History Behind Switch Purchase
What lies below is a listing of my Switch collection along with some history behind the system's purchase. Please note that all of the games listed below are physical game cards or digital downloads that I actually purchased.
Nintendo Switch released worldwide on March 3, 2017, but I did not purchase a Switch until December 2020. Yes, you read that right—nearly four (4) years later. As a lifelong Nintendo gamer, I always purchased the newest Nintendo home console as close to launch as humanly possible, including the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, and Wii U. But NOT the Switch. I did not believe that I had time for Switch in my life when it was released, and in retrospect, that was the correct decision.
Ironically, I received an invitation to the Nintendo Switch Preview Tour in Washington, DC (Union Market) on February 11, 2017, which allowed my friend and I to try the Switch and its games weeks before it launched. Although the event did not cause me to change my mind and get one, it certainly impacted my friend's decision to go ahead and buy one. In the early days, we played Snipperclips, Overcooked, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. We even had the opportunity to play Switch in Tabletop Mode on our flight to Vegas in March 2018. But, in spite of Switch's increasing popularity, we actually did not play it much together over the next 2-3 years.
With the emergence of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders in March/April 2020, I re-considered if I should get a Switch. Yeah, so did everyone else, as it was sold out everywhere for months and months on end (also due to Animal Crossing: New Horizons). While I waited for the supply chain catch up, I ended up deciding to purchase a...Switch Lite for $199.99 from GameStop.com. From prior birthdays, I had $100 in gift cards, and I was reluctant to buy a docked version with rumors of a "Switch Pro" on the horizon. Oh, and I went with yellow to complement my yellow Game Boy Pocket. It arrived on December 24, 2020.
Then, on January 12, 2021, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch - Mario Red & Blue Edition for $299.99. I knew that I had to get it. With the two-tone color scheme, red Switch dock, and themed case, it made sense for my Switch home console to be a special edition inspired by the iconic outfit worn by Mario. I was able to preorder one on GameStop.com at 12:15am. Somewhat surprisingly, however, I also was able to DriveUp to my local Target the next morning and pick it up from the store when it was released on February 12, 2021. In two months time, I went from zero (0) Switches to two (2) Switches.
With regard to my Switch game collection, I compressed several years' worth of purchases into several months. This is also because I spent a lot of time researching the games by reading numerous reviews, reviewing message boards on Reddit, and tracking prices on Deku Deals. My eclectic Switch game collection is curated based on these ideals:
With my late adoption of Switch, I do believe that I am set for now and into the future. Neither the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model tempted me nor do I believe that a Switch Pro or next-gen 4K Switch would entice me, especially with my backlog!
- Retro Gaming
- Indie World
- Switch Era Games
- Games I Previously Missed
- Old PC Games I Used to Enjoy
- Good for Young(er) Kids
- Local Wireless & Online
- Physical (vs. Digital)
All-Time Favorite Switch Games
When it was announced in January 2017, it seemed to deviate from the Mario formula with worlds that were too realistic or crazy looking. After completing the game, it became apparent to me that Super Mario Odyssey was the sequel to Super Mario 64 that I always wanted. By bringing back the "sandbox" concept and introducing Cappy, Nintendo really delivered an all-time great. On the quest to collect Power Moons, you are treated with a fantastic presentation, creative world design, smooth play control, tons of secrets, nods to Mario's past, and so much more. The Assist Mode for kids is great, too!
2. Tetris Effect: Connected
Imagine modern Tetris (e.g., 1-piece hold, T-spins, hard drop, multi-piece preview) synchronized with how you are playing. Everything—music, backgrounds, sounds, special effects, and even the Tetris pieces themselves—pulse, dance, shimmer, and explode in perfect harmony. This is what makes Tetris Effect: Connected such an exhilarating experience; it keeps you "in the zone," especially with the original and innovative soundtrack. The new Zone mechanic and Connected co-op mode are both interesting, and purists may love the Classic Score Attack mode that uses classic Tetris rules. I played this a ton.
