Nintendo is best known for releasing games that are highly exclusive to their consoles. Some of these games are the main reasons why Nintendo has maintained a stronghold in the gaming industry and has achieved success with the Nintendo Switch console.
Many Nintendo Switch exclusives are sequels to previous running franchises such as Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. and, the Legend of Zelda.
With every new installment to any franchise, Nintendo never fails to disappoint their customers, and that is one of the reasons why most of the exclusive games have claimed top spots in the best-selling games of all time.
Best Nintendo Switch Exclusives – Updated This Month!
Nintendo releases new games every month, and most of them are Nintendo Switch exclusives that provide the best gaming experience to players. Mentioned below are some of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives out there.
More Reading: Best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games
#1 – Animal Crossing: New Horizon
The latest addition to the animal crossing franchise, Animal Crossing: New Horizon, is one of the best-selling Nintendo exclusives by selling well over 20 million copies. Animal Crossing: New Horizon is based on life simulation and is played in real-time.
The game revolves around an abandoned island bought from Tom Nooki, a character from the series. Players can use different materials to craft items and alter the design of the whole island itself. With the different items, players can craft tools to make new furniture or decorations for the island.
Characters within the game can be customized in accordance with the preference of the players. Gameplay includes tasks for players. Upon completion, the players receive an in-game currency called Nook Miles, which can be used to acquire exclusive items. As the name suggests, players can bring animals to their island and pick out specific spots where the animals can settle in.
#2 – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The 8th installment to the Mario Kart Franchise and an expansion to the Wii U game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a thriller for players of all ages. The deluxe version contains many new features making it one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives and a fan favorite.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing game where players can compete with friends and family on the track to secure a win or battle it out on online modes against players from all over the world. One of the best features introduced in the game is anti-gravity driving, where players can drive their karts on ceilings and walls.
Some other new updates include; a battle mode, bigger tracks, and holding more than one item at the same time. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the perfect Switch exclusive because it is entertainment available on the go and is the best game to play in a group gathering.
#3 – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Released in 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is probably one of the most intense and exciting crossovers fighting Nintendo Switch exclusive. Following the traditional style of gaming, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.
Featuring over 80 characters, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate contains characters from multiple Nintendo exclusives and also other third-party franchises. More characters are added via new updates. Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario, Donkey Kong, Ryu from Street Fighter are just a few of the many playable characters in the game.
With a variety of stages and having a playing capacity of 8 participants at the same time, players battle against each other with their favorite characters and try to knock off their opponent to diminish the remaining lives of their character. This game also features an online gaming mode where players can compete against players in either a solo match or with their friends in team matches.
Having sold over 21 million copies, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a huge success and is a must-have for all Nintendo Switch owners. A new update will be coming to Super Smash Bros. this December, which will feature Sephiroth from Final Fantasy.
#4 – The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Another Nintendo Switch Exclusive and fan favorite, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was released in March 2017. The Switch exclusive received a 10 out of 10 rating from IGN and was the editor’s choice. Set at the end of the timeline of Zelda, the gameplay features Link as the main character.
The game takes place in the Kingdom of Hyrule, a modern civilization that is heavily guarded by the Divine Beasts. A character named Ganon attacks Hyrule and takes over the Kingdom. Link sets out on a journey to defeat Ganon and restore power to the current ruler of Hyrule, King Rhoam.
Players can execute multiple sets of actions, which include running, climbing, swimming, and gliding. Food can be acquired by hunting animals and can be used to restore the character’s health. This is one of the best switch exclusives and has sold a whopping 14.2 million copies worldwide.
#5 – Luigi’s Mansion 3
The third installment to the Luigi Mansion series, Luigi’s Mansion 3, is another Nintendo Switch exclusive where players explore an eerie hotel playing as the younger but taller sibling of Mario, Luigi. The game challenges players to take on creepy characters that haunt the hotel, where each floor is integrated with a different theme. Luigi has to save his friends from the horrors of the hotel and take on an old enemy.
The game exhibits many new features, such as newly introducing ghost-catching techniques. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is playable in both offline and online modes giving players a wide range of gameplay options. Expandable up to a capacity of 8 players, the multiplayer mode makes Luigi’s Mansion 3 the perfect family game.
Winning the Best Family Game award at TGA (The Game Awards) in 2019 proved that this sequel to the Luigi’s Mansion series is one of the most astonishing Switch exclusives.
#6 – Pokémon Sword And Shield
Pokémon Sword and Shield is a third-person role-playing game made exclusively for the Nintendo Switch by The Pokémon Company. A yearly sequel to the previous Pokémon game, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s go, Eevee!, Pokémon Sword and Shield are based on a young trainer who has high hopes of becoming the Pokémon League Champion.
Set in Great Britain’s Galar region, the objective of the game is to take on the current league champion Leon alongside taking on other Pokémon trainers as well. The game features 81 new Pokémons and new maps. Some other new features include Gigantamaxing, where players can alter the appearance of their Pokémons, a brand-new Camp mode in which gamers can cook for their Pokémon to achieve rewards.
This Switch exclusive was released in 2019 and had multiple expansion packs where more Pokémons are introduced alongside more explorable areas to enhance the gaming experience.
