For over 30 years, Nintendo consoles have been the go-to choice for fun, family gaming. Their latest platform, the Nintendo Switch, follows the company’s tradition of accessible gameplay mixed with beloved characters and game worlds suitable for all ages.
Whether you choose the Nintendo Switch base model or the new Nintendo Switch Lite, one thing is assured: there’s a huge library of thrilling games awaiting you and your family. The lineup is so big, however, it can be hard to figure out what to get, especially when Mario games sit next to mature titles like Mortal Kombat 11 or The Witcher 3.
To help out, we’ve put together our picks of the best games for Switch, for kids and families. From everyone’s favourite Italian plumber to the gorgeous, artsy Ori—our list has something for families everywhere.
Best Switch Game That Feels Like A Family Vacation
If you’re looking for the best kid-friendly game on Nintendo Switch today, it’s hard to top what Animal Crossing: New Horizons brings to the table. Not only is it one of the safest games for you and your family to pick up and play, but it’s a unique offering that will help calm children stuck indoors—or a parent who had a long day!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons puts you in charge of a villager starting their own town on a deserted island. You and your child can have a blast doing simple activities like fishing for the biggest catch, creating your dream garden, or participating in seasonal events with fellow villagers. The game pace is leisurely slow, and with generous tutorials, it’s easy for young kids to learn the ins and outs. There’s not even a way to “beat” the game, either—kids can play at their own pace, making it the perfect title for families who want to build together.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Kids Who Want To Save The World
Widely regarded as the best Switch game ever made, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wowed fans both young and old with its gigantic world and incredible attention to detail. This game is best suited for family gaming, as some of the challenges can be tricky, but kids are sure to have a blast exploring the vast world and using their creativity.
Together, your family can figure out the best way to solve puzzles or use the environment to get past that next group of enemies. The best part? Breath of the Wild’s combat is strikingly simple. It’s suited to veterans and young gamers alike, so once your child gets the hang of it, there’s no telling where their adventure will take them next.
Best Switch Game For Future World Travellers
Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most family-friendly titles in a franchise that is full of them. Fans will, of course, recognize the moustachioed plumber—but this time around, he’s accompanied by Cappy, a sentient hat that opens up a ton of accessible gameplay options. Cappy can take control of enemies, like Koopa Troopas and even a T-Rex, to help Mario complete stages easier. You can also play two-player co-op with one person controlling Mario while the other Cappy, to assist each other along the entire journey.
For extra help, Super Mario Odyssey has an Assist Mode that gives Mario extra health and handy objective markers so you always know where to go next. The game’s pick-up-and-play nature makes it an excellent choice for your family, as younger fans will enjoy Super Mario Odyssey’s simple gameplay, while veterans can challenge themselves to find hidden items and achieve 100% completion.
Best Switch Game For Family Tournament Night
When it comes to fighting games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might just be the most kid-friendly one yet. The game brings together a huge cast of famous characters children adore, like Mario, Peach, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Pikachu and Yoshi. The battles themselves are cartoony and focus on fun, so there’s no worry about brawls becoming too violent or dark.
Super Smash Bros. has many different modes that will appeal to the whole family, like the tournament mode that will keep the family’s competitive spirit high long into the night. Don’t forget to toggle on power-up items for younger players to have a better chance!
Best Switch Game For Kids Who Love To Swing Into Action
ARMS is an accessible, boxing-style game that pits you 1-on-1 against either the computer or another player. It’s an incredibly easy game to pick up with its motion control gameplay that will let your kids use intuitive gestures like jabs and grabs. ARMS is also colourful and exciting to watch, making it a great party game for youngsters.
For even more fun, the game includes a bunch of minigames like basketball and volleyball for a real sporting competition.
