémon which are unique to the region. Dynamaxing makes your Pokémon into giant versions of themselves—adding a new twist to regular Pokémon battles.

    Players also get to explore the wild area, which is crawling with wild, untamed Pokémon that you can capture. These features set it apart from a conventional Pokémon game, and the new wild area might be Pokémon’s first step to creating an open-world game (here’s to hoping!). Keep in mind, like most Pokémon games there are several exclusive Pokémon present in each version. There's no need to buy both versions of the game: If you have a Nintendo Switch online subscription you can trade with your friends to catch 'em all.

    Best Buy, $59.99 each, shop now.

  6. 6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Super Smash Bros. has been everyone’s favorite fighting game ever since its debut over 20 years ago. The Switch’s iteration features more characters than ever, with 74 in total from Pac-man to Pikachu, so every player new or old will find someone they recognize. Though the game has always been advertised as multiplayer, the newest installment draws to single-player gaming with Spirit Mode, which lets you collect characters from the depths of every game in the Nintendo universe.

    These ‘spirits’ can then be used to boost your own avatar in battles. If you’re a little confused as to what spirits are, they’re in-game collectibles that can be used to power up your fighter. It's great for solo playing or to connect with friends, and those graphics can't be beat! ​

    Best Buy, $59.99, shop now. 

  7. 7. Ring Fit Adventure  

    This game was made for those of you having a hard time feeling motivated to workout indoors. The Ring Fit Adventure combines your traditional work out with your love for video games. Your workout will seem infinitely more fun as you battle bad guys, soar through the sky and collect ingredients to make potions (smoothies, in this game!). The game also comes with add-on accessories, like a leg strap and a ring-shaped resistance band, that connect to your Joy-Con controllers. It's slightly more expensive than a traditional Switch game, but will definitely make you miss your neighborhood gym far less. 

    The game does sell out very quickly, so check this article by tech radar out if you're looking to snag a copy.

    Best Buy, $79.99, shop now. 

  8. 8. Stardew Valley

    This Indie game has a simple plot: live a quiet life as a farmer and explore your rural world. Discover new friends, forage for natural goods, and even combat enemies to explore mines. With many activities to try and new free updates that enhance your game, Stardew Valley will keep you entertained for hours. You can even play this game on multiplayer and add your friends to your already established farm. Online countryside adventure anyone?

    Best Buy, $14.99, shop now.

  9. 9. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

    This Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) gets a massive facelift for the Switch with high definition environments and characters. The core of the game remains the same: two gods fight to the death in a battle, and eons later life flourishes on top of their dead corpses. The animosity between the two kinds – the Homs and Mechons –, however, still continues, leading the protagonist Shulk to embark on a revenge-fueled journey to end the Mechons once and for all. 

    With anime tropes, giant dead corpses and over the top dialogue the game’s quirks will make you love it that much more. There’s also a bonus story called Future Connected in this edition that takes place a year after the game’s main events and introduces a new region. There’s plenty to do, and if you haven’t had a chance to play any version of the Xenoblade Chronicles before, this is a great place to start.

    Best Buy, $59.99, shop now.

  10. 10. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom-Rehydrated

    This SpongeBob game just released towards the end of June. It’s a remake of the classic 3D platformer game by the same name, which definitely pumped me full of nostalgia. The plot is simple: keep Plankton from doing something foolish. In this case, you need to prevent Plankton’s super robots from destroying Bikini Bottom. The comedic dialogue, varied gameplay and remastered animations make the game both aesthetically pleasing and entertaining. Though it might come off as a little dated or boring to some players, Battle for Bikini Bottom is a steal for anyone feeling nostalgic.

    Amazon, $29.99, shop now. 

 

What are you waiting for? Embark on these new adventures and make staying home a little more interesting!