What Are the Best Nintendo Switch Games for Someone Brand New To Gaming?

Tell us your recommendations for what a video game noob needs to try first.

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Think back to your first experience playing a video game. How old were you? What kind of game was it? And what did you end up playing next?

My first video game was Super Mario World. For my third or fourth birthday, I got a Super Nintendo from my uncle. It took ages for me to even get past the first few levels. I didn’t even realize that holding Y allowed you to run because I was too little to care to read what those hint boxes were saying. In my mind, they were just a nuisance that interrupted the gameplay when I accidentally bopped them with my head. Super Mario World was my virtual stomping ground. It’s where I learned how to move around with a directional pad and that I could manipulate what was happening on screen with my inputs. It made me a lifelong fan of platformers and the Mario series at large.

So what if someone never had this experience? Imagine you know a full-on adult who managed to go through their whole life without ever touching a controller. They know not how the gaming landscape has changed over the last 30 years nor what it was like in the first place. This someone needs to think for a moment when you hold up a picture of Pikachu and ask what Pokémon this is. This someone has not a clue about video games. What this someone also has is their very first console and no idea what to do with it.

This someone is not hypothetical. This someone is our very own Associate Home & Lifestyle editor, Sophy Ziss. The work Slack has been firing off on all cylinders lately with talk about the games we’re playing that has piqued the curiosity of Sophy. So much so that she now is the proud owner of a refurbished Nintendo Switch Lite.

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We’ve all been throwing some must-play recommendations at her from Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee, to Stardew Valley, to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. But we as her fellow writers only know so many games between us all. We want to open her up to all the greats she’s missed that she now has access to. This is why we want to hear from all of you. What’s your number one recommendation for a newbie gamer to hop right into?

Think carefully though. Your favorite game may not be a great recommendation for a new player. Inscryption was my personal pick for Game of the Year last year. It does an exceptional job blending the genres of mystery games and deck builders, dancing back and forth between playing into or playing against your expectations for a video game. This however does not work on someone who has no expectations for a video game.

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So let’s hear it. What are the must-plays for a brand new Nintendo Switch player to get them started? Help Sophy answer the question, “What is a video game?”

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1) Your nomination should contain the name of a specific Nintendo Switch game, why you are recommending it, a link where it can be purchased, and an image.

2) You can nominate multiple games, but please put each one in a separate comment or reply on Twitter.

3) Vote by starring someone else’s comment or liking someone else’s Twitter reply.

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This deal was originally published by Joe Tilleli on 02/07/2022 and updated with new information on 02/08/2022.