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25 Best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now

Our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games of all time has already grown and evolved over the course of this year, with both Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Pokemon Legends: Arceus making the cut. However, with plenty of games coming to Switch before the end of the year, it’s looking likely that we’re in for a few more shake-ups yet.

The games on this list aren’t all Switch exclusives, but they are best experienced on Nintendo’s latest console. What we’ve attempted to do is make this list of best Switch games as varied as possible too, so hopefully, there’s something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re a JRPG fan or Super Mario diehard. 

We’ve got you covered for the future too, with our list of all the upcoming Switch games so you know what to add to your wishlist for 2021. If you’re here because you’re considering a Nintendo Switch OLED purchase, check out all the deals you can get on a Nintendo Switch bundle.

25. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

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24. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Mario and Bowser Jr running in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

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23. Bayonetta 2

The titular Bayonetta in Bayonetta 2

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22. Gris

The hero held up by a beautiful statue in Gris

Genre: Platformer 

What is it? A stunning, watercolour, platformer with a soundtrack that’s as smooth as pouring treacle in your ears. 

Why should you buy it? Sometimes you just want something a little bit different, and if you’re looking to push the indie boat out, then Gris is one for you. In terms of gameplay, it’s a wonderful puzzle / platformer that’ll have you trying to restore the world of colour, but aesthetically it’s one of the most beautiful games we’ve ever had the privilege to play. It’s high up on our list of must-play best Switch games for that reason alone. The colour spectrum evolves the more you play, and as you unlock colours and move through the game you’ll be introduced to different areas and locales that are just so pretty I can’t help but spam the screenshot button. This is a glorious little game that utterly shines on Switch. 

21. Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Attacking a creature in Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Genre: Platformer

What is it? A sprawling, decadent open-world RPG filled with dragons, magic, and a bloody civil war with you right at the centre.  

Why should you buy it? Let’s ignore the fact that in Skyrim Nintendo Switch you can fight dragons with your bare hands. Let’s also ignore the stunning scenery that oozes character, whether it’s the dismal, unnerving forest of Falkreath or the golden trees swaying near Riften. Don’t pay attention to the grand total of 244 quests, or the DLCs included in the Switch edition that’ll have you journeying to new lands. Instead focus on the motion controls. They’re damn good, allowing you to raise a hand to your chest to block with a shield, or tilt the Joy-Cons to aim where you’re firing a handful of fire. You can even pick locks with your bare hands now, for Talos’ sake (as long as they’re holding Joy-Cons, that is). While we wait for Elder Scrolls 6, Skyrim on the Switch will make you feel connected to Tamriel’s world like never before, and an essential on our best Switch games list for RPG lovers.

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20. Moonlighter

The key art for Moonlighter

Genre: Action, Adventure

What is it? An adventure where you spend your days tending a shop, and nights fighting through various dungeons to free the town and find things to sell in said shop.

Why should you buy it? If you’re looking for the best pixel graphics you’ve ever seen, you need to check out Moonlighter. This glorious game channels Stardew Valley with that “just one more day” gameplay loop, but instead of tending a farm you’re part-time dungeon crawler, part-time shopkeeper in this best Switch games entry. During the day you’re figuring out what price to set for each of your hard-earned items, trying to stop thieves from pinching your wares, and saving up enough dosh to rebuild the town. But by night, you’re scavenging items to sell in your shop from the dungeons, and working your way towards beating the boss beast that lurks in each one, whilst trying to stay alive. Its addictive gameplay loop means that it’s going to be one of those games that eat evenings for breakfast – sometimes literally – and carves a groove into your Switch library. You don’t find many games like Moonlighter.

19. Hollow Knight

A boss battle in Hollow Knight

Genre: Platformer

What is it? An epic, platforming adventure with some of the most beautiful environments we’ve ever seen.

Why should you buy it? Some are suggesting that Hollow Knight is Dark Souls for beginners. But it’s really a Dark Souls with stunning hand-painted aesthetics and a color palette to make you cry, and a stunning orchestral soundtrack that you just want to bathe in. It’s one of our best Switch games for a reason folks. In true Metroidvania style, you’ll be exploring a labyrinth of underground areas each more distinct than the last, and all filled with strange creatures to fight, and bizarre bugs to befriend. (Yes, really.) As you progress you gain new abilities, grow in power, and more devoted to uncovering all of Hollow Knight’s secrets. One of the greatest best Switch games to date.

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18. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Finding a gem in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Genre: Platformer

What is it? An excellent port of a Wii U exclusive with some brilliant new additions to make it one of the best Switch games.

Why is it interesting? Aside from the fact you should buy this for the adorability factor of Toad and Toadette alone, it also happens that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is one of the best Wii U ports available on Switch. It’s a fantastic puzzler where every level takes the form of an interactive puzzle box or diorama that you can traverse, poke, prod, pull, push and generally interact with to unlock its secrets and reach the end goal of the golden star. And each one is beautiful, intricate and just perplexing enough to leave you suitably impressed and a tiny bit chuffed when you finish it. Plus, there are additional challenges that you can go back and dive into too, making this little puzzler stretch further than you originally anticipate. Just wait until you see the new, Switch exclusive, levels based on Super Mario Odyssey. Being able to waddle through little box-shaped version of Odyssey’s Sand, Metro, Cascade, and Luncheon Kingdoms is sheer joy, and they are just as beautifully executed as the other levels available too. It all contributes to ensuring it’s always high up on our best Switch games list. 

