The gaming industry is finally healing after the chaotic events of the last few years, and 2022 brought us plenty of fantastic games to get stuck into. But the console that did the most this year is undoubtedly the Nintendo Switch.
The Switch was absolutely pumping out incredible exclusive and third-party titles this year. There were so many that our wallets could not catch a break. If you’re feeling stuck on what to add to your collection next, these are some of the best titles on the Nintendo Switch in 2022.
1. Bayonetta 3
Bayonetta 3 got off to a rocky start, to say the least, and was met with a shroud of controversy leading up to its release. But, as they say, any press is good press, and the game skyrocketed in sales.
Controversy aside, the game speaks for itself at the end of the day, and we only have good things to say about it. Fans were waiting for a long time for this game, and the final product was absolutely worth that wait.
If you are looking for an action-packed adventure brimming with epicness and a healthy serving of looks from Bayonetta herself, Bayonetta 3 delivers.
Download: Bayonetta 3 for $59.99
2. Pokémon Legends Arceus
The Pokémon franchise has been solid from the get-go, eventually earning more than $105 Billion in revenue, according to Statista, to become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. Until now, the Pokémon Company had stuck to a very traditional formula for their big-budget titles, only deviating from that in their spin-off games.
But this year, the Pokémon Company branched out with their main series titles with Pokémon Legends Arceus. This game serves as a prequel to the Diamond and Pearl games, and the new formula was exactly what the franchise needed.
Pokémon Legends Arceus takes a far more realistic approach than any previous Pokémon titles. You can sneak up to Pokémon in the wild, throw Poké Balls at them in real-time, and take damage from attacks yourself.
Pokémon Legends Arceus was a breath of fresh air for the series and was something Pokémon’s older generation of fans had been asking for for years.
3. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Two mainline Pokémon games in one year? You read that right! Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have also taken a leaf out of Legends Arceus’ book and will be switching up the formula with the first-ever open-world Pokémon experience.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are more traditional Pokémon adventures than Legends Arceus, but the fact that they are open-world is an incredible evolution for the series.
Players will have total freedom over where they go and what gyms they take on first. There are also two other mainline quests to do when you’re not exploring the open world and catching all the new Pokémon.
These games have the potential to find themselves not only on a list of the best Switch exclusives of 2022 but the best Switch exclusives full stop. Check out our current list of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives if you are curious about what else the system offers.
4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land
It has been a year of firsts for Nintendo as Kirby got its first 3D platforming adventure. Think of a mixture of Kirby and Mario Odyssey, and you have Kirby and the Forgotten Land. This game completely reinvigorated Kirby games as we knew them, selling a record-breaking 5.27 million copies since launch, according to Nintendo’s Financial Report (PDF) dated November 2022.
The game performs magnificently on the system and even has a co-op mode, so your friends can engage in some lighthearted Kirby platforming alongside you. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is more challenging than most Kirby games, which have earned a name for themselves for being incredibly easy and child-friendly.
This game isn’t tough by any means, but it offers enough challenge to engage a broad audience.
Harvestella is like a combination of a JRPG and a farming sim. So if you are a fan of either of those genres, you will most likely enjoy this Square Enix title. With an engaging story, epic combat, and calming farming elements, it has something for everybody.
The combat in Harvestella is very reminiscent of a JRPG, with epic boss battles and a class and party system. Its farming sim elements are also well-thought-out and necessary to progress throughout the story.
With many games that combine several genres, it is easy to get lost as the player focuses more on another aspect of the game. Still, Harvestella does a great job of balancing both genres to create a deep and immersive game.
Download: Harvestella for $59.99
6. Splatoon 3
Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s core franchises. This title is so popular that when it released Splatoon 3, Nintendo Japan announced that it sold over 3.4 million copies in three days. Splatoon 3 takes everything good from Splatoon 2 and makes it better.
Splatoon 3 included even more techniques and weapons to freshen up the experience and made some quality-of-life improvements to the Salmon Run game mode. Previously you could only participate in the Salmon Run once a week. But in Splatoon 3, you can indulge in splatting Salmons whenever you feel the urge.
The soundtrack is incredible, as always, with Splatoon games, and there is ongoing support for the title and frequent online events such as the Splatfest to keep you entertained.
Splatoon first made its debut on the Wii U. With the Wii U eShop closing next year, the time to pick up the first iteration of Splatoon is now or never. Check out our guide on the best Wii U games to get before the eShop closes for even more hidden gems.
7. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a turn-based tactical RPG spin-off in the Mario series. If you are familiar with the tactical battle system of Fire Emblem or other similar titles, it plays very much like that. There have been many tactical RPGs released on the Nintendo Switch in 2022, but Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is one of the best.
The Mario + Rabbids franchise is a crossover between Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids franchise and Mario, who we are sure needs no introduction. The result is a cast of colorful and hilarious Rabbid versions of the Mario characters.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a lighthearted adventure with a tried and true battle system sure to put a smile on your face.
Download: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope for $59.99
It’s Hard to Pick Just One!
Nintendo seems to have jumped right back on the horse post-2020, and 2022 could have even been its best year yet.
The Nintendo Switch can always be trusted to provide excellent quality AAA titles; this year was no exception. If you have been wading through the endless tides of new releases on the eShop this year and wondering what to get, any of these games would be a great choice.