Does Nintendo Switch Come with Any Free Games in 2024?

Looking to buy a Nintendo Switch? Wondering if the Switch has any game bundles like the ones offered with Xbox and PlayStation? There are lots of conflicting opinions online that may lead you to believe the wrong thing or just create more confusion.

Fret not, we’re here to help you out. Read on below to learn all about what Nintendo offers with their Switch console.

The Nintendo Switch | Nintendo

Does Nintendo Switch Come with Games?

Long story short — no. The standard edition of the Switch does not ship with any games. Nearly all games have to be purchased separately; either physical copies through retail stores or digital copies via the Nintendo eShop.

However, there are some instances where you could buy a Switch that does, in fact, come with a game. The situation is a bit more complex than you might expect but we’ve broken it down in detail with straightforward explanations to get you up to speed.

Nintendo Switch Bundles

While it’s true that the standard edition of the Switch does not come with any games to speak of, it’s false to say that Nintendo doesn’t offer any game included with their console. Usually, to commemorate the release of their first-party exclusives, Nintendo will release “bundles” that ship with both the game and console. The game can be either a physical cartridge or a license key for the digital copy.

There are 2 types of bundles that you need to know of before looking to pick up the Switch:

1. Normal Switch Bundle (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle)

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle is the best bundle you can buy | Nintendo

This bundle offers a plain Nintendo Switch, 2 Joy-Con controllers, a docking station and the highly-popular Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition. Therefore, it’s commonly referred to as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle. It also offers a 3-month membership of Nintendo Switch Online.

This bundle is unique amongst Switch bundles as it’s the only bundle to offer a plain Switch and a game—not even styled Joy-Cons—similar to the bundles offered by Xbox and PlayStation. The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle is an all-in-one package; a normal Switch console, a game and 3 months of online membership.

Therefore, this what we heartily recommend to those looking to get a great value package. Although, this bundle is a bit rare, it’s totally worth the effort, and its price tag. Switch bundles like these often come with an increased price tag to compensate for the game, but this one is priced at only $299, which is the standard MSRP for Switch, because it’s a holiday bundle.

2. Limited Edition Switch Game Bundles

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Special Edition Switch features a unique design on the docking station and pastel colored Joy-Cons | Nintendo

These are the more common Switch bundles available to purchase. Like we mentioned earlier, these are released by Nintendo to commemorate their first-party releases; the launch of new Pokémon, the new Legend of Zelda, a new Mario game, etc. These bundles differ from the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle in terms of the Switch model they offer in the package.

These bundles usually have limited edition Switch consoles that feature unique designs on the Switch itself, which is usually a symbol or pattern related to the game. The Joy-Cons and docking station may also match the overall color palette of the game and feature a design too.

While these bundles only include one game and a limited-edition Switch, they sometimes have the same price as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle, but usually more. They are also solid options if you’re more into looks, and some designs become collectors’ items very quickly, so they hold their value over time exceptionally.

Free Games on the Nintendo eShop

Even if you don’t buy a Switch bundle, that doesn’t mean that you cannot play any games on your Switch fresh out-of-the-box for free. There are plenty of demos and free-to-play games available on the Nintendo eShop.


Cereza and the Lost Demon™ recounts one of Bayonetta’s tales in a unique art style | Nintendo

Demos are free trial versions of games, usually released to give gamers a little taste of what’s in store for them if they’re thinking of buying that game. Some of the more popular demos on the eShop are:

  • Pikmin™ 4
  • Metroid™ Dread
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
  • Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon™

Free-to-Play Games

Pokémon UNITE is great free-to-play game available on the eShop | Nintendo

Most free-to-play games are online multiplayer games. In the Switch’s case, it’s the same. They can be found under the Free-to-start section in the Nintendo eShop. The most popular free-to-play games are:

  • Fortnite
  • Apex Legends
  • Super Kirby Clash™0
  • Tetris® 99

Note that Super Kirby Clash™0 and Tetris® 99 are not completely free-to-play; they require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to be played.

If you want recommendations on the best Nintendo Switch games, check out our ranked list of the The Best Nintendo Switch Games For Every Kid. Even though the guide is aimed at kids, these are still some the best games available on the Switch.


In summary, the standard Nintendo Switch doesn’t include games, there are attractive bundles available. The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Bundle offers great value, and the special edition bundles have distinct designs. Additionally, the eShop provides free games and demos. Whether you prefer physical or digital games is a personal choice, and for online play, the Nintendo Switch Online subscription is worth considering.


What bundle should I buy?

Ideally, the better value bundle is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition Bundle as it offers a Switch console, a game and 3 months of Nintendo Switch Online subscription. However if you’re unable to find one of those, the limited edition bundles are solid options too with their cool designs.

Is it okay if I decide to buy a solitary Switch console?

If you decide to buy a lone Switch console, that’s fine too. Make sure to buy some games; either from the Nintendo eShop or physical copies from stores, the choice rests with you. In case you aren’t planning on buying any games, check out the freebies we’ve mentioned.

Which is better: buying physical copies or purchasing digital copies?

While each have their own extensive set of advantages and disadvantages, the choice rests with you. If you’re hoping to resale the game or exchange it with another one at a later time, physical copies are the way to go. However, if you want your purchases to be stored to your Nintendo Account and extra portability, digital copies are for you.

Should I get the Nintendo Switch Online subscription?

If you want online playability on games like Mario Kart 8, Nintendo Switch Online is necessary. But even if you aren’t interested in the online functionality, Nintendo Switch Online is a great subscription as it allows you to play retro fan-favorites like Metroid II — Return of Samus, Super Mario Bros.™ etc., all on your Switch. Nintendo Switch Online starts at an affordable price of $19.99 per year.


Farhan Ali

Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.