Best Nintendo Switch games for kids in 2023, from Minecraft to Animal Crossing

Best Nintendo Switch games for kids in 2023, from Minecraft to Animal Crossing
Images via Nintendo | Ubisoft

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Last updated 

29th Nov 2023 03:22

There are many great Nintendo Switch games for kids, making it an ideal first console for young gamers. This list contains the best titles available today with an age rating of 7 or under, meaning they can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Whether you have kids of your own or are looking for gift ideas for the little ones in your life, these Nintendo games will keep everyone entertained. We also have a list of games that are best for adults or older children to enjoy on the Nintendo Switch, but for now, let's dive into all the best games for youngsters. 

Best Nintendo Switch games for kids

Super Mario Bros. Wonder 

Super Mario bros wonder
Click to enlarge

  • Developer: Nintendo 
  • Release date: October 2023
  • Key features:
    • Amazing level design
    • Plenty of characters 
    • Couch co-op so you can play with the child too 

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the newest game to feature on the list and is the first 2D Mario game we've seen in a very long time. The latest edition brings plenty of fresh ideas to the series and is a return to form for everyone's favourite plumber. The levels have been injected with plenty of creativity, bringing lots of fresh ideas to the series.


an image of a Creeper and Steve in Minecraft
Click to enlarge
Image via Mojang

  • Developer: Mojang
  • Release date: November 2011
  • Key features:
    • Unlimited building possibilities 
    • Really allows creativity to blossom
    • Isn't too expensive 

What can we say about Minecraft that hasn't already been said? Since its release in the early 2010s, it's taken the world by storm and gone on to become the best-selling video game of all time. 

An endless sandbox made of individual blocks you can destroy and place at will, Minecraft allows kids' creativity to go wild, and is a great tool to foster that artistic side of them from a young age. There's also no definitive end to the game, meaning it will provide as many hours of fun as they want to get out of it. You can't go wrong with a bit of Minecraft, making it one of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids.

Splatoon 3

a promotional image of Splatoon 3
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: September 2022
  • Key features:
    • Child-friendly shooting
    • Enjoyable, colourful world 
    • Team-based, competitive game 

The Splatoon franchise was a nice surprise from Nintendo, becoming their first entry into the competitive multiplayer scene. In a world where most third-person shooter games involve bucket loads of killing, Splatoon 3 opts instead for colour - lots of pretty colours.

You'll face off against other teams with the goal of covering the map in ink from various weapons, while also defeating enemy players who attempt to stop your pursuit. It's a very inventive take on a shooter and the perfect introduction to competitive gaming for kids of all ages.

Link's Awakening 

Link's Awakening
Click to enlarge

  • Developer: Grezzo
  • Release date: September 2019
  • Key features:
    • Good introduction to Zelda 
    • Unique art style 
    • Customisable dungeon builder 

This is one of the most unique Zelda games around, featuring enemies from the Mario universe. It's an easy-to-play game, with plenty of style and charm because the game has been completely rebuilt and remade. If your child does enjoy this, depending on their age, the next step would be Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom.

Super Mario RPG

A team of characters in Super Mario RPG
Click to enlarge

  • Developer: ArtePiazza
  • Release date: November 17, 2023
  • Key features:
    • A great entry-point into the RPG genre for kids
    • Vibrant visuals and a fun soundtrack
    • All the charm and humour you'd expect from a Mario game

Although RPGs (role-playing games) tend to attract a slightly older audience because of their in-depth skill systems and high difficulty levels, this fresh remake of the SNES classic Super Mario RPG is the perfect entry point for younger gamers to get to grips with the genre, as it's a lot more forgiving for newcomers.

The game sees Mario, Bowser, Peach, and more friends join forces to defeat a new threat to the Mushroom Kingdom. You'll battle iconic enemies like Goombas and Dry Bones by unleashing special moves and working as a team. There's even a new Breezy mode to make things a little easier for kids.

Katamari Damacy REROLL

key art of Katamari Damacy REROLL
Click to enlarge
Image via Bandai Namco

  • Developer: MONKEYCRAFT Co. Ltd
  • Release date: March 2004
  • Key features:
    • Intricate puzzles
    • Whacky world that promotes creativity 
    • Great soundtrack

Katamari Damacy is probably the weirdest, quirkiest, and most charming game on this list, making for a unique third-person puzzle game that no other games have come close to matching. 

You'll play as the son of the King of All Cosmos, who tasks you with rebuilding the stars in the sky by rolling a magical sticky ball around called a Katamari, collecting random objects of increasingly larger sizes, ranging from pencils to mountains. 

