The Best Nintendo Switch Games For Every Kid

The Nintendo Switch has a vast library of games spanning across different genres, suitable for all ages. Nintendo is kind of like the Disney of gaming, in the sense that it’s unequivocally family-friendly with all of its biggest franchises being great picks for children.

But with so many different games topping the charts, and dozens more in the Nintendo eStore, which one is ideal for kids, and more specifically, your kid?

We’ve compiled the list of the very-best games the Switch has to offer for the young ones, each with a unique premise that could teach something important to your kid. This list includes games from every genre, which means there’s a game in here for every kid! You can check out the slideshow below to skim through our full list at a glance.

Stardew Valley | Farming

Coop And Beetroot in Stardew Valley

Mario Kart 8 | Racing

Split-screen local multiplayer in Mario Kart 8

Animal Crossing: New Horizons | Social Simulation

Characters rejoicing in Animal Crossing

Minecraft | Sandbox, Adventure

Enjoying the delicacy that is cooked chicken, in Minecraft

A Boy And His Blob | Adventure

Blob turns into a cannon

Plants vs Zombies: Battle For Neighborville | Adventure

Zombie Team taking out Citron from Plant Team

No Man’s Sky | Adventure

Repairing spaceship in No Man’s Sky

My Time in Portia | Farming

Colorful llamas jumping around in Portia

Kirby And The Forgotten Land | Platformer

Kirby straight up swallowing enemies

Super Mario Maker 2 | Platformer

Customized level inside Super Mario Maker 2 made by a player

Pikmin 3 Deluxe | Platformer

Defeating some enemies using Pikmins

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate | Action

Ganondorf being knocked out by Sheik in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Splatoon 3 | Action

Heated battle between Octolings and Inklings

Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! | Puzzle

Co-Op multiplayer in Snipperclips
     

    Games For Everyone

    Let us first begin with four Editor’s Choice games. These titles were hand-picked by us in order to be the very-best of the bunch. Each game here offers more than the sum of its parts and represents the best of the platform. You can rest assured, irrespective of your kids’ taste or preferences, they’re bound to fall in love with these.

    Stardew Valley

    Editor’s Choice

    No best-of list is complete without Stardew Valley. The farming-simulator game, developed by Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone, takes place in a dilapidated farm left to the main character by his/her grandfather. This farm is called Stardew Valley and it’s home to one of gaming’s greatest experiences ever.

    Players have no restrictions or time limitations on what they can do in the game. They can perform actions such as growing crops, raising livestock, socializing, and even marrying townspeople if they want. The game does have an internal exhaustion meter for the character so players themselves can take a break as well.

    Stardew Valley | ConcernedApe

    The game has received great praise over the years, with some even calling it the Greatest Game Of All Time, due to its relaxing nature that allows gamers of every kind to explore the world at their own pace and never punish them for it. 

    Stardew Valley also teaches the importance of familial relationships to kids, especially those with their elders. The game generally tends to lean on the side of how a quiet, tranquil farm life is much better than the busy and capitalistic city life, which is an added bonus that can leave kids with a positive impression of why it’s crucial to give time to not only family, but also your own self.

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Farming

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    Editor’s Choice

    The Animal Crossing series is a popular video game series famous for its chill and laidback gameplay. In this fifth edition of the series, players move to a deserted island and can develop the island to their liking. Gathering items and developing a community, this game can keep your kid busy for hours.

    The stand-out feature of this game is the geolocation weather system. The weather on the island changes according to real-time weather, which can drastically change the dynamics of the game. Slowly and steadily, the island grows in both development and popularity as vendors and tourists come to visit.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons | Nintendo

    Up to four players can play in local multiplayer mode while eight are allowed in the online multiplayer version. One of the biggest upsides of New Horizons, apart from being an awesome game, is its focus on social relationships. With a majority of the game being dependent on talking to others around you, your kid might just pick up a hint or two on how to socialize better and create new friends!

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Social Simulation

    Mario Kart Deluxe 8

    Editor’s Choice

    Before we move on to the obvious final pick, let’s talk about Mario Kart Deluxe 8. Placed inside wacky go-karts, players can choose from a variety of characters based on the Mario franchise. There are several race formats in which players compete against other players to come out on top.

    Mario Kart Deluxe 8 features cool new interactions such as anti-gravity driving and bumping into other players for speed boosts. Players can pick up power-ups or boosts to either hinder another player’s performance or boost their own. With everything based around the popular and loved Mario franchise, the game was a surefire hit that did not disappoint.

    Mario Kart Deluxe 8 | Nintendo

    This game is great for brining the whole family together. With multiple players being able to play at once, it makes for some quality family time which is essential for healthy bonding and emotional development while growing up.

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Racing

    Minecraft

    Editor’s Choice

    Rounding off our list is one of the OGs of the gaming world, Minecraft. A game loved by almost everyone, so much so that it’s the best-selling game of all time. The charm of Minecraft lies within the fact that you can do just about anything in the game and things like the level of difficulty, complexity, and competitiveness is entirely up to the player.

