There is hardly any other game console provider that focuses so much on the family. The Japanese game manufacturer Nintendo is known for its wide range of great titles for young and old. A family-friendly portfolio is still at the top of their agenda. If you are looking for a suitable game for children, Nintendo is and will remain one of the best places to go. The house brands around Mario and Kollegen are real long-term favorites. But there is also a lot to discover apart from the big company mascots. The Switch is considered the ideal entertainment system, especially among young audiences – but which games are really worthwhile and should be included in every collection? Sit back and do a little browsing through the following recommendations for the 20 best games for kids. Whatever you choose – you and your child are guaranteed to have happy faces and fun switch sessions.
- 1 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- 2 2. Nintendo Splatoon 2
- 3 3. Best Sports: Psychonix Rocket League
- 4 4. Mario Kart Deluxe 8
- 5 5. Minecraft
- 6 6. Stardew Valley
- 7 7. Nintendo Labo
- 8 8. Pokémon Sword & Shield
- 9 9. Luigis Mansion 3
- 10 10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- 11 11. Kirby Star Allies
- 12 12. Yoshi’s Crafted World
- 13 13. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
- 14 14. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- 15 15. Overcooked 2
- 16 16. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- 17 17. Super Mario Maker 2
- 18 18. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
- 19 19. Pode
- 20 20. Arms
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Children love adventure. There is hardly any other game that accommodates the urge to discover in a truly epoch-making and at the same time fairytale-like game world as Breath of the Wild can. In a gigantic world you wake up as Link from a long sleep and find a wild, mysterious posterity. The former kingdom of Hyrule is isolated by dark forces and eagerly awaits its savior.
Completely different from numerous previous titles in the series, for the first time you are allowed to explore an extremely spacious and lovingly designed world on your own without any specifications. Where you go and what tasks you pursue depend solely on your curiosity and thirst for adventure. Gigantic creatures, friendly animals and numerous ingredients for the manufacture of equipment await you. You climb rocks, sail down from a mountain peak or comb through the mysterious shrines with their entertaining and stimulating puzzles. The game is designed in child-friendly cartoon graphics and offers countless hours of varied scenarios – a dream world in which your children will love to immerse themselves again and again.
2. Nintendo Splatoon 2
Shooting games have a bad reputation with many parents. Nintendo has a suitable answer ready and with Splatoon 2 offers a humorous, colorful and completely bloodless action shooter. Fun confrontations with colored bullets à la paintball take the serious note out of the scenario and put the fun of the game first. The graphics are childlike and at the same time have an upbeat, cheeky style. Not only does the creative color battle have great entertainment value, but multiplayer is also a real hit. Splatoon 2 is a team shooter and allows you to team up with several friends via online multiplayer. Alternatively, you can play directly with a buddy in LAN mode – provided that he also owns the game and a switch. Nintendo Splatoon 2 comes up with a unique concept both visually and playfully and, together with the lack of rough depictions of violence, stands out positively from the majority of the genre.
3. Best Sports: Psychonix Rocket League
A fascinating hybrid of soccer and demolition derby awaits you in Rocket League. You and your team gather in a battle arena and take a seat in a rocket-propelled vehicle. With your vehicle you kick the ball across the field and try to score points with skillful maneuvers. So that all of this does not go too well and monotonously, foul play is generally allowed. In short: you can let it rip and abuse your vehicle as a battering ram. Every now and then, scrapping enemy vehicles is even one of the game objectives. On top of that, you can slowly upgrade your team, reorganize and thus storm the spearhead of the rankings. If matches against the AI don’t keep you going for long, you can put your skills to the test in local multiplayer or online with crossplay. A maximum of eight players are allowed to participate in a game – chaos is inevitable. Alternatively, the ball rules can be adjusted. Sessions for ice hockey or basketball round off the program.
4. Mario Kart Deluxe 8
A racing game with Mario and the like cannot be missing on this list. Super Mario Kart has always been great family fun. Alone, via local multiplayer or via the Internet, you can pound the imaginative and varied race tracks. Nintendo has even given the popular kart racer a split-screen mode for two players. The game is peppered with numerous, classic tracks, but the deluxe version has some extras. So you get the complete package of the old Wii U including DLC on top. The controls can also be grasped quickly for children. Thanks to the well-balanced degree of difficulty, there is seldom frustration and much more joy. With 42 characters, 48 racetracks and customizable vehicles, long-term motivation is guaranteed. Choose one of the iconic Nintendo characters like Mario, Wario, Donkey Kong or Yoshi and do your best.
