Best Switch Sports Games 2022 Review

Best Switch Sports Games 2022 Review
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In this best Switch sports review blog post you will find out why despite its many flaws Nintendo Switch Sports is still the best motion control videogame currently on the Switch.


Background on Wii Sports

Nintendo Switch Sports isn’t your grandma’s Wii Sports although it’s been like 16 years since the Wii Sports launched. Nintendo Wii Sports paved the way for motion control video game as we know them today. Here’s a quick look at Nintendo’s games that has kept the sports motion control dream alive throughout the years.

Timeline of Nintendo Wii Motion Sports
Timeline of Nintendo Wii Sports

They don’t feel like a lot of games but what these 3 games (especially the first two titles) have done for Nintendo in terms of financial success is unimaginable.

By 2009 Wii Sports had sold 45.71 million copies of the game worldwide (Inc. bundles).
The original Wii Sports shipped with 5 sports (Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Boxing and Golf) of which the fondest memories that I have were of playing tennis and bowling.

Nintendo Wii Sports Commercial

Due to the huge success of Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort now featured 12 sports (Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Air Sports). More than being a sequel, the big selling point was the induction of motion plus controls.

Nintendo Wii Sports Resort Trailer

Since we didn’t own a Wii at home, I played the first two titles at a friend’s house. Back in the day, it wasn’t common for one household to own multiple consoles. So among our friend’s circle, we were lucky enough to have a friend that had a different console, one had the X-Box, one had the Nintendo and I was the PlayStation Kid.

Fast forward a lot of years and I may be among the crazy few who believed in the Wii U console and got the console quite late into its life cycle but Wii Sports Club created so many memories for my kid like the original had done for me but this time it was made more special as we both were playing it together.

Nintendo Wii U Sports Club Trailer

The Wii Sports Club was a step back in terms of the number of games that you had available but they tried to up the quality of the experience of those games. Since the system made you use the two screens available to you (the TV and the handheld screen controller) the included games were the same number as the original Wii Sports (5 in total) and they even were the same games.

Best Switch Sports Games 2022

Now cut to 16 years after the original came out, my daughter was eagerly waiting for the next instalment of Nintendo Sports to come. Sure enough, Nintendo revealed its newest version and my daughter was so excited about it that we even pre-ordered the game.

Nintendo Switch Sports Trailer the best Switch Sports games
What are the games that come in Nintendo Switch Sports?

Nintendo comes with 6 best Switch sports games and they are Volleyball, Badminton, Bowling, Soccer, Chambara (Sword Fighting) and Tennis.
If you have had any previous experience with Nintendo sports games in the past, then you would be quite familiar with 3 out of 6 games in the above list. Those being Tennis, Bowling & Chambara (Sword Fighting) the remaining 3 are new entries to this edition (Nintendo Switch) of the game.Volleyball, soccer, badminton, tennis, chambara and bowling in Nintendo Switch Sports

Nevertheless, if you’ve had a previous experience or let’s say this is your first time with such a sports game on the Nintendo Console (Switch) here is what you can expect with each of the motion control sportsgame.

After a solid month and a half with the game, I have mixed feelings about it but more on that later in my verdict.

1. Volleyball on Nintendo Switch Sports

Volleyball is the new sports that is featured in the game. It is a more compact and fast-paced 2 vs 2 version of the sport, more along the lines of beach volleyball minus the beach court of course.

The game requires each player to use a single joy-con controller to play and up to 4 people can play locally or 2 people can play online.

Each player is expected to perform 4 major actions which are as follows:

  1. Serve
  2. Bump (receive)
  3. Set / Block
  4. Spike

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Volleyball.

Understanding the 4 basic actions is quite simple but takes a few games to truly understand the timing required for those actions.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
It is very easy to pick and playThere is only one type of service method (no underhand or running serve option)
Doesn’t require any complex movementsYou can cheer your teammate by shaking your controller but this information is not provided so just happen to stumble upon it.
Games are short but are extremely exciting and funThere is only one type of indoor court.
Playing online is great and is highly recommended after you got some practice.There is no option to play multiple sets (games) online or local
Feedback is provided when are late to perform a certain action.Can’t high-five your teammate avatar once you score a point.
Volleyball on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

2. Badminton on Nintendo Switch Sports

Along with volleyball, this is another one of the new sports that is featured in the game. It is quite the simplified version of the sport, more along the lines of the simplified version of tennis in the previous iterations of the sports games.

The game requires each player to use a single joy-con controller to play and up to 2 people can play locally or online.

Each player is expected to perform 3 major actions which are as follows:

  1. Serve
  2. Smash
  3. Drop Shot

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Badminton.

Understanding the 3 basic actions is quite simple but takes a few games to truly understand the timing required for those actions.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
The movement is automatic.There is only one type of service method (that is ever explained).
Does require a level of strategy (shot selection & placement) to make your opponent slip up and go in for the kill shot.Lack of doubles play.
Games are short but are extremely exciting and fun.There is only one type of indoor court.
There is no option to play multiple sets (games) online or local.
Lack of a proper tutorial as there is a lot of nuance play that can be achieved but which is not explained ever.
Badminton on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

3. Bowling on Nintendo Switch Sports

This is what you would call the bread and butter (PB & J) of Nintendo sports games. This is that one sport which you cannot afford to get wrong and I am happy to report that it is still the same but with little things missing.

