Unlike the other major consoles on the market, Nintendo has worked hard to establish the Switch as a console for all ages. This allows players of all backgrounds to be able to pick up the system and play the games they enjoy most, including kids.
With so many games on the market, it can be difficult to tell which games are best for kids and which to stay away from. Luckily, we have compiled a few of the most popular kids games for the Switch all in one place!
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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Racing games are some of the best ways to introduce gaming to kids. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the easiest, most enjoyable racing game on the Nintendo Switch system. Although it’s a port from the Wii U, the Switch version of Mario Kart 8 introduces a lot of the paid-for DLC from the Wii U and gives it to players as regular content. This will give your youngster a chance to play as any of the Mario characters, as well as a few players from Splatoon and Legend of Zelda.
There is no dialogue or story to follow, so you won’t have to worry about your kids not being able to follow the storyline. Additionally, the controls are easy to navigate. Although some of the faster levels can be tricky, kids who start at the easiest levels and speeds then work their way up are sure to feel that sweet success of winning.
Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game was a much-anticipated indie release from Nintendo. House House did a fantastic job of reimagining a much-despised neighborhood bully: The goose. This little town was enjoying a nice day until you, a horrible goose, show up. It’s up to you to make sure that no one enjoys a lovely day. As a goose, you create mischief by taking things villagers want, destroying gardens, and stealing clothes purely for the satisfaction of making everyone around you uncomfortable. It’s a hilarious and easy-to-play game, making it perfect for all ages.
This game has very little to no reading. Because you play as a goose, which can’t understand English anyway, there is little need for words throughout the game. The only time words appear is during the tutorial. After that, players are left to their own devices to explore the world and things they can tear up. While it is a puzzle game — and some are a little tricky — running around and causing chaos is a blast too.
Minecraft is one of the most popular kids games because it is solely focused on adventures. You’re encouraged to explore randomly generated worlds, build phenomenal homes, and delve deep into the world of creation. You’re also able to craft weapons and armor to fend off dangerous mobs while out exploring. The game uses blocky forms and 18-bit graphics to emphasize the importance of imagination and building.
Minecraft is a great kids game because it enhances creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, collaboration, and other life skills. It also complements school skills, such as reading, writing, math, and history. The game lets you import fully reconstructed versions of famous buildings and landmarks in addition to letting you create your own. These tools can be used to help children explore buildings and tour places they may not have a chance to get to.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
There is no cuter dino in the video game world than Yoshi. Nintendo shows us how cute he can really be with Yoshi’s Crafted World, giving us a whole new egg-filled adventure. The Yoshis are living peacefully on Yoshi’s Island, and at the topmost peak sits a gem-set artifact known as the Sundream Stone. The stone has the power to “make anyone’s wildest dreams come true.” Unfortunately, Kamek and Baby Bowser have their eyes set on the stone. While attempting to steal it, the gems are flung across the world. This leaves the sweet Yoshis to work together, find all of the missing gems, and put the Sundream Stone back together to save Yoshi’s Island.
Yoshi gives us a new perspective on everyday objects, such as boxes and paper cups, in this side-scrolling adventure. You are able to flip each level, allowing players to see behind each paper item that was previously passed. You’ll also have the chance to play in co-op mode, adding more Yoshi goodness to your party. The adorable game is perfect for younger players.
Super Mario Odyssey
One of the best games to release for the Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey brings us amazing graphics with a new Super Mario game. Princess Peach has been kidnapped (again) and it’s up to Mario to save the princess! This time, Mario is given a new sidekick, Cappy. Cappy can be used to control various characters throughout the world. This gives you access to areas and skills that Mario normally doesn’t have. The game is colorful, fun, and easy to play for gamers of all ages.
Adults who are familiar with Super Mario 64 will feel the nostalgia of the game. The game lends itself to the N64 classic, even giving players the option to dress Mario in an old-school look if they so choose. Super Mario Odyssey is great for new players who want to play games that encourage exploring. The worlds are varied, and each presents its own style of problems to solve.
Pokémon: Let’s Go
Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s biggest games. With Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu, young players can be introduced into the Poké-world that most adults grew up in. This game reimagines and reintroduces Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow with updated graphics, new ways of battling, and a fully realized world. You even have the option to purchase a Pokéball controller, further immersing you into the world of Pokémon.
