Top 10 Switch Exclusives (Year One)

Top 10 Switch Exclusives (Year One)

Must-haves for Nintendo's hybrid

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Switch on

It's hard to believe that the Switch has been out for a year already and I'm celebrating its birthday by counting down the best exclusives. There may be a few hidden gems here, too, so free up some memory and let's get to the games!

Note: by "exclusives", I mean console exclusives so it's acceptable if a game was also released on Steam / PC. However, games that are also on Wii U such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild do not apply as well as updates to previously released games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2+, Ittle Dew 2+, Cave Story+, and Pokken Tournament DX.

10 Yono and the Celestial Elephants

Isometric adventure games don't get much cuter than Yono and the Celestial Elephants. Stomping around the colourful world as Yono to carry out his mission of simply making people happy will put a smile on any gamer's face. Plus, solving tricky puzzles and meeting new kinds of folks make it a rewarding and memorable journey. However, the best part is the surprisingly thought-provoking plot. Cute games can be deep, too! Even though you can beat it in a few hours, you'll think back on this tale for years to come.

Yono and the Celestial Elephants Review

9 Putty Pals

I love cooperative campaigns and Putty Pals is one of the best that I've ever played. You and a friend play as two adorable balls with faces on them and you have to help each other work through stage after stage full of challenging situations. There's a ton of replay value in this lengthy 2D puzzle platformer as well so invite a friend over and give each other a helping hand.

Putty Pals Review
Putty Pals screenshot
Co-op adventures don't get much cuter than this!

8 Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

Sure, there are dozens of indie games inspired by the original Legend of Zelda but few emulate the rewarding gameplay as well as Blossom Tales does. The unique premise of a grandfather narrating the story to his grandchildren combines with the super-rewarding dungeons and boss fights to craft a solid campaign that's both cute and full of old-school fun.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King Review

7 Super Beat Sports

Rhythm games can be a divisive genre; you either love them or you hate them. However, Super Beat Sports does such a phenomenal job of having wide appeal through its accessible gameplay and charming world that even gamers who are reluctant to enjoy rhythm-based gameplay will find themselves having a great time. Plus, you can play with friends in both cooperative and competitive modes.

Super Beat Sports Review
Super Beat Sports screenshot
Those wacky aliens are sure to be impressed by my groovy rhythm

6 Super Bomberman R

I love Bomberman and have been a huge fan ever since I played the NES original over twenty years ago and this latest entry is an absolute blast (pun intended). The multiplayer is fully-featured and a ton of fun, the single player campaign is bursting with variety, and the cartoon cutscenes are actually pretty funny. This is a new take on Bomberman that I can definitely get behind!

If you're as big of a Bomberman fan as I am then try our Bomberman series trivia quiz to test your knowledge about the franchise.

Super Bomberman R Review

5 Namco Museum

Another series that I can't get enough of is the Namco Museum compilations. When it comes to retro arcade games, few developers have as massive of a library as Namco. This collection impressed me a great deal because I own almost every Namco Museum collection yet they still managed to cram in games that I've never even played before. Tank Force is a super-fun Pac-Man style game, Splatterhouse is a ridiculous beat 'em up, and Rolling Thunder 2 carries the duck 'n' shoot gameplay over beautifully. Plus, Pac-Man Vs. is included which is awesome but you need 2 consoles to get the most out of it. Wow, I rambled on for too long. In short: pick this one up!

As a fan of Namco's classics, I put together an extremely tough Namco arcade games trivia quiz. Getting half the questions right will be an accomplishment so I'll give you a hint: the answer to question 1 isn't what you'd expect.

Namco Museum Review
Namco Museum screenshot
Watch out, Blinky! Pac-Man's right around the corner!

4 Slime-san

If you enjoy hardcore challenging 2D platformers then here's a game for you. Although it borrows heavily from the formula that Super Meat Boy established, this tough platformer stands on its own with unique mechanics that'll have you turning hollow, dashing in mid-air, and dealing with all sorts of unique situations. It may look gross but the campaign is so huge and rewarding that any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to give it a download. Who knew sliding around the intestines of a giant worm could be so much fun?

Slime-san Review

3 Splatoon 2

Moving on from slime to ink, Nintendo really outdid themselves with this sequel. The multiplayer mayhem is extremely addictive and there's so much variety that you'll play for hours upon hours and still discover cool new things. Whether you're competing online, mastering the single player content, or simply wasting time in the lobby; there's so much fun to be had in this colourful squidtastic world. Out of all the games on this list, I can easily say that Splatoon 2 has the most replay value by far.

Splatoon 2 Review
Splatoon 2 screenshot
I'd hate to be part of that facility's janitorial crew...

2 Super Mario Odyssey

Is there anything more monumental than the release of the latest Mario game? Super Mario Odyssey is one of the best 3D games (if not, the best) in the franchise and it sets itself apart in a cool way. Using your hat Cappy to control enemies and interact with the intricate stages makes for such an ingenious dynamic. Plus, there's so much to see and do that it's one tough game to put down.

Have you mastered Super Mario Odyssey and are looking for more challenge? If so, try to ace our trivia quiz for Super Mario Odyssey.

Super Mario Odyssey Review

1 Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I've been a fan of the Xeno series since Xenogears debuted on the original PlayStation. Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii absolutely blew me away and it's probably my favourite RPG of all time. Although Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a slight step down from that masterpiece, it's still an awesome experience. The characters are so diverse and likeable, the battle system is challenging and engaging, and the story is one of the most memorable tales that I've ever watched unfold. The way they tied it in with the original game is nothing short of genius. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 may not have as much wide appeal as Super Mario Odyssey but for me, it easily tops this list.

Of course, I just had to write a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 trivia quiz after finally completing this incredible adventure so if you're as big of a fan as I am then give it a go and let me know how well you did.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 screenshot
Few games are as memorable as Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Gameplay video playlist for Top 10 Switch Exclusives (Year One) 58:37
Super Mario Odyssey Trivia

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