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Nintendo Switch 5th Anniversary Retrospective


March 2017: After many years of NX rumors and lots of waiting since the official announcement, the Nintendo Switch has finally been released. With many amazing games that have hit new highs for Nintendo, it's hard to truly hate this console. Each year for the Switch seems to beg the question: how will they top the last one?

The Nintendo Switch turned 5 years old earlier this month, so in honor of this occasion we decided to have another retrospective article similar to our ones for Mario and Zelda. For this piece, we asked several members of the SmashBoards writing team the following two questions:
  • What is your favorite Switch game?
  • What would you like to see on the Switch in the future? Can be a game, a new feature, something fixed, etc.
Each writer gave very detailed responses to these questions, so I'll end things here and allow you to dive in to what each writer had to say:


Sari Sari

Favorite Switch Game:
WarioWare: Get It Together

I love pretty much every WarioWare game, but what makes Get It Together so enjoyable compared to past entries is the amount of freedom and variety it offers. In most WarioWare games, there is usually only one strategy you have to follow in order to clear a microgame; tap all of the balloons, keep mashing the A button, twist the system upside down, etc. These are all fun of course, but GiT takes it a step further by making microgames playable using 1 of 18 characters.

Each character has an ability that makes them unique, whether it be Dribble shooting projectiles to the right side or 18-Volt shooting discs from his head. This results in microgames usually being relatively simple with one character but incredibly tough with another one. Additionally, there are a variety of different ways to tackle certain microgames with even just one character. Maybe you’ll use Mona’s boomerang to squeeze out some toothpaste, or perhaps you’ll fly your moped on the edges of the tube and squeeze it out that way. There’s just a ton of different ways to handle whatever is thrown at you to the point where starting a microgame remix always feels like a brand new experience no matter how many times I play.

Rounding things out are local co-op multiplayer (a first for the series), lots of extra multiplayer minigames, collectibles that you can obtain, and even the ability to change the colors of your characters. My only gripe is the lack of online play, but otherwise GiT takes the spot as my favorite Switch game.

Future Hopes for Switch:
A new Wario Land

From the best Smash game to even an Advance Wars remake, I’ve gotten just about everything I could ever have dreamt of for the Switch. If I had to choose one more thing to round out my Switch satisfaction however, it would definitely be a new Wario Land game. I’ve played Wario Land 1-4 and they are some of my favorite side scrolling platformers ever. A new treasure hunting adventure for Wario would be well welcomed.

The visuals for a new Wario Land game can be sprite-based like in all of the handheld entries in the series, hand-drawn like in Shake It!, or even use 3D models if it will help cut costs. All I really need is some shoulder-bashing action on Nintendo’s current console.



Favorite Switch Game
Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Have you ever played a game that made you so immersed in its world that it stuck with you months after you’ve beaten it? That is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for me. When Pyra and Mythra were announced for Smash, I wasn’t hyped for them since at that point I had never touched a Xenoblade game. But I figured I would give Xenoblade 2 a shot since Smash got me into other games like Dragon Quest and ARMS. Little did I know I was about to experience one of the most magical games I’ve ever played.

There is a lot to like about Xenoblade Chronicles 2, such as the story. It is beautiful with themes such as discovering who you are and your purpose in this world, as well as remaining optimistic in the face of nihilism. Rex and Pyra’s journey to the mythical land of Elysium is a very personal one. There are many touching moments which pulled at my heartstrings and made me desperately want to see the duo prevail. They are also accompanied by one of my favorite cast of characters. This includes Nia, a snarky girl who is struggling to deal with a facet of herself, her gentleman companion Dromarch, and Poppi who is absolutely precious. There are also other characters like Zeke, who is very entertaining yet surprisingly deep. Not only are these characters multilayered, their interactions are often hilarious or offer some kind of rich detail on the world around them.

