What to spend your Nintendo eShop credit on – Switch games under $10, $20, $50

Image: Nintendo Life

So: it’s your birthday or a party, and you’ve just been presented with a shiny piece of plastic with Mario and a number on it. Alternatively, an alphanumeric code was printed or scribbled on a card. You ask your parents/your loved one/the gift-giving human what you’re supposed to do with it, and they say, “it’s a gift card, you moron.”

Yes, this little piece of Nintendo-approved hardware is play money, and you can use it to buy real stuff from the Nintendo Switch eShop!

Or maybe you just bought some eShop credit for yourself, or you have leftovers from your last purchase, and we even have a handy guide for Where to Buy Nintendo Switch eShop Credit, Gift Cards, and Membership Online. Alternatively, if you buy credit through our own code site and use the code “NLIFE10”, you will get 10% off your purchase:

Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and make a purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC disclosure for more information.

But… What is the best use of this money? Which Switch games are worth buying given the stiff naming you’ve lovingly received?

If you don’t have a wishlist yet, or a game you wanted to buy but were $5 short, we might be able to give you some recommendations! Below is a detailed guide to the types of quality Switch games you can buy for the most common Nintendo eShop credit denominations.

Switch game suggestions – What should I buy with my Switch eShop credit?

To note. We recommend that you click and read our review of each game for more specific information on each title. They’re all great, but if you despise puzzle games, something like Picross will have you wall-climbing no matter how good!

Change games under $5

$5
Image: Nintendo Life

If you’ve opened a gift to find $5 in gift card money, don’t be disappointed – there’s many you can access the Switch eShop for just $5 (or less!). Keep an eye on sales, as many games are on sale for 90% off, bringing them down to a handful of coins. Fantastic games like Inside, Unravel Two, and FAR: Lone Sails have all cost less than $5 in the past, and we’re betting money (around $5) that they’ll be on sale again. DekuDeals is an invaluable tool for tracking exactly what’s on sale.

If you can’t wait for the sales, you can start with the games and apps that cost nothing at all – Fortnite, Pokémon Unite, Warframe, YouTube and Twitch can all be found on the eShop, and you haven’t even cracked in the $5 again!

As for the games that are always less than $5, we recommend:

Change games under $10

$10
Image: Nintendo Life

A $10 gift card for the eShop can buy you everything a $5 gift card can get, sure, but now that you’ve raised the price a little, your options are wider.

Again, watch out for sales on games like Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – a brilliant $50 game that can often be picked up for just $10 at a sale – and the excellent and goofy Katamari Damacy REROLL. The handsome and Zelda-esque Okami HD is also often under $10, whether you love it on the Wii or have never played it.

But for full-price games under $10, here are some of the best:

  • Part-time UFO (underrated and adorable gem of HAL lab mind)
  • A Short Hike (a wholesome, award-winning adventure game)
  • Drawful 2 (Jackbox’s pinnacle of board games, a hit with friends and family)
  • Oxenfree (scary, mind-bending and mysterious narrative adventure)
  • Picross S6 (this is Picross, an addictive number-based puzzle game – see also S, S2, S3, etc.)

Change games under $20

$20
Image: Nintendo Life

Now we’re starting to get into the beefier maps, and this one can get you some prestige indies. Narrowing them down to the best of the best is extremely difficult, so we recommend going to the eShop yourself and filtering by price to see what’s out there, because many some really good small studios price their games around $20.

Still, we’re up for a challenge, so here’s our guide to under $20 by category:

story

See also: Best “walking simulators” and Nintendo Switch narrative games

Platform / Metroidvania

See also: Best 2D Nintendo Switch Platformerrs, Best Nintendo Switch Metroidvania Games

Relax-em-ups

Roguelikes and roguelites

See Also: Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites, and Racing-Based Games

Action-adventure / RPG

See also: Best Nintendo Switch RPGs

Strategy

See also: Best Nintendo Switch Strategy Games

Party

See also: Best Nintendo Switch board games

But you can rather Spend that $20 on a one-year subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, which also gives you access to a library of NES games, SNES games, and occasional week-long free trials of popular and new games! You’ll also be able to play battle royale-style free online games like Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99. That’s not a bad deal, especially if you want to explore some classic retro titles.

You are bound to find Something you have fun in there! Good luck!

