5 Must-Play Nintendo Switch Exclusives for 2023

Nintendo Switch has a brimming library of top-notch games that can keep you hooked for hours on end. What’s more, even though the console is nearing its six-year anniversary, the Switch is showing no signs of age. Nintendo Switch’s first-party, exclusive games speak volumes about the console’s gaming capabilities. But, with a list that is as long as your arm, you might be wondering which are the best Nintendo Switch Exclusive games that you can pick up next.

Nintendo Switch exclusives

Well, that’s what we’re here to demystify for you. Below, you’ll find an excellent selection of Nintendo Switch first-party games that offer oodles of content and entertainment. But, before we get into that, you might want to read about: 

With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the must-play Nintendo Switch Exclusives. 

1. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch Exclusive

Are you fascinated by ghosts? Do you want to become a ghost hunter? If your answer to the aforementioned queries was a resounding yes, you’ve got to check out Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch. Unlike most Mario games that put you in the shoes of the adventurous brother in blue overalls and red hat, Luigi’s Mansion 3 shines the spotlight on – you guessed it – Luigi. 

The premise of the game is simple – Luigi and gang have been invited to the Last Resort, a fancy hotel that at first glance, makes for a great place to throw a vacation party. However, as you’ll soon unravel, there is a lot more to the hotel than meets the eye. To wit, Luigi’s arch nemesis – King Boo has returned and has captured his friends in picture frames. 

Understandably, it’s up to you and Luigi to save the day. Thankfully, you can count on ghost-expert Professor E. Gadd for assistance. Armed with his latest Poltergust G-00, you will be tasked with clearing the hotel of its ghosts. 

Speaking of which, the hotel comprises different levels that have a ton of unique puzzles and boss fights. What’s more, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a visual treat and the game offers stunning graphics to boot. You can even run the story in co-op mode with a friend by letting them take on the role of Gooigi – Luigi’s all-green avatar. All said and done, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the best exclusives for Nintendo Switch.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

It’s not easy to one-up Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is heralded as one of the best JRPGs to grace the Nintendo Switch. However, folks over at Monolith Software have done just that with its sequel. So much so, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 competed against the likes of Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok for the coveted Game of The Year award. 

The icing on the cake is that the game is of the open-world variety. What’s more, while you might find references to previous XC games, you need not necessarily play them to enjoy Monolith Soft’s latest action adventure.

Speaking of which, the game’s plot revolves around Noah, who hails from the mechanically-driven nation of Keves. Kevesi soldiers are tied in an unending war with the Agnus soldiers. Notably, these warriors have a lifespan of just 10 years and are driven by the flame clock of life.

To wit, when a soldier dies, their life force is absorbed by the opposing colony. Consequently, these soldiers have to fight continually to ensure their survival. As such, you take on the role of Noah and company to unravel the dark secrets pertaining to the ongoing war. What’s more, reviewers cite that the game offers a brand-new combat system too. 

In fact, unlike previous XC games, you can use up to seven party members in a battle, which is great. Add to that the wealth of content, with many users reporting a play-time of over 100 hours and you’ll find plenty to like about this Nintendo Switch exclusive. 

3. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

Fire Emblem Warriors Three Hopes

Fans of the hack-and-slash genre will find Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes right up their alley. The game is a collaboration between folks over at Koi Tecmo and Intelligent System. In particular, the game is a spin-off of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. However, instead of relying on a turn-based strategy, the gameplay revolves around clearing hordes upon hordes of enemies.

Interestingly, Fire Emblem Warriors retains some plot points from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The game is set in an alternative timeline where players will take on the role of a mercenary named Shez. Much like Three Houses, you will have to align yourself with a house in the officer’s academy at the Garreg Mach monastery. 

Namely, players will have to choose between the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, or the Golden Deer and align with their respective leaders. What’s more, your choice of house will impact the story too. As a result, Three Hopes offers a ton of replayability, as you can always revisit the game and choose a different house for a completely new outcome.

The game’s combat doesn’t revolve around just blitzing past scores of enemies either, mind you. In fact, while you will have to fight against thousands of foot soldiers at once, the combat system is quite intricate.

You will have to assess the terrain, consider your objectives and equip your allies with the right weapons. All things considered, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes offers bountiful content that will keep you glued to the screen for days. What’s more, you can even download a free demo from the Nintendo eShop and check out the game before adding it to your cart.

4. Pokemon Violet

Pokemon Violet Switch Exclusive

The Pokemon franchise is, without a shadow of a doubt, a feather in Nintendo’s cap. And, although the series spans well over two decades, fans across the globe have been vying for an open-world, do-what-you-please Pokemon adventure. Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get with the brand-new Pokemon Violet and Scarlet games.

The game is set in the Paldea region, a vast land with diverse terrain comprising massive cities, wastelands, treacherous snowy mountains, and more. As always, the Violet and Scarlet games are centered around players defeating all the gym leaders and becoming the very best, like no one ever was.

There are two other story paths, including taking on the Team Star grunts and finding massive Pokemons aptly dubbed Titans. However, unlike most Pokemon games, you won’t find a set rhythm to the Scarlet and Violet editions. On the contrary, in true open-world fashion, players can choose whichever story path they want to tackle first. 

Understandably, the new Pokemon games offer a treasure trove of content. So much so, gamers have cited that each title can take anywhere between 40-70 hours to complete. The games also offer some customization features, so you can even stylize your character to your liking. All said and done, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are one of the best Nintendo Switch Exclusives you can get your hands on at the moment. 

5. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity 

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity

If you’re a fan of the Zelda series, then we are sure you must’ve played Legend of Zelda: BOTW and Link’s Awakening on the Switch. That said, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity might’ve swept under your radar. Much like Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Hyrule Warriors is a spin-off of a big-name AAA title and it precedes the events of the Breath of The Wild. 

The game throws the limelight on the events that eventually brought down the Hyrule kingdom and is set 100 years before Calamity Ganon had sway over the nation. Understandably, the game will give you a first-hand experience of battling the Calamity alongside the four champions.

That’s not all, as the game doesn’t play like most Zelda games either. In fact, the title is of the hack-and-slash variety and allows you to take on hordes of Bokoblins and Lizalfos. At the same time, you need to keep an eye out for other points of interest on the battlefield and deploy your allies accordingly.

All things considered, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity allows players to relive the ups and downs of Zelda and company in a bid to fend off the Calamity Ganon. The game touches upon a lot of things predicated in the Breath of The Wild and will surely keep you entertained until Tears of The Kingdom hits the shelves.  You can even download a free demo for the game from the Nintendo eShop and try it out before buying the game, which is neat!

FAQs About Nintendo Switch Exclusives

1. Does Switch have any good exclusives?

Nintendo Switch boasts a massive library of engaging first-party exclusive games. These include (but are not limited to) Legend of Zelda: BOTW, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Pokemon franchise, Animal Crossings: New Horizons, and more recently, Sports Story, which is the follow-up to the hit RPG, Golf Story. 

2. Do games look better on the Switch OLED? 

Some games can benefit from the Switch OLED’s more vibrant screen. However, the difference will only be noticeable in handheld mode.

3. Can you play GTA V on the Nintendo Switch OLED?

No, you cannot play GTA V on the Nintendo Switch OLED as it has not been made available for the console yet.

A New Adventure Awaits

The aforementioned games are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the best Nintendo Switch exclusives. In fact, 2023’s lineup looks even more promising, with the console boasting new additions to the Zelda and Fire Emblem franchises. Rest assured, the Switch platform is showing no signs of slowing down and the device continues to marvel with its tremendous library of games. 

Last updated on 24 January, 2023

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