There are many other aspects that I love about this game. For one, the Titans are very fun to explore. Each one is huge and feels like their own world with a unique vibe. As for the soundtrack, it’s a masterpiece and is easily within my top three favorite video game OSTs. There is so much variety with the track list; there are songs that will get you pumped, make you laugh, put you in a relaxed mood, or will make you want to cry your eyes out. It’s a phenomenal soundtrack that I listen to almost everyday. Finally, the gameplay is very fun and flashy. The combat system takes some time to get used to, but is very rewarding when you learn the ins and outs. Plus there are plenty of options when it comes to how you approach battles, so they never get boring.

Overall, I absolutely adore Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I could gush about it all day with how much joy and optimism for the future it has given me. Never has a game made me so emotionally invested in its world and characters. Does Xenoblade 2 have flaws? Yes. But I love it to bits despite the grievances I have with it and I’ll always cherish it.

Future Hope for Switch

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a theme similar to this on the Switch? The 3DS has so much personality thanks to these custom themes that you can buy for a few dollars. You could get ones based on Sonic, Pokemon, Animal Crossing and more. Some of them like the above Ace Attorney one plays music which is really cool and gets you in the mood for gaming. But with the Switch, all we have is the option to make the background white or black. I would gladly pay a few dollars to have a Xenoblade theme for my Switch. Not to mention there is more potential for themes now than ever with returning series like Advance Wars and brand new IPs like Astral Chain. Plus, it would be neat if we could select screenshots as themes. Implementing themes on the Switch would give the system more flair and allow players another way to show off their love for the games they are passionate about.


@Ze Diglett

Favorite Switch Game
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Xenoblade nut. Xenoblade Chronicles was my introduction to the series on the Wii, and it blew me away with just how far it was able to push the system’s hardware (without any motion control gimmicks for a change!) and weave a grand, novelesque tale that still blows my mind to this day. Thanks to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definition Edition, this masterpiece is accessible to a new generation with even better visuals, various QoL changes I didn’t even know I needed, and a new epilogue story that revamps the unused Bionis’ Shoulder from Xenoblade Chronicles into a fully explorable area. (Maybe it’s just me, but I’m always a sucker for cut content being brought back like that.)

I’ve actually been replaying this game out of hype for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and even as a Xeno-veteran I still find myself getting goosebumps from its gorgeous areas, cutscenes, and soundtrack all over again. I’m reminded of how mind-blowing it is stepping out onto Bionis’ Leg for the first time, only to be mashed to a fine paste by Territorial Rotbart four minutes later. I get to reconnect with lovable characters like Shulk, Reyn, and Melia who have remained some of my favorites for years. Rest assured, this game really is just that good, and if you’re looking for a new RPG to sink your teeth into, I can’t recommend XC:DE enough as an entrypoint to what will probably be the greatest trilogy on the whole Switch.

Future Hopes for Switch:
A new Mario RPG

Truth be told, most of my wishes in terms of 2022 Switch games have already been fulfilled. Xenoblade 3? Check. 3D Kirby? Check. Open-world Pokémon? Double-check on that front. Needless to say, I’m a happy camper, so at this point I can’t really ask for much. The one thing I’d really like to see that we haven’t, though, is a new Mario RPG.

Seeing as SMRPG got left behind in the 90’s, Paper Mario hasn’t been an RPG in years, and Mario & Luigi seemingly died with AlphaDream a few years back, fans of the Mario RPGs have been starving as of late. (Mario + Rabbids exists I guess, but it hardly fills the void left by those series and you couldn’t get me to touch the Rabbids with a 10-foot pole, quite frankly.) Particularly, I’d most like to see the Mario & Luigi series make a comeback, but a return to form for Paper Mario or even a sequel to Super Mario RPG would be welcome as well—heck, even just getting SMRPG on SNES Online would be nice at this point.



Favorite Switch Game
Super Smash Bros: Ultimate

Super Smash Bros: Ultimate is the game I have poured the most time into on the Switch and it's not even close. I’ve sunk countless hours into playing with friends. Instead of explaining why Super Smash Bros: Ultimate is amazing, I will instead share some of my favorite memories of the game with you all.

