The Nintendo Switch is one of Nintendo’s most popular gaming consoles to date. While this is partially due to the versatility of the console, which allows gamers to use it as a portable device or a home gaming console, the true appeal of this console is because of the wide variety of popular Nintendo Switch games, like “Metroid Dread” and “New Pokémon Snap.”

The best Nintendo Switch game depends on your personal play style and gaming preference. Think about the play modes available with each title and consider your favorite game genre to help narrow down the choices. If you're searching for a game for a child, check the age ratings and research each game to find a suitable choice. Take a look at these top titles from a range of different genres for more help finding a Nintendo Switch game to enjoy.

— Best Overall:The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
— Best Budget:Minecraft
— Best for Kids:Pokémon Sword and Shield
— Best for Adults:Mortal Kombat 11
— Best Multiplayer:Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
— Best for Family: "Kirby and the Forgotten Land"

How We Picked The Best Nintendo Switch Games


I drew upon decades of gaming experience on a wide variety of consoles and PC setups to put together this selection of top Nintendo Switch games. As expected with the popularity of the Nintendo Switch console, there were many top-performing titles. Some of the more popular options that were considered included “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Hollow Knight,” “Hades,” and “New Pokémon Snap.”

Genre: The genre of a title is a main factor used by almost any gamer to help get an immediate understanding of the basic game mechanics and play style. With this in mind, we chose top games from a variety of different genres so that the list best represented the various preferences of the gaming community.

Play Modes: Not every gamer plays the same way. Some enjoy single-player offline games, while others want nothing more than to engage with an entire online community. This list of top Nintendo Switch games includes titles with a variety of play styles, so that whether a gamer is seeking online, offline, single-player, multiplayer, or couch co-op, there is something available to suit their preferences.

Age Rating: Age rating is an especially important factor when it comes to Nintendo Switch games> The majority of titles on the Switch are designed for kids, but not every game is rated for a younger age group. To help parents and guardians decide on appropriate titles, I took the age rating into account and noted it in each review.

We further explain how we test gaming equipment here.

Best Nintendo Switch Games: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall:The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breathtaking. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: Engage in an immerse open-world environment full of puzzles, battles, and more for players to explore.

— Genre: Action / adventure
— Age Rating: E (Everyone)
— Play Modes: Single-player and offline

— Immersive open-world exploration
— Exciting storyline and gameplay
— Suitable for all ages

— No multiplayer mode

Traditionally, “Legend of Zelda” games have featured the hero, Link, taking on puzzles and quests in a relatively linear way to force the player into a preplanned timeline of events and challenges. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” however, offers gamers an entirely different experience in the Kingdom of Hyrule where they can challenge quests, side quests, puzzles, and even the environment in a very non-linear fashion.

Take advantage of the new game mechanics to climb straight up a cliff, paraglide across the sky, and engage in horseback battles with your enemies. While there isn’t an actual multiplayer mode in the game, many of the puzzles are more fun when multiple people try to come up with a solution together or even take turns overcoming each obstacle that Link encounters. With an E for Everyone age rating, exciting environment, and immersive gameplay, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is an excellent option for almost any gamer.

Best Budget:Minecraft

Sandbox Survival. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: Start with nothing and learn how to build, craft, farm, mine, forge, and eventually overcome this sandbox survival world.

— Genre: Sandbox
— Age Rating: E (Everyone)
— Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

— Enjoyable gaming experience for kids and adults
— Numerous minigames, skins, and mods
— Easy to learn, difficult to master

— No particular set of goals

Minecraft” is a widely popular game for both kids and adults that has only grown in recognition with its use by a huge range of streamers, YouTubers, and other content creators. The main reason for this is that the game is designed for creativity and exploration, with a sandbox-style of gameplay that allows players to build simple structures within a few minutes of beginning, but can take many hours of gameplay to figure out how to craft high-quality gear and complex Redstone devices.

Play single-player, offline mode to explore and build without needing to interact with other players or invite friends into a collaborative world to work on projects together. Take on a variety of mini games that are available on the game shop, and switch up the character skins for a unique look. “Minecraft” is regularly updated and new mods are always posted if you are looking for a different way to experience this game. While the sandbox-style of gaming is definitely one of Minecraft’s best features, it is a style of gameplay that not everyone enjoys because the game doesn’t come with any definable goals, except to survive. If this doesn’t seem overly interesting, you may be more interested in an action/adventure title, like “Metroid Dread.”

Best for Kids:Pokémon Sword and Shield

Capture, Collect, and Battle. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: The easy-to-follow storyline, entertaining game mechanics, and nostalgic gameplay make this game enjoyable for new and experienced gamers.

