Nintendo’s Switch is the company’s latest console, and it can be a portable console, or you can connect it to your TV to use traditionally. Along with some games developed exclusively for this console, you can play older Nintendo titles, indie games, and many games that are available on multiple platforms. So you’ve got plenty to choose from on your Switch and even multiple options for acquiring those games.
Does the Nintendo Switch Come with Games?
The Nintendo Switch does not come with any games pre-installed, nor does it come with games in the box unless you purchase a Nintendo Switch bundle that specifically includes games. Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to buying a bundled Nintendo Switch or purchasing games separately, or even downloading free games on the Nintendo eShop, and we guarantee you haven’t heard of every game available.
- Firstly to download free games on your Nintendo Switch, on the home menu, navigate to the eShop.
- Now click on Search/Browse.
- Select Price Range.
- Scroll to the bottom of the list.
- Below you will see a “free” Category.
- Simply select the games you would like to download.
Here’s a complete list of free games that can be downloaded on the Nintendo eShop:
- Overwatch 2
- Fall Guys
- Rocket League
- Asphalt 9: Legends
- Pokemon UNITE
- Guardian Tales
- Apex Legends
- Super Kirby Clash
- Tetris 99
- Sky: Children of the Light
- Pokemon Quest
- Super Animal Royale
- Fallout Shelter
- The Elder Scholls: Blades
- Roller Champions
- Chocobo GP Lite
- Rogue Company
- Fantasy Strike
- Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium
- Knockout City
- Wolfstein: Youtngblood Trial
- World Of Tanks Blitz
- Puzzle Galaxy
- Tricky Doors
- Color Zen
- Fighting Ex Later Another Dash
- Turbo Shot
- The Pinball Arcade
- Punchman Online
- Arena of Valor
- Capcom, Arcade Stadium
- Retrograde Arena
- Crush Crush
- Lost Lands: Dark Overlord
- EMERGENCY HQ
- Island Saver
- Realm Royal Reforged
- CRSED: F.O.A.D
- Business Tour
- Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade
- Zorya: The Celestial Sisters
- The Four Kinds
- Pinball FX3
- Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble!
- Kitten Squad
- Gems of War
- Cyber Protocol Prologue
- Stern Pinball Arcade
- Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
- Game of Dragons
- Eternal Card Game
- Zaccaria Pinball
- Prime World: Defenders
- Dawn of the Breakers
To figure out whether your best option is to purchase a Nintendo Switch console separately from games or to purchase a bundle, you should know which games will be played on the system. Knowing which games are available in a bundle and understanding the difference between special editions and Switch bundles can also save you from experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Nintendo Switch Game Bundles
Although the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with games, you can purchase bundles that include games. For example, there is a bundle with the console and a physical copy of Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country, Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem: 3 Houses, Fitness Boxing 2, or Animal Crossing. In addition, these bundles may include other accessories, such as screen protectors and storage cases, for the Nintendo Switch.
You can also purchase bundles that include codes for the digital version of a game. You will have to download the game, so it’s important that your Nintendo Switch has enough room or that you have an SD card to expand the storage on your console.
If buying a bundle, carefully compare what’s included. There are many options, and they’re not all comparable. For example, some might include subscriptions to Nintendo Play Online along with physical accessories and digital or physical games.
Nintendo Switch Special Editions
Furthermore, you don’t want to confuse bundles with special editions of the Nintendo Switch. For example, you can buy the Animal Crossing: New Horizon version of the Switch, but it doesn’t come with the game of the same title. Instead, the console’s Joy-Cons match the dock, which has a decal. The Switch itself is still the original black design.
You can also purchase Pokemon-themed versions of the newer Nintendo Switch Lite. Various Pokemon are depicted on the back of these consoles, but they don’t come with the games that feature those Pokemon, so you’ll need to purchase those games separately.
Buying Nintendo Switch Games
Many games for the Nintendo Switch are available in both physical and digital versions, with the latter being downloaded to your console. You can purchase games directly from Nintendo through your Switch or from other major retailers that will give you a code to redeem on your console.
Digital games are convenient because you can have all your games on your Nintendo Switch at the same time and don’t need to switch between physical games. With games averaging around 8 gigabytes, you can quickly use up hard drive space with only a few games, so we recommend increasing space with a microSD card.
Popular Nintendo Switch Games
Once you’ve got your console, you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to games, including Nintendo’s iconic Mario games, the popular Pokemon franchise, and multiple Legend of Zelda titles. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular games for the console to consider.
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
- Metroid Dread
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Pokémon Sword and Shield
- Mario Party Superstars
- Stardew Valley
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Tetris 99
You can also download games for older Nintendo systems, games by indie developers, and games such as Minecraft that are available on multiple systems. So you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to games for your Switch. Comparing physical and digital versions may save you money. Plus, some games, especially indie games, may cost significantly less than the
Earn Rewards and Games from My Nintendo
Signing up for My Nintendo earns you rewards for your console, game, and in-game purchases. You can redeem these rewards for various prizes, including wallpapers for your smartphone, in-game perks such as bells for Animal Crossing, printables, Nintendo 3DS themes, sweepstakes entries, and other downloadable content (DLC). Rewards are added when you purchase from Nintendo directly or redeem codes from other retailers.
Another benefit of signing up for Nintendo’s online service is the ability to add games to your wishlist. Nintendo sends messages about general sales but will also notify you when games on your wishlist have gone on sale.
Purchasing a Nintendo Switch as a Gift
If you’re buying a Switch to give to someone, it’s smart to buy at least one game so that they can play it right away. However, you might want to unbox the console and charge it if your recipient wants to play it as a handheld right away. You can charge the Switch with the included USB-C cable (or one you might have) or plug the cable into the dock and place the console in it.
When you first turn on the Switch, you may have to download updates for the console. On top of that, some physical games require you to download additional data when you first insert them into the Nintendo Switch. Digital games require you to download the entire game to the Switch, which can take some time depending on the size of the game and your Internet connection.
Finally, you may want to include a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online if your recipient plans to play games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Tetris 99, or Minecraft, all of which require Internet access or include online content that plays a significant role in the game. Along those lines, an online subscription lets gamers race against other players around the world in Mario Kart, but you can fully enjoy the game without an online subscription.
Nintendo Switch — Controllers Included
While your switch includes everything you need to get started playing once you purchase a game, including the unique Joy-Con controllers. The Joy-Cons are different from previous Nintendo controllers and let you play your Switch as a handheld when they’re attached to the device. You can remove the controllers and attach the included bumpers to turn them into two controllers, letting you play games with a friend.
The Nintendo Switch also comes with a grip to which you can attach your Joy-Cons, creating a controller that’s a bit more like other systems’ controllers. If you’re not a fan of the Joy-Cons, you can purchase a Switch Pro Controller or one of the many third-party options that are available.