Hottest Switch games from 2022 that gamers actually want this holiday season

Nintendo Switch with holiday ornaments
(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

I've been covering all things Nintendo Switch for four years now including reviews for Switch games. This year, there's been an abundance of amazing Switch titles that are all worth looking at. Since many of the best Switch games are steeply discounted right now for Cyber Monday it's the perfect time to pick some up. I made sure to post the best discounts for each game I found as well. 

I've personally reviewed or at least played all of the games on this list and can vouge for them being amazing. Some aren't perfect, but I'll go into that in their descriptions. If you need help figuring you whether to buy from the eShop or from a physical store, we can help in our physical vs digital Switch games guide. 

Pokémon Scarlet | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Pokémon Scarlet | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

The latest core Pokémon games just released a couple of weeks ago and sold over 10 million copies in their first three days. A truly insane feat. The games have some unacceptable performance issues, but as I said in my Pokémon Scarlet and Violet review, the core story and gameplay are incredibly fun. If you're a Pokémon fan they're definitely worth playing. 

Pokémon Violet | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Pokémon Violet | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Of the two games that released for Gen 9, Violet has proven to be the more popular one. There are 400 Pokémon with exclusive creatures in each version. You'll spend time catching Pokémon, beating gyms, and uncovering the mystery of your Legendary friend. It's the first open-world Pokémon game and you can really get lost in it. 

Splatoon 3 | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Splatoon 3 | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This popular game uses third-person shooter mechanics but turns that into paint wars. Instead of shooting other players the goal is to spread ink across an arena in more places than your opponents. As we explained in our Splatoon 3 review, it's incredibly fun and there are regular online events for players to engage in as well as a story mode for single play. 

Sonic Frontiers | (Was $60) Now $39 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Sonic Frontiers | (Was $60) Now $39 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

The blue blur's latest game released in November and while I call it far from perfect in my Sonic Frontiers review, it is the hedgehog's best game in years. Sonic runs around open-world areas collecting items and trying to save his friends. One of the best parts is that it includes 3D levels designed after classic Sega Genesis locations. It's a great choice for any Sonic fans. 

Kirby and the Forgotten Land | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Kirby and the Forgotten Land | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This is arguably the best Kirby game ever and also serves as a great intro to platformers since gameplay is so relaxed. As I said in my Kirby and the Forgotten Land review, "Kirby is so powerful that I often felt like I was playing in God Mode." On top of that, tricky bits are more forgiving since Kirby can float for a while if he misses a ledge instead of falling immediately to his doom. What's more, you can play it solo or with a friend in two-player co-op

Pokémon Legends: Arceus | (Was $60) Now $48 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus | (Was $60) Now $48 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

I'll be honest, this game has horrible visuals. But as I said in my Pokémon Legends: Arceus review, it "integrates stealth and third-person shooter mechanics into the Pokémon-catching formula" when throwing Poké Balls. Sometimes you don't even need to battle a Pokémon to catch it and that makes this game really stand out in a fun way. 

Nintendo Switch Sports | (Was $50) Now $48 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Nintendo Switch Sports | (Was $50) Now $48 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Everyone remembers how popular Wii Sports was a decade ago and now that same motion-controlled sporting fun is available in a new game on Switch. As we explained in our Nintendo Switch Sports review, you can go bowling, play soccer, compete in tennis, and much more. You need to purchase the physical version so you can get the leg-strap accessory for certain games. Remember to attach your Joy-Con strap to your wrist to prevent accidentally throwing your controller at your TV or anything else nearby. 

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope | $60 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

It's admittedly a very strange pairing of characters, but as I said in my Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope review, this game offers extremely satisfying strategy mechanics and the main characters are so silly that they are charming. If you're a fan of tactical turn-based games like XCOM this will be a hit. 

Bayonetta 3 | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Bayonetta 3 | (Was $60) Now $45 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This will certainly scratch the itch for people looking for a mature game to play. The sexy main character can be rather suggestive, but that adds to her charm. Plus, this game has complex combat for those who like a challenge. As we said in our Bayonetta 3 review, it offers "unique and creative boss fights" that will really test your skills. 

