Nintendo Switch console

Top Nintendo games

The holidays are fast approaching and that means it’s time to find those last-minute gifts for our loved ones. If you have a Nintendo gamer on your list, I’ve got some game recommendations sure to make them happy. No matter their favourite genre there’s a Nintendo game just right for them!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top Nintendo games for the gamer on your holiday shopping list.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle

For strategy fans, I highly recommend Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. This super fun crossover game merges the worlds of Nintendo’s Mario and Ubisoft’s Rabbids with hilarious results. In it you form 4-person teams consisting of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach and their Rabbids look-alikes. The gameplay is turn-based and similar to XCOM or Fire Emblem, although with wild Mario twists. As well, Ubisoft recently released a free downloadable Versus Mode for the game letting you battle your family and friends!

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey

It wouldn’t be a new Nintendo console wouldn’t a Super Mario game would it? Super Mario Odyssey is the latest chapter of Nintendo’s flagship character and it’s one of the best Mario games ever! The big new feature in this game is Cappy, Mario’s new hat friend that lets him capture enemies. You can become a Goomba, Bullet Bill, Hammer Bros., Chain Chomp, and dozens of other new and returning characters. And yes, like the image shows above, Mario can even transform into a gigantic T-Rex!

What’s neat too is Super Mario Odyssey is a two-player cooperative game. One person can control Mario while the other controls Cappy. If you’re looking for a fun game the whole family can enjoy, look no further than Super Mario Odyssey.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Nintendo has brought over the hit Wii U racing game and added all kinds of new features. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the definitive version delivering new characters, new vehicles, the return of fan-favourite items. New characters include the Inkling Girl and Boy from Splatoon, Bowser Jr., King Boo, and my personal favourite, Dry Bones. You’re also now able to hold onto two items at once, which makes the kart racing action even more hectic.

The biggest change, however, is the revamped Battle mode that brings back classic balloon-popping competition. Battle mode also includes the explosive Bob-omb Blast, coin-collecting Coin Runners, and the highly competitive Shine Thief. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the ultimate party game with up to 8-players using local wireless, and online play.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda Breath of the Wild

Earlier this month The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won the prestigious title of “Game of the Year” at The Game Awards. Having played pretty much every retail AAA this year I have to agree, Zelda: BOTW is simply the best. It’s the most ambitious title in Zelda history, featuring a massive open world filled with Shrines to explore. With Link’s new climbing ability virtually every inch of this world is accessible—provided you use your stamina gauge wisely. You can also capture wild horses and roam this gorgeous world on the back of a majestic steed. Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe how phenomenal this game is.

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

Since its July launch I’ve put in 100s of hours into Splatoon 2. Nintendo’s take on the third-person shooter genre is all about splatting ink and having fun. Using a variety of painting weapons—like a paintbrush, roller, and even an umbrella—you’ll battle others to cover turf in ink. I love how colourful the game is and blasting ink everywhere is such fun! For more competitive matches, Splatoon 2 offers Ranked and League Battles. If cooperative multiplayer is more your thing, the all-new Salmon Run with its fast-paced boss battles has you covered.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

If you have a role-playing game fan on your list, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the game to get. It’s the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Wii game, this time set in a new world with an all-new cast. Everything is masterfully put together, from the excellent cutscenes, to the charming cast, to the thrilling gameplay. It’s a huge game too, easily taking 50+ hours to complete and at least double that for completionists.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

Mario Luigi Superstar Saga

The Game Boy Advance RPG classic returns fully remastered on Nintendo 3DS. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions retells the duos first RPG adventure with fresh graphics and new content. The story takes you through several kingdoms as you track down the baddies Cackletta and Fawful who stole Peach’s voice. What makes this franchise so interesting is the timing-based combat that challenges you to jump to avoid enemy attacks. Also included is Bowser’s Minions, an entirely new campaign that places you in the role of Captain Goomba!

Mario Party The Top 100Mario Party: The Top 100

Mario Party: The Top 100 is the ultimate entry featuring the 100 best minigames the series has to offer. There’s a single-player mode called Minigame Island where you’ll need to beat A.I. opponents in all 100 minigames. As well, you can have 4-player local competitions using separate 3DS consoles and a wireless connection. The amazing news is that only one game cartridge is required for multiplayer matches!

Metroid Samus ReturnsMetroid: Samus Returns

This year Samus returned on Nintendo 3DS in a big way with Metroid: Samus Returns. The game is a “reimagining” of Metroid II: Return of Samus, but the improvements are so huge it’s practically a new game. In the game you’ll explore a vast alien world, collecting power-ups and new abilities along the way. Perhaps most impressive about Metroid: Samus Returns is its stunning graphics—it’s the best I’ve even seen on 3DS. Combined with the impressive stereoscopic 3D and you have a truly stunning visual experience.

Pokemon Ultra Sun Pokemon Ultra MoonPokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon

The hugely successful Pokémon franchise is back on 3DS this year with two new entries. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon are enhanced versions of last year’s critically acclaimed Sun and Moon. The games feature new story elements, a new Mantine surfing minigame, the new Battle Agency, and much more. This is the definitive version of Sun and Moon and a game no Pokémon fan should miss!

Nintendo has games for everyone

Regardless of age or gaming preference Nintendo has games for everyone this holiday season. I hope you have a happy holiday and found my list of top Nintendo games helpful. Which game(s) are you picking up for the Nintendo gamer on your holiday shopping list? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Paul Hunter
Editor Video Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. See my latest gaming adventures on my Twitter channel.