This game is better suited for older children because the battle system requires a little bit of complex strategy. Players will need to figure out which Pokémon type is best to defeat enemies. Additionally, some reading is required in order to get the full effect of the game. However, that doesn’t mean younger children couldn’t figure it out. Plus, with such adorable creatures, it’s definitely a game that attracts players of all ages.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Puzzle games are some of the best for children, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is no exception. Captain Toad is on the hunt for the stolen Power Star. The villain crow Wingo has stolen the Power Star, along with Toadette, from right under Captain Toad’s nose. Now it’s up to Captain Toad to find all of the missing star. You’ll need to track down Wingo’s lair, rescue the adorable Toadette, and retrieve the Power Star. Who needs a red-capped hero when you can take on the adventure on your own?
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is full of interesting and engaging puzzles. Unlike other games, in order to help Captain Toad reach each star, you’ll need to rotate the entire level. This gives you different perspectives on where stars and coins are hiding, secret passageways, and hidden items throughout the level. Additionally, you can invite friends to help solve the problems. Up to two players can solve puzzles together. This game is perfect for players who want to improve their problem-solving skills but still enjoy an adorable Mario game.
When the world feels gray, there’s no better way to shake it up than to throw colors everywhere. Taking place two years after the original Splatoon, pop idol Marie worries that her defeat over Callie has affected Callie negatively. Marie sets out on her adventure, leaving her parents in Inkopolis to return home and see how Callie is. Upon returning home, she discovers that the Great Zapfish that powers the city has disappeared, and so has Callie. Marie takes up the mantle once again as Agent 2 of the New Squidbeak Splatoon to investigate what has happened. She recruits you, an Inkling from Inkopolis named Agent 4, to investigate what’s happening.
This colorful and fun game is a delight for players over the age of 9. The game is so full of music and joy that it’s almost hard to believe that a tough time is ahead. There is a multiplayer mode, a single-player story mode, and DLC to keep kids entertained for quite some time.
Kirby Star Allies
Another Nintendo staple is Kirby, the adorable pink ball who absorbs the powers of enemies he inhales. And Kirby Star Allies is the perfect addition to the Kirby franchise. Far away from Kirby’s home planet, Planet Popstar, a dark crystal heart explodes. This sends numerous fragments called Jamba Hearts hurtling through space, affecting different planets it encounters. Unfortunately for Planet Popstar, a few of its inhabitants decided to investigate these Jamba Hearts. This led to them being possessed by the dark heart crystals. Fortunately for Kirby, when he investigates the hearts, he gains the ability to befriend enemies. Now it’s up to Kirby to rescue his friends, Planet Popstar, and defeat the Jambastation bad guys to save the day!
In order to defeat the Jambastation baddies, you’ll need to recruit different friends to join your battle. By encouraging enemies (and old friends) to fight by your side, you’ll be able to gain more abilities than ever before. Up to four players can join the battle, encouraging teamwork and cooperation between different people. This game is easy enough for young children to learn the controls, so all ages are invited to try it out!
Lego City Undercover
Nintendo holds a vast number of Lego games, but one that stands out is Lego City Undercover. You play as Chase McCain, a police officer who has to go undercover to hunt down the recently escaped Rex Fury. Help end the citywide crime wave from the notorious Fury before it’s too late!
This open-world metropolis game allows up to two players to play together. In co-op mode, friends are encouraged to explore the giant world that includes more than 20 unique districts. You’ll be able to investigate crimes, bust car thieves, discover movie references, collect hundreds of collectibles, and drive vehicles all over the city. It’s a fun game for players of all ages to explore.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Introducing kids to fighting games can be a risk, but with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there is little need for concern over whether or not this fighting game is too much. This game borrows characters from all over Nintendo’s video game spectrum, letting everyone enjoy playing as their favorite character no matter the series. This fighting game has multiple different ways to play. With team battles, story modes, and challenges throughout the game, this series will let players of all ages enjoy kicking each other across the screen.
For adults worried about video game violence, this isn’t the game to worry about. There’s no gore, no blood, and it’s so cartoony that children are able to separate the game action with reality. The buttons and combos are easy to navigate as well, making this a great game for kids.
Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!