Best Switch Sports Game That Gets Right To The Fun
Mario Tennis Aces is a fantastic entry-level sports game for kids. It’s “Swing Mode” lets aspiring young tennis stars use natural motions to lob, slice or slam shots across the net. The motion controls can lead to some entertaining moments, like an awkward swing and a miss, or when someone nails a shot just right and it’s family celebration time.
Mario Tennis Aces is another Switch title that’s filled with characters kids love, including Mario, Toad, Bowser, Boo and Wario, all with different skillsets and abilities.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Kids Who Love Board Games
Nintendo’s original 4-player virtual board game is back with Super Mario Party on Nintendo Switch. You and your family will have a blast exploring the over 80 minigames, including ones where you’ll be climbing, racing, balancing, solving puzzles and much more.
In addition to free-for-all minigames, there are also a ton of 2-vs-2, 3-vs-1, and 4-player co-op minigames to mix up the fun and get the whole family involved. But don’t worry, they all focus on simple actions like button presses or easy movements, so everyone has a fair chance.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Kids Obsessed With Cars
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is easily the best version of the classic series, and it’s the most accessible, too. For younger players, the game features Tilt Controls that allow you to steer your racing vehicle by tilting the Joy-Con left or right instead of using the control stick. So many popular new and returning character are in this edition, including Baby Mario, Luigi, Shy Guys, Toadette, Rosalina, Splatoon Inklings, Link, Isabelle and over 30 more fan favourites.
On top of racing through 32 Mario-themed tracks, the much-anticipated return of 4-player Battle Mode gives you and your family near endless fun. From popping balloons to stealing coins to an explosive Bob-omb battles, there’s a game type to suit every taste. Best of all? The game is very balanced for multiplayer by giving players in last place the best items to help them catch up to the pack. You don’t have to be a pro racer to get that competitive rush with every Mario Kart 8 Deluxe race.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Kids Who Love Animals (or Monsters!)
Pokémon is one of the most popular game series of all time for children and for good reason—catching, training and battling is so much fun. Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield for Nintendo Switch puts you in a fully 3D world called Galar that’s inspired by the United Kingdom.
There are hundreds of cute Pokémon to catch, including classics like Pikachu, Eevee and Gengar, along with new species like the monkey Grookey, the fiery Scorbunny and the water lizard Sobble. Like previous games, Pokémon Sword & Shield is super easy to learn so new players can dive right in without feel overwhelmed.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Heroes In Training
For older kids, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a role-playing game (RPG) they’re sure to love. It features bright, cartoon graphics and an easy-to-follow story that takes over 100 hours to complete. But don’t worry, they’ll want to see the game through to completion since it tells a wonderful hero’s story and has hundreds of cutesy monster to discover and battle.
It’s a standalone story, too, so even though it’s the eleventh game in the series, you don’t need to have played the previous entries. The icing on the cake? Combat is turn-based, taking a lot of the pressure off and allowing your child to take their time choosing what actions to do. You won’t find many RPGs this easy to play and welcoming to newcomers.
Best Nintendo Switch Game for Kids Wanting To Meet Some New Friends
Fire Emblem: Three Houses puts you in the role of a mercenary-turned-professor at an academy for children from important royal families. The game mixes tense battlefield expeditions with charming, day-to-day life at the school monastery. Your young adventurer will get to meet dozens of other students, befriend them and then build up the relationships. Fun activities include having lunch together, singing in the choir, going fishing or tending to your garden.
While Fire Emblem: Three Houses can be a bit more challenging than other games on this list, it’s not without some safety valves. There are two difficulty settings (Normal or Hard) and you can also choose Casual mode to avoid permanently losing any characters defeated during battles. Combined, these accessibility features make the game much more suitable for younger family members.
Best Switch Game That’s Like A Really Good Haunted House Ride
If your children like spooky adventures, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the perfect game for them. They’ll get to explore 17 floors of an abandoned hotel, each with their own unique theme and filled with all kinds of cute ghosts. To help your little explorer, a second player can join in as Luigi’s goo-clone Gooigi—letting you tag team the whole adventure.