3. Borderlands Legendary Collection
During the COVID-19 pandemic, my couch co-op gaming buddy and I had to get together virtually. Since I finally got around to buying a Switch in 2020, we spent most of our online gaming sessions playing Borderlands 1 and 2. Although he last played the series 10 years earlier on PS3/PC, I had zero experience with "loot shooters." Undeniably, it is still a 3D open-world first-person shooter, but I see how there are some light RPG elements with buying/selling and equipping weapons, shields, abilities, etc. Aside from being less desolate, Borderlands 2 has better looks, more polish, and added challenge. Fun co-op.
With the 2022-23 Booster Course Pass, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is truly the pinnacle of the series. How will this game ever be topped? It has nearly 100 new, retro, and mobile (MK Tour) tracks. Compared to past entries, all of the characters, vehicles, and items are well-balanced; the computer AI is reasonable; and the speed feels right for each CC. MK8's Grand Prix mode, with CPU racers, allows up to 4 players locally. Online matches are quick and plentiful, and Online Play w/ Friends is more than 1-on-1. With MK8D, Battle Mode is good, double items are back, and kids can use Steering Assist. Perfection?
5. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2
I love Tony Hawk. I played a ton of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (N64) back in 2000, including two-player, in college. Then my passion continued with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (GCN) in 2002. So, 20 years later, you can imagine my excitement about the HD remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2—complete with re-licensed music. Although the Switch version arrived 9 months late, and does not look as good as my friend's PS4/PS5 version, it is a great port. Nothing got cut, and everything runs smoothly at 30fps. A great example of a game that begs to be played in Switch's handheld mode. Addictive and fun.
On each of my Nintendo systems, I found an initially obscure, completely original local multiplayer game that provided tons of replayability and many, many hours of enjoyment. Without a doubt, Boomerang Fu is this hidden gem on Switch. The game was enjoyed by 6-year-olds and 50-year-olds alike. One of the fun things about the 6-player game is that matches can be over in a mere 5 seconds, but they generally average 30-60 seconds. The frantic nature of slashing, throwing, and power-ups also can be offset by strategy in many arenas, especially if you choose teams. Plus, it has some good bots. Simple fun!
7. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Although I enjoy the "push-forward" combat of 3D first-person shooters, my favorite games in the genre incorporate elements of stealth. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus not only does a great job of mixing up the action but it also includes a crazy-yet-fascinating story of what could have happened to America if the Nazis had won World War II. As a Switch port, I think it is fantastic. You can see the downgrade in the graphics from the cut-scenes to the gameplay, but I found that the game was smooth, clear, and utterly satisfying. Exhibit A of a game that I previously missed—and could now enjoy thanks to Switch.
8. TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
Talk about a love letter to the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and arcade games. TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is delightful; it does everything right. The story and cutscenes are well done and succinct. It nails the multi-player arcade-style gameplay perfectly, with offline and online play, while adding some finesse. The graphics are retro-styled yet extremely fluid and detailed. It captures the essence of the era perfectly with its music and sound effects. The game is much longer and has more depth compared to the past, but it is not filled with fluff. It is everything that I hoped for (and more)!
As someone who had fond memories—both in the arcade and on the N64—of Cruis'n USA and Cruis'n World from the mid-1990s, I thought I would enjoy the 2021 Switch port of the 2017 arcade successor: Cruis'n Blast. Wow, what an awesome surprise. Eugene Jarvis' Raw Thrills not only ported the arcade's five (5) bright, colorful, crazy, high-flying, and death-defying levels but also reworked them into 24 new Cruis'n Tour levels for the Switch. The "straight-ahead" racing style, along with simple controls, crazy speeds, rubber band AI, and forgiving crash physics, means nearly anyone can play and have a blast!
10. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!
When Pokémon hit American shores in 1998, I was 20-years-old and worked in a toy store—and was mesmerized by the hype. I bought a Game Boy Pocket just to play Pokémon Red, and I purchased an assortment of licensed products (toys, stuffed animals, sheets, trading cards, books). Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! represented how I would introduce my 7- and 4-year-old boys to the world of Pokémon and my knowledge of Generation I (151 species). Since this remake focused on accessibility to newcomers and cooperative play, I enjoyed watching them play 40+ hours together.
11. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Initially, fans thought this was a lazy port, but Super Mario 3D All-Stars will end up being a great Switch story. Super Mario 64's seemingly subtle port actually makes it look clear and good on your modern TV, especially compared to the Virtual Console versions. Super Mario Sunshine's hybrid remaster/upscale into HD widescreen was a feat unto itself. But, yeah, I am still not a fan of the GCN entry. For me, Super Mario Galaxy is the star and worth the price of admission. This fantastic Mario entry is no longer stuck on the Wii, featuring better graphics and control options.
Back in the Super NES era, I loved the Secret of Mana and all of its multiplayer 2D action RPG glory. That nostalgia caused me to be intrigued by the full-on 3D remake of the largely unknown 1995 sequel: Trials of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 3). Happily, this feels like a Mana game and checks all those same action JRPG boxes: whimsical worlds, linear-but-enjoyable exploration, fantastic music, suitable storytelling, fast-paced combat, and some quality-of-life improvements. Just a fun, modern single-player adventure (Riesz, Angela, Duran) for those of us who do not want a game that is too long or complex.
13. Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition
From the mid-1990s and into the early 2000s, in my college years, the American culture accepted raunchiness by permitting vulgarity, objectifying women, and glorifying violence. This epitomizes Duke Nukem. Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition (2019) allows you to play through the entire remastered game as Duke Nukem and even has the original voice actor. As a 3D FPS, Bulletstorm was refreshing in 2011 and still is today. With a more linear level design, the game features an AI-controlled teammates, over-the-top sequences, and a whip-like Leash for ridiculous, slow-mo, combo-based kills.
14. Final Fantasy I-VI Pixel Remaster
Back in the early 1990s, I absolutely loved the Final Fantasy games that were released on the Super NES. After Square jumped from Nintendo to Sony with the PlayStation, I was angry and ignored the series as a Nintendo fanboy. Of course, time heals, and things have come full circle with Switch. For me, though, those SNES classics represent my sweet spot, and the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster (FFI-VI Collection) is simply awesome. With touched up graphics, fully orchestrated soundtracks, and quality-of-life settings, these uncomplicated classics feel like the best versions of their former selves.
In the 1990s, I had a love affair with golf and video game iterations (Links 386 Pro on PC, Hal's Hole in One Golf on SNES, Mario Golf on N64) that was somewhat rekindled by Easy Come Easy Golf. Before traveling to Hawaii in fall 2022, I sampled the game on Apple Arcade, and I decided that I should just buy the game on Switch. Ian and I spent a lot of time on these virtual links, and that can be attributed to a game that nails the pick-up-and-play aspect while staying true to a realistic game of golf (no gimmicks). With 11 courses, 30 characters, and many modes, I know that I will play this for years to come.
16. TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection
Honestly, I never thought that I would see this day. I figured the combination of a dying Konami brand and licensing challenges meant that I never would be able to play the original TMNT arcade game (an all-time favorite) at home. Although one could argue that TMNT: Shredder's Revenge was the better of the two (!) Ninja Turtle releases in 2022, I am a sucker for nostalgia and retro video games. These arcade, Super NES, Genesis, Game Boy, and NES games in the TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection are still great on the TV and perfect for Switch's handheld. Plus, it is loaded up with bonus content. Cowabunga!
Minecraft Dungeons surprised me—in a good way. With up to 4 players, the dungeon crawler set in Minecraft's voxel world seemed like something I could play with the kids. I was right. After taking advantage of a rare sale and embarking on some missions together, I realized that the game very much reminded me of Gauntlet. Because of that combination of the Minecraft license along with a satisfying gameplay loop, tons of content, and reasonable difficulty levels, we spent many hours together playing this cooperative adventure together.
18. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
After playing through the Wii U version with a friend in late 2013, I played through the Switch version of Super Mario 3D World with the kids in 2022. It has some unique ideas, but it can be a bit frustrating and lacks the fun-filled replayability of other Mario games. I still prefer my multi-player Mario games in 2D. The real draw is Cat Mario and Bowser's Fury. Although Bowser's Fury feels like one gigantic world in a 3D Mario game, and it leaves you wanting more, the game is so good and so much fun. Solid value proposition.