So it is essentially bowling where you line up your shot take aim and let your arms do the work, plus you can move your joy-con left or right to add a bit of hook spin to your throw.

The game requires each player to use a single joy-con controller to play and up to 4 people can play locally or 16 people can play online depending on the mode.

Each player is expected to perform 3 major actions which are as follows:

  1. Start Position
  2. Throw
  3. Hook

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Bowling.

Understanding the 3 basic actions is quite simple but takes a few games to truly understand the amount of hook (timing) required for each strike.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
It is sports bowling.The advanced mode in local mode is quite frankly a joke.
Online free for all is a blast.Lack of custom play settings.
Games are short but are extremely exciting and fun.There is only one type of indoor court.
Bowling on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

4. Soccer on Nintendo Switch Sports

Along with volleyball and badminton, soccer is the final one of the new sports that is featured in the game. It is essentially rocket league but with avatars but it is a very simplified version of the real sport.

The game requires each player to use two joy-con controllers each to play and up to 2 people can play locally or 8 people online depending on the mode.

Each player is expected to perform 3 major actions which are as follows:

  1. Kick the ball (using joy-cons)
  2. Diving Header (using joy-cons)
  3. Kick the ball (using the leg strap)

Honestly, I would rather remove the last point from the official site and replace it with player movement (using joy-cons) as that is a far more important action to use rather than the leg strap.

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Soccer.

Understanding the 3 basic actions is quite simple but takes a few games to truly understand the timing required for those actions.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
The movement and kick are an absolute blast (joy-cons).Lack of boosts on the playing pitch to recover stamina is a big oversight.
Lot of nuance to the kick (joy-cons) as you can add spin to your shots.No option of 4-player mode local (even if you have enough joy-cons).
The ability to jump is highly underrated.There is only one type of outdoor court.
Passing the ball to your teammate does require timing and skill.After scoring the goal celebrations are very limited.
Games can be short and quick.Kick the ball (Leg Strap) mode is abysmal, it doesn’t even qualify as a mini-game.
The golden ball and extra time (first to score wins) are a welcome addition to the game.
Soccer on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

5. Chambara on Nintendo Switch Sports (Sword Fighting)

Think of this as the show “American Gladiators” where two contestants are dulling it out with each other with foam kendo swords on top of an indoor swimming pool.

Yeah, that was quite the mouthful but put simply Chambara is two opponents (1 vs 1) sword fighting each other, now since this is Nintendo the swords look like multi-coloured foam blades and in a weird way it does fulfil your star wars Jedi vs The Sith fantasy as well.

via GIPHY

The game requires each player to use a single joy-con controller to play or it can be played with two controllers (twin swords) and up to 2 people can play locally and online.

Each player is expected to perform 8 major actions (depending on the type of sword you choose) which are as follows:

  1. Sword Attack
  2. Sword Guard
  3. Twin Sword Attack
  4. Twin Sword Spinning-Strike
  5. Twin Sword Guard
  6. Charge Sword Attack
  7. Charge Sword – Charge Strike
  8. Charge Sword Guard

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Chambara.

Understanding the 8 basic actions takes a few games to truly understand the timing required for those actions.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
You plan your attacks like a rabbit or guard like a turtle.There is only one type of indoor area.
Games are short but are extremely exciting and fun.No parry or repost.
Playing online is great and is highly recommended after you got some practice.
Chambara on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

6. Tennis on Nintendo Switch Sports

Last but certainly not the least is one of the crowd favourites, Tennis.

If bowling is to be considered to be the bread and butter (PB & J) of Nintendo sports games then tennis would be the Mac & Cheese equivalent.

But for some strange reason (for me and my daughter) it doesn’t feel like the previous version of tennis.

All the same basic movements are there but they just feel off and we are not able to get the timing down. It could be that my age is catching up to me and my reflexes are getting dull but my daughter can’t use that excuse. I think it’s got to do with the size of the joy-con in my hands. The previous Wii & Wii U controllers were much larger and more natural in terms of movement. Maybe it’s all in my head but anyways.

The game is the shortened version of actual tennis. The game requires each player to use a single joy-con controller to play and up to 4 people can play locally or 2 people can play online depending on the mode.

Each player is expected to perform 4 major actions which are as follows:

  1. Serve
  2. Shot
  3. Backspin
  4. Topspin

More information about the sport and what is expected from the player via a short video can also be found on Nintendo Switch Sports Tennis.

Understanding the 4 basic actions is quite simple but takes a few games to truly understand the timing required for each shot.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
Feedback is provided when we are late to perform a certain action.A more detailed explanation of how the Topspin & Backspin shots work would have been great.
Games are short but are fun once you get the timing of your shots right.Only one type of court.
Single player (singles) still has a virtual partner.
No practice mode.
Lack of custom play settings.
Tennis on Nintendo Switch Sports – The Good and Missed Opportunities

That was a quick lowdown of what you can expect with these 6 best Switch sports games.

