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Best Games for Kids on Switch

The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids

Nintendo consoles have always had an image of being more family friendly than their competitors. With the likes of Mario and Yoshi representing the company, how could you think otherwise? But with the Nintendo Switch, the company’s image of being “just for kids” has shifted. The console has opened up, allowing more games with adult themes into its library, like Borderlands and DOOM. It’s great news for older gamers, but perhaps not for parents looking for the best games for kids on Switch without worry of their youngsters running into unsuitable content.

Thankfully, there’s still an absolute treasure trove of wonderful games for children on Nintendo Switch. The wider library just means that parents have to exercise a little caution before letting younger players have free reign. The Switch is still one of the best consoles out there for kids – especially since the Joy-Con controller easily lets siblings play together with just one console.

This article was first published in 2017 and has been kept updated since.

More family-friendly Switch games

1. Paw Patrol World

Paw Patrol World

Let’s start with one for the youngest of players. Paw Patrol World is squarely aimed at 3-7 year olds or, well, any youngster who is obsessed with the Paw Patrol TV series. But having played this lovely open world adventure ourselves, we can’t hesitate to recommend it as one of the best games for kids on Switch. The level of challenge is perfectly pitched for its audience, and it perfectly replicates the action of the cartoon: it even sports full voice acting from the original UK cast.

Players can switch between any one of the eight main Paw Patrol characters, using their special abilities and jumping in their signature vehicles at the touch of a button. Ryder is on hand to dish out new missions, or you can simply explore familiar locations such as Adventure Bay and the Jungle. It’s a perfect starting point for young children looking to play their first Switch game.

Read our review of Paw Patrol World

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has no violence, allows for player creativity, is set on an idyllic island, and is filled with cute and cuddly characters. It’s just about the most ideal game for kids there is on Nintendo Switch. Heck, the most danger you’ll ever face while playing New Horizons is a wasp attack. And that’s nothing a bit of medicine won’t fix.

There are many reasons why we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Animal Crossing: New Horizons for young players. The fact it’s completely free of violence and danger is one of them, sure. But more than that, it encourages useful skills, like budgeting and time management. Set in real time, there’s only ever so much you can do in one day. It also encourages kindness by letting players help out their neighbours, or simply chatting to them. If you want to be sure children are playing a safe game, then you can’t go wrong here.

Read our review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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3. Super Mario Odyssey

You know a game’s something special when it gets a 10/10 – not just from us, but from almost every outlet that reviewed it. Super Mario Odyssey is undoubtedly one of Mario’s best adventures of all time. A vast, colourful world filled with so much to see and do, absolutely anyone can have a blast simply wandering around and interacting with the game. Older children will get a kick out of defeating enemies, solving simple puzzles and making their way through the game. Younger kids will enjoy dressing Mario up in crazy outfits (not gonna lie, we do too) and taking in all the brilliant sights and sounds.

It’s a very big game too, with tonnes of content for players to sink their teeth into. One that the whole family can enjoy, we recommend that everyone who owns a Switch has this in their collection. If you’re looking for one of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids, then you won’t go wrong with Super Mario Odyssey.

Read our review of Super Mario Odyssey

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4. Peppa Pig: World Adventures

Peppa Pig: World Adventures review

Okay, Peppa Pig: World Adventures might be a Switch game for kids that’s going to appeal most to the very young, but it still comes highly recommended by us. With a gorgeous animation style that perfectly matches the cartoon series, Peppa Pig: World Adventures allows your little one to star in their very own Peppa Pig series.

Youngers will create their own character (along with a family) before heading out on adventures with Peppa and her parents. There are seven real-world locations to visit, including London, Paris and New York, with each part of the world having various activities to interact with. It’s short, but it’s cute and one of the best games on Switch for really young kids.

Read our review of Peppa Pig: World Adventures

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5. New Super Lucky’s Tale

New Super Lucky's Tale

With its colourful visuals and cute protagonist, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a delight on Switch no matter how old you are. Kids will undoubtedly enjoy it the most, though. As Lucky, New Super Lucky’s Tale allows players to spin, jump and dig their way through many levels spread across numerous areas in order to claim the pages of a magical book. There are things to collect, platforming challenges to overcome, and puzzles to solve, but everything is kept whimsical and light-hearted. Well, aside from the bosses; they can be challenging, so you might find yourself being asked to assist.

In any case, New Super Lucky’s Tale is such a charming adventure that any list of the best Switch games for kids wouldn’t be complete without it.

Read our review of New Super Lucky’s Tale 

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6. Yoshi’s Crafted Wold

A platform game that puts the adorable Yoshi front and centre, Yoshi’s Crafted World is set in a universe where everything is made from paper, card and other bits of crafting material. It makes for a beautiful game with a world that’s an utter delight to explore, no matter what your age.

For the most part, Yoshi’s Crafted World’s levels are pretty straightforward to work through. There are a few simple puzzles, but the majority of the gameplay is suitable for children of any age. For older kids wanting more of a test of their skills, the game offers various additional challenges to complete on each level, such as finding hidden items. There’s also a co-op mode, so two players can make their way through each of Yoshi‘s levels together. Yoshi’s Crafted world is gorgeous and undeniably fun, and easily one of the best games for kids available right now on Switch.

