The Best Nintendo Switch Games For Kids, Siblings, & The Whole Family
From kart racing to potion making and more!
So, your kid got a Switch. Now what? Finding the best Nintendo Switch games for kids can be a little tough if you’re not familiar with all the titles and franchises out there. Fear not: there are age-appropriate games out there for kids of all ages, who love everything from Peppa Pig to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and some super helpful places parents can turn for more information before they buy.
If you’re shopping for Nintendo Switch games for kids and want to screen them for anything scary or inappropriate, you can find that info on Common Sense Media, along with reviews from parents and kids on what age they think the content is appropriate for. The Family Gaming Database is another resource you should use while game shopping — use their game finder tool to search for games based on your child’s age, any accessibility features they might need, and much more. Every game review includes their experts’ opinion on how old a child needs to be to fully use the game’s controls and enjoy playing.
Once you’ve picked the perfect Switch games for your kid, it’s time to add to cart and get gaming. (And pro tip: if you want to save a few bucks, try buying these games pre-owned from stores like GameStop.)
The best Nintendo Switch games for 5-year-olds.
Is your little one interested in picking up the Switch? You’ll want to find games with simple controls and recognizable characters and scenes. These games deliver on both fronts.
- Bluey: The Videogame: If your kid has ever wanted to visit the Heelers’ house and play Keepy Uppy, here’s their chance. The game is designed to be super fun and purposely not difficult, and you can play solo or with up to four people.
- Alba: A Wildlife Adventure: Play as Alba, a young girl visiting her grandparents on a Mediterranean island. Together, she and her wildlife-loving grandpa rescue animals, clean up their community, and learn about the environment.
- Paw Patrol On A Roll!: Take the pups on missions around Adventure Bay, and save the day using their special skills and vehicles.
- My Friend Peppa Pig Complete Edition: Design your own character, explore Peppa’s world, and make new animal friends.
- CoComelon: Play With JJ: Your little one can play musical mini games, collect virtual stickers, and play with items around JJ’s house.
The best Nintendo Switch games for 6-year-olds.
- Paradise Marsh: Oh dear, all the stars have fallen out of the night sky and into this very adorable wetland. Mosey about and collect them while catching insects, cataloging wild mushrooms, and more.
- Monster Jam Steel Titans: Your child can choose their favorite famous monster truck and compete in different stadiums to crash junk cars, do the most stunts, and cause general monster truck mayhem.
- Pokémon Snap: This game takes players through all kinds of environments to snap photos of elusive, rare, and playful Pokémon in their natural habitats. The better the shot, the more points you earn, and the faster you unlock new levels.
- My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure: Play as Sunny as she learns about her magical powers, and unlocks new clothes, accessories, and abilities. In two-player mode, kids can host a fashion show, herd bunnies, and more.
The best Nintendo Switch games for 7-year-olds.
- Townscaper: This game is perfect for kids who don’t want to battle monsters or do anything too complicated at all, really. Just pick colored blocks and plop them down, and watch as Townscaper’s algorithm builds them into vibrant seaside streets, towering cathedrals, and ancient cities.
- My Universe Pet Clinic: Cats & Dogs: Don’t all kids want to be a vet at some point? If your child’s in that phase, they’ll love this game, where they get to diagnose and treat adorable cats and dogs in their very own animal hospital.
- Let’s Go, Pikachu!: Travel through the Kanto region as a young Pokémon trainer. Catch wild Pokémon and train them up to earn your gym badges and become a bonafide Pokémon master.
- Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: Little Link explores Koholint Island, traversing dungeons laden with traps and beautiful scenery with magic creatures, trying to find his way home.
- Nintendo Switch Sports: This game is great for burning energy. Kids can play soccer, golf, volleyball, bowling, and even practice their swordplay with this set (which includes a wristband so there’s no accidental throwing of the Switch controllers).
The best Nintendo Switch games for 8- & 9-year-olds.
- Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos: The Harvest Moon series of games has been around since Nintendo 64, and their newest installment comes out on September 26. In it, you play a villager whose home has been cut off from surrounding communities, but by tending your farm and getting to know your environment, you slowly unveil the magic that will reunite everyone. Older versions of the game are available now if you don’t want to wait.
- Webbed: You’re a cute little spider on her way to rescue a friend from a bird. You’ll need to swing on webs, build your own paths, and save some other insects along the way in the hopes they’ll help you in return.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons: There’s a reason this game took off during the pandemic. The player is dropped onto a deserted island where they’ll bond with residents, collect materials, and build their own village from scratch. Play online and invite IRL friends to your island to see your hard work.
- Yoshi’s Crafted World: Take Yoshi through all the levels, designed to look like handmade crafted scenes, to collect ancient magical gemstones. This game is super versatile — it can be played by two people who work together to beat the levels, and has a “breezy” mode to make Yoshi’s big jumps easier to land.
- Luigi’s Mansion 3: Luigi and friends book a stay at the Last Resort Hotel. When Mario goes missing, he’ll have to suck up ghosts with his Poltergust G-00, solve puzzles, and more to find his brother.
