February 5, 2023

Best Switch games of 2022
Image: Nintendo Life

And we’re back! Another year done and dusted off; one that was packed with Switch games. It may have lacked a mainline Zelda or Mario, but Pokémon fans got a double bubble in 2022, with Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet topping and following the year.

Between those powerful Pocket Monster packs, we got a good chunk of Kirby (plus a tasty side dish), a selection of sports (both the Switch and Mario Strikers variant), a trio of excellent games with a ‘3’ in the title ( Xenoblade, Splatoon and Bayonetta), and both Koei Tecmo and Ubisoft are taking the reins on Nintendo IP with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes and Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope respectively.

Best Switch games of 2022
Image: Nintendo Life

And that’s just the first party. Add to that all the quality third-party releases – Square Enix was especially 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 huge number of quality ports of games big and small, and there just aren’t enough hours in a day to play everything we want.

Which brings us to your pick of the 50 best Switch games of 2022. As always, we’ve asked Nintendo Life readers to rate the games this year, and the list below – as determined by the user ratings for each title in our games database – is the result. The order can and will change, even after publication, depending on those fluctuating user ratings, meaning it’s never too late to rate your collection (even those pesky late December acquisitions) and influence the list.

Don’t see your favourites? Visit our library of Switch games and use the search bar to find what you’re looking for (or scroll to the top of this page to do the same). Remark. To be eligible, a game must have been reviewed by at least 30 users.

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

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (Switch eShop)

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom

Publication date: July 22, 2022 (USA) / July 22, 2022 (UK/EU)

As long as you’re okay with the unreasonable lack of online functionality and screen filter niggles, there are hundreds of hours of fun to be had with Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium. 32 mostly excellent games and another historically remarkable preserved piece, it recalls the essence of what an arcade felt like. Achieving that feeling, however brief, will be enough to warrant a purchase for those with an affinity for gaming’s rich history.

It Takes Two (Switch)

It Takes Two (Switch)

Publisher: Electronic art / Developer: Haze light

Publication date: November 4, 2022 (USA) / November 4, 2022 (UK/EU)

If you were even half aware of games news at the end of 2021, you are already a little interested in this game. It’s packed with fun, uniquely dedicated to co-op gaming, plays solid and distinctive, and usually discards one cool idea in favor of another before there’s time to get bored. Standard graphics compromises have now been made for Switch, and the typical advantage of playing on the handheld is questionable for an always-split-screen co-op game. Nevertheless, it keeps the frames moving well enough not to undermine the brilliance of the Game of the Year. It Takes Two and the good old Switch may not be a perfect marriage, but it’s worth sticking with.

Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)

Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Publication date: April 29, 2022 (USA) / April 29, 2022 (UK/EU)

Nintendo Switch Sports is a charming but barebones offering. It’s certainly not a bad game, but it misses an awful lot of what would be a solid recommendation. Playing online is the best option offered with unlockable customizations and a predictably wider pool of players, but the limited scope will have you doing the same thing over and over again. Local play is hampered by a lack of unlockables, and with such limited options to change the way each sport plays, solo play is a slog. There’s fun to be had here, but it’s more along the lines of the occasional 30-minute play session with friends than something with major long-term appeal. Nintendo Switch Sports is therefore ‘fine’, but no more than that.

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection (Switch)

Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection (Switch)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publication date: February 17, 2022 (USA) / February 17, 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 worth your time. There’s still plenty of fun to be had if this is your first Assassin’s Creed experience, with the towns still impressing with their sense of scale and historical detail, but some of the dated gameplay elements and glitches could make other entries better jump point. The Rebel Collection is a very nice alternative if you want a slightly more modern interpretation of the series, with a seafaring slant. However, if you’re already a fan and can tolerate its foibles – old and new – this is an enjoyable journey through (videogame) history and an easy recommendation.

