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Best Nintendo Switch games for kids: Family-friendly games to play now

No brutal bloodshed to be found in these Switch titles!

The new Pokemon Snap game is nearly here.

We are saying goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022 and this time of year means one thing to parents – the children are all off school for two weeks. While family activities will take up a lot of the festive season, and rightly so, we all get sick of each other sometimes and if you have a Nintendo Switch in the house, there are some great games your kids will love.

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Of all the consoles, the Nintendo Switch feels the most family-friendly anyway just by design, and the back catalogue of characters that Nintendo has to mine are also, generally speaking, geared towards children as well as adults – which means you have a ton of things to choose from.

We’ve narrowed it down to just 7 (we could have gone on all day) but these are solid choices they will be sure to love – and give you some peace and quiet while they play.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Super Mario 3D World with 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.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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.

Fortnite

When does Fortnite Chapter 3 start and Season 2 end?
Epic Games

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

luigis mansion

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

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

pokemon brilliant diamond 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

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.

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This year’s Radio Times Christmas double issue is on sale now, featuring two weeks of TV, film and radio listings, reviews, features and interviews with the stars. And if you’re looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.

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