Snipperclips is an adorable game that relies on teamwork. This action-puzzle game encourages players to work together to overcome tricky obstacles. Both silly and fun, this game is a delight for the entire family. The only limit to the puzzle-solving in this game is the players’ imagination.
The game offers different modes to play, allowing up to four players to play together. This game is perfect for kids because it helps encourage their problem-solving and team-building skills. It also has some of the cutest art in a video game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Taking life slowly is what Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all about. You’ll be invited to an island getaway, where everything is beautiful and life goes by slowly. Unfortunately, what Tom Nook doesn’t tell you is that the island is completely uninhabited. It’s up to you to build this island the way you want. From changing the flows of rivers to finding the perfect placement for your museum, you’re in total control of how you present your island to everyone. It’s a wonderfully relaxing game that encourages players to play at their own pace.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been out for a short time but has already become a hit. This game is perfect for kids over the age of 3. Although younger children may not understand all the concepts or dialogues in the game, they’ll come to appreciate the adorable animal neighbors and the fun, daily tasks the game has to offer. It’s perfect for kids who also have a bit of anxiety, as the pacing of the game is relaxed and intentionally slow for everyone to enjoy.
Read our full Animal Crossing: New Horizons review
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi is just trying to have a vacation. In an attempt to relax, he heads out to a hotel that invited him to come relax. Unfortunately, the invitation wasn’t as well-meaning as it seems. A foe has tricked Luigi and his friends, leaving him to explore a haunted hotel. Every level has a different theme, allowing you to explore different ways to use Luigi’s new Poltergust G-00. Different ghosts need to be approached with different Poltergust attachments, so players will need to watch and navigate how each ghost approached Luigi.
For kids who are showing a little interest in horror, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a great way to go! Although the game itself isn’t scary, there are some aspects to it that can be startling. Luigi’s Mansion 3 also offers different play modes. Up to eight players can work together to gather different artifacts, defeat levels, and catch those pesky ghosts and Boos.
Nothing is more comical than watching a ridiculous fight. Unless, of course, it’s a fight in Arms. The game’s fighting superstars from around the world all have extendable arms, which takes fighting to a whole new level of weird. Each arm can be equipped with a different super-powered weapon, which leads to a whole slew of unprecedented combinations in fights. Each character has a different ability, such as healing or teleportation. These abilities will help players navigate difficult stages, deadly traps, and so much more.
Arms is a fighting game, but each super-powered fighter has spring-like arms. This makes their reach incredible, but also the fights hilarious to watch. Their arms and movements are over-the-top and will bring laughs to the whole family.
Pokémon Sword & Shield
The world of Pokémon is ever-growing and ever-changing, and with the newest installment of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the graphics are finally catching up as well. The game takes place in the new region of Galar. The narrow expanse of land is inspired by Great Britain, lending with notable landmarks in the game corresponding to real-world places such as the Houses of Parliament and Cerne Abbas Giant. This new region also introduces never-before-seen Pokémon. Trainers embark on a completely new journey through the Galar region, fighting and catching new Pokémon, meeting new gym leaders, and enjoying the updated graphics in the game.
Although this game is great for all ages, it is geared toward kids older than 10. The in-game battle system has changed a little, allowing some Pokémon to unleash an ability that is completely new: the Dynamax. This will change how you approach gym battles, meaning players who are better versed in video games will stand a better chance of winning.
While most console games still remain stationary, the Nintendo Switch has taken a bit of a swerve with the Nintendo Labo sets. As of now, there are five Nintendo Labo kits available, and each set will have you interacting with the console in different ways. The Variety kit will give kids a chance to fish, play piano, control fake bugs, and use the Switch as a race car. The Robot kit will let you become a robot on-screen, with your moves matching the moves on the in-game robot. Kids get a chance to race, drive, and fly different vehicles in the Vehicle kit. Additionally, there are two VR kits. These kits can further immerse kids into the world of gaming.
Each kit will require assembly, and although that is half the fun, it can be tricky for younger children to follow the instructions. Each kid is different, so be sure to gauge your child’s ability to put these kits together. However, once they are put together, kids can decorate them any way they want.
Is it soccer? Is it a racing game? Who knows! What we do know is that Rocket League is an exciting and fun game for kids over the age of 9. In a similar fashion to soccer, you’ll need to score points against the opposing team by hitting a ball into the opponent’s goal. However, instead of playing as people, you’ll have to do this while navigating a rocket-powered car. This ups the ante in how quickly you have to move to defend your goal against the opposing team.