Switch Sports Online Mode – Experience

The local mode can be fun to play with your family and friends but do keep in mind that you will need more than two joy-cons if you wish to play with up to 4 people locally.

However, there is an elephant in the room that I haven’t yet gotten to which is the total lack of customization. That isn’t fair because there is a bare-boned “Character Creator” for your Avatars in terms of clothes, hair, face, body type, hats, and other customization options for your equipment etc. but if you want that you can unlock more by only playing online. 

But if you don’t have an online subscription, you are locked out of any customisation possibility, the game does offer you a free trial to try the online feature which is a plus.

Honestly, that is not a deal-breaker because the real fun and longevity of this game are in its online play. The real problem that I have is how they choose to implement their online functionality.

The GoodMissed Opportunities
The online mode of Switch sports is extremely fun.Once you search for a game there is no way to back out of the menu, you must wait till the game can’t find anyone and drops you back or loads a game with bots. Strange how there is no manual option to go back if match making is taking too long.
The match making process is relatively quick and painless.Since each game lets you earn points but if your opponent drops out of a game or if the match drops due to the connectivity issue you lose any points that you could earn. This leads to opponents dropping out of games on purpose which in turn minimises your chance to earn points.
Up to 3 game types can be selected to search for online opponents.Weekly customisation sets are timed exclusive if you don’t unlock all the items they are gone forever. I mean that’s the most backward system I have ever seen. New players of the game will always be limited in their options.
Irrespective of the result of your online game, the minimum points you can get is 30 but in some games, you can earn up to 180+ points if you win. It would be easier to make the completion bonus timed exclusive because that way it would give new players the option to unlock more sets.
Weekly customisation sets added, each set has 12 items and one completion bonus item.
(You need to accumulate 100 points in total to unlock each item).
Now if you are like me and unlocked every set so far since the game released there is another downside.  Once you complete a full set you can no longer earn any points from playing online because you have nothing to unlock.
Pro leagues.  Pro leagues give you a reason to play online more but the rules or conditions to unlocking them are not even clear on their official website, store & even in the game.
 2 people can play online from one console.
Communicating via stamps is quite cheeky and fun.
Switch Sports Online Mode – The Good and Missed Opportunities
  • A page showing nintendo switch sports weekly customization
  • Pop up message showing a message in nintendo switch sports
  • Starting page showing 6 nintendo switch sports games
Ziya showcasing her rebound shots in Soccer
Ziya hitting a curved shot in Nintendo Switch Sports Soccer

Would you like to watch more Nintendo Switch Sports gameplay videos? Visit our YouTube Playlist.

In my experience it takes you 10 wins in each sport (online) to unlock the pro league for that game BUT if you happen to play online with two people via the same console any wins you get don’t count towards unlocking the pro leagues.

Verdict on Best Switch Sports Games

Nintendo Switch Sports motion control video game feels like a product that needed “some more time in the oven” if you know what I mean.

First, it should have been a pack in-game for the Switch console. Second, as the way it currently stands, it’s worth the $40 asking price (digital) and not worth the $50 asking price for the physical version of Nintendo Switch Sports.

As the extra $10 bucks for the leg strap is 100% not worth it. It feels more like they should have stuck with the $40 price tag for both versions of the game and done away with the leg strap mini game? If you can even call that a game.

There are so many elements in all the games that are good but could have been better or more polished. As previously mentioned Nintendo has promised to have Golf as a free DLC update sometime shortly. The weekly timed customising packs are one way to make people come back to play the online component of the game.

I don’t want to sound like a downer on the game but I guess it’s just the frustration of seeing how good this game could have been if they had taken the time to polish and flush out the games more.

That’s apart from the fact that there are some obvious games that are missing which they have done in the past like Baseball, Table Tennis, Boxing, Archery & Golf.

Overall this package feels like it needed 4 to 5 games more and they could have slapped the $60 price tag however having said that what games you do get for the $40 price tag, is that it’s not like you’re going to have a bad time with the included games.

For me the best Switch sports games are Volleyball, Badminton and Soccer as they are the hidden gems of this package even if they are overly simplified.

Despite all of what I have said, the fact of the matter is that my whole family (daughter, wife and myself) have a great time playing the game and literally play it once a day for them their best Switch sports games are volleyball and tennis.

If the price tag and lack of customisation doesn’t bother you, then there is some fun to be had playing these games with friends, family and even with random people in their online mode.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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2 responses to “Best Switch Sports Games 2022 Review”

  1. Amy Avatar

    Oh my god! I hadn’t realised wii sports was 16 years old! Now I’m the grandma 😂 we’ve recently got our wii u back out and Ellie loves wii sports resort as much as I loved wii sports! I’ll definitely be keeping these in mind when we one day get a switch (we are playstation gamers mostly)

    1. One Life Several Stories Avatar

      😂 that’s great to know. We to play on PS4 Pro, how about you?

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