‘Nintendo Switch Sports’: Every Sport, Ranked From Worst to Best
Nintendo Switch Sports has finally arrived, bringing that classic Wii Sports energy to a new generation of Nintendo consoles. While fan-favorite sports like tennis and bowling returned to the franchise, Nintendo Switch Sports also brought four other games into play: chambara, soccer, badminton, and volleyball. Each one offers a unique experience to get players moving and into the competitive spirit. But which sport reigns as the greatest? Here’s every sport in Nintendo Switch Sports, ranked from worst to best.
I was particularly excited to play soccer, especially because it gave me another chance to use the leg strap I received with Ring Fit Adventure. However, I found the minigame somewhat disappointing. The controls felt too awkward in multiplayer matches since it’s all done by hand with the Joy-Cons, not with the legs. Isn’t the point of soccer to use your feet?
Some fans on Reddit felt the same way. One user wrote, “I really wanted to enjoy the soccer mode, but it just feels barebones. Everything from the movement, to the stamina, it’s all just too clunky. There aren’t bicycle kicks or power shots too, and that’s disappointing. The ball is big and floaty, it’s like playing with a beach ball.”
I hope badminton players don’t hate me for this, but this sport felt like a less exciting version of tennis. Only two players can participate, with a singles match being the only option. And while playing against a super-competitive friend can be fun, badminton lost its charm for me quickly. There weren’t many options: either swing the Joy-Con up and down or left and right. And with a smaller court, missing a hit is near-impossible, making for excruciatingly long matches.
“The only things that seem to matter are the timing of your swing and whether you’re holding down the ZR button to do a ‘drop shot’ (a weaker hit to land close to the net). The result is a version of the sport that seems devoid of any nuance, skill, or actual fun,” one Reddit user wrote.
Disclaimer: I was never good at volleyball in real life, and that apparently hasn’t changed in Nintendo Switch Sports. This was another sport where the controls felt a bit too clunky and complicated. It also wasn’t very fast-paced — the ball seemed to move slowly enough that it would give a player just enough time to remember, “Hey, I’m supposed to block this time.”
On the other hand, there were plenty of moves (although they’re pretty formulaic and patterned) — serve, bump, set, spike, block. Rinse and repeat. As many fans on social media have pointed out, this sport is a lot more fun with a couch co-op friend since it takes teamwork to send the ball back over the net.
Aside from graphics updates, Nintendo Switch Sports tennis felt a lot like Wii Sports tennis. But there’s nothing wrong with that; I love a dose of nostalgia. Still, as fun as a match of doubles tennis feels, it’s also pretty simple and repetitive. Plus, the controls sometimes seemed out of sync, which led to quite a few out-of-bounds shots.
“I was having issues with controlling both players in Tennis. There were times that I wanted my back character to respond, but the front player would do a really late swing, sending the ball out of bounds. It may just be bad timing on my part, though,” one Reddit user explained.
Bowling was by far the best game in Wii Sports (mostly because of the jump the Miis did when you threw the bowling ball backward, let’s be honest). Imagine my surprise when I dropped the bowling ball and it didn’t even show an audience reaction! That was disappointing, but I digress.
The controls felt similar to Wii Sports, so that was refreshing. Switch Sports also added a unique spin with 16-player tournaments and special lanes, which made it extra competitive.
Chambara, Switch Sports‘ take on sword fighting, had the most variety by far. Players could choose to use a basic sword, a charge sword, or even twin swords for added fun. Then, there were several hits to make based on the type of block an opponent used. I couldn’t just swing the Joy-Cons and hope for the best like in tennis or badminton; that would have likely resulted in just hitting the opponent’s sword over and over.
I liked that each move took a moment of careful planning. As one person wrote on Reddit, “half the battle is a mind game.”
Nintendo Switch Sports is available now on Nintendo Switch.