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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

No big deal, it's only the consensus game of 2017. The game many believe is the best ever made. The game that somehow managed to actually outsell the Nintendo Switch itself on launch. 

Still no idea how that actually happened, but it did.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a legitimate masterpiece that strips back the open-world genre to its core elements and rewrites its DNA for pure adventure.

It's a world alive with surprise and dense with detail. An incredible, milestone achievement.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Super Mario Odyssey

Here is a list of trash words that don't come close to describing Super Mario Odyssey: inventive, dazzling, smart, seamless, joyful, creative.

This video game is very good. Also, I have two words for you: Mario nipples.

This is the first video game to showcase that yes, Mario does actually have nipples. 

Super Mario Odyssey is a Nintendo game that continues in the spirit of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. All bets are off, everything you thought you knew about Mario has been reinvented. But here's what remains: perfectly tuned, precision gameplay that feels incredible every second your hands are on the controller.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight might be one of the best games available on the Nintendo Switch. It's a disturbingly well designed platformer in the vein of Super Metroid. But it's more than that. The atmosphere, the audio design, the visuals...

Dear lord this game is a stone-cold classic. Play it now.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Team Cherry
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 was initially released on the Wii U. It was great then, it's even better now with all the additional content and ability to play on the move.

Not too much has changed with the series, but Mario Kart 8 is about as definitive as it gets. It's stacked with playable characters, inventive tracks and brand new features. It remains the most compelling multiplayer game on the Nintendo Switch.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Celeste

Celeste is a video game that makes you want to lodge your controller in your TV -- in a good way.

Featuring incredible level design and flawlessly tuned precision platforming, Celeste is one of the best games of its type ever released. It's smart, charming and dense with content.

It's also perfect for the Nintendo Switch. You'll be hurling obscenities at this game on public transport and you'll love every second of it.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is very similar to the first Splatoon. It's barely a sequel in the traditional sense but, much like Mario Kart 8, that doesn't make it any less essential. 

Splatoon's high concept is pure genius and extremely Nintendo. It takes the first-person shooter, traditionally a violent genre, and flips it on its head. You're shooting paint, not bullets. You don't score points for shooting enemies, you score points by shooting the environment itself. 

Splatoon rules.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is just so goddamn stupid. I can't believe it even exists.

I also can't believe how good it is. It doesn't even make sense. Everyone had a good ol' chuckle when Mario + Rabbids was announced. Then it was released and it turned out to be one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch.

It's Mario meets XCOM, which is to say it's a turn-based tactical role-playing game. Except you battle killer rabbits with laser guns. 

Good times.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Ubisoft
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Arms

Arms is motion-controlled game that's like boxing. Except you have big stretchy robot arms and everyone has special powers. Obviously.

Which is to say Arms is a very Nintendo-esque version of boxing.

It's also extremely inventive and surprisingly in-depth. There's layers to Arms and a genuine strategic element. It's not perfect, but Arms is bizarre, inventive and a lot of fun.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET
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Doom

DOOM rules. This is known.

Playing DOOM on the Nintendo Switch also rules. Sure, it's a little compromised compared to the versions you might play on the PS4, Xbox One or on a decently specced-up PC...

But yeah, good luck lugging one of those on the train.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Bethesda
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Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is the perfect example of why the Nintendo Switch is a game-changing device. 

Here is a game that is perfectly good on all the platforms it's currently available on (PC, Xbox One, Vita, PS4) but on the Switch it's just elevated

Because of the nature of the Switch (and how it allows you to just passively play while watching TV, or on public transport) it's perfect for a game like Stardew Valley -- which is the digital equivalent of knitting a scarf.

Actually all games are just better on the Switch. All of them. 

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Gorogoa

Gorogoa is unlike any video game you've ever played. 

It's a puzzle game... I guess. But it's really a game about exploring a strange universe in ways you can't really predict. 

A couple of warnings: Gorogoa is pretty short and I think it might play better on an iPad, but it's such a unique, compelling and seamless experience on any platform.

Find a way to play this video game.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Rocket League

Football.

With cars. 

Car football.

On the Nintendo Switch.

Rocket League is awesome. You know this.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania is just...

[chef kissy fingers]

I mean imagine being an adult, growing up with Sonic. They announce a new game and you expect it to be bad because Sonic has been bad for like 20 years.

Then they drop Sonic Mania. A game that takes everything good about Sonic, preserves it, and then updates it perfectly for a seamless modern interpretation that has no right being this good.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sega
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Oxenfree

You know when you're playing a video game and you're like, "man this story is really interesting and well written...

"For a video game."

With Oxenfree you don't really need to make that distinction. 

Oxenfree is a spooky mystery wrapped in teen drama. It's like "Riverdale" for video games. It also features a really deft and perfectly implemented dialogue system that rewards multiple playthroughs.

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Snipperclips

Snipperclips is one of those games you play with your significant other and you're having a good ol' time until you're screaming at one another using a weird shared language you've invented on the fly to solve puzzles you only half understand. 

Snipperclips is a video game about co-operative problem solving.

In layman's terms, it's super good and you should play it.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Golf Story

Golf Story takes the 16-bit JRPGs you loved back in the SNES days and adds uh... Golf.

Yes. The sport of golf. 

And somehow it all works. Golf Story is the world's craziest elevator pitch perfectly executed. The golf works, the RPG works, the story is fun. Great little video game.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Thumper

The creators of Thumper call it "rhythm violence". Goddamn.

It makes sense. Calling Thumper a "rhythm" game just doesn't cut it. It's more than that. It's just a pure, visceral experience that connects music to action in the most compelling ways. It's brutal. It's earth-shaking and just flat out cool.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Bayonetta 2

Like Mario Kart 8, Stardew Valley and Oxenfree, Bayonetta 2 is an old video game repurposed for the Nintendo Switch.

Bayonetta 2 originally came out on the Wii U, a console that struggled.  Therefore Bayonetta 2 struggled.

Thankfully it's getting a second run on the Switch. Which is great, because Bayonetta 2 is an underappreciated masterpiece. Get on it.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Platinum Games
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Mario Tennis Aces

Mario is pretty good at sport. As is Nintendo when it puts its mind to it. Mario Tennis Aces gives us what we haven't had for a remarkably long time -- a good tennis game. n

Mario Tennis Aces has all the polish you'd expect from a Nintendo sports game. It's good stuff.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo
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Dead Cells

The traditional words used to describe Dead Cells are "roguelike" and "metroidvania". Both common genres, but Dead Cells is a game with a unique conceit: you will play, you will die. But in Dead Cells you get to keep your upgrades and then restart with those upgrades, meaning you slowly progress through the game more easily as you play. Very cool.

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Into The Breach

A very cool turn-based strategy game by the creators of Faster Than Light. An intricate, intelligent creation that demands problem solving from the player in interesting ways. Very cool indeed.

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The Messenger

A quirky 2D slasher game with a retro aesthetic. But here's the twist: The Messenger begins as a simple hack and slash game in the 8-bit style, but later you get to travel to the future, where the game evolves into a 16-bit style metroidvania.

Very meta.

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