The Nintendo Switch is getting up in years, but the hybrid portable console is still going strong. The platform had a solid year of great new releases, especially from outside the realm of Nintendo’s usual top-tier franchises.
Games like Kirby and Switch Sports were excellent callbacks to some beloved brands that didn’t lean hard on bigger names like Mario or Zelda. Xenoblade Chronicles marked another enormous RPG for the platform that has become known as a destination for playing epics on the go.
In the realm of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, this was a year of unusual entries. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope returned to the bizarre tactical game partnership between Nintendo and Ubisoft, to exceptional results. And Pokemon Legends: Arceus was a big departure from the usual Pokemon formula, helping to chart a new path forward that we saw partly iterated on in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which released later in the year.
Nintendo was not immune to delays, however, which pushed some games outside of the 2022 release window. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom–previously informally known as Breath of the Wild 2–was pushed to May 2023. And in an unpredictable turn of events, Nintendo made the last-minute decision to indefinitely delay the release of Advance Wars Reboot Camp in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Either or both of those games remain among our most anticipated, and could very well have landed on this list.
Despite those hurdles, this was an incredibly strong year for the Nintendo Switch, with a wide array of games that will keep you playing docked and handheld well into the new year.