Everyone remembers their first video game. Mine was the Super Mario World on Super Nintendo which I got for my birthday when I was real little. The memories of first booting it up are a little hazy, but it was the only video game I played for a long while.
My fellow writer Sophy Ziss’ memories of her first video game are much more vivid. This is on account of it being only last week. She finally has entered the wonderful world of gaming, starting off with Stardew Valley on her new Nintendo Switch Lite. Everything is completely new to her, even the orientation of the console. When it arrived she first posed for a photo with it unknowingly holding the Switch upsidedown.
She has a lot to learn and a ton of games to play. We figured we’d help make it easier on her by opening up recommendations to all our readers to help her and any other new gamers out there get their feet wet with some of the greats. These are all wonderful games that are approachable for anyone at any skill level. Even if you are a tenured gamer, if you’ve missed any of these, you may want to consider playing them yourself.
Streets of Rage 4 | $27
[Streets of Rage 4] is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up so the gameplay mechanics and goals are straightforward to anybody. Move right and beat up bad guys. It has a retro feel that just screams “video games” cranking up the volume just rocks the appeal of jamming in an arcade. The easy mode is a breeze and since the game is 4-player local co-op even when using just split Joy-Con its a great group game that is perfect on Switch that lets you lend multiple helping hands to you noob. It looks and feels modern enough to feel like you are playing something shiny and new without complicated controls or an intimidating open world. The game only lasts as long as you want it to with bite-sized chapters and a story mode that can be completed in a few hours but has a ton of replay value with all the various modes, unlockables and difficulty settings. Add in the Mr. X nightmare DLC to add the weekly challenge and randomly generated maps to unlock more characters and abilities gives an already fantastic game even more legs.
- Harman Smith
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | $55
It’s Mario Kart on the switch. Nothing else really needs to be said. Anyone can play it and be somewhat successful. There are “helpers” you can turn on (auto-steer and auto-throttle/brake) so all can compete together.
Gone Home | $15
[Gone Home] is, in my mind, a must-play for everyone. A lot of non-gamers’ perception of what video games are is shooting people with guns. Gone Home shows games can be art by telling beautiful narrative stories with meaningful characters. This game kicked off an entirely new genre within the industry. It’s also especially good for new players because it will teach them how to use two thumbsticks to control themselves in a first-person view—without the hectic nature of being shot at. Move and learn at your own pace and then cry because a video game pulled on our heartstrings in a way you were not expecting.
Katamari Reroll | $20
Katamari Reroll, no contest. Katamari is the perfect entry-level game. Easy to understand controls, easy to understand objective, not a huge time investment, killer soundtrack, charming visuals, offbeat humor, and most importantly, it’s fun no matter what your skill level!
Untitled Goose Game | $30
Untitled Goose Game. It is great for getting someone familiar with mechanics, is short, inexpensive and there is no death. - Carolyn Braunius