From Animal Crossing to Mario Party, these are our absolute favorite video games for the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite.

By Gianluca Russo
April 30, 2020
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Credit: Nintendo

Whether you’re a lifelong gamer or are picking up a controller for the first time, a surefire way to cure your boredom during social distancing is to turn to video games. And perhaps the most popular console at the moment is the Nintendo Switch, first released back in 2017. We may all be homebound for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t immerse ourselves in some virtual fantasies. 

In the three years since the console launched, games of all varieties have been made available to play on the Nintendo Switch. From classic Mario and Luigi adventures to some good old-fashioned farming games—because who doesn’t love to own a virtual farm, right?—there’s no lack of immersive games to dive into. The Switch is perfect for many reasons: Not only can you connect it to your television for a traditional gaming experience, but you can also use it as a handheld device, making it portable from the living room all the way to your bedroom.

If you’re looking for the best immersive Nintendo Switch games to occupy your time during quarantine, here are eight entertaining—and easy to play—options. All are available for purchase on the Nintendo Switch store right now. 

animal-crossing

1
Animal Crossing: New Horizons

After much anticipation, the latest version of Animal Crossing was finally released last month for the Nintendo Switch, and it’s just as addicting as you’d hope. Animal Crossing: New Horizons allows you to own your own island, traveling around doing various chores and carrying our various duties to keep your land maintained and thriving. The game also allows you to visit your friends’ islands, making it a true community experience. 

To buy: $60; gamestop.com.

pokemon-sword-shield

2
Pokémon Sword and Shield 

It was only a matter of time before a version of Pokémon made its way to the Nintendo Switch. Nearly every gaming console has a version of it, after all, and this one leaves no disappointment. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield allow you to immerse yourself in a colorful new world of creatures and critters. 

To buy: $120; gamestop.com.

super-mario-odyssey

3
Super Mario Odyssey

A classic redone, Super Mario Odyssey allows you to choose from a handful of iconic characters as you—per usual—try and save Princess Peach from the claws of Browser. Unlike previous versions of this classic gaming tale, Super Mario Odyssey is completely remade with new challenges and much better graphics. 

To buy: $60; gamestop.com.

nintendo-switch-zelda

4
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Zelda universe has captivated gamers for decades now, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a mesmerizing expansion into the world of Link. With the goal of saving the kingdom of Hyrule, the game guides you through many different quests and journeys, allowing you to explore this perfectly designed world. It’s easy to get lost within the game for hours, which is precisely the kind of virtual adventure you need right now. 

To buy: $60; gamestop.com.

stardew-valley-nintendo

5
Stardew Valley

The role-playing game—which is also available in multiplayer—begins with you inheriting your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. New to the farming life, your character must build the farm from scratch while also connecting with others within the community. Wholesome and entertaining, Stardew Valley is a surefire way to burn some time while ensuring that your harvest will be plentiful. With the game’s new multiplayer function, you can invite up to three friends to play with you as well, sharing resources from each other’s farms and helping one another grow within the virtual community. 

To buy: $15; gamestop.com.

mario-tennis-aces

6
Mario Tennis Aces

If your forte is sports-centered games, the Nintendo Switch has options for you as well. Mario Tennis Aces is one of the best-selling games on the Switch, and for good reason: It truly is that fun. Choosing any character from the vast Super Mario lineup, this game allows you to immerse yourself in the art of tennis for hours on end, learning the different tricks and special shots that each character possesses. The crystal clear graphics make the overall experience much more enhanced and pleasurable to watch—especially if you’re spending days on end looking at them. 

To buy: $60; gamestop.com.

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7
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The Nintendo Switch version of Super Smash Bros. is on par with the original versions, if not better. Allowing you to battle the computer, online friends from around the world or play the storytime mode, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an addictive, modern take on this classic game. With a plethora of new characters added—in addition to the original favorites—there are many new moves and skills to master within the game, as well as new locations to brawl on. 

To buy: $60; gamestop.com.

captain-toad

8
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

For the first time, Toad—an often forgotten Super Mario character—is given the spotlight in this new game. Designed with a myriad of puzzles, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is perfect for those who want an intellectually-stimulating adventure filled with mind-boggling tasks. 

To buy: $40; gamestop.com.