Sifu (Switch)

Sifu (Switch)

Publisher: SloClap / Developer: SloClap

Publication date: November 8, 2022 (USA) / November 8, 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. The hardcore combat that pushes you to your limits, combined with a clever aging mechanic, make for one of the most satisfying gaming experiences in the beat ’em up genre. While the Switch port is clearly a bit downgraded from the PS5 version, it’s still a more than valid option for Nintendo-only gamers and those eager to try out this kung fu fighter on the go.

Cult of the Lamb (Switch eShop)

Cult of the Lamb (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Massive monster

Publication date: August 11, 2022 (USA) / August 11, 2022 (UK/EU)

Cult of the Lamb proves to be a remarkably fresh take on the roguelite genre, not only in its wacky and creepy aesthetic, but also in its clever mix of action and survival mechanics. The gameplay remains tense without ever feeling unfair and a steady stream of unlockables and collectibles ensures that your efforts are always rewarded. It’s just a shame the performance isn’t up to scratch, at least at launch, because that’s really the only major complaint we have here. We’d still heartily recommend this to anyone who thinks it’s for them; it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Cult of the Lamb proves it’s a great new addition to the Switch library.

Sonic Origins (Switch eShop)

Sonic Origins (Switch eShop)

Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA

Publication date: June 23, 2022 (USA) / June 23, 2022 (UK/EU)

Sonic Origins, on the one hand, is an almost definitive way to experience four stone-cold classics that represent some of the highest peaks of Sonic’s career. On the other hand, most of these games are already readily available and there aren’t many new features or additions that warrant buying them again. The cutscenes, museum elements, and missions are all very enjoyable, but they’re also the minimum you’d expect for a series this prestigious and popular.

For players ready to play these classics for the first time, Sonic Origins is the best way to experience Sonic’s 16-bit heyday. Die-hard 2D Sonic veterans may be less enamored with the package and the small but noticeable differences between the classic modes presented here and the games in their true original configurations. Either way, it sure is nice to have Sonic CD available in a handy form on the handiest of consoles. Not perfect, but great comfort food gaming.

Shovel Knight Dig (Switch eShop)

Shovel Knight Dig (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Yacht Club games / Developer: Nitrogen

Publication date: September 23, 2022 (USA) / September 23, 2022 (UK/EU)

Shovel Knight Dig is another triumphant and enjoyable entry in the growing legacy of the popular indie knight, offering thrilling, challenging gameplay that will appeal to fans old and new alike. While it may be a little on the short side, every minute of Shovel Knight Dig positively oozes quality, whether that’s the snappy action-platforming action 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 anyone looking for a tough (but not uncomfortably tough) new roguelite. Shovel Knight Dig has it where it counts and can stand alongside its noble predecessors.

PAC-MAN MUSEUM+ (Switch)

PAC-MAN MUSEUM+ (Switch)

Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco

Publication date: May 27, 2022 (USA) / May 27, 2022 (UK/EU)

For fans of Pac-Man and its historical family tree, Pac-Man Museum+ is the best summary yet, spanning decades and covering his most notable titles. The arcade overworld is a nice touch, although the frame rate is a major letdown and really should have been ironed out. And while you might spend a while tinkering and designing your arcade space, the gimmick’s appeal is ultimately short-lived. However, apart from the shortcomings of the presentation, one cannot really complain about the comprehensiveness of the collection, nor the quality of the titles themselves (well, except for Pac in Time). It’s a Pac festival, and while it certainly has limited appeal, it offers countless hours of fun and an interesting historical insight into the evolution of the yellow orb.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Switch)

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Omega power

Publication date: June 24, 2022 (USA) / June 24, 2022 (UK/EU)

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a thoroughly entertaining mix of Musou mayhem, strategy, and relationship-building aspects that should more than satisfy fans of both franchises involved. It has improved on its predecessor from 2017 in several ways, most notably by offering a much more compelling story with one ripe for multiple replays. With impressively solid performance on Switch and an action-packed campaign where you fight your way through tens of thousands of enemies for over 30 hours in a single playthrough, this is exactly what Omega Force once served. as far.

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