To lessen the challenge even further, Luigi’s faithful puppy companion, Polterpup, provides generous tutorials and assists Luigi along the way. This is a fun, easy-breezy game your child is sure to enjoy—and if you join in as Gooigi, we won’t tell.
Best Switch Game For Kids Who Love Solving Puzzles
If you’re looking for the same kind of easy-going, creative fun that oozes out of Super Mario Odyssey, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is for you. It’s a charming, colourful 2D side-scroller title where you play as the green chameleon, Yooka, and his bat buddy, Laylee.
On top of the inviting gameplay, there’s a ton of collectibles for kids who enjoy playing games to completion. As well, the overworld map contains fun puzzles for young ones to solve involving pushing, pulling and jumping. Yooka-Laylee has the same kid-friendly appeal as Mario Odyssey, so if you’re wanting the perfect follow-up game, it’s a fantastic—and affordable—choice.
Best Switch Game For Kids That Simply Adore Cute Things
Gaming doesn’t get much cuter, or accessible than Yoshi games. Nintendo’s latest outing, Yoshi’s Crafted World, has a charming hand-crafted aesthetic, making it one of the most visually striking games on Nintendo Switch. Beyond its adorable vibe, though, is a wonderful and inviting platformer that has co-op multiplayer to lessen the challenge and increase the fun.
It also has Mellow Mode for a breezier and more relaxed experience where Yoshi gets wings and can fly, while enemies do less damage and hearts heal more of Yoshi’s health. It’s a great choice for you and your children to play together at a leisurely pace.
Best Bang For Your Buck Switch Game
Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy bundles together three different Crash Bandicoot games and remasters them all for Nintendo Switch, making it one of the best value buys you can find on the platform.
Crash Bandicoot is a classic franchise that combines a cartoon setting and platforming gameplay with some slapstick humour that will appeal to both young and old players. With three titles in one, it’s a compilation that will keep your family entertained for hours on end.
Best Nintendo Switch Game For Kids Who Love Heartwarming Stories
Ori and the Blind Forest needs to be seen to be believed—it’s simply one of the prettiest titles available on any platform, with visuals that look like they’ve been ripped straight out of a Pixar movie. Ori also features one of the most gripping stories in video games, with a mix of lows and highs that appeal to family members of all ages. Most of all, the game features some really accessible gameplay further enhanced by power-up only available in the Definitive Edition.
The latter half of the game does have some trickier parts, so all the more reason to play the game together as a family so you can help out if needed. It’s one of the best games on Switch right now and a short, brilliant experience your family shouldn’t miss out on.
Best Switch Game For Young Adventurers
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was originally on the Game Boy, but you wouldn’t know it from the remake, which is a total redesign of one of the most classic entries in the franchise. It’s got super cute, cartoony visuals and it’s a lot simpler than Breath of the Wild to play.
The game is shorter, too, but it’s still a compelling experience with fun gameplay and a simple, easy to follow story. Link’s Awakening is well-suited to a casual gaming session or if your family is not looking for anything too complex.
Best Game For When The Kids Have Gone To Bed
Saints Row IV Re-Elected is complete madness in the best way, putting you in the role of the President of the United States as you attempt to fend off an alien invasion using superpowers and a gun that shoots out dubstep music. It’s not a game meant for kids, hence the Mature rating, but it’s the perfect choice to relax with and have fun once the rest of the family is asleep.
With character customization that’s deep, wild and entertaining gameplay, and a story that’s literally out of this world, Saints Row IV Re-Elected is one of the best Switch games for mom or dad.
As you can see, the best games for Switch are a wide blend of some of the industry’s greatest titles. The best part is there are so many family-friendly Switch games that are just as compelling for adults, too. Hopefully, this list has helped make the daunting task of choosing your next Nintendo Switch game a little easier.
More Nintendo Switch Essentials
How we choose products: Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.
Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated.
Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.