Don’t worry, Fortnite is still on the list.

Good news, everyone! It’s that time of year: Spring. But also, time for the NVC crew to sit down, duke it out, and figure out which games make our Top 25 Nintendo Switch list for Spring 2019. Twice a year, we cram into a room and debate each other on what games should be added, taken off of, or moved on our list so that you, the reader, can enjoy the best that the Nintendo Switch has to offer. These are our recommendations based on what we’ve played, how much we enjoyed it, or whether or not it’s a better experience elsewhere. Let’s take a look:

25. Guacamelee 2

New to our Top 25 list!

Dozens, if not hundreds of Metroidvanias have found a home on Nintendo Switch, but none are us vibrant and unique as Drinkbox Studios’ Guacamelee series. Through a series of dimension warping platforming mechanics, lawless beat ’em up sequences and bizarre and hilarious boss fights, you’ll navigate your character (which can range from a noble, hairy Lucha Libre wrestler to a screaming, frenetic chicken) through a massive set of interconnected labyrinths. You’ll find new skills and permanent upgrades to help you win fights and access new areas and even tag in some friends for multiplayer. It’s a familiar genre with an excellent new coat of paint and there’s really nothing else like it.

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From our review: Guacamelee 2 is a hilarious, challenging, and rewarding follow-up to Drinkbox’s original. It expands on the first’s ideas in so many great ways and marries a complex but understandable set of moves to both its combat and platforming. Drinkbox has taken what could have been simply a rehash and pushed Guacamelee 2 to be better in nearly every facet.

On Nintendo eShop

24. Puyo Puyo Tetris

Down two spots from our Fall 2018 list.

A perfect marriage of two excellent and timeless puzzle games, Puyo Puyo Tetris is a feature-packed collection worthy of being installed on every Switch. Back in 1989, no GameBoy was complete without Tetris and that same sentiment stands today with Nintendo’s modern handheld.

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From our review: The beautifully presented Puyo Puyo Tetris has a ton of content, a really fun multiplayer with a lot of variations, and is very easy to pick up and play with just about anyone despite the slight balance issues. The Nintendo Switch is a great platform for it too, with its portability and non-threatening Joy-Con controllers.

23. Yoshi’s Crafted World

New to our Top 25 list!

Yoshi’s Crafted World is a fairly by-the-book Nintendo platformer, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a joy to play. It’s charming and creative, changing up the mechanics and obstacles in front of you for nearly every level. This time around, Yoshi can also wear any of over 170 different adorable costumes, which range from everything from trains and pirate ships to literal trash cans and coffins.

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From our review: Yoshi’s Crafted World is an engaging and charming platformer that is absolutely worth playing, but it misses a clear opportunity to be more than that by not taking full advantage of its most clever ideas.

22. Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker

Down one spot from our Fall 2018 list.

Some folks say that there are too many Wii U ports coming to Switch. Those people have never played Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker. This phenomenal spin-off is charming, challenging, and downright cute on any platform, any time. I mean, look at his little vest!

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From our review: Treasure Tracker still feels close to unique, and gains new life on both of Nintendo’s current systems. Still smart, prettier than ever and, in retrospect, genuinely important as part of Nintendo’s modern history, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a rare example of a game that actually feels better for being a few years old.

21. Warframe

New to our Top 25 list!

Warframe finally made its way to Switch at the end of 2018 and I couldn’t be happier about. It’s an often overlooked co-op action game that can quickly be summed up as “space ninjas,” but it’s undoubtedly grown past that moniker over the years. You can dash through space ships at breakneck speeds, smash and shoot enemies with dozens of varied weapons, fly over and explore large open world areas, and more recently even follow a story line that’s surprisingly engaging compared to where Warframe started.

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From our review: Warframe isn’t an easily approachable game, but it’s one that’s worth getting comfortable with. It’s a game that never stops growing from a developer who is passionate about working with its community. It also just feels amazing to play, with a satisfying kill-collect-craft loop that’s supported by a mountain of player choice and some wonderfully responsive movement mechanics.

On Nintendo eShop

20. Fortnite

Down eight spots from our Fall 2018 list.

Fortnite air drops one hundred players on to a giant, chaotic battlefield where you’ll smack each other with cartoon hammers, drive golf carts, shoot rockets and build forts, of course. As the map shrinks, your survival chances grow until one player is the last one standing. It’s addictive, incredibly fun, and totally free to play – until you decide to spend a bunch of V-Bucks on backpacks and goofy costumes, that is.

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From our review: Mastering Fortnite Battle Royale’s many systems is worth every second of investment. Whether you go it alone or queue up with a squad, even if you’re the first to die or you actually manage to earn the Victory Royale, Fortnite’s zany style and unique blend of shooting and building almost never offers anything less than an outstanding time.

On Nintendo eShop

19. Dark Souls Remastered

New to our Top 25 list!

Nothing will prepare you for your first FromSoftware game. The anguish of repeated defeat and the triumphant ecstasy of beating a boss you’ve been stuck on for hours are hallmarks of the Dark Souls franchise, and now you can deal with this emotional rollercoaster on the go… If you’re into throwing your Switch out of frustration. Yes, these games are tough as hell, but the world building and sense of accomplishment are second to none. Frame rate improvements and the incredible Artorias of the Abyss DLC make this the definitive version of this punishing classic.

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From our review: Dark Souls Remastered is a technically better version of an already-exceptional game. While the Switch version may lack some of the higher-end features available on other platforms, it still presents a more pristine version of the original, and importantly adds the exciting and absorbing dimension to explore Lordran on a portable device.

On Walmart

18. Hollow Knight

No change! Still very good.

