Best Nintendo Switch 2023


Which is the best Nintendo Switch? Good question. There are three of them, after all, and even though the console is entering its sixth year of life, it’s still going strong with an ever-expanding library. Understandably, when it comes to a purchase like this, you’re going to want to make sure you get the model that best suits your need – you don’t want your enjoyment of the console to be dampened by regretful thoughts of what could have been if you’d bought a different one.

We’ve got a summary of the standard Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite, and the Switch OLED below and we’re going to break down the strengths and weaknesses of every one of them. Soon you’ll be sitting down to enjoy all the best Switch games with so many new experiences waiting to be discovered. It’s also worth reading out best Nintendo Switch controllers guide for a bit of guidance on the controllers.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch models:

Best Nintendo Switch: the standard model. Image shows the box of a regular Nintendo Switch.

1. The best Nintendo Switch all-round

The standard Nintendo Switch is the best model all-round, and its pricing works out around $298 USD or £249 GBP.

Standard Nintendo Switch specs:

Detachable Joy-Cons2
Memory Capacity32GB
Screen type6.2 inch LCD display
Total ports3 USB ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 AC adapter port
Playable dockedYes


  • Reasonably priced
  • Can be played handheld or docked


  • No LAN port
  • Memory capacity on the smaller side

If you’re someone who wants to take full advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s ability to be played both on your TV and out on the go, then this is probably the best option for you. It’s a little on the big side, but that’s where Switch carry cases come in. It might not be the same kind of pocket console as its Game Boy or DS predecessors, but it’s still easy enough to carry around with you.

We recommend that you buy one of these new, rather than pre-owned. Our reason for this is Joy-Con drift (where its joysticks cause your character to move, even if you’re not touching them). It was the early standard Switches that were hit the worst by this problem, so if you’re buying an old Switch, there’s a risk you’ll get one that drifts. The problem (while potentially not eliminated) doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as widespread in the modern Switch landscape, so if you buy a new one, you’re most likely to avoid it.

The standard Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage capacity, and while this is a little on the lower side (especially when compared to things like the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X), not all gamers are going to have this problem. If you plan on downloading all of the biggest new Switch games, you might find it filling up quite quickly. However, Switch library also has a sizeable selection of retro and indie games, and if these are the main types of games you want to play on the console, then memory space probably won’t be an issue.

Do you plan on indulging in a little bit of handheld multiplayer fun? With the packaged-in Joy-Cons, you and a friend can play on the same screen. While this is a very viable option, the larger, clearer screen of the Switch OLED might be preferential to you if this is going to be a major part of your Switch usage.

Many gamers fall into the category of either exclusively playing their Switch through the television, or exclusively playing it in handheld mode. The standard model is great at doing both of these things, isn’t overly expensive, and doesn’t have any major problems – that’s why we recommend it as the best Nintendo Switch overall.

Best Nintendo Switch: the Lite model in its box.

2. The cheapest Nintendo Switch

The Switch Lite is the cheapest Nintendo Switch and its pricing works out around $199 USD or £185 GBP.

Nintendo Switch Lite specs:

Detachable Joy-ConsNone
Memory Capacity32GB
Screen type5.5 inch LCD display
Total portsNo dock, so no ports
Playable dockedNo


  • Cheapest Nintendo Switch prices
  • Small and convenient for handheld play


  • Cannot be played on a TV
  • Do detachable Joy-Cons

Many older gamers will probably remember the thrill of saving up their pennies so that they could buy a Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS as a kid – sadly, with the Nintendo Switch, its larger price tag meant that that wasn’t really an option. Enter the Switch Lite. This smaller model was specifically designed to be an affordable option for gaming on the go, making it ideal for children or anyone working with a tighter budget.

If you’re someone who doesn’t foresee themselves playing their Switch on the TV, then you have very little to lose by going for the Switch Lite. While it is not compatible with Switch docks and so can never be played on the big screen, its much smaller size makes it ideal for handheld gaming, as unlike other models, it could actually fit inside your pocket.