17. Minecraft

Mario and the gang brought to life in Minecraft

Genre: Building simulation  

What is it? A beautifully blocky, open-world, creative sandbox for you to build, destroy, and mine anything you want. 

Why should you buy it? Because even if you’ve played it before, Minecraft on Switch means an ultra-portable, buildable delight. You can sit down with a friend to play together on the local network, which is ridiculously simple to set up – just put one of their Joy-Cons on your Switch once your world is loaded up, press +, and hand it back to them. You can also play online if you’re not eager to go exploring alone, or try out one of its mini-games: Battle (straightforwards PvP), Tumble (a race that involves shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the course asap). A plethora of achievements makes for pleasantly directed playing as they give you something to aim for, but when it comes down to it you never feel like you’ve quite beaten Minecraft even if you’ve been playing for tens of hours. It’s an exercise in discovery and ambition, with structures that previously only existed in your wildest dreams suddenly viable – as long as you have the resources. Whether you’re tenacious, easygoing, or just rabidly curious, think of Minecraft as a gracious host that will make you and anyone you choose to co-op with delirious with happiness. Either that, or you’ll get your hands on some TNT and will make everything go bang. Which is also fun. Definitely worthy of its spot on our best Switch games list.

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16. Octopath Traveler

A village scene in Octopath Traveller

Genre: JRPG

What is it? A modern turn-based Japanese RPG inspired by old-school graphics.

Why should you buy it? What Octopath Traveler really excels at is scale. Whereas any other game would put all of its focus onto a single protagonist, Square Enix’s JRPG tells the story of eight – yes, eight – heroes, and all of their beautifully told stories are given the same gravitas, which is quite the feat. It’s a wonderful collection of stories, told in a world that is inspired by JRPGs of old, particularly in terms of art style, and its combat is some of the best turned-based systems the JRPG world has to offer. If any of this intrigues you, then Octopath Traveler needs to be on your wishlist immediately. Or, preferably, under your thumbs. Get involved with this excellent addition to the best Switch games list. 

15. Super Mario Maker 2

Genre: Action, Platformer

What is it? The game that lets you make your own Super Mario games – but now new and improved!

Why should you buy it? Basically three games in one, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about letting you mess about and infuse your imagination. You can play through the extensive story mode provided by the developers, or you can create your own Super Mario levels from scratch, using all the elements you know and love from the classic Ninty series. It’s drag and drop stuff, incredibly straightforward to get to grips with, but offers enough complexity that you’ll be discovering new combinations for years to come. And when your creative juices run dry? Check out the plethora of levels created by your fellow gamers. It’s one of the best Switch games and one that gives you endless fun. 

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14. Stardew Valley

Planting crops in Stardew Valley

Genre: Simulation

What is it? A cute, pixel-art farming simulator that has stolen the hearts of most of the GamesRadar+ office. 

Why should you buy it? There’s a reason Stardew Valley was one of the most highly anticipated titles coming to the Nintendo Switch and now ranks so highly on this list of best Switch games. This adorable, simple life, farming simulator is the perfect game for taking advantage of the Switch’s portability. Farming at home, farming on the go, farming wherever the heck you fancy farming. It’s a fantastic game for whiling away the evenings with a spot of farming, mining, animal rearing, fishing and other super relaxed activites. Trust us, you’ll soon be as immersed in the world of Stardew as we are.

13. Splatoon 2

Exploring the city in Splatoon 2

Genre: Third-person shooter

What is it? A sequel that brings more multiplayer ink-splatting madness than the Wii U exclusive original and more Splatfests too.

Why should you buy it? If you missed out on the Wii U exclusive that was Splatoon, the sequel, suprisingly named Splatoon 2, is one of the best Switch games. It again sees you teaming up with your fellow inklings – that’s half-squid, half-human – to try and paint the most of the map your team’s colour in the multiplayer. It’s easy to pick up and play, and although it doesn’t feel totally fresh anymore as it’s a sequel, it’s still a refreshing take on the traditional shooter. There’s also a robust single-player Hero Mode and a new Horde-esque mode known as Salmon Rush that is dangerously addictive and devilishly difficult on the highest levels.

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12. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Exploring in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

11. Paper Mario: The Origami King

Climbing a hill in Paper Mario: The Origami King

10. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening key art

9. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi pointing his torch in Luigi's Mansion 3

8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

A fight with four players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Genre: Brawler

What is it? The latest entry in the Super Smash Bros series – and the first for Switch –  delivers more characters and levels than ever before. 

Why should you buy it? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pulling out all the stops when it comes to characters. With a whopping 74 characters available to unlock, this is definitely the busiest roster of them all. That total includes 11 brand new characters – and that’s before you’ve even started on the DLC. That means a whole new set of fighters to learn in the heat of battle, but thankfully this is the best Super Smash Bros. title yet, both in terms of its glorious good looks, but also in the way the stages are detailed and animated, fighters move much more naturally and with additional flare, and the KO animations are more satisfying than ever. Plus, there’s even a surprisingly meaty single-player story to dive into. This is quite the package. 

7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Genre: RPG

What is it? The first attempt at an open-world Pokemon adventure. 

Why should you buy it? Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Game Freak’s foray into an open-world Pokemon adventure, and it’s achieved something quite special. The game takes us back in time to a point in time where the Sinnoh region is known as the Hisui region. There are no cities, no Pokemon Gyms, no trainers, just a quest to figure out what’s going on in the region, and build the locale’s very first Pokedex. You’ll catch, battle, and train up wild Pokemon you meet in the overworld, and work with them and the brilliant humans you’ll meet to solve quite the mystery. It’s an excellent new direction for the series and a refreshingly different approach to the core mechanics. 

