We’re back! Another year over, one packed with Switch games. It might have lacked a mainline Zelda or Mario, but Pokémon fans got double bubble in 2022, with Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet topping and tailing the year.
We got a lot of Kirby, plus a delicious side dish, a variety of sports (both the Switch or Mario Strikers varieties), and a trio of great games with a 3 in their titles (Xenoblade and Splatoon), with both Koei Tecmo as well as Ubisoft taking over Nintendo IP with Fire Emblem Warriors – Three Hopes and Mario + Rabbids : Sparks of Hope.
That’s not all the first-party stuff. Throw in all the quality third-party releases — Square Enix, in particular, was on fire this year with games like Triangle Strategy, Dragon Quest Treasures, and Crisis Core — a deluge of excellent indies, including Citizen Sleeper, Neon White, Tunic, and Chained Echoes, a great selection of retro collections, and a bevy of quality ports of games big and small, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to play everything we want to.
Here are your top 50 Switch games for 2022. As always, we asked Nintendo Life readers to rate the games this year, and the list below — as governed by the User Ratings for each title in our games database — is the result. The order may and will be modified even after publication. Subject to the fluctuating User Ratings. This means that it’s never too late for you to rate your collection (even late-December arrivals!) and make an impact on the list.
Are you unable to find your favorite games? Browse our Switch games collection and use the search bar (or scroll to top of page) to find your favourites. Note. Note: To be eligible, a game must have been rated at least 30 times.
Let’s stop talking. Scroll down to see 50 of the best games of the year in the 2022 edition…
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
As long as you’re okay with its unreasonable lack of online functionality and screen filter niggles, there are hundreds of hours of fun to be had with Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. It contains 32 excellent arcade games, as well as another historic preservation piece. Achieving that feeling, however brief, will be enough to justify a purchase for those with an affinity for gaming’s rich history.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Nintendo Switch Sports is a charming, but basic offering. Although it’s not a terrible game, it is far from a great recommendation. Online play is the best, as it offers unlockable customizations and a larger pool of players. However, you will be doing the exact same thing over and over again. The lack of unlockables makes local play difficult. There are also limited options to alter the sport’s outcome, making solo play a tedious task. Although there is some fun here, it is more like a 30-minute game with friends than something with long-term appeal. Nintendo Switch Sports is fine, but nothing more.
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection is a great compilation of some of the series’ most highly-regarded entries. These three games are worth your time. There is some lack of depth in the combat and a complicated story. There’s still plenty of fun to be had if this is your first Assassin’s Creed experience, with the cities still managing to impress with their sense of scale and historical detail, but some of the dated gameplay elements and glitches may make other entries a better jumping off point. The Rebel Collection, which is more modern and has a maritime bent, is a fine alternative. However, if you’re already a fan and are able to tolerate its foibles — old and new — this is an enjoyable trip into (video game) history and an easy recommendation.
Publisher: SloClap / Developer: SloClap
Sifu was one of the best games of the year when it launched on other platforms, and it’s no different now on Switch. The game’s intense combat, which pushes you to your limits, and the smart ageing mechanism make it one of the best beat ’em-up games. While the Switch port is obviously a bit downgraded from the PS5 version, it’s still a more than valid option for Nintendo-only gamers and those keen to try this kung-fu brawler out on the go.
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Massive Monster
Cult of the Lamb offers a new take on the roguelite game genre. It’s not only a fun and creepy visual, but it also has a clever blend of survival and action. Gameplay remains tense without ever feeling like it’s unfair and a steady stream of unlockables and collectables ensures that your efforts are always rewarded. It’s just a shame that the performance isn’t up to snuff, at least at launch, as that’s really the only major complaint that we have here. We’d still give this a hearty recommendation to anyone who thinks it might be up their alley; it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Cult of the Lamb proves itself to be a great new addition to the Switch library.
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Hazelight
This game will be interesting to you if you are even half-aware about games news at 2021. It’s brimming with fun, uniquely committed to co-op gaming, plays solidly and distinctively, and usually discards one cool idea in favour of another before there’s time to get bored. Switch now has standard graphics compromises. However, the perk of playing handheld for a co-op game that is always split screen is questionable. It keeps the frames moving smoothly enough to not diminish its Game-of the-Year shine. It Takes Two and the good old Switch may not be a perfect marriage, but it’s worth sticking it out.
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Sonic Origins is a great way to enjoy four of Sonic’s most iconic games. On the other, most of these games are already readily available and there aren’t many new features or additions to justify buying them yet again. Although the cutscenes, museum elements and missions are very enjoyable, they are also a minimum for a series as prestigious and beloved as this.
For players ready to play these classics for the first time, Sonic Origins is the go-to way to experience Sonic’s 16-bit heyday. Sonic 2D Sonic enthusiasts may not like the packaging and the slight differences between Classic Modes here and the actual games. However, Sonic CD is a nice option on consoles that are most accessible. It’s not perfect, but it’s great comfort-food gaming.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Omega Force
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a thoroughly entertaining mash-up of Musou mayhem, strategy and relationship-building aspects that should more than satisfy fans of both the franchises involved here. It is a vast improvement on its 2017 predecessor. The most notable change is the engaging story and replayability. This is a great game, with a solid performance on Switch and a campaign packed with action that will see you blasting through tens to thousands of foes in 30 hours.
Publisher: Yacht Club Games / Developer: Nitrome
Shovel Knight Dig is another triumphant and enjoyable entry in the popular indie knight’s growing legacy, offering up thrilling, challenging gameplay that will appeal to fans both old and new. Although it is a bit short, Shovel Knight Digger is full of quality. We’d give this one a high recommendation to anyone who enjoyed the original platformers or to anyone looking for a tough (but not offputtingly tough) new roguelite. Shovel Knight Dig stands out among its noble predecessors.
Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco
Pac-Man Museum+, which spans decades and features his most famous titles, is the ultimate Pac-Man Museum+. While the arcade overworld is nice, the frame rate is a bit disappointing and should have been improved. The arcade overworld is a fun way to spend some time designing and tweaking your arcade area, but it’s a short-term attraction. Presentation deficiencies aside, though, one can’t really fault the comprehensiveness of the collection, nor the quality of the titles themselves (well, except Pac in Time). It’s a Pac-festival, and while it certainly has limited appeal, it offers countless hours of gaming fun and an interesting historical insight into the yellow orb’s evolution.