Hollow Knight can be incredibly demanding, but you get way more back than what you put into it. The expertly crafted Metroidvania map that is the kingdom of Hallownest has an absurd amount of paths to explore, bosses to fight, and secrets to uncover. That’s all drawn in a somber but expressive art style that gives the adorable bug people who live their lives, and stories, of their own.

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From our review: Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania with a well of content to discover that’s as deep as its labyrinthine caves. The world of Hallownest is compelling and rich, full of story that’s left for you to discover on your own, and built with branching paths that offer an absurd amount of choice in how you go about discovering it.

17. Pokemon Let’s Go!

New to our Top 25 list!

The return to Kanto in Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee proves to be a lovely little nostalgic trip dressed up with new mechanics, fresh graphics, and adorable partners. You still gotta catch ‘em all in this warm, light-hearted RPG adventure, but this time you have the option to actively avoid those abundant cave-dwelling Zubat.

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From our review: Returning to Kanto in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Eevee! is almost as much fun and as heartwarming as I’d hoped it would be with its fresh, colorful design and new mechanics.The Pokemon Go catching system is a more relaxing way to fill out the Pokedex and grind for experience, and I never felt like I was missing out on battles because of it. Kanto is littered with charismatic trainers ready to fight.

16. Wargroove

New to our Top 25 list!

Wargroove is a top-notch tactics game with lovely pixel art, delivering what Advance Wars fans have been craving for the last decade in a medieval package, But it still manages to set itself apart with tons of gameplay tweaks and stylistic choices. Positioning is important in Wargroove, and its clever campaign will certainly test your ability to set up Crits and move carefully thanks to some fairly competent AI. But more than what’s already there, Wargroove shines so brightly thanks to what’s still to come. It has an extensive level and campaign editor that’s extremely easy to use and can make pretty much any map, story (with custom cutscenes), or scenario you can dream up.

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From our review:  Wargroove is the Advance Wars successor its long-neglected fans have been waiting for. It faithfully revives the tactics I loved that series for while putting plenty of its own spins on the concept. When you add in its extra modes, loads of unlockables, and amazing level editor and it’s a game I’m excited to keep playing far past its campaign.

15. Monster Hunter Ultimate Generations

Down four spots from our Fall 2018 list.

The Nintendo Switch makes it possible to get the best of both *worlds* with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. You can play using a comfortable pro-controller, but you can also slay its more than 100 monsters in person with friends. On top of the ridiculous amount of content packed in, you can also play as an adorable cat and pet alpacas.

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From our review: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate brings the majority of the series’ monsters into one package for a lengthy and exciting hunting extravaganza. While it feels dated in some ways post-Monster Hunter: World, it’s a great farewell tour for the old style of the franchise.

On Walmart

14. New Super Mario Bros. U

New to our Top 25 list!

Sure, Nintendo may have used the “New Super Mario” aesthetic one too many times since it was first introduced on Nintendo DS in 2006, but underneath the poppy, saccharine presentation of this Wii U gem port lies dozens of tough and clever 2D Mario levels that make for some of the best local co-op multiplayer on Switch. Throw in the included New Super Luigi U content – a set of even more chaotic stages that up the ante considerably by halving the time limit (and nudging you to play them a Luigi, a weird, gangly man who jumps strangely) and you have one of the best platforming packages out there.

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From our review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a broadly approachable and feature-rich platforming game. Toadette is a welcome addition to the roster for those after a more forgiving way to tackle some of the more challenging levels, and the inclusion of the New Super Luigi U mode extends its lifespan substantially.

13. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

New to our Top 25 list!

Retro’s second entry in their Donkey Kong Country series is every bit as charming and challenging as Rare’s SNES trilogy. The Switch port of the Wii U original features an easy mode with Funky Kong but retains all the white knuckle platforming that made Tropical Freeze a hit back in 2014. Boasting some of the best boss fights and most original challenges in a platformer in the last decade, and a charming Saturday morning cartoon art style, it’s a must own on Nintendo Switch.

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From our review: Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze’s addition of Funky Mode makes it more accessible without reducing the formidable platforming difficulty to a walk in the park. There’s still a lot of challenge, even with the extra help Donkey’s Funky uncle affords. But the Switch version manages to take just enough of an edge off a punishing game to let the fun platforming outshine its difficulty.

12. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

 Down two spots from our Fall 2018 list.

Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is widely considered one of the best JRPGs ever made. You’ll never want to leave Alrest, even after spending 100+ hours exploring it’s huge open world. You play as Rex, a salvager turned hero and “Driver” to the legendary Blade Pyra. Characters are extremely well written, there are dozens of Blades to unlock, all with their own unique look and personality, and the combat system is satisfying and complex.

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From our review: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a standout RPG that manages to keep its story, combat, and exploration interesting over the course of at least 70 hours of adventure through an impressively varied and rich world. Simply put, this is an excellent game full of tough, memorable battles, and a positive message.

11. Stardew Valley

Down two spots from our Fall 2018 list.

Stardew Valley is a wonderfully open-ended farming sim. You’ll forge your own country path with fishing, fighting, farming, and falling in love. Additionally, being able to take advantage of the Switch’s sleep mode helps take some of the pressure off of not being able to save in the middle of a day, even if a few other bugs in the port are still waiting to be squashed here.

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From our review: Stardew Valley is a beautiful, fun game that, when all of its parts are pulled together, make for a wonderful countryside adventure. Even 100 hours in with three in-game years in the books, I still feel like I have so many mysteries to discover, and plenty of items to collect. New items, goals, and events from all the updates since its launch make Stardew Valley more welcoming for new players and extends its life for seasoned farmers, too. The fantastic multiplayer is just the cherry on top of the cake to this marvelous farming RPG.

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