Best Nintendo Switch Games For Christmas 2019: Pokemon, Luigi's Mansion 3, And More
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While Sony and Microsoft are currently working on their next-generation consoles, the Nintendo Switch is truly in its golden era, with amazing new games and ports releasing on the system constantly. Nintendo even released two new Switch models--the handheld-only Switch Lite and a newer Switch with improved battery life--this fall, indicating the Nintendo Switch won't be slowing down anytime soon.
Maybe you're planning to buy a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite console for a gaming fan this Christmas, or maybe this fan has had the system since it was first released in 2017. Either way, one thing is certain: They'll want some new Switch games this holiday season. The Nintendo Switch's library of games has grown exponentially over the course of 2019, so to make your job easier, we've rounded up some of our favorite Switch games from this year, any one of which would make an excellent gift.
Need more than Nintendo Switch gifts before Black Friday? Check out our recommendations for the best Nintendo Switch accessories for 2019, as well as the best gaming headsets, gaming mice, and gaming keyboards out there right now. And if that's not enough, be sure to look at our 2019 holiday gift guides below for the best gift ideas across gaming, entertainment, and tech.
More Gifts For Gamers In 2020
Note that prices are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change without notice.
Pokemon Sword And Shield
Mainline Pokemon games have stuck to Nintendo's handheld systems since the Game Boy, but Pokemon Sword and Shield are bringing the series to home consoles with their release on Nintendo Switch, and they do not disappoint. The pair of RPGs feature gorgeous new graphics, the return of gym battles, and new, more open-ended locales called Wild Areas. Whether you pick one or the other or just buy the double pack with both games, Pokemon Sword and Shield are both excellent gifts to pick up alongside a new Switch.
See our Pokemon Sword and Shield review.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi returns to explore a haunted hotel and rescue Mario and the rest of his friends in this third installment in the Luigi's Mansion series. Featuring multiplayer modes for up to eight players (local or online) and a thrilling main adventure that can be played alone or with a friend, Luigi's Mansion 3 provides hours of entertainment with satisfying puzzles and abilities, energizing battles, and a never-ending stream of collectibles to find.
See our Luigi's Mansion 3 review.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 first released in 2015 on other systems, but the critically acclaimed RPG released on Nintendo Switch in October 2019. Widely considered one of the best games ever made (it earned a rare 10/10 in GameSpot's review), The Witcher 3 follows a monster hunter (or "witcher") named Geralt on a perilous journey to find his missing adopted daughter. The Complete Edition comes with every piece of DLC released for The Witcher 3 as well as a map, compendium, and stickers of Geralt's iconic wolf pendant.
See our The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Return to Koholint Island in this gorgeous remake of the classic handheld Legend of Zelda game, Link's Awakening. While the game retains the original's gameplay, puzzle designs, and top-down perspective, it's reimagined in vivid color with toy-like character designs. An in-game hint system also helps you find your way, making it a great gift for players of all ages.
See our Link's Awakening review.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Turn-based tactics series Fire Emblem will never be the same after the release of Three Houses, which shakes up the established formula of the series in a way that works wonderfully. In Three Houses, you play as a young professor in charge of training a group of students, all of whom are warriors in training. That training happens both in the classroom, where you can hone specific stats, and on the battlefield, where they may live or die depending on your strategy and their skills. Featuring a memorable cast of characters and an intriguing storyline that branches off depending on which House you choose, Three Houses is a deeply engaging game any Role-playing or strategy-minded gamer can easily sink countless hours into, but it's also perfect for playing just more turn on the go.
See our Fire Emblem: Three Houses review.
This stunning hack-and-slash adventure from the former lead game designer of Nier: Automata has you play as a detective who, along with their twin, work within a world known as "the Ark" to investigate incidents, solve cases, and fight against beasts from an alternate dimension, the Chimeras. The stylish combat involves controlling a Legion, a separate entity that comes with its own skills and attacks, and you'll eventually build a roster of Legions you can swap between strategically. With it being a fast-paced action game, you may want to consider picking up a Nintendo Switch pro controller to go along with it.
