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Best Nintendo Switch Games Of 2022

Best Switch Games Of 2022Image: Nintendo Life

And we’re back! Another year done and dusted, one that was jam-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.

In between those potent Pocket Monster packages, we got a large portion of Kirby (plus a tasty side dish), a selection of sports (both the Switch and Mario Strikers variety), a trio of excellent games with a ‘3’ in the title (Xenoblade, Splatoon, and Bayonetta), and both Koei Tecmo and Ubisoft taking the reins on Nintendo IP with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope respectively.

Best Switch Games Of 2022Image: Nintendo Life

And that’s just 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.

Which brings us to your picks of the top 50 best Switch games of 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 can and will change, even after publication, subject to those fluctuating User Ratings, which means it’s never too late to rate your collection (even those pesky late-December arrivals) and influence the list.

Can’t see your favourites? Head to our library of Switch games and use the search bar to find what you’re looking for (or scroll to the very top of this page to do the same). Note. To become eligible, a game needs to have been rated by a minimum of 30 users.

Enough waffle. Let’s scroll down and enjoy 50 of the very best games of the year, 2022 edition…

Fall Guys (Switch eShop)

Fall Guys (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Epic Games / Developer: Mediatonic

Release Date: 21st Jun 2022 (USA) / 21st Jun 2022 (UK/EU)

Fall Guys’ brand of chaotic fun is still great all of these years later, and the free-to-play Switch release is no different, assuming you can ignore your opponents’ choppy frame rate. While there are some disappointing elements linked to cross-progression, those ultimately won’t matter if this is your first time entering the Blunderdome. Some moments of lag and frame rate quirks aside, the Switch version offers a solid way to play if you’re looking for some barmy 60-bean battling and the barrier to entry has never been lower.

Sifu (Switch)

Sifu (Switch)

Publisher: SloClap / Developer: SloClap

Release Date: 8th Nov 2022 (USA) / 8th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)

Sifu was one of the best games of the year when it launched on other platforms, and it’s no different now on Switch. Its hardcore combat that pushes you to the limits of your skill, paired with a smart ageing mechanic, makes for one of the most satisfying gaming experiences in the beat ’em up genre. 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.

It Takes Two (Switch)

It Takes Two (Switch)

Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Hazelight

Release Date: 4th Nov 2022 (USA) / 4th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)

If you were even half-aware of games news at the end of 2021, you will already be a bit interested in this game. 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. Now-standard graphical compromises have been made for Switch, and the typical perk of playing handheld is questionable for an always-split-screen co-op-only game. Nonetheless, it keeps the frames moving well enough not to undermine its Game-of-the-Year sparkle. It Takes Two and the good old Switch may not be a perfect marriage, but it’s worth sticking it out.

Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)

Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 29th Apr 2022 (USA) / 29th Apr 2022 (UK/EU)

Nintendo Switch Sports is a charming but barebones offering. It’s not a bad game by any stretch but it lacks an awful lot of what would make for a solid recommendation. Online play is the best option on offer with unlockable customisations and a predictably broader pool of players, but its limited scope means you’ll be doing the same thing time after time. Local play is hobbled by a lack of any unlockables whatsoever, and with such limited options to change up how each sport plays out, solo play is a slog. There is fun to be had here, but it’s more in the vein of the occasional 30-minute play sessions with friends than anything with major long-term appeal. Nintendo Switch Sports is ‘fine’, then, but little more than that.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection (Switch)

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection (Switch)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Release Date: 17th Feb 2022 (USA) / 17th Feb 2022 (UK/EU)

Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection is a great compilation of some of the series’ most highly-regarded entries. Aside from some combat that lacks depth and a convoluted story, the three games included here are absolutely worthy of your time. 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 is a very fine alternative if you want slightly more modern interpretations of the series, with a seafaring bent. 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.

Cult of the Lamb (Switch eShop)

Cult of the Lamb (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Massive Monster

Release Date: 11th Aug 2022 (USA) / 11th Aug 2022 (UK/EU)

Cult of the Lamb proves to be a remarkably fresh take on the roguelite genre, not just in its goofy and creepy aesthetic, but in its smart blending of action and survival mechanics. 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.

Shovel Knight Dig (Switch eShop)

Shovel Knight Dig (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Yacht Club Games / Developer: Nitrome

Release Date: 23rd Sep 2022 (USA) / 23rd Sep 2022 (UK/EU)

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. Though it may be a little on the short side, every minute of Shovel Knight Dig positively oozes quality, whether that be the snappy action-platforming or the fresh 16-bit art style and animation. 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 has got it where it counts and can stand tall beside its noble predecessors.

PAC-MAN MUSEUM+ (Switch)

PAC-MAN MUSEUM+ (Switch)

Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco

Release Date: 27th May 2022 (USA) / 27th May 2022 (UK/EU)

For fans of Pac-Man and his historical pedigree, Pac-Man Museum+ is the best round-up yet, spanning decades and featuring his most notable titles. The arcade overworld is a nice touch, although the frame rate is a big letdown and really should have been ironed out. And, while you might spend a while tinkering and designing your arcade space, the attraction of the gimmick is ultimately short-lived. 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.

Sonic Origins (Switch eShop)

Sonic Origins (Switch eShop)

Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA

Release Date: 23rd Jun 2022 (USA) / 23rd Jun 2022 (UK/EU)

Sonic Origins is, on one hand, a near-definitive way to experience four stone-cold classics that represent some of the highest peaks of Sonic’s career. 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. The cutscenes, museum elements, and missions are all very pleasant but they’re also the minimum you would expect for a series this prestigious and popular.

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. Die-hard 2D Sonic veterans may be less enamoured with the package and the small but noticeable differences between the Classic Modes presented here and the games in their true original configurations. Regardless, it’s sure nice to have Sonic CD available in a convenient form on the most convenient of consoles. Not perfect, then, but great comfort-food gaming.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Switch)

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Omega Force

Release Date: 24th Jun 2022 (USA) / 24th Jun 2022 (UK/EU)

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 improves upon its 2017 predecessor in several ways, most notably in providing a far more engaging story featuring a narrative that’s ripe for several replays. With impressively solid performance on Switch and an action-packed campaign that’ll see you blasting your way through tens of thousands of foes for a good 30 hours in a single playthrough, this is right up there with the very best Omega Force has served up thus far.

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