Check latest prices of Yoshi’s Crafted World

7. Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft Dungeons review

All kids love Minecraft, don’t they? If they’re fed up of creating things within the main game, however, then they might enjoy going on an adventure in Minecraft Dungeons. An action RPG, Minecraft Dungeons allows players to create their own character before playing hero. The evil Arch-Illager is up to trouble, you see, and it’s up the player to stop him before something terrible happens. That means making their way through numerous environments, defeating the Arch-Illager’s minions as they go. And there are lots of them.

As players progress they’ll level up and find better equipment, making them stronger. They can team up with others, too; thanks to split-screen play, Minecraft Dungeons can keep multiple children glued to the screen. So, if you’re after the best Nintendo Switch games for kids, definitely consider picking it up.

Read our review of Minecraft Dungeons 

Check latest prices of Minecraft Dungeons 

8. Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders

If your kids have enjoyed the DreamWorks Dragons movies, they’ll absolutely love Dragons Dawn of New Riders. A simple action RPG, Dragons Dawn of New Riders isn’t the largest game in the world, but it’s very enjoyable. It combines adventure, puzzles and combat, which means it’s probably not suitable for very young children, but for those aged 7+ there’s nothing too violent.

The best thing about Dragons Dawn of New Riders is that it’s a good game first and foremost, then a movie tie-in. Even if they haven’t seen the film, kids will still enjoy the game thanks to its easy controls, lovable characters and colourful world. We did, and we’re not even kids! This is undoubtedly one of the best games for kids available on Switch.

Read our review of Dragons Dawn of New Riders

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9. Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Spyro Reignited-min

Spyro Reignited Trilogy, as its name suggests, is three games in one. For one low price you get all three Spyro the Dragon games basically remade for modern consoles. And that means they look gorgeous.

While children are too young to remember the original Spyro games on PS1, they’ll love the trilogy just as much as we did the first time round. The bright and colourful visuals are perfect for young players, and they’ll enjoy exploring each world they come across on their adventure. There’s plenty of humour in the Spyro games, too, and gameplay variety. If your kids love 3D platformers and are old enough to solve basic puzzles, buy them Spyro Reignited Trilogy. The three titles provide excellent value for money, offering up many hours of gameplay. No matter their age, this is one of the best games for children on Switch.

Read our review of Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Check latest prices of Spyro Reignited Trilogy

10. Disney Dreamlight Valley

Disney Dreamlight Valley Toy Story

Disney is forever popular amongst children, and games don’t get any more Disney than this. Disney Dreamlight Valley is a sandbox adventure game where players can befriend characters from across a range of Disney properties. There’s Moana, Toy Story, Minnie and Mickey, Ratatouille, The Little Mermaid and plenty more – with loads still to come.

You see, Dreamlight Valley is currently in Early Access, with new content being dropped regularly. Every couple of months, new characters enter the fray, bringing new missions to complete, new friends to make, and new environments to explore. It’s colourful, it’s fun, and it’s free of violence and threat, making it amongst the best games for kids on Switch. What more could you want?

Read our review of Disney Dreamlight Valley

11. LEGO City Undercover

LEGO games are perfect for children. Heck, LEGO games are perfect for anyone, regardless of your age. LEGO City Undercover, LEGO’s open world answer to GTA, is one of the best, and it’s available on Nintendo Switch.

In it, you take control of Chase McCain, city cop and all-round good guy. There’s an outbreak of crime happening all over LEGO City, and it’s up to you to get to the bottom of it. Players work through a series of levels spanning the city and covering some wonderful locations. Suburban streets, fancy mansions, industrial warehouses – it’s all here. The best thing about the LEGO games is that they allow for simple drop-in, drop-out multiplayer. Simply hand the second Joy-Con to another player, and you can instantly buddy up.

There are tonnes of missions to take part in and a plethora of side content. From racing cars to flying aircraft, there’s so much to do in LEGO City that it’s impossible to get bored. It’s fun no matter what your age, but it’s certainly one of the best games on Switch for kids.

Read our review of LEGO City Undercover

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12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Ah, Mario Kart. Here’s another game that’s perfect for the whole family to play together, and a title that’s infinitely better when you have more people playing. With a large cast of Nintendo characters to choose between and a massive selection of gorgeous environments to race through, it’s hard not to love Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

It can bring out the worst in people though, especially when things get a little heated. If you’re playing with the kids, you may want to hold back the profanities when you inevitably get hit by that blue shell just before the finish line…

We’d recommend grabbing some steering wheels to make Mario Kart’s gameplay that much more fun. Get the whole family involved in playing this colourful racer, and no doubt it’ll be one of the kids’ favourite Switch games.

Check latest prices of Mario Kart 8 

13. Just Dance

Newsflash: video games aren’t just about being sat still, getting square-eyed at the television any more. The annual Just Dance series encourages its players to, well, just dance.

Ubisoft’s yearly staple features a selection of the best chart toppers from the last year. It provides an excellent way for all the family to burn off some calories and have some fun by showing off those premium dance moves on the dancefloor living room floor.

The great thing about Just Dance is anybody can join in – it doesn’t matter their age or skill level; it’s all about moving about and having fun! Nintendo Switch makes for the best place to play the game, too; simply grab a Joy-Con in your hand and it’ll track all your movements. With some wonderfully colourful visuals and a song line-up that your kids will probably know better than you, Just Dance 2023 is one of the best games for kids on Switch – especially if you don’t want them simply sat still.

Check latest prices of Just Dance 202

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