Super Mario Odyssey is all about freedom, and it is glorious. Unlike recent Mario games, the red-hatted plumber no longer must move forward in a straight line. The timer is gone, and each level—from the glorious wilderness of Fossil Falls to the bustling metropolis of New Donk City—is a toy box filled with platforming challenges, surprising secrets, and all kinds of goofy fun. You can also dress Mario up as a pirate, a cowboy, a clown, or a ‘20s-era mafia enforcer. When you beat the game, there’s still no shortage of Moons to collect and things to jump on (or off of). It’s one of the best-feeling, most charming games we’ve played in ages.
A Good Match For: Platforming fans, Mario 64 and Sunshine fans, and people who like hats.
Not A Good Match For: People who hate 3D platforming. People who hate hats.
Read Kotaku’s review.
Learn how to jump really far in Super Mario Odyssey.
How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:
5/5/2022: After much debate, we’ve cut Undertale and Stardew Valley. Joining the party is Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
7/26/2021: Why cap things at 12? We’ve expanded the list to 18, adding Mario Golf: Super Rush, Ring Fit Adventure, Grindstone, and Luigi’s Mansion 3. Also, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are back on the menu.
3/22/2021: Celeste, an airtight platformer you can get on a whole bunch of platforms, jumps off the list to clear room for the two-in-one Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury.
10/2/2020: We gave Super Mario Maker 2 the boot to make room for Supergiant’s Hades.
4/2/2020: We’ve removed Platinum Games’ Astral Chain and swapped in the biggest—or at least cutest—launch of early 2020: Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
12/9/2019: Switch had a huge 2019, which means it’s time for a huge update. We’ve added Super Mario Maker 2, Baba Is You, Astral Chain, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and removed Splatoon 2, Into the Breach, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Bayonetta 2.
1/14/2019: We’ve added Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and taken off Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
11/7/2018: We’ve added Into the Breach and Undertale and taken off Dragon Quest Builders and Darkest Dungeon.
6/28/2018: We’ve added Hollow Knight and taken off Steamworld Dig 2.
5/17/2018: We’ve added Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and removed Golf Story.
3/1/2018: We’ve added Celeste, Dragon Quest: Builders, Darkest Dungeon and Bayonetta 2 while removing Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Overcooked, Skyrim, and Arms.
12/6/2017: We’ve added Super Mario Odyssey, Overcooked, and Skyrim and taken off The Binding of Isaac, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Thumper.
10/12/2017: We’ve added Golf Story, SteamWorld Dig 2 and Stardew Valley and taken off Jackbox Party Pack 3, Minecraft, and Snipperclips.
9/14/2017: We’ve added Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and removed Cave Story +.
8/9/2017: We’ve added Splatoon 2 and bumped off Disgaea 5.
6/28/2017: Time for our first update, and it’s a big one. We’ve added Minecraft, Arms, Cave Story+, Disgaea 5, Jackbox Party Pack 3 and Thumper, and removed I Am Setsuna and Mr. Shifty. The list will remain capped at 12 games from here on out.
5/3/2017: And lo, the Switch Bests list was created! No updates yet. Expect more in the near future as we add more games, eventually capping the list at 12.
Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:
The Best PC Games • The Best PS5 Games • The Best PS4 Games • The Best Games On PlayStation Now • The Best Xbox Series X/S Games • The Best Xbox One Games • The Best Games On Xbox Game Pass • The Best Wii U Games • The Best PC Virtual Reality Games • The Best 3DS Games • The Best PS Vita Games • The Best Xbox 360 Games • The Best PS3 Games • The Best Wii Games • The Best iPhone Games • The Best iPad Games • The Best Android Games • The Best Mac Games • The Best Browser Games • The Best PC Mods
Note: If you buy any of these games through the retail links in this post, our parent company may get a small share of the sale through the retailers’ affiliates program.