The Nintendo Switch is perhaps the most surprising and unique offering among eighth generation consoles. Functionally striking a happy medium between the power offered by more conventional consoles and the mobility of handhelds, it's less than shocking that gamers have found themselves totally charmed by Nintendo's latest gaming platform.
Although most platforms host a lineup of solid, free-to-play games, the Switch's library of free titles is just as robust as the rest of them, even offering many of the same games as they do. Whether you're worried about shelling out more cash after investing in the Switch, or simply looking to expand your existing gaming library, rest assured that Nintendo's got you covered there. Here are ten of the best free games available for the Switch right now!
Beyond just the port released for the Switch, Warframe is one of the best free-to-play titles available on virtually any platform. This cooperative space ninja action-shooter is an absolute must-have for those that haven't had the pleasure.
And it's still entirely worth it for those that have had the pleasure. Players of Warframe's PC version can actually migrate their accounts over to the Switch - which is a total game changer. Xbox and PS4 players aren't so lucky as of yet, but it's worth keeping a set of fingers crossed.
9 Fortnite: Battle Royale
Fortnite is... well, Fortnite. It is hands down the most played battle royale title currently on the market, if not one of the most wildly popular games of the decade. The Switch version is very much comparable to its Xbox and PS4 compatriots.
What it does accomplish over the others is its incredible portability. Formerly, playing Fortnite on the go meant playing it on iOS, which isn't a particularly ideal solution. With the Switch, Fortnite addicts can get their fix practically anywhere.
8 Dawn of the Breakers
Dawn of the Breakers packs a lot into a relatively small package. It's an action brawler with RPG elements, and though it was adapted from a mobile release, its conversion to the Switch really does a lot for its graphical fidelity and playability.
One potential drawback is that the game definitely follows a "freemium" model, but the engaging combat and surprisingly fun progression mechanics are definitely worth dumping a few hours into.
Brawlhalla is an interestingly lightweight fighter, essentially playing like an anime-themed rendition of Super Smash Brothers. Though obviously a bit cartoonish on visuals, the gameplay is surprisingly deep, and it's a great deal of fun to get into with a few friends.
Being a free-to-play title, expect a bit of a grind in unlocking any specific character that you'd like to have at your disposal permanently. It's worth noting that outright buying the unlocks is fairly cheap for those that aren't looking for a steep time investment.
6 Galak Z: Variant S
Galak Z: Variant S is a top-down arcade shooter in which players set out to free the galaxy from the grip of a particularly nasty tyrannical Baron. The visuals are endearingly colorful, with players navigating either a space ship or mech from one end of the level to the other, blasting all manner of opposition out of their path.
Progression is a bit of a grind, as with most free-to-play models, the game is entirely monetized through microtransactions that allow players to skip over its associated timesinks. Even so, the game's adorable aesthetic and simple but fun gameplay make this one worth a try.
5 Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter is easily one of the best mobile games available, and its port to the Nintendo Switch is an entirely welcome one. It's a city-building (or Vault building, rather) simulator set in the beloved Fallout universe, but there's a lot more to it than glorified resource management.
The only drawback of Fallout Shelter's port to the Switch is the game's incessant demand for attention. While the Switch is mobile enough, it's clearly a design direction that is much more geared to an ever-present mobile phone rather than a console. That said, it certainly works out a bit better than it does on the Xbox or PS4.
4 Pokemon Quest
Pokemon Quest is a surprisingly engaging little Pokemon-themed adventure title that released for the Switch around mid-2018. It's controversially billed as a "free to start" title, though the paid content largely amounts to nothing more than simple convenience and time savers.
Those looking for a decidedly lightweight Pokemon experience are sure to be delighted by the game's premise, revolving around simple adventures, catching new Pokemon, and managing their personal base camp. The adorably rendered voxel-based graphics are also a major plus!
Overwatch may not be available on the Switch as of yet, but Paladins should definitely scratch the itch for anyone looking to engage in a thrilling, team-based hero shooter experience on the go.
Beyond being a bit more mobile than Overwatch thanks to its port on the Nintendo Switch, it's also free to play, which is a merit that often gets it erroneously passed over quite often. It's definitely necessary to take a swing at it for dedicated fans of the genre, as they may find a champion that complements their play style even better than their favorite Overwatch hero.
2 Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor is a surprisingly well put together, yet understated MOBA that recently migrated from mobile platforms onto the Switch, as so many mobile offerings have. Though its western release has largely been under the radar, its original Chinese version is the subject of unprecedented popularity in its region.
It carries all the expected trappings of the genre, and though its character roster may pale in comparison to more established titles like League of Legends, its deeply layered customization and progression systems are sure to please fans well enough.
1 Tetris 99
Would it really be a Nintendo console if there weren't some new way to play Tetris on it? Tetris 99 takes the classic Tetris formula and marries it with a unique online multiplayer component that actually works out incredibly well, pitting the player competitively against a staggering ninety-nine other players per match.
One slight disappointment is the locking of offline, CPU opponent matches behind paid DLC, but the main game is entirely free to pick up and play directly from the store, which for most intents and purposes, is more than enough.