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6. Tetris 99

Mid-battle in Tetris 99

Genre: Battle royale

What is it? Tetris, but battle royale. No, I’m not joking. 

Why should you buy it? If you love Tetris and think you’re better at playing it than anyone else, then you need to try Tetris 99. It’s an insane take on battle royale where you play Tetris simultaneously along with 98 other people, but every two or more lines you clear you send as junk to other players, either at random, to the people closest to a KO, to your attackers or to those doing the best so far. It’s mad, fast paced and turns the zen Tetris stacking into a frenzy that will have you screaming at your Switch. It might be the best thing ever. 

5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Genre: Adventure / Strategy

What is it? The latest in the Fire Emblem series, where you must nurture students of one of three prestigious houses through their studies to tactical, turn-based battles on a continent on the verge of war. 

Why should you buy it? The future of Fódlan rests on the decisions that you make, and that alone serves as quite the selling point. But, in all seriousness, if you’re already a fan of the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses this is the best to date. It realises a new, more meaningful direction for the series where stories are prioritised over combat. The challenging, tight, turn-based combat is still there, of course, but it’s not all that Fire Emblem is anymore. This is an epic evolution for the series. 

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4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe key art

Genre: Racing

What is it? The best version of Mario Kart 8 money can buy.

Why should you buy it? Apart from the telling clue in the line above, the Nintendo experience isn’t complete until you’ve enraged your closest friends by beating them at Mario Kart. It’s a rite of passage on every Nintendo console. This immediate, relatable, pick-up-and-play fun is exactly what the Switch was created for. Up to eight people can locally, letting you pretend that you’re in a Nintendo lifestyle advert, and it’s a novelty that two people can play anywhere using a single console. But best of all, this is the ultimate version of an already amazing game, and perhaps the most clear and brilliant example of how great the Switch could be. 

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3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Genre: Adventure

What is it? The first Animal Crossing game for Switch, with Tom Nook taking you to a deserted island to build a brand new life.

Why should you buy it? Not many games offer you the chance to build something that will last an entire console generation, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons does just that. After Nook whisks you away to your very own tropical island – for a fee, of course – it’s down to you to build a life there. You’ll invite new residents to move to your sandy shores, grow local business, create a community, and craft an island you can all be proud of. Running in line with real-world days, Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t one to be rushed, but it is the idyllic getaway we all need right now.  

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2. Super Mario Odyssey

Mario and Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey

Genre: Adventure

What is it? Mario’s biggest 3D adventure yet, taking him all over the globe for some hat-themed adventures. 

Why should you buy it? If you’re only buying two games for the Nintendo Switch, it has to be Zelda and it has to be Mario. Thanks to Mario’s new friend Cappy, Super Mario Odyssey manages to successfully bring the series up to date by gifting Mario a ton of new moves. And by moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario feels fresh and new while still retaining every ounce of its nostalgia and retro charm – there are still ground pounds and green pipes don’t worry. This is very much Mario as his best self so far, and his latest adventure looks absolutely beautiful on the Switch. 

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1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda looking scared in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Genre: Action RPG

What is it? The latest entry in Nintendo’s venerable fantasy franchise, which embraces its own history as often as it upends it

Why should you buy it? This is, perhaps more than anything, the biggest showpiece for what the Nintendo Switch can do. Breath of the Wild takes ideas originally introduced in the first Legend of Zelda game along with concepts expanded on by Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs and Nintendoizes them, distilling them into purest parts, and polishes the hell out of them. It’s a world of wonder, and for the first time what feels like ages, it actually lets you experience that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and incessant text boxes re-explaining everything you already know. Playing it on the TV is a treat, but being able to lift the Switch from the dock and take a game of this size and scope wherever you want is a perfect summation of the Switch’s potential.

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Find out what’s coming out in 2018 and beyond with our list of upcoming Nintendo Switch games!


More information

25 Best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now

Our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games of all time has already grown and evolved over the course of this year, with both Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Pokemon Legends: Arceus making the cut. However, with plenty of games coming to Switch before the end of the year, it’s looking likely that we’re in for a few more shake-ups yet.
The games on this list aren’t all Switch exclusives, but they are best experienced on Nintendo’s latest console. What we’ve attempted to do is make this list of best Switch games as varied as possible too, so hopefully, there’s something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re a JRPG fan or Super Mario diehard. 
We’ve got you covered for the future too, with our list of all the upcoming Switch games so you know what to add to your wishlist for 2021. If you’re here because you’re considering a Nintendo Switch OLED purchase, check out all the deals you can get on a Nintendo Switch bundle.
25. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

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24. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

