The Switch has a vast library of games suitable for tastes of any kind. These games also run the entire spectrum of difficulty, from easy games for newcomers to intensely challenging titles for veterans. Usually, it’s easy to tell which is which, and players can pick up whatever suits their needs as they see fit.

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Some titles try and do both, however, being incredibly easy to pick up but being surprisingly hard to 100% complete. Nintendo is seemingly the master of this, as all these first-party titles show their gentle side upfront, but then show no mercy for anyone trying to do everything possible.

7 New Pokemon Snap

New Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Snap has always been a gentle title since its first appearance on the N64. It’s an on-rails shooter, only the targets are all Pokemon and the shooting is done with a camera. The Switch sequel adds a few mechanics and locations but ultimately, it’s still a relaxing game where the player can take in the sights and see what Pokemon are hiding in the bushes.

When it stops being relaxing is when the player is trying to complete their photo album. Each Pokemon needs a high-scoring photo, in four different styles for each. Between figuring out what’s required for each of the four variants, whether the course needs to be day or night to find those variants, and figuring out the exact timing to get the perfect shot, New Pokemon Snap may prove to be a little too much for completionists.

6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons-2

Animal Crossing is known for being a laid-back series. It encourages players to only hop on a little bit each day, and generally, each day is spent planting flowers, befriending villagers, and arranging furniture. There may even be some fishing or bug-catching in there too.

However, trying to complete every Nook Miles achievement in New Horizons may prove tricky, as this may turn the game from a relaxing island getaway into a tick-box obsession where a spreadsheet may be required to figure out when certain fish can be caught, or when certain furniture becomes available. It’s a journey that’s more likely to frustrate than relax.

5 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is the kind of game that leaves the player to their own devices. It can be as challenging or as easy as the player chooses, as the map of Hyrule stretches out before them as soon as they open the game. It’s a game that encourages the player to do what they feel comfortable with and can be completed at any point the player sees fit.

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However, if a player decides that they would like to collect every single Korok Seed, things become a lot more difficult. These collectibles are hidden around the world and are often unlocked by solving puzzles. There are also 900 of them, tucked away in every corner of the map. It requires a lot of dedication and time to obtain them all, and in the end, all the player gets for their effort is a golden poop.

4 Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

DK Country Tropical Freeze

The Donkey Kong Country games have always been brilliant platformers with simple mechanics that managed to make those mechanics work into something incredibly difficult to beat. Tropical Freeze, originally for the Wii U and ported to the Switch, is no exception to this.

While early levels of Tropical Freeze are straightforward romps from left to right, later levels begin to seriously test the player’s ability to time jumps correctly, coupled with a mine cart and barrel rocket levels where precise positioning and reactions are key. All of this while trying to collect well-hidden puzzle pieces and Kong letters that can be easily missed. There’s even a hard mode to ramp up the challenge even further.

3 Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

As multiplayer shooters go, the Splatoon series is on the softer side. The community is generally welcoming, the mechanics are easy to pick up and play, and it has less of the toxic competitiveness of other shooters. Even its single-player campaigns are essentially extended tutorials for figuring out its mechanics that gently guide players most of the way.

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For Splatoon 2, however, this takes a turn in the Octo Expansion DLC, which seems specifically designed to take all the skills the base game’s campaign teaches the players and push them to their limits. Every level offers a different challenge, and many of these challenges are notoriously difficult. It’s all capped off with a secret final boss encounter that pulls no punches and many Splatoon players have still struggled to beat.

2 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Super Mario 3D World

Mario games are the epitome of “easy to learn, hard to master”. As a series, it’s been doing this for decades, and the Wii U title Super Mario 3D World is no exception to this, even in its Switch port released in 2021. It’s a series of gradually harder levels, starting from the simple designed to teach players how the mechanics work, to levels that encourage players to blend skills they’ve learned together. It even has an Assist Mode to help completely new players who may get frustrated early on.

However, all this builds to Champion’s Road, a level that can only be accessed with full completion of every other level in the game, contains no Assist Mode and can take up to five minutes to complete, all without a single checkpoint. It requires the player to use every skill they’ve learned and do it all without a single slip-up. It’s a grueling test and only for the most expert players.

1 Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario 3D World isn’t the only Mario game on Switch to present the player with a massive challenge at the end of it all, as Super Mario Odyssey also does it. While players can often find themselves stumbling on Moon collectibles throughout the game with ease, the final Moon of the game requires significantly more effort.

The final level, Darker Side of the Moon, is a gauntlet of challenges that puts every challenge the game has presented the player into one single level. Once again there are no checkpoints, so a single failure requires a full restart, and the challenges can be brutal. It’s even longer than Champion’s Road too. All of this is just for a single final collectible.

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