Until Splatoon 3 comes out, the ink-battling team-based shooter remains easily one of the most addictive titles on the console. The distinctive, colorful visual style of Splatoon 2 is what makes it stand out the most but its cartoony aesthetic also means the game still looks as fresh as ever despite being one of the earliest Switch titles.
The single-player experience is the perfect way to get into the game but, with so many different multiplayer battle modes, it is the online experience that makes Splatoon 2 so engrossing. Even with so many different battle modes though, it’s good old-fashioned Turf Wars with its simplicity and intuitiveness that makes it impossible not to get addicted.
Monster Hunter Rise (2021)
Taking down different monsters in action-RPG combat continues to be a winning formula for the Capcom series that has produced so great titles. Monster Hunter Rise has turned out to be one of the very best in the Monster Hunter series with stunning visuals and a soundtrack that’s breathtaking at every turn.
At its core though, the game gets the most important gameplay elements right. Making tedious grinding a thing of the past, Monster Hunter Rise focuses on creating fast-paced and engaging battles with some of the best monsters from the series in lush environments. With two DLCs released already and more on the way, the title is likely to become even more of a time sink.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)
More serious racing games such the Forza series have their place, but there is something about the pure, arcade-like fun of kart racers that makes them so much easier to pick up and so much harder to put down. For no game is this more true than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which controls better than any Mario Kart game before while still keeping things simple and fun.
Instead, the amazing tracks and endless item boxes ensure that every race is full of drama and chaos, making it the perfect game to play with friends. The DLC courses being added to Mario Kart 8 game mean there’s more content to get stuck into than ever and the fun only looks set to continue.
Bayonetta 2 (2018)
Bayonetta 3 has been given a release date of sometime this year so now is the perfect time to play through the second game in the iconic hack-and-slash franchise featuring everyone’s favorite gun-toting witch. With non-stop melee action and gunplay that’s full of nuance and special moves, mastering Bayonetta 2‘s combat is a great time.
On top of that, the game is full of even more of the absurd and over-the-top moments that made the first Bayonetta title stand out that now look better than ever on the Switch. Hack-and-slash games aren’t for everyone but for anyone that can enjoy edge-of-the-seat action, Bayonetta 2 doesn’t disappoint.
Tetris Effect: Connected (2021)
When the enhanced version of one of the best relaxing video games finally came to Switch last year, it was amazing news for fans of uniquely compelling video game experiences. Even though Tetris‘ block-stacking formula has been keeping players hooked for decades, Tetris Effect proved there were still ways to reimagine the game.
Using colors, lighting, and particle effects, the game creates a kaleidoscopic visual feel that perfectly complements the euphoric soundtrack and simple yet absorbing gameplay. More than a game, Tetris Effect: Connected provides a sensory experience that a player can easily get lost to for hours.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)
Giving players more options than any Animal Crossing before to sculpt, decorate, and create their own paradise on what begins as a more or less deserted island, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a surprisingly deep simulation game. Starting with just a tent, a phone, and a big pile of debt, the player is tasked with slowly improving the island to their liking.
What makes the Animal Crossing experience great is that it lets the player do everything at their own pace. There’s plenty to do, but depending on their preference, they can spend their time on the island catching bugs, fishing, socializing, or whatever activity they prefer. This freedom is what makes the game endlessly addictive.
Kirby And The Forgotten Land (2022)
As one of Nintendo’s most recognizable characters, Kirby was due a new mainline title. It finally came earlier this year in the form of Kirby and the Forgotten land, a fully 3D platforming adventure that took everything that was great about the series and added even more amazing creative ideas.
As the title suggests, the world of this new game is comprised of the ruins of a past civilization, and settings such as an abandoned shopping mall are perfect for lively platforming. With eight worlds full of fun levels that have infinite replay value, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great continuation of the joyful series.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Everyone knows the addictive potential of fighting games and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still dominates the genre despite the announcement that there would be no new fighters after Kingdom Hearts‘ Sora. Tight combat and fun characters with diverse move sets are central to the title’s success, although having some of the biggest icons in gaming is also a plus.
Different stages and ways to play add to the content available but the strength of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that battling with friends will always provide some of the simplest but best thrills that gaming can achieve. For players who seriously get into the game, there is also more than enough depth and technique involved to make mastering characters very worth it.
Stardew Valley (2017)
Fast-paced action that constantly keeps the player engaged is usually the key to making the most addictive game possible, but titles such as Stardew Valley prove that there is another way to make players hopelessly addicted. A game made by just one person and presented in delightful pixel graphics, Stardew Valley gives the player the task of renovating a dilapidated farm.
Even though there is plenty to do outside the farm, including renovating the old community center, exploring the mines, and socializing with the towns’ people, Stardew Valley is primarily a game about slowly working towards goals and the satisfaction of eventually achieving them. In this way, the game can become an almost frighteningly effective time sink.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (2021)
Although Super Mario spinoffs often make for great diversions, platforming is what the series is best known for and also what it does best. With Super Mario Odyssey and Super Mario Maker 2, the console already had some of the best 3D and 2D platforming action the series had ever seen.
Last year, it capped that off with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, an expanded version of the Wii U game that brought Mario new power-ups, new enemies, and a ton of memorably designed levels back in 2013. With more content than ever, even in the company of the other Switch Mario games, this title is unmissable entertainment that will keep any player invested throughout.