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23. Bayonetta 2

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22. Gris

Genre: Platformer 
What is it? A stunning, watercolour, platformer with a soundtrack that’s as smooth as pouring treacle in your ears. 
Why should you buy it? Sometimes you just want something a little bit different, and if you’re looking to push the indie boat out, then Gris is one for you. In terms of gameplay, it’s a wonderful puzzle / platformer that’ll have you trying to restore the world of colour, but aesthetically it’s one of the most beautiful games we’ve ever had the privilege to play. It’s high up on our list of must-play best Switch games for that reason alone. The colour spectrum evolves the more you play, and as you unlock colours and move through the game you’ll be introduced to different areas and locales that are just so pretty I can’t help but spam the screenshot button. This is a glorious little game that utterly shines on Switch. 
21. Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Genre: Platformer
What is it? A sprawling, decadent open-world RPG filled with dragons, magic, and a bloody civil war with you right at the centre.  
Why should you buy it? Let’s ignore the fact that in Skyrim Nintendo Switch you can fight dragons with your bare hands. Let’s also ignore the stunning scenery that oozes character, whether it’s the dismal, unnerving forest of Falkreath or the golden trees swaying near Riften. Don’t pay attention to the grand total of 244 quests, or the DLCs included in the Switch edition that’ll have you journeying to new lands. Instead focus on the motion controls. They’re damn good, allowing you to raise a hand to your chest to block with a shield, or tilt the Joy-Cons to aim where you’re firing a handful of fire. You can even pick locks with your bare hands now, for Talos’ sake (as long as they’re holding Joy-Cons, that is). While we wait for Elder Scrolls 6, Skyrim on the Switch will make you feel connected to Tamriel’s world like never before, and an essential on our best Switch games list for RPG lovers.
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20. Moonlighter

Genre: Action, Adventure
What is it? An adventure where you spend your days tending a shop, and nights fighting through various dungeons to free the town and find things to sell in said shop.
Why should you buy it? If you’re looking for the best pixel graphics you’ve ever seen, you need to check out Moonlighter. This glorious game channels Stardew Valley with that “just one more day” gameplay loop, but instead of tending a farm you’re part-time dungeon crawler, part-time shopkeeper in this best Switch games entry. During the day you’re figuring out what price to set for each of your hard-earned items, trying to stop thieves from pinching your wares, and saving up enough dosh to rebuild the town. But by night, you’re scavenging items to sell in your shop from the dungeons, and working your way towards beating the boss beast that lurks in each one, whilst trying to stay alive. Its addictive gameplay loop means that it’s going to be one of those games that eat evenings for breakfast – sometimes literally – and carves a groove into your Switch library. You don’t find many games like Moonlighter.
19. Hollow Knight

Genre: PlatformerWhat is it? An epic, platforming adventure with some of the most beautiful environments we’ve ever seen.Why should you buy it? Some are suggesting that Hollow Knight is Dark Souls for beginners. But it’s really a Dark Souls with stunning hand-painted aesthetics and a color palette to make you cry, and a stunning orchestral soundtrack that you just want to bathe in. It’s one of our best Switch games for a reason folks. In true Metroidvania style, you’ll be exploring a labyrinth of underground areas each more distinct than the last, and all filled with strange creatures to fight, and bizarre bugs to befriend. (Yes, really.) As you progress you gain new abilities, grow in power, and more devoted to uncovering all of Hollow Knight’s secrets. One of the greatest best Switch games to date.
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18. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Genre: Platformer
What is it? An excellent port of a Wii U exclusive with some brilliant new additions to make it one of the best Switch games.
Why is it interesting? Aside from the fact you should buy this for the adorability factor of Toad and Toadette alone, it also happens that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is one of the best Wii U ports available on Switch. It’s a fantastic puzzler where every level takes the form of an interactive puzzle box or diorama that you can traverse, poke, prod, pull, push and generally interact with to unlock its secrets and reach the end goal of the golden star. And each one is beautiful, intricate and just perplexing enough to leave you suitably impressed and a tiny bit chuffed when you finish it. Plus, there are additional challenges that you can go back and dive into too, making this little puzzler stretch further than you originally anticipate. Just wait until you see the new, Switch exclusive, levels based on Super Mario Odyssey. Being able to waddle through little box-shaped version of Odyssey’s Sand, Metro, Cascade, and Luncheon Kingdoms is sheer joy, and they are just as beautifully executed as the other levels available too. It all contributes to ensuring it’s always high up on our best Switch games list. 
17. Minecraft

Genre: Building simulation  
What is it? A beautifully blocky, open-world, creative sandbox for you to build, destroy, and mine anything you want. 
Why should you buy it? Because even if you’ve played it before, Minecraft on Switch means an ultra-portable, buildable delight. You can sit down with a friend to play together on the local network, which is ridiculously simple to set up – just put one of their Joy-Cons on your Switch once your world is loaded up, press +, and hand it back to them. You can also play online if you’re not eager to go exploring alone, or try out one of its mini-games: Battle (straightforwards PvP), Tumble (a race that involves shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the course asap). A plethora of achievements makes for pleasantly directed playing as they give you something to aim for, but when it comes down to it you never feel like you’ve quite beaten Minecraft even if you’ve been playing for tens of hours. It’s an exercise in discovery and ambition, with structures that previously only existed in your wildest dreams suddenly viable – as long as you have the resources. Whether you’re tenacious, easygoing, or just rabidly curious, think of Minecraft as a gracious host that will make you and anyone you choose to co-op with delirious with happiness. Either that, or you’ll get your hands on some TNT and will make everything go bang. Which is also fun. Definitely worthy of its spot on our best Switch games list.
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16. Octopath Traveler

