Games for Your New Nintendo Switch
Christmas might be behind us, but in many parts of the world, the holiday season is still in full swing. There are discounts to be had everywhere as retailers clear out stock and prepare for the new year. This can definitely be a boon for gamers, especially if you are lucky enough to have received a shiny new console for Christmas.
Thankfully, online retailers — including the official console stores — are getting in on the act too. So, I thought I’d put together a little list of games for Nintendo Switch that are on sale right now on the Nintendo eShop. A few things to note here:
- These are all games I’ve personally played and recommend.
- Each discount runs up to a certain date (some will be almost over as soon as you read this, so be aware of that).
- All discounts and prices listed here relate to the U.S. eShop — however, there are likely to be similar deals in your territory.
- I’m deliberately avoiding the huge (and usually non-discounted) first-party Nintendo titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Hopefully there will be some pleasant surprises on this list that you may not have considered. Enjoy, and good luck with the bargain hunting!
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
$13.99 (was $19.99) until 28th December 2019
I played the original version of Ori and the Blind Forest on the Xbox One (it was originally exclusive to that platform). Nintendo Switch owners are lucky to have a port of this brilliant game now available in the form of the Definitive Edition, which contains a bunch of new content.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is a gorgeous Metroidvania-style platformer featuring stunning artwork and a beautiful soundtrack.
$1.49 (was $2.99) until 28th December 2019
The non-discounted price is an unbelievable $2.99. That you can pick up Downwell for a paltry $1.49 easily makes this the best deal currently available on the Nintendo Switch.
Don’t let the disgustingly low price fool you, either: Downwell is an utterly superb little platformer. It’s also built on a unique premise — rather than scrolling from left-to-right, the levels in Downwell involve you, well…dropping down a well. Thankfully, your boots can fire projectiles that both harm enemies and keep you afloat, enabling you to hover between platforms. This charming little game is deeply addictive, with rock-solid mechanics. It’s a great game for any platformer fan.
Resident Evil 4
$19.99 (was $29.99) until 29th December 2019
Right now you can pick up a wide range of Resident Evil games for the Nintendo Switch, including the HD remake of the original game as well as Resident Evil 0. In truth, all of these games are great — but if you’re looking for a suitable place to start, I’d go with Resident Evil 4.
This game represents a watershed moment for the classic horror franchise, due to its significant change in pace and mechanics from its predecessors. Also, despite being several years old, it makes a decent transition to Nintendo Switch — especially in handheld form.
$11.99 (was $19.99) until 29th December 2019
If you’ve never played Okami, then I strongly encourage you to consider Okami HD. It’s a high-definition remake of a PlayStation 2 title that was originally released way back in 2006.
What is Okami? Well, it’s roughly similar to The Legend of Zelda in some respects — it is a sprawling action-RPG adventure where you play the role of the goddess Amaterasu. Your mission is to bring peace to Japan by defeating an ancient dragon — and the foe who freed it from its slumber. You’re aided in this quest thanks to the power of an item called the Celestial Brush. This tool facilitates an incredibly cool mechanic, enabling you to use the brush to both defeat enemies and solve puzzles by painting various figures on the screen.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
$31.99 (was $39.99) until 6th January 2020
Although not the steepest discount in this list, I had to recommend this one. The Nintendo Switch is a great console for fans of platformers. Once you’ve picked up the obvious heavy-hitters (Super Mario Odyssey and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze), you’ll find plenty of other great representatives of the genre to quench your platformer thirst.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is, like several other games on this list, a remake of a much older series of games. The Spyro franchise originated way back on the original PlayStation console and became something of a cult classic over the years.
In this Switch edition, you get all three games in the trilogy in one package, along with graphics and sound entirely remade from scratch for modern hardware. This is a great game to purchase as a gift for a new Switch owner, too, especially if they’re a little younger or if they are new to this genre; Spyro isn’t quite as demanding as other platformers, making it a comfortable and enjoyable starting point.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
$19.99 (was $39.99) until 6th January 2020
Who could forget Crash Bandicoot? He was the iconic anti-mascot of the 1990s, and Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog. Back then, the idea that we’d see Crash appear on any console other than a PlayStation was blasphemous — but now, at the close of 2019, here we are.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy — like the Spyro Reignited Trilogy — is a single release containing all three games from the main series. And like Spyro, these games have been completely remade from the ground up for modern consoles.
There’s plenty of classic platforming here, but fair warning: Crash may not be as easy as you remember it. In fact, I’ve heard that the remade trilogy is even tougher than the original games. So just bear that in mind, especially if you intend to buy this game for someone else — if you’re looking for a platformer that is more newcomer friendly, I’d definitely start with Spyro.
