Must-Have Nintendo Switch Games of 2019

Due to the success of the Switch, a tidal wave of releases washed upon the console. We’re here to help you pick out the best ones. Read on to find out which games you must have!

2019’s Must-Have Nintendo Switch Games

We’ve had wave after wave of good games hitting the Switch in 2019, almost too many of them. So many, in fact, that most people don’t even know where to start. We’ve picked a couple of fantastic games that have been released on the Switch in 2019 to help you decide which new release is perfect for you.

10. Mortal Kombat 11

Basically, Mortal Kombat 11’s Switch port is quite solid. It mostly maintains 60fps both in handheld and docked mode — an extremely important requirement for fighting games due to their fast-paced split-second combat. Most of the modes are present, with some strange and unexplainable differences.

That being said, the graphics took a noticeable hit to be able to maintain the framerate. There are some other bizarre alterations, such as the huge difference in pricing for treasure chests in the Krypt, which even further disbalances MK11’s economy.

Even though the quality of graphics took a hit, it is mostly stages that suffered rather than the characters since they still look crisp and fairly highly detailed.

The largest problem this port has is the always-online requirement. While docked and using Nintendo’s online service, you’ll encounter very few issues. However, handheld is a different story. If you’re outside of Wi-Fi range, you’ll be locked out of Tower of Time and Krypt modes, which are required to obtain currency that is used on MK11’s enormous collection of gear, skins, fatalities, brutalities, etc.

All in all, it’s a decent port of MK11 with some strange differences and a couple of extra annoyances; however, this port managed to retain the beautiful graphics of the original and the performance needed to properly enjoy the combat.

9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

What is a Nintendo console without a 2D Mario game on it? 

Nintendo decided to resurrect their Wii U title, bundle it with all of its DLCs, apply a few tweaks here and there, and release a Switch version. It’s good that they did, considering the unfortunate fate of the Wii U. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe now has a new home, where it will be appreciated much more, even without some of those motion controls.

Standard playable characters, like Mario and Luigi, are joined here by Nabbit and Toadette. The new characters feature novel mechanics to shake up your game. 

The addition of the New Super Luigi U expansion to the bundle truly brings more value to your purchase. With faster gameplay, shorter remixed levels, and a time limit of 100 seconds, it’s perfectly tailored for short thrilling bursts in handheld mode.

While it is an amazing 2D Mario game, it doesn’t quite bring many innovative features and mechanics when compared to, for example, Super Mario Odyssey.

Even with all of its modes and extra features, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe faces stiff competition on the Switch, and looking into other platformers first might be a good idea.

8. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Let’s just say that Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled deserves a lot more than to live in Mario Kart’s shadow. With satisfying cartoony graphics, a beautiful cheesy plot, and thrilling gameplay, this remaster manages to keep everything good about the old game intact while applying some modern game design (such as improved quality of life features, better HUD, etc.). 

This remaster brings us right back to our childhood, with its bright colors and a plot about stopping Nitro-Oxide from turning the Earth into a parking lot. 

The difficulty of the game is refreshing, and there are very few catch-up mechanics. So if you’re bad at power sliding, good luck! 

7. Unravel Two

The sequel of the original Unravel very much follows in its predecessor’s footsteps, with the only major difference being the addition of a new Yarny, allowing for two-player co-op. However, if you’re playing alone, the game allows you to entwine both Yarnys to create a new colorful character, thus sidestepping the issue of playing through levels twice. 

The game plays very much the same as Unravel; you still jump, swing, repel, lasso, and all the other good stuff. However, the addition of another Yarny increases the depth of the existing mechanics substantially. 

The story is a bit weaker and doesn’t have the emotional punch the original game had. However, Unravel Two improves on the original in every other aspect and will be a worthy addition to your collection.

6. My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a heck of a ride; let’s put it that way. The game is literally based around the word “cool.”

The whole point of the game is to maintain your coolness multiplier by killing enemies, not getting shot, and thinking of creative ways to take down bad guys. This doesn’t sound like a very innovative concept. However, My Friend Pedro goes further than most games we know in making you feel darn cool. 

With slick animation, good controls, bullet time, and a satisfying soundtrack, you’ll feel like an unholy combination of Jon Rambo and Blade while playing My Friend Pedro. 

However, the game is fairly short, clocking in at about four to five hours, with little to no replayability. Another flaw with the game is that while the developers managed to keep the game fresh until the end (by constantly introducing new mechanics and level designs), the first half of the game is noticeably more fun. 

So if you want a wild, fun ride through a video game equivalent of a John Woo movie, look no further than My Friend Pedro.

5. Katana Zero

Wearing its Hotline Miami influence on its sleeve, Katana Zero puts a satisfying twist to the tried-and-tested one-hit-kill formula.

If you get shot, you die. If you slash an enemy, they die. A very simple, but indisputably fun, formula.

In Katana Zero, you are a samurai tasked with assassinating important targets. The twist is that you can control time and see into the future. In fact, the whole game is portrayed as a plan of an assassination. So when you fail, the character usually just says something like “No, that won’t work” and returns you to the start of the level. However, if you succeed, security camera footage is played, showing your progression through the level. 

