A bunch of yoshi riding on bikes around a road (mario kart 8 deluxe screenshot)
Image: Nintendo

Best Nintendo Switch Games To Buy First

Having owned the Nintendo Switch since launch, I’ve played hundreds of games–including the very best–and have a thorough understanding of which titles people should buy as their first game.

The first games you should buy for Nintendo Switch include the relaxing life simulator Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Club House Games tabletop collection to the epic adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

These are fun games packed with content every Switch owner should play first.

I’ll be going over the very best Nintendo Switch titles every owner should have, giving a description of each game along with reasons why you need to buy it. Now, let’s jump right in.

View the most popular Nintendo Switch games and accessories right now by checking out this Nintendo Switch best sellers list

The Best Nintendo Switch Games You Should Buy First

As a general rule, Nintendo Switch owners should buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as their very first game. These three games come packed with content, support online play, and are great single and multiplayer experiences.

These Nintendo Switch titles are also the top three best-selling Switch games of all time, each having sold over 20 million copies.

This ensures each game continues to have thriving communities to interact with on forums and social outlets across the web and a large player base to play with online.

Now, let’s delve into what each game is and why you should select each one as your first Nintendo Switch game to buy.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Super Smash Bro. Ultimate
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


two players sitting on a bench, happy (animal crossing new horizons screenshot)
Image: Nintendo

What Is Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a relaxing social simulator about starting life on a beautiful island. Gameplay is laid back, revolving around befriending animal villagers bursting with personality, customizing the house and island of your dreams with thousands of unique items, all while collecting a wealth of wildlife found around the island.

I’ve never been bored playing the game as nothing gets dull due to Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ stellar use of real time.

When its noon in real life, it’s noon in the game.

Characters, events, and items appear depending on the time of day and season which makes the game a different experience every single day.

There’s always something to do and new things to see in Animal Crossing: New Horizons which makes it one of the games that gets played on a daily basis in my household well after its release.

Should You Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

You should buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons because it’s a relaxing game in which there is always something to do and everything to-do is fun to play.

Collecting bugs, catching fish, and customizing the island to your liking has never been more addicting and soothing.

In fact, my spouse and I have played thousands of hours of Animal Crossing: New Horizons because we love the simple yet satisfying gameplay that just feels good no matter the occasion.

This is a perfect game to play for just a few minutes or for long sessions. Better yet, the game changes with the seasons, so there is always something new to experience.

The sheer amount of content provided along with ample things to do, items to collect, and villagers to befriend makes Animal Crossing: New Horizons one of the first games you should buy and play for Nintendo Switch.

1-8 players (Local & Online) | Rated Everyone | 7 GB (digital version)

Check out Animal Crossing: New Horizons from our friends at Amazon by clicking here.


a board fwith scokets, each filled woth marbles; clubhouse games screenshot
Image: Nintendo

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is a compilation of 51 well-known tabletop games from around the world. Popular board, card, and sport games are included along with online and local multiplayer modes.

What Is Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics?

This compilation of “game night” favorites is one of the best values in gaming, providing families and friends the ability to play variations of UNO, Sorry!, and Yahtzee along with chess, checkers, as well as a host of others.

Solo players can also find fun by playing single-player games such as Spider Solitaire or by playing certain multiplayer games against computer opponents.

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is one of my favorite Nintendo Switch games that allows me to play some of my favorite tabletop games without having to keep dozens of board game around the house or perform set up or clean up.

This equates to having more time to spend playing games with loved ones, which is a very nice thing.

Should You Buy Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics?

You should buy Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics if you enjoy playing tabletop games and have friends or family to play with. This compilation title is packed with popular tabletop games such as Backgammon and Texas Hold’em that provide more fun and value when playing with others.

As a whole, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics has been played in my household on the weekends as a game night centerpiece for weeks on end.

My spouse and I battled each other and traded victories in the dozens of included games, sharing laughs and fun-filled competitive moments we still talk about.

My mother also joined in on the fun and beat both my spouse and I in Yacht Dice (Yahtzee) as that game was one of her favorites as a child.

Clubhouse Games has been one of my favorite games because it helped create moments like this for me and my family.

It also doesn’t hurt that the game was made by Nintendo and has that quality polish, look, and feel you can expect from the iconic game developers.

All of this to say, I wish I was playing the game right now, as Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics should be one of the first games every Nintendo Switch owner should buy.

1-4 players (Local & Online) | Rated Everyone | 2.3 GB (digital version)

Check out Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics from our friends at Amazon by clicking here.


a person in a kart, holding a coin on brick road (mario kart 8 deluxe screenshot)
Image: Nintendo

What Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a complete version of Nintendo Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 that includes the base game and all downloadable content. This Deluxe iteration is the definitive Mario Kart experience–a party racing game with 48 tracks and 42 playable characters.

Furthermore, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s beautiful Pixar quality visuals and wonderful soundtrack complements the game’s robust single, multiplayer, and online modes that has kept me coming back for more.

This is by far one of my favorite racing games to play in groups or by myself, facing worthy challenges all across the globe or sitting next to me in the same room.

The fun never stops with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Should You Buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

You should buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe because it is the perfect party game, online game, and single player game for any occasion. There is just so many awesome courses and characters, the game is never lacking in content.

I’ve enjoyed playing the stellar racing title with my friends and family, both in person and online, and I’ve always had a blast.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is definitely the best Mario Kart title ever made, with the abundance of tracks to master and kart customization parts to unlock.

It’s one of the first games all Nintendo Switch owners should buy for solo or multiplayer sessions.