While some gamers won’t care about this at all, the Switch Lite just looks a lot nicer than the standard and the OLED models. While they are not very colorful (especially the OLED), the Switch Lite comes in a number of bright, vibrant color schemes (reminiscent of the old rainbow of Game Boys). It’ll look great in a gamer bedroom and is just generally a nice bit of gaming hardware.

Something for fans of Nintendo Switch multiplayer gamers to keep in mind is that the Switch Lite does not have detachable Joy-Cons. What this means is that while the other models allow for multiplayer games to be played with friends using one Joy-Con each, this is not possible with the Switch Lite. You can still play against friends online without any trouble, but it’s not as well optimised for face-to-face gaming sessions as the others are.

Still, there’s a lot to admire about the Switch Lite. When it first came out, early adopters who had bought the original Switch, but who only ever played in handheld, lamented the fact that they hadn’t waited a little bit longer so that they could get the model better suited to them. Fortunately for you, you’re buying at a time when there’s a selection available to cater to all needs. What an age we live in.

Read our Nintendo Switch Lite review for a more detailed analysis.

Best Nintendo Switch: the OLED model. Image shows it in its box.

3. The best Nintendo Switch screen

The OLED model has the best Nintendo Switch screen and its pricing works out around $345 USD or £310 GBP.

Nintendo Switch OLED specs:

Detachable Joy-Cons2
Memory Capacity64GB
Screen type6.2 inch LCD display
Total ports2 USB ports, 1 Lan port,
1 HDMI port, 1 AC adapter port
Playable dockedYes


  • Beautiful OLED screen
  • Improved dock with added LAN


  • Few benefits for those who play docked
  • Most expensive model

Based on the specs alone, the Nintendo Switch OLED is the best version of the Switch, but it has a substantially bigger price tag, for upgrades that won’t appeal to all users, so we didn’t feel we could give it the number one spot. Meanwhile, if you plan to play this at home on your TV exclusively, you’ll barely benefit from the improvements at all and will be better off with the standard version.

Nonetheless, if you prefer playing in handheld mode, the best way to do so is through the OLED Switch. The new screen makes your games look better than ever before, and there’s even an option in the game’s settings to adjust the console screen colors, making them as vivid as possible. If this ever looks too saturated to you, you can just set it to appear as normal – you might want to adjust the color settings on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, the OLED screen and the new color settings don’t mean anything for TV play. Having said that, it does have a 64GB memory, which is double the size of the standard model, so that’s a feature that will appeal to docked and handheld gamers alike. Although, you should keep in mind that if you buy a micro SD card for Switch and expand the memory capacity on a standard model for less than the extra cost of an OLED.

Another of the benefits of the OLED is the new LAN port. If you’re planning on using your console for lots of online play, then you’re going to want to avoid connection troubles. With a LAN port you can use a wired internet connection in order to ensure that you have a smoother experience with online gaming.

Last (and least) there are a few changes to the design of the dock. It’s a little more spacious than the earlier model, so it’s a bit easier to get cables plugged in and so forth. On a similar note, the OLED has an improved kick-stand, so you might also have a better experience when propping it up on a table to play with friends – and while this is a handy little thing, it is still essentially just a piece of plastic. Still, there’s no denying the enhanced visual quality of playing the OLED in handheld mode, and we’re sure that some handheld gamers are going to be better off going for this one.

Read our Nintendo Switch OLED review for a more detailed analysis.

How we chose the best Nintendo Switch

While we think that the standard Nintendo Switch is going to be the right choice for the largest number of players, we can also see that the OLED and Lite have unique benefits that make them the best for players under certain conditions. We hope we’ve adequately laid out the strengths and weaknesses of each model to help you understand which will be best for you.

If you’re shopping for a young person, read our guide on the best Switch games for kids, which will give you some idea of what they might like to play.

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