    Boasting a variety of game modes, including several different mods, Minecraft is a great starter game for kids who just want to build things. No rules, no restrictions. Players playing in ‘Creative’ mode can do what their heart desires without worrying about repercussions. With unique in-game interactions with NPCs, Minecraft can make time fly by without noticing.

    Minecraft | Mojang, Microsoft

    For kids wanting more of a challenge, Minecraft offers a ‘Survival’ mode. Here, players need to forage equipment and food while simultaneously fighting different monsters. This can make for a challenging, yet thrilling experience.

    Minecraft instills the value of “creating” within kids, telling them not only how cool it is to build your own stuff, but to be resourceful enough to survive in a potentially dangerous world. Not to mention, the countless community-developed worlds that can be explored at any time.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Sandbox-survival

     

    A Boy And His Blob

    A re-imagination of the popular 1989 video game, A Boy And His Blob: Trouble in Blobolonia, the story focuses on a boy who traverses the world around him and defeats enemies with his trusted sidekick, his blob.

    Using jellybeans to get through various obstacles, the boy must get through each level and defeat a final boss before progressing. The prospect of the character dying adds an element of caution to the game.

    A Boy And His Blob | Majesco Entertainment

    With various puzzles and interactive features, this game requires thinking and an adventurous spirit. The use of childish but immaculately drawn animations and well, a blob, encourages younger kids to stay engorged in the game for some light-hearted fun.

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Adventure

    Plants vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville

    This battlefield third-person shooter game is part of the infamous Plants vs. Zombies franchise. The game has a very simple goal, defeat all the zombies in the level in order to progress forward. If you can’t, the zombies will ‘eat your brains’.

    Players can play as plants or zombies to play co-op or compete against each other to see who comes out on top. The online multiplayer game features 23 customizable gameplay cases, nine of which are new.

    Plants vs. Zombies: Battle For Neighborville | EA Games

    With various multiplayer modes, e.g. Team Deathmatch and Turf Takeover, players can choose between PvP or PvE, where they have options from several open zones to find collectibles and complete quests.

    The game has kept the playable characters the same as the original 2D game versions. Players can choose plants like Peashooter or Snapdragon, or zombies like Scientist and 80s Action Hero.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Adventure

    No Man’s Sky

    No Man’s Sky is a survival-style, adventure game that allows players to experience a different universe, with over 18 quintillion planets. With each planet having a separate ecosystem, players progress by interacting with the alien species present and mining resources to grow stronger.

    No Man’s Sky | Hello Games

    Players can chose to play in first person or third person, whichever works better for them. They must hone themselves in various skills such as exploring, combat, survival, and trading. For kids, this helps develop strategic thinking and diplomacy through various scenarios. While trading and mining the right resource could shoot them to the top, fighting the wrong alien could mean game over.

    The game teaches the player many aspects of survival they may need in real life as well but isn’t always so kid-friendly. It can also give the young ones a sense of how different the world is out there, and how you need to appreciate the disparity instead of scrutinizing it.

    • Rating: E13+ for Everyone 13 and Up
    • Genre: Adventure

    My Time At Portia

    If surviving through an apocalypse isn’t your style, your kid will like My Time At Portia. The game is set in the independent state of Portia where the main character inherits his father’s famous builder-workshop. The goal of the game is to become the best builder the town of Portia has ever seen, maybe even surpassing his father.

    My Team At Portia | Team17

    The game is simple yet attractive. Players must gather resources to forge items. As they submit completed items and get favorable rewards from the townsfolk, they can build better and higher-tier items worth more. Players must continue this until they have reached the top.

    As side quests, My Time At Portia has dungeons where players can go to fight enemies. These are totally optional and available to keep the game interesting. This is a classic farming game with loads of activities to sink time into, and it just happens to have a demo you can try out as well.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Farming

    Kirby and the Forgotten Land

    Everyone’s lovable character, Kirby, is back with another hit game. One of the more recent games on the list, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first fully 3D game in the Kirby series. 

    The plot of the game focuses on Kirby saving Waddle Dees from various dangers. To save them, Kirby himself must travel through dangerous terrain and defeat enemies using an array of abilities.

    Kirby And The Forgotten Land | Nintendo

    A unique aspect of this game is that a second player can also join Kirby on his quest to save the Waddle Dees. This player comes as Banana Waddle Dee. As Kirby saves more and more Waddle Dees, Waddle Dee Town increases in size, giving users access to several minigames.

    Kirby and the Forgotten Land is often touted as one of the greatest modern platform games from Nintendo. While all Nintendo platformers look pretty, this one plays pretty, is hugely creative, and forces you to think outside the box with clever level designs.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Platformer

    Super Mario Maker 2

    Super Mario Maker 2, a sequel to the original Super Mario Maker, is a child favorite. Giving players the ability to create their own courses, SMM2 stimulates their innovative and creative sides, while offering varying levels of challenges in order to fuel that hunger.

    Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo

    SMM2 has various tools and assets such as a course theme based on Super Mario 3D World. Other features include a World Maker mode where players can create their own ‘Super Worlds’, just like a Super Mario game. In addition, up to 4 players can play a single course with the online multiplayer mode, playing competitively or cooperatively.

