Best Switch Kids Games
Image: Nintendo Life

Nintendo Switch is a console with brilliant software for gamers young and old. Nintendo's wholesome, family-friendly image is well-earned, and with characters like Mario, Luigi, and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom gang, Switch games cater to the young and the young-at-heart alike. With its excellent parental controls, Switch is the perfect console for kids and parents.

The console's success has led to a wider variety of games across genres than ever before on a Nintendo platform, including many that might not be appropriate for your young ones due to their mature content.

With that in mind, we've rounded up the very best kids games on Switch arranged in a general ascending order of age appropriateness. We've included ESRB and PEGI ratings in addition to our own minimum age recommendations based on the level of coordination and skill needed to have fun with the game. Remember these are only a rough guide based on our personal experience — you are, of course, the best judge of what is appropriate for your child.

Generally speaking, the games towards the back half tend to involve more reading and more complex controls. That doesn't mean your 10-year-old won't also love the choices at the beginning, though. 'Minimum' is just that and doesn't exclude older kids (or, indeed, adults). Every single game below is a winner, whatever your age.

Many kids might enjoy simply watching you play a game (something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example). If so, bully for you — the eShop is your oyster! It's also worth noting that there are many more games aimed at kids on Switch; we've concentrated on what we consider to be the very best examples.

So, let’s take a look at the best Nintendo Switch games for kids...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 3-4

We kick things off with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This kart racer is arguably the most welcoming game on Switch with tons of accessibility options - including auto acceleration and steering aids - to give even the tiniest humans the chance to get involved on the racetrack. The aids are generous to the point where you can turn them on, leave the controller alone, and still place 4th. Hardened gamers may balk at that notion, but it's perfect for very young kids who want to move up from spectating and feel included in the fun.

If for some reason you prefer your kart racers with less moustachioed plumber in them, Team Sonic Racing and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled both provide solid, if less remarkable, alternatives. Mario is undoubtedly king of the kart, though.

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New Pokémon Snap (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 4

New Pokémon Snap tasks you with snapping photos of Pokémon (funny, that) as you travel around colourful regions as if you were on safari. It's on-rails, meaning you have no control over where you move — you simply point and aim a camera as Pokémon emerge all around you, as if you were on a sedate ride at a theme park. This safari-style gameplay makes it great for parents to play with their kids, spotting Pokémon together and generally enjoying some of the loveliest visuals on Switch.

Yoshi's Crafted World (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 4

The box art alone should clue you in to the E-for-Everyone nature of Yoshi's Crafted World. Mario's pal occupies a game stuffed to the brim with toilet rolls, cardboard houses, and sticky felt, and its breezy charm makes it a great introductory platformer for kids. Two-player co-op play is available if you have more than one offspring, and there are enough collectibles hidden away in these gorgeous crafty worlds to keep them occupied for a good while.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone 10+ 'Cartoon Violence', PEGI: 7, NL minimum age recommendation: 4-5

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great big colourful joyride of an adventure that's extremely forgiving for younger players, especially with the optional Spring-Breeze Mode, which lowers the difficulty even further, plus a co-op mode that lets you play along. This 3D platformer is bursting at the seams with fun and inventiveness, managing to transpose everything we know and love about past Kirby games to this all-new arena whilst adding plenty of delightful new aspects as it goes. Mouthful Mode is just as daftly entertaining as it looked in the trailers, each and every level is packed full of secrets and dripping in wonderful detail, and there are enough side activities, collectibles and co-op fun here to keep you entertained and coming back for more for a good long while.

Disney Illusion Island (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 7, NL minimum age recommendation: 4-5

Disney Illusion Island 2D platformer with a large map that's playable co-operatively with up to three other players. Its focus on combat-free exploration makes this an excellent gateway into the genre for younger audiences, and its ability to support up to four players via local co-op means that it's an excellent option for families who want to spend a bit of time with some of the most iconic Disney characters imaginable. You can also hug each other to regain health. A wholesome platforming adventure with some Disney icons.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 4-5

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the best 2D Mario game for decades, and its colourful, crazy world is perfect for kids to enjoy, likely alongside their old-school-Mario-fan parents. Its Wonder Flowers, badges, and friendly online aspects serve up an endlessly inventive and impressive platforming adventure with charming animation details and an infectious, anything-could-happen spirit, Its got a good roster of characters to choose from (including a couple which can take no damage — perfect for the littlest 'uns), relatively sedate challenge with a star system indicating each stage's difficulty level, and four-player local co-op gameplay to enjoy. It's one of the most joyous games on the system, and a great time for old and young alike.

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 7, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

Pokémon might be a worldwide phenomenon, but it arguably wasn't until this Switch remake of the very first Game Boy games that the mainline games could be enjoyed by younger children. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! combine the traditional turn-based gameplay of the main series with some elements from the mobile game Pokémon GO to form the most accessible version of the full-fat Pokémon experience on console. It serves as a perfect introduction to the series and also provides an incredible nostalgia trip if you played the original games over 20 years ago. Some light co-op gameplay wraps up a compelling PokéPackage.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

As previously mentioned, Super Mario is equally adept in 2D or 3D, and this colourful return to his side-on platforming roots provides manic 4-player action in addition to a huge single-player adventure. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is stuffed with quality platforming content to keep your whippersnappers occupied for many manic hours.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

A wonderfully sedate puzzle-platformer, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker now benefits from 2-player co-op play throughout making it an excellent choice to play through with your kid(s). There's absolutely zero jumping in this platformer, so you'll be looking around the environment for clues about how to collect every gem and proceed through each of the bite-sized levels.

Captain Toad is primarily a puzzle game, so you might want to bear that in mind if your child is action mad. If you're looking for a gentle, wholesome way to fire up the grey matter with your offspring, though, this is one of the best games on the system.

New Super Lucky's Tale (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone, PEGI: 3, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

Light on difficulty, high on fun, New Super Lucky's Tale is an old-school-style 3D platformer polished up for the 21st century. It's not the deepest experience, but it's a heartwarming one with plenty of silly humour and likeable characters. Lucky's antics are perfect fodder for starry-eyed youngsters or jaded old geezers alike, and well worth investigating.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone 10+, PEGI: 7, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

With split-screen co-op, and incredibly gentle expectations as far as the gameplay is concerned, Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a fantastic, low-stakes game for parents and kids to play together, but also for adults who are looking for something that pleasantly whiles away the hours without beating you over the head with difficulty. Excelsior!

LEGO DC Super-Villains (Switch)

ESRB: Everyone 10+, PEGI: 7, NL minimum age recommendation: 5

One of our favourite of the Lego games currently on Switch is Lego DC Super-Villains. Offering a sandbox of brick-based mayhem, the tried-and-tested formula of these games has never been better than when DC's comic book crew were put in charge.

This may be our personal favourite, but virtually any of the Lego games provide fun fare for kids. In addition to the previously mentioned Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Lego Harry Potter Collection, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 are all solid little platformers, so pick your favourite franchise. Not quite everything is quite awesome, but you can't go too far wrong.

Especially this next one...