Best of Nintendo from the past decade (2010-2019): From revolutionizing the handheld to more great Pokémon

Best sequel

The 2010s have seriously been the decade of the sequels whether you're looking at gaming or media in general. That's not to say it's a bad thing. If there's an amazing game, I'm happy to experience more of it. Here are the best sequels on Nintendo hardware in the last decade.

1. Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 (Image credit: Nintendo)

Tying together nearly 20 years of a story, the Luigi's Mansion trilogy is taken to the next level in this third installment. From Luigi's first adventure, where he meets Professor Gadd, who's been trapping ghosts in paintings for years, and runs into King Boo, who is none-to-happy with Luigi's current task of ridding this old mansion of ghosts, to this year's release where Luigi must rescue Professor Gadd from a painting and fight his old nemesis King Boo all over again, Luigi's Mansion 3 is the perfect followup to Dark Moon. The adventure just keeps growing, even though the familiar characters remain the same. -Lory Gil

2. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey (Image credit: Nintendo)

This long-awaited sequel and launch title for the Nintendo Switch was well worth the wait. Super Mario Odyssey took the formula we all know and love and made it even better. Mario and his new sidekick, Cappy, are off to save the Princess Peach again, but this game offers so much more than its simple story implies. There are so many things to collect, areas to explore, and mini-games to play, you can get lost in this game for hours. With a mix of classic 2D and new-age 3D platforming, Nintendo has managed to create a game that hits that nostalgia spot while offering something exciting and new. Search for over 999 Power Moons, try your luck at Luigi's Balloon World, and just explore the vibrant and exciting world of Super Mario Odyssey. Oh, and you can be a T-rex. Enough said. -Sara Gitkos

3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (Image credit: Nintendo)

With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo set out to make something new. Something incredibly different from Zelda games of the past, something that stood out. Focusing on systemic design, this new approach paid off in spades and the game's critical and commercial success speaks volumes about how well the new design has been received. The most telling factor of its success? When Nintendo announced a new Zelda game at E3 2019, they explicitly confirmed it was a sequel to Breath of the Wild. -Samuel Tolbert

4. Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 (Image credit: Nintendo)

The original Super Mario Maker was a huge hit on the Wii U, but since this wasn't a very popular console, many people didn't get to play the game. The sequel released on the hit Switch hybrid, which meant that a much larger audience of players can access it. This, in turn, means you find more creations created by others online. Super Mario Maker 2 also includes updated interfaces and hundreds of additional creation options. While I'd argue that not all of these changes were for the better, the majority are. Some of the new tools I love using are the different coin options, being able to add slopes, and all of the options given to you with the on/off switches. I also appreciate that the sequel includes a story mode so you aren't completely reliant on creating a level or finding another player's level to entertain yourself. -Rebecca Spear

5. Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 (Image credit: Nintendo)

With Nintendo's backing, PlatinumGames took everything that worked in Bayonetta and took it up to an eleven. The visuals are better, the soundtrack is bolder, the setpieces more fluid and stunning. Bayonetta 2 is everything fans loved while still being less punishing for newcomers to understand. We'll have to wait and see if PlatinumGames can one-up itself again with Bayonetta 3 but for now, Bayonetta 2 stands as one of the definitive sequels on Nintendo platforms. -Samuel Tolbert

6. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Image credit: Nintendo)

This game just barely makes it on this list having released back in 2010 for the Wii. I loved the original game, but the second one improved the camera placement, making it easier to follow the mustachioed plumber as he jumped from one planet to the next. There were new ways to use motion controls, like balancing on top of a rolling ball. Every level was colorful, exciting, and didn't overuse elements from previous ones. Even if something familiar was thrown at you, there was always something unique added to it to make the experience new instead of just feeling like a repeated chore. Most important of all, the ways you earned each star was creative and usually made me smile. -Rebecca Spear

7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Image credit: Nintendo)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn't that different from Mario Kart 8. They're the same game, except the latter was for the Wii U, a console that almost nobody had. To bring the game over to the Nintendo Switch for the console's launch was an excellent idea for a lot of reasons. Mario Kart is an easy way to get anybody into a new platform (who doesn't love some classic racing?), and Mario Kart 8 improved on just enough elements to make it a must-buy for any gaming fan. Players got a lot of new characters to play with, anti-gravity sections, an improved Battle Mode, and gorgeous graphics. Deluxe included all the released DLC as well, so it gave potential racers a complete package to start their Switch experience with. -Carli Velocci

8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Image credit: Nintendo)

I don't know how many times through the years I've heard people complain about not being able to control the character they'd loved most in a previous version of Smash. But that all changed with Ultimate. Every single character from the previous games is included with a host of new ones — like Banjo-Kazooie! I love being able to host a party for all of my friends to play together or being able to find random players online to play with if none of my friends are available. Some awesome amiibo figures were also designed specifically for this game and while I don't end up using them as much as you'd guess, I love having these amazing Super Smash Bros. figurines on display. -Rebecca Spear

9. Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party (Image credit: Nintendo)

It's been so long since a Mario Party game was this fun! Super Mario Party is a sequel that returns to its roots, but with all-new party games! Play locally or online with your friends with 80 different mini-games, so you can curse at your switch screen or your buddies on the couch. The board game is back for the standard Party Mode, where four players can take turns searching for stars and playing minigames. You can also play "Partner Party" if you want to play on teams! While the boards are on the short side, there are plenty of new ways to play. The real fun is in all those mini-games. It's refreshing to have so much variety rather than the same few recycled over and over. And the gang's all here! Mario, Luigi, and now...Bowser! It's definitely the way to bring back the Party. -Sara Gitkos

10. Nintendo Switch Lite & Switch 2.0

Switch Lite

Switch Lite (Image credit: Nintendo)

We love the Switch here at iMore. It's a great handheld/console hybrid that did almost everything Nintendo sought to do with it. You can bring your game to parties and then dock it on your TV when you're done. It's a more powerful console than previous Nintendo offerings, so the catalog is a lot larger, too. There were slight problems though. The battery life was poor and it was a little too big for some people who wanted to take it with them on the go. It did both handheld and stationary gaming but didn't excel in either category. Enter both the Switch Lite and the Switch 2.0. The former capitalized on the handheld idea and introduced a product that was not only cuter but was smaller and had fewer detachable components, which made it more portable. Switch 2.0, which came out around the same time as the Switch Lite, introduced some tweaks like better battery life to the main Switch console that also improved its portability. This shows that Nintendo wanted to move in one direction over the other (sorry home or console players), but it was what the people wanted. -Carli Velocci

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