At the pandemic’s height, it was hard to actually do anything socially. The isolation of the lockdown was very rough. Early in the pandemic, me and my housemates from college would play online together. Were we griping about the netcode? Absolutely. Were we also having a good time? Of course. Being able to just talk and play smash was a massive help early in the pandemic. In the summer of 2020, many of my plans had gone astray. I did not graduate in person from college. Job hunting was hard. My vacation plans with my friends from home had to be put on hold until further notice. But we did find one way to hang out while still being safe outside. In the hot, misty days of the summer, we got an inflatable big screen and would set it up outside. Socially distanced, we would mess around and play games or even watch things on the big screen. Smash obviously was a highlight. Just being able to sit down and play smash, even in an obviously very unique scenario, gave me this faint feeling of normalcy that I desperately needed.

The social aspect of the reveals also was a massive highlight for me. When Joker was revealed, I was getting in line for a midnight release of Ultimate. The shock of Joker making it in and seeing so many live reactions was insane. Watching Nintendo directs with friends was a highlight as well. One of my friends griped at how boring Hero looked: she now mains him. Another one of my friends said Terry looked interesting and he was excited to learn more: now he mains Terry. I set my expectations super low for the final fighter. Just in case our streams did not match up, one of my friends left the call so that he would not hear me spoil it. When the trailer for Sora ended he could hear me still hyperventilating, squealing with glee.

I could analyze every single minute detail about why Ultimate is such a delight. I could also go in depth about any issues I may have. I just love the social aspect of this celebration of gaming more than anything. Hearing people talk about their dream characters was something that felt so much less constricted in this game. Are there other games on the Switch that I love? Absolutely, but none are more personal to me than Super Smash Bros: Ultimate.

Future Hopes for Switch:
Persona 5 Royal comes to Switch

I strongly debated what I would like to see for the future of the Switch. Getting a Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age remake would be amazing. I would be ecstatic for a new 3D Donkey Kong game. But if I could have any game come to the Switch’s library, it would be Persona 5 Royal. I think Persona 5 Royal is the defining JRPG of the last generation, and more people need to be able to experience this gem. The art direction is among the best in any game I have ever played. The soundtrack is perfect. The writing is stellar. Royal includes so many tiny quality of life changes that I did not even think Persona 5 needed at the time. Now? It is hard to even go back to vanilla Persona 5. There are plenty of people that would love to experience this game, but sadly do not own a PS4 and thus can’t play it. Persona 5 Royal is arguably my favorite game of all time, and I just want more people to have the opportunity to experience it. Atlus is famously bad at porting their games, but I hope the fan demand for this one will help it actually come out on the Switch.


Octorockandroll Octorockandroll

Favorite Switch Game:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Despite having had a few trysts with the series, I was never what you’d call an Animal Crossing fan. As such, the early trailers for New Horizons were met with no more optimism from me than any other first-party Nintendo game in my circles. I even remember worrying with co-workers at another publication I worked for that the crafting mechanic might over centralize the gameplay on resource management and town-building at the expense of the ambient pace that pulled so many of us to the series to begin with. Me and most people I knew thought it would be a second-tier release at best and general interest seemed relatively low. And then came COVID-19.

I know for a fact I was not the only one to jump into New Horizons out of a desire to reconnect with friends I couldn’t see in-person during the lockdowns, but what I got was so much more. Not everything I loved about previous Animal Crossing games was there at launch, but New Horizons made the most of what it had, keeping the series’ trademark charm alive with an endearing cast and a world I couldn’t help but get lost in. And all of that was before getting into the treasure trove of extra content added through free updates and paid DLC alike.

How about those scary crafting mechanics? I’ll admit, it was a pain having low-level tools always breaking in the early game, but as I stuck with it I found the system added unprecedented customizability to the Animal Crossing formula, giving my friends and I reasons to keep coming back to this day as we find new ways to personalize our islands. Admittedly, after 500+ hours of playtime and with the real world starting to open up again I’ve found myself neglecting my island life a lot lately, but that does nothing to diminish the wonderful memories I made with Animal Crossing: New Horizons as it helped me through the worst time that I will (hopefully) ever live through. I even still pop back in from time to time to catch up with my favorite villagers.

