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10 Nintendo Switch games for families to play over the holidays

Holidays are the perfect time for family to converge around the versatile Nintendo Switch, especially if you have enough controllers for several people to play on a TV at once! And the Switch comes with a popular library of party games, co-op adventures, and family-friendly missions to try out, no matter what age the players are. The only question is — which is the best to start with this holiday season? We’ve got the top 10 answers right here!

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Jackbox Party Pack 7

Jackbox Party Pack 7 gameplay.
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This innovative party pack brings popular party games to the Switch so the whole family can play. Quiplash in particular is a party favorite as people think up quick, funny responses to game prompts and see who can get the most laughs. Talking Points asks players to make up hilarious speeches on the spot, another great pick for improv families. There’s also a pop culture guessing game, an easy little boxing game, and more. Everyone can play using their phones, too, so there are no controllers to master.

Mario Party Superstars

Yoshi's island map overview.
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This comprehensive Mario Party game is packed with a variety of team-oriented board-like games, which means players of all ages will find something familiar to enjoy. The board games are played with a variety of fun little minigames to switch up the challenge, with difficulty set so that even newcomers can have a great time and a good chance at winning. There’s a reason it picked up a Game Awards nomination for Best Family Game!

Mario Golf: Super Rush

Mario, Wario, and Rosalina run in Mario Golf: Super Rush.
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Golf on the Switch tends to be a very easy game to pick up and play, even for novices that aren’t very comfortable with a controller (the shot gauge also helps those who, well, may not be great at golf, either). Super Rush amps up Mario Golf in a number of other excellent ways, too: The character options are better than ever, there are several modes to explore, and you can play games with up to four people!

Overcooked! All You Can Eat Edition

Overcooked All You Can Eat kitchen.
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Overcooked! is a kitchen game where up to four players can team up to prepare and combine ingredients, then deliver them in time! The levels start off fairly easy to teach newcomers how to navigate kitchens, and then more challenging kitchens are continually introduced. It’s a great pick that invites teamwork and coordination … and has a handy assist mode to make things more friendly for everyone.

Just Dance 2021

Just Dance 2021.
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With enough room, everyone can join in on the Just Dance party. This game combines a smartphone app with Switch gameplay to help track movements and award points to those with the best moves. You can create custom playlists featuring today’s most popular pop songs — although a subscription will be necessary to unlock everything. Fortunately, the first month is free and can cover a good portion of the holiday season if you set it up in time.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario and skeleton Bowser racing on the track.
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Racing games are a great family activity if they are easy enough, and it doesn’t come much easier than this revamped version of Mario Kart. As long as someone can learn to accelerate, brake, and steer, they can make their way around the fun-filled courses. Crazy items and boosts help increase playability once people have mastered the basics, and those extra features can ensure that people have a good time even if they aren’t exactly winning a race.

Mario Tennis Aces

Mario Tennis Aces.
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Mario Tennis is another excellent game for all levels of skill. Everyone understands a tennis court, and the simple gameplay is easy to pick up while still offering a lot to do. You can team up against bosses, play doubles against each other, enter a tournament mode for multiple players, or try other fun modes that prioritize having a good time.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 Combat.
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The campaign version of Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t that great as a party game, but fortunately, there are other modes to have fun with! Both the ScareScraper and Scream Park games support up to eight players at once, encouraging teams to catch ghosts by working together or fight against each other with tests like coin floating or cannon barrage. It’s a good pick for casual fun and shorter play sessions among family and friends, with low stakes all around.

Minigolf Adventure

Minigolf Adventure.
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This relaxing minigolf game only costs a few bucks and takes no time at all to learn. You pick your golf ball and steer it around a variety of innovative courses. You can play against each other in single matches, or choose a group mode where you can have up to four balls on the screen at once. Each mini-course is unique, handcrafted, and surprisingly fun to explore as a group. There are also different climates to choose from that will impact how balls travel.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Image used with permission by copyright holder

Super Smash Bros. has great potential as a holiday-friendly party game, and Ultimate is possibly the best the franchise has ever been. The barrier to entry is also practically nonexistent — you can literally rush in swinging and still have fun. The many customization options also allow you to set up local games with whatever rules you want for the particular family and friends you’re playing with. The only downside is that some family members may be a little too competitive on the Smash scene, in which case it may be best to separate casual and serious gaming sessions.

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Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
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