    For players who want to play alone, SMM2 features a single-player campaign known as Story Mode. This is great for changing up the pace of the game now and again. But the real reason to get this game is to try out custom levels created by other players, or experiment with making some of your own!

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Platformer

    Pikmin 3

    For anyone who like puzzles, Pikmin 3 Deluxe can be the go-to game. Pikmin 3 places the player as the captain of a ship containing over 100 plant-like creatures called Pikmins. The player must utilize the Pikmins’ unique attributes in order to combat enemies, explore the alien planet, and amass treasures. The twist is all this must be done through solving puzzles!

    Pikmin 3 Deluxe | Nintendo

    An amazing brain-stimulating game, Pikmin 3 is sure to get those gears working inside your kid’s mind. It even allows for split-screen multiplayer if someone from the family wants to join in on the fun. As players control three different captains, a two-player competitive mode called Bingo Battle is also available besides the single-player story mode campaign.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Platformer

    Splatoon 3

    The Splatoon legacy continues with this newest addition, Splatoon 3. Keeping up the trend, Splatoon 3 is a third-person shooter, team-based game. Players are divided into two teams: Inklings and Octolings.

    The aim of the game is simple: Color the entire map with your ink and be the first one to do so. With a large array of weaponry available, players can choose whatever weapon suits them best. But they should make sure they have the skill to back it up.

    Splatoon 3 | Nintendo

    Splatoon 3 is host to a number of game modes as well. It includes a competitive mode, salmon run, and table turf battle mode. Users are free to play whatever game mode they like the best as there are no restrictions. This game can satisfy that first-person shooter itch that many young children may have, without actually having to play a violent shooter game.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Action

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    The 2018 crossover-fighting game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is the fifth installment of the Super Smash Bros series. It follows the traditional style of gameplay. Each player selects a character to fight with against several others players in an arena-style brawl.

    There are 89 playable characters in the game as of this writing, each with its pros and cons. Players must weaken, and eventually defeat, all other opponents to be crowned victorious. Featuring both single-player campaign and multiplayer PvP game modes, the game caters to everyone’s preferences.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate | Nintendo

    Picking up power-ups, summoning Pokemon to aid in battle, and finishing off opponents with powerful Final Smash attacks add to the beauty of the game. Each character is a viable option to play with, and part of the fun is to learn how to defend against each and every opponent character you face.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Action

    Mr. Driller: Drill Land

    Mr. Driller: Drill Land is one of the oldest video games on our list today, being released in 2002. But it’s one that has aged incredibly well, now being available on the Nintendo Switch. Players can choose one of seven playable characters using whom they need to get to the bottom of each level to progress to the next stage.

    Mr Driller: Drill Land | Namco

    The puzzle aspect of the games comes in the “how”, as in, how do players get there? They need to destroy same-colored blocks in order to clear a path. This may seem simple but the added threat of dying by unsupported blocks or running out of oxygen puts the players on a tight clock.

    The game has five different game modes. These are themed as attractions of an amusement park to add to the intrigue of the game. Collecting a certain in-game currency called ‘Stamps’ allows players to fight a final boss to get to the next level.

    • Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up
    • Genre: Puzzle

    Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!

    Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! is a puzzle game developed by SFB games. This is a cooperative puzzle game that accommodates up to four players. The main game mode is World mode which can be played by either one or two players. They are assigned two characters, Clip and Snip, and must navigate their way through obstacles by changing their shapes.

    Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together | Nintendo

    You play as best friends Snip and Clip in the game, who are trying to beat the origami-esque world they’re in. The puzzles are creative in the sense that they’re literally on paper, and the art style of the game makes everything stand out even more. 

    Not only that, this interactive game allows parents to spend quality time with their kids while having a good time. Other game modes that support 4 players include Party and Blitz modes, where the entire family can play together.

    • Rating: E for Everyone
    • Genre: Puzzle

    How To Find Kids’ Games On The Nintendo eShop

    If none of these match your taste and you want to look elsewhere, you can browse the Nintendo catalog yourself!

    Nintendo has made a separate webpage, purely dedicated to games for kids. There you can find all the games Nintendo has categorized as kid-friendly. Go through the catalog and see what catches your eye.

    Another to check out some cool games for kids is by selecting the ESRB rating filter on the Nintendo Store. This filter can be found at the bottom-left of your screen while on the Nintendo Store games page. This is more of a hands-on way of finding games since you’ll have to open each listing to see what works for you.

    Regardless, the rating filter has 4 distinct categories including ‘Everyone’, ‘Everyone +10’, ‘Teen’, and ‘Mature’, with the former three being of interest to kids. You can select whichever filter works for you and see the games accordingly. Remember to also select the ‘Switch’ filter in ‘Platform’ to only see kids games for the Nintendo Switch. 

    Conclusion

    Finding the ideal game for your kid, that is not only fun but also beneficial, can be a nuisance. But hopefully, this list should give you a good idea of where to start. Most of the games on this list come with a free demo, so make sure to give each one a try before jumping ahead!

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kamil Anwar


    Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.
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