— Genre: RPG
— Age Rating: E (Everyone)
— Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, online, and offline

— New and classic Pokémon to capture
— Fun storyline exploring the history of the region
— Ideal for younger gamers

— Multiplayer is limited to battles and trading

Pokémon has been a well-known series since “Pokémon Blue” and “Pokémon Red” were released for the Nintendo Game Boy. Since that time there have been many new Pokémon games released for portable gaming consoles, but “Pokémon Sword and Shield” are the first that can be enjoyed with a home console, thanks to the unique versatility of the Nintendo Switch.

Younger gamers get to experience a relatively open-world environment with enough cues to help them figure out which way to go to follow the main storyline. In addition, random encounters have been removed from the game, which instead now shows the potential Pokémon moving around the same world as the player. Simply make contact with the Pokémon to engage in a battle, but keep in mind that some Pokémon will be too difficult to overcome during the beginning stages of the game. One factor that detracts from these games is that the multiplayer modes are limited to trading and battles, so if you were hoping for an open-world adventure with your friends, “Pokémon Sword and Shield” isn’t the right game.

Best for Adults:Mortal Kombat 11

Visceral Fights and Finishers. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: Fight through several different game modes and unlock character skins, as well as violent fatalities and brutalities in "Mortal Kombat 11."

— Genre: Fighting
— Age Rating: M (mature) — ages 17 and older
— Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

— Fun story mode
— Unlockable skins through gameplay
— Excellent fighting mechanics

— Lower resolution visuals than PS4 and Xbox One version
— Several modes require online access

Originally made for the Xbox One and PS4 consoles, “Mortal Kombat 11” was ported over to the Nintendo Switch with a slight reduction in visual quality due to the less robust processing power of the portable gaming console. However, even with the lower resolution visuals, “Mortal Kombat 11” is a stunning game with several game modes to explore. Whether you enjoy single-player, multiplayer, offline, or online play, this fighting game has something that will appeal to you. It should be noted, though, that some of the game modes only work when the Switch has access to an internet connection. While this isn’t a big deal for stationary consoles, like the Xbox One or PS4, it does limit the mobility of the more portable Nintendo Switch console.

This game is rated M for Mature due to the incredibly violent fight mechanics and the well-known finishing moves, including Fatalities, Brutalities, Stage Fatalities, Friendships, Quitalities, and Mercy. “Mortal Kombat” also introduces new gameplay features like Fatal Blows, Krushing Blows, and Flawless Block to add extra depth to the game.

Best Multiplayer:Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Multiplayer Racing. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: Race through a series of tracks to earn trophies, vehicles, and characters, but watch out for blue shells when you’re in the lead.

— Genre: Racing
— Age Rating: E (Everyone)
— Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

— Four-player couch co-op
— New and classic tracks
— Revamped battle mode

—Nintendo Switch Online membership required for online play

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” reintroduces players to the excitement of the Mario Kart series. It includes numerous tracks, both new and classic, so players can challenge themselves, siblings, or online competitors for first place. Another collection of new and classic maps is available in battle mode, promising hours of fun, challenging gameplay that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Parents that are concerned about the content of the game can rest easy knowing that it has received a rating of E for Everyone. True to the rating, it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t enjoy racing around fantastical tracks at top speed while throwing objects at their closest friends.

The more you win, the more items are unlocked, allowing gamers to customize their vehicles, choose favorite characters, and explore additional tracks and battle arenas as your skills progress. It can be played as a single-player game, an online multiplayer game, and as a couch co-op game with up to four players. Just keep in mind that online multiplayer mode requires a Nintendo Switch online membership.

Best for Family: "Kirby and the Forgotten Land"

Cute, cuddly, perfect. Jaime Carrillo/Futurism

Why It Made the Cut: Kirby's first totally 3D outing is arguably his biggest adventure yet, packed with exploration, color, and charm.

— Genre: Platformer
— Age Rating: E (Everyone)
— Play Modes: Single-player, 2-player co-op

— Two difficulty modes for newbies and veterans
— Dense, colorful worlds
— Unbearably adorable

— Far less copy abilities than other Kirby titles

Link, Mario, and even Samus went 3D decades ago, but Kirby never left the 2D realm until recently. "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" is totally 3D, and may just be the best Kirby game ever.

What "Super Mario 64" did for Nintendo's plumber, "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" is doing for the powered-up puffball. Giving Kirby the extra dimension breathes new life into a formula that was getting a bit stale. Now, Kirby is free to explore every single inch of any given level, and discover secrets and dig up surprises. The game rewards this exploration with upgrades to Waddle Dee Town, the most charming hub world ever conceived. From this little outpost, you can watch cutscenes, play mini-games, and even upgrade Kirby's copy abilities to make them devastatingly powerful. There are two different difficulty modes to satisfy hardcore players and new ones alike, and a second player can play as Bandana Waddle Dee to assist the hero. Sadly, there are only ten different copy abilities here. The new additions Ranger and Drill are incredibly fun to use, especially when upgraded. However, this doesn't include the new "Mouthful Mode" which also widens Kirby's repertoire, and is worth a few laughs as well. If you're not absolutely charmed by Kirby half-swallowing a car and mowing through enemies, I simply don't know what to tell you. -Jaime Carrillo

Things to Consider Before Buying a Nintendo Switch Game

New video games are exciting to think about, select, and play, but to make sure that you get the most out of your Nintendo Switch, it’s important to choose a game that suits your playstyle, age group, and that falls into one of the genres you enjoy.

Genre: Genre is the term used to describe the various groupings of Nintendo Switch games, similar to the genre of a movie, book, or board game. Some gamers are the most entertained by puzzle games that make you think through complex problems while you play. Other gamers love to immerse themselves in vivid storylines, so they tend to stick to role-playing games (RPGs) or action/adventure titles. Choose one or more genres that appeal to you to help narrow your search for the best Nintendo Switch game. Listed below are the most popular genres and examples of top Nintendo Switch games in each category.

— Action/Adventure:The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
— First-person shooters (FPS) and third-person shooters (TPS):Overwatch
— Fighting:Mortal Kombat 11
— Platformer:Cuphead
— Racing:Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
— Puzzles:Untitled Goose Game
— Real-time strategy (RTS):Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
— Role-playing games (RPG): “Octopath Traveler"
— Sandbox:Minecraft
— Simulation and sports:NBA 2K22
— Survival and horror:Resident Evil 4

Single and Multiplayer Modes: One of the most innovative features of the Nintendo Switch console is that it can be used as a single-player or two-player device depending on how you want to play. Keep both controllers for yourself to enjoy single-player titles like “Hollow Knight” and “Hades,” or turn each controller horizontally and share one with a friend or family member in multiplayer games, like “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

While couch co-op is always fun, the Nintendo Switch can also be played in online multiplayer mode with games like “Mortal Kombat 11” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” giving you access to a whole network of players for entertaining and competitive gameplay. Most gamers like to play a combination of single-player and multiplayer games, so choose the mode that you most enjoy depending on your current mood.

Age Ratings: If you are concerned about the content of video games for your kids, then the Nintendo Switch is one of the best consoles because many of the titles available on the Switch are made for a younger audience. However, there are still Nintendo Switch games with intense violence, gore, and adult scenarios, so it’s important to refer to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating or the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating to determine whether a game is appropriate or not.

Both rating systems are relatively easy to understand. The PEGI rating system states the suitable age for the game starting at three and ending at 18. The ESRB rating system uses less definitive age groups, but the ratings are still clear for parents and guardians. This system starts at EC (Early Childhood) and extends to AO (Adult Only). Before buying any game for a child, always check the rating and research the game to understand the level of maturity required to fully grasp and enjoy the game.

Online vs. Offline Play: The Switch is a system that is made for convenience. Take it with you as a portable console, connect it to the TV for couch co-op, or play games online to enjoy a full multiplayer experience with gamers from around the world. Offline play on the Nintendo Switch is split between standard single-player games and multiplayer couch co-op games, making it ideal for families with multiple kids, as well as gamers that want to fully explore stunning visuals and exciting stories without engaging with others.

Online play can be enjoyed with friends that have their own device, but you also get to play with a wide population of gamers that enjoy the same genres as you. Another benefit of online games is that they are frequently updated in order to fix bugs, release new items, and host online challenges to keep the game fresh and fun.


Q: Is Mario Kart free on Nintendo Switch?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is not free to play on the Nintendo Switch. You need to purchase a physical copy or a digital copy of the game to play. Nintendo also offers digital downloads for NES, SNES, and N64 emulators, so you can play the original “Super Mario Kart,” as well as “Mario Kart 64” with the Nintendo Switch.

Q: What are the best Switch games for kids?

There are many games for kids available on the Nintendo Switch, but the most popular Nintendo Switch games for kids are “Minecraft,” “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” as well as “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

Q: What is Nintendo's most popular game?

Nintendo’s most popular Switch game is “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” which has managed to sell over 85 million copies, both physical and digital, worldwide since it was released.

Q: How much does a Nintendo Switch game cost?

A Nintendo Switch game typically ranges in cost from about $20 to over $100 for deluxe or special edition titles. However, you may be able to get a lower price with a digital copy of a game, if your Switch has enough storage space for the download and installation data.

Final Thoughts On The Best Games For Nintendo Switch

Dive into open-world gameplay and immersive visuals with “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” at the top of our list for Nintendo Switch games. Or if you prefer to try and survive and possibly even thrive in a hostile world, “Minecraft” is an excellent choice for hours of mining, farming, crafting, building, and fighting. For younger audiences, Pokemon and Kirby is always a safe bet. "Pokemon: Sword and Shield" and "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" are seriously fun for kids of all ages.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post. 

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