Genre: JRPG
What is it? A modern turn-based Japanese RPG inspired by old-school graphics.
Why should you buy it? What Octopath Traveler really excels at is scale. Whereas any other game would put all of its focus onto a single protagonist, Square Enix’s JRPG tells the story of eight – yes, eight – heroes, and all of their beautifully told stories are given the same gravitas, which is quite the feat. It’s a wonderful collection of stories, told in a world that is inspired by JRPGs of old, particularly in terms of art style, and its combat is some of the best turned-based systems the JRPG world has to offer. If any of this intrigues you, then Octopath Traveler needs to be on your wishlist immediately. Or, preferably, under your thumbs. Get involved with this excellent addition to the best Switch games list. 
15. Super Mario Maker 2
Genre: Action, Platformer
What is it? The game that lets you make your own Super Mario games – but now new and improved!
Why should you buy it? Basically three games in one, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about letting you mess about and infuse your imagination. You can play through the extensive story mode provided by the developers, or you can create your own Super Mario levels from scratch, using all the elements you know and love from the classic Ninty series. It’s drag and drop stuff, incredibly straightforward to get to grips with, but offers enough complexity that you’ll be discovering new combinations for years to come. And when your creative juices run dry? Check out the plethora of levels created by your fellow gamers. It’s one of the best Switch games and one that gives you endless fun. 
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14. Stardew Valley

Genre: Simulation
What is it? A cute, pixel-art farming simulator that has stolen the hearts of most of the GamesRadar+ office. 
Why should you buy it? There’s a reason Stardew Valley was one of the most highly anticipated titles coming to the Nintendo Switch and now ranks so highly on this list of best Switch games. This adorable, simple life, farming simulator is the perfect game for taking advantage of the Switch’s portability. Farming at home, farming on the go, farming wherever the heck you fancy farming. It’s a fantastic game for whiling away the evenings with a spot of farming, mining, animal rearing, fishing and other super relaxed activites. Trust us, you’ll soon be as immersed in the world of Stardew as we are.
13. Splatoon 2

Genre: Third-person shooter
What is it? A sequel that brings more multiplayer ink-splatting madness than the Wii U exclusive original and more Splatfests too.
Why should you buy it? If you missed out on the Wii U exclusive that was Splatoon, the sequel, suprisingly named Splatoon 2, is one of the best Switch games. It again sees you teaming up with your fellow inklings – that’s half-squid, half-human – to try and paint the most of the map your team’s colour in the multiplayer. It’s easy to pick up and play, and although it doesn’t feel totally fresh anymore as it’s a sequel, it’s still a refreshing take on the traditional shooter. There’s also a robust single-player Hero Mode and a new Horde-esque mode known as Salmon Rush that is dangerously addictive and devilishly difficult on the highest levels.
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12. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

11. Paper Mario: The Origami King

10. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

9. Luigi’s Mansion 3

8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Genre: Brawler
What is it? The latest entry in the Super Smash Bros series – and the first for Switch –  delivers more characters and levels than ever before. 
Why should you buy it? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pulling out all the stops when it comes to characters. With a whopping 74 characters available to unlock, this is definitely the busiest roster of them all. That total includes 11 brand new characters – and that’s before you’ve even started on the DLC. That means a whole new set of fighters to learn in the heat of battle, but thankfully this is the best Super Smash Bros. title yet, both in terms of its glorious good looks, but also in the way the stages are detailed and animated, fighters move much more naturally and with additional flare, and the KO animations are more satisfying than ever. Plus, there’s even a surprisingly meaty single-player story to dive into. This is quite the package. 
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Genre: RPG
What is it? The first attempt at an open-world Pokemon adventure. 
Why should you buy it? Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Game Freak’s foray into an open-world Pokemon adventure, and it’s achieved something quite special. The game takes us back in time to a point in time where the Sinnoh region is known as the Hisui region. There are no cities, no Pokemon Gyms, no trainers, just a quest to figure out what’s going on in the region, and build the locale’s very first Pokedex. You’ll catch, battle, and train up wild Pokemon you meet in the overworld, and work with them and the brilliant humans you’ll meet to solve quite the mystery. It’s an excellent new direction for the series and a refreshingly different approach to the core mechanics. 
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6. Tetris 99

Genre: Battle royale
What is it? Tetris, but battle royale. No, I’m not joking. 
Why should you buy it? If you love Tetris and think you’re better at playing it than anyone else, then you need to try Tetris 99. It’s an insane take on battle royale where you play Tetris simultaneously along with 98 other people, but every two or more lines you clear you send as junk to other players, either at random, to the people closest to a KO, to your attackers or to those doing the best so far. It’s mad, fast paced and turns the zen Tetris stacking into a frenzy that will have you screaming at your Switch. It might be the best thing ever. 
5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Genre: Adventure / Strategy
What is it? The latest in the Fire Emblem series, where you must nurture students of one of three prestigious houses through their studies to tactical, turn-based battles on a continent on the verge of war. 
Why should you buy it? The future of Fódlan rests on the decisions that you make, and that alone serves as quite the selling point. But, in all seriousness, if you’re already a fan of the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses this is the best to date. It realises a new, more meaningful direction for the series where stories are prioritised over combat. The challenging, tight, turn-based combat is still there, of course, but it’s not all that Fire Emblem is anymore. This is an epic evolution for the series. 
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4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Genre: Racing
What is it? The best version of Mario Kart 8 money can buy.
Why should you buy it? Apart from the telling clue in the line above, the Nintendo experience isn’t complete until you’ve enraged your closest friends by beating them at Mario Kart. It’s a rite of passage on every Nintendo console. This immediate, relatable, pick-up-and-play fun is exactly what the Switch was created for. Up to eight people can locally, letting you pretend that you’re in a Nintendo lifestyle advert, and it’s a novelty that two people can play anywhere using a single console. But best of all, this is the ultimate version of an already amazing game, and perhaps the most clear and brilliant example of how great the Switch could be. 
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3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Genre: Adventure
What is it? The first Animal Crossing game for Switch, with Tom Nook taking you to a deserted island to build a brand new life.
Why should you buy it? Not many games offer you the chance to build something that will last an entire console generation, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons does just that. After Nook whisks you away to your very own tropical island – for a fee, of course – it’s down to you to build a life there. You’ll invite new residents to move to your sandy shores, grow local business, create a community, and craft an island you can all be proud of. Running in line with real-world days, Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t one to be rushed, but it is the idyllic getaway we all need right now.  
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2. Super Mario Odyssey