We promise that kids will be enraptured by the highly unique and surreal style, and it may encourage them to seek out the more unique experiences the video game medium is capable of.

Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigis mansion 3
Click to enlarge

  • Developer: Next Level Games
  • Release date: October 2019
  • Key features:
    • Spooky game for children 
    • Luigi is always full of character 
    • Co-op options are available too 

Kids, for the most part, love Halloween and spooky things, but there isn't much on offer for children. That's where Luigi's Mansion 3 comes in, offering ghosts but in a fun way where Luigi is the only person who is really getting scared. The game looks amazing and has plenty of great puzzles to offer., too.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

an image of characters from Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: March 2020
  • Key features:
    • Good way to teach children budgeting and resource management as they run their own village 
    • Cutesy and cosy world
    • Completely customisable island 

Another easy choice for our list of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a social simulation game that sees you create a character who moves to a deserted island, before slowly turning it into a community for anthropomorphic animals to live and thrive in. 

It's another game that lets kids unleash their creative side, as they'll have the chance to develop the island as they see fit, building new houses, shops, and communal areas like gardens. Give them time to customise their island, and when you come back, you may be surprised at what they've achieved.

Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition

key art of Rayman Legends, showing Rayman fighting a monster
Click to enlarge
Image via Ubisoft

  • Developer: Ubisoft 
  • Release date: August 2013
  • Key features:
    • Creative platforming levels 
    • Perfect combination of challenge and fun 
    • Art style still looks amazing 

If your kid just wants a game that's wild, silly, and fun, then Rayman Legends may be the perfect game for them. The game is a side-scrolling platformer where Rayman and friends make their way through levels, collecting Lums, freeing Teensies, and defeating enemies that stand in the way.

Rayman Legends is a fast-paced and engaging game that's simple to pick up and play, and more than being one of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids, it's just a great game that's easy to sink time into.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

key art of Mario Kart 8
Click to enlarge

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: April 2017
  • Key features:
    • Racing game to be enjoyed by all ages
    • Plenty of tracks, karts and racers
    • Still one of the best kart racers around 

You'll likely have heard of Mario Kart, as it's been one of the most popular racing franchises for over two decades, and a series that's seen endless copycats try to match its perfect gameplay formula. Mario Kart 8 is the latest entry and the most complete version of the game to date.

Mario Kart is pretty much what it says on the tin, a Mario-based kart racing game that has a huge roster consisting of some of the most iconic characters in gaming history, including many non-Nintendo series too. If you also want to spend some time gaming with your kids, it allows for cooperative play, so you can get some friendly competition going; just don't use a Blue Shell on them when they are first.

Super Mario Odyssey

Promotional art for Super Mario Odyssey
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 2017
  • Key features:
    • Gorgeous looking game 
    • Plenty of puzzles 
    • Positive message at the end 

Mario's racing game might be more popular than his own adventures on Switch, but Super Mario Odyssey is still platforming perfection that will appeal to players of all ages. This is the latest in the incredible line of 3D Mario platforming games and features tons of wacky new powers and levels to explore.

Mario can actually transform into various creatures, enemies or objects using his new cap power-up, completely changing the way you can play the game. Whether it's turning into a frog or a giant dinosaur, there's always something new and unexpected around the corner.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby from Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo.

  • Developer: HAL Laboratory 
  • Release date: March 2022
  • Key features:
    • Has local co-op
    • Kirby's powers offer plenty of fun for players 
    • Level design helps elevate the whole game and series 

Just like Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby is getting in on the transforming action in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. In this game, Kirby can turn into a car, a giant water bubble and more!

Kirby games have always been perfect for kids, but this is the first 3D platformer in the series. It's a lot of fun to explore the levels in this game, and it's easily one of the best games in the franchise to date. 

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

a promotional image of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
Click to enlarge
Image via Ubisoft

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Release date: October 2022
  • Key features:
    • Introduction to turn-based strategy games
    • Lots of customisation
    • Builds and elevates on the previous iteration

Our final pick for the best Nintendo Switch games for kids is Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, an adventurous turn-based strategy game that combines the world of Mario and the Rabbids. 

There aren't many strategy games out there for children, but Sparks of Hope is a great introduction to a typically complex genre that will engage their brains and allow them to have fun at the same time.

That's our full list of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids in 2023, and now you know a range of games from various genres that are perfect for kids aged 10 and under.

For more lists about games and hardware, stick with GGRecon. Or why not check out the best Switch games for adults while you're here?

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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