With the end of Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, and of course the holiday season. Whether you like to do your shopping early, late, or online, there’s plenty to buy for a gamer in your family. The most iconic of gaming systems right now is the Nintendo Switch. As of last month, Nintendo almost sold 100 million consoles in this year alone. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, a loved one, or something for the young gamer that doesn’t quite know their tastes yet, Nintendo has something for you. Here’s a list of the top Nintendo Switch holiday gifts for 2021.
1. Nintendo Switch OLED
The most obvious gift for a Nintendo Switch gamer is just that, a Nintendo Switch. The latest and most impressive model is the Nintendo Switch OLED. This model, though more expensive than the basic Switch, has a lot of upgraded features. The OLED screen is larger and has a higher resolution than past models and shows crisp images as a result. There is also a much larger folding stand on the console itself. This makes the portable play feature that much easier since it can more comfortably be placed on flat surfaces at multiple angles. It also has a direct LAN port, so that an ethernet cable can be connected for a clear online connection.
The Nintendo Switch OLED model sells for a hefty yet worthwhile price of $349.99.
2. Nintendo Switch Lite
If you’re not willing to shell out the understandably steep $350 cost for the OLED model, the Nintendo Switch Lite might be the one for you. Marketed as the handheld version of the usual Switch, it takes portability to a new level. The screen is overall smaller and therefore easier to take on the go. Additionally, the console is in one complete piece rather than having two joy-cons that need to be locked into place. With the smaller size comes a reasonable price of $200, less than the original model even. Something to note is that the portable nature of this model also points to its shortcomings. The console is only portable, it cannot be docked for TV play like other models. That said, if the gamer you’re buying for is on the move a lot, this is your perfect choice.
The Nintendo Switch Lite sells for $199.99 retail price.
3. Nintendo Switch Online+Expansion Pack
One of the best things about games these days, Nintendo included, is the capability to play online with friends. The Nintendo Switch is no exception, boasting one of the cheapest online passes at under $10 a month. If you want to give your gamer hours and hours of extra fun with their games, an online pass is a good choice. Further, the new Expansion Pack adds a lot to the experience. Most notably, a huge catalog of classic Nintendo games that they can play! The expansion pack does add a fair amount to the monthly cost, however. If you’re looking to introduce a new fan to all the classics, this is your best bet!
Nintendo Switch Online membership costs $3.99 for one month, $7.99 for three months, and $19.99 for a year. The Online and Expansion Pack bundle cost $49.99. Physical membership cards can be bought in stores, or they can be purchased through the Nintendo e-Shop.
4. Mario Party Superstars
Speaking of classic experiences, Mario Party Superstars is the quintessential party game for the 2021 holiday year. Revealed in September as a remake of classic Mario Party boards and mini-games, it’s fun for families or big groups. There are over 100 mini-games to play, for hours of endless fun. There’s even a location called Mt. Mini-games, where players can go crazy in one of seven different modes. The competition takes a new edge in this collection, and it’s fun for all ages. This is one of those Nintendo Switch gifts that will pay off for everyone during the holiday season.
Mario Party Superstars has a retail price of $59.99.
5. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl
If you’re buying for a young gamer this holiday season, you can never go wrong with a Pokemon game. This year’s Pokemon game is Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. They are remakes of the fourth generation of Pokemon games, focusing on the Sinnoh region. The original games were back on the Nintendo DS, and are hard to find for cheap these days. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl recreate these classic games with modern graphics and gameplay for a smooth experience. It also just so happened to come out only a couple of weeks ago. It’s sure to be the hot ticket item of Nintendo sales this season. Check out our many helpful guides if your gamer gets stuck.
The current retail price of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is $59.99.
6. New Pokemon Snap
If you’ve already got an avid Pokemon fan in the family, you may be wondering what to get them. They’ve most likely already picked up Let’s Go Pikachu, and may even be well on their way through Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl. Well, a nice gift that isn’t quite as popular is New Pokemon Snap. A sequel of sorts to the original 1999 game, it’s a great way to just enjoy Pokemon. The purpose of the game is to explore wild areas with your camera, taking photos of rare Pokemon. There is a ton to explore, many creatures to see, and plenty of secrets to stumble upon. Any fan of the series will have a great time looking for their favorites.
New Pokemon Snap costs $59.99 for a new copy, though since the game has been out for over 6 months you may be able to find discounted copies at Gamestop or Target.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
So far this list of Nintendo Switch holiday gifts has gone over two big Nintendo franchises, Mario and Pokemon. If you’re buying for the adventurous gamer, you’d do well not to forget The Legend of Zelda. Nintendo’s most iconic adventure series has been around as long as Mario himself. This year, an HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came to the Switch. Heralded as the starting point of all Zelda games past and futures, this classic is a good choice. It also has many improvements from the original Nintendo Wii game which makes it that much more enjoyable. It’s a personal favorite of mine and highly recommended.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD sells at retail price for $59.99.
8. Metroid Dread
The last on our Nintendo Switch gifts list is another iconic game series. Metroid follows the famous space bounty hunter Samus Aran, who has been in every Super Smash Brothers game since it began. The series has been quiet in recent years, but no longer. Metroid Dread, though quick, brings Samus back in full force. It also brings a sense of nostalgia to players old and new with a mostly 2D playstyle. Though it’s a bit grittier than other games on this list, it’s still a great game. Consider it for your slightly older gamer crowd.
Metroid Dread‘s current retail price is $59.99.