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The 15 Best Nintendo Switch Games to Play Right Now

From TIME - December 5, 2017

When the Nintendo Switch launched in March, some jokingly called it a Zelda machine. Thats because there wasnt much of a reason to buy the console other than to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Now, nine months later, the Switch boasts an expansive roster of impressive games that range from ports of cherished third-party releases to new Nintendo titles that are bound to be remembered as classics.

Heres a look at some of the best games you can play for the Nintendo Switch right now.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Some Nintendo Switch are well-suited for passing the time during a quick commute to work. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not one of those games: Its best enjoyed when you have a substantial block of time to sink away into the game, allowing you to get lost in its sprawling world. The latest RPG entry from Monolith Soft and Nintendo follows a scavenger names Rex and his sentient weapon Pyra, as they traverse massive, living landmasses known as Titans. Its a vast, absurd yet astonishing world thats bound to please those who are always looking for new areas to explore.

Buy now: Xenoblade Chronicles 2, $60, Amazon

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey delivers everything youd expect from a modern Super Mario gameand so much more. Its the first sandbox-style Super Mario flagship since 2002s Super Mario Sunshine, and a lot has improved in that 15-year gap. Marios ability to take on the form of his enemies thanks to his magical companion hat Cappy adds a whole new dimension to gameplay. Mario has always been able to gain new abilities through power-ups. But the capability to fully transform into foes like Bullet Bill and others gives Mario even more tools for progressing through levels and solving puzzles. Its this aspect that makes Odyssey feel profoundly different than any of Marios previous incarnations.

Buy now: Super Mario Odyssey, $60, Amazon

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the first games available for the Switch, and its still the best reason to pick up Nintendos new console. With its lush woodlands and sun-soaked mountains, the scenery alone is enough to impress.The best part of this game is that you can actually explore all of itand you absolutely should. Where Breath of the Wild differs from most Zelda games is that its about survival just as much as its about completing puzzles and defeating Ganon. When your health runs low, you have to hunt and cook meals to replenish it. If Link enters an area thats too cold or warm, hell have to concoct an elixir or find the right clothing to stop his health from dropping. Of course, the crux of the storyline hinges on stopping Ganon, but in order to do so you must free all of the Divine Beasts while scouting out towers and solving puzzle-ridden shrines along the way. Breath of the Wild takes the strategy and puzzle-solving skills that were always necessary for success in Zelda games to an entirely new level.

Buy now: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, $60, Amazon

Read more: The Top 10 Video Games of 2017

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

You dont have to be a fan of the maniacal Raving Rabbids from the Rayman universe to appreciate this game. This Super Mario and Rabbids mashup is filled with tactical turn-based battles that are surprisingly delightful and addictive. Characters like Mario and Luigi, along with Rabbids cosplaying as those familiar faces, essentially function as weaponized chess pieces during battle. To succeed, youll have to intelligently hop around the battlefield, finding optimal spots for dealing damage while dodging obstacles along the way. Like many games of its genre, Mario + Rabbids invites you in with levels that are easily beatable but engaging, then ratchets up the difficulty as the plot progresses.

Buy now: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, $60, Amazon

Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Super Mario Kart has always been a staple of Nintendos consoles, and there are plenty of reasons to pick up the latest installment for the Switch even if youve played Super Mario Kart 8. The Deluxe version introduces new characters like the Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from Splatoon and an updated Battle Mode that includes new gameplay styles. Combine that with smaller updates like the ability to hold two items at a time and play with others without an extra controller, and youve got a game that substantially differentiates itself from its predecessor.

Buy now: Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, $55, Amazon

Stardew Valley

With long-running series like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, Nintendo has developed an audience for games of the life simulator variety. Thats part of the reason Chucklefish and ConcernedApes Stardew Valley feels like such a natural fit on the Switch. Gameplay that involves planting crops as you watch your plot of land flourish into a prosperous farm is just the type of experience that works brilliantly on mobile. And since the Switch pulls double duty as a handheld device and a console, you can get that portability without the compromises that can come with using touchscreen-only controls.

Buy now: Stardew Valley, $15, Amazon

Rocket League

Race car driving meets soccer. Need I say more? The PlayStation 4s most downloaded game of 2016 and one of the Xboxs most-played games has made its way to the Nintendo Switch. The premise of Rocket League is almost painfully simple: chase down a giant ball and knock it into the goal. I say chase down, but nothing about a Rocket League match resembles a traditional car chase. What makes Rocket League so fun is that youre constantly scrambling to jab the ball into the goal at any cost, which often means careening up the sides of the arena and tumbling through the air. The Switch version also has special Mario and Metroid-themed cars.

Buy now: Rocket League, $20, Amazon

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Arms

Splatoon 2

Doom

Fire Emblem Warriors

I Am Setsuna

Sonic Mania

Pokkn Tournament DX

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