The aesthetics of the game are gorgeous — the neon lights and VHS cyberpunk visuals go a long way to make this a game worth playing. The controls are tight, the slow-downs and camera shakes satisfying, and the retro-style graphics beautiful. 

The game is about four to six hours long, but those few hours are jam-packed with content. Katana Zero embodies the old adage of “quality over quantity.”

4. Cuphead

Although once an Xbox exclusive, in a fortunate twist of events, Cuphead has come to the Nintendo Switch. And oh, is it a good new home for Cuphead. 

The long-awaited platform shooter is a perfect fit for a hybrid handheld/home console such as the Switch. Its beautiful ’30s cartoon visuals and big band music tremendously encapsulate an era.

The beautiful hand-animated visuals are still there, the ironically dark plot is still effective, and the difficulty still will-breaking.

Now, you can take your pain of losing to a boss for the millionth time on the go! But remember, public outbursts of rage are socially unacceptable.

3. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda

You might be seeing this and thinking: “Wait, this isn’t Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild 2, so I don’t care!” However, that would be a huge mistake on your part.

At first sight, it might seem like a reskin of Crypt of the Necrodancer, but it is so much more.

Cadence of Hyrule further expands the rhythm-based gameplay of its predecessor while keeping the whimsical feeling of a Zelda game. Every enemy moves and fights in a rhythmic pattern, and it’s up to you to figure them out and match them. This creates a sort of a “dance” between you and the enemies. The concept still works, and the combat never really gets boring. You’re always attacking or avoiding attacks, but everything is set to music. 

The plot is simple but charming. Cadence, the protagonist of Crypt of the Necrodancer is transported to Hyrule in the nick of time to save Link and Zelda from Octavo. 

The game features some elements of procedural generation. However, these are few and far between, but they are enough to keep the game fresh for multiple playthroughs. The only completely procedurally generated part of the game are the dungeons.

We feel obligated to mention the music (obviously, an important part of any rhythm game), which is amazing. The soundtrack mostly consists of pseudo-8-bit synth-heavy rockish remixes of Zelda songs, and it works. You’d never think you’d want Zelda music to sound like that, but trust us, you do. The music shifts and changes and always perfectly compliments whatever you’re doing in the game, from fighting enemies to exploring and selling items in the city.

Rather than just being a simple reskin of an indie darling, Cadence of Hyrule is a worthy successor to the original game while also taking place in the much-beloved world of Hyrule. Could you ask for more?

2. Dragon Quest Builders 2

What do you get when you combine the sandbox freedom of Minecraft with the plot and characters of an age-old JRPG franchise? Well, you get Dragon Quest Builders 2!

DQB2 feels more like a new main-series Dragon Quest game rather than a Minecraft-based spin-off.

You’d be surprised by how much of an RPG DQB2 actually is. When you’re not building to your heart’s content, you’ll be adventuring, exploring, fighting magical enemies, and retrieving enchanted items. 

If we had to nitpick, our only complaint would be the combat. It is very simplistic, lacking pretty much anything outside of hacking and slashing. There are no dodges, strafes, evades, or blocks. Sprinting is basically the only defensive tool you’ll be able to use, and it feels clumsy. When you’re fighting bosses, you’ll be sprinting around them in circles and mashing your attack button, and that is fairly unsatisfying. 

Thankfully, the construction and exploration parts of the game make up for the lacking combat. Even better, the game actively encourages you to build a cool settlement in a desolate valley, an icy mountain range, or an abandoned mining town, and the satisfaction that you get from seeing the progression of your small settlement into a bustling town beats any number of stat upgrades for your character. 

There are three different islands in the world with unique looks, biomes, and stories for you to enjoy. 

Overall, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is an enjoyable hybrid game that manages to take the best from both worlds. Even with simplistic, boring combat dragging it down slightly, it still manages to be a more-than-worthy addition to your collection.

1. Super Mario Maker 2

You’d be surprised by just how much content Super Mario Maker 2 brings to the table. 

It improves on every aspect of its predecessor and provides you with so much quality content and replayability that you could keep playing it for years to come. 

SMM2 even included a Story Mode, which is a surprising addition to a Mario Maker game. However, unlike regular Mario games, the levels of this Story Mode are quite interesting. All of the levels in the mode were built using the same tools that everyone has access to in SMM2. Therefore, they’re filled with quirky design and subverted expectations, which makes SMM2 Story Mode a refreshing addition to the Mario saga. 

The building tools in SMM were superb; it’s a miracle that SMM2 managed to top its predecessor. However, by adding more tiles, traps, enemies, etc., they managed to do just that. 

And if you ever get bored of the story mode or creating your own levels, you can just hop on online and enjoy literally countless player-made levels. The variety of those levels is amazing, from Nintendo-quality Mario levels to completely insane player creations, giving you almost infinite playtime. 

This is yet another classic in Nintendo’s back catalog; is anyone surprised at this point?

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