Top 10 Kids Games for the Nintendo Switch

Friday, February 17th, 2023 9:00 am

Nintendo's newest console offers unlimited fun for the whole family.

While our top 10 list contains our current favorites on the console, these are the equally great games that we’ve previously featured in our Top 10 or those that just warrant your attention. These are still great options for kids and teens!

Ring Fit Adventure
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Who knew that doing squats would help you kick butt in a video game? Workout games have often felt more like workout than game. It’s not a bad thing, but Ring Fit Adventure has figured out the balance of how to get you up and moving while also pushing you to play a fun platforming, turn-based combat game. Read our take on it, here.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

The story goes something like this: Sonic, Mario, and all their pals are in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. There, they will compete in 30-someodd mini-games ranging from traditional decathlon-grade athletics to skateboarding, surfing, and more. Of course, Bowser and Dr. Eggman are having NONE of it, so they manage to timewarp the crew back to 1964. With retro-graphics and all. So, you’re essentially playing many mini-games tweaked for today, and playing throwback 2D classics all rendered in old sprites. Whether you’re blazing through the story or gathering up the family, we highly recommend this competition.

Splatoon 2
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Cute tentacled teens called Inklings form teams and romp around cleverly designed maze arenas armed only with paint. The idea is not to “kill” your opponents – although you can knock them out with a good soaking – but to color enough of the map in your team’s paint to win. This kid-friendly third-person shooter includes a single-player story mode as well as a variety of multiplayer options. For instance, Turf War gives two teams of four a limited amount of time to cover as much ground as possible in ink that matches their team colors. In addition to playing online, the game also supports local multiplayer so you can play with your kids in the same room. All the excitement of a shooter game, and all the hand-eye coordination practice, but with none of the nihilistic violence. Brilliant.

Nintendo Labo
Rated E – E10+ (for Everyone to Everyone 10+, depending on the kit)

Nintendo often gets criticized for sticking doggedly to the same core franchises and characters it’s been using since the 1980s, but when the company does break out and innovate, the results are always magical. Take Labo. These combinations of STEM learning kits and clever video games are perfect for the whole family. Part of the fun is following the on-screen instructions to build the game’s peripherals (Toy-Con), which are made out of cardboard. As the pieces come together, your kids can see how the mechanics work. There are currently four packages available — Variety KitRobot KitVehicle Kit, and VR Kit — and all are great.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Rated T for Teen

If you could create your own superheroic squad, who would be on it? In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, you’ll help heroes from across the Marvel Universe find the Infinity Stones and stop Thanos and The Black Order. The game includes dozens of playable characters, including the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men, among others. When playing solo, players can create and control a team of four heroes (each character has different abilities), and switch between these characters on-the-fly. Or, players can work with up to three others to defeat enemies via local or online multiplayer. Three paid downloadable content packs (Marvel Knights: Curse of the VampireX-Men: Rise of the Phoenix, and Fantastic Four: Shadow of Doom) have been released since the game’s launch, adding a ton more content in the form of heroes, missions, and challenges.

Dragon Quest Builders 2
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

This role-playing game challenges players to defeat a cult called the Children of Hargon, which has “outlawed the building, cooking, and creation of all things.” To do this, they’ll need to travel to a variety of islands where they can mine for and collect resources, defeat enemies of multiple shapes and sizes, and complete quests for the world’s citizens (who have lost the ability to build) by constructing different rooms to suit their needs. The game’s resource gathering and building mechanics make it similar to Minecraft, but the inclusion of a lengthy story mode gives the game more direction. In addition to this story mode, the game includes an online multiplayer mode that lets players build with friends.

Super Mario Odyssey
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

The portly plumber is back in yet another outstanding action adventure. In addition to Mario staples like coin-collecting and Goomba squashing, Odyssey introduces a clever new mechanic in a talkative magical hat that lets players control enemies. A cooperative mode lets one player control the hat, too — a perfect recipe for parent-child couch bonding. For more information, head over to our review.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Nintendo struck gold with the handheld/console hybrid Nintendo Switch game system, and much of that is due to Breath of the Wild. This open-world take on the long-running Nintendo franchise lets players explore a sprawling fantasy world at their own pace. Though the combat and creatures can get a little intense for the wee ones, it’s still family-friendly Nintendo fare (no blood, no gore). If there’s a Switch in the house, the kids are going to want to play Zelda on it. To learn more about Breath of the Wildhead over to our guide.

Lego Games
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

It’s no surprise that games featuring Lego minifig characters are just playfully fun. It’s a tried-and-true formula — take any well-known franchise and sprinkle in puns and plenty of wink-and-nod humor — but it constantly works. Better yet, most Lego games have been designed to work in couch co-op as you travel around worlds made of the famous bricks. This means you and your kids can sit side-by-side and play together. Two of our favorites: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Lego City Undercover.

Rocket League
Rated E for Everyone

If you haven’t heard of this game yet, let’s sum it up quickly: It’s supercar soccer. The game has been around for ages – it’s readily available on PC and all consoles (and now it’s free-to-play!). You can play together on a couch, against others online…or, one fun suggestion for the family: Let your kid play (solo against AI is always an option) and you do a live shoutcast of the match in the living room like you’re the commentator. For more information about Rocket Leaguecheck out our guide.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: this is the Star Fox game that you’ve always wanted. When this game first came out, it was all about the plastic toy line that could snap together as you played. Turns out, if you buy the digital version, it forgets all the peripherals and you can just enjoy playing an awesome game. While Starlink is playable — and a ton of fun on — the Xbox One and PS4, we recommend going for the Switch digital version because it comes with ol’ Fox McCloud himself and a bunch of extra Star Fox-specific missions. Read our take on Starlink, here.

Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!
Rated E for Everyone

Not all of the Switch’s best games come in a retail box. Delve into the Nintendo Store on your console and you’ll find loads of inventive independent titles to download. We definitely recommend Snipperclips, a wacky cooperative puzzle game that requires deft lateral thinking. The game features Snip and Clip, two papercraft characters who must work together to solve each new problem by cutting themselves into useful shapes. You’ll have a lot of fun collaborating on solutions, and making a mess along the way, but there’s a real emphasis on genuine logical thought that makes this more than a throwaway trifle.

Rated E for Everyone

Originally released back in 2011, Minecraft lets players mine cubes, gather resources, craft items, and build pretty much whatever they can dream up. It’s available on every platform under the sun and has been spun off into several cool side projects, including an adventure game (Minecraft: Story Mode) and a classroom-ready educational tool (MinecraftEDU). Whether your kids are reconstructing Hogwarts, trying to take down the fearsome Ender Dragon, or glued to a Minecraft YouTuber like Stampy or CaptainSparklez, they’re probably thinking about Minecraft right now.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+

Yeah, it’s Mario again. Well, sort of. Kingdom Battle is one of those bizarre spin-off games that Nintendo likes to throw out there, although this one was actually developed by Ubisoft and features their anarchic Rabbids characters. The gameplay is actually surprisingly deep and thoughtful, though. It’s a tactical strategy game, not unlike chess in many ways, as you take turns to move your characters around each location, trying to defeat the other team. There’s a story mode for solo play, but the game comes to life – as these things always do – when played together. Whether you cooperate against AI opponents, or battle each other, this is the sort of quirky and unique mashup experience that you only get on a Nintendo console.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article was written by Dan Whitehead.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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