19. Burnout Paradise Remastered
Although I never played the Burnout series on PS or Xbox, I was familiar with Burnout Paradise's open-world racing environment from 2013's Need for Speed: Most Wanted U on Wii U. With the 2020 port to Switch, I knew that I would love Burnout Paradise Remastered—and I was right. It stands the test of time. Just drive and explore, with NO in-game loading, and complete events that include point-to-point races, road rage takedowns, stunt runs, and races against the clock. Furthermore, the Switch version maintains the series' trademark 60fps speed along with real cars, spectacular crashes, and re-licensed music.
With 10,000+ games available on Switch, I view OBAKEIDORO! (a.k.a Boogeyrun! OR Bail or Jail) as a diamond in the rough. This asymmetric action game—which is analogous to a kids version "Dead by Daylight" or similar to the Cops and Robbers childhood game—has 3 humans trying to get away from 1 monster during each 3-minute match. You can play any combination of human and computer opponents among the couch split-screen, Local Wireless, and online play modes. Obakeidoro hearkens back to games that are easy to learn, yet have some depth for continued fun.
21. Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection
This is the new gold standard for a retro video game compilation. For Atari's 50th anniversary, Digital Eclipse went above and beyond. Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection includes a curated list of 90+ Atari games from the arcade, 2600, 8-bit computers, 7800 system, Lynx handheld, and Jaguar console. All of the games are emulated perfectly, including 2600 game switches, touch support for paddle games, and first-ever Jaguar and Lynx emulation. On top of that, the collection can be viewed as an interactive timeline that is loaded with high-quality screenshots, interviews, and trivia. Awe-inspiring.
22. Sniper V2 Elite Remastered
First off, a BIG shoutout to the developers at Rebellion. They were awesome in porting Sniper Elite V2, Sniper Elite 3, Zombie Army Trilogy, Sniper Elite 4, Strange Brigade, and Zombie Army 4 to the Switch. All of these games are silky smooth at 30 fps, generally complete on cart, and support both online and Local Wireless. For me, Sniper V2 Elite Remastered gets the nod because this is the one that I played the most with a friend. I also appreciated the slower, purposefully methodical, stealth-based approach to Sniper Elite's gameplay, and you gotta love the super-cool X-Ray kill-cam.
23. Capcom Arcade Stadium/2nd Stadium
As someone who grew up in the 1980s, I have a massive amount of nostalgia for Nintendo games. Those rose-tinted glasses extend to the arcade, too, because there were so many games that I played in the arcades, which never made it to home consoles -- or maybe were not great ports. This is why Capcom Arcade Stadium and Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium are such awesome collections for me. This is the first time that I am able to play many of these classics on Nintendo-based hardware. Some long-time favorites include Black Tiger, Forgotten Worlds, Ghosts 'n Goblins, Magic Sword, and Strider.
Although I did not love Luigi's Mansion back in the GameCube era, the 3rd game in the series is phenomenally well done. Luigi's Mansion 3 just oozes with polish, poise, and personality. To start, the game looks fantastic on Switch. Moreover, the action-puzzle gameplay remains somewhat unique even to this day, and it can be even more fun if you include Gooigi for co-op. Competitive multiplayer games are available as well. All of this is wrapped into a typically great, well-paced, relatively lengthy, and complete Nintendo package. Professor E. Gadd's Virtual Boo parody of the Virtual Boy is great, too!
This early Switch release combines two of my favorite puzzle games of all time: Tetris and Puyo Puyo (which I played under the guise of Kirby's Avalanche on SNES). Aside from playing head-to-head in any combination, Puyo Puyo Tetris has a pretty good "Adventure" mode, too, where you battle through different scenarios across each game. If you desire cross-play, then Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 might be better. But if you are gaming solely on Switch, then you probably will find many more Switch gamers who purchased the original if you want to battle via online or Local Wireless play.