Little Nightmares: Complete Edition
$10.19 (was $29.99) until 30th December 2019
Here’s something platformer-adjacent that’s quite different in a number of respects. Little Nightmares has a much slower pace than most traditional platformers, and it liberally throws in a fair amount of puzzles as well. It looks absolutely gorgeous (everything has a kind of claymation quality to it), and it’s dripping with creepiness. I’d almost call Little Nightmares an outright horror experience.
Although the gameplay here is heavily puzzle-based, it’s not particularly punishing — there’s a general trial-and-error style approach here, so you’ll find that even if you die (and you probably will on a regular basis), you won’t generally need to repeat too much of the game to get back to where you were.
Little Nightmares is a highly atmospheric audiovisual experience, and its dark-yet-quirky nature makes it a genuinely fascinating game worth playing.
Overcooked: Special Edition
$6.19 (was $19.99) until 2nd January 2020
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a great local multiplayer title in this list. Both Overcooked: Special Edition and its sequel are ideal Nintendo Switch games — they are built around a simultaneously cooperative and competitive team-based four-player experience.
The premise is ridiculously simple: you’ll typically get together in teams of two in a race against the clock to produce as many dishes as possible within the time limit. Although the objective is simple, you’ll find that things will quickly unravel as the pace quickens and as various random challenges are thrown your way (including some absolutely insane levels: have you ever tried cooking on the back of a moving truck? I didn’t think so…)
You’ll have to grab the right ingredients, prepare them, cook them, and combine them in just the right way to nail each dish. Oh, and you’ll have to wash plates in between as well! As the pace heats up in each round, successful communication with your buddy is key to victory.
With a simple premise — and incredibly simple controls — Overcooked is a great game for newcomers to the Switch, and it is one of the few games that can be played and enjoyed simultaneously by both expert and novice players.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
$14.99 (was $59.99) until 31st December 2019
Here’s a game that I think is possibly criminally underrated — it’s easy to miss in some respects, even though it prominently features famous Nintendo characters.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is deceptive. It might look like a cutesy Nintendo game, but it’s actually a surprisingly deep — and sometimes challenging — tactical RPG. Think of something like X-COM but with a glossy Mario-style coat of paint. I thoroughly enjoyed this title, and it lasted for quite a long time too. $14.99 is a dirt cheap price for something like this, especially given that you can now purchase sizeable expansions for it too.
Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
$11.99 (was $39.99) until 31st December 2019
Okay, I know this list is a little platformer-heavy. But the discount here is steep, and the value for a game of this quality is pretty undeniable.
Rayman Legends is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played — it’s like a whimsical, playable animated film. Thankfully, it plays just as good as it looks, thanks to tight controls and clever level design at every turn. There are numerous content additions here that culminate in Definitive Edition really being the most content-packed version of the game available. And again, at its discounted price, Rayman Legends Definitive Edition is difficult to pass up.
Collection of Mana
$19.99 (was $39.99) until 2nd January 2020
I’m rounding out this list with a couple of RPGs — admittedly, I haven’t played many RPGs on the Nintendo Switch so far. It turns out that, like platformers, there are actually a ton of great RPGs on the console.
But I thought I’d start with Collection of Mana, which includes the first three Secret of Mana games. Happily, all of these games were ported to Nintendo Switch by the mega-talented M2, a studio known for utterly brilliant ports (they’ve expertly handled numerous retro ports before, including the fantastic Castlevania and Contra collections that are also available on Switch).
What’s truly unique here — and what makes this collection really stand out — is the inclusion of Trials of Mana, which was known as Seiken Densetsu 3 in Japan and was never released in Western markets (until Collection of Mana). This is arguably the best title of the original three, and features an incredibly high-quality conversion (including excellent translation).
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
$24.99 (was $49.99) until 2nd January 2020
I’m going to round out this list with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. This is the definitive remaster of Yasumi Matsuno’s epic — and slightly controversial — Final Fantasy game. Why controversial? Well, Matsuno really threw out a lot of the elements that had been staples of previous games in the series. The battle system here is radially different than its predecessors, for one thing. And for another, the plot is far less focused on specific characters and — much to my personal relief — there’s no central romance to speak of here. Rather, Final Fantasy XII opts to delve into the political themes of its world, which I definitely find both refreshing and genuinely interesting.
Final Fantasy XII definitely feels at times like a single-player version of an online RPG in terms of its gameplay structure. And its combat system — which favours a more dynamic, quasi-real-time approach — is both streamlined (easy to learn) and deeply addictive (thanks to its unique Gambit system, which allows you to essentially “design” the AI behaviours of your teammates).
I hope you found this guide useful. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your new Nintendo Switch!