10 Nintendo Switch games for families on vacation

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The holidays are a great time to get together as a family around the versatile Nintendo Switch, especially if you have enough controllers for multiple people to play on one TV at a time! And the Switch comes with a popular library of board games, co-op adventures, and family missions to try out, regardless of player age. The only question is: what’s the best to start this holiday season? We have the 10 best answers here!

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Jackbox Party Pack 7

This innovative party pack brings popular party games to the Switch so the whole family can play. Quiplash in particular is a party favorite, as people imagine quick and fun responses to in-game prompts and see who can make them laugh the most. Talking Points asks players to give hilarious speeches on the spot, another great choice for improv families. There’s also a pop culture guessing game, an easy little boxing game, and more. Anyone can play with their phone as well, so there is no controller to master.

Mario Party Superstars

Map overview of Yoshi Island.

This complete Mario Party game is packed with a variety of team-oriented board games, meaning players of all ages will find something familiar to enjoy. Board games are played with a variety of fun little mini-games to change the challenge, with set difficulties so that even newcomers can have a good time and have a good chance of winning. There’s a reason it landed a Game Award nomination for Best Family Game!

Mario Golf: Super Rush

Mario, Wario and Rosalina race in Mario Golf: Super Rush.

Golf on Switch tends to be a very easy game to pick up, even for novices who aren’t very comfortable with a gamepad (the shot gauge also helps those who, well, maybe aren’t. not being good at golf either). Super rush amps Mario golf Other great ways too: the character options are better than ever, there are multiple modes to explore, and you can play games with up to four people!

Overcooked! All you can eat edition

Overcooked cuisine at will.

Overcooked! is a cooking game where up to four players can team up to prepare and combine ingredients, then deliver them on time! The levels start out easy enough to teach newcomers how to navigate kitchens, and then more difficult kitchens are continually introduced. It’s a great choice that invites teamwork and coordination… and has a convenient assist mode to make things more user-friendly for everyone.

Just Dance 2021

Just Dance 2021.

With enough space, anyone can participate in the Just Dance party. This game combines a smartphone app with Switch gameplay to help track moves and award points to those with the best moves. You can create personalized playlists containing the hottest pop songs of the moment, although a subscription is required to unlock everything. Fortunately, the first month is free and can cover a good chunk of the holiday season if you set it up on time.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario and Bowser skeleton race on the track.

Racing games are a great family activity if they’re easy enough, and it doesn’t get much easier than this revamped version of Mario kart. As long as someone can learn to accelerate, brake and steer, they can navigate the fun courses. Crazy items and boosts help increase gameplay once people have mastered the basics, and these extra features can ensure people have a good time even if they don’t exactly win a race.

Mario tennis aces

Mario Tennis Aces.

Mario Tennis is another great game for all skill levels. Everyone understands a tennis court, and the straightforward gameplay is easy to understand while still providing plenty to do. You can team up against bosses, play doubles against each other, enter a multiplayer tournament mode, or try out other fun modes that prioritize a good time.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 fight.

The campaign version of Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t that great as a board game, but luckily there are other modes to have fun! ScareScraper and Scream Park games support up to eight players at a time, encouraging teams to catch ghosts by working together or fighting each other with tests like floating coins or barreling cannons . It’s a good choice for occasional fun and for shorter gaming sessions with family and friends, with low stakes all around.

Minigolf Adventure

Mini golf adventure.

This relaxing mini golf game costs just a few dollars and doesn’t take long to learn. You choose your golf ball and aim it over a variety of innovative courses. You can play against each other in single matches or choose a group mode where you can have up to four balls on the screen at a time. Each mini-course is unique, handcrafted, and surprisingly fun for a group to explore. There are also different climates to choose from that will impact how the balls move.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros.  Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. has great potential as a holiday friendly board game, and Ultimate is possibly the best the franchise has ever been. The barrier to entry is also virtually non-existent – you can literally rush into the swing and still have fun. The many customization options also allow you to set up local games with whatever rules you want for the family and friends you play with. The only downside is that some family members can be a bit too much competitive on the Smash scene, in which case it may be better to separate casual and serious gaming sessions.

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