Best Nintendo Switch games for kids: Family-friendly games to play now
No brutal bloodshed to be found in these Switch titles!
Nintendo is famous for its family-friendly releases. No matter how many cartoony accessible games come out of Sony or Microsoft, the go-to for kids' games will always be the company that brought us the the DS and the Wii.
Our current generation is no different in this area, as the Switch has brought us many family-friendly games since its release back in 2017. Like the Wii before it, it's turned out to be an excellent console for family bonding, and healthy socialising for little ones.
Make no mistake, it's a solid console for adults to play their "serious" games too, but the Switch has plenty of child-friendly titles that you can play with them - or rest assured they'll be fine playing on their own.
It's been a difficult talk because we could go on forever, but we've managed to whittle the list down to just eight releases. We hope the following list of family-friendly games proves useful!
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
The brilliant Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a game that we cannot even begin to describe highly enough. The massively popular WiiU game is here on the Switch and it feels like an entirely different experience - but the dastardly Bowser is still around to cause trouble.
There are so many things to do in single-player or multiplayer so not only will it take a lot of time to finish everything, but it's all some of the most fun you can have on the console and that goes double for Mario fans.
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons is a massive game and one of the most popular titles in gaming - arriving right at the start of the first 2020 lockdown certainly helped it gain traction.
The whimsical, light-hearted game has you set up a new home on an island that you get to name, and from there the adventure is all yours. You'll populate your home, design areas, make new friends, party and, honestly, the list goes on as there have been so many updates, including massive ones, that it is nigh on impossible to run out of things to do completely.
There are a couple of reasons that we are including Fortnite in this list. One is that it is a great game, largely free to play, while also giving us tons of regular updates that continue to make the game feel fresh even years after its release - it's very much worth losing yourself in.
Another is that if kids are reading this article and they see we haven't mentioned Fortnite, we're a bit concerned about what the reaction might be - it really is a game that continues to grow in popularity every year and there are no signs of that slowing down any time soon.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Welcome to the adventures of Luigi and Polterpup! He's not always second best to Mario, Luigi has some great games of his own and the plumber is at his best when taking on ghouls and ghosts in Luigi's Mansion 3. The winner of "Best Family Game" at The Game Awards 2019 should tell you whether this is one for the children or not, and they will likely love every second of it.
When all his friends disappear, it is left to the pair to work out what happened to them and to save the day by rescuing the whole gang. With a large and exciting single-player story as the main focus, there are also different multiplayer modes that allow you and up to seven other players to take part in various activities. Great fun for all ages. You can do much worse than grabbing yourself a copy of this game.
New Pokemon Snap
New Pokemon Snap was a game that many fans of the original N64 version were crossing their fingers for over many years.
A sequel to the original Pokemon Snap game, New Pokemon Snap brings together iconic pocket monsters from various different generations of the franchise and they are homed in different environments you will discover in the game - you explore each area on rails. Various tools are needed so you can take the best possible pictures of each Pokemon you are lucky enough to find. It's quite the relaxing game and one that you and the kids should get a lot out of.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Speaking of the Pokemon franchise, here's a game that your kids may love that you too may have obsessed over back when you were close to their age. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has been remade for the Nintendo Switch and came out recently and we are happy to report that the journey through the Sinnoh region remains just as fun now as it did back then.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
If you were wondering whether your kids would get any enjoyment out of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl then all you need to do is look at the cover and the characters that come along with it. From SpongeBob to Turtles and many well-known faces in between, this is a brilliant way to bring some of their favourite characters into your home en masse - and it's super fun to play too.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Another port from the WiiU that's found its new home on the Switch, Mario Kart 8 is a family-friendly game that's bound to stir up that competitive spirit. It's not quite as unforgiving as its Wii predecessor though, and hopefully the room will remain somewhat peaceful after four (or more) races.
Read more on Nintendo:
- Nintendo Switch OLED review - handheld gaming levels up
- The very best Nintendo Switch games
- Nintendo Switch Pro release date - the latest rumours
- Best Nintendo Switch micro SD cards to buy
- How to charge Nintendo Switch controllers
- The best Nintendo Switch Lite games - take these on the go
- How to connect Nintendo Switch to TV
If you're looking for something else to play, check out our lists of the best PC games and best VR games to try in 2022.
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