Got a new Nintendo Switch? Try the 5 best games of 2023 according to Metacritic

The Nintendo Switch has some great new games in 2023, here are 5 audience favourites worth considering for your library

Nintendo Switch being used
(Image credit: Erik McLean / Unsplash)

Say it in your best Noddy Holder voice: It's Chriiiisssstmaaaas. And if you have no idea what I'm on about, that's one of those always-played Christmas tracks by the band Slade. Not that you care about that right now, because you've just opened a shiny new Nintendo Switch. So what games are you going to play?

Well, fortunately there are loads and loads of excellent options for Nintendo's own platform – we highlighted many of the best 5-star Switch titles on sale recently – many of which are exclusive and why the console is such a superstar success. Whether you've got a TV-connectable Switch classic or Switch OLED, or a handheld-only Switch Lite, all three versions of the console run exactly the same games.

While the Switch might soon have a follow-up Switch 2, I wouldn't worry about those rumours right now: as there are just so many good games available for the Switch to last you for an age in the meantime. But you want the best-of-the-best, which is why for this round-up I've picked only 2023 releases and utilised Metacritic – the trusted score aggregator – to add extra weight to what you should consider buying...

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

When the Switch first launched with Zelda: Breath of the Wild it was a runaway success. I've not included that 97/100-scoring Metacritic title here as it's not from 2023. But what is at the very top spot for this year is the follow-up, Tears of the Kingdom, with its also mega 96/100 Metacritic score. Both games are actually set in the same land of Hyrule, except in TOTK you gain a new building mechanic, plus sky and underworld sections that dramatically change the way the game operates. 

This Zelda title has split opinion though, with many applauding it as their game of the year, while others find the building mechanic fussy and, well, just not very Zelda. But you need to spend hours in this game to feel at one with it and get used to the pretty challenging mechanics. If you can play BOTW first, then pick up TOTK straight after that's what I'd suggest – as that'll be one epic exploration. 

2. Metroid Prime Remastered

While many Nintendo Switch platform games are "cutesy", Metroid Prime Remastered flips that on its head thanks to its darker visuals and genuinely challenging from the off playstyle. You play Samus, i.e. Metroid, and have to explore worlds that require a lot of puzzles to be solved. And it's a high-scorer, too, with a major 94/100 on the Metacritic board.

Key to the game is the mechanic of outrunning specific foe that operate in specific ways, so learning your way around maze-like lands, being quick-witted, and responsive at the controls are all key. This isn't an adult game in terms of content, per say, but it certainly is for the challenge factor. It's a game like nothing else, giving the Switch yet another unique angle. 

3. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

About as opposite from Metroid Prime Remastered as you could get, Super Mario Bros Wonder is, as the title suggests, a wonderful platform game (I scored it 5/5 in T3's review). If you're a long-time Mario fan then it'll evoke wonderful nostalgia from 90s classics, whereas if you're new to it all then prepare to be a lifelong fan. Many others clearly are too, as this scores an impressive 92/100 on Metacritic.

Like in any Mario game, you need to save Princess Peach from Bowser. No surprises there. What is more surprising is Nintendo has crafted in all manner of skills that can be acquired and applied to add greater complexity to the game. Add a masterful difficulty curve and whether you're a total amateur or seasoned pro, there's something in this Mario game for everyone (including simultaneous multi-player, just to add even more fun).  

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Technically Xenoblade Chronicles 3 came out some years ago, but I'm letting this one slide as in 2023 the Expansion Pass Wave 4: Future Redeemed addition came out. That just goes to show the breadth of adoration fans have for this series – an action-packed Japanese role-playing game (or JRPG for short). Metacritic fans agree, with a strong 92/100 score

If you love open-world RPGs with hybrid turn-based action combat then this is a game for you. You can only buy it on Nintendo Switch, too, which just like every single title on this list goes to show why the console has so many fans across the globe. 

5. Pikmin 4

Another Nintendo exclusive, Pikmin has been coming out of Japan's studio for 22 years now – so it's an absolute staple of Nintendo's line-up and a really challenging puzzle-slash-sim game that requires a lot of time, effort, patience and thinking. Again, it's quite unlike anything else you'll get to play, but with a solid 87/100 Metacritic score it's clear hordes of players are sold. 

Pikmin is a masterpiece of level design, as you need to learn what different Pikmin types do – Ice Pikmin, Glow Pikmin, and so forth – to further advance your adventure. You command a squad of Pikmin and can control what they do, where they go, who to attack, which items to retrieve and so forth. It's real-time strategy at its very best – if that's the gaming genre you most crave. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.