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Top 25 best sports games for Switch

Top 25 best sports games for Switch

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Updated on January 23, 2024 - replaced 4 games, original list by Jon Mundy, updated by Ivan Spasojevic.

Hello dear reader, and welcome to PocketGamer's list of best Switch sports games that you can play in 2024!

The old cliche has it that video games and sports are like chalk and cheese. You're either into one or the other. That's a huge and wildly inactive generalisation, though. Plenty of people like both past times equally.

It makes even less sense when you look at the two things closely. What is a sport, after all, but a collection of tactile games, complete with their own rulesets and goals?

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We've left a whole bunch of Switch sports games off this list, including a stack of quite a niche examples that we simply haven't played. The fishing genre, for example, is woefully underrepresented.

What we're saying is, please excuse our ignorance, and do shed some light on some of the hidden Switch sports games (gems) that are out there in the comments section below.

Best Switch sports games in 2024

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Golf Story

Golf Story evokes memories of the classic GBA Mario Golf, with a simple top-down take on golf embedded within an engrossing JRPG quest. It's a pixelated spectacle that doesn't exactly look the part - instead, you might think you're about to play some old-school RPG. The game is made in a nice 2D style. You will need to beat your opponents and go through small tournaments.

It's absolutely brilliant, and it's a unique experience that will put a smile on your face. We strongly believe it's one of the best Switch sports games even in 2024. The narrative and parts of the story will remind you a bit of Stardew Valley, even though they don't have anything else in common, except for pixellated graphics.

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Lonely Mountains: Downhill

An exquisite mountain biking title that eschews the usual gimmicky stunts and brash presentation. Each run in the Lonely Mountains is one blissfully serene environmental challenge. Each race starts at the top of the mountain. The task is to go down, passing through 6-8 checkpoints.

It is one of the best sports games on Switch for many reasons, but the one we want to highlight the most is the fact that it's undoubtedly stunning to look at. Lonely Mountains will make it feel like you're the one pedalling your way through the mountains, through vast and beautiful scenery. It's well worth a try, at least!

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This classic Neo-Geo port presents you with a future fantasy sport that mixes dodgeball, frisbee, and tennis. In local multiplayer, it's as tense and tactical as a beat-'em-up.

Windjammers is no ordinary title though - the mix of sports makes it into something unique that you can only experience on the Nintendo Switch. It's absolutely brilliant, and if you have a friend to join in the fun as well, it'll be that much more challenging.

Throwing a plate to each other may not be the most spectacular thing, but the developers of Windjammers have figured out how to diversify the game. There is everything appropriate for the chosen genre: several modes, various playing fields, characters that differ from each other, bright special effects, and the ability to make a super blow.

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Super Mega Baseball 3

The Super Mega Baseball series is one of those golden franchises that can be appreciated even by non-fans. It boasts intuitive yet deep gameplay and an invitingly involved single-player campaign. In terms of visuals, it's a beautifully rendered 3D game that, while not realistic when it comes to the characters, is indeed realistic with the playstyle.

In other words, you can enjoy a fantastic baseball match right on your handheld console anytime, without worry. Is it one of the best Switch sports games ever? Some argue it is - it's up to you to give the final verdict though!

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Rocket League

One of the most enduringly popular online multiplayer games in any format, Rocket League hits that sweet spot between arcade immediacy (it's car football!) and engrossing, lifetime-to-master depth.

Rocket League is an entertaining contest that will be super easy to get addicted to - unlike in other football titles, you can customise your car and play with up to 8 other players. It's brilliant, and the best part is that it's cross-platform too. So, no matter if you play it from Switch and your friend from a smartphone, you can team up and try to score some goals.

We have some beginner tips to Rocket League, as well as an updated list of redeem codes!

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Mario Strikers: Battle League

Fresh out of the oven, Mario Strikers: Battle League is taking its spot among the most popular Nintendo Switch sports games for a reason. The concept is rather simple and interesting, you are playing European football (or soccer) with characters from Mario's world. However, it's not a simple football, it's pretty deadly.

First off, you don't have the out line, but the electric fence, and second, there are no rules. That means that you can perform a flying kick right into your opponent's face, and nothing happens. It's worth noting that characters have different attribute scores which can be boosted by equipping them with various gear. There is also a hyper strike, which is like a special move that allows your character to shoot a tornado ball, or other similar special balls towards your opponent's goal. Mario Strikers: Battle League supports local multiplayer as well as the online gameplay on Nintendo Switch.

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Super Tennis

The classic SNES tennis gets another chance in the sun with Nintendo Switch Online. It remains a deeply tactile, if rather bare-bones, tennis offering. It is fantastic if you want a more retro approach to a sports title, and it has fairly simple controls and pixelated graphics.

Without many other features to distract you from playing, you can shift all of your attention towards the gameplay aspect and stick with that. But if you are looking for something a tad deeper and with more features, then you can always check out another tennis game for Switch, Tennis World Tour 2, or even Mario Tennis!

