15 Best Japanese Nintendo Switch Games

Nintendo Switch Video Games: Which is the Best

Game controllers of Switch

The quality of Japanese video games with cutting-edge technology has been admired by all over the world for a long time. One of the most famous and popular Japanese game companies Nintendo has led the game industry in Japan releasing unique game consoles.

From the handy video games such as Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS to the home game platforms including Nintendo Entertainment System (Family Computer), Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube ,Wii and the latest model Nintendo Switch, all of its games have been loved by numerous people beyond generations.

Nintendo Switch has been one of the most played games in the world since it was released in 2017. It is played all over the world partly because people can enjoy the games with international players online. There are over 400 video game softwares for Nintendo Switch as of 2019.

Then, which game for Nintendo Switch should you choose first? Or, what to play if you are looking for the next recommended game? Here are 15 best Nintendo Switch games ever, which I, a Japanese Otaku, pick out. Let’s play Nintendo Switch with these exciting games!

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

15. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (ルイージマンション3) is one of the most satisfying Nintendo Switch games for fans of Mario Series and Nintendo characters. It was released in 2019, following the first title for GameCube in 2001 and the second Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS in 2013. The action adventure game centers on Luigi, who gets rid of ghosts using a new vacuum cleaner Poltergust in a large haunted hotel. Up to 8 players can play in the multiplayer mode.

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▶︎For Luigi’s Mansion 3 on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

14. Hades

Hades, a roguelike action role-playing game developed by an American game developer and publisher Supergiant Games, has been enjoyed by lots of players worldwide since it was released in 2020 for Nintendo Switch and other consoles. Based on Greek mythology, Hades is set in the Underworld controlled by Hades. A player as his son Zagreus aims for escaping from the dungeons the Underworld.

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▶︎For Hades on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

13. Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party (スーパー マリオパーティ), which was released in 2018, is the latest Mario Party title while Nintendo had developed 15 Mario Party titles for any consoles from Nintendo 64. Super Mario Party is available with 4 people at the same time, and about 80 games are offered to any players including kids and seniors.

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▶︎For Super Mario Party on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

12. Monster Hunter Rise

In the spring of 2021, the latest part of the popular action role-playing game series Monster Hunter Rise (モンスターハンターライズ) was released as its first title for Nintendo Switch, developed published by Capcom. In Kamura Village, a Hunter travels the world to fight and capture monsters using 14 weapons. As a major paid expansion, Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak will be available in the summer of 2022.

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▶︎For Monster Hunter Rise on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

11. DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて S), the newest title of the legendary role-playing video game series was released in 2019. DRAGON QUEST itself is one of the most popular game series in Japan since the first game was released for Nintendo Entertainment System (Family Computer) in 1986.

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▶︎For DRAGON QUEST XI S on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

10. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (ファイアーエムブレム 風花雪月),  which came to market in 2019, is the 16th entry of the classic fantasy role-playing game series. The new game for Nintendo Switch had been anticipated by many fans of Fire Emblem all over the world.

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▶︎For Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

9. Minecraft

Minecraft, which was originally developed for Java on computers, is a worldly popular sandbox video game, and it has been available with Nintendo Switch since 2018. You can enjoy architecture building your original world with blocks.

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▶︎For Minecraft on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

8. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey (スーパーマリオ オデッセイ) was released in 2017 as the first Super Mario’s entry for Nintendo Switch. And then, the expected new series Super Mario Maker 2 goes on sale from 2019. Super Mario Odyssey is based on exploration with the open world as well as Super Mario Sunshine for Nintendo 64.

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▶︎For Super Mario Odyssey on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (マリオカート8 デラックス) was released in 2017 as the upgraded version of Mario Kart 8 for Wii U. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also the first Mario-themed game for Nintendo Switch. There are 48 courses to play in the game, and 8 players max can enjoy racing simultaneously.

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▶︎For Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

6. Pokémon Sword and Shield

It can be said that Pokémon is now the most famous and popular Japanese game in the world. The latest Pokémon series Pokémon Sword and Shield (ポケットモンスター ソード・シールド) was finally released in 2019. Pokémon has caused a social phenomenon since the first entry Pokémon Red and Green was on sale in 1996. Pokémon Sword and Shield is already a top-selling Nintendo Switch game as well as Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!.

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▶︎For Pokémon Sword and Shield on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The latest title of the popular game series Animal Crossing was released on the 20th of March, 2020 as Animal Crossing: New Horizons (あつまれ どうぶつの森). A player can enjoy living in an abandoned island, freely making buildings and facilities. Multiple players (up to four players) can play in the same island with a single Switch simultaneously. It is one of the best easy games to play with family and friends.

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▶︎Check Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Amazon.co.jp!

4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Finally, Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス), the brand new title of the Pokémon series for Nintendo Switch, was released on January 28, 2022, following the smash-hit Pokémon Sword and Shield in 2019 and the expected remake Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl in 2021. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set in the Hisui region, the past name of the Sinnoh region of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The people does not make peaceful coexistence with Pokémon yet in the ancient world. You can enjoy different experiences from the other series released in the past.

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▶︎For Pokémon Legends: Arceus on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ SPECIAL), came to market in 2018, is the 6th entry of Super Smash Bros. A maximum of 8 players can play the game at the same time using over 70 unique characters while only 12 characters are available in the first Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64. It is one of the fighting games that is played by the most people in the world.

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▶︎For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

2. Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 (スプラトゥーン2), one of the bestselling Switch games, was released at an early stage of Nintendo Switch in 2017 following the first Splatoon for Wii U. In the shooter game, players fight to cover the ground with ink not to beat opponents, controlling their avatar characters called Inklings and Octolings. There are a variety of battle stages and weapons, and the selection is being updated by Nintendo regularly.

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▶︎For Splatoon 2 on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The best Nintendo Switch game here is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド), released in 2017 at the same time as Nintendo Switch itself. The Legend of Zelda is an action-adventure video game developed by Nintendo, which has been loved by Japanese gamers since the first entry came to market in 1986. The series got especially popular with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64 in 1998. You can explore the enormous open world and freely choose your destination anytime.

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▶︎For The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Amazon.co.jp, click here!

For first timers, it is recommended to begin with the relatively easy games like Splatoon 2 and Pokémon Sword and Shield. Check the details about Nintendo Switch itself on Amazon.com and find the best deal!

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Family including kids can enjoy Super Mario Party and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. If you have not played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild though you like video games especially roll-playing or action-adventure games, it is what you should choose first.

If you are interested in other Japanese pop cultures, you might also like these articles below!

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I'm writing by my motto: helping travelers spend their limited time experiencing something priceless in Japan. My articles won't let you down! Living in Tokyo and traveling many popular and hidden sites all over Japan, I deliver well-selected and latest tourist information to you from the perspective of “100% Japanese local”. My specific interests are island hopping, eating countless bowls of ramen, watching anime and reading manga. Enjoy Japan Web Magazine for recommended food spots, hidden gems Japanese Otaku (geek) culture, and everything about Japan :)