- Rocket League Collector’s Edition: Insanely fast racecars meet...soccer? Your team of cars must defeat the other in a car-sized game of soccer, all while flipping through the air and blasting past opponents.
The best Nintendo Switch games for 10-year-olds.
- Stardew Valley: This is like Harvest Moon, the remix. You inherit your grandpa’s farm and move in to find it in disrepair. With his old tools and a few coins, you set out to bring it back to life. You can also befriend (and even marry) the townspeople, attend festivals, and more.
- Kirby And The Forgotten Land: Play as the iconic pink character and float through lush landscapes, gobbling up enemies and copying their powers to defeat them along the way.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: All the action of the Skywalker saga comes to life (with LEGO fun and humor) in this game. It allows players to control all the characters and ships they love from the films while trying to save the galaxy.
- Minecraft: Mine for materials while you build, well, anything you want. Kids can play in creative mode with unlimited building supplies (and no monster hordes to fend off), or in survival mode, where finding materials and battling little goblins is part of the fun.
- Super Mario Odyssey: This game feels like the classic Mario ones you played growing up. Mario and his new helpful hat sidekick must travel the map to collect moons, which will power the airship he needs to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser (yet again).
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas: Customize your starship with special wings and weapons, and train your pilot to learn advanced maneuvers. Players can freely explore the depths of space with their new fleet, where they’ll try to defeat enemy forces and take back the Atlas star system.
The best Nintendo Switch games for 11-year-olds (& older kids).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge: This game has a nostalgic ‘80s look, which parents will enjoy. In it, you’ll brawl your way through countless enemies as your favorite turtle and learn new combos as you go.
- Potion Permit: If your child likes games like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon, Potion Permit is similar, but adds magic into the mix. You play the village chemist-slash-healer, and it’s your job to collect ingredients and brew potions to treat whatever ails your friends.
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: In a completely open world, explore as Link to solve puzzles, collect goods, and craft weapons, all in an effort to defeat the evil Gannon who has taken over the kingdom of Hyrule.
- Hollow Knight: In this mysterious, dark-but-adorable game, you venture into an underground world where you’ll meet friendly creatures, do battle with the unfriendly ones, and chart all your discoveries.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order: Assemble your dream team of heroes from the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men to defeat the dastardly Thanos.
The best Nintendo Switch games for siblings.
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: Play as Captain Toad and Toadette, who must work together to traverse a whole map of traps and enemies to find the Power Star.
- Snipperclips: The kids will play as two very cute pieces of paper, who must clip each other into special shapes to complete tasks (like getting a ball through a hoop) and unlock new puzzles.
- Unravel 2: This game sounds like Captain Toad for scholars. Build your own yarny (a little creature made of yarn, very cute). Then, you’ll work together with another player to overcome obstacles and challenges through beautiful landscapes inspired by Scandinavian scenery.
- Rayman Legends: Rayman and friends are sucked into a medieval painting, and they must conquer level after level of foes and foibles to escape and save their home. This game allows up to four players to play cooperatively.
- Boxboy! + Boxgirl!: Play as two boxes, who can create more boxes, to work through increasingly difficult and puzzling challenges. With 270 levels to beat, this game will keep the kids occupied for a while.
- Knights and Bikes: Nessa and Demelza are exploring the island with their pet goose, Captain Honkers. They’ll soon learn the area has an ancient curse, and they’ll work together using frisbees, water balloons, and their bikes to save the island and each other. This game can be played solo or with two players.
- Heave Ho: Players have one goal — get to the end of the level without falling. To do it, they need to work together by swinging, walking across each other, and more. Up to four players can work together at once.
- ARMS: In the future, elite fighters all have extendable arms with added strength and abilities. Each player chooses a character and, well, let the virtual beatdowns commence.
The best Nintendo Switch games for families.
- Mario Party Superstars: You know it, you love it, and you have a favorite mini-game from a past version. Mario Party’s latest installment includes game boards from the original Nintendo 64 game, and mini-games from throughout Mario Party history.
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Play with up to four players and race through all new levels with your favorite Mario characters (and customizable karts).
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: It’s a classic for a reason — Super Smash Bros. pits all your favorite Nintendo characters against each other to see who would win in an all-out brawl.
- Overcooked: Play as the kitchen staff preparing a variety of foods. Sounds quaint, until you’re screaming at your kid to hurry it up with the buns, you have burgers burning over here. This seriously fun, fast-paced game will become a family night favorite in no time.
- Killer Queen Black: Based on a super popular arcade game, Killer Queen Black pits two teams of four against each other to defeat each other’s hive. You can play with one to four players.
- Splatoon 3: With co-op and multiplayer modes, this game is great for families of any size. Work together as Inklings to fire high-powered ink splats at enemies and save your home (appropriately named the Splatlands).
- Just Dance 2023: For the families who have moves (or don’t, but that’s the fun of it), Just Dance games are perfect for game night. Just get up and copy the choreography on the screen, all set to popular songs you know and love.
Whether you’re shopping for the best Nintendo Switch games for kids to celebrate a birthday, reward a special achievement, or just keep your kid busy while school is out, one of these titles ought to do the trick.
This article was originally published on