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April 24, 2024
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Guide: Most Addictive Nintendo Switch Games

Guide: Most Addictive Nintendo Switch Games
Image: Nintendo Life

Video games. They can transport you to other worlds, put you in someone else’s shoes, and artfully illuminate and educate while engaging your grey matter with entertainment of astonishing variety. There’s no end to the incredible, life-affirming experiences on offer: from thought-provoking, narrative deep-dives to blasting through zombie hordes with a double-barrelled shotty; from quiet card games to surreal, technicolor kingdoms of floating platforms and mushrooms. Video games!

They’re so great that (as with anything) it’s possible to get a little obsessive, to the point where playing your favourite game can start to impact other areas of your life. Today we’re looking at Switch games with the dangerous power to devour your every waking moment, if you let them: The most addictive games on Nintendo Switch.

To be clear, all of these games are very good. Some might say too good, in fact, due to their ability to hook you and keep you playing, and playing, and playing to the detriment of all other concerns. If you’ve got a backlog, a job, or loved ones you enjoy spending time with, you might want to avoid these exceedingly addictive, day-devouring, rabbit-hole games. These gameslaugh in the face of healthy sleep patterns. They’ll have you sitting down for a quick blast of an evening and…geez, it’s 2:41am!? Okay, let’s stop at 3…Oh my, 4:16am. Work in the morning…

Ready for lots of roguelikes? Let’s run down — in no particular order — our picks for the most addictive Switch games. Be warned: approach with extreme caution!

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (Switch)

This is the OG ‘one more turn’ game.

If you think Civilization peaked at IV, the sixth entry won’t change your mind, but we envy anyone who’s never played the series, as Civilization VI on Switch is a brilliant introduction. Watching — and influencing — how the world unfolds is as addictive as ever, and the boon of portability makes this a great way to play. Lack of online play is an obvious disappointment, but the core game works fantastically well on the handheld and we had an absolute blast; take our advice and get stuck in. If you’ve got no plans for tomorrow, or the rest of the week. Month.

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Fortnite (Switch eShop)

Chasing that chicken dinner is so addictive that Epic has fought off lawsuits on those grounds.

This has probably adorned your Switch dashboard at some point already, and with good reason. Epic delivered the full-fat Fortnite experience on Nintendo’s ‘homeheld.’ You’re sure to notice the frame rate and fidelity difference if you’re coming from other consoles, but performance-wise it’s steady and perfectly playable on Switch. Ultimately, that just-one-more-round feeling survives the transition intact — before you know it you’ll be eyeing the clock at 3:56am thinking, ‘Hmm, that’s not a round number.’ The heart-pounding suspense of making it to the final two may not be healthy, but it sure is addictive.

On the subject of Battle Royales, shoutout to Apex Legends. We’ve never been enamoured with the Switch port, but the game itself is caffeine-fueled catnip.

Vampire Survivors (Switch eShop)

Vampire Survivors skyrocketed in popularity in 2022 for good reason. It’s one of the best roguelites in recent memory thanks to its gripping gameplay loop and metagame that hijacks your mind. The Switch port only adds more to love with local co-op and updated content. It’s so easy to slip into a blissful sense of flow in Vampire Survivors’ Castlevania-inspired, comically named levels as its ripping soundtrack and satisfying sound design propel you into the horde that you’ll surely lose track of time playing it. It’s a good thing that rounds don’t usually last more than half an hour. With the addition of free Adventures and a host of DLC, this undead master is teeming with life and ready to wreak havoc with your sleep patterns.

Rocket League (Switch eShop)

One of modern gaming’s true online multiplayer success stories, Rocket League was an essential addition to the Switch’s striking library even before it went free-to-play in September 2020; now there’s absolutely no reason it shouldn’t be your system. The spirit of the game has been transferred perfectly, with the added benefit of portable play which opens up the chance to host local matches with your Switch-owning mates wherever and whenever you fancy. Developer Panic Button did an utterly fantastic job with this port, but technical wizardry aside, what really matters is that the core game is so addictive, so compelling, so enjoyable, and — perhaps above all else — so deep. It rewards skilful play and perseverance, and new tactics and strategies seem to flow from each and every match. Only the occasional network niggle throws shade on this otherwise sublime release, but it’s still an essential online experience.

Dead Cells (Switch)

Dead Cells is a masterclass in excellent roguelite design, mixing together nonstop intense action sequences, gorgeous vistas, and an addictive loop of unlocks and rewards into a beautiful experience that no Switch owner will want to go without. There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of content available here, and though some sense of repetition can creep in every now and then, it’s remarkable how fresh Dead Cells can stay through all those hours. This game is a blast to play, full of visual splendor, and packed with things to do; don’t miss out on this one, it’s a must-buy.

Just make sure you’ve got a clear schedule.

Stardew Valley (Switch eShop)

Stardew Valley offers a chance to live a second life – one where you can forget the troubles of the real world and get excited over finding a particularly rare carrot. It is a truly magical experience; games can often be enjoyable but they don’t all manage to be as captivating as this. This is the sort of game that ideally requires a significant amount of time to be invested; the enjoyment doesn’t necessarily come from the day-to-day actions you perform, but rather from the general growth of pride, satisfaction, and sense of security as the days go by. Fans of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing will be right at home here and, for those who aren’t, there is a decent chance Stardew might just surprise you.

Overwatch 2 (Switch eShop)

Overwatch 2 is a lot of things, but a proper sequel to the original (now unavailable) Overwatch is not one of them. Although a few new maps and heroes are welcome, and the gameplay itself remains just as enjoyably intense as it always was, there is nothing here that feels innovative or notable enough to justify that ‘2’ in the title. Overwatch 2 feels more like a few updates Blizzard could have pushed to the original release. Couple this with the heightened focus on monetization and, despite its positives, you’re left with an experience that feels like it falls short of the potential it had.

However, as a free-to-play game, it costs you nothing but time to try, and matches are just about as fun and addictive as they always have been.

Suika Game (Switch eShop)

Suika Game is a competent and addictive little puzzler that does a great job of executing a very simple concept. There’s not a whole lot to it, but considering it’s roughly the same price as a pack of gum, Suika Game is definitely worth the cost of admission. If you’re looking for a quick time waster to add to your Switch library, we’d recommend you pick it up with some Gold Points. If it grabs you, there’s a good chance it’ll end up rivalling BOTW in your Hours Played rankings.

Any of the ’99 games

These free-to-play (if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription) Battle Royale-style games hook you with a basic premise and won’t let you go. Whether its the thrill of dumping tetromino-trash in your opponents’ wells in Tetris 99 or blasting to the podium in F-Zero 99, constant failure serves only as motivation to make it to #1, if only once.

Splatoon 3 (Switch)

Splatoon 3 is more of the same, but refined to borderline mechanical perfection. It’s the most fun we’ve had with an online shooter in years, and for series veterans it makes Splatoon 2 feel entirely redundant for all but its unique single-player content. It feels like the development team solved every problem the Splatoon community was bleating on about, and then fixed some more that we didn’t even realise were problems until they were fixed. There’s nothing revolutionary about it compared to its predecessors, and it’s perhaps missing a Big New Idea™ that you might have expected, but Splatoon 3 is the pinnacle of the series, and the pinnacle of shooters on Switch.

The Side Order DLC introduces roguelite gameplay, too. Potent, dangerous stuff if you’ve got an early start in the morning.

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