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Top 10 best Nintendo Switch games for kids & children of all ages

‘E’ for Everyone

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Despite a few forays into Rated-M-for-Mature territory, Nintendo has steadfastly cultivated and maintained a family-friendly image since it shipped its first NES. Or, at the very least, Nintendo of America has been constant in keeping its brand the type you can introduce to your parents. Some of the decisions it’s made haven’t always worked in its favor, but that dedication to being a company for people of all ages is certainly paying off in spades now with the success of the Nintendo Switch.

While it still trails the Nintendo DS in terms of unit sales, I think the argument could be made this is Nintendo’s most popular gaming device ever. And its library is a huge reason for that. There is every genre of game you could want on this system, including an absurd amount of games tailor-made for kids and children of all ages. With so many to choose from, we’re going to take a look at the 10 best Switch games for the young ones. It’s an impossible task, but if you’re looking for a game for your kids, start by checking out the following ten titles.

And to keep things interesting, this won’t just be a list of 10 games made by Nintendo.

Screenshot via Nintendo

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (Nintendo)

Okay, well, the first game on the list is made by Nintendo, but I promise the rest of them aren’t. Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is an excellent edutainment title that takes the brain training formula that was all the rage in the mid-2000s and turns it into a competition. For smart kids who want to brag about their burgeoning IQs, this is the game to get.

Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix)

One game all kids know about is Minecraft, and while you can indeed play it on Nintendo Switch, there’s no need to include it on a list like this, considering the thing has sold more than 230 million copies. Instead, we’re including Dragon Quest Builders (and its sequel) as a must-have game for kids. It takes the voxel-crafting gameplay of Minecraft and marries it with solid RPG combat and story. Both games are an absolute delight, and we can only hope Square Enix and Omega Force team up again soon to give us Dragon Quest Builders 3.

Mario Party Superstars (Nintendo)

The Mario Party series has been a staple of the Nintendo brand since the days of the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo Switch has seen two games from the franchise appear on the console, and while Super Mario Party has done blockbuster sales, 2021’s Mario Party Superstars is the better of the two. For those who grew up with the series, it’s a delightful trip down memory lane. For those experiencing the Mario Party formula for the first time, it’s a good learning opportunity for how life can be unfair.

Sonic Mania Plus (Sega)

Retro-revivals have been all the rage for several years now, and while there are plenty to choose from on the Switch (Mega Man 11), we’re including Sonic Mania Plus on this list for being the game that saved Sonic from himself. A delightful throwback to Sonic’s simpler times, Sonic Mania Plus takes everything that was great about the original version of the game and piles on new characters, new cutscenes, and new ways to play with friends.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (Nintendo)

One of the best bangs for your buck on the Switch is the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. This isn’t one game, but dozens of them spread across the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64. Classic Nintendo games have kept their appeal in the years since they launched and this subscription is a great buy for the young Switch players in your life. Just try and temper their expectations for those old Mario Kart games though.

Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo)

Whether you loved the Nintendo Wii or thought it represented the very worst of Nintendo, chances are you have some fond memories of playing Wii Sports. Even if only for the bowling and the boxing, Wii Sports is one of the greatest games in Nintendo’s long history. Nintendo Switch Sports does a great job of capturing part of what made its predecessor so dang fun. While it doesn’t have the breadth of Wii Sports Resort, what’s included in Switch Sports is a blast for kids who want to be a bit more active when they’re gaming.

FAST rmx (Shin’en)

Speaking of Mario Kart, you’ll notice Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn’t on the list. Considering nearly half of all Switch owners already have the game—an absolutely stunning attachment rate—it’s better to use this opportunity to focus on another racing game, one that is all about speed. FAST rmx from Shin’en Multimedia is a beautiful and outstanding racer that fulfills the inner desire of all kids (and adults) to go as fast as they possibly can.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo)

After decades of side-scrolling adventures, Kirby finally got his first 3D adventure in 2022 with Kirby and the Forgotten Land. With its incredible level design, skillful transition to 3D, and addition of the new Mouthful Mode, Kirby and the Forgotten Land isn’t just the best Kirby game ever, it’s arguably one of the greatest 3D platformers to date. A perfect game for kids young and old; one siblings can play together with its Bandana Waddle-Dee multiplayer mode.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Warner Bros. Games)

LEGO games are always a solid choice for younger kids, but they may lose their appeal to those who are older. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is one of the few LEGO games that doesn’t lose its luster with teens as the combat is the best of any LEGO game to date. Even if your kids don’t care for The Rise of Skywalker, there’s little doubt they’ll find much to enjoy about The Skywalker Saga.

Screenshot via Nintendo

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Nintendo)

Like with Kirby, you can put any Mario platformer on this list and it would work just fine. Mario hasn’t had one bad outing on Nintendo Switch, and while most people will gravitate toward Super Mario Odyssey, we’re throwing it down for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. About as close to perfect as the series has ever been, this is a wonderful multiplayer action game that provides enough challenge to keep kids of all ages engaged. The original version of the game on the Wii U was already as close to perfection as Nintendo could get. The addition of Bowser’s Fury nudges it even closer.

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CJ Andriessen
Editor-at-Large – CJ has been a contributor to Destructoid since 2015, originally writing satirical news pieces before transitioning into general news, features, and other coverage that was less likely to get this website sued.