Get your game on, go play!
No, we aren’t talking about Smash Mouth, but rather gaming with the beloved handheld console, the Nintendo Switch.
The mini version of the Nintendo 64, or the larger version of the Nintendo Color (depending on the generation you ask!) was and still is a coveted console. The Mario Kart bundle was actually a Black Friday bestseller two years in a row, and so chances are the gamer in your life already has one by now.
So what is this article about then? The games, of course!
There are almost endless options when it comes time to decide what to play, and aside from the games on the in-console Nintendo Store, you can go the old fashioned route and purchase a game at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and GameStop — yes, GameStop!
Based on reviews from gamers like you and I, read on for the best games to play on the Nintendo Switch for 2023.
The best action and adventure games for the Nintendo Switch
1. Super Mario Odyssey, $50
18,000+ reviews, 4.8/5 Amazon rating
It’s me, Mario! Join Mario and friends on a new adventure in Super Mario Odyssey, which is the first Mario game since Super Mario 64 to use the classic sandbox-style gameplay.
The reviews are in: “I shall keep this short.. the level design is as close to perfection as I have seen in a game. It is the biggest Mario to date with layers upon layers of secrets and shortcuts and collectibles. It feels like Mario yet has so many new ideas and worlds that it also feels really fresh and original.”
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, $50, original price: $60
16,000+ reviews, 4.9/5 stars on Amazon
The Legend of Zelda is a story old as time — or at least as old as me when I played it on the Nintendo 64 as a child. Now, Link and his friends can be played on the Nintendo Switch, with a larger world to explore and even more adventures to be had.
The reviews are in: “What can I add about this game that others haven’t already said. Simply put, this is the most fun I’ve ever had playing a video game. There is just so much to do. New areas to explore, fun puzzles to solve and interesting story lines to follow. I never got bored or felt the game was repetitive.”
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, $54, original price: $70
39,500+ reviews, 4.8/5 stars on Amazon
We all knew Mario Kart would make the list, especially after it boomed in sales during Black Friday 2021 and 2022. I have personally played this game, alone and with friends in multi-player mode and enjoy both gameplays on the smaller Nintendo Switch console and broadcasted onto a TV. For old school 64 fans, this is a great new game to try!
The reviews are in: “I’m a die-hard Mario Kart 64 fan so I was a bit skeptical about this new installment, as well as skeptical about paying another £70 for an extra controller set so we could play 4 player. I wasn’t disappointed — the game play is great, entertaining and the level design detail is second to none. The multiplayer mode is much more difficult than the 64 and had a big group of us entertained for a whole summer weekend.”
4. Minecraft, $30
38,000+ reviews, 4.8/5 stars on Amazon
I’ll be honest, the children I nanny turned me on to this game and after playing myself, I allowed them to have screen time! Minecraft is a great adventure game when you want it and a building, relaxing game when you don’t, with amazing creativity and fun customizations.
The reviews are in: “I bought this game for my son for his 7th birthday. He is obsessed and will spend hours on it if I let him! He loves creative mode and building stuff, but sometimes ventures into survival mode. And he is not remotely interested in the internet aspect, thankfully. I love that he has such an interest in making new things.”
5. Stardew Valley, $15
341 reviews, 4.6/5 stars at GameStop
Anyone remember Farmville? Stardew Valley is an upgraded version, with even more than just farming and cute animated animals — although it has that too! My roommate is currently playing this game, both on his own and with friends using the multi-player mode that makes this even more fun for all.
The reviews are in: “This is an incredible game that belongs in everyone’s library. It’s on PC, iOS, Switch, Xbox, Playstation… just about every system. Stardew Valley is a lovely 16-bit style throwback that is loaded with charm. This is a top-down RPG that stands out.”
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, $45
1,400+ reviews, 4.6/5 stars at GameStop
Transport yourself to a fantasy world ripe for exploring with the 2011 version of Skyrim. This specific RPG won more than 200 Game of the Year awards, and so it makes our list as a game to try.
The reviews are in: “All I can say is this game was good when it came out and it’s still good today. It’s not surprising though, as it’s cemented itself as one of the best of all time.”
The best puzzle games for the Nintendo Switch
1. Untitled Goose Game, $30
1,800+ reviews, 4.8/5 stars on Amazon
For a game with no title, it sure is popular. The Untitled Goose Game is a puzzle game that puts you in the goose’s shoes (feet?) to unlock new quests and manipulate objects in the town.
The reviews are in: “I highly recommend! This game is comical, quirky and fun to play solo or co-op. I got if for my 9 yr old daughter and she loves it. It kind of a short game but fun to replay.”
2. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, $30
1,000+ reviews, 4.6/5 stars on Amazon
Okay, who doesn’t love Tetris? This Nintendo Switch game is brought to you by good old SEGA, with the classic Tetris gameplay plus some new added features with the Puyo Puyo animated character blobs.
The reviews are in: “I bought this game to play with my family and it’s fun! The family and I all played together and we have tons of fun trying to beat each other. I love the different modes and and ways to play.”
3. Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot, $30
400+ reviews, 4.4/5 stars on Amazon
What’s more puzzling than an Agatha Christie? Nothing much, and this game staring her character Hercule Poirot is a great mystery to play. You’ll play as the leading detective himself, unlocking new clues and questioning suspects along the way.
The reviews are in: “I loved this game! It was so fun to play Hercule Poirot, and interview the other characters in the game. The settings were perfect and plots reflected a true Agatha Christie mystery. I hope they make another Poirot game like this one soon!”
