Best games to gift with Nintendo Switch

When giving the gift of a Nintendo Switch, make sure to include a few of the best games for the console!

If you plan on giving a Nintendo Switch to someone as a gift, you may find yourself searching for some of the best games to buy with the console. After all, your gift recipient will likely want to rip open the box and try out the console right away.

With so many games available on Nintendo Switch from recognizable properties such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to indie masterpieces like Celeste, it can be hard to whittle things down to a handful of giftable titles.

To help make the process easier, we’ve put together a list featuring the best games to gift with Nintendo Switch!

Best Games to Buy for Nintendo Switch

Games with Nintendo Switch
Below, we've listed the best games to give as gifts when buying or receiving a new Nintendo Switch.
© Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Kicking this list off, we have a tried and true classic in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This game launched with the Nintendo Switch back in March of 2017 and went on to earn several perfect review scores from gaming websites. Even if you or your gift recipient has never played a Zelda game before, Breath of the Wild excels in its approachability.

Sure, you’ll have to make do with weapons breaking and stamina that quickly depletes when you’re running, but those are minor complaints. The in-game world is vibrant and engaging, and if you’re a parent buying for a child, the combat isn’t over-the-top by any means. Furthermore, with hundreds of hours of gameplay potential, this is a game that’s sure to keep someone busy for quite some time.

Super Mario Odyssey

Another Nintendo Switch title to earn almost perfect scores across the board is Super Mario Odyssey which released back in October of 2017. When we think of Nintendo, a few core properties come to mind including The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and of course, Mario. There are a lot of Mario properties to choose from on Nintendo Switch, and you’ll see a few others on our list as well.

However, the one we recommend above all is Super Mario Odyssey. When it comes to adventure, excitement, diverse scenery, and a true Mario experience, nothing tops Super Mario Odyssey. Like Breath of the Wild, we’ve poured hundreds of hours into Super Mario Odyssey and have loved every single second of it.

Super Mario Odyssey offers pure, unfiltered fun for the whole entire family, making it a must-buy for any holiday shopping list.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

One game everyone seems to have on their holiday shopping list (if you didn’t pre-order it or purchase it the day of release) is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The latest entry in the fighting series is officially available on Nintendo Switch, and boasts the largest roster of playable characters to date.

In addition to the traditional Smash combat, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers a fun campaign mode in the form of World of Light. There’s also Classic Mode where you can fight against the CPU, and online play where you can battle your friends no matter where they live.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a true masterpiece on Nintendo Switch, much like previous suggestions including Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, if you’re looking for the top three games to buy with your new Nintendo Switch, we recommend Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu or Eevee

Another RPG to consider when buying games for Nintendo Switch is Pokemon: Let’s Go. In the past, we explained the differences between Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee if you’re wondering which version to buy. While the differences are pretty minor, we ended up recommending Eevee.

Pokemon: Let’s Go isn’t as lengthy as Breath of the Wild, but it’s a fun romp for lovers of the Pokemon series. The mechanics are different from what you’d find in a traditional Pokemon title, with the game being a revamp of Pokemon Yellow. There are no wild Pokemon encounters, making Pokemon: Let’s Go a lot more streamlined.

Some gamers disliked this approach, while others found it to be a fun way to kick back and enjoy the world of Pokemon. Personally, we adored Pokemon: Let’s Go and strongly recommend it as it plays wonderfully on Nintendo Switch and has a truly heartwarming vibe.

ARMS

ARMS is a weird game with a weird premise that, surprisingly, works really well. One of the best aspects of arms is how fun the multiplayer features are. You can play local co-op with a friend or family member, or jump online and challenge other players.

ARMS is a game that takes boxing and fighting and adds unique elements into the mix through each different “Arm” and character. It’s a real blast, and we highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a game capable of supporting more than one player.

Super Mario Party

Another multiplayer title we recommend is the newly released Super Mario Party for Nintendo Switch. What makes Super Mario Party a worthwhile purchase is the fact that it includes a diverse collection of minigames, each with their own fun little premise.

Super Mario Party can support up to four players in local co-op, making this game a must-have for large families. Additionally, Super Mario Party is extremely approachable, meaning that it’s a well-rounded game for all ages. When it comes to sitting around the Nintendo Switch having fun, we definitely suggest grabbing a copy of Super Mario Party!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Looking for something a little quicker than minigames? Why not try Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? As another game that supports up to four players in local co-op, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing game where you can pick your favorite character and race around a colorful collection of tracks. Additionally, there are items to pick up which can be used to sabotage other racers.

If you’ve played other Mario Kart titles in the past, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will feel wonderfully familiar. If you’ve never played a Mario Kart game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also approachable. It may take you a while to master each track, but you’ll have an absolute blast doing it. Whether you plan on racing alone, or with friends, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great choice when buying games for the Nintendo Switch.

Stardew Valley

As one of our favorite indie titles, Stardew Valley is a relaxing game where you tend to a farm and talk to local NPCs. Similar to Pokemon: Let’s Go in its cheerful presence, Stardew Valley is a wonderful game to play on Nintendo Switch, especially in handheld mode.

You can sit on the couch and explore Stardew Valley for hours as it really pulls you into its believable atmosphere. Stardew Valley isn’t a title with a multiplayer focus, and it isn’t fast-paced like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, Stardew Valley is a truly special game capable of warming both heart and soul.

Overcooked 2

For a multiplayer indie, we suggest picking up a copy of Overcooked 2. In comparison to other games on this list, Overcooked 2 is a strange suggestion considering it’s a co-op cooking sim. What sets Overcooked 2 apart is its wild, crazy, and purely delightful cooking gameplay. You can jump in a kitchen with a unique collection of challenges and either work together – or against – your teammates to prepare dish after dish.

We’ve spent dozens, if not hundreds of hours in Overcooked 2 and it never grows old. What’s really nice is how competitive people get in a multiplayer setting. It’s not an antagonistic type of vibe, but rather a friendly “I want to be the best chef out of everyone here” type of vibe. All in all, Overcooked 2 is a blast, especially when playing with friends.

Celeste

Finally, we had to include the moving and powerful Celeste. Unlike other suggestions on this list, Celeste is a narrative, single-player adventure. In the game, you follow protagonist Madeline as she battles her inner demons and treks to the top of Celeste Mountain.

Celeste is a powerful, award-winning experience that combines simple, platforming game mechanics with a deep story and beautiful setting. What’s more, the soundtrack for Celeste is one of the best of 2019. If you’re looking for a game that truly encapsulates the magic of indie titles, make sure you grab a copy of Celeste. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. 

After reviewing our list of the best games to buy for Nintendo Switch, which games are you planning on purchasing? Let us know down in the comments below! For more holiday gift guides, be sure to check out some of our previous features including the best accessories to buy for Nintendo Switch, the best accessories to buy for PlayStation 4, and the holiday sale going on right now at GameStop!

By reading through this guide, you should now know the best games to gift with a new Nintendo Switch during the holidays.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. When she's not gaming or caffeinating, you can reach her at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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