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Nintendo Switch 2020 Holiday Buying Guide

Everyone who is buying video games this holiday season may not be a seasoned gamer. And with so many choices, it’s very hard for people to figure out what’s good and what isn’t. Don’t worry, we’re here to help walk you through some of the best choices you can make this holiday season for that Switch owner, or maybe you just want to treat yourself.

Let’s start by talking about more recent titles that came out in 2020. And then we’ll dig into some more niche titles that offer unique and fun gameplay experiences for that gamer in your life that already has all the big-name games.

Best Overall New Games

You really can’t go wrong with any of these, each one offers the best and most fun gameplay on the Switch. These are the best games for the Switch in 2020, no doubt.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Price: $60 USD (new)

This is one of those strangely addictive games on the Switch that offers an incredible amount of replayability. Arguably one of the most compelling Switch games out right now, it has such chill gameplay that anyone at any age can enjoy it. If you’re the more creative type of person, this is also a definite must-buy video game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Price: $60 USD (new)

If you’re into fighting games, you can do no wrong with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With dozens of playable characters, amiibo support and a thriving multiplayer scene, there’s a huge amount of stuff to do. The real draw is finding your favorite characters and mastering their moves. If you know someone who enjoys a long-term challenge, this may be for them.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Price: $60 USD (new)

The newest Zelda game that’s a prequel to Breath of the Wild, but with a very different gameplay style. It’s a Musou-style game where the player battles it out against entire armies of enemies like Moblins, the Yiga clan and more. With tons of side missions, you can easily sink hours upon hours into leveling up and improving your characters, all of whom are recognizable heroes from the franchise. Any Zelda fan will want this.

Minecraft Dungeons

Price: $30 USD (new)

Another very much kid-friendly title with a ton of replayability. A dungeon-crawler with combat and basic puzzles. Players try to become the ultimate adventurer in the block world by taking out enemies, farming for loot and solving ancient riddles. And for a cheap price it really can’t be beat.

Doom Eternal

Price: $60 USD (new)

The legendary demon-killer is back in a Switch port that’s releasing this week. It’s all the normal demon skulls getting stomped in, but if you have someone who really likes gory shooters and they only have a Switch this is an option now as well. This is not kid-friendly at all, just to be clear.

Dead Cells Game of the Year Edition

Price: $40 USD (new)

An incredible fast-paced action rogue-like, one of the best games on Switch right now, bar none. If you’re looking for a brutal challenge, this might be for you. Dead Cells GOTY edition includes all the DLC and extra content for the Switch version, making it a very solid get for the fan of mastering a roguelike in your life.

Hades

Price: $25 USD (new)

Another roguelike that takes the mythology of the ancient world and blends it into one of the best games in the entire genre, not just on the Swithc. With tons of bosses to overcome, there’s plenty of challenge to be had for hardcore gamers. And with all the randomized elements, no two playthroughs will ever be the same. It’s a must-buy if you’re a fan of the genre even a bit. (eShop only release)

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Price: $60 USD (new)

A much more unique entry into the long-running Mario franchise, and this Switch title may be the best spin-off for the series yet. It’s always a fun ride through a much more interesting and varied 2D world. You can get plenty of fun out of the challenges, platforming and puzzles that can be found here.

Pokemon Sword/Shield

Price: $60 USD (new)

With hundreds of monsters to catch, a thriving competitive scene and a fair bit of long-term playability, you can’t go wrong with either of the two games. There are some minor version exclusives, so if you have a true Pokemaniac in your house, you might have to consider getting both. It’s a good option if you’re buying a gift for kids who both play the games, and then they can trade and battle each other while also getting a unique gameplay experience between the two games.

Best Overall Older Games

Now we have some selections or older Switch titles that dropped outside of 2020, but are still a great option if you already have all the game listed above. These are still great games in 2020 and should be considered as staple experiences for the console if you can get them. And since they’re older games now, they’re also a bit more affordable.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Price: $55 USD (new)

The lesser-known of the two Mario brothers is back in another haunted house to suck up ghosts with a vacuum cleaner. Yes, really. It’s not as scary as it might sound, and the whole thing is very much kid-friendly and even a nice change of pace for more hardcore older gamers. The game is packed with spooky and funny moments in equal measure, just a ton of great moments overall.

Splatoon 2

Price: $50 USD (new)

A very solid multiplayer shooter, but very kid-friendly as well. You simply try to out-paint the other team. You get all manner of messy weapons that can be used to make a huge piece of “art” all over the arena. A decent multiplayer scene and tons of replayability here. With so much fun to be had, it’s going to be hard to put this one down. The one downside is that you do need a Nintendo Switch Online sub to play, which can be bought for $35 a year for a family plan. It’s a pretty good deal if you have multiple Switch players in your household.

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