We’ve had our Nintendo Switch for years, and it has been a great gaming system for our family. There are so many games great for kids or for playing as a whole family. We’ve put together a list of our favorite Switch games for kids.
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- Mario Kart 8
- Overcooked! 2
- Legend of Zelda
- Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
- Gamebuilder Garage
- Nintendo Labo
- Lego Star Wars
- Ringfit Adventure
- Super Mario Odyssey
Wanted to try your hand at Formula 1 but with Mario? And with banana peels and turtle shells you can throw at your friends? Who wouldn’t? Pick your racer and your kart and line up at the starting line. When the light turns green, you’re off and competing against your friends or just the Switch. Pick up items that can give yourself a boost or maybe find a turtle shell that you can use to hit your competition in front of you and stop them just a few seconds so you can get the lead!
This is a great game to play with up to four players, or just by yourself to practice your moves. There are plenty of circuits to choose from to keep things fresh. There is also a battle option, where the map isn’t a race track, but a more open area where the drivers are divided into two teams and compete to complete an objective.
With separate difficulty and assistance settings for each racer, it’s easy to let younger kids play along with the older without being completely left in the dust.
Have you watched Hell’s Kitchen and thought, “This looks relaxing, but what if you had to cook under pressure while coordinating with someone else?”
Fix meals before the customers get impatient in this top down, cartoony, and fun cooperative game. (It can be played solo, but really the fun is in the couch co-op you can do here.) Think you got what it takes to satisfy enough orders to get three stars on each map? Well, make sure you chopped your meat before cooking it, that you didn’t over steam your meal, or that your entire kitchen didn’t catch on fire because you forgot that pizza in the oven! (Don’t worry, there is a fire extinguisher just in case!)
This game is not for the faint of heart, but it is a blast! The maps and recipes increase in complexity as you go on. Some maps restrict players to certain areas, ensuring that cooperation is a must! A good opportunity to practice your communication and teamwork skills. If they aren’t up to par, this is one game that is sure to get heated!
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild / Tears of the Kingdom
These two games won Game of the Year awards, and for good reason. These are different than the older, traditional top down Zelda games, but they are amazing! Breath of the Wild set out an ambitious world for you to explore, and its sequel Tears of the Kingdom blew those ambitions out of the water. These games are sure to keep you wanting more!
Explore an amazing world with stunning visuals. I can’t tell you the number of times I looked out and thought “That is a beautiful view!” Help people out, build a town, or even build a house for yourself! Enter shrines that present puzzles and brain teasers. Explore how you want, with a world that has so many surprises that you’re bound to want to know what is over the next hill.
Oh, and there’s combat, too! Sneak up for the attack, charge in, or use the environment to help! Take out that bokoblin with a boulder, shoot a fire arrow into an explosive barrel that that Moblin was standing next to. Take on special areas with bosses and puzzles to unlock more abilities to help you in your fighting! And much, much more!
This totally was my first attempt. See? Rounding success!
While it’s only single player, we still enjoy sitting down as a family to watch one person play while we chat (and laugh when someone inevitably misfires a bomb arrow).
Another great co-op game to test your teamwork! This one is full of fun and funny vibes. Help pilot a spaceship that is out to rescue friends and bring peace to spacetime! Communication is critical as each player can only control one station on the ship at a time. Put someone on the engines, someone on the shields and everyone else go for the guns! Shoot down enemies and rescue enough captured friends to unlock the next level, but beware! Opening that cage can lock down an area until you’ve cleared out enough enemies, and those enemies can damage your ship beyond repair if you’re not careful!
One of the great things about the game play is the upgrades you can find. Place these to customize your weapons, shield, and even your engines to add some extra punch or a nice bit of defense. Unlock new ships with new layouts or special abilities (the one that removes damage from hitting terrain is great for the novice pilot in training). A fun game with cute bunnies to boot!
This is a bit different from what you consider a traditional game, but no less amazing as the others on this list. This is a game creation game. Follow the (extensive) tutorial to learn elements of how to make a game and manipulate the objects inside to make everything work! Then create your own game using what you’ve learned. This one is great for the creative mind that loves putting things together.
The thing that really impressed me most about this game was when two of my sons were sitting together, looking at one of their creations, and talking about something that wasn’t working. They were staring at boxes, looking through options, racking their brains for what could be wrong. Over an hour later they solved it (I think the height of an object was wrong, so it wasn’t interacting with what it should) and it was amazing to see how their persistence in the face of difficulty paid off for them. That kind of persistence is a life lesson in facing difficult problems, one that they’ll use in years to come.
This one is also unique. See, these games come with a physical component, and one you wouldn’t expect: Cardboard. Yes, cardboard. Perforated sheets containing components come with this game. Punch out and fold them into their parts. There is a wide variety, everything from a toy piano or a fishing pole, to a giant wearable robot pack.
The Switch joy-cons are placed into whatever object you’re using, and they take care of the heavy lifting. They detect any movement they experience and the motion of certain parts within that might twist and pull, and it translates into motion in the game. There’s vehicles you can drive, and even a cardboard VR set!
It’s one of those things you just got to see, but I always enjoy seeing any of my children pulling one out and having fun with a very unique way to play in some very fun game worlds.
Sometimes the best thing about the sequel movies is the fact that they make games out of them. This one has all nine of the core movies (the trilogy of trilogies), and you get to play through all the amazing worlds and adventures. Filled with quirky humor that only makes sense with Lego figures, this is a fun game that will have you exploring levels for hours.
This game is a great mixture of story, adventure and puzzle. It is great for younglings (no need to worry about Anakin in this game), or just for casual play. Each level has great fights and fun puzzles, but death is only a few seconds delay, and you’re back in the action again.
I am convinced that exercise really means repeated movements done long enough to make you feel self conscious about them, but this game gives you the excuse you need to do repeated Leg Ups and those Warrior III poses. After all, that’s how you hit your enemies! It contains a complete story, and an adventure world to explore and complete, as well as options to jump right into the exercises, allowing you to set up routines and sets. The Story mode also has a difficulty to adjust so you can set it for your (or your little one’s) perfect workout.
It comes with the Ring-Con, a flex ring designed to help exercise and tested for durability. One Joy-Con fits right in, and another fits into the leg strap to measure your body movements.
This game actually helps you exercise and does it in a fun way. The maps give you a wide variety of methods to exercise, and as mentioned before, you can set up your unique routine, filled with the exercises that were actually compiled with the advice of actual fitness trainers. This is something I wouldn’t have believed until I saw, but I actually enjoyed the workout as I saw the enemies go down and the story progress!
As we end, how can we not mention this amazing game? Play Mario as he explores different worlds, defeats bosses, and attempts to rescue Princess Peach. There is so much to explore in each level, that it will make you want to go back to find what you missed!
Our younger kids love playing co-op, where one person plays Mario and the other Cappy, a living hat that accompanies Mario on his adventure and can be used to unlock and explore new areas. For the very little ones still learning the controls there is assistance mode, which helps them explore the fun world with less worry about dying and losing progress. Overall a very fun game with a fun world to explore!
Do you have any games you love playing on the Switch with your kids?