Rocket League allows for up to eight players to participate in the soccer-esque game. Although a single-player mode is available, having kids play together (with people they know) helps to enhance team building and cooperation. In order to score those sweet points and get that victory, kids will need to work together in their own rocket-fueled car to win.
To successfully start your business and get customers food, you’ll need a team of well-coordinated chefs to work together and get the kitchen moving. Overcooked! 2 is a world of chefs that feels oddly close to reality. You’ll get orders, have dishes, cook, and provide great customer service in order to advance to the next level. But each kitchen is dangerous and different, posing new traps and obstacles for you to get past. Can you serve enough customers in a short period of time to keep your kitchen going?
Overcooked! 2 is an adorable game that encourages teamwork and positivity. It’s hard to keep a kitchen going if someone is being a downer, so keeping everyone up-beat is key to getting your kitchen to function properly. Up to four chefs are allowed in the kitchen, which helps to make kitchen magic work. Kids who love interacting with others and have an interest in cooking will love this puzzle game.
Ring Fit Adventure
Want to see your kids get more exercise, but don’t really live in an area where going outside is an easy option? Look no further than Ring Fit Adventure! Players will be able to traverse grassy plains by jogging in place, attack enemies with overhead shoulder presses, and refill their health meter by striking some yoga poses. The game encourages activity, and even uses the Joy-Cons to ensure that every player is moving the way they should be.
This game is perfect for kids who have a lot of energy but no real way to dispense it. In order to keep your character going through the levels, the Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories track whether or not players are moving in the way the game expects. This ensures that kids are constantly moving and getting the workout they need without even leaving the house.
In Stardew Valley, you’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm. With hand-me-down tools, a few coins, and a plot of land in Stardew Valley, you’ll need to start a new life. Raise animals, tend crops, work overgrown fields into lively farms, and so much more in this fun, customizable game. Players will be able to meet different townsfolk and build a completely new farm life from the ground up.
For kids who love building games, Stardew Valley is the perfect addition to their video game library. Learning how to approach the different townsfolk is key in farming success. This game gives you a chance to live on a farm without actually having to be on one.
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was the introduction of video games to a lot of adult gamers. Young Link wakes up on a mysterious island away from Hyrule. Animals talk, monsters roam, and a giant egg stands vicariously above the island residents. In order to get an idea of where he is and to rouse the legendary Wind Fish, Link will need to explore Koholint Island and all of its trap-riddled dungeons.
For parents who want kids to understand where their video game history came from, starting with Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is perfect. Not only is the remastered game adorable and beautiful, but each dungeon introduces new problems that require solving. Kids will need to put their critical thinking cap on in order to get past some of the tough dungeons in this game, making it perfect for kids who need to be pushed into thinking about things differently.
Super Mario Maker 2
One of the most creative games on the market is Super Mario Maker 2. You can design your own level of Mario, changing the backgrounds and obstacles as you see fit. You’ll be able to let your imagination run wild with a wide array of tools, course parts, and features. You can team up with friends to play difficult-to-navigate courses or tackle the game’s story mode, which has more than 100 courses that are new to the game. You can also share your courses, play the courses created by other players, and so much more with the online option.
Super Mario Maker 2 is an ideal game for players who love the Mario games and who want to create their own levels. Additionally, any child aspiring to be a video game designer may find this to be the perfect place to try out their skills. You’ll be given more control over how you plan out and play levels than ever before.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
It’s a breath of fresh air to see the Spyro games updated and reimagined onto the systems of today. Spyro Reignited Trilogy gives kids a chance to try out all three original Spyro games in one convenient place. This collection holds the top three Spyro games of the series, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. Kids will have a chance to play as the beloved purple dragon to save the Dragon Kingdom.
This is a classic single-player game with a lot to offer. Since kids won’t be able to have friends help them, this game should be played by kids 10 and up. Otherwise, you face having a younger kid who gets stuck fairly frequently. Will all the collectibles, boss battles, and worlds to engage in, it’s easy for novice players to get lost in the expansive worlds.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the perfect addition to any aspiring video gamer’s collection. The game takes on the classic Mario side-scroller adventure, but this time players will get to choose from an array of different characters to play as. Each level is difficult, and teamwork is one of the best ways to complete every level.