1-4 players (Local), 2-12 players (Online) | Rated Everyone | 6.9 GB (digital version)

Check out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from our friends at Amazon by clicking here.


two fighters on a platform (smash ultimate screenshot)
Image: Nintendo

What Is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fun, frantic party fighting game for beginner to advanced players that includes the most well known and iconic characters in video game history. Players select a fighter and then do battle with up to 8 players on a platform with the goal of knocking foes off of the stage to win.

Additionally, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate includes every character in the series’ history and nearly every stage.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has 86 playable characters (74 included with the game and 12 obtainable by purchasing extra character packs) along with 114 stages (each with three separate forms).

There’s someone for everyone to play as from Mario and Zelda characters, to Mega Man, Minecraft, and more.

Lastly, this ultimate party fighting game contains a fantastic slate of game modes including

  • solo and team matches
  • tournaments
  • local gameplay for up to 8 players on the same system
  • online matches
  • training and practice
  • a single player arcade adventure
  • 36 hours or music tracks to listen to
  • and so much more

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is arguably the most content packed value for your money you can find on any system, ensuring the game will last a long time for players to enjoy for years.

Should You Buy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

I’ve played hundreds of hours of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and I can say it is the definitive Smash Bros. Game. And I simply love this game because you can play however you want.

It’s an awesome party game to play with family and friends on game night or during holidays and a competitive experience to play online against friends or strangers around the world.

My spouse and in-laws have spent many Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday vacations battling it out with tears in our eyes in a relaxed, party game environment. On the other hand, myself and coworkers have duked it out in competitive one-on-one matches to see who’s the best.

The buffet of content included, overwhelming number of game modes, and frantic fun packed into this one epic title makes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate one of the first games every Nintendo Switch owner should buy.

1-8 players (Local), 2-4 players (Online) | Rated Everyone 10+ | 16.7 GB (digital version)

Check out Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from our friends at Amazon by clicking here.


a wide view of green grass and a small man looking at a monster (zelda breath of the wild screenshot)
Image: Nintendo

What Is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an epic fantasy game set in a post-apocalyptic world in which the player can freely explore from top to bottom. Gameplay centers around adventuring through a vast unfamiliar world, collecting items and upgrades while battling unique monsters.

Craft meals to restore life and experiment with a host of awesome weapons, while completing 120 challenging shrines (mini-dungeons) in order to save the world from a great evil at the center of the sprawling lands.

Although I’ve played hundreds of Nintendo Switch games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still one of my most-played and memorable  gaming moments of the decade. It’s just that excellent of a game.

Should You Buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

You should buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild because it’s one of the best games of all time that you have to experience for yourself. I played this for hundreds of hours, collecting and exploring the vast world, and never got tired of doing so.

And I still have so much left to accomplish and do. I beat it twice and still haven’t finished collecting the game’s 900 collectible seeds or finished the extra content.

The game is also a breath of fresh air, pun intended. It allows players to go and do pretty much anything at any time. You can travel to just about any place you see in the distance which makes every play session unique and exciting.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a must-play experience for all Nintendo Switch owners and deserves to be one of the very first games every Nintendo Switch owners should buy.

1 player | Rated Everyone 10+ | 14.4 GB (digital version)

Check out The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from our friends at Amazon by clicking here.

What Nintendo Switch Game Should You Get And Play First?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should be the first game Nintendo Switch owners should get if searching for a robust single-player journey. Otherwise, Nintendo Switch owners should get Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate first due to each game’s immense content and focus on multiplayer modes.

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is an essential Nintendo Switch game that specifically provides  the most fun with a group of friends and family. Get this Nintendo Switch game first if you have people to play with.

What Is The Most Popular Nintendo Switch Games Right Now?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the most popular Nintendo Switch game right now with 31 million copies sold and an active fan community. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Minecraft, and the Legend of Zelda series of games also continue to be popular Nintendo Switch games that everyone should play.

Monster Hunter Rise is the most popular action game for Nintendo Switch while the vast array of Pokémon and Super Mario Bros. titles are constant Nintendo Switch best sellers which equates to more people playing online and faster matchmaking for online enabled games.

If you’re interested in Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch, you can check it out by clicking here.

There are a host of other popular Nintendo Switch games you should consider buying as well:

  • JUST DANCE SERIES. Dance to a track list of popular songs alone or party with friends; each game contains about 40 songs with an optional subscription that grants access to over 600 additional songs. This is also a great series for working out.
  • TONY HAWK 1 & 2. This is a compilation of two of the best arcade, high score action-sport titles for up to 2 players locally. Skate across various levels, completing goals and obtaining high scores by performing cool tricks.
  • RING FIT ADVENTURE. Developed by Nintendo (the creative minds behind Wii Fit), this title combines working out with a vibrant role playing adventure that relies on body movements to perform actions. A gamer’s workout game for sure.
  • SONIC DOUBLE PACK. Enjoy two great Sonic games: Sonic Mania, a modern take on classic Sonic platform games, and Team Sonic Racing which is basically Mario Kart but with Sonic characters. Each game is quality and beloved by fans. 
  • WITCHER 3. This is an expansive adventure game for mature audiences set in the world of the Witcher. Fans of the hit  Netflix show or those looking for a gripping game reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should play this next.

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NOTE: This page contains affiliate links. We earn commissions from Amazon. But that doesn’t sway our opinions on these games. I have personally played and enjoyed every game suggested because they’re just that good!

(Screenshots taken by me. Images sourced from product pages, websites, or social media and are credited appropriately. Logos, images, etc. belong to their respective owners. All information current at time of publication.)

SOURCE: Nintendo

I'm Wally, and Bucket List Games is gaming simplified. We cover the very best games past, present, and future, so it's easy to understand.

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