#7 – Splatoon 2
This switch exclusive hit the game stores in July 2017. Three years later, Splatoon 2 claimed a spot in one of the best-selling Switch exclusives, having sold over 11 million copies. The third-person shooter is an installment to Splatoon.
Splatoon 2 features an all-new single-player based story mode along with an online mode for multiplayer. The single-player story mode features new and improved weapons. Players take on a journey to rescue Zapfish, which have been captured by the Octarians.
Nintendo holds Splatfests for the players to participate in teams of two and have turf wars. The winners are decided based on the popularity received in the matches. Splatfests are usually held once per month, and the upcoming Splatfest will take place in January 2021.
A DLC to Splatoon 2 was released in June 2018, which is called the Octo Expansion. Along with this DLC, Splatoon 2 received regular update features, which included new weaponry and new missions.
#8 – Super Mario Odyssey
Featuring one of the most famous characters in gaming history, Super Mario Odyssey was released in October 2017 and has made it to the list of the best-selling Switch exclusives selling over 18 million copies. It is an installment to the Super Mario series.
Mario sets out on an adventure with Cappy, a creature from the Cap Kingdom, to rescue Princess Peach, who has been kidnapped by Mario’s long-time enemy, Bowser. Featuring platform gameplay, Mario set sails through kingdoms on his cap-shaped ship called Odyssey to prevent Bowser from marrying Princess Peach.
Apart from Mario’s jumping moves, a new move was introduced where Mario can throw his cap to attack the bad guys. The game also includes features to enhance the gaming experience and attacks via the Joy-Con controllers. It is one of the most popular Switch exclusives out there and was highly anticipated by fans when it was introduced at the 2017 E3.
#9 – Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee!
A remake of the famous Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee! were released in November 2018. This game is the first Pokémon video game that is intended for a home gaming console and is a switch exclusive. It also allows players to connect with the mobile game Pokémon Go.
Selling over 12 million copies, both games are part of the best-selling Nintendo Switch exclusives list. Players have the option to begin their Pokémon journey with either the famous Pikachu or Eevee. The game allows players to take on NPCs from which players have the option to battle the Pokémons or stick to the conventional style and catch the Pokémons resembling gameplay in Pokémon Go.
The game features a multiplayer mode where other players can join the game with another Joy-Con. Players have the option to battle other players in both offline and online modes. Furthermore, players can trade their Pokémons with other players.
#10 – New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Bringing back the incredible duo of Mario and Luigi, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a follow up to New Super Mario Bros. U introduced exclusively for the Nintendo Switch in January 2019. Super Mario Deluxe Bros. U Deluxe features enhanced gameplay that has been added to its predecessor.
Mario and Luigi have to rescue the Mushroom Kingdom. The aim of the game is for Mario and Luigi to reach their assigned destination on each level and avoid any obstacles on the way. The game features a single-player and multiplayer mode.
The original New Super Mario Bros. U featured a boost mode where a fifth person can join the game. However, in the exclusive Deluxe version for the Nintendo Switch, this boost mode was removed. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has been upgraded to a Full HD experience for the Nintendo Switch and allows up to 4 players to participate in the game.
#11 – Super Mario Maker 2
Another Nintendo Switch Exclusive and the sequel to Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker 2 is a side-scrolling platform game released in June 2019. Super Mario Maker 2 features an amazing new gameplay where players can bring in their creativity to make new courses with the tools and strongpoints from other Super Mario games.
The game introduces an all-new story mode where players where Mario joins forces with other Toads to revamp the castle of Princess Peach. A new feature introduced in this game is where players can alter the vertical height of their creations.
Equipped with a local and online multiplayer mode, players can team up with one person to create new assets locally and up to 4 players in the online mode. An online subscription is required to access the online multiplayer features of this Switch exclusive. The game was well-received after its release and has well over 5 million copies sold.
#12 – Super Mario Party
Developed by NDcube, Super Mario Party is a Nintendo Switch exclusive bringing back the conventional Mario Party gameplay. Being the 11th installment to the Mario Party franchise, the game was released in October 2018 and since then has sold over 12 million copies worldwide alongside earning the title of the Best Family Game in multiple Award shows.
The normal party mode can include up to 4 players where each player takes turns to make their moves and collect as many stars as they can. The game can be played in pairs of two as well. Not only this, players can choose from 80 minigames to play online on the online minigame mode.
Super Mario Party is a game for all occasions, whether you want to play alone or with family and friends. It is not only limited to Mario, but players also have a choice from many other Nintendo exclusive characters such as Bowser, Pom Pom, Shy Guy, and Bowser Jr.
#13 – Fire Emblem: Three Hours
Fire Emblem: Three Hours is a strategy role-playing game developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo. Fire Emblem: Three Hours is the sixteenth installment to the Fire Emblem franchise and is crowned the best-selling out of all the sixteen installments with a stunning 2.8 million copies sold.
Set in a continent named Fódlan, Fire Emblem: Three Hours is a game where players take on the role of an educator to teach students who hail from three different dominions. The main character of the game is Byleth, who is a former soldier of fortune. Byleth must teach the students the art of fighting through a series of combat-based training.
