The Best Nintendo Games of 2023

Nintendo had a roaring 2023, with multiple excellent titles in the Mario and Zelda franchises.
best of 2023 nintendo games zelda mario

Nintendo had possibly its best year on record in 2023, with a number of excellent, heavy-hitting games launching for Nintendo Switch – including multiple Super Mario titles, and the blockbuster hit, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. That’s not to mention the Nintendo Switch also got a number of excellent games from smaller developers this year, with strong adventures like Dredge and Fae Farm rounding out the console’s yearly lineup.

Despite talk that Nintendo is soon to replace the Nintendo Switch with a successor (possibly as early as 2024), game releases aren’t slowing down any time soon. In fact, there’s even a number of highly anticipated titles announced to launch for Nintendo Switch into 2024 – including the excellent-looking Princess Peach: Showtime!

After such a strong year, it’s hard to whittle down our favourite Nintendo titles – but we’ve just about managed with this list. Here’s the GamesHub picks for the best Nintendo games of 2023.

How does GamesHub pick its Game of the Year list?

GamesHub’s Game of the Year picks are selected collectively by tenured staff and regular contributors. Each participant puts together a ranked personal list of their favourite games released in 2023, and titles are given a score according to their rank, with 10 being the highest, and 1 being the lowest. The scores are collated, and the games are ranked by their collective score, with staff members adjusting where necessary before locking in the final list.

Honourable Mentions

fae farm review nintendo switch best games 2023
Image: Phoenix Labs

To kick off, let’s start with our honourable mentions on Nintendo Switch – the games that didn’t quite make our top five list. Fae Farm was a great game to spend time with in 2023, thanks to its cosy approach to life on a magical farm. Octopath Traveler 2 also gets a shout out, for its sweeping adventure and neat strategy gameplay, as does Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, for its gothic mystery vibes. WarioWare: Move It! is also worth celebrating for it being wonderfully, excellently weird.

Finally, a huge shout out to Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, which returned in remastered form this year. It’s one of the best games of the Nintendo DS era, and it certainly deserved its fresh release for modern audiences.

And now, it’s time for the GamesHub picks for the top five Nintendo games of 2023.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

super mario bros wonder
Image: Nintendo

Pure unfiltered joy. That’s what Super Mario Bros. Wonder is. Packed full of surprises that completely upend your expectations for what a Mario game is, Wonder never stops doling out memorable moments, interesting new mechanics, and delightful ideas – it’s a whole song and dance. Sometimes literally!

Read: Super Mario Bros. Wonder Review – A Wonderful World

Nintendo have continued to do what they do best – innovate and push boundaries within existing genres, within existing properties. The idea of a 2D Mario game is no longer old hat, and it’s no longer a sacred text. It’s a sketchbook that is brimming with new ideas, new experiences, and acts as a place of play for an audience of all ages, whether you’re in it for the family-friendly fun, or the crushing, soul-destroying platforming challenges that will eat up all 99 of your lives in the blink of an eye. 

Super Mario Wonder will make you smile from ear to ear, or throw your controller in disbelief (if you want that). Also, elephants. – Edmond Tran

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

zelda tears of the kingdom
Image: Nintendo

No other game captures the sheer exhilaration of discovery and creative freedom like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom does. The realisation that you are completely unrestricted in how you want to explore the world and achieve your goals. The understanding that every puzzle you solve and challenge you overcome can be through a solution completely of your own design.

It’s such a bonkers concept. How did they pull it off? How did they manage to build the tools and puzzles to be so flexible and so rewarding? How did they manage to make me, the most uncreative builder in the world, feel like a genius every time I built something? It’s a game full of breathtaking and fist-pumping moments, many of which will be entirely unique to you, and many of them that just didn’t exist in Breath of the Wild.

Read: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review – Sky’s The Limit

From the charming writing of each and every character, to the thrill of being shot into the sky, to the fear of falling forever, down into the Depths – Tears of the Kingdom is an exceptionally high watermark for what games can do. It’s a thing of beauty that pushes player creativity and expression, and creates strong emotions entirely through experience. – Edmond Tran


dredge game goty 2023 best video games
Image: Black Salt Games

What a vibe. What a loop. Unknown horrors lurk just below the surface in Dredge, just out of view, just out of reach. That tantalising ‘almost’ feeling is intoxicating, and permeates every facet of this horror fishing game. A fishing game! We’re talking about a fishing game here, folks. How can a fishing game be so engaging? So unnerving? So moreish? 

Read: DREDGE review – An inescapable siren song

It’s that habitual feeling of wanting to try and catch just one more fish before darkness covers the ocean, and you start to see scary things. To sail out just a little bit further to reach the next safe haven across rocky waters. You’re constantly pushing yourself to the brink for that extra bit of a gain, or to get a peek at what’s through the veil – even if in the back of your head, you really don’t want to. Dredge is a masterclass in atmosphere that gets stuck into your brain. It’s an unforgettable journey with some seriously fucked up fish. – Edmond Tran

Super Mario RPG

super mario rpg nintendo best games goty 2023
Image: Nintendo

Playing Super Mario RPG for the first time in 2023 was a real delight, even without the nostalgia element of this game being a remake of a 1990s classic. Given a fresh lick of paint and more refined combat mechanics, it’s still a standout experience, and one with great narrative quirks, loveable characters, and surprisingly sharp (sometimes racy) humour. It gives a real sense of personality to the Mushroom Kingdom, and allows for lesser characters – most notably, the Toads – to shine in new fashion.

Read: Super Mario RPG Review – Wish upon a classic star

In every corner of this game, there’s some tiny little detail, or surprising character moment, or snappy turn-based battle, and they’re all consistently entertaining. With heroes and villains working together, Super Mario RPG has a unique recipe for its dark comedy adventuring. And with tongue firmly in cheek, it makes the most of its relatively short runtime. – Leah J. Williams

Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4
Image: Nintendo

We live in an unjust world where strategy games are often overlooked. We live in an unjust world where Pikmin, the most recent brainchild of Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto, is not a universally well-known series. Pikmin 4 goes to great lengths to make the Pikmin formula, where you micromanage groups of little plant people to gather resources and amusing real-world items, as understandable and palatable as can be, and it does a very fine job at that.

It’s a more action-packed game, with your alien dog Oatchi at your side to help brute force your way through certain situations, with progression systems, RPG mechanics, and quality of life ideas to make its later challenges that little bit more palatable. 

Read: Pikmin 4 Review – Collective Might

For the longtime Pikmin fans, there is ultimately little sacrificed in this more approachable evolution of the game – as with many Nintendo games, boy do the stakes and difficulty raise dramatically once the credits roll for the first time. Pikmin has always been good, and Pikmin 4 helps to bring out its best aspects in both new and traditional ways. – Edmond Tran

Catch up with more of GameHub’s favourite games of 2023, including platform-specific lists and picks from special guests in our Best of 2023 roundup.

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