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The best Nintendo Switch Lite games in 2022

Hands holding a console and playing one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games
(Image credit: Future/Nintendo)

The best Nintendo Switch Lite games aren't necessarily the ones that get the most hype. So it's important not to waste your hard-earned cash on an expensive title, only to find that it's not actually that fun to play. 

Instead, to make sure you get the most out of your console, our experts have rounded up the very best Nintendo Switch Lite games around.  

Although the Nintendo Switch Lite is cheaper than both the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch OLED, it's still capable of running nearly all Switch games. That said, some games that work brilliantly on a big TV screen lose their impact on the Switch Lite's tiny display. So we've made sure every game listed here is just as enjoyable on a smaller screen as it is on a 48-inch TV.

Meanwhile, if you haven't got a Nintendo Switch yet, our guides to the best Nintendo Switch Lite deals and the best Nintendo Switch deals will help you find the best price. And if you go for a Nintendo Switch rather than the Lite, check out our roundup of the best Nintendo Switch games too.

Best Nintendo Switch Lite games available now

Animals gather in front of a house under a sky filled with fireworks, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

01. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The best Nintendo Switch Lite game for relaxing.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Simulation
Players: Up to 8
Game file size: 10.2 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Fun and chilled gaming
+
Loads to discover
+
Constantly rewarding

Reasons to avoid

-
Short on action

There's a reason that Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Less a game, more an escape from the everyday horrors of existence, it jets you off to your own personal island paradise to explore, create, customise and simply chill the heck out. 

Whether you want to hunt for bugs, chat to villagers, plant trees or search for cool clothing for your villager or neat household items, there's always something to do, not to mention that special rewarding feeling as your island getaway grows and evolves. It's absolutely one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games to play for when you need to unwind.

A boy rides a stag in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

02. Pokémon Legends: Arceus

A new take on Pokémon.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Creature battle
Players: 1
Game file size: 6GB

Reasons to buy

+
A new take on Pokémon
+
Open world exploration
+
Fun side quests

Reasons to avoid

-
Visually bland in places

Love Pokémon? Then here's our top recommendation for the Nintendo Switch Lite. An off-shoot of the main series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a little different than most Pokémon titles. While some of the core gameplay remains, in general this is an open-world RPG that has more in common with Capcom's Monster Hunter series .

Visually it's a little bland in places, but overall this a vast and engaging adventure. Your challenge is to explore the world capturing 'wild' Pokémon to collect and register the breeds in the Pokédex, while side quests with non-player characters (NPC) bring some old-fashioned Poké-fights for fans. 

Farming environment shown from above in Stardew Valley, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

03. Stardew Valley

The best Nintendo Switch game for farming fans.

Specifications

Publisher: ConcernedApe
Genre: Indie, Simulation, Role-Playing
Players: Up to 4
Game file size: 1.5 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Relaxed farming simulation
+
Beautiful pixel art
+
Lots to see and do

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very fast-paced

Looking for relaxed vibes, but tired of Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Stardew Valley is a laid-back farming simulator with lovely pixel art looks, and it's a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch Lite. 

Starting with an overgrown field, you plant it with crops and grow your own farm, and along the way you'll meet and interact with all manner of interesting and engaging townspeople, all hoping to rebuild Stardew Valley to greatness. And if you like you can invite up to three friends to farm along with you in multiplayer.

Girl watches creature power up in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

04. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl

The best Nintendo Switch Lite game for classic Pokémon fans.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing
Players: 1
Game file size: 6.7 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Classic Pokémon remaster
+
New features
+
Plenty of creatutes to catch

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels a little dated

Number two on our list offers a new take on Pokémon. But if you want a classic old-school Pokémon game instead, here's the best. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of Nintendo DS titles given a good polish and extra content. As such, they're a great fit for the Switch Lite. 

Naturally it's all about building up your Pokémon collection and becoming the best trainer of them all. And while it's big on nostalgia there are plenty of new side quests and quality-of-life additions that give the experience extra depth. 

Gameplay in Metroid Dread, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

05. Metroid Dread

The best Nintendo Switch Lite game for those who like a challenge.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action, Adventure
Players: 1
Game file size: 4.2 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Loads of atmosphere
+
Looks fantastic
+
Familiar gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Too old-school for some

Want a game that's truly going to challenge you? Then here's the perfect title for your Switch Lite. Metroid Dread follows the classic Metroid template: a vast 2D world to explore in which you gradually built up Samus Aran's abilities and weaponry. And it builds up the tension by throwing in near-indestructible robots that'll hunt you down, as well as punishing boss fights. Overall, this game offers just the right mix of exhilaration and frustration... and you won't want to stop until you've uncovered every little hidden secret.

