In recognition of that, I wanted to list out my 10 favorite Nintendo Switch games of 2017.
For this list, I will be ignoring games that appear on other platforms such as "Minecraft," "Rocket League," and "Puyo Puyo Tetris" despite enjoying them quite a bit on the Switch, as there are already more high-quality, Switch-exclusive games than I can comfortably fit on a "top 10" list.
Having said all that, let's begin.
#10 - Fast RMX
As a fan of futuristic racing games like "Wipeout," "F-Zero GX," and "Extreme-G," "Fast RMX" does a great job of scratching that particular itch in a bare bones, budget-friendly sort of way. As a $20 launch title, this was one of the first Switch games that I really connected with and I often find myself returning to it for a quick, high-speed racing fix.
#9 - Snipperclips
In my opinion, "Snipperclips" was the most innovative and interesting launch title for the Switch. Its clever and often hilarious cooperative puzzle-solving mechanics were an ideal way to introduce groups of friends to the new system in a fun, social way and its reasonable $20 price tag made it an essential addition to my budding Switch game library.
#8 - 1-2 Switch
If you have friends and you like fun, "1-2 Switch" is practically a must-own title. This often clever, sometimes silly, and generally amusing collection of bite-sized party games is something I've returned to over and over again during social gatherings when the Switch is present. Is it more of an experience than a collection of traditional game mechanics? Absolutely, but that doesn't make it any less fun or worthwhile in my book.
#7 - Splatoon 2
The thing that "Splatoon 2" really has going for it as a game is that it's a shooter that's not primarily or exclusively about shooting other players. To be sure, there's often a benefit to "splatting" an enemy player but a skilled Splatoon player is just as likely to benefit or ultimately succeed by avoiding direct confrontations and instead inking various, strategic portions of a given map. It's this unique approach to the game's design, combined with the content and game modes exclusive to this Switch-only sequel that make it one of the more interesting and compelling options on the platform.
#6 - Fire Emblem Warriors
For me, "Fire Emblem Warriors" is good old fashioned, simple, dumb fun. It's not going to win any awards for innovation or narrative impact but it's also very clearly not trying to do so.
If you burnt out on the Dynasty Warriors formula at some point, there's probably not enough in "Fire Emblem Warriors" to justify a return but if like me, you've only dabbled in the Warriors series and mostly just want to see Fire Emblem characters shred through hordes of enemies in a cathartic whirlwind of chaos, I'd say there's quite a bit to enjoy here.
#5 - Super Mario Odyssey
As someone who's never historically been a big fan of Mario's various 2D and 3D platforming incarnations, I was pleasantly surprised to find just how much I enjoyed my time with "Super Mario Odyssey." The game might feel a bit "by the numbers," especially in the early stages, but there are just enough compelling gameplay mechanics and places to explore throughout the experience to likely melt even the most cynical and jaded of frozen, "hardcore" gamer hearts. Is this the ultimate Mario game? I hope not but it's definitely the one I've most enjoyed playing so far.
#4 - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
A good kart-racing game is something I always enjoy having as an option on just about any gaming platform and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" is one of the best games of that sort that I've played. It's just the sort of feature and content rich package that makes for a great launch-year title and the Switch-exclusive Battle Mode is a nice, welcome addition to what was available on the Wii U version.
#3 - ARMS
In terms of innovation and taking full advantage of the unique characteristics of the Switch's joycon controllers, I can't think of a better title released in 2017 than "ARMS." This game does for 3D fighting games what "Super Smash Bros." did for 2D fighting games back in the day in terms of introducing a new, compelling twist and set of game mechanics into its genre. It may not be for everyone, but "ARMS" is one of the games that truly defines the Switch and its potential as a gaming platform for me.
#2 - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
As a lifelong lover of tactical, turn-based strategy games, I find "Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle" to be one of the best games of that sort that I've played in recent memory. The mechanics are sublime, the story and world craft are often interesting and humorous, and the quality and obvious passion that have manifested in its implementation shine in a way that few other games can match. If you love SRPGs and you haven't played this game, you're really missing out in my opinion.
#1 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2
I had high hopes for "Xenoblade Chronicles 2" when it was first announced as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Still, I was cautiously optimistic that it might be able to deliver on all the potential of its premise as a full-blown, single-player MMORPG-like experience attempting to bring something new to a gameplay style and set of mechanics so thoroughly explored during the past two decades.
As it turned out, "Xenoblade Chronicles 2" not only delivered in every aspect I was hoping to experience, but also managed to pleasantly surprise me with a host of gameplay elements and narrative flourishes that easily make it my favorite Switch game of 2017.
Okay. I know what you're thinking.
The simple truth is that, while I absolutely respect the craftsmanship employed in the creation of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and objectively recognize it as a great game, it didn't connect with me personally and I therefore can't honestly call it a "favorite" game in my case. If I were ranking all the Nintendo Switch games released in 2017 based on technical proficiency, or scope, or some other purely objective criteria, Zelda would certainly make the list; however, I personally enjoyed the 10 games I listed here more than Zelda, which forced me to remove it from consideration in this case.
Beyond that, "Breath of the Wild" was also released in what by many accounts is a functionally-identical form for the Wii U, which technically prevents it from being considered a Switch-exclusive game.
Still, it would of course be silly to ignore it completely, hence the explanation.