From Inviting Platformers to Fun Multiplayer Experiences
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
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
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
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.
If you're looking for a chaotic local multiplayer game that you can enjoy with your kids, it doesn't get much better than Overcooked. This frenetic kitchen simulator allows up to four players to team up to prepare the perfect meal, which can often result in hilarious disasters if someone slips up. With easy-to-grasp controls and no shortage of content, which you canenjoy both on the big screen and on the go, Overcooked is a raucous good time for chefs of all ages.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably the Switch's best game, and perhaps the most sophisticated Zelda title yet. Still, Nintendo's expansive, open-world masterpiece offers plenty for younger fans, including gorgeous, colorful locales, a fairly simple combat system and a level of player freedom that encourages gamers to explore and play their own way. Young players will probably need some parental assistance to get the most out of Breath of the Wild, but this is an adventure that Nintendo fans of all ages need to experience.
Snipperclips is a unique cooperative puzzle game that has players cut one another into unique shapes in order to overcome obstacles and make it to the next level. With support for two-player co-op as well as a four-player party mode, Snipperclips provides tons of joyously off-kilter multiplayer hilarity that the whole family can get into.
Rocket League is soccer with cars. That's pretty much all you need to know. This simple premise has spawned one of the best and most accessible sports games available right now. Just about anyone can get the hang of driving around in a speedy rocket car and knocking a ball into a goal. Rocket League features four-player split-screen action, cross-platform play with Xbox One and PC, and unlockable Mario and Metroid cars that your kids will probably love.
If you want your child to experience Sonic the same way you did as a kid, Sonic Mania is the game to get. This wonderful homage to old-school Sonic the Hedgehog looks and feels almost exactly like the classic Genesis games, but also improves on those titles with cleverly remixed levels and brilliantly wacky boss fights. Sonic Mania also features two-player co-op as well as a competitive racing mode, making it a great game for Sonic fans young and old to enjoy together.
Pokken Tournament DX
The Switch doesn't yet have a proper Pokémon game, but Pokken Tournament DX is the next best thing. This colorful fighting game lets you play as beloved characters, such as Pikachu, Charizard and Mewtwo, in stunning 3D battles that look like episodes of the Pokémon anime come to life. Pokken's simple move inputs make it an ideal brawler for younger players, though there's plenty of depth to explore for older kids who want to get competitive.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
You can't go wrong with Tetris — especially when it's blended with the color-matching action of Sega's Puyo Puyo games. Puyo Puyo Tetris is an addicting puzzler that has players alternate between each series' patented style of line-clearing gameplay, resulting in delightfully chaotic matches that are just as enjoyable solo as they are with up to four players. With easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay and a surprisingly robust story mode, Puyo Puyo Tetris is the ultimate puzzle game for Switch fans of all ages.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle isn't just a surprisingly awesome mashup;it's also a great way to introduce kids to the strategy genre. This turn-based battler distills the combat of games like XCOM into a simple, inviting package, as players move characters such as Mario, Luigi and Peach along a grid-based map, while unleashing all kinds of cool powers and attacks. Mario + Rabbids features co-op and versus modes for family play, as well as an easy mode that's ideal for younger tacticians.