Has the general election distracted you from your Nintendo based Christmas shopping? Never fear, there is still plenty of time to find that perfect gift. Though there are thousands of games to choose from this festive season, let us at NintyBuzz act as your personal Nintendo elves to help you find the right game for the right person.
After the break, we’ve listed some of our favourite games which can be played on the Nintendo Switch with our justifications along with their own ‘unique’ categories. These are our 12 Games of NintyMas!
For those who overindulge at Christmas dinner…
Ring Fit Adventure
Let’s face it, we all overindulge during the Christmas period, especially during that weird black hole of a week between Christmas and New Years time is just lost. Why not make the most of that time by cracking open Ring Fit Adventure? I’ve honestly never had as much fun exercising than I did playing Ring Fit Adventure. It’s an immensely weird game, especially with an antagonist who seems to cater towards a certain online community, but it’s an absolute blast to play.
The main mode, Adventure mode, hybridises the fitness and RPG genres where you have to exercise to obliterate obstacles, fight enemies, and save the world. Playing this mode for 30 to 60 minutes a day will provide a few weeks of content, and who can complain if you get fit in the process too. If you want a break from saving the world, you can set a playlist of various exercises or even try out several fun minigames.
If you don’t have the motivation or money to go to the gym, we’d highly recommend Ring Fit Adventure.
For those who were too entitled to acknowledge a great game…
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Despite the controversy, Pokémon Sword and Shield are fun games. It’s the classic format you expect from a Pokémon game, but with the ability to transform GIGANTIC POKéMON! Raid battles are a fun addition and you can team up with your friends to take them down online. It’s going to be a must have title this Christmas, and I hope you will consider picking it up!
For the avid sci-fi enthusiast…
Astral Chain certainly ticks off a lot of boxes for any shrewd sci-fi aficionado. Post apocalyptic survival of humanity? Check. The neon glow of a cyberpunk city? Check. Police-dog mascot who nobody knows the true identity of? OK, the last one is a bit of a stretch, but it certainly extends Astral Chain’s charm even further than a restrictive chain might suggest (and we do know Lappy’s identity, the game doesn’t make it a secret, we all just pretend we don’t know).
The true star of the show, however, is Platinum Games’ masterful combat expertise, weaving together multi-character control with a wide variety of battle options that should keep people engaged for hours to come. It certainly isn’t a combo-heavy game like Bayonetta before it, but it plays to its strengths so well that it doesn’t really need them. It should no doubt keep the Blade Runner fan happy on Christmas morn.
For those looking for a good family game…
Yoshi’s Crafted World
My partner and I loved this game during our co-op journey, and I can easily imagine parent and child duos having an amazing time with Yoshi in his latest adventure. The charmingly realistic visuals made out of craft supplies are adorable and much more fun to look at with a friend. Eating each other can be a good tease, but it also might give someone the boost they need if you spit them back out at just the right moment. The game’s on the easy side, which is perfect for players of all ages or just Nintendo fans who want to relax this holiday season.
For the impatient Animal Crossing fan…
Okay, so I may be cheating slightly by using a game that came out two years ago but, in my opinion, it’s just too good not to mention. Stardew Valley is kinda similar to Animal Crossing, though you definitely get a different experience… plus the residents are people rather than animals. Both share some similarities such as being a life simulation game set in a quaint little town where you can build friendships with your fellow neighbours.
What I love about Stardew Valley is how there’s a lot more depth to the relationships you build with some pretty deep and intriguing back stories. You can even find yourself a bride or groom no matter which gender you choose (yes, that means gay weddings!) There a lot more to do than the lovey dovey stuff, you can build up your own farm to sell anything you grow or produce, you can attend festivities and events, do a spot of fishing, or even explore mysterious mines and fight monsters.
There really is a lot to do in Stardew Valley, and you can take on your days however you please… you could even just spend the entire day relaxing by the pond to do a spot of fishing. Oh, did we mention that Stardew Valley days tend to last approximately 15 minutes at a time? That means no waiting an entire year for those special seasonal events! With a massive content update launching later this month, it couldn’t be a better time to move into Stardew Valley.
For those who want to kill every last one of them…
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Until this title was released, the Fire Emblem series never appealed to me. I was pleasantly surprised when I reviewed this game that it was a fun challenge, filled with great dialogue, story and impeccable soundtrack.
Never had I felt so attached to characters in a video game on Nintendo, and invested additional hours to ensure they wouldn’t permanently die on me in combat. As a novice, I was able to get through the game relatively well, but veteran players will have an enjoyable experience. Definitely worth picking up this Christmas, and if it helps, you can read my review to help you make an informed decision!