Mostly Dom, though.

Future Hopes for Switch:
A good online experience

If there’s one thing that didn’t help my gaming experience during lockdown it was the downright miserable state of the Switch’s online functions. By now you’ve all heard it a hundred times: the NES and SNES game selections aren’t updated often enough, there is no messaging function of any kind, far too many important features are tied to a mobile app, the premium subscription is overpriced, the N64 emulation is laughably bad at points and most games have a consistently sub-par online performance, including the one this very site focuses most on.

I know that the Switch has by far the cheapest online subscription model on the console market and it thus stands to reason that it wouldn’t be as feature-rich as the Xbox and Playstation equivalents, but even at just $20 a year it’s hard to justify an investment with so little return beyond some emulated games, many of which I already own. I want to enjoy my Switch games with my friends, and once it becomes easier to do so without having to use the internet, my online subscription days may be numbered.


@Speedy Sloth

Favorite Switch Game:
Super Mario Maker 2

One of the few games I played religiously on the Wii U was Super Mario Maker. It’s an amazing game and one of the few that actually used one the gamepad to its fullest extent. Most levels created were not the best, but it didn’t really matter. The creation tools were so interesting and could lead to hours of just toying with the options the game gave you.

Super Mario Maker 2 is the older, matured brother of its predecessor. Goofy design choices are tossed aside while still keeping the game's signature childlike tone. The amount of content added makes the game worthy of being a sequel while also developing into a better single player experience. Endless challenge, story mode, ninji speedruns – all of these in addition to the heaping pile of creation options introduced.

Probably most important of all is that the community surrounding the game has grown with the series. Overall levels are better and more creative with better usage of the mechanics at hand. This is helped by the “Boo!” option that makes sure that levels of lower quality show up less frequently.

Future Hopes For Switch
A New Entry In The F-Zero Series

I am a racing game fan at heart, and one series that I haven’t had the privilege of playing through is F-Zero. The last time a game was released for the series on console I was about six months away from being born. Seeing a new entry utilize the improvements in graphics and gameplay would make for an amazing exclusive and something for Nintendo racing fans to hold on to until Mario Kart 9 releases.



Favorite Switch Game:
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

While it’s admittedly a strange premise to put the iconic plumber and the infamous wacky rabbits together in a turn-based strategy RPG, Mario + Rabbids goes all the way with it, quite literally combining the two series in hilarious ways thanks to the plot centric device, the SupaMerge. The Rabbid versions of Mario characters may seem bland at first, but are all really fun and colorful additions to the Mario cast in my opinion. What really stands out though is the turn based XCOM-styled gameplay that gradually builds in difficulty, though never being impossible. I felt constantly aware of every cell on the battlefield at all times, but it never felt grueling thanks to relaxing breaks between combat with exploration and puzzle platforming. With the game’s sequel releasing this year and taking inspiration from my favorite 3D Mario game, that being Galaxy, I’m very excited for the future of this series.

Future Hopes for Switch
eShop Music

My trips to the Nintendo Switch eShop have yielded great games thanks to the console's incredible first party and indie offerings. However, the virtual store feels bland on the Switch, and that’s not just because of the Chromebook advert-tier graphic design; the lack of music, in comparison to previous consoles, leads to a hollow shopping experience. With the 3DS and Wii U eShops closing down soon, it would be nice if at least one great aspect of them carried over to the Switch.



Favorite Switch Game:
Groove Coaster: Wai Wai Party!!!!

My favorite Switch exclusive game would probably be Groove Coaster Wai Wai Part. The game manages to pack one of my favorite arcade games, Groove Coaster, into a wonderful home console experience. What’s even better? It supports up to 4 players locally! Unfortunately, right as I got really into the game, the pandemic started to hit.

Even if I don’t jump back to it, I still have fond memories. With over ten Undertale songs, dozens of Touhou tunes, and tons of other music, how could I not? I know the price is a bit steep for the game, but it is an enjoyable rhythm game experience that provides countless hours of fun – even if you’re playing alone.

