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One of the coolest things about modern gaming culture is the prevalence of free, high-quality video games.
A decade ago? Free games were mainly limited to works-in-progress, crappy open-source projects, and emulation. Today? Free games are available on every platform, and many of them are actually worth playing.
After spending several hundred bucks on a Nintendo Switch, you may not exactly be in the mood to spend hundreds more to build out your Switch game collection.
Fortunately, the Nintendo eShop is home to plenty of free Nintendo Switch games—the trouble is knowing which ones are worth your time.
We’ve played all of them so you don’t have to. Here are the best free Nintendo Switch games on the Nintendo eShop!
As soon as Rocket League went free-to-play, it found its spot at the top of this list of best free Nintendo Switch games. The concept is simple: drive around, hit the ball, and try to get it into the opponent’s goal.
If that sounds boring, you should really give it a try anyway. You’d be surprised how fun it can be! No other multiplayer PVP game is as easy to pick up as this one, yet with a high skill ceiling for anyone who wants to get serious with their car soccer plays.
There’s probably not much I can say about Fortnite that hasn’t been said elsewhere.
In case you’ve been living under a boulder for the last three years, Fortnite is an incredibly popular battle royale game where 100 players parachute onto vast arena and duke it out, trying to be the last man standinig.
You’ll be looting gear and building structures between kills, which adds an interesting dimension to gameplay. There’s a reason why Fortnite is still alive and insanely active—if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to.
3. Tetris 99
Tetris 99 is a popular Nintendo Switch game that came out of nowhere. With barely a word of warning, Nintendo dropped this battle royale-style Tetris game that pits 99 players in a simultaneous war for survival.
As you clear lines, you send garbage to other players—and they send their garbage to you.
You can see everyone else’s board and you can see when they get knocked out. If you’re the last one alive, you win! It’s a bizarre concept, but it works! Whether you’re a Tetris fan or you’ve never played before, Tetris 99 is a must-have on your Switch.
If you’re a fan of shooter games where your characters have powers on top of their guns, Warframe is the perfect game for you. It will scratch a similar itch to loot-shooter games like Destiny 2, but it won’t cost a penny to play.
Sure, it has microtransactions and there are plenty of ways to spend money in the game, but all of the game’s content (characters and weapons) can be unlocked via gameplay with enough time and effort.
In terms of quality and quantity, Warframe is an absurd value.
Fallout Shelter actually started as a mobile game before being ported over to the Nintendo Switch.
The gameplay is still the same: build and manage your own fallout shelter while making sure your dwellers stay alive and happy.
It’s all about resource management, so if you like simulation games and economy games, you’ll love this one. It’s the kind of game you can drop in and play for a few minutes here and there.
Don’t expect a proper, full-blown Fallout game and you’ll be fine.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the premiere fighting game experience on the Nintendo Switch, but it’s pretty expensive and rarely goes on sale. If you want something similar that won’t drain your wallet, Brawlhalla is the game for you.
Brawlhalla is a platform-style fighting game that’s all about knocking opponents off the stage (rather than bringing their health down to zero). It features plenty of interesting characters and objects, complete with solid gameplay. Definitely worth it!
Galak Z: Variant S blends elements of old-school side-scrolling shoot-em-up games with the trappings of an RPG.
The story campaign has 100+ missions, and there’s plenty of replayability with the game’s upgrade mechanics. You can even create squads to fight against other players.
It’s not the sort of game you’d expect to get for free, but somehow it is! So you might as well take advantage of it.
If you’re keen to play Monster Hunter but feel like it’s too expensive, you can scratch that itch with Dauntless. Dauntless is what you’d get if you took Monster Hunter and mixed it with Dark Souls and World of Warcraft.
In this action-RPG, you’re a Slayer who goes around the world taking down monstrous Behemoths, either by yourself or in a team of up to four players.
By collecting loot and materials, you can upgrade your equipment—and that right there is the gameplay treadmill that’ll have you hooked for many hours.
Asphalt 9: Legends is one of the best free racing games, period. There’s a single-player Career mode, online Multiplayer versus mode, and an Events mode with different daily and weekly competitions.
There’s also a fun Hunted mode, where you’re trying to escape a police pursuit without crashing, getting caught, or running out of time.
With 100+ cars and tons of customizations, Asphalt 9: Legends will keep you engaged for quite a long time—and you won’t have to spend a penny.
10. Pokemon Quest
If you thought Nintendo released a free traditional Pokemon game on the Switch, you’re about to be sorely disappointed.
But if you have an open mind and you’re willing to play a Minecraft-looking game that’s nothing like other Pokemon games (except for its use of Gen 1 Pokemon), you’ll find that Pokemon Quest is actually pretty fun.
You manage a base camp while going on expeditions to catch, train, and defeat Pokemon around Tumblecube Island. Not sure if you’ll like it? Give it a try. What do you have to lose? It’s free!
Free… It’s the Best Price!
When it comes to value, you can’t beat getting a game for free—and the fact that you can freely grab several awesome games to sink hours into is an exciting proposition! These free Nintendo Switch games will keep you busy for a long time, guaranteed.