Minecraft is the perfect game for creative kids. In a block-like world, you can only create a completely new environment with the power of your imagination and a few self-made objects. The logical division of the game world into squares gives the game an extremely simple building block look. Basically, there are no limits to your future construction projects. Minecraft plays completely relaxed, but is equally suitable for casual gamers and ambitious architects. In survival mode, however, you have to take good care of your alter ego. Little by little you unlock additional tools, have to feed yourself regularly and defend yourself against harmful adversaries such as skeletons or spiders. In the creative mode these hurdles do not apply and only building without restrictions is the focus. You can also tackle building projects together in multiplayer or present your latest achievements to friends.
6. Stardew Valley
As the heir to a simple farm, your journey begins in Stardew Valley. Grandpa showed it and now you should breathe new life into the farm. Stardew Valley triggers a real gathering and building fever. You grow new plants and animals, take care of everyday matters and interact with other residents. The completely informal and simple game principle has no real ending and draws long-term play value solely from the player’s creative impulses. Farm life may be tough, but it offers plenty of variety. Graphically, the game is presented in a very classic 2D pixel graphic – perfect for this type of game. Children who love building and collecting games are well served with Stardew Valley.
7. Nintendo Labo
You have probably already made the acquaintance of special accessories for video games. Steering wheels with pedals for racers, for example, are very popular with car freaks to increase immersion. With Labo, Nintendo transfers the principle of extended and immersive control directly to the Switch. However, users have to assemble the controller themselves – from simple cardboard. Would you like to know how it works? The Nintendo Switch uses its modular structure. Joy-Cons have cameras and motion sensors, and the display itself can be disconnected from them. Clever storage of the technology inside the cardboard boxes allows you to control the game – without having to hold the classic gamepads in your hands. With Nintendo Labo you can play on a miniature piano, carry a rocket backpack, operate steering wheels or, for example, catch fish with a self-made fishing rod – a brilliant concept and a unique combination of handicrafts and video games.
8. Pokémon Sword & Shield
Hardly any other game has so many and charming monsters to offer. Pokémon Sword & Shield offers you a new excursion to the Galar region. The region is clearly inspired by the British style. You will explore several cities that have individual sights and invite you to linger and chat with other characters in a typical British manner. Out in the wilderness is less structured and well-groomed. There you can tackle your next route for the first time much more freely than in an open world – a novelty compared to its predecessors. With the new Dynamax mode, you can join up to three other players in the spacious surroundings to face particularly powerful Pokémon in combat. If there is a lack of willing players via the online mode, the AI simply takes over the playful part.
9. Luigis Mansion 3
Eerily beautiful horror adventures with a good dose of humor ensure both excitement and happiness here. Hardly any other title like the series about Luigis Mansion has so perfected the mixture of spook and fun. In the third part, a ghost-possessed haunted hotel thwarts the hero’s vacation plans. As usual, Luigi fights the restless souls in the story with a vacuum cleaner.
The concept still works brilliantly. Clever design of puzzle sections, funny ghosts and the unique character of the individual game sections simply know how to entertain. In dealing with the transcendent opponents, Luigi has to prove his head and use various strategies to put the ghost figures in their place. Children who are inspired by a gentle but always child-friendly staged burst of horror fun are in the right place here. The game itself uses common methods of the horror cabinet, but is never disturbing or really scary. In multiplayer mode you can go online ghost hunt with up to eight players in co-op.
10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Desert knocks are not for children? Many fighting games are quite violent in their presentation and therefore hardly suitable for the children’s room. As is so often the case with Nintendo, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes a completely different path. You slip into one of the famous Nintendo characters and use their special abilities to kill your opponents in heated battles. Each figure plays very individually and offers an incentive to test the individual fighters more closely. In team matches you can duels with friends, online players or the AI. Alternatively, you work your way forward purposefully in story mode or face special challenges in the challenge. You won’t find any blood, brutal violence or similar no-gos for kids here. The loving and really cute presentation, which is responsible for many Nintendo titles, should quickly put even the most skeptical of doubters mild.