Fire raged in the underworld of Hades, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

06. Hades

The best Nintendo Switch Lite game for avoiding repetition.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Indie
Players: 1
Game file size: 3.9 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Different every time
+
Simple with lots of depth
+
Lots to discover

Reasons to avoid

-
Totally unforgiving

Do you hate it when games get repetitive? Then Hades could be just the thing you need. It's a rogue-like dungeon crawler, which means that it completely randomises every time you play, so you'll never play the same game twice. 

Gameplay here is all about survival and upgrading your weapons and skills, while smashing demons and attempting to escape from Hell. But as soon as you die, it's all the way back to square one, the House of Hades, to start again. It's not for everyone, but it's the perfect title for anyone who likes their gaming tough.

Mario Party Superstars, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

07. Mario Party Superstars

The best Nintendo Switch Lite game for family fun.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Party, Multiplayer
Players: Up to 4
Game file size: 2.9 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Fun for all the family
+
Lots of boards and mini-games

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs other players
-
Showing its age

Looking for a game you can play with friends, family or just about anyone? Mario Party's always been a great option, and Mario Party Superstars is a best-of edition that features mini-games from all the previous versions, as well as game boards from the first three Mario Party games on the Nintendo 64. 

This is basically a big, immersive board game that mixes skill and luck as you make your way around the board via dice rolls, and while you won't really have much fun with it playing by yourself, it comes alive when you add friends. You can either play by passing the Switch Lite around, or local or online multiplayer.

Girl climbs mountain in Celeste, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Extremely OK Games, Ltd.)

08. Celeste

The best platform game for Nintendo Switch Lite.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer, Action
Players: 1
Game file size: 1.5 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous levels
+
Incredibly well constructed
+
Fantastic replayability

Reasons to avoid

-
Brutally hard

In our view, Celeste is the greatest platform game of all time, and it's one that goes perfectly with the Switch Lite. Be warned, though: this indie classic is also one of the hardest games on Switch Lite.

Based around a young girl climbing a mysterious mountain, this is a game that can feel overwhelmingly gruelling at first. As you learn its ways and build your skills you should eventually find your way to the peak, at which point you'll be much better equipped to go back to the start and use everything you've learned along the way to get through its gorgeous and varied levels that little bit faster. 

Learning its speed-running secrets is part of the fun Celeste offers. Unlocking the mountain's even harder B-side and even its C-side levels (we doubt we'll ever manage that last one) is a punishing journey of dexterity and concentration. Yet, you will carry on as Celeste offers an old-fashioned challenge few games today manage.

Gameplay in Super Mario Maker 2, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

09. Super Mario Maker 2

The best Mario game for Nintendo Switch Lite.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer, Action
Players: Up to 4
Game file size: 3.1 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of levels included
+
Straightforward editor
+
Easy to share creations

Reasons to avoid

-
Building good levels is hard

Who doesn't love a Mario game? And while Super Mario Odyssey might be the obvious pick for the standard Switch, we think that Super Mario Maker 2 is the better fit for the Nintendo Switch Lite. Quite simply, it offers the kind of classic 2D Mario platforming action that made Nintendo the game developer it is today. Plus you get the added fun of creating and sharing your own levels, as well as downloading and playing other people's creations. What's not to love?

Horse riders in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, , one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

10. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The best adventure game for the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure, Action, Role-Playing, Other
Players: 1
Game file size: 14.4 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Enormous open world
+
Lovely graphics
+
So much to do

Reasons to avoid

-
Eventually it ends

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best adventure game on the Nintendo Switch by a long way. And while it's best experienced on a big screen, it still works really well on the Nintendo Switch Lite. The bold cartoon graphics don't suffer as much as other epic games on a smaller screen. And its vast open world, huge main storyline and enormous assortment of side quests mean that it's one you can play for ages, and still find new things to discover. 

Assassin views ship in Black Flag, one of the best Nintendo Switch Lite games

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

11. Assassin’s Creed: Rebel Collection

The best pirate game for the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Specifications

Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action-adventure stealth
Players: Single-player
Game file size: 11.8 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect port to Switch Lite
+
Flawless framerates
+
Open world action

Reasons to avoid

-
Rogue not as good as Black Flag

Assassin’s Creed: Rebel Collection consists of two games, but Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is the real star here. Set in an open world environment, it sends you out to become the most feared pirate in the Caribbean. And the port of this game to Switch Lite is quite brilliantly done. From the battle scenes on the high seas to the three main cities of Havana, Kingston and Nassau, everything looks stunning, despite the smaller screen, and the frame-rate action is flawless. 

Assassin’s Creed Rogue is decent enough, too. You play as an Assassin-turned-Templar who hunts down former members of the Brotherhood. To be frank, it's not the most loved game in the series, and the formula and mechanics are a bit too similar to Black Flag, but it's a nice addition nonetheless.

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Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.

With contributions from