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16 Best Switch Games for Kids

Updated 25 March 2021

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Author
Author avatar Daniel Booth

Daniel is our primary content producer here at TheToyZone. He is a big kid at heart and a self confessed geek. His mission is to find toys that kids will treasure, researching and writing about toys he wants to play with himself.

What did you get up to this weekend? 

Did it include crashing around in a go-kart, feeding pandas, exploring fantastic worlds, or rescuing people with the Paw Patrol? These are the kind of things kids can do if they’re lucky enough to own a Nintendo Switch, the console that has revolutionized family video games and taken over the world.

With a whole host of fun and immersive games plus a unique control system and flexibility, the Switch has been a huge success. So we’ve picked out the 16 best games for kids of all ages right now. There are plumbers, zombies, dancing, and dinosaurs galore and because we’ve filtered out the fake reviews, you can rely on these games to deliver hours of fun.

1Paw Patrol On a Roll (Ages 3 and up)

Paw Patrol On a Roll (Ages 3 and up)

There isn’t that much choice when it comes to games for kids as young as toddlers but Paw Patrol is one the best.

What can be more fun than hanging out with their favorite adventure pups with the Paw Patrol On a Roll? Players dive into Adventure Bay to go on 16 different rescue missions across eight locations. These locations – like Jake’s mountain and even the ocean – will instantly remind kids of the show. Players are tested on their pup knowledge as each of them has a unique skill needed to resolve the mission. Choose the right pup to help the community in this immensely popular Switch title.

What we love

  • The levels begin easy and steadily grow in difficulty as the kids play
  • Controls are straightforward for younger kids to learn to play by themselves

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The rescue missions could use a greater variety

2Minecraft (Ages 4 and up)

Minecraft (Ages 4 and up)

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, this instantly-recognizable block world is one of the best-selling games across multiple platforms this century. It may look like it came out in the seventies, but millions of kids spend days on end coming up with different building designs in this time-killer of a game. They don’t have to go at it alone if they don’t want to either, as players can connect with others by playing online.

What we love

  • The different ways to play can help kids learn and grow at their own pace
  • A unique experience for the whole family to enjoy at different skill levels/ages

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Game icons could be a little bigger for those hard of seeing

3Coloring Book (Ages 4 and up)

If you’re concerned about paying for a game that kids might grow out of too quickly, the Nintendo store has free games to download straight to your Switch. Our favorite for ages 4+ is Coloring Book. Kids have a palette of 89 colors to choose from to bring life to multiple images including dinosaurs, jungle animals, and life on faraway planets.

What we love

  • There are 62 drawings to complete
  • Up to four players can color at the same time

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Not quite as fun as paper

4Kirby: Star Allies (Ages 4 and up)

Kirby: Star Allies (Ages 4 and up)

Kirby: Star Allies marks the return of the beloved pink puff character (named fondly after Nintendo’s lawyer). Players embark on a fun adventure where Kirby can blow hearts at enemies to recruit them onto their side so they can have an epic team party of up to four characters. There’s also a multiplayer horde mode suitable for two players either online or local split-screen. Kirby and Co. can use fire, wind, water, and electricity to unleash powerful attacks and solve the many puzzles which lay before them.

What we love

  • Family-friendly game for players of various ages
  • Brightly colored and appealing HD visuals

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Not massively different from previous Kirby titles

5Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Ages 5 and up)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Ages 5 and up)

This is THE Switch game for family game night. There are plenty of classic characters returning like Mario to Bowser but also features new characters like Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy. Players can race on instantly recognizable tracks where the aim isn’t solely trying to reach first place. They are tasked with grabbing the item boxes to protect themselves or hinder their opponents.

What we love

  • Features "smart steering mode"
  • Various game modes to give more variety

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Doesn't offer much in terms of achievements

6Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Ages 6 and up)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Ages 6 and up)

Animal crossing is at the top of our list for the best Switch games for 6-year-olds.

With the world how it is right now, Animal Crossing is a solution to socializing, as players build a community on a deserted island completely from scratch. They can customize a character that is uniquely theirs as well as their home and the landscape surrounding them. Everything passes in real-time so what a player sees outside (e.g., weather and time), they will see in their game. They can visit other island communities online as well by playing locally with up to four people on the same system.

What we love

  • Numerous customization options for kids to play around with
  • Rich, vivid, and colorful graphics of the landscape and characters

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The multiplayer aspect limits what you can normally do in solo play

7Cooking Mama: Cookstar (Ages 6 and up)

Cooking Mama: Cookstar (Ages 6 and up)

Cooking Mama: Cookstar breathes new life into a classic for a new generation to enjoy. Even with this upgrade, not much has changed in terms of gameplay as kids still take over the role of cook and go through various challenges tackling dozens of recipes. There are more than 90 different recipes for kids to learn including a vegetarian mode. All players need to do is follow the instructions and they’ll be well on their way to becoming master chefs.

What we love

  • Includes diverse recipes and foods to introduce kids to something new
  • Can play on multiple difficulty levels so players can challenge themselves after beating it once

What We Don't Like That Much

  • On-screen controller prompts can be a bit slow

8Yoshi's Crafted World (Ages 6 and up)

Yoshi's Crafted World (Ages 6 and up)

In Yoshi’s Crafted World, kids will lead the popular character of Yoshi into a thrilling adventure. But rather than exploring the usual world, this one is instead filled with items players can find in their homes like toys and cardboard boxes. Every stage has a unique theme so kids consistently see something new as they advance in the game. They must work to find hidden treasures and solve various puzzles to win.

