Nintendo consoles are synonymous with kid friendliness, and the Switch is no exception. However, this is a system in which Mario and Sonic sit right next to Doom and Skyrim, and it can be hard to filter out the Switch's more adult-oriented games when you're looking for something fun to play with your little ones. With that in mind, here are the best kids' games for Nintendo Switch, from inviting platformers to fun multiplayer experiences for the whole family.
Super Mario Odyssey delivers classic 3D Mario platforming with an exciting twist. Thanks to your sentient hat Cappy, you can now capture and morph into anything from a Bullet Bill to a slab of meat as you explore the game's inventive levels. Mario games are almost always kid-friendly, but Odyssey goes the extra mile by offering an Assist Mode that provides increased health, objective markers and other helpful things. There's even a co-op mode that lets a second player control Cappy, which is an excellent way to introduce your child to the magic of Mario's latest adventure.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 thrusts the Avengers, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy into a hilarious time-traveling story that you can enjoy alone or cooperatively. But the real draw of this bricky adventure is getting to wander freely around Chronopolis: a sprawling open world that merges together iconic locations such as New York City, Wakanda and Asgard. With more than 100 playable characters and various multiplayer options, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is the perfect Marvel game for kicking back and exploring as your favorite hero or villain.
Credit: Warner Bros.
Arms is a wacky and fun fighting game that lets you throw in-game punches with your real arms, thanks to the Switch's motion-sensitive Joy-Cons. It's an excellent entry point into fighting games for youngsters, and with multiplayer modes that range from free-for-all brawls to basketball and volleyball minigames, it offers tons of offbeat fun for family gatherings. And don't worry — if motion controls aren't your thing, you and your child can still enjoy Arms using regular controllers.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn't just the best Mario Kart yet — it's also the most accessible for youngsters. Nintendo's latest kart racer features a Smart Steering option that keeps players from falling off the tracks, as well as an Auto Acceleration mode that handles gas and braking for you. These additions make it even easier to enjoy Nintendo's gorgeous, content-packed racing game with your kid, whether you're racing on the go in handheld mode, or enjoying four-player split screen on the TV with the whole family.
Minecraft has been a kids' favorite for years, and the Switch version of the game is arguably the best one yet. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition lets players enjoy every feature of Mojang's robust world-building game either at home or on the go, whether you want to leisurely create castles or fight among friends in survival mode. Better yet, Minecraft on Switch features a ton of exclusive Super Mario-themed content, as well as optional, downloadable content packs that let you bring characters from Stranger Things, Star Wars and Power Rangers into the mix.
Splatoon 2 is the rare online shooter that you can actually feel OK about giving to your kid. Nintendo's quirky take on the genre is all about covering the battlefield with as much colorful ink as possible, focusing less on taking out other players and more on making a delightful mess. Splatoon 2's story mode is an excellent way for youngsters to get used to its tight mechanics, and there are plenty of unlockable weapons and ranked online modes for kids who are ready to get serious. This game delivers all the joy of online competition, without any of the violence or foul-mouthed opponents you'll get from a typical Call of Duty match.
With drool-worthy, hand-drawn graphics and some of the tightest 2D side-scrolling gameplay around, Rayman Legends is a must for platformer fans of any age. Ubisoft's inviting adventure allows up to four players to team up in local co-op, and it features a wonderfully chaotic Kung Foot multiplayer mode that's essentially a zanier take on soccer. Legends features over 100 levels that are all teeming with secrets, so you can count on it to keep your little one busy for quite a while.