Fire Emblem: Three Hours features a single-player mode only and is the best switch exclusive for players who admire a game with strategic challenges. Released in July 2019, this game has been nominated for multiple awards and has won quite a few of them.
#14 – The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a remake of the original 1993 Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch. The game is filled with action and adventure, and due to its popularity, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has claimed a spot in the best-selling Nintendo Switch exclusives list. The game was released in September 2019 and has sold over 4 million copies.
Players take on the role of Link in the game. Forsaken on the island of Koholint after his ship falls apart in an uproar, Link commences his journey to find the ultimate Wind Fish, which will help him get off the island. The game features open-world gameplay where players are put to the test to overcome obstacles like dungeons, puzzles, and enemies that are dispersed all over the island.
The original Link’s Awakening was made for Gameboy. This remake brings back the experience of the original game to the Nintendo Switch with better graphics and gameplay.
#15 – 1-2-Switch
Released in March 2017, 1-2-Switch is a very interesting game for all Nintendo Switch owners because it allows players to interact with other players in real-time. This Switch exclusive brings back the joy of participating in games with your friends and family.
Heavily reliant on the Joy-Con controllers, 1-2-Switch is a party game that features multiple minigames ranging anywhere from having a duel in the wild West to having a table tennis match with your partner to participating in cow-milking competitions. Usually, the players have to face each other depending on what type of minigame they choose to play or participate in.
Having sold a little over 3 million copies, 1-2-Switch might just be one of the best Switch exclusives for those who like to take a break from regular games and switch up to experience something different. The best part about the game is that it is good entertainment for the audience to see the participants take on challenges and perform them.
#16 – Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a Nintendo Switch exclusive that features role-playing gameplay. Players take on the role of Shulk, a character in the game, who embarks on a journey with his allies to partake in real-time battles.
The game introduces the Monado, a weapon in the game discovered by Shulk that provides great power and aids Shulk in combat. With updated graphics and over 90 music tracks, the game provides a complete experience to all players.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition was well received by many critics. Many players and gaming websites also gave positive feedback on the game, making it one of the best Switch exclusives.
#17 – Astral Chain
Developed by PlatinumGames exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, Astral Chain is an action-adventure video game featuring two twin police officers who have taken on the role to defend whatever life on Earth remains from evil creatures and abomination.
Players take on the role of a detective from the police task force where they solve different cases and look into incidents that take place in The Ark. The duo in this game can call in different entities known as Legions. Different types of Legions are equipped with different abilities to aid in combat.
The game comes with multiple combat modes where players can partake in real-time battles with a range of weapons. Legions can be brought in to help in other missions, too, apart from just battle modes. The game has sold over one million copies in just over a year of its release and is considered to be one of the best Switch exclusives.
#18 – Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
After 10 years, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order returns as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The third addition to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchise, this game was released in July 2019 and sold over 1 million copies in less than six months. Heroes set out on a journey to find the Infinity Stones before Thanos, and his Black Order can get their hands on them and wreak havoc across the universe.
The game allows up to 4 players to play at the same time and offers an online multiplayer mode alongside an amazing story mode. The game features super villains like Ultron and Green Goblin from the Marvel Universe, who proceeds to terrorize the universe with their evil plans.
This game also features fan-favorite superheroes from Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and many more. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a well-received Switch exclusive highly due to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
#19 – Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features Captain Toad from the Super Mario franchise. The game is focused on Captain Toad and his adventures. Players must steer their way through various hurdles in order to get to the gold star at the end of each level. Captain Toad and his sidekick Toadette must take on villains and fight their way through to claim a Power Star and defeat the main antagonist of the game, Draggadon.
The game allows a second player to join in on the adventure and take on enemies. This game resembles, in some respects, with Super Mario Odyssey. Furthermore, both games can be linked. A software update was released for this game, which featured VR gameplay with the VR Goggles from Nintendo Labo.
Nintendo is always working on different projects to bring new experiences to its players. With the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has focused on creating many games that are exclusive to the Switch and provide an in-depth gaming experience to all players. Not only this, Nintendo continues to bring back major characters in new installments or remakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – What Are Nintendo Switch Exclusive Games?
These are games developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch console. The Nintendo Switch exclusives are only limited to the console and are not available to play on any other gaming platforms. Most companies develop games exclusive to a console to increase sales of their top of the line console and also to provide gamers an immersive experience.
#2- What Is The Rarest Nintendo Switch Game?
Although there are several games that are rare for this home and handheld gaming console, one seems to stand out. Bayonetta: Non-Stop Climax Edition has been deemed to be the rarest Nintendo Switch game and retails for a very high price due to its rarity. Bayonetta: Non-Stop Climax Edition is a limited-edition bundle that contains a Steelbook case, 22 Verse cards, and three sheets of Bayonetta stickers.
#3- Which Switch Games Support Handheld Mode?
Unlike its competitors, the Nintendo Switch takes on a different approach to gaming. The switch can be used as a home gaming console or a handheld gaming machine. Many games can be played in the handheld mode of the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker are just a few of many.