The best family games on Switch

The best video games for family game night, from traditional board games to frantic arcade racers

The best family games on Switch

by William Lobley |

The Nintendo Switch is one of the best video game consoles of all time. Not because of its processing power or visual prowess, but because of its accessibility and versatility. The fact that it can go from docked TV play to handheld console in seconds means that it can be enjoyed anywhere, and its library is brimming with some of the best games available. And it’s within this catalogue that we find some of the best family games.

Family games are an interesting subsection of Switch gaming, not least because they are hard to get right. They need to be accessible to newbie players, with controls and rules being quick and easy to understand while offering enough challenge to keep seasoned gamers invested.

Related: The best party games | The best Switch games for kids

Similarly, they need to be visually accessible, with only essential action and feedback being on-screen - visually busy games are super off-putting to non-gamers. The best family games offer a healthy combination of cooperation and competition, with plenty of space for loved ones to support and teach each other, balanced with the chance for some good-natured rivalries and ribbings.

Though it takes quite a mix of qualities to make the best family video game, there are plenty of games available for the Switch that have got it just right. Here’s our roundup of the best family games on Switch.

Gallery

The best family games on Switch

Unravel Two
1 of 13

Unravel Two is a beautiful two-player platforming adventure game. In it, you control one of two yarn-bodied characters connected by a knotted thread. Working together with another player, you'll use environmental factors and unique cooperative skills to overcome challenges and progress. Though not easy, it's a rather relaxing game with a great soundtrack. We think it's ideal for siblings or inter-generational play - Unravel Two is sure to be a highlight of any game library.Player: Up to two

Amazon
Super Mario Party
2 of 13

Super Mario Party is a digital board game like no other. After choosing a charter from the Mario roster, up to four players race around a themed board, triggering challenges and mini-games as they go. With over 80 of these mini-games to be played and a selection of party game modes, including Mario Party, River Survival and Online Mariothon, Super Mario Party has plenty to give, time and time again.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Super Mario Maker 2
3 of 13

This is the classic Mario side-scrolling caper, with a twist. As the name suggests, Mario Maker 2 lets players build custom maps which can then be played locally by friends and family. It's entirely up to the creator how hard these maps are, and it creates a great mix of gameplay, creativity and competition. Nintendo Switch Online members can upload creations and download maps created by others in the Mario community.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Overcooked: All You Can Eat
4 of 13

In Overcooked, players become a team of chefs running a restaurant kitchen. Everything needs to run smoothly, and orders need to be sent out correctly and on time - what could be more simple? Well, the kitchens in Overcooked might be in a storm-battered hot air balloon, zooming down river rapids on a couple of rafts or spread out over a busy road intersection. The game is silly and endlessly rewarding – at first, it seems like a casual game, but you'll soon find your party hooked, rushing to get that Sashimi out in time. The best edition to pick up is All You Can Eat because it bundles both main games and all DLC into one extensive package - in other words, it's an absolute bargain.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Moving Out
5 of 13

Moving Out might be one of the most testing family games ever devised. In it, players are removal workers tasked with clearing households and office buildings to a time limit. The levels and mission criteria are silly and hilarious, and each map has special secrets to unlock. It requires a tonne of cooperation, with large and cumbersome items needing two people to move - and often throw - them around. Irreverent, ridiculous and highly addictive.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
6 of 13

Mario Kart 8 might be the best arcade racer of all time, boasting over 40 racers and 48 tracks. It's also home to unique game modes, such as Bob-omb Blast and Balloon Battle, which serve as a welcome addition to the standard track races. Solo, multiplayer, or online, Mario Kart always pleases. This Deluxe Edition comes preloaded with all the DLC. Players: Up to four locally, up to 12 online

Amazon
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
7 of 13

Played with friends and family, Crash Team Racing will have everyone screaming for joy and frustration. It's a wholly successful remastering of a PlayStation One arcade-racing classic. Much like the Mario racers, the kart-racing formula on offer in CTR is simple, effective and timeless. The melee of the frantic races is full of recognisable and much-loved characters flinging all sorts of bizarre weapons at each other.Players: Up to four locally, up to eight online

Amazon
Just Dance 2021
8 of 13

Remember those old Dance Dance Revolution machines found in arcades of the early-2000s? That's pretty much what you're getting with Just Dance 2021, albeit in a far smaller package. Using either a Joy-Con or the smartphone app, players throw some shapes to some of the biggest chart bangers. It's a tonne of fun and a sneaky way of getting in some exercise. The 2021 release features 40 tracks from stars like Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Billy Eilish. It even comes with a free one-month Just Dance Unlimited subscription, unlocking over 550 additional songs.Players: Up to six

Amazon
1-2 Switch
9 of 13

1-2 Switch is a compilation game, featuring 28 unlockable mini-games, including wizard duels, play spinning, dance-offs and eating contests. It has players face off against each other in ridiculous situations, which is just as much fun for the audience as the competitors. It's a completely ridiculous catalogue of games that's both fun and accessible to players new and seasoned.Players: Up to two

Amazon
51 Worldwide Games
10 of 13

Don't be fooled by the unimaginative name - 51 Worldwide Games is an exemplary family title and great value for the money. It's best to think of it as a board game shelf - inside the game card sits 51 classic and traditional games, from chess and solitaire through to poker and blackjack. For a little more action, there are bowling, billiards and air hockey games, too. Best of all, if you're a household with a few Switch consoles, you only need one copy of the game. The rest can remotely connect for increased multiplayer support - all the other consoles need is the free demo version from the eShop.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Snipper Clips Plus: Cut it out Together!
11 of 13

Snipper Clips is a wacky adventure that's as quirky as it is fun. It is all about creative problem solving, as players work together in teams of between two and four to craft new paper shades to complete action puzzles and challenges. We've picked the Cut it out Together edition as our favourite - it includes DLC that provides an additional 40 stages.Players: Up to four

Amazon
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
12 of 13

While IRL, the Tokyo Olympics never took place in 2020, that didn't stop Mario and Sonic from hosting their own events. In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, players take part in an array of sporting events, including the 100m sprint, long jump and javelin. The game uses the Joy-Con motion controls in innovative ways and is a hugely rewarding family and party game.Players: Up to eight

Amazon
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
13 of 13

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a smash hit across the board, drawing in players of all ages and walks of life. The reason? It's a joyous game in which players slowly develop a perfect island retreat - it's a super relaxing place to be. Now, this could get expensive - but, if you have a household with multiple Switch consoles, then New Horizons is a charming game to play as a family. Players can play and progress on their own island, and then visit each other islands to look around, offer advice or give gifts.Players: One locally, up to 8 online

Amazon

Need some more controllers?

The majority of the games listed are controlled via a pair of Joy-Cons or smartphone apps. However, if you’re looking to get playing multiplayer with three-plus people, you'll need some more controllers. Check out below for some deals on Switch controllers - note that many third-party controllers don’t offer the motion controls and Bluetooth connectivity required for some games.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Pair

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Pair
Amazon

View offer

Available in six-plus colours

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller For Switch

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller For Switch
Amazon

View offer

Available in 20-plus colours and finishes

What to read next:

The best Switch games

The best Switch accessories

The best Switch cases

William Lobley is a Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming, and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Will and the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us