Given the pick-up and play portability of the Nintendo Switch, it makes sense that there are already several brilliant sports games to play on the device. It’s just too easy to snap out those Joy-Cons and get into a game quickly, even if you’re chilling with a group of friends in the great outdoors. This lends itself naturally to sports games that multiple players can enjoy in small bursts.
But the beauty of Nintendo’s pocket powerhouse is that it’s just as easy to slip into a dock at home and get the whole family involved in some motion-controlled sporting action. Even if you’re a solo player, you could hunker down with a management sim for a few hours before bed to get your sporting fix. The console’s versatility is its superpower, but you may be wondering which sports games you should buy to take advantage of its features.
In this article, we’re going to run through some of our favorite Nintendo Switch sports games, with a focus on providing a variety of titles that are fun for the whole family.
Some of the best sports games are fine-tuned reflections of the real thing, but sometimes it can be even more engaging to elevate certain parts of the gameplay into the absurd. Mario Tennis Aces is an excellent example of this, as it turns the racket-based sport into a fighting game with a few quirky mechanics.
With up to four players in local or online multiplayer, you can enjoy tense rallies and close games but also break each other’s rackets with special attacks and deliver impossible curving backhands that send your opponents flying.
Mario Tennis Aces is tons of fun with friends, but the additional story mode turns a great package into an essential pickup, allowing solo players to get in on the action too.
Soccer with remote-controlled cars might not be something you can see at a stadium near you, but it absolutely becomes a sport when you start learning the tricks and trying to score goals against other players in local or online play. Psyonix’s Rocket League is massively popular for good reason: it’s the perfect game if you want to quickly settle a score on the Nintendo Switch.
Snap out those Joy-Cons and take your grievances to the arena, but just don’t get caught out in overtime, ok? Learning to use your boost correctly and float through the air to secure goals is an art, which is why Rocket League’s clumsy gameplay is so moreish.
If watching this year’s Olympics has got your family itching to compete, then you should definitely consider trying out virtual versions of the events on your Nintendo Switch with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
This bumper minigame package contains over 30 events to play and a charming, historical story mode to enjoy in your solo downtime. It offers hours of fun for groups of all ages, and there’s a good level of consistency between the different sports. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to see Mario bust out a kickflip?
Speaking of kickflips, players can expand their Olympic skateboarding ambitions on the Nintendo Switch with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, a superb remake of the iconic action sports games from the dawn of the century.
The accessible button-mashing gameplay fits the handheld nature of the Nintendo Switch perfectly, and with two whole games to shred through and a horde of challenges to unlock, you won’t be short of things to do.
You can even hop into multiplayer and lay down your best line with local friends or skater strangers online. You’ll want to crank up the volume too, thanks to the game’s killer soundtrack that blends retro and modern skateboarding anthems.
Suppose you’re more interested in sports management than getting in the middle of the action yourself. In that case, you might want to consider Football Manager 2021 Touch, a great port of the beloved Sports Interactive series that lets you fight through the seasons, nurture talent, and shape your club’s journey.
The console control scheme may take some getting used to if you’re a series veteran, but it’s well worth a try if you’re looking for a sports game that’s meatier than many of the other multiplayer-focused titles featured in this list.
As proven by Mario Tennis Aces, developer Camelot Software Planning knows how to elevate a sports game on the Nintendo Switch, so it’s no surprise that Mario Golf: Super Rush turns teeing up into an exciting arcade adventure for solo players and families.
In the game’s adventure mode, you’ll rise through the ranks as a Mii Rookie, taking on challenging courses in rough terrain while enjoying a hilarious narrative stocked with classic Mario characters. Outside of the story mode, you can play golf with up to four friends and feel the haptics of a careful shot as you chase that elusive hole-in-one.
The addition of quirky modes like Speed Golf and Battle Golf ensures that less-skilled players have a chance to cause some chaos on the green, but there’s no question that this golf simulation can get serious with a group of skilled players.
If you want to add that extra element to your sports gaming experience on the Nintendo Switch and burn some calories, then you should pick up Ring Fit Adventure.
Equipped with a leg strap and a custom ring peripheral, players can squeeze and stretch to perform gamified routines, from squats to yoga poses and targeted muscle exercises. This is all within a role-playing game framework, where you level up and progress through levels by fighting monsters with your calorie-burning moves.
Ring Fit also offers some turn-based multiplayer games and a rhythm mode where you can work out to some top Nintendo tunes. There’s a reason this one is hard to get a hold of, and that’s due to how effective it can be as a regular fitness regime.
Written by Jordan Oloman on behalf of GLHF.
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