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Football Manager 2024 Touch

Playing the most in-depth football management simulation on your Switch feels slightly magical. Neither the touch display nor the Joy-Cons are ideal for control, but this is still an awesome sports game. You don't need to love football to enjoy it, as long as you love simulations.

You can create a team of players from pretty much any team (as long as you can negotiate a good salary for them and afford it, obviously) and come up with ingenious tactics to win more matches and earn trophies. It is completely compatible with the previous version, so you can import your saves from FM 2023 and continue leading your favourite sports team. There are Manager Principles now, which will shape your team by your type of personality. Communication with your chairman and staff is also improved. In short, it's a bigger, better version of FM.

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Retro Bowl

After European football, it would be unfair to mention an excellent American football game. Retro Bowl has rather simple mechanics that you can easily grasp, but they are so fun and well-made that it's hard to let go once you get a good hold of this one. You will be managing one of the pro teams, handling their transfers, training, and improving facilities, basically the manager/director role.

However, when the match begins it's all up to you. You will have to handle the offensive tactics and will be in charge of the attack, while you'll have to rely upon a good choice of defensive players because that is autoplay. Maybe you'll focus your offense on the running back and quarterback, so you'll get star players for those positions while having a broken defense? You can also play a balanced team, with no stars, or rely upon the defense more. Try it yourself, even if you're not a fan of American football, you're a fan of well-made Switch sports games.

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Another SNK classic comes to Switch, with an arcade take on the stuffy sport of golf that will appeal to all-comers. Even if they don't have a proclivity for private clubs and silly trousers.

BIG TOURNAMENT GOLF feels like the most retro of games you could play in 2024, so expect big and pixelated images, simple features and a good feel to get you into the mood. It's basically golf that looks like it belongs in the '70s, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun. It's not the most immeasurable sports Switch game, but it's an experience worth having if you love golf.


Mario Tennis Aces

Nintendo's exaggerated take on tennis comes to Switch, and it's an arcadey hoot for multiple local players. The single-player campaign isn't so hot but never mind that. If Mario is the character you'd rather play within each match, then Mario Tennis Aces have more than enough contests to give you your sports fill for the day.

By and large, the campaign in Mario Tennis Aces is a continuous learning experience. The campaign lasts about five hours, including additional challenges, and the player is given every opportunity to learn key mechanics.

We even have some Mario Tennis tips to help you improve and a review for your reading pleasure. Check them out and decide if you're ready to dive into this one!

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What The Golf?

What The Golf is a golf game in the loosest sense of the word. Or perhaps it's the ultimate golf title. This, after all, is the one where the identity of the ball, club and hole will differ drastically from one hole to the next.

With pastel colours and a feel-good approach, What The Golf? is there to put a smile on your face with its silly interactions and adorable campaign mode. It's not a sports title that takes itself seriously to be honest, but it's the most fun one out of everything. Definitely, something anyone and everyone should play!

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Pure Pool

The kind of simple, cheap title that's all too easy to overlook on the Nintendo eShop, Pure Pool is nonetheless a very well-put-together take on everyone's favourite pub contest. It's a no-frills experience with on-point physics and crisp graphics. The features of Pure Pool are instantly recognizable: pleasant music and a great atmosphere.

It might not be as hyper-realistic as we might have hoped, but it's still brilliantly made and looks smooth enough to call it the best pool game on Switch. It's also great for 2 players to enjoy locally and offers many game modes.

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An unusual roguelite spin on the downhill mountain biking sub-genre, Descenders has you pedalling and stunting your way around procedurally generated stages. Maybe it is raining or snowing, but you really want to adventure into a beautiful mountain bike quest? Then there's no better (and safer) way than to play this immersive gem. The developers describe Descenders as an extreme freeride downhill game with procedurally generated tracks and the funny behavior of a freerider after another bad stunt.

It's going to give you the same adrenaline rush as the real deal would, albeit a tad toned down. It's perfect even for ranking on the leaderboards and competing with friends on various tracks.

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Ring Fit Adventure

Can you even consider keeping fit a sport? As the only one on this list that will get you out of breath, we're willing to give Ring Fit Adventure a pass - especially as it wraps its exercises up in such a slick, fun adventure. You will need the actual Ring-Con™ and Leg Strap for your Switch, but if you have them, you should definitely consider fitting this into your daily routine.

Especially now that we need to stay inside the home more often, it's ideal for breaking a sweat and keeping in shape. It's a unique addition to our list and a healthy one at that!

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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is a much simpler and more arcadey take on b-ball than the mainline series, with a pronounced NBA Jam feel to its bobble-headed two-on-two action. It feels like street basketball played by pros - what could be wrong with that?

It's fun, colourful and filled to the brim with action, and you can have 4-player online matches to find out who the best player is! In general, spectacular dunks, different special effects, funny basketball players, accessible controls, and fun modifiers that harm the enemy or give you bonuses will not make you bored and make it one of the best sports games on the Switch. It will also send chills down your spine when you hear that Boom shaka laka from a commentator!

