These are the best free Nintendo Switch games available

A round-up of the best free Nintendo Switch games of the year, split across free-to-play games, game demos, and Nintendo Switch Online.

May 27, 2021
2 min read

Even though the Nintendo Switch is the cheapest of the current generation of gaming consoles, it’s still good to know that buying a full-priced game to take it for a spin isn’t essential. Similarly, if you already own one, there are a number of ways to pay nothing or a little to access a range of the best Switch games.

While rumours of the 4K-capable New Nintendo Switch Pro continue to swirl, which hopefully coincides with the release of Breath of the Wild 2, scroll on for the best free games on Nintendo Switch.

Looking for other free games?
Light Bulb

We haven’t just created a list of the best free Nintendo Switch games. Click on the corresponding link below to check out our lists of the best free games for Xbox, PlayStation and PC:

Best free Nintendo Switch games

If you want the best free Nintendo Switch games, you’ve got these three options:

  • Nintendo eShop free-to-play games
  • Nintendo eShop demos
  • Nintendo Switch Online subscription

Best Nintendo eShop free-to-play games

Instead of calling them “free-to-play” games, Nintendo prefers to call them “free-to-start” games, which feels more honest in terms of the expectation that you’ll be tempted to spend money in-game to unlock additional content (even if it’s only cosmetic).

Below is our pick of the top 10 free-to-start games on Nintendo Switch:

  • Apex Legends
  • Rocket League
  • Pokémon Café Mix
  • Pac-Man 99
  • Asphalt 9: Legends
  • Fallout Shelter
  • Tetris 99
  • Super Kirby Clash
  • Brawlhalla
  • Warframe
Best paid Switch games

Exhausted all the Nintendo eShop's free titles? We've sorted the treasure from the trash and rounded up the best Switch games across seven categories: multiplayer, open-world, RPG, FPS, platformer, relaxing and fitness.

Best free Nintendo Switch demos

At the time of writing, there were close to 400 Switch games with free downloadable demos. Head to the Nintendo eShop to check out our pick of the top 10 free Nintendo Switch demos playable today:

  • Miitopia
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
  • Pikmin 3 Deluxe
  • Kirby Fighters 2
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Moving Out
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Best free Nintendo Switch Online games

Like the respective PlayStation and Xbox networks, you need to pay for an online subscription to play multiplayer on Nintendo Switch. Called ‘Nintendo Switch Online’, the multiplayer subscription service also includes access to an expanding list of free downloadable Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games.

At the time of writing, there were 57 NES games and 42 SNES games that are totally free to download and play as part of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

Best free Nintendo Switch Online NES games

Here’s our pick of the top 10 free NES games that come with a Nintendo Switch Online:

  • Double Dragon
  • Donkey Kong
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Yoshi
  • Metroid
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • Kid Icarus
  • Clu Clu Land

Best free Nintendo Switch Online SNES games

  • Prehistorik Man
  • Super Tennis
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Kirby’s Dream Land 3
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Super Metroid
  • Star Fox
  • F-ZERO
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • Donkey Kong Country
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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