Genre: Adventure
What is it? Mario’s biggest 3D adventure yet, taking him all over the globe for some hat-themed adventures. 
Why should you buy it? If you’re only buying two games for the Nintendo Switch, it has to be Zelda and it has to be Mario. Thanks to Mario’s new friend Cappy, Super Mario Odyssey manages to successfully bring the series up to date by gifting Mario a ton of new moves. And by moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario feels fresh and new while still retaining every ounce of its nostalgia and retro charm – there are still ground pounds and green pipes don’t worry. This is very much Mario as his best self so far, and his latest adventure looks absolutely beautiful on the Switch. 
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1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Genre: Action RPG
What is it? The latest entry in Nintendo’s venerable fantasy franchise, which embraces its own history as often as it upends it
Why should you buy it? This is, perhaps more than anything, the biggest showpiece for what the Nintendo Switch can do. Breath of the Wild takes ideas originally introduced in the first Legend of Zelda game along with concepts expanded on by Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs and Nintendoizes them, distilling them into purest parts, and polishes the hell out of them. It’s a world of wonder, and for the first time what feels like ages, it actually lets you experience that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and incessant text boxes re-explaining everything you already know. Playing it on the TV is a treat, but being able to lift the Switch from the dock and take a game of this size and scope wherever you want is a perfect summation of the Switch’s potential.
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25 Best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now

Our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games of all time has already grown and evolved over the course of this year, with both Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Pokemon Legends: Arceus making the cut. However, with plenty of games coming to Switch before the end of the year, it’s looking likely that we’re in for a few more shake-ups yet.
The games on this list aren’t all Switch exclusives, but they are best experienced on Nintendo’s latest console. What we’ve attempted to do is make this list of best Switch games as varied as possible too, so hopefully, there’s something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re a JRPG fan or Super Mario diehard. 
We’ve got you covered for the future too, with our list of all the upcoming Switch games so you know what to add to your wishlist for 2021. If you’re here because you’re considering a Nintendo Switch OLED purchase, check out all the deals you can get on a Nintendo Switch bundle.
25. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

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24. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

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23. Bayonetta 2

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22. Gris

Genre: Platformer 
What is it? A stunning, watercolour, platformer with a soundtrack that’s as smooth as pouring treacle in your ears. 
Why should you buy it? Sometimes you just want something a little bit different, and if you’re looking to push the indie boat out, then Gris is one for you. In terms of gameplay, it’s a wonderful puzzle / platformer that’ll have you trying to restore the world of colour, but aesthetically it’s one of the most beautiful games we’ve ever had the privilege to play. It’s high up on our list of must-play best Switch games for that reason alone. The colour spectrum evolves the more you play, and as you unlock colours and move through the game you’ll be introduced to different areas and locales that are just so pretty I can’t help but spam the screenshot button. This is a glorious little game that utterly shines on Switch. 
21. Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Genre: Platformer
What is it? A sprawling, decadent open-world RPG filled with dragons, magic, and a bloody civil war with you right at the centre.  
Why should you buy it? Let’s ignore the fact that in Skyrim Nintendo Switch you can fight dragons with your bare hands. Let’s also ignore the stunning scenery that oozes character, whether it’s the dismal, unnerving forest of Falkreath or the golden trees swaying near Riften. Don’t pay attention to the grand total of 244 quests, or the DLCs included in the Switch edition that’ll have you journeying to new lands. Instead focus on the motion controls. They’re damn good, allowing you to raise a hand to your chest to block with a shield, or tilt the Joy-Cons to aim where you’re firing a handful of fire. You can even pick locks with your bare hands now, for Talos’ sake (as long as they’re holding Joy-Cons, that is). While we wait for Elder Scrolls 6, Skyrim on the Switch will make you feel connected to Tamriel’s world like never before, and an essential on our best Switch games list for RPG lovers.
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20. Moonlighter

Genre: Action, Adventure
What is it? An adventure where you spend your days tending a shop, and nights fighting through various dungeons to free the town and find things to sell in said shop.
Why should you buy it? If you’re looking for the best pixel graphics you’ve ever seen, you need to check out Moonlighter. This glorious game channels Stardew Valley with that “just one more day” gameplay loop, but instead of tending a farm you’re part-time dungeon crawler, part-time shopkeeper in this best Switch games entry. During the day you’re figuring out what price to set for each of your hard-earned items, trying to stop thieves from pinching your wares, and saving up enough dosh to rebuild the town. But by night, you’re scavenging items to sell in your shop from the dungeons, and working your way towards beating the boss beast that lurks in each one, whilst trying to stay alive. Its addictive gameplay loop means that it’s going to be one of those games that eat evenings for breakfast – sometimes literally – and carves a groove into your Switch library. You don’t find many games like Moonlighter.
19. Hollow Knight