11. Kirby Star Allies
No vacuum cleaner sucks more powerfully, no wild animal is more hungry: Kirby, the pink cuddle with an immeasurable appetite, tries in Kirby Star Allies to free his home from the influence of dark heart crystals. All enemies you inhale give you their unique abilities. In addition, the cuddly charmer makes new friends very quickly. So you can persuade old buddies or even opponents to complete the levels with you on the go. This is also necessary, because this new mechanic gives you unusual skills that were previously inaccessible to you. Teammates can take control of their friends and companions.
So Kirby Star Allies is developing into an imaginative co-op adventure with brightly colored graphics and an infatuated and dreamy musical backdrop. The simple principle of the game can be learned quickly for children and is literally a fascinating attraction thanks to the many combinations of skills.
12. Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi is arguably one of the cutest dinosaurs in video game history. With the independent title Yoshi’s Crafted World, Nintendo is delivering new food for lovers of the egg-laying snapper. About the story: The peaceful dinosaurs live on Yoshi Island under the protection of the Sun Dream Stone. The mystical artifact makes dreams come true. Kamek and Baby Bowser naturally want to abuse this power for their own ends. The theft failed and the stone fragments spread over the entire game world.
Yoshi’s Crafted Word presents itself in a playful way as a classic side scroller in a papercraft and knobbed look. Objects and surroundings often look as if they were made out of paper. In fact, you can always take a look behind these scenes and run through completed sections again via secret passages. The excursion behind paper walls significantly increases the replay value and also stimulates puzzles. Great: In the local co-op mode, you and several friends can accompany the dinosaurs on their search.
13. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Puzzle games with a good dose of imagination are made for young audiences. In Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the famous mushroom head from the Marian universe passes his time with an exciting treasure hunt. The villain of the story, Crow Wingo, grabbed the power stars and kidnapped the pretty Toadette on top of that. Now it is up to you in the role of Toad to put your opponent down. In the individual levels you have to collect coins, overcome obstacles and collect the power stars again. Skilfully turning the levels opens up new paths and discoveries for you – the change of perspective is an integral part of the game principle. If you want some company on the rescue mission, a second player can take part in the challenge at any time.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker stimulates the gray matter and yet plays entertaining and relaxing – definitely worth a look for young treasure hunters.
14. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Life can be so easy: In Animal Crossing: New Horizons you are a pioneer on a lonely and beautiful island. Life seems to stand still there. In order to breathe additional life into the quiet starting area, you work as an architect and creator. It’s up to you and your imagination to see how the population and environment change over time. It starts with rerouting bodies of water to finding a suitable place for your business.
Animal Crossing New Horizons doesn’t put any pressure on you. You play at your own pace – an aspect that particularly suits impatient children and beginners. The very child-like and cute graphics are based exactly on this motto. Animal beings and other human species appear playful, cuddly and are therefore easy to grasp, even for young gamers in particular – quite apart from their attractive charm. Over time, a real civilization in miniature format rises from the ground and the interactions with people and animals always present you with new challenges. There is hardly any other title that invites you to relax so frustratedly. New Horizons is therefore an absolute recommendation for children, fans of construction and fans of the series.
15. Overcooked 2
The food is ready! In Overcooked 2, everything revolves around culinary delights – and the grueling journey that you have to cover for a successful meal. In order to run your own shop successfully, you need a lot of coordination. You command your own kitchen team, take orders, take care of the dishes and look for the friendliest possible contact with customers. However, there are pitfalls lurking for you: Each level poses additional hurdles. Bugs and traps make the work of your chefs increasingly difficult. Nevertheless, the delivery must not be delayed.
Overcooked 2 mainly develops its strengths as a team game. A total of four cooks are allowed to stir the kettle at the same time. The somewhat hectic nature of the game principle is quickly forgotten thanks to the funny staging. For fans of culinary arts and puzzle games with a team factor, Overcooked 2 is a very interesting title. Good Appetite.
16. Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Without revealing too much of the dreamy story: Link wakes up after a shipwreck on the mysterious island of Koholint. Animals can talk and a mysterious giant egg is enthroned on the highest peak of the unknown world. Far from Hyrule, everything seems different. Link’s Awakening takes place in the classic top view with successive island and dungeon sections – and therefore completely different from the open concept of Breath of the Wild. You explore the island of Koholint, interact with the residents and crack challenging puzzles in dungeons. Little by little, the magical world and its rather unusual secret about the windfish, which dark forces try to keep away from you, will open up to you.
The imaginative setting and end-of-world design encourage exploration, but at the same time requires a lot of patience and attention to solve various puzzles. The Switch version is based very faithfully on the Gameboy template from the 90s, but brings the graphics and sound up to date in typical Nintendo style. As a fantastic adventure game with its puzzles, the title provides an excellently balanced mixture for children from around 9 years of age.
17. Super Mario Maker 2
Make your own rules. With Super Mario Maker 2 you become your own level designer and create new levels for Mario and his friends with a variety of tools. So you can rearrange backgrounds, obstacles and opponents according to your own ideas. Beginner-friendly scenarios up to crazy courses with unimaginable challenges can be realized with it. The best part: You can share your first work or even more advanced creations with like-minded people at any time via the online platform for Super Mario Maker 2. Small excursions into the fantasies of other players provide amusement and inspiration, while you receive feedback on your own creations.
Without a doubt, Super Mario Maker 2 is intended for fans of classic Super Mario. Anyone who has always wanted to build their own level for the plumber with the red cap can take advantage of this. Incidentally, Nintendo delivers some templates free of charge. In story mode, you can choose from over 100 enclosed creations, which you can even complete with friends.
18. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy gives you the opportunity to relive all three of the classic Spyro games in a modern twist on the Nintendo Switch. The protagonist, a purple fire dragon, is by the way still in its infancy and is considered to be a great beacon of hope for the kingdom of dragons. Together with his loyal companion Sparx, a kite fly, you face Gnasty Gnorc again, visit Avalar and the dark wizard Ripto and save the dragon eggs from the forgotten realm. Spyro Reignited ensures an extremely fiery entertainment factor. As a dragon, you flambé your adversaries and glide over insurmountable gorges with the help of your dragon wings.
As a single-game adventure, the three-pack offers an enormous scope with great boss fights, collectibles and extensive zones to explore. Due to the level of difficulty, however, children should already have some gaming experience.
Pode is an indie title in which you take on the role of a fallen star named Glo. Glo and his useful friend Bulder, a simple boulder, work hand in hand to overcome the challenges of each level. You switch between the two characters and make use of their independent skills.
Music and graphic style develop a very unique and, above all, calming ambience. The game developer dispenses with quaint childish effects and relies more on the power of a clearly defined look in the Norwegian comic style. Together with the light and shadow games, it forms a successful contrast to the otherwise widespread cuddly presentation of many children’s games. Nevertheless, Pode remains absolutely suitable for children. The amount of interesting puzzles provide plenty of entertainment during the two heroes’ journey. You enter magical mountain passages, scour ruins of ancient civilizations and discover one or the other secret passage. A maximum of two players can take part in the action at the same time.
In Arms you compete against superstars from all over the world in a battle arena. The direct fights between the opponents turn out to be quite unusual. Letting your fists fly takes on a completely new meaning in this stylish beat’em up. The extendable spring arms give the participants a ludicrous range and open up unimagined possibilities during the exchange of blows. You can equip each arm with a special weapon and create surprising and crazy combos. In addition there are character skills such as teleportation or self-healing. So you have to work out suitable strategies for conquering levels in order to avoid deadly traps or obstacles.
Although Arms is a fighting game, it is clearly aimed at kids because of its insane presentation. The unbelievable range of the limbs contributes to the weird and comical tone of the game – fun and laughter guaranteed included. If you have decided the Grand Prix for yourself in solo mode, it is far from over. Other players are waiting on the Internet to play against you.
While other manufacturers are primarily targeting adults, Nintendo remains true to its credo. After all, laughter is healthy and the type of presentation is often decisive for the age classification and suitability for children. This list only presents a fraction of the titles available. As a Nintendo fan and Switch owner, you can hand the console and most of the available titles into the hands of younger game fans at any time and without hesitation. Imaginative play worlds in a child-friendly design are more the rule. Nevertheless, popular genres to let off steam such as shooter, horror or beat’em up are not left out.
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