See our Astral Chain review.
Overwatch: Legendary Edition
The worldwide video game phenomenon is about to get even bigger: Overwatch is now available on Nintendo Switch. One of the biggest online multiplayer games released in 2016 on other platforms and hasn't slown down since, and its team-based shooting grew so big that there is now a global Overwatch League. The Switch port notably features motion controls where you can tilt the Joy-Cons or Pro controller to actually move the camera and aim your gun. The Legendary Edition comes with a download code for the game (no physical game card included) as well as a three-month Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which is needed to play online.
See our Overwatch review.
Daemon X Machina
In this third-person shooter, you control a mercenary who joins a group of fighters known as the Outers. The mercenaries pilot armored mecha suits called Arsenals, and you can customize your suit and weapons as needed for battles against Immortals, the rogue A.I. robots threatening humanity.
See our Daemon X Machina review.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
Considered by many to be the best in the long-running JRPG series, Dragon Quest XI is now available on Nintendo Switch. This Definitive Edition lets you ride and attack with monsters on the field to earn experience points, and you can also switch between HD or 16-bit visuals to experience what the original games felt like. There are also multiple different options for music and audio.
See our Dragon Quest XI review.
Super Mario Maker 2
This sequel to 2015's Super Mario Maker lets you design, create, and play your own custom Super Mario courses as well as share them with friends and play other people's levels. Super Mario Maker 2 introduces more assets and tools players can use to design levels, including a new course and assets based on Super Mario 3D world. It also introduces new local and online multiplayer modes, although please note that Nintendo Switch Online is needed for any online play.
See our Super Mario Maker 2 review.
Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection
Experience two great Assassin's Creed adventures on the Nintendo Switch with the Rebel Collection, which bundles Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed Rogue. Black Flag positions you as an 18th century Caribbean pirate, while Rogue is set during the Seven Years' War and casts you in the role of an expert assassin-hunter. Like Black Flag, Rogue includes both naval and land exploration.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
While the upcoming Marvel's Avengers game won't be out until next year, superhero fans can still play as their favorite characters in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Featuring a huge roster of playable characters like Black Widow, Captain America, and Iron Man, the game allows for single-player as well as both local and online co-op for up to four players. As you and your team progress through the game, you'll go up against familiar bad guys from the Marvel universe, like Mysterio, Green Goblin, and Ultron, but The Black Order's plot is unique to the game and only loosely inspired by the MCU and other Marvel works.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
All three original Spyro games are remastered in this HD collection, which first released on PS4 and Xbox One in 2018 and released on Nintendo Switch in September 2019. The collection includes Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.
See our Spyro Reignited Trilogy review.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Will: A Wonderful World
This visual novel-esque puzzle game may be the most obscure game on this list, but Will: A Wonderful World is a true hidden gem that was ported to the Switch earlier this year. The overarching story centers on a girl who wakes up with no memory of who and where she is, only to be told by a strange dog-like creature that the two of them are gods who read letters from humans and decide their fates. The puzzle mechanic involves reading said letters and rearranging certain paragraphs to affect the outcome of their story--and changing one person's fate will inevitably impact others. All the while, you slowly unravel the truth about the two "gods" who wield this power. With a delightful soundtrack and well-written, compelling characters, Will: A Wonderful World is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys a cozy, story-driven puzzle game.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
A spiritual successor to the Castlevania franchise, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a Metroidvania-style adventure where you play as Miriam, an orphan whose body is slowly crystallizing from an alchemist's curse. The gothic horror-inspired game features plenty of humor to balance out the dark tone and wonderfully interconnected level designs.
Baldur's Gate + Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition
With Baldur's Gate III officially in development, there's no better time to relive the original two games that set the standard for Dungeons and Dragons computer roleplaying games: Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, which are bundled in this Enhanced Edition for Nintendo Switch. This collection also includes a new chapter, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.