The best sports games for Nintendo Switch
1. Nintendo Switch Sports, $47
7,400+ reviews, 4.7/5 stars on Amazon
Anyone remember Wii Sports? I sure do, and so I was thrilled to find Nintendo Switch Sports for the new generation to become obsessed with. In this game, the Switch controllers become your remotes, allowing you to play tennis, soccer and even a sword-fighting Chambara sport in real time. Note: some sports require the leg-strap add-on.
The reviews are in: “Family game nights for us consist of board games, which are generally fun, but get old after about an hour. My kid got a switch for Christmas and I got this game for the family to try out instead of the mundane board games we usually play. We popped this in and before we knew it, it was nearly midnight and way overshot our kid’s bed time. Since we were immersed in the fun as well, my wife and I couldn’t really say anything about our kid staying up so late.”
2. Mario Golf: Super Rush, $50, original price: $60
5,800+ reviews, 4.7/5 stars on Amazon
Fore! This golfing game is on par with other Mario games in that it is addicting, well made and fun on both single and multi-player modes. Play a leisurely game or compete in a Speed Golf mode with challenging holes and a time limit.
The reviews are in: “I’ve been a fan of Mario Golf games since the N64 version, so I was really looking forward to this game. First off, the golfing in this game is well done and a lot of fun. Story mode is simple, but gives a pretty good feel to actual golf pro shops, club houses, training and local golf trainers. Story mode also does a good job at teaching you how to play the game.”
3. FIFA 22 Legacy Edition, $42, original price: $49
3,100+ reviews, 4.7/5 stars on Amazon
Host your very own World Cup with FIFA 22, the soccer game for the ages. In the 22 Legacy Edition, enjoy new players like all-stars Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Pele, Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Ronaldo Nazário, David Beckham and more.
The reviews are in: “I bought this for a 6-year-old who had to take some time off sport and this is a great game and has help to develop his approach to playing football. No surprise given the prestige of the title but thumbs up from us.”
4. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2, $31, original price: $40
2,500+ reviews, 4.7/5 stars on Amazon
Join Tony Hawk in the skate park with this immersive pro skateboarding game for the Switch. The Pro Skater pack comes with both version one and two, that also allows for single and multi-player modes.
The reviews are in: “I had played pro skater and Underground years ago and really enjoyed them. This update to Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a really good deal. The games look great and I have felt like all of the controls and actions are pretty seamless. I remember being quite good at the old games, but I have some improvements to be made with this one.”
The best children’s games for the Nintendo Switch
16,000+ reviews, 4.9/5 stars at Best Buy
Okay, don’t get mad at us for calling this a children’s game, as we all know that all ages are obsessed with Animal Crossing. The game can be played however you choose, transforming your island into a creation unique to each player, perfect for sparking creativity or relaxing after a long day at school (or work!)
The reviews are in: “Animal Crossing is the greatest game franchise ever. I have played this almost every day since purchase. Island living consists of catching bugs, fishing, collecting fossils, building and decorating your house, planning the island, talking to villagers…did I mention creating and decorating?”
2. Paw Patrol On A Roll, $20
5,400+ reviews, 4.7/5 stars on Amazon
Ruff, ruff! The Paw Patrol is here to help save the day and your kids from boredom. The animated adventure game jumps right from the TV to your Switch, with 16 different adventures to explore.
The reviews are in: “This was my 6-year-old’s introduction to video games. For a beginner it is great. The game is very basic and is mostly just walking from left to right and jumping. Sounds boring but its perfect. There are enough cut screens, puzzles, different characters that keeps it interesting. As a first game it is exactly what I wanted for her. She can learn the controls, a bit of hand eye coordination and the way games like this work.”
3. My Friend Peppa Pig, $20
1,100+ reviews, 4.6/5 stars on Amazon
Peppa Pig is really everyone’s BFF, right? Join her and her other pals in this interactive game, allowing you to play as a customized character in Peppa’s world of imagination and make new friends along the way.
The review are in: “My six-year-old loves this game. It’s easy for her to navigate and even though she’s at reading level they still talk and tell you what to do. So I can see younger kids playing this easily. There’s also a cute Pirate expansion that you can buy through the switch Store online if they want something else to do. Cute and worth the price we paid.”
4. Spongebob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, $28
4,300+ reviews, 4.6/5 stars on Amazon
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? It’s Spongebob, of course! Join him and his friends in Bikini Bottom, defeating Plankton, meeting new characters and of course, enjoying Krabby Patties.
The reviews are in: “My son enjoyed playing this as one of the first games he could really play himself. He also found the screenplay funny.”
5. Little Friends: Dogs & Cats, $30, original price: $50
2,500+ reviews, 4.5/5 stars on Amazon
Anyone remember Nintendogs? This is the upgraded version we all need, especially since cats are now allowed! Little Friends lets you play with three pets at a time, enjoying feeding time, grooming, walks and more.
The reviews are in: “My daughter loves cats and dogs and every other animal so this was a great game to get her! She can’t stop playing this game I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves animals also!”
6. Disney Classic Games Collection, $20
3,000+ reviews, 4.6/5 stars on Amazon
Nintendo Switch can show you the world, and everything the light touches with these classic Disney games. The pack comes with multiple games and missions set in the worlds of “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” and “The Jungle Book,” using the original films as a setting and inspiration, plus the original graphics are reminiscent of the Nintendo 64 version.
The reviews are in: “Had this game on the old Nintendo console. Having it in the switch brought back memories. Love the game. Exact like the old one”
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