So you’ve gotten your hands on one of the wonderful system known as Nintendo Switch and you’ve likely plowed through masterpieces like Zelda Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey already. (You have haven’t you? If not go on, I’ll wait.) While there are a bunch of fantastic AAA games you could go grab, don’t discount the strength of the eShop, where you can find some of the best games you can play on the system.
“But how am I to sort through the hundreds of titles I can find on that digital store front?” you might ask me. Never fear, for I’m here to guide you to some of the games most worth playing on the service (though certainly not the only ones!). I could easily make this the top 20 eShop games and I could still fill it with the cream of the crop, but below are the 5 best eShop games on the service in my humble opinion.
SteamWorld Dig 2
Developer: Image & Form International AB
Publisher: Image & Form International AB
This isn’t just one of the best games on the eShop, it is one of the best games on the platform. That is high praise indeed when the games you have for company are goliaths like Zelda and Mario, but nevertheless the developers at Image & Form pull it off. SteamWorld Dig 2 is a sequel done right that takes what people loved about the first and exponentially makes it better in every way possible. The game is, quite frankly, one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve ever played. As you dig through the depths of the mine to uncover what happened to the protagonist for the first game, you’ll constantly be rewarded for exploring by collecting valuable gems that can be returned to town for rewards. This sweet upgrade loop will hook you instantly as you constantly look for that next digging spot that will get you your much wanted next boost to your character. Every inch of the map is filled with secrets to find, rewards to earn, and story to uncover. This game is an absolute must play game for fans of the genre, or just games in general.
Developer: Ghost Town Games
Publisher: Team 17 Digital LTD
You’ll never have more fun yelling at your friends and family as you will when you are playing Overcooked. The Switch is no slouch when it comes to multiplayer gaming (I’m looking at you Mario Kart), so it is high praise when I say that this is the most fun you can have while playing with others on the system. A deceptively simple game that can be as fun as it is stressful to play, Overcooked has you scrambling around the screen to fill diners orders within a set time limit. As you cook, chop ingredients, and dash around the kitchen to deliver dishes you’ll be rewarded with tips the faster you get it to the customer. Get enough tips and you’ll earn the coveted 3 star ranking, but even if you fail it is so much fun trying. The chaos this brings to the living room is one of the best things about it and it is the fastest way I’ve found to turn your living room into a short order kitchen.
Shovel Knight Treasure Trove
Developer: Yacht Club Games
Publisher: Yacht Club Games
If you haven’t been living under a rock, chances are you’ve already played this fantastic game, but it simply can’t be left off the list. Yacht Club Games have separated out the main game and the expansions, which you can buy separately now if you so choose, but buying the Treasure Trove gets you access to everything right off the bat as well as future expansions they have planned for the title. The game itself plays like a lost NES/SNES classic, but with the newest innovations and concessions in gameplay added in. The developers nailed the look as well, with pixel art that looks like how we remember the classics looking with our nostalgia tinted glasses. When you are done with the phenomenal main campaign as our titular hero you can play through two more campaigns as two of the bosses from the game, Plague Knight and Spectre Knight. Each campaign is worth it alone and play entirely different from our main hero Shovel Knight, but Spectre Knight’s campaign is truly something special. If you haven’t played this game (what are you doing with your life?) you must get it on the Switch, where you conveniently always have it ready to play on the TV or on the go.
Developer: SFB Games
Remember how I said earlier that Overcooked is the most fun you can have playing multiplayer on the system? Well Snipperclips gives the game a real run for its money in that department. There are so many fantastic games being released for the eShop every day, and this game released on launch, so it might be easy to forget about. That would be a mistake for all involved as the game is an absolute blast to puzzle through by yourself, but with a friend it really shines. As two paper cut outs, who have way more personality and charm than you might expect, you’ll solve basic physic puzzles that get more and more difficult over time by snipping pieces from your friend. As you rotate your shape and overlap with your friend you can cut whatever piece of them you are overlapping, allowing you to modify your shape to solve whatever puzzle is in front of you. Need to get a basketball that drops from the sky over to a hoop on the other side of the room? Make a cup in your friend’s head and let them carry it to a sweet swoosh. Of course the fun comes from the fact that this is only one solution that works out of a myriad of others possible. Grab a friend and start cutting them into shreds with Snipperclips today, you won’t be disappointed.
I Am Setsuna
Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
Publisher: Square Enix
This one is a contentious choice, I’ll admit, but I feel it is one of the best JRPGs I’ve played this entire generation. Tokyo RPG Factory started out with a simple goal: create the type of RPG classic experiences we remember from the good ol’ days of Super Nintendo and early PlayStation. Trying to make a masterpiece like Chrono Trigger is a lofty goal, and while I Am Setsuna doesn’t quite grasp that honor, it certainly gets closer than anything else I’d played. The conventions are pretty old school, which is kind of the point, but the story told here is a nuanced one. Every person in the story has goals, motivations and ambitions, not to mention solid character arcs. The mark of a good story is one where even your two bit villians all have a deep and meaningful reason for doing what they do and often you’ll feel bad that you find yourself at odds with them. You could see in a lot of places that they were just a few choices away from being the hero and they were doing something, not just for evil’s sake, but because they felt it was right. While I know that this game won’t have the same universal appeal as the other games on this list, if you even remotely like JRPGs, than you owe it to yourself to play I Am Setsuna.
So there you have it, my top 5 games that currently reside on the Nintendo Switch eShop. There are certainly dozens of other worthy titles that just barely didn’t make the list and I would be interested to hear your favorite eShop games; so sound off in the comments below on what you think the best and brightest of the eShop are.