Switch games under $35

$35
Image: Nintendo Life

Again, take a look at the previous suggestions to see a few games you might enjoy, and keep an eye out for sales – but for this category you can also pick up some all-time classics, and even bumper packs. clashes of several games.

story

Adventure / RPG

Roguelikes and roguelites

Party / Cooperation

Platform / Metroidvania

Action / Shooter

Switch games under $50

$50
Image: Nintendo Life

You really can’t go wrong grabbing, say, one game under $20 and another under $15, but if you want something beefier, here are some additional recommendations that cost a bit more on the Online Store.

For some reason, the denominations currently available for eShop gift cards go for $45 – the $50 one seems harder to find – but these games are worth the extra $5 for:

Switch games under $70

$70
Image: Nintendo Life

Apparently there’s no readily available eShop gift card between $45 and $70, so if you’re a 60 year old male who wants to spend a dollar a year of your life, you’re out of luck, sorry – unless you want to buy three $20 gift cards, that is.

But $70 is when we start getting into the real blockbusters and high-end Nintendo-made games (which tend to go on sale extremely rarely, unfortunately). There’s a ton you can get for $70 on the eShop, so be sure to check out our “Best Switch Games Ever” guide, or find one of our “Best of” genre lists for a kind you like!

If that sounds like too much work, here are our ultimate picks:

story

Adventure / RPG

Action / Shooter

Relax-Em-Ups

Puzzle

Platform

Multiplayer / Party

Strategy

Of course, you can also spend that dosh on the Nintendo Switch Online+ expansion pack, which gives you all the benefits of Nintendo Switch Online membership (NES games, SNES games, online play, free trials) plus the Nintendo 64 games, Sega Genesis games and, if you own Animal Crossing: New Horizons, access to the fantastic Happy Home Paradise DLC.

Most of these games are $60, so spend that extra $10 on something like A Short Hike, Picross, or Part Time UFO, or grab some DLC for games that have it.

Change games under $100

action
Image: Nintendo Life

Well, mate, that’s…all of them. If you’re lucky enough to get $100 in eShop gift cards, the world is yours! Buuuut, since you asked us, we have prepared for you packs that will satisfy you for sure. Simply choose the package that suits you best!

Stories to make you cry

  • Hades + Spiritfarer + Chicory: A colorful tale

Murder and Mystery

  • Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection + Overboard! + Tangle Tower

Deep stories, great feelings

  • Disco Elysium – The Final Cut + Night In The Woods + Oxenfree + What Remains of Edith Finch

Action Classics

  • DOOM + Hotline Collection Miami + DOOM Eternal

Sprawling fantasy RPGs

  • Skyrim/The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt + Dragon’s Dogma

Roguelikes and roguelites

  • Hades + Slay The Spire + Dead Cells + Enter The Gungeon

Strategy Shine

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses + Into The Breach + Invisible Inc.

Play with friends

  • Overcooked 2 + Drawful 2 + Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

play forever

  • Minecraft + Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Relax and disconnect

  • Stardew Valley + A Short Hike + Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Challenging platform

  • Celeste + Ori and the Blind Forest + Super Mario Odyssey

Sequels better than the originals

  • Metroid Dread + Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Of course, this is subject to change and extremely subject to playhave you everfri. The world really is your oyster on Switch, even if your budget is tight, so the suggestion above is really just a starting point.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides that cover a wide variety of genres, including the best Switch FPS games, the best Switch RPGs, the best Switch games for kids, the best Switch Couch co-op games, and the best Switch Fitness. and Exercise Games. We can also help you find the best horror games on Switch, the best racing games on Switch, the best action RPGs on Switch, the best Nintendo Switch games Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based, the best Switch games freebies and even games to play. After completing Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favorite genre, we’ve got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Board Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Treasures, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Race and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat ‘Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, plus every Arcade Archives game, every ACA Neo Geo game, every SEGA AGES game on Switch, and the best Switch collections and compilations.

If you’re looking for the best Switch games of any genre, our reader-voted selection of the best Nintendo Switch games should help, and you can also find the best Nintendo Switch games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. And finally, if you are interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the best Game Boy games, the best Nintendo DS games, the best Nintendo 3DS games, the best SNES games, the best N64 games, the best GameCube games and the best Wii Games, as well as all Nintendo Switch Online NES games and all Nintendo Switch Online SNES games.

Timothy C. Mayo