The best Switch games of 2022

The best Switch games of 2022

The Nintendo Switch is five years old at this point, and although it’s considered an underpowered piece of hardware compared to heavy hitters like the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series XIS, there’s no denying that the little hybrid console has exceeded expectations when it comes to success. This is in part due to an impressive library that features not just Nintendo’s own flagship franchises but a wide selection of third-party titles that received a second lease on life on the platform. 2022 in particular has been a very strong year for the Switch’s library. As’s resident Switch aficionado, it felt appropriate to take a look back at the best of what Switch owners could add to their library. There are the expected heavy hitters, of course, but you might find some pleasant surprises that you may have missed in this top 10 retrospective. Or perhaps you just unpacked a shiny new OLED Switch for Christmas and are looking at which games are a good starting off point? Either way, you can’t go wrong with this selection of 2022’s finest.

Before we delve in, we should mention that this top 10 looks back at the highest-scoring Switch games of 2022 that this reviewer personally reviewed. This year, our team reviewed over 200 titles that are available on the Switch, including multiplatform releases that were reviewed on other platforms. Because of the sheer amount of games that came out, it’s impossible for a single person to review everything. Because of this, titles like Shin Megami Tensei V and Persona 5 Royal, should probably be somewhere on this list, but we haven’t had the chance to play these titles ourselves. We’re also not including any DLC-only releases -sorry, Monster Hunter Sunbreak. With that out of the way, on to the top 10! You can click on the title of each game to read the full review. 

#10. Reverie Knights Tactics / Cotton Fantasy

What a way to start, with an ex-aequo situation. Both games received the exact same score, although if you were to force us to choose, turn-based strategy RPG Reverie Knights Tactics would probably edge out Cotton’s shmup action, even if just barely. Cotton Fantasy built on the series’ multi-decade foundation to bring us the best version of the candy-obsessed witch’s adventures yet. Meanwhile, we already named Reverie Knights Tactics as a contender for one of the best Switch games of the year way back in January. With likable characters, a fantastic hand-drawn art style, and accessible tactics gameplay, this would’ve been a contender for best overall turn-based strategy game, but as you’ll see a bit further down, it turns out that the game shared its genre with a turn-based strategy title that did things even better.

#9. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

With Pokémon Scarlet and Violet still fresh in everyone’s memories, it’s difficult to fathom that Legends: Arceus hasn’t even been out for a full year. Technically a spin-off, Legends: Arceus took the classic Pokémon formula in a different direction, offering a fun and engaging experience that felt fresh yet familiar. It also wasn’t released as a technical mess, unlike the two titles that now overshadow it. We’d go as far as to say that Legends: Arceus is perhaps the best Pokémon game available on the Switch in general, not just for this year, and we’re pretty sure that this will be a title that many will look back upon fondly several years down the line.

#8. Lost in Play

A comparatively low-profile release compared to some of the other games on this list, Lost in Play turned out to be the wholesome, family-friendly point-and-click adventure we didn’t know we needed in our lives. The characters look like they came straight out of a high-quality animated series, and combined with its solid puzzle gameplay and an endearing story, the game oozes charm and feels like a time capsule to a better and more innocent era. It may be too short for its own good, but this is one adventure you’re not going to regret getting lost in.

#7. Splatoon 3

For a couple of months, Splatoon 3 was the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time in Japan, until Pokémon Scarlet & Violet took that crown away. The success of Nintendo’s online shooter was warranted though, as Splatoon 3 offers sheer, unadulterated fun. With new content and events constantly being added and the minor online issues we experienced when the game launched seemingly resolved, Splatoon 3 also has a bright future ahead of it. You may notice that it scored the same as Lost in Play in our original review, but the continuous updates gave Splatoon 3 a slight edge.

#6. Endling: Extinction is Forever

Simultaneously bringing an environmental message and tugging at our heartstrings, Endling is perhaps one of the more important games that saw its release this year. Telling the tale of a fox mother and her cubs whose peaceful life is threatened by industrialization, Endling feels like a powerful statement about preserving and respecting nature. It was rightfully nominated in the Games For Impact category at this year’s Game Awards, and although the game didn’t win the top spot -that honor went to As Dusk FallsEndling is definitely a title worth picking up.

#5. Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden

Don’t let the speed with which new Voice of Cards titles were released fool you. Yoko Taro’s card-game-meets-JRPG series might have gotten three full-fledged releases in roughly one year, but each one of them presents players with a fantastic story. Each entry was built using the same engine, but with small tweaks to the gameplay formula, and with separate stories with unique characters, every Voice of Cards title managed to retain an identity of its own. The third game, The Beasts of Burden, is the standout here, with a unique mechanic that allows you to harness the power of monsters in your deck.

#4. NieR: Automata – The End of YoRHA edition

We’ve seen our fair share of “older” titles make their way to the Switch and we feel like this list wouldn’t be complete without at least one. Fortunately for us, 2022 gave us an amazing port of an amazing game. Not only does NieR’s End of YoRHA edition allow players to experience 2B’s adventure on the go, but the addition of Switch-exclusive bonus content makes this an essential addition to any self-respecting Switch owner’s library. The graphical compromises that had to be made here prevent the End of YoRHA edition from being the definitive edition of NieR: Automata, but the portability factor alone should be enough to convince fans of the game to double dip.

#3. Triangle Strategy

With 3 titles making their way into our top five, Square Enix definitely had a strong year, and Triangle Strategy rightfully takes the crown here. An epic tale with branching endings, a wide range of fully fleshed-out characters, and that gorgeous 2D HD art style are all worth the price of entry, and that’s without even getting into the tactical gameplay. The game might not be very accessible to newcomers, but fans of turn-based tactics games looking to get swept up in challenging tactical gameplay can find a new benchmark in the genre here. Of course, we have to mention Triangle Strategy‘s distant cousin Tactics Ogre: Reborn as well, as it’s clear that the game took inspiration from the original Tactics Ogre. Triangle Strategy builds on the foundation laid by its predecessor and takes its gameplay to the next level.

#2. Bayonetta 3

Fans of the Umbra witch had to wait for an excruciating eight years after Bayonetta 2 before they were able to return to the franchise, but what a return it is. With tight controls, larger-than-life action gameplay, and a mindblowing multiverse story, Bayonetta 3 was everything fans clamored for and more. Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait very long to return to the Bayoverse either, because a brand new spin-off title, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon has already been confirmed for early 2023.

#1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

At the 2022 Game Awards, the Switch exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles 3 lost out for the title of Game of the Year to Elden Ring, which (unfortunately but understandably) isn’t on the Switch. In fact, with the exception of multi-platform title A Plague Tale: Requiem, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was the only 2022 GOTY nominee available on the Switch. We can easily see why Monolith Soft’s latest got nominated though: With a memorable story, a massive open world that is a joy to explore, and fantastic combat mechanics, this is the cream of the crop of what the Switch had to offer in 2022.

Honorable mentions

The quality level of our top 10 (well, technically top 11) is so high that it is not surprising that some noteworthy titles fell just outside the list. In no particular order, some of the better Switch titles that fell out of our top ten were Live A Live, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Railbound and Dark Deity.

So there you have it, our favorite Switch titles of 2022. With titles like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Octopath Traveler II, and Fire Emblem: Engage already on the horizon, 2023 is already shaping up to be an amazing year as well. We can’t wait to venture into what the new year has to offer. Were there any fantastic Switch games from 2022 that we missed? Let us know by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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