Go Team: The Best Nintendo Switch Sports Games

January 16, 2023 • Devin Partida


The Nintendo Switch continues to impress gamers five years after its initial release with surprising video game releases. Innovation and nostalgia are key players in one of the most expansive genres — sports games.

Let’s take a look at the most memorable and addictively fun Nintendo Switch sports games.

Nintendo Signatures

Ever since projects like Wii Sports and Wii Fit, Nintendo has been a leader in designing new ways to exercise with games. Not all sports games require physical activity, but a couple of Nintendo exclusives have persisted in inspiring new ways to game — while burning a few extra calories.

The first is the well-regarded sequel to Wii Sports — Switch Sports. Though it does not have boxing and baseball like the original, it kept the classics of golf, bowling and tennis for nostalgic gamers. This version also added soccer, volleyball, badminton and swordplay, also known as chambara. Using motion controls, players can experience the sports without going outside.

Ring Fit Adventure is another revolutionary release for sports games. With an expansive world, players engage in a role-playing game that requires exercise to succeed, including yoga poses and squats. It comes with the Ring-Con peripheral to easily install Joy-Con controls. Its malleable form allows players to use it as a weight for lifting or for resistance.

Based on Live Sports

If you’re looking for more realism, there are plenty of Nintendo Switch sports games based on current sports leagues. Pick your favorite sport and play with the players you know and love — against teams you love to loathe.

Most major sports associations release installments every year with updated teams and players. Soccer, basketball, baseball and golf fans have FIFA, NBA, MLB and PGA games, respectively — all brand new for the 2023 season. Most of these games are graphically intensive — which is great for pleasing visuals — so ensure your Switch isn’t overheating.

However, there is a glaring omission of Madden games on Switch due to past poor sales of their titles on Nintendo consoles. American football fans playing the Switch will have to find alternatives or try a different platform.

Indie Games

Football and golf games are excellent, but how often do you play sports games about dodgeball? Dodgeball Academia will satisfy any urge to hop back to the playground with intense mass multiplayer competitions to release your inner child. This is alongside a well-balanced role-playing element to break up potential monotony. 

Volleyball meets frisbee in the nostalgic Windjammers series. Feel like you’re back at the arcade with this highly competitive and addictive offering. With solo and competitive play, you get the best of both worlds.

For cyclers, there is Lonely Mountains: Downhill to satisfy adventurers and precision gamers all at once. As the name suggests, players ride skillfully down a hill — as they do, hints and secrets will reveal themselves. The player has options to explore or refine their cycling skills. The choice is yours.

Mario Franchise

Mario has so many installments already it’s unsurprising his sports offerings are fairly comprehensive. For more vanilla sports experiences, Mario Tennis Aces and Mario Golf: Super Rush provides the satisfaction of each sport with the joy of a Mario template.

Suppose you’re interested in a Mario sports game with a cameo — Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is here for you. Though the Tokyo games were several years ago, it can amp you up for potential future installments — maybe a Paris 2024 release with another familiar face?

Let’s not forget arguably the most famous racing franchise on Nintendo systems — for Switch, there’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Though it enhances the original Wii U release, it melds all of the best aspects of a great Mario Kart game while adding enough new content to make it worth the investment.

Getting Sporty With Nintendo Switch

Whether you’re looking to move your body with Switch Sports or participate in the Olympic games on your couch, the Switch has a sports game for any player. Casual or intense, almost every sport is available at any difficulty and play style. Who knows what the future holds for Nintendo Switch sports games, but know you can stay excited.