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Super Blood Hockey

Remember when ice hockey games were fun? Super Blood Hockey does, with its arcadey top-down 16-bit gameplay and OTT combat sports edge, this one takes the cup for the most bloody Switch title on the market - at least, a pixelated one.

It's heaps of fun, and you can't deny that its super blood-y approach makes it more engaging than a normal, realistic hockey game would be. Despite the very primitive artificial intelligence, which gets a little smarter with increasing difficulty, while maintaining the basic action pattern, playing Super Blood Hockey is surprisingly fun, especially in the Franchise mode. This is a kind of career mode, where you take the post of coach and manage the team in every sense.

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Golf Zero

Okay, so Golf Zero plays more like Super Meat Boy than any golf title you've ever played. But the aim is still to put the ball in the hole, and it's brilliant fun, so it makes the cut. It's simple enough to enjoy even if you're not an avid golf player, and the entire concept is simple, yet heaps of platforming golf fun.

You can read our Golf Zero review where we've clearly mentioned that although it is not your typical golfing experience, it's something that you'll find easy to enjoy.

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PGA Tour 2K21

An altogether more serious and authentic take on the sport of golf than can be found elsewhere on this list, PGA Tour 2K21 is for all the would-be McIlroy out there. PGA Tour 2K21 has probably the best-looking graphics we've seen on a golf game, and that's only the icing on this golf cake.

The gameplay is all about developing your player and winning tournaments, as well as discovering all your hidden potential as a golfer. It's easily one of the top sports games on Nintendo Switch. All in all, PGA Tour 2K21 is a good, neatly made, officially licensed sim.

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NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition

From the title alone, you probably know what to expect. Pretty much the newest basketball game on Switch, with a comprehensive range of single-player and multiplayer features. Just ignore those horrible micro-transactions, and you've got yourself one of the best sports games on Switch - ever.

Kobe Bryant's edition is special in a way, however. You'll be able to recreate some moments in the Black Mamba's legendary career, and that's a nice touch that every basketball fan will tip his hat to.

You can choose your roster of players and just enjoy the stunning animations and interactions. It's an extremely well-done and competitive title, so be prepared to face off against other players in entertaining five-on-five matches. Separately, it is worth paying attention to the lighting, which is based on ray tracing. Some users at first glance may confuse the game with reality.

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New Star Manager

Like the thought of managing a football team to glory, but can't get on with Football Manager's dry realism or hands-off matches? New Star Manager could be the accessible alternative for you, particularly with its more interactive matches.

New Star Manager is a football management simulation game in which you'll venture into the world of sports to conquer it by any means. Here you have to take control and management of a real football club, whose members you must lead to victory. To make your way up the career ladder, you must show your full potential, cope with difficult tasks, and pass numerous tests.

If you're not sure whether it is for you, you can read our New Star Manager review, where we mention all the things you should know before playing it.

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Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions

Linked to a classic manga series, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions takes the slightly drab sport of football/soccer and imbues it with a rare narrative spark and a decidedly arcadey take on the sport. It's essentially like taking part in the anime (or manga) yourself.

It's filled to the brim with action and the visuals, moves and character animations are top-of-the-line. It's one of the best football games for Switch, especially if you love the original Captain Tsubasa story.

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Knock 'Em Down! Bowling

Everyone knows that the best thing about Wii Sports was the bowling. Knock 'Em Down! Bowling basically gives you that motion control-driven classic and fleshes it out with endless variations and animal avatars.

It's a cute title, but don't let that fool you - it is so easy for things to escalate and become a competitive fest in a matter of seconds, so it'll always keep you on your toes. Knock 'Em Down! Bowling can also be played in teams and have up to four players, so it never gets boring!

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Go Vacation

Go Vacation arguably gets the closest yet to a Wii Sports follow-up on Switch, with bright motion control-infused takes on 50+ sporting activities, including tennis, volleyball, and skiing.

The setup is Kawawii Island, which is as close as it gets to 'kawaii island', and it wouldn't be wrong in that regard. It's an adorable game that revolves around various sports, and if you have some friends willing to embark on this adventure with you, it'll be a lot more fun. You can read our Go Vacation review if you're curious to learn more!

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Omega Strikers

A very popular combination of sports and MOBA game came out in 2023 in the form of Omega Strikers. Do you know who we had to kick you to get this one in? FIFA, and we don't care how many of you will say it's a bad move, FIFA is a burning pile of junk on Nintendo Switch in comparison to this gem. In essence, it's like street football where there are some rules, but none of them are set in stone. Plus it's 3 vs 3, and you can hit your opponents and the ball with special attacks (just like you can use a stone in street footy).

First of all, controllers on Switch are just perfect for it, and it will be easy to get used to them. Secondly, you'll have fun even if you play online with random people, you don't need friends to enjoy it, although it's a bit more fun with them. Graphics is very modern, with a lot of colours, and rather simple models that create a symbiosis that even Piccaso wouldn't mind looking at. Jokes aside, it looks amazing, and the gameplay will stick to you quickly. Plus, in case you ever need help picking the right player, there is a tier list for Omega Strikers that will come in handy.

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Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.
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