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Top Christmas gifts for Nintendo Switch gamers: from Animal Crossing to Mario

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Christmas gift guides

We're bringing you a tech-focused Christmas gift guide every day up to the big day itself, to help fuel your present buying inspiration.

Day 1: Apple fans | 2: Photographers | 3: Nintendo fans | 4: Xbox fans | 5: PlayStation fans | 6: Retro gamers |7: PC gamers

For many gamers, this holiday season is all about the next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft. But if you're looking for the best Nintendo Switch gifts for your Mario-loving family or friends, there's plenty here that'll take their fancy.

If there’s a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite gamer in your life, and you don't know your Links from your Zeldas, or your Marios from your Luigis, we're here to help. 

The rival consoles might leave the Switch in the dust when it comes to graphical grunt, but that's never really what Nintendo has been about. The gifts below all have a taste of that quintessential Nintendo magic of ingenious invention, play, and family fun, like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Nintendo Labo, and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.

So, with loads to delight avid Nintendo fans on the following list, let's bring a little Nintendo-flavored festive cheer, and some games everyone can enjoy as they wait for patiently for their Christmas dinner. Let's-a-go!

Looking to the buy consoles?

super mario 3d

(Image credit: Nintendo/TechRadar)

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

A brilliant trilogy all in one place

Reasons to buy
+Some of the best Mario games ever+Superb platforming and value
Reasons to avoid
-Not great touch controls-Barebones port

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a package of three Nintendo platforming classics - Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy - all bundled together and optimized for the Nintendo Switch. It's an impressive collection released to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the mustachioed maestro's vintage adventure: Super Mario Bros.

That also means, for some reason, that you will no longer be able to buy the collection after March 31, 2021, even digitally. In other words, Christmas is the perfect time to pick it up for Nintendo lovers. Fans are divided on which is the best game in the set, but you could make an argument for any of the three being the finest platformers ever released, period. If you're gifting All-Stars for someone who's not played them all this is a no-brainer, but it's still absolutely worth it, just for nostalgia's sake.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Get away to a nice island filled with animals

Reasons to buy
+Exceedingly pleasant life sim+Loads of personality
Reasons to avoid
-A real time sink

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest in the long-running life sim series from Nintendo. In this game, you move to an island occupied by nice talking animals, pay off your mortgage, and then get to work on collecting fish and fossils, before upgrading your town and creating an empire of buying and selling turnips. 

Really, it's a very pleasant time sink, and fantastic escapism in a year when most of us can't take international vacations. It's sold tens of millions of copies on Switch already – one of the best Nintendo Switch games available right now. 

mario kart live

(Image credit: Velan Studios)

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Turn your living room into a high-octane track

Reasons to buy
+Inventive take on Mario Kart+Fun for all the family
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Less good in smaller spaces

Tired of finishing every track on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the millionth time already? Yeah, us, too. But while it doesn't look like we're going to get some new courses for that racing game anytime soon, Nintendo has given us something better: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit turns your living room into a track.

Now that might not be so good if you accidentally drive under a sofa that hasn't been cleaned in years, but it's still such a wonderfully inventive concept that'll make for oodles of festive fun. Real-life dogs might be much more terrifying than Chain Chomps, and it is a little expensive, but Home Circuit can be endless fun if you have the imagination (and the space in your home) for it.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers

Make the most of multiplayer on the Switch

Reasons to buy
+Excellent versatility+HD Rumble feature+Buttons have satisfying click
Reasons to avoid
-Buttons are small

The Nintendo Switch is one of the best consoles for multiplayer, and if you want to invite your friends round to play additional controllers are key.

When you buy a Switch you get a pair of Joy-Cons bundled in the box, which can act as two separate controllers for some games - however, it's always useful to have spares on hand.

Available in a range of colors, the Joy-Cons are a great addition to the pile of presents under the tree.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Labo kits

Loads of creativity, and that's before you start playing

Reasons to buy
+Fantastic fun+Hours of crafting+Interactive instructions
Reasons to avoid
-Adults will have to help

Build a robot suit, fishing rod, motorbike or even your own VR headset, Nintendo's Labo kits provide hours of crafting fun, and then hours more of playtime.

Made from cardboard, the kits come flat-packed with fun instructions on how to build a range of different models. Once built, the bundle Switch games bring the models to life for a truly interactive experience.

There are a number of different Nintendo Labo kits to pick from, providing plenty of scope for the kids (and yes, adults too).

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

For gamers who take this a little more seriously

Reasons to buy
+Excellent D-Pad+Amazing battery life+NFC and USB-C 
Reasons to avoid
-Triggers could be deeper

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a must-have addition to any serious Switch owner’s arsenal. Comfortable for extended play sessions, this curvy accessory also boasts the best D-Pad you can get on a controller (until the new PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers come out).

(Image credit: SanDisk)

MicroSD card

Expand the storage of the Switch and Switch Lite

Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-Small, easy to lose

With only 32GB of internal storage, picking up a cheap memory card or two for  a Nintendo Switch for any digital purchases or the inevitable game-fixing patches is a very good idea. 

The good news is they're surprisingly cheap, with even 64GB ones coming in at under £20/$25.

What memory cards does the Nintendo Switch need? Those will be Micro SD cards also known as, depending on their size, as MicroSDHC (up to 32GB) or MicroSDXC (up to a huge 2TB soon). 

Nintendo also has their own branded cards, but you'll be paying more just for a label. So for now, we'd take a look at this range of cheap MicroSDXC Nintendo Switch-friendly cards.

GameCube Controller - Super Smash Bros. Edition

Smash like a pro with this Switch-friendly pad

Reasons to buy
+The esports choice for Smash players+Nintendo Switch compatible+Nintendo nostalgia!
Reasons to avoid
-Will be odd for new players

Perhaps the Nintendo Switch gamer you're buying for its a little older, and if that's the case they may enjoy a blast of Nintendo nostalgia.

This Super Smash Bros. Melee-branded the GameCube controller offers the same feel and button layout when playing while also working the with Nintendo Switch.

The pad might look and feel a little odd to players who didn’t play Melee on GameCube, but it offers the best way to control your character.

Looking for Nintendo Switch deals or Nintendo Switch Lite deals? We're constantly searching for the best prices.