Future Hopes for Switch:
Improved online multiplayer

I’m really looking forward to Mario Strikers: Battle League as a couple of friends and I want to start a team of our own and play ranked matches online. Problem is, the online demand required for 5v5 is something that I’m not 100% confident in. I’m hoping that the worldwide experience for Nintendo’s online improves, especially in group settings. I’m on a playthrough of Super Mario 3D World right now with a few friends and one of ours dropped out due to lag.


And that wraps up the article! Thanks to both everyone who contributed a writeup and to you the reader for looking through all of this. Here's to the Switch having a future that's been just as great as these past 5 years.

Writing: Sari Sari , @DanganZilla5, @Ze Diglett, @TCT~Phantom, Octorockandroll Octorockandroll , @Speedy Sloth, @Janx_uwu, @Thirdkoopa
Editing: Sari Sari
Thumbnail Graphic: @Zerp
Social Media: @Zerp

Note from the Authors: What is YOUR favorite Switch game? What would YOU like to see for the Switch in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
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Favorite switch game is smash ultimate, no contest, many switch games came before and after it but it is the one game I never get bored of.

Future hopes for switch is adding gba and GameCube games to the library.
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ARMS is among my top 3 most played Switch games. History forgot all about it, but not me. I would like a sequel where the gameplay is vastly expanded and the characters, environments and lore are fleshed out.
Favorite Switch game: Really, really hard to nail it down to just one but I'd have to say Va-11 hall-a. As a VN Cyberpunk game where you play as the grizzled barkeep usually treated as a one-note stock character. It amazed me with it's excellent writing and characters and helped open up my mind to the brilllance of Indie games. Heck, I now have Jill and Dana plushes because of it. ;)

Future hopes for the Switch: A new entry in the Pilotwings series that takes place in the SNES/N64 Pilotwings world or M2 releasing Battle Garegga on the eShop.
Favorite Switch game: Smash Ultimate, followed closely by NEO: The World Ends with You

Future hopes: An updated rerelease of SSBU with all the DLC characters becoming more integrated into the base game, along with several other things
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Favorite Switch game: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, by a long shot. I've played 15,000+ online matches, started going to locals, and SSB has always been my favorite series. Second favorite is probably Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but things like Ori, Hollow Knight, etc I've also had a great time with.

Future hopes: SSBU ported or updated indefinitely. I'm not saying a reboot or something is a bad idea, but I honestly am all aboard the "Deluxe" train Nintendo has taken with things like MK8. While a new Smash or Mario Kart would be nice, both of the current games are so strong that supporting them for extended periods of time would be great. Oh, and maybe make the online experience smoother for SSBU. I personally find it playable, but it could be better.
My favourite game would be FE Three Houses I guess since BotW isn’t an exclusive. Really love the story and gameplay of that game and beat it three times so far.

And my wish for the switch is gonna be for nintendo switch online premium or whatever it’s called to actually be… worth the price. Keep adding DLC’s to it, make more exclusive free games, give it a price cut, and add games from consoles like gamecube, the gameboy line, ds, wii, saturn, and dreamcast. Nintendo is never gonna do this lmao
My favourite game would be FE Three Houses I guess since BotW isn’t an exclusive. Really love the story and gameplay of that game and beat it three times so far.

And my wish for the switch is gonna be for nintendo switch online premium or whatever it’s called to actually be… worth the price. Keep adding DLC’s to it, make more exclusive free games, give it a price cut, and add games from consoles like gamecube, the gameboy line, ds, wii, saturn, and dreamcast. Nintendo is never gonna do this lmao
Amen for Sega Dreamcast games. Maybe if it happens we'll finally get the original version of Sonic Adventure re-released without the weird downgrades added in DX.
Smash Ultimate is My favorite game of all time, Right next to Kid Icarus Uprising, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, and many others.
Splatoon 2. I have over 5,000 hours on that game.
Probably have to mention Kirby & The Forgotten Land since I've been playing that game so much since it launched this week and love it.
Shoutouts to No More Heroes III and Snack World.

I'm looking forward to Splatoon 3, of course.
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