Genre: PlatformerWhat is it? An epic, platforming adventure with some of the most beautiful environments we’ve ever seen.Why should you buy it? Some are suggesting that Hollow Knight is Dark Souls for beginners. But it’s really a Dark Souls with stunning hand-painted aesthetics and a color palette to make you cry, and a stunning orchestral soundtrack that you just want to bathe in. It’s one of our best Switch games for a reason folks. In true Metroidvania style, you’ll be exploring a labyrinth of underground areas each more distinct than the last, and all filled with strange creatures to fight, and bizarre bugs to befriend. (Yes, really.) As you progress you gain new abilities, grow in power, and more devoted to uncovering all of Hollow Knight’s secrets. One of the greatest best Switch games to date.
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18. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Genre: Platformer
What is it? An excellent port of a Wii U exclusive with some brilliant new additions to make it one of the best Switch games.
Why is it interesting? Aside from the fact you should buy this for the adorability factor of Toad and Toadette alone, it also happens that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is one of the best Wii U ports available on Switch. It’s a fantastic puzzler where every level takes the form of an interactive puzzle box or diorama that you can traverse, poke, prod, pull, push and generally interact with to unlock its secrets and reach the end goal of the golden star. And each one is beautiful, intricate and just perplexing enough to leave you suitably impressed and a tiny bit chuffed when you finish it. Plus, there are additional challenges that you can go back and dive into too, making this little puzzler stretch further than you originally anticipate. Just wait until you see the new, Switch exclusive, levels based on Super Mario Odyssey. Being able to waddle through little box-shaped version of Odyssey’s Sand, Metro, Cascade, and Luncheon Kingdoms is sheer joy, and they are just as beautifully executed as the other levels available too. It all contributes to ensuring it’s always high up on our best Switch games list. 
17. Minecraft

Genre: Building simulation  
What is it? A beautifully blocky, open-world, creative sandbox for you to build, destroy, and mine anything you want. 
Why should you buy it? Because even if you’ve played it before, Minecraft on Switch means an ultra-portable, buildable delight. You can sit down with a friend to play together on the local network, which is ridiculously simple to set up – just put one of their Joy-Cons on your Switch once your world is loaded up, press +, and hand it back to them. You can also play online if you’re not eager to go exploring alone, or try out one of its mini-games: Battle (straightforwards PvP), Tumble (a race that involves shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the course asap). A plethora of achievements makes for pleasantly directed playing as they give you something to aim for, but when it comes down to it you never feel like you’ve quite beaten Minecraft even if you’ve been playing for tens of hours. It’s an exercise in discovery and ambition, with structures that previously only existed in your wildest dreams suddenly viable – as long as you have the resources. Whether you’re tenacious, easygoing, or just rabidly curious, think of Minecraft as a gracious host that will make you and anyone you choose to co-op with delirious with happiness. Either that, or you’ll get your hands on some TNT and will make everything go bang. Which is also fun. Definitely worthy of its spot on our best Switch games list.
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16. Octopath Traveler

Genre: JRPG
What is it? A modern turn-based Japanese RPG inspired by old-school graphics.
Why should you buy it? What Octopath Traveler really excels at is scale. Whereas any other game would put all of its focus onto a single protagonist, Square Enix’s JRPG tells the story of eight – yes, eight – heroes, and all of their beautifully told stories are given the same gravitas, which is quite the feat. It’s a wonderful collection of stories, told in a world that is inspired by JRPGs of old, particularly in terms of art style, and its combat is some of the best turned-based systems the JRPG world has to offer. If any of this intrigues you, then Octopath Traveler needs to be on your wishlist immediately. Or, preferably, under your thumbs. Get involved with this excellent addition to the best Switch games list. 
15. Super Mario Maker 2
Genre: Action, Platformer
What is it? The game that lets you make your own Super Mario games – but now new and improved!
Why should you buy it? Basically three games in one, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about letting you mess about and infuse your imagination. You can play through the extensive story mode provided by the developers, or you can create your own Super Mario levels from scratch, using all the elements you know and love from the classic Ninty series. It’s drag and drop stuff, incredibly straightforward to get to grips with, but offers enough complexity that you’ll be discovering new combinations for years to come. And when your creative juices run dry? Check out the plethora of levels created by your fellow gamers. It’s one of the best Switch games and one that gives you endless fun. 
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14. Stardew Valley

Genre: Simulation
What is it? A cute, pixel-art farming simulator that has stolen the hearts of most of the GamesRadar+ office. 
Why should you buy it? There’s a reason Stardew Valley was one of the most highly anticipated titles coming to the Nintendo Switch and now ranks so highly on this list of best Switch games. This adorable, simple life, farming simulator is the perfect game for taking advantage of the Switch’s portability. Farming at home, farming on the go, farming wherever the heck you fancy farming. It’s a fantastic game for whiling away the evenings with a spot of farming, mining, animal rearing, fishing and other super relaxed activites. Trust us, you’ll soon be as immersed in the world of Stardew as we are.
13. Splatoon 2

Genre: Third-person shooter
What is it? A sequel that brings more multiplayer ink-splatting madness than the Wii U exclusive original and more Splatfests too.
Why should you buy it? If you missed out on the Wii U exclusive that was Splatoon, the sequel, suprisingly named Splatoon 2, is one of the best Switch games. It again sees you teaming up with your fellow inklings – that’s half-squid, half-human – to try and paint the most of the map your team’s colour in the multiplayer. It’s easy to pick up and play, and although it doesn’t feel totally fresh anymore as it’s a sequel, it’s still a refreshing take on the traditional shooter. There’s also a robust single-player Hero Mode and a new Horde-esque mode known as Salmon Rush that is dangerously addictive and devilishly difficult on the highest levels.
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12. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