What’s more, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe offers a few new characters, namely Toadette and Nabbit. While Toadette gives players a chance to play as a female character, Nabbit steals the show for younger players. Nabbit’s ability allows him to run past and through any obstacle, making him the perfect character for players 5 and up.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Nothing beats a great racing game, and Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is no exception. Although this game came out originally on the PlayStation, the remastered version ups the ante on how Crash Bandicoot was meant to be seen. There are various modes for players to participate in, giving lots of room for kids to decide how they want to see Crash and his friends race. Players can either battle in a stadium or race to the finish line together.
Much like Mario Kart Deluxe, Crash Team Racing is a classic racer for players of all ages. The original controls for the game were easy, and porting it to the Switch has made racing even easier. Players should be ready to duke it out in different ways to get the best of their opponents!
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
Video games have also taken the next step in gaming by moving toward tabletop games. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics compiles some of the world’s most popular tabletop games into one place. Kids will have a chance to try out tabletops that they may not have had the chance to get their hands on. It also helps to save money because instead of buying 51 individual tabletop games, parents will only need to buy the one video game.
Kids who love tabletop games or want to try games from other countries will love the opportunity to try Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. From Majong to Mancala, this game has almost every classic tabletop you can think of.
Pode is an indie game that children will love. The characters, a fallen star named Glo and helpful rock called Bulder, work together to solve puzzles to reach the end of each level. The fallen star has landed on Earth near an adorably sweet rock. Together, these two work to solve ancient puzzles in an unbelievably beautiful world. The game uses inspiration from Norwegian art and culture to create a co-op puzzle game that’s unlike any other. You’ll be able to travel through mysterious and magical mountains, explore ruins of lost civilizations, and use each character’s abilities to open secret passages up the caves of Mount Fjellheim.
This game is a delight for any child to try out. Although only two players can play, the amount of thought and creativity that goes into the puzzle-solving makes the journey well worthwhile. It’s an amazing game to play with kids, or for kids over 8 to play with one another.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is one of the greatest games Nintendo has to offer. This series definitely does not get the credit it so deserves, although it is difficult to sell other players on the concept. You play as protagonist Phoenix Wright, a greenhorn attorney with a knack for justice. Through a series of events, he gets matched up with long-term apprentice Maya Fey. With her help, you have to solve major crimes around the city. It’s up to you to investigate crime scenes, find evidence, and present to the court why your client is innocent. By pointing out contradictions in witnesses’ testimony, you’re able to save your client from undeserved jail time.
Although the premise is odd, it’s a phenomenal and quirky game that players will enjoy. The 2D graphics make this RPG a must-have. Unfortunately, because of some of the content, we would not recommend this game for kids under 12. The first three games of the series, which Nintendo offers all together, are absolutely worth the time and would be a delight for any kid to play. It encourages critical thinking, attention to detail, and staying positive even during the most difficult of times.
Just Dance 2020
Need a game to keep your kids active? Check out Just Dance 2020! Just Dance 2020 is the ultimate dance game, giving us 40 top-of-the-chart hits. Songs such as “God Is a Woman” by Ariana Grande or “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nax X and Billy Ray Cyrus will keep kids moving and grooving until they can’t run around anymore. You can even pay for Just Dance Unlimited, which offers over 500 of some of the most popular songs. There’s also a kids mode, in case you want to be sure the youngest of players isn’t listening to anything too provocative.
Keeping kids moving can be both difficult and frustrating. With Just Dance 2020, emptying the kids of energy can be a little easier.
Celeste is a challenging platformer with an awesome heroine. Players help Madeline survive her incredible journey to the top of Celeste Mountain. In the process, she has to survive her inner demons and insecurities. The game is narrative-driven and has a charming cast of characters. This touching story of self-discovery will help kids think about their actions in a more introspective way. The controls for the game are accessible and simple. The hard part of the game isn’t the controls, but rather how well the controls are implemented. With every death, kids can learn a little bit about how the game works and how to properly use each function. Also, respawns happen quickly, so you won’t have to wait through a loading screen to get back in the game.
This game would work best for kids over the age of 10. Because kids will have to master when to use the controls, it can be a little frustrating for younger players to get a handle of how the game works. Additionally, some of the ideas may be too complex for younger kids to understand.
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