51 Worldwide Games Review: A classy collection for any Nintendo Switch player


When Nintendo revealed 51 Worldwide Games, the successor to the classic Nintendo DS game 42 All-Time Classics, it was the highlight of the Direct for me.

Being an avid fan of the original game, as well as spending an unhealthy number of hours on Wii Sports all those years ago, I went into 51 Worldwide Games with a mindset of glee.

Booting up the game for the first time, I was greeted with something quite different – a literal take on the ‘Worldwide’ aspect.

In 51 Worldwide Games, Nintendo has added a globe where you can place your own avatar and create a little profile full of your game achievements and more.

This is called the Guide Globe, and you can find other players’ profiles all around the world online by searching through this globe.

Through that, you can compete against their scores in all kinds of minigames. I was not expecting something like this from a collection of board games, especially one by Nintendo – a developer which has disappointed me in the past with online play support.

It’s funny, because as much as I was excited to get my hands on this title, I actually didn’t really have any standards that I expected it to uphold.

It is not exactly a game which can have massive flaws, as it’s just a collection of classic tabletop games, along with some sports and party games sprinkled in-between.

So, it ended up being a pleasant surprise when I realised how accessible and unique Nintendo made this seemingly basic collection.

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At first glance, 51 Worldwide Games seemed like something that could be best described as “you get what you’re given” or something along those lines.

I am not ashamed to admit that I went into this game pretty much just expecting to play some board games and have a relaxing session.

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Instead, I stayed up all night playing Backgammon, Hanafuda, Billiards and some Air Hockey. Let me tell you why.

What Nintendo perfected with this game was the sense of competition.

Even when I was just sitting back with my Switch and playing some classic games with AI, I still felt a massive urge to compete.

On most minigames, the game forces you to play ‘Normal’ difficulty, and once you beat one difficulty you can play another round but with a tougher opponent.

For each opponent you beat, you go from Bronze to Silver to Gold and then after defeating ‘Impossible’ difficulty you are rewarded with a “Mastery” trophy for that game.

This system is extremely addictive, and it’s because of this that I see myself taking my Switch with me on long journeys a lot more now.

As a casual Nintendo Switch player, it’s not often I pick up my Switch to play anything for a quick session before going back to my life.

There aren’t many games I like on the console that are “pick up and play.”

Usually, with collections like this, I often find myself dismissing a lot of content that I’m not exactly familiar with.

I didn’t get that with 51 Worldwide Games, not only because they have great ‘How to Play’ tutorials for each minigame – but also the ‘Assist’ mode that is available on a lot of the titles.

I won a game of Backgammon without even knowing how to play.

Let’s peruse my personal favourite games in the pack, starting with Blackjack. I am a pretty big fan of Blackjack, with it being my favourite card game just after Poker.

That’s why I was so thrilled to discover that it was a part of the collection, and I immediately dived into it wondering what it would be like.

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If I’m honest, one of the worst parts about any multiplayer card game is waiting for your turn. It’s boring.

I know it’s something so minor, but I noticed that the game purposefully makes the AI take their turns extremely quickly so you’re never out of the action. For longer games, a ‘skip turn’ button is actually available – and it’s amazing. It’s so small, but I appreciate it a lot.

In terms of the card games in 51 Worldwide Games, Nintendo actually allows you to choose different kinds of card designs that you can unlock as you play.

There are even special Super Mario themed card decks!

But while I was impressed by the support for online multiplayer, it’s Nintendo’s use for multiple consoles that really impresses me.

While I don’t actually own more than one Switch, I am aware of a special feature in 51 Worldwide Games called ‘Mosaic Mode’.

I haven’t been able to try this out myself, obviously, but it allows you to connect multiple consoles together in order to make one big screen.

This is great for a ton of games such as Fishing, Slot Cars and even Piano (which is the final minigame in the pack.)

My other favourite games include Billiards, Bowling, Chess, Hanafuda, and War.

There’s a ton more which I keep finding myself returning to, but those are the main bunch. The weakest games in the pack are Darts, Golf, Slot Cars, and Toy Football.

Not in terms of the games themselves, but the gameplay. With Darts, the game uses motion controls and while that is cool – it’s not exactly practical. It takes a lot of skill to be accurate.

With Golf, it’s an extremely simple concept that is essentially just aim and shoot. Slot Cars is racing but literally just using a single button, and Toy Football is pretty basic.

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In fact, I found myself disliking a lot of the ‘Toy’ games, as they were just the