Choosing a gaming console like the Nintendo Switch for kids is a no-brainer. The Switch is a great choice because it has a unique combination of TV and portable gaming that’s more elegant than you’d imagine and controllers ranging from the traditional to Wiimote-like Joy-Cons to folded cardboard. These factors come together to make the Nintendo Switch one of the most popular video game consoles ever. But the most important reason it’s a great console for families? The best Nintendo Switch games for kids are among the best video games around. Period.
See more: Best PS4 Games for Kids and Parents
In our opinion, the best Nintendo Switch family games have an Everyone or Everyone 10+ rating from the ESRB, so you can rest assured that all they include only family-friendly content. Of course, not all kid-appropriate games are actually good; quality is more than a dearth of sex and violence. That’s why we only included titles whose demands are easily met at a variety of different ages (there are picks for everyone from first-time gamers to experienced teens) with stories, gameplay, and/or multiplayer capabilities that will capture your kids’ attention and imagination.
The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids
This Swedish puzzle-platformer features two characters called Yarnys trying to escape an orphanage. In this sequel, developers added a local co-op mode so that two players can tackle the puzzle challenges together. This beautiful game teaches cooperation and friendship, and the puzzles you need to solve to are decidedly more stimulating than button-mashing games. We just wish more than two players could play at a single time.
This already legendary title is chock full of opportunities to explore vast terrain, solve dynamic puzzles, and battle enemies. If you've enjoyed Zelda games before, there's nothing that updated graphics, Amiibo compatibility, and the flexibility of Switch gameplay will do to detract from it.
This game features progressively harder puzzles that you and your kid can work together to crack. The game mechanics are simple to use — it's basically cutting out paper — but difficult to master. You only need one Joy-Con controller each to play, but add more and you can have a full-family match with up to four players.
Mario began his career as a sidescroller, but at this point his 3D legacy is nearly as rich. This rerelease of three fantastic Mario titles provides great bang for the buck because it's three games in one. It also means parents can rediscover the joys of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy while their kids experience these still fantastic games for the first time.
One of the most popular rhythm games for mobile devices, DEEMO is just as fun on the Nintendo Switch. The game is compatible with the separately-sold Nintendo Labo Piano, an accessory that adds another dimension to gameplay that kids will love. Regardless, there are over 100 different songs included in this game, which means there are plenty of hours of beautiful, intuitive gameplay. Three difficulty modes means that kids can start wherever they're more comfortable playing.
Your kids probably hadn’t been born with the original Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was released in the aughts. It won’t matter. This updated version of this PlayStation classic is as charismatic as the original, and your kids will fall in love with is just like you did. As its protagonist demigod, you explore a three-dimensional world rife with Egyptian mythology allusions and a very famous golden king. While it may be a little complicated for young children, those in the second half of their first decade will have a blast.
This crazy-popular indie game is finally available on Switch. It's best with larger groups (4-10 people can play at once) because it becomes harder to suss out who exactly is the Impostor bent on killing everyone else. It doesn't sound like much, but take it from AOC: Among Us is a ton of fun.
Yoshi's Crafted World is an all-ages game that’s predestined to become a favorite. This plane-shifting 2D-style platform game hearkens back to the Super Mario Worlds of yore, but with full use of the Switch’s fully modern tech. The game has the same deceptively simple gameplay: a series of jumps and traverses across obstacles while avoiding or stomping on baddies. Old vets will instantly recognize its charming style. But where this Nintendo Switch game differs is through certain three-dimensional elements, which allow you to move through the backgrounds, opening up multiple planes for exploration.
Toad, he of the mushroom hat and high voice, is the star of this game, a simple — and rather subdued — co-op puzzler that’s ideal for kids. There’s no running, jumping, or action of any kind. Players look for clues, find gems, and complete puzzles to move on to the next level. It’s wholesome and perfect for younger kids.
The chillest of chill games, this sequel to the wildly popular Animal Crossing lets you hang out with friends on relaxing island. Players create avatars and live among the humanoid animals who populate the island. Players can scavenge for materials, construct houses and other buildings, and interact with the various characters. There are some monsters — tarantulas, wasps, etc. — and, as it’s a life simulation game, characters can construct and use the toilet. But, like all rated E for everyone games, there’s only comic mischief and no highlighting of bodily functions. Online play allows other players to join, but it's easy to ensure your kid only encounters friends and relatives in their own 3D paradise.
The latest version of the classic racer has everything you'd expect: tortoise shell missiles, wildly fun race tracks, and a cast of cartoon characters each with their own specific talents. It’s also one of the best games to play with kids, as there are many options to help make gameplay a bit easier. All younger kids need to do is press a few buttons to feel like they’re keeping up with the rest of the pack. Its multiplayer capabilities, with up to four local racers and 12 online, mean it's a great game for big families.
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