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There Are Only 5 Near-Perfect Nintendo Switch Games

The Nintendo Switch has accrued a massive library of games since its release in 2017. With so many games released, its fun to reminisce on what the system had (and still has) to offer, especially with Nintendo's next console on the horizon. Just surfing through the games and apps currently on the Switch shop is sure to give fans an interesting afternoon. However, rising through to the top of this huge pile of games are a few masterpieces that every player needs to try at least once in their life.

To compile the following list of near-perfect Nintendo Switch games, each entry has to have a critics' score of 95 or above on Metacritic at the time of publishing. Additionally, this list may include games that have been rereleased for the Switch, as long as the Switch version of the game specifically hits that high bar. With the rules all out of the way, here are the five games on the Nintendo Switch that are closest to critical perfection. Some of them might surprise you.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

To no one's surprise, the first game of the list is "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," which has an impressive 97 on Metacritic. Originally released on both the Wii U and Nintendo Switch, "Breath of the Wild" took the "Legend of Zelda" series in a completely new open-world direction. With its fresh art style and new storyline, "Breath of the Wild" quickly became seen as not only a masterpiece on its own merit, but one of the best "Zelda" games ever made.

Rather than the more linear adventures of the past, Link's newest outing offered a whole kingdom to explore. In this game, Link must journey through a changed world, slowly acquiring the power to take on the final boss, Calamity Ganon. While this sounds similar to a traditional "Zelda" game, the beauty of "Breath of the Wild" comes from its sheer sense of freedom. Players can choose which adventures they want to pursue first, whether it be saving the Divine Beasts, exploring the mysterious Shrines, or just wandering the countryside and battling beasts. This freedom even applies to the final boss himself, since particularly courageous players can run straight to the end of the game after finishing the tutorial. The more open approach brought a breath of fresh air into the "Zelda" series.

Super Mario Odyssey

Following "Breath of the Wild" is another modern entry in a classic Nintendo series, "Super Mario Odyssey." Boasting a 97 on Metacritic, "Super Mario Odyssey" took a different tactic from "Breath of the Wild." Rather than change the series drastically to fit the modern gaming era, "Odyssey" feels like a natural evolution from previous 3D entries. However, a few new gimmicks and adjustments make "Super Mario Odyssey" one of the best games to release on the Nintendo Switch.

In "Super Mario Odyssey," Mario must once again save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. This time, Mario teams up with his new friend Cappy (a living hat) and gains the ability to possess enemies. On top of the clean and precise movement that players have come to expect from these kinds of games, Cappy offers a huge variety of new movement and gameplay options, imbuing Mario with different powers suited to various meticulously designed worlds. Each level is filled to the brim with Power Moons that Mario must collect, testing the player's skills and patience as they figure out the best approach for snagging each one. Plus, unlike previous mission-based 3D "Mario" entries, players can freely explore each environment, even after collecting a Power Moon. "Super Mario Odyssey" may not be the biggest departure compared to other "Mario" entries, but it definitely shows that polished exclusive titles will always be a winner for hardcore fans.

The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants

One of the strangest entries of this exclusive list has to be "The House in Fata Morgana," a slightly obscure visual novel that was originally released all the way back in 2012. Nine years after its original release, the game received a port for the Switch called "The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants." Thankfully, it was much better than the usual awful Switch ports. Its dedicated fanbase praised Nintendo for bringing what many consider to be an underseen masterpiece to a wider audience. This version of the game currently sits at a 96 on Metacritic.

The story of "The House in Fata Morgana" follows an amnesiac spirit trying to find their lost memories by exploring a gothic mansion. With the help of a mysterious Maid, the Spirit must discover the mysteries behind the house. Players will uncover an intricate and detailed story that reveals intertwined histories, jealousy, and many unexpected twists and turns. Although the gameplay is simple (relatively few button presses required), critics and fans have praised the game for its beautiful storytelling and ability to convey strong emotions simply through the use of music and writing. It may not be for everyone, but fans of visual novels who haven't played this game may want to check it out on their Nintendo Switch.

Portal Companion Collection

Finally, the last nearly perfect game for the Nintendo Switch is actually a collection of absolute pillars of gaming history. In 2022, the Nintendo Switch received the "Portal Companion Collection," a compilation featuring both "Portal" and its follow-up, "Portal 2." While these games have been around since 2007 and 2011, respectively, they never really fell out of the minds of fans. Their most recent release on the Switch is even further proof of that, as the package sits at a comfortable score of 95 on Metacritic.

As many already know, the "Portal" games are two of the best physics-based puzzles titles ever created. Players must conquer various test chambers using a gun that can fire two connected portals. Using these portals, players can then move objects, redirect projectiles, or fling themselves through the air. On top of the solid mechanics, the game's zany sense of dark humor makes the "Portal" series an absolute joy to play. 

Although the new Switch ports of "Portal" only adds a few bells and whistles to the games, many players have argued that they feel right at home on the system, especially with the upgraded gyro aiming mechanics. The games also run perfectly on the Switch, with no lag or downgrades that some other ports suffer on the system. In the end, although the "Portal Companion Collection" is nothing new, it is a nice reminder of how simply making a few small tweaks for a new console can completely revitalize a classic. It's also a reminder of how sad it is that Valve will never make "Portal 3".

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Next up is "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," which is currently sitting at a 96 on Metacritic. Released in 2023, "Tears of the Kingdom" is a direct sequel to "Breath of the Wild," picking up right where the previous game left off. This already sets it apart from so many "Zelda" entries, but the surprises don't stop there. This game is essentially a direct upgrade from the previous entry, taking everything that players loved, then multiplying and deepening it. With a bigger open world, more dungeons and quests, as well as entirely new ways to play the game, "Tears of the Kingdom" became everything that fans of the original had hoped for.

In the "Tears of the Kingdom" timeline, Link and Zelda find and release Ganondorf while exploring the underground caverns of Hyrule. Link must now explore an even larger open world, regaining his power so he can finish Ganondorf once and for all. The crafting and combat from the previous game is largely retained, but a few new mechanics really set this game apart from its predecessor. One of the most important new gimmicks that has captured the hearts of many fans is the Ultrahand, a power than allows players to fuse various objects together to create new items. Players have really gone wild with this ability, crafting complex vehicles and death machines and creating a whole new way to enjoy the game. Overall, "Tears of the Kingdom" took the freedom that "Breath of the Wild" offered and pushed it beyond its conceivable limits.