15 Best Nintendo Switch Games For Christmas 2023

Handheld stocking stuffers.

Switch games for Christmas
Switch games for Christmas

If you’re looking to buy a game for someone this Christmas, you typically can’t go wrong with a Nintendo Switch game. The handheld console from the Japanese publisher has found its way into nearly every self-respecting gamer’s set up, and hardly anyone is going to say no to a new game or two this Christmas.

Looking for gifts for that nerd in your life can seem a bit daunting, so for those who might be struggling to discern the great gift ideas from the terrible ones, we’ve put together a list of the best Nintendo Switch games you could buy this Christmas. While there’s a few games here from across the Switch’s lifespan that’ll make for great stocking fillers, we’ve tried to focus more on games from 2023.

 

15. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Developer: Bandai Namco, Sora Ltd
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E10+/PEGI 12+

Considering it’s the most successful fighting game on the Nintendo Switch, it’s likely that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is going to be a hard game to buy for someone these days, as they probably already own it. Still, if they don’t, this is still one of the greatest value for money packages you can buy on the Switch, and even if they do own it, just buy them codes for the Fighters Passes instead.

 

14. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 3+

The cutesy life sim that dominated the pandemic lockdown era of 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect time sink to give to someone if they’re getting their first Nintendo Switch this Christmas. Those daily tasks and goals to improve and decorate your island quickly become a core part of your daily routine, while visiting your friend’s islands to see what they’ve built and even steal those ideas for yourself.

 

13. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion 3

Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7+

Perhaps the most underrated of Nintendo’s exclusives on the Switch, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a tour de force of game, taking the well-loved Luigi and his vacuum formula and moving it to a haunted hotel that boasts a new theme on every floor. From movie madness to medieval castles, desert temples and pirate booty, this ghastly guest house makes for a brilliant adventure. Plus, the Gooigi power-up turns Luigi’s Mansion 3 into a co-op adventure, doubling the fun.

 

12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Booster Course Pass

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Booster Course Pass
Mario Kart 8

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 3+

Everyone and their best mate has played or at least heard of Mario Kart at this point, so purchasing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a sensible choice indeed. If you’re looking to go the extra mile though, you could throw in the Booster Course Pass, which includes an additional 48 tracks from across the history of the series. With nearly 100 tracks altogether, you’ll be racing each other long into the new year.

 

11. Detective Pikachu Returns

Detective Pikachu Returns
Detective Pikachu Returns

Developer: Creatures
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7+

Everyone agrees that Pokemon are incredibly cute, so a new Pokemon game wouldn’t go amiss this Christmas. The traditional RPG offerings like Sword/Shield and Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl are great, but if you’re looking to give something a bit different, consider Detective Pikachu Returns. A sequel to the 3DS game, Detective Pikachu Returns sees the deerstalker wearing Pokemon and his human teaming up to solve mysteries.

 

10. Fire Emblem Engage

Fire Emblem Engage review
Fire Emblem Engage review

Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12+

Tactical RPG fans have been eating good on the Nintendo Switch for years now, especially after the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses a few years back. If anyone’s yet to play that, Three Houses is a good gift too, but this year saw the release of Fire Emblem Engage, which is just as excellent. Its story might be a tad more simplistic compared to Three Houses’ choices and consequences, but that all important tactical gameplay is still — well, engaging.

 

9. Kirby’s Return To Dreamland Deluxe

Kirby
Kirby

Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7+

Nintendo’s cute pink mascot has been enjoying a new wave of success on the Nintendo Switch, especially after last year’s Kirby And The Forgotten Land, so if you’re buying a gift this Christmas for someone who loves platformers, consider Kirby’s Return To Dreamland Deluxe. An updated version of the Wii release from 2011, this Deluxe edition includes everything players loved about the original game, only with an updated artstyle, new powers and even a new epilogue.

 

8. Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3
Splatoon 3

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7+

The Nintendo Switch has long been considered the home of multiplayer gaming and while that’s mostly true of local play, its reputation in online play is also worthy of merit. Granted, that rep is mostly carried by the success of the Splatoon series, but when you’ve created a shooter this unique and fun, of course people are going to love playing it. Splatoon 3 offers more of the same competitive cuteness, as you try to cover the arena in more paint than the other team.

 

7. Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG
Super Mario RPG

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 7+

Considered a cult classic by many who are older enough to have owned a SNES, Nintendo made an incredibly smart move this year by remaking Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Dropping the subtitle to just be known as Super Mario RPG, this updated version of the game includes all the iconic characters and locations, but with slightly faster gameplay, improved visuals and some additional post-game content.

 

6. Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4
Pikmin 4

Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 3+

Those in the know have considered Pikmin to be Nintendo’s underdog franchise for generations now, quietly picking up steam ever since its first release on the GameCube. Now, with Pikmin 4 launching this year, the series has never looked stronger, with the gameplay formula in this fourth installment simplifying certain mechanics without sacrificing the franchise’s incredible RTS-lite foundations. Also, there’s a cute, dog-like creature called Oatchi, so you should buy it for that alone.

 

5. Octopath Traveler II

Octopath Traveler 2
Octopath Traveler 2

Developer: Square Enix, Acquire
Publisher: Square Enix
Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12+

The Nintendo Switch boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to RPGs, with titles like the Xenoblade Chronicles series, Live A Live and Shin Megami Tensei all vying for your attention. This year’s Octopath Traveler II joins the growing list of excellent role-playing games, offering an incredible journey for classic role-playing fans. The first game is also excellent too, so why not chuck that in too. You know, as a treat.

 

4. Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime

Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12+

The wait for Metroid Prime 4 isn’t getting any shorter it seems, but it sure is getting a little bit easier, as Nintendo finally launched Metroid Prime Remastered on the Nintendo Switch, taking the title for best port/re-release on the Switch. It’s the same game players know and love from the GameCube over two decades ago, but the improved visuals and timeless gameplay make this an essential purchase for FPS fans.

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3. Hades

Hades game
Hades game

Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games
Age Rating: ESRB T/PEGI 12+

Whenever Hades isn’t on one of our lists, people should be asking “Where’s Hades?”

The god-like roguelike from Supergiant Games, Hades has cultivated a well-earned level of acclaim as being one of the best roguelikes ever made. From its amazing story, which retools the Greek mythology to tell a tale that’s more human than anything, to the gameplay that rewards perseverance, along with the accessibility options that ensure everyone can play, Hades is one of the best Switch games ever made.

 

2. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E/PEGI 3+

A new Super Mario Bros. platformer is the gaming equivalent of what “appointment viewing” is for TV. No matter what the game entails, we will be seated and we will enjoy whatever Nintendo has to offer. Super Mario Bros. Wonder sees the plumber returning to the world of 2.5D, and while that might sound like a bit of a step backwards compared to the likes of Odyssey, the level of creativity and imagination on offer here is unparalleled.

 

1. The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom
Tears of the Kingdom

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Age Rating: ESRB E10+/PEGI 12+

Another series that’s hit a new peak for a lot of players on the Nintendo Switch, the recent Zelda games have been considered among the best open world action games ever made. While Breath of the Wild felt like a revolution of the Zelda formula, this year’s Tears of the Kingdom is more like a 2.0 version of the previous entry, building on the foundations with new areas, abilities and opportunities for mischief. If you want a game that’ll keep your gift recipient occupied for dozens of hours, Zelda is the only option.

READ MORE: 20 Best Nintendo Switch Games of All Time

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