Planning to get a Nintendo Switch Lite? Start with these games!

Nintendo Switch Lite Yellow
Nintendo Switch Lite Yellow (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Switch Lite is like the original Switch, except it's made for dedicated handheld mode only, so you can't play it in docked mode on your TV. But it's cheaper and much more portable because of the smaller size, making it even easier to access the Switch's great game library! Here are some of the best Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode, so you don't have to miss out on any of the fun.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart is a classic Nintendo Party game, and with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you can easily take it on the go. An entire Grand Prix seldom takes more than 30 minutes to complete, so it's a great game to play while you are traveling on a train or bus, as we found in our hands-on review. Plus, there's a fun DLC called the Mario kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass if you're into that sort of thing — just be sure it's worth it first before buying.

Diablo III Eternal Collection

Diablo III Eternal Collection packs in the original game and all of the content from the expansion. Choose from seven different hero classes, embark on a quest to slay every demon in your way, collect loot, and upgrade your skills. You can play through the story or grind through seasons and compete with other players for the best run times while getting exclusive items. Up to four people can play together.

Stardew Valley

I find Stardew Valley to be one of the most relaxing games to get lost in. A game with farming, fishing, mining, or fighting, there is a little something for anybody, as you can see in our detailed review. Plus, the game saves at the end of each in-game day, so you can play a day while on the way to work or a day at lunch.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

When we reviewed Animal Crossing: New Horizons it became one of our favorite games here at iMore. The newest version of Animal Crossing takes you away to a remote island, where you will build and customize your new home. Make friends with the animal villagers, build your town with the facilities you want, and gather and craft items.

Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield is a super fun Pokémon adventure on the Nintendo Switch — which is why we loved it when we reviewed it! Travel across Galar as you train and become the new Pokémon Champion, encounter the legendaries Zacian or Zamazenta (depending on your version), discover new regional variants and completely new Pokémon, and much more. There is also DLC that launched in 2020 called the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass if you find that you really love this title.

Splatoon 2

In our review, we found that the gameplay in Splatoon 2 is comparable between docked and handheld modes, but when you are trying to hone in on those perfectly aimed shots, having the screen in your hands can actually be better. Splatter some paint where you will; Splatoon 2 is a great handheld option for the Switch Lite.

Fallout Shelter

Build and manage your perfect vault as Overseer! Fallout Shelter was initially designed as a mobile game, making it ideal for on-the-go playstyle. It's not a game you have to focus on too hard. You play a little wherever you can and still feel like you've made progress on your vault.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a must for every Switch owner, as we discovered through our playthrough. This iteration of the popular crossover fighting game has over 70 characters from past Smash games as well as new faces, every stage there is, a brand new single-player story mode, and much more. You can go online and play against others or enjoy it locally with up to eight people.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Link's Awakening is not a new title for Nintendo fans. This game has had two releases before this one, and all three are rave successes. When we reviewed it, we loved it for its beautiful animation style and captivating story. Whether you are a long-time Legend of Zelda fan, new to the franchise thanks to Breath of the Wild, or just looking for your first Zelda game, Link's Awakening is a great place to start.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong is another classic Nintendo name, and Tropical Freeze has remained largely unchanged since its initial release on the Wii U. We tested this game out and found that it's an excellent 2D platformer; it doesn't shy from difficulty for platformer fans, but it also isn't impossibly daunting for those new to the Donkey Kong titles.

Gaming on the go

The Switch Lite is designed for the sole purpose of being handheld only, so this is the one you're going to take with you everywhere. While there are thousands of the best games in the Switch library, these are some of our favorites that will work wonderfully in handheld mode.

If you want some recommendations, Mario Kart is always an enjoyable racing game for the entire family, even if you aren't usually good at racing games. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is also a great fighting game for everyone to enjoy, and with over 70 characters, you're sure to find a new favorite. And then there's always Diablo III, because who doesn't enjoy tearing through hordes of demons to get awesome gear and become stronger?

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.