11. Paper Mario: The Origami King

10. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

9. Luigi’s Mansion 3

8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Genre: Brawler
What is it? The latest entry in the Super Smash Bros series – and the first for Switch –  delivers more characters and levels than ever before. 
Why should you buy it? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pulling out all the stops when it comes to characters. With a whopping 74 characters available to unlock, this is definitely the busiest roster of them all. That total includes 11 brand new characters – and that’s before you’ve even started on the DLC. That means a whole new set of fighters to learn in the heat of battle, but thankfully this is the best Super Smash Bros. title yet, both in terms of its glorious good looks, but also in the way the stages are detailed and animated, fighters move much more naturally and with additional flare, and the KO animations are more satisfying than ever. Plus, there’s even a surprisingly meaty single-player story to dive into. This is quite the package. 
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Genre: RPG
What is it? The first attempt at an open-world Pokemon adventure. 
Why should you buy it? Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Game Freak’s foray into an open-world Pokemon adventure, and it’s achieved something quite special. The game takes us back in time to a point in time where the Sinnoh region is known as the Hisui region. There are no cities, no Pokemon Gyms, no trainers, just a quest to figure out what’s going on in the region, and build the locale’s very first Pokedex. You’ll catch, battle, and train up wild Pokemon you meet in the overworld, and work with them and the brilliant humans you’ll meet to solve quite the mystery. It’s an excellent new direction for the series and a refreshingly different approach to the core mechanics. 
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6. Tetris 99

Genre: Battle royale
What is it? Tetris, but battle royale. No, I’m not joking. 
Why should you buy it? If you love Tetris and think you’re better at playing it than anyone else, then you need to try Tetris 99. It’s an insane take on battle royale where you play Tetris simultaneously along with 98 other people, but every two or more lines you clear you send as junk to other players, either at random, to the people closest to a KO, to your attackers or to those doing the best so far. It’s mad, fast paced and turns the zen Tetris stacking into a frenzy that will have you screaming at your Switch. It might be the best thing ever. 
5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Genre: Adventure / Strategy
What is it? The latest in the Fire Emblem series, where you must nurture students of one of three prestigious houses through their studies to tactical, turn-based battles on a continent on the verge of war. 
Why should you buy it? The future of Fódlan rests on the decisions that you make, and that alone serves as quite the selling point. But, in all seriousness, if you’re already a fan of the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses this is the best to date. It realises a new, more meaningful direction for the series where stories are prioritised over combat. The challenging, tight, turn-based combat is still there, of course, but it’s not all that Fire Emblem is anymore. This is an epic evolution for the series. 
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4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Genre: Racing
What is it? The best version of Mario Kart 8 money can buy.
Why should you buy it? Apart from the telling clue in the line above, the Nintendo experience isn’t complete until you’ve enraged your closest friends by beating them at Mario Kart. It’s a rite of passage on every Nintendo console. This immediate, relatable, pick-up-and-play fun is exactly what the Switch was created for. Up to eight people can locally, letting you pretend that you’re in a Nintendo lifestyle advert, and it’s a novelty that two people can play anywhere using a single console. But best of all, this is the ultimate version of an already amazing game, and perhaps the most clear and brilliant example of how great the Switch could be. 
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3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Genre: Adventure
What is it? The first Animal Crossing game for Switch, with Tom Nook taking you to a deserted island to build a brand new life.
Why should you buy it? Not many games offer you the chance to build something that will last an entire console generation, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons does just that. After Nook whisks you away to your very own tropical island – for a fee, of course – it’s down to you to build a life there. You’ll invite new residents to move to your sandy shores, grow local business, create a community, and craft an island you can all be proud of. Running in line with real-world days, Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t one to be rushed, but it is the idyllic getaway we all need right now.  
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2. Super Mario Odyssey

Genre: Adventure
What is it? Mario’s biggest 3D adventure yet, taking him all over the globe for some hat-themed adventures. 
Why should you buy it? If you’re only buying two games for the Nintendo Switch, it has to be Zelda and it has to be Mario. Thanks to Mario’s new friend Cappy, Super Mario Odyssey manages to successfully bring the series up to date by gifting Mario a ton of new moves. And by moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario feels fresh and new while still retaining every ounce of its nostalgia and retro charm – there are still ground pounds and green pipes don’t worry. This is very much Mario as his best self so far, and his latest adventure looks absolutely beautiful on the Switch. 
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1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Genre: Action RPG
What is it? The latest entry in Nintendo’s venerable fantasy franchise, which embraces its own history as often as it upends it
Why should you buy it? This is, perhaps more than anything, the biggest showpiece for what the Nintendo Switch can do. Breath of the Wild takes ideas originally introduced in the first Legend of Zelda game along with concepts expanded on by Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs and Nintendoizes them, distilling them into purest parts, and polishes the hell out of them. It’s a world of wonder, and for the first time what feels like ages, it actually lets you experience that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and incessant text boxes re-explaining everything you already know. Playing it on the TV is a treat, but being able to lift the Switch from the dock and take a game of this size and scope wherever you want is a perfect summation of the Switch’s potential.
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Want to save some cash? We’ve got you covered – check in with our cheap Nintendo game deals page.
Find out what’s coming out in 2018 and beyond with our list of upcoming Nintendo Switch games!

#Nintendo #Switch #games #play


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