The 10 Best Pick-Up-and-Play Nintendo Switch Games

Looking to kill time on your Switch without dedicating an entire afternoon? These games are the perfect fix for when you only have a few minutes.

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Sometimes you want to find a game you can dive deep into and not come out until weeks or maybe even months later.

That said, if those were the only games we played, there wouldn’t be time for much else. That’s why bite-sized gaming experiences are important too.

Back in the days of the arcade, short and simple chunks of games were pretty much your only option. Now, finding games that you can jump into for five-to-ten minutes is increasingly difficult.

Here are some of our favorite Nintendo Switch games that you can just pick up and play whenever you want, even for a few minutes.

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Yes, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is also on our list of the longest Switch games, but that’s what makes it great. You can play the game for hours at a time, but you can also hop for just a few minutes to see what’s new or just to redecorate.

2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

You can get in and out of a single race in Mario Kart in less than five minutes, and two races in less than 10. Combine that with the fact that no matter what, there are always people online racing, and this is a great one to keep around to kill time here and there.

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Even more so than Mario Kart, matches in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are easy to find online and never last all that long. Even if you’re still making your way through the World of Light, you can take on a challenge or two within five minutes easy.

4. Sky Force Reloaded

At first glance, Sky Force Reloaded may seem like another shoot ‘em up, but this one has RPG elements.

This means that even if you don’t make it all the way through a mission before you get blown up, you’re still getting useful points you can use to upgrade your aircraft, making it perfect for playing in five-minute chunks.

5. OlliOlli: Switch Stance

OlliOlli: Switch Stance is a fast game in more ways than one. Yes, you need lightning-quick reflexes, but you also fly through the game’s levels.

More often than not, making it to the end of a level takes around a minute or two, giving you plenty of chances to hit all of a level’s objectives in five to 10 minutes.

6. Rocket League

It’s been years since Rocket League came out, but the car soccer formula is still as addictive as ever.

You can get in and out of an online match in around 10 minutes, but if you don’t want to dedicate that amount of time, a single offline game can be over in five minutes.

And best of all? Rocket League went free-to-play in September 2020, and you can play online without a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online!

7. Into The Breach

Whether or not Into The Breach is a quick game comes down to how quickly you make decisions. Think fast enough, and you can get through levels in a handful of minutes. Of course, think too fast, and you’ll quickly find yourself doomed.

8. Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is a sizable adventure, even by 3D-era Mario standards. Because of that, this may not seem like the best option here, but you can always hop in, grab a star or two, then shut the game down feeling like you’ve accomplished something.

9. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

Like any fighting game, matches in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle don’t last all that long. Head online, and unless you’re really good, they’ll be over in less than that.

10. Downwell

Owing to its roots as a mobile game, Downwell is a perfect game for when you’ve only got a few minutes.

That said, don’t expect the game to go easy on you. This downward-falling roguelike is going to take more than a few passes before you’re making serious progress on each run.

Longer Switch Games Are Great, Too

Bits and pieces of gaming are like snacks: they’re great as filler, but when you’re looking for an actual meal, they don’t exactly hit the spot.

If you’re looking for a lengthy and satisfying experience on your Switch, take a look at our list of the longest Nintendo Switch games to keep you playing for hours.

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