Honorable Mention: Double Dragon Neon, Tetris 99, Life is Strange: True Colors, SongPop Party, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers, Huntdown, Mousebot
Switch Physical Game Card Collection (123 games)
- Ace Angler: Switch Version ∏ - Reg. (Asian only)
- Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem
- Air Conflicts Collection LW (x2)
- American Hero
- Angry Video Game Nerd 1 (Wii U) & 2 Deluxe
- Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection
- Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration† (DS)
- Ayo the Clown
- Bee Simulator
- Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions
- Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back!
- Burnout Paradise Remastered
- Catherine: Full Body
- Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
- Cruis'n Blast
- Crysis Remastered
- Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (black spine)
- Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition
- Darksiders III
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet (Asian only)
- Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania (European)
- Disney Classic Games Collection
- Disney Illusion Island
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- DOOM (2016)
- DOOM Eternal + Ancient Gods Expansion
- Doom: The Classics Collection (incl. Doom 3)
- Double Dragon Neon
- Double Kick Heroes ∏ (European)
- Dragon Quest 1+2+3 Collection (Asian)
- DUSK (incl. Dusk '82)
- Dying Light: Platinum Edition LW (x2)
- Earth Defense Force: World Brothers LW
(Asian - x2)
- Fight Crab LW (Japanese)
- Final Fantasy I-VI Pixel Remaster Collection (Asian)
- Final Fantasy VII * / VIII Remastered Twin Pack (European)
- Final Fantasy IX (Asian)
- Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster (Japanese)
- Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
- Forgotton Anne
- Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart
- Go Vacation ∏
- Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Ed.†
- Hollow Knight
- It Takes Two + Friend's Pass (free)
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Kirby Star Allies
- Klonoa Phantasie Reverie Series (European)
- Kukoos: Lost Pets
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild α (Wii U)
+ Expansion Pass
- Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening α
- Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom α
- Let's Sing Queen * - Reg. (European)
- Life is Strange: True Colors (Japanese)
- Live A Live
- Luigi's Mansion 3
- Mantis Burn Racing LW (Japanese)
- Mario Party Superstars
- Mega Man 11
- Mighty Fight Federation
- Minecraft (x2)
- Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin α
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
- NEO: The World Ends With You
- New Pokémon Snap
- Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition
- Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (Asian)
- OBAKEIDORO! LW (Asian)
- Old School Musical (European)
- Omen of Sorrow (Asian)
- Ori: The Collection
- Override: Mech City Brawl * (Japanese)
- Pac-Man World: Re-PAC
- Panzer Dragoon: Remake *
- PAW Patrol: On a Roll!
- Payday 2 LW (x2)
- Perky Little Things† (Handheld)
(European only) - Lite
- Persona 5 Royal
- Persona 5 Strikers
- Pokémon Sword + Expansion Pass
- Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! ∏
- Pretty Girls Game Collection 2† (European) - Lite
- Prodeus *
- Puyo Puyo Tetris LW
- Redeemer: Enhanced Edition (European)
- Return to Monkey Island†
- RICO + DLC (European)
- Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (European)
- Samurai Warriors 5 (x2)
- Serious Sam Collection LW (x2)
- Shuttlecock-H * (European)
- Sniper Elite V2 Remastered LW (x2)
- Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition LW
(European - x2)
- Sonic Colors: Ultimate (Wii)
- Sonic Frontiers
- Sonic Mania Plus
- Sonic Origins Plus
- Strange Brigade LW (European - x2)
- Streets of Rage 4: Anniversary Edition
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars N † ∏ α
- Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) + Bowser's Fury α
- Super Mario Odyssey ∏ α
- Tempest 4000
- Tetris Effect: Connected
- The Pathless
- TMNT: Shredder's Revenge (European) + DLC
- TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection LW
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 LW
- Trek to Yomi
- Trials of Mana 3D
- Trinity Trigger
- Unravel Two
- Waifu Uncovered * (European)
- Waifu Discovered 2: Medieval Fantasy * (European)
- Windjammers LW
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus *
- YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world.
- Zombie Army Trilogy LW (x2)
Copyright © Scott McCall. All Rights Reserved. ™ and © for all products, characters, and indicia related thereto which are contained herein are owned by the companies who market or license those products.