What we love

  • You can bring in a friend through two-player co-op
  • Yoshi can tackle the course backward to see something different

What We Don't Like That Much

  • In co-op mode, it can be easy to get in the other player's way

9Just Dance 2021 (Ages 6 and up)

Just Dance 2021 (Ages 6 and up)

Nothing quite gets kids moving like Just Dance 2021. If parents get the Just Dance Unlimited subscription service, kids can have over 600 songs to dance to. Otherwise, there are dozens of songs available on the game itself including Dua Lipa, The Weekend, Lady Gaga, and Billie Eilish. In this edition, eight new kid-friendly songs come with choreography for hours of family fun.

What we love

  • Good variety in the type of music
  • Cool ability to use a smartphone as a controller

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Scoring can be inconsistent as it might track hand movement more than anything

10 Splatoon 2 (Ages 7 and up)

 Splatoon 2 (Ages 7 and up)

At the top of our list for Switch games for seven-year-olds is Splatoon 2.

The Inklings are back in Splatoon 2, and they are ready to cause even more chaos as they colorfully claim their turf. It’s a 4-on-4 action shooter that has endless thrills from start to finish. Players can even hop onto the Salmon Run game mode and play co-op battles for more fun. Join Marie, Callie, Sheldon, and Co. as they make their way through Octo Canyon fighting Octarians and recovering stolen Zapfish in this amazing adventure game.

What we love

  • Consistent updates provide new battle stages and weapons
  • There are numerous play modes so kids won't ever get bored of it

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Requires a constant online connection to play

11Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Ages 7 and up)

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Ages 7 and up)

Players new and old can dive into three different classic Mario adventures: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. This collection is extremely cost-effective with hours of gameplay in each episode. For a little variety, ‘64’ and ‘Sunshine’ are solo-player games, while ‘Galaxy’ offers a Co-Star mode to play with friends and family. For those who have played these games on a previous platform, these versions now use the Switch system’s Joy-Con controllers for a whole new gameplay experience.

What we love

  • All the games have clear, HD texture
  • Comes with a soundtrack that features more than 100 songs

What We Don't Like That Much

  • There are no new levels

12Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Ages 7 and up)

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Ages 7 and up)

If you’re looking for a brand new Nintendo experience, with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, you can transform your home into an incredible racetrack. Race your kart in the real world but on the screen (you can see all the action from the race kart’s onboard camera). Kids will delight at seeing their home transform into a sandy desert, an underwater paradise, and more locations found in Mario Kart.

What we love

  • Good camera quality
  • The race kart is detailed well

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Race kart has a short WiFi range

13Pokémon Sword (Ages 7 and up)

Pokémon Sword (Ages 7 and up)

Taking place in the new region of Galar, Pokémon Sword sends kids into a diverse and impressive new landscape. There is great variety seen to explore different areas such as a forest and a snow-covered mountain. There are three adorable Pokémon to pick from right in the beginning: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. Each has unique abilities, but as kids journey through the game, they can discover more Pokémon to add to their lineup.

What we love

  • Features cool designs of new Pokémon
  • Compatible with Pokémon Home

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Could benefit from more content as the game might feel too short

14Luigi's Mansion 3 (Ages 7 and up)

Luigi's Mansion 3 (Ages 7 and up)

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fun way to teach children that even though they may be afraid, they can still do great things. They play as the ever-fearful yet resourceful Luigi as he teams up with his all-green doppelganger known as Gooigi. Throughout the game, players are given the option to switch between the pair as they go through activities and fight different bosses. There are several locations to explore that have different themes and spooky enemies to encounter. You can also team up with up to eight players online and race to complete different objectives.

If you’re looking for Nintendo Switch games for seven-year-olds, then be sure to check out our recent article.

What we love

  • Low-level of difficulty while still offering some challenge to push younger players
  • Includes great graphics to make the game more engaging

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Might have more content on multiplayer mode compared to solo play

15Super Mario Odyssey (Ages 8 and up)

Super Mario Odyssey (Ages 8 and up)

One of the very best Switch games we recommend for eight-year-olds.

With Super Mario Odyssey, kids jump into a 3D sandbox-style world playing as Mario where up to two players can join in on the fun. This game is loaded with fun adventures as Mario races to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s plans. Mario even has a few new cool abilities for players to discover, making it easier for him to collect Moons so he can power up his airship. Whenever players see something interesting, they can throw Mario’s hat at it and check out what incredible thing will happen once it reaches its target.

What we love

  • There are multiple control options for different skill levels
  • The gameplay style is more laidback

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The main mission of the game might be too short for some players

16The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Ages 8 and up)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Ages 8 and up)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes a new approach to the classic and beloved franchise by allowing players to explore the world in a way never seen before. As they take control of Link, players will face numerous puzzles which all have various solutions so kids can explore time and time again to find a new way to get through the game. Players can scavenge for weapons and armor as well as search for animals, cook food, and brew elixirs as they fight to make it in the wild.

What we love

  • The open-world element allows for hours of exploration
  • Encourages kids to learn on their own and find different solutions for the presented problems

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The combat might get repetitive after reaching higher character levels

17BONUS One for the Big Kids: Diablo

BONUS One for the Big Kids: Diablo

For the older kids out there, the Diablo Eternal Collection lets players explore the complete world of Diablo III. There are seven unique hero classes to choose from, an Adventure Mode for endless exploration, and the ability to play with friends. They can play with up to four friends online, offline local co-op, or single console co-op couch-style.

The fact that this game can be played on something as small as a Switch Lite is impressive but it runs well with short loading times and high performance even when a lot is going on screen. This game has the potential to be a lot more addictive than the other games on the list so something to be aware of especially with younger kids.

What we love

  • Smooth graphics with a quality frame rate
  • Plays well in handheld mode

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The gameplay might get repetitive after a while