Boss Rush Banter: What Has Been the Best Year for Nintendo Switch?

We’re now in the fourth year of the Nintendo Switch’s lifecycle, and Nintendo has released a surplus of first party, AAA, and indie games year after year. As of today, the number of titles that are available to play on the Switch is 3913. Since the release of the Switch in 2017, what has been the best year for releases? Let’s take a look at each year and the heavy hitters that came out.

2017 – Launch Year

Nintendo had an incredible launch year for titles, four of which are still in the top ten for games sold on Switch. No matter what genre of game you like, there was something here for you. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild really set the tone for Switch as a launch title, and from there, we saw brand new installments in several franchises such as Mario, Xenoblade, Splatoon. There were even a couple of new IPs in Arms and Mario Rabbids Kingdom. Here’s a few of the most notable titles released in 2017:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Splatoon 2
  • Stardew Valley
  • Arms
  • Sonic Mania
  • Rocket League
  • Skyrim

2018 – Sophomore Slump?

Looking through the titles released in 2018, it seemed a little light when it came to first party games, and it was. Even with the lack of first party games in 2018, indie titles really shined, and arguably the year to thank for the recent boom in indie titles and developers. Cult favorites such as Celeste, Child of Light, Undertale, and Hollow Knight were all released in 2018, and they have continued popularity since then. There were a handful of ports that came along as well. How did you feel about this year in gaming? Let’s take a look at some of the more notable games released during 2018:

  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Ys VIII
  • Monster Hunter Gnerations
  • Hollow Knight
  • Celeste
  • Undertale
  • Child of Light
  • Minecraft
  • Gris

2019 – Feeling Like a Prom King/Queen

This was the year Nintendo returned with first party titles. From May until December, it seemed like there was a big title release from Nintendo every month. We saw a brand new Fire Emblem game, the second installment of Mario Maker, Tetris 99–a new and innovative idea, and even a new RPG workout game with Ring Fit Adventure. They topped off the holiday season with a brand new Pokemon, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and even remade Link’s Awakening from the ground up. Not only did first party shine, we saw heavy hitter Dragon Quest XI S come to Switch as well, and they even had the new IP, Astral Chain, released that year! 2019 was jam packed with games from beginning to end, but was it the best year for the Switch? Let’s look at the notable games released in 2019:

  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Fire Emblem 3 Houses
  • Link’s Awakening
  • Pokemon Sword/Shield
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Dragon Quest XI S
  • Ring Fit Adventure
  • Mario & Sonic Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  • Astral Chain
  • New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • The Witcher III
  • Cadence of Hyrule
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Cuphead
  • Tetris 99

2020 – The Gap Year?

COVID was a wrecking ball in 2020. No matter who you were, it had some affect on you in one way or another. However, one of the few industries that’s boomed in 2020 was gaming. Nintendo sold Switch consoles at a record pace and 28 million copies of the insanely well timed Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Even though sales were high, production was down. We went the entire year without seeing a full Nintendo Direct or shadow drops for game announcements, but despite everything, Nintendo still came through with great new releases, two of which were nominated for Game of the Year at the Game Awards ceremony. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable games from 2020:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King
  • Hades
  • Pikmin 3 Deluxe
  • Xenoblade Chronicles DX
  • Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
  • Trials of Mana
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising
  • Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics
  • Crosscode
  • Bug Fables
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • A Short Hike
  • Streets of Rage 4

2021 – Mask Off

Although the year hasn’t finished yet, we’re looking at an already incredible lineup for 2021. Capcom has been showing so much love for their Monster Hunter series, and JRPGs are here in a big way with the releases of Neo The World Ends With You, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Ys IX, Bravely Default 2, and Cris Tales. Along with those games, Nintendo has shown their first party games some love in porting Mario 3D World with additional content in Bowser’s Fury and Mario Golf. 2021 has potential to be the best year, but we’ll have to see how it plays out. Let’s look at what’s already been released:

  • Bravely Default 2
  • Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Tony Hawk pro Skater 1+2
  • Game Builder Garage
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Miitopia

And here’s what’s coming up:

  • Monster Hunter Stories 2
  • Ys IX
  • No More Heroes III
  • Mario Party Superstars
  • Wario Ware: Get it Together
  • Metroid Dread
  • Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
  • Advance Wars Reboot 1+2

Now that we’ve looked over a few of these games over the last few years, which year stands out to you the most? For me, I’d like to say it’s 2017, because Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are two of my all time favorite games. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section or on our Discord!

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