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2017's Best Nintendo Switch Games That You Can't Play Anywhere Else

After launching in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has already racked up an impressive library thanks to the Big N doing everything in its power to make up for the lackluster performance of the Wii U. And it's working. But while the Switch has relied heavily on remakes of Wii U games like Mario Kart 8 and sweet portable versions of third party titles such as Skyrim to boost its offerings, the unique console has also made a strong showing on the exclusive front–and in a relatively short amount of time.

Here are the best 2017 Switch games that you can only play on Nintendo's hybrid console–and literally nowhere else. If it's on another system–looking at you, Breath of the Wild–you won't find it here. These games are purely for the Switch and knocked the socks off of players and critics.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario is practically synonymous with Nintendo, so it's probably a no-brainer that the latest flagship title for the classic franchise would top this list. However, Nintendo truly outdid themselves this time. Not only is Super Mario Odyssey one of the best games for the Nintendo Switch, but it's in the running to be Game of the Year for 2017, according to Polygon. That means everyone's favorite Italian plumber impressively surpassed more than just The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Mario crushed the competition across every console. Mamma mia!


After lighting up the fighting game scene with Super Smash Bros., Nintendo is at it again with ARMS. With its unique gameplay that allows players to customize their fighters with a combination of extendable arms before diving into online slugfests, ARMS has been racking up solid review scores on Metacritic. But don't just take the critics' word for it. User reviews have been overwhelmingly positive as players praise the game's strategic depth and motion controls as "spot-on responsive." Nintendo definitely came out swinging with this one.

Golf Story

An RPG about golf is probably the last thing you'd expect to see on a "best of" game list, but Golf Story has surprisingly won over both players and critics with its unusual premise. With users favorably comparing it to Stardew Valley and Earthbound, Golf Story is a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners who want to enjoy a rousing round of golf while battling the undead in between birdies. We'll see you on the green.

Splatoon 2

When the original Splatoon landed on the Wii U in 2015, Kotaku praised the game for revolutionizing the "art of shooting people in the face." It was a surprise hit for the embattled console. And while Nintendo could've simply ported Splatoon over to the Switch ala Mario Kart 8, the company delivered a full-fledged sequel for the game's rabid fanbase. Splatoon 2 not only retains the fresh, fun gameplay of the original, but it polished and improved every detail, according to reviews.

Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!

Nintendo promised to deliver on independent games for the Switch. And if the SFB Games-developedSnipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! is a taste of what to expect, the company is staying true to its word. After launching aside the Switch, Snipperclips made an impressive showing on Metacritic with critics and users calling it one of the best multiplayer games for the system. Apparently, cutting out paper characters and using them to solve puzzles with a friend is crazy fun. Who knew?


Despite being a "quick ride," Nintendo Life gave indie action title Kamiko an excellent rating of a nine out of 10 thanks to its pixel-art aesthetic and "kinetic sense of motion." Many reviews aggregated by Metacritic were equally as positive as critics praised the game's "pick up and play nature" that lets you quickly get to work slashing your way through a Shinto-inspired landscape. Plus Kamiko's remarkably low price isn't too shabby either. Five dollars for a fun, action-packed callback to Link to the Past? Take our money!

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Just like Golf Story ended up being a surprisingly fun mashup of golf and RPG gameplay, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is another quirky mix-up that scored well with players. Not only are the two franchises strangely, and hilariously, slapped together, but the game features a gun-toting Mario battling it out in XCOM-style levels. The whole thing sounds crazy, and yet it works. Turns out shooting Goombas is just as fun as jumping on them. Why didn't Mario think of it sooner?

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

In case you needed more proof that Nintendo isn't messing around when it comes to making sure the Switch has the best IPs the company has to offer, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 arrived on the hybrid console in December 2017. The Xenoblade series has had impressive outings on both the Wii and Wii U, and early reviews for Chronicles 2 have suggested it will do just as well on the Switch.

Even better, according to IGN, players who are unfamiliar with the RPG series will able to dive right into Chronicles 2 without needing to play the previous games. And while Xenoblade fans might need some adjusting to the new art style, IGN feels those concerns will be rendered moot once players immerse themselves in the game's story and rich battle mechanics that involve using "living weapons" to take on massive foes.