For the budding creative…
Super Mario Maker 2
Whether it’s a younger one who scribbles drawings at every possibility, or the jaded wannabe designer, Super Mario Maker 2 actively encourages and rewards creativity like no other game before it… Well, besides the original Mario Maker. Packed with tonnes of creative utilities to craft courses as simple or complex as one might desire, it’s wholly recommended for anyone in the family who may have an inner designer just waiting to burst out. Not only that, but everyone else can join in the fun, playing other people’s courses from across the globe, and together under one roof.
For those who are a ‘lil bit nostalgic…
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
This is one of the best glow-ups in gaming history. Link’s Awakening for Switch now cracks my top 10 Zelda games all while retaining the whimsy and melancholy nature of the Game Boy original. After the innovative series departure that was Breath of the Wild, fans who yearn for something a bit more classic could do no better than this stunning remake. With loads of quality of life improvements, retooled ballads and colourful diorama-like aesthetics, the latest Zelda remake is unlike any other. While I find this game to be the most dramatic series evolution from an original Zelda title to its remake, the emotions and memories from playing on my Game Boy Colour still flooded back to me.
For those who want Halloween for Christmas…
Luigi’s Mansion 3
You know what? Both Death Stranding and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can stuff it cuz’ Luigi’s Mansion 3 is our MVP for GotY! If anyone’s a fan of the previous two, you’d be happy to hear that Luigi’s third outing is improved in every single way. The level design is absolutely thrilling with a cast brimming with life… which is ironic as they’re mostly ghosts. There are also two very fun multiplayer modes, one which challenges you to work together to take on new challenges over several floors, and another that pits you against each other in a few different minigames.
If you still aren’t convinced on Luigi’s Mansion 3, why not read through my review?
“Because I just want to shoot things, okay?”
Overwatch: Legendary Edition
It was a title I missed out on originally, but the opportunity to play the game on my television or on the go really appealed to me. Overwatch is a surprisingly fun title, and I’ve had many great evenings destroying everything in my path with Wrecking Ball and saving everyones ass with Moira. In concept, I am against loot boxes, but in Overwatch, I had no issue obtaining new cosmetics with in-game currency. For the average player, you probably won’t ever need to use real world cash to purchase anything. The game can be found digitally online at a very cheap price, and currently comes with three months of Nintendo Online for free. It’s a great title, and highly recommended by me this Christmas!
For those seeking a grand adventure…
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
Vast fields of adventure awaits as monsters draw near. Slay these beasts as you travel the land in search of a way to stop the Lord of Shadows from taking over the world. If that all sounds a bit routine for a fantasy adventure, you’re in for a surprise, as Dragon Quest XI takes ahold of your expectations and lovingly subverts them without a hint of irony. The series owns its identity so well that it has endured for over 30 years without faltering even once. It’s a little bit under-appreciated in the west, falling behind Final Fantasy’s success somewhat, but the latest entry provides such a vast adventure not since seen on the Switch since Breath of the Wild. This one is easily for the one who loves to get absorbed in a new world for hours on end.
For their first game…
New Super Lucky’s Tale
Lucky the fox serves up a fantastic platforming adventure for all ages, and I think young children will rightfully be drawn to the colorful cast of kid-friendly characters and light difficulty. This is a 3D platformer made with beginners in mind, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. With a variety of gameplay styles, open-ended progression and cute costumes to unlock, Lucky’s Tale on Switch has a lot to offer. And according to the developers, this is the best version of Lucky’s adventures yet, and I certainly agree. Many children will fall further in love with video games after playing this game for the holidays.
It was very difficult for us to choose just twelve games to recommend to you lovely readers this holiday season, but hopefully there is a little something for every taste above. The games don’t stop there for Nintendo Switch though. Not only are there more than 1800 games currently available for the system, but 2020 will introduce even more for gamers around the world.
Do you have any other recommendations that we missed? We’d love to hear them, so just pop them in the comments below, or shout them to us at a moderate level on our social media pages.
Have a fantastic Christmas!
Darren is a huge Nintendo fan from the days of the Gameboy Color and his copy of Pokémon Blue. Over time, he developed a passion for the Metroid franchise, and runs the Metroid community fan website Shinesparkers. He contributes his thoughts here from time to time!
Long time fan of Nintendo and games in general, I always lean on the quirkier and unique sides of things in particular. It all started when I was lucky enough to get a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Yellow for my tenth birthday and it’s been going strong ever since. I’ve always had a need to get my voice heard and share anything I find interesting with the world.
I’ve been playing Nintendo games since I was 3 years old, and my earliest memory is watching my dad play Super Mario 64.
Since then, I’ve become as big of a fan as you might imagine: YouTube video projects, fan fiction, owning just about every amiibo — you name it!
I’m also a stalwart defender of underappreciated games like Skyward Sword, Other M, Super Paper Mario, Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox Zero and more. I love to see passion in a gaming product, and my desire on this site is to share a similar passion in what I write.
I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!