These are the best games for your new Nintendo Switch

Your family fought the good fight and got you a Switch. First things first: thank them. Go ahead, give them a big smile and a hug. Great! Okay! Time to get to gaming. We’ve included all the must-have games below along with a couple additional recommendations for when you want even more. These should last you a while and make the most use of your brand new Switch.

We’ve rounded up our favorite and most-used apps and utilities for the technology we use every day. Check out our other picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs. We’ve also listed our favorite games for iOS and Android from this year.Super Mario OdysseyImage: Super Mario Odyssey

SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

Mario’s back with… a sentient hat? Sure. You’ll travel the globe with Mario, visit faraway lands, and attempt to save Princess Peach. Your trusty hat, Cappy, adds a new dimension to the game in which you can possess various characters and take control of their bodies. Yes, you can become a T-rex. While the story’s fun to play, definitely take your time exploring these worlds. They’re gorgeously designed and include lots of hidden nooks and crannies you’ll need to find to collect all the moons.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD

Settle in because this game is going to take some time. As Link, you’ll traverse a sprawling map and poke around at things to figure out how they work. You’ll set off on various quests, like one to uncover shrines using only poetry and riddles. The game is fairly open, so it’s up to you to define your path forward.

Snipperclips

SNIPPERCLIPS

Snipperclips was one of the few games released at the Switch’s launch. It’s ideal for multiple players, as you’ll work together to cut out shapes and solve various puzzles. This might be the best game if you want to spend time with your family. The game also now has an expansion pack — Snipperclips Plus — that adds two new worlds to explore and 30 more puzzles to solve.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

MARIO KART 8 DELUXE

You know about Mario Kart. We all do, but now it’s on the Switch. Yippee. This new versionincludes a few changes: you can hold two items at once; nearly all characters and race tracks are unlocked from the start; and there are multiple new battle modes. One mode, called “renegade roundup,” gives each player a chomping piranha plant with the goal being to snap up as many members of the opposing team as possible. This won’t necessarily foster goodwill in your family, but some light competition is fine.

Stardew Valley

STARDEW VALLEY

Are you ready to become a farmer? Now’s your time. Stardew Valley is structured as series of days. Every day, you have some time to do whatever you want. You can plant and water crops, clear out your overgrown plot of land, or venture into town to go shopping or make friends. Certain days bring with them special occasions, like the spring egg festival, but otherwise your schedule is mostly left to you. This is a supremely chill game that you can play while doing something else, like maybe watching a Christmas movie for the thousandth time.

Splatoon 2Splatoon 2

SPLATOON 2

This multiplayer shooter game is like a cross between Call of Duty, paintball, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater graffiti mode. You fire paint instead of bullets and reload by swimming through colorful goop. Weapons include squirt guns, paint rollers, buckets, and massive brushes. Each match drops players into an urban arena, with the goal being to paint as much of the stage in your team’s color as possible before time runs out. The game just got an update in November to include new clothing, hairstyles, and maps.

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