Triangle Strategy | (Was $60) Now $55 at GameStop (opens in new tab)

Triangle Strategy | (Was $60) Now $55 at GameStop (opens in new tab)

Triangle Strategy might have a weird name, but Square Enix's decision-based strategy game was a big hit this year and is definitely worth your attention. Combat mechanics are similar to Fire Emblem: Three Houses while visuals use the same HD-2D style we've seen in Octopath Traveler. Plus, there are tough moral decisions to make in the main plot and your choices change the outcome of the story. You'll want to play it again and again. 

LIVE A LIVE | (Was $50) Now $45 at Walmart (opens in new tab)

LIVE A LIVE | (Was $50) Now $45 at Walmart (opens in new tab)

LIVE A LIVE is a remake of the original cult-classic SNES game that originally only released in Japan. Now it's been made for Switch and it'ss perfect for retro fans or JRPG fans. You take on the role of different characters and experience their lives. Each one has different attacks and abilities making the journey extremely interesting. 

Harvestella | (Was $60) Now $50 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Harvestella | (Was $60) Now $50 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Life sims have been insanely popular over the last few years and Square Enix's latest one only adds to the growing reasons why they're worth playing. Players take care of a farm and other daily things, can go exploring, fight enemies in battle, and get to know other characters. It's like Animal Crossing, but with much more to it. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 | (Was $60) Now $52 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 | (Was $60) Now $52 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Monolith Soft's JRPG manages to bring a massive world onto the limited Switch without causing performance issues. As I explained in my Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review, it's an intriguing story about young fighters who are bred to fight an enemy. But one day, opposing teens come together and learn they're stronger for it. Now they're out to free everyone else in the world and uncover an ancient mystery. A long, fun game for JRPG fans. 

Cult of the Lamb (Digital) | $20 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Cult of the Lamb (Digital) | $20 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This highly irreverent life sim is kind of like Animal Crossing, except that you're a cult leader looking to sacrifice your followers. It became an instant classic upon release and provides fun gameplay that you can spend hours in.  

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga | (Was $60) Now $29 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga | (Was $60) Now $29 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This is not the LEGO Star Wars game from the Wii era but rather a brand new take on the nine core Star Wars films. Players can run through the stories solo or in two-player co-op and it does an excellent job of poking fun at Star Wars lore in a way that had me laughing to tears. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge | $35 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge | $35 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

If you're a fan of the classic fighting game genre as well as TMNT then this is the perfect game. Up to six players can play locally from one Switch or you can join with others online. I love that each character has their own stats so swapping between heroes and leveling them up is a fun experience. Plus, the levels and mechanics feel sooooo good. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection | (Was $40) Now $25 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection | (Was $40) Now $25 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Of course, if you're a fan of the retro TMNT fighting games then this collection might be more up your alley. It features 13 games including the popular Turtles in Time. Fight through enemies and save the world on your own or with friends. 

Just Dance 2023 Edition| (Was $60) Now $29 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Just Dance 2023 Edition| (Was $60) Now $29 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Every single year, Ubisoft's dancing game takes off and sells like nobody's business. Up to six players can compete while holding Joy-Con controllers and dancing to the latest pop hits. Whoever hits their moves best gets the most points and wins. It's an excellent family activity or game night option. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | (Was $60) Now $29 at Walmart (opens in new tab)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | (Was $60) Now $29 at Walmart (opens in new tab)

Technically, Breath of the Wild is not from this year, but if your Switch fan hasn't played it yet they should really give it a go as it's at its lowest price ever. It's one of the most critically and user-acclaimed games of the last few years. Plus, you'll want to play it before the sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, releases next May. 

Awesome Nintendo Switch Cyber Monday deals for holiday shopping

So many games released this year for Nintendo Switch and it can be hard to wade through which ones are actually worth your time. In my opinion, these are the very best Switch games to have launched in 2022. Some of them certainly have flaws, but they are still really fun to play and are the hottest titles that gamers will want this year. 

If you're not sure what to get then I recommend grabbing Pokémon Scarlet or Violet. These just released on November 18 and they've been so popular that they already broke records by selling an insane 10 million copies in just the first three days. I won't lie to you, they perform horribly with lag and choppy frame rate. However, they offer the best plot of any Pokémon games, provide the first open-world Pokémon adventure, and of course have that super fun catching and collecting mechanic at their center. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.