Updated: 08th December 2020
NINTENDO SWITCH GAMES FOR KIDS
Nintendo always delivers when it comes to family-friendly gaming making its latest iteration, The Nintendo Switch, one of the best consoles you could buy for your child. There is plenty of Nintendo Switch games for kids and the following is our choices of great, family-friendly switch games that will keep the kids quiet (In theory!)
What Age Is Nintendo Switch Suitable For?
The Nintendo Switch is suitable from ages 3+, however, I would say ideally your child should be at least 4 years old to fully grasp some of the Nintendo Switch’s concepts. If your child is on the younger side, I would suggest picking up a Switch Lite, a slightly smaller version of the switch as the standard model is a little more advanced and the Joy-Cons won’t go ‘missing!’ on the smaller model due to being integrated.
Nintendo makes some of the most wholesome games which are perfect for children and adults alike with most first-party software being PEGI 3 or ESRB rating E which means even the youngest members of the family can enjoy playing with their Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch also has very comprehensive parental control settings which partners with an app you can download directly to your phone. This will allow you to monitor and restrict how long they are spending playing games, prevent your child from playing games that are inappropriate for their age range and even restrict your child’s ability to communicate with others.
These features are great and are sadly missing from PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
So, What are the best Nintendo Switch games for children? These are the best games for children which are family-friendly, easy to pick up and also most of these parents won’t mind playing either!
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a great game for kids. Originally released of the WiiU, Deluxe brings classic 2D styled Mario gameplay to the Switch. There’s a little something here for both Adults and Children, Deluxe adds two additional characters to the mix. One called Toadette who can temporarily turn into a copy of Princess Peach & another called Nabbit. Nabbit is a perfect character, especially for younger children as Nabbit cannot take any damage from enemies allowing him to keep up with more adept bigger brothers or even parents!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a vibrant and fun Kart racer full of Nintendo charm. Endless hours can be lost racing against the computer opponents, in multiplayer with a joy-con for each player or online with friends. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers 48 tracks and there is a total of 42 characters playable, the largest number in the series history. The pickup and play nature of Mario Kart is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch and highly intuitive controls make playing the game much easier for younger kids.
Can you play Fortnite on Nintendo Switch? Yes, you can & it runs great! Fortnite and the Switch are a match made in heaven, portability around the house while playing with their school friends is bound to keep them busy for some time! Kids have gone wild for Fortnite and in my opinion, the Switch is one of the best ways to jump into a quick game before bed. The base game is 100% free, however, you can buy a season pass and some in-game currency to get cosmetics and stand out from the crowd.
P.S. I wrote an article about other free Nintendo Switch games, feel free to check it out!
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons is perfect for children and adults alike. You are effectively put in charge of your own Island and it’s your job to build it up to a busy destination from scratch. To do this you’ll need plenty of Bells, the game’s currency. Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to earn these and almost every activity you do will help you to earn some.
You can spend your day fishing, chopping down trees, collection fossils or just hanging out with the inhabitants of your island. You’ll have literally hundreds of hours worth of gameplay here and with an ERSB rating of E, you can be sure that the whole family can enjoy the fun!
A shooter game without the blood and violence! Packed with bright, Vibrant colours Splatoon 2 lets you battle it out for control of a map. Whichever team has managed to cover the map in their coloured paint-like ink wins. Most shooter type games are usually a little gritty and as much as kids tend to love them, are not created with them in mind. Splatoon 2 does away with the violence and negativity found in other shooters and retains the sense of adrenaline making it a great game for kids!
Children ( & Adults) are crazy about Minecraft and rightly so. Minecraft on the switch is superb, Nintendo has added a custom Super Mario Pack and with the ability to be able to start exploring and building in a world at home, then continuing over at the grandparent’s house or in the back of the car makes it one of the best games on Switch. Recently the game has been updated to the ‘Bedrock’ edition which unifies a lot of the different versions of Minecraft allowing your kids to crossplay with friends on Xbox, PC & Mobile even if they do not own the Nintendo Switch version.
Lego City Undercover
Lego, much like Nintendo is played with both by children and adults alike. Lego City Undercover strikes the perfect balance between a fun action game for kids and some inside jokes and references that only the adults would get. It is great to see how fun a Lego game can be when is it not tied to a particular franchise. They have done a great job with tons of content and a massive open world similar to the controversial GTA games. Between this and Minecraft, you could potentially keep the kids entertained for weeks making this one of the best Nintendo Switch games for children!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This is one for slightly older kids, to fully enjoy Breath of The Wild ideally your child should be around ten years old. The Legend of Zelda is a classic Nintendo series going all the way back to the NES. Nintendo really has shown off what the Nintendo Switch can do with this game, it looks amazing, both on the TV screen and in handheld mode. Breath of the Wild puts you in control of Link, the hero of our story as he explores and fights his way across the ancient land of Hyrule trying to recall his forgotten memories and Ultimately defeating Calamity Ganon. Being an open-world game there is a lot to explore and do. I have personally sunk over 120 hours into this game and I’ve still not found all the Korok seed, Shrines and memories. I highly recommend it!
Super Mario Odyssey
This game is full of family-friendly charm! Super Mario Odyssey wows from the very first moment you turn it on until you finish playing, The game is pure, concentrated fun. You control Mario across the various and varied Kingdoms collection Power moons with your new friend Cappy. This time Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach (Again!!?) and this time plan to marry her! Once again Mario is tasked with saving the Princess and although the kidnapped Princess plot is a little cliche at this point, Mario Odyssey still manages to pull it off with style and might possibly be the best 3D Mario game to date! The controls are highly intuitive and make good use of the Joy-cons motion controls, Music is great and there are even some sections that are throwbacks to the original 8-bit NES style graphics which are a nice little touch. If you have a Nintendo Switch Super Mario Odyssey is a must buy.
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu / Eevee
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee are guaranteed to keep your kids busy for a long time! There was a time in the past where the only way to collect all of the adorable Pokemon was to either, shell out for a copy of each game, or know someone who had the opposite game. These days trading can be done online so no need to double-dip unless you are an avid collector or have two children of course. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee are essentially remakes of the Game Boy originals with updated graphics and gameplay mechanics borrowed from the super successful Pokémon Go.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the perfect kind of scary for kids, the cute kind and is rated ERSB E so it’s suitable for all ages. Full of genuinely funny moments that even the grown-ups will laugh at, you play as Luigi investigating a ghost-filled hotel in search of his Famous big brother Mario. The great thing about Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the inclusion of Gooigi, a player two who is completely invulnerable making the ideal character for any younger gamer.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is definitely a great game to check out and I personally know someone who is on their fifth playthrough along with their little one.
Pokémon Sword & Shield
The second set of Pokémon games to feature on our list! Pokémon Sword and Shield differ a fair bit from the let’s go series of Pokémon games. These are more traditional Pokémon Adventures with a TON of stuff do and Pokémon to collect, in fact, there’s over 400 of them collect in these adventures. Sword and Shield follow the rules of most Pokémon releases by being almost identical to each other bar a few small differences and a few exclusive Pokémon.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are suitable for all ages with an ERSB rating of E, however, I would suggest some ability in reading comprehension as there is a fair bit of text to read in the game.
With Nintendo and their third party developers churning out hit after hit at the moment, this list will surely be added to. If there are any good Nintendo Switch Kids games I’ve missed out or should know about please let me know and I will add them to the list! Also, check out the Nintendo website, they have a list of games they recommend for Nintendo Switch as well as the 3DS / 2DS
Please check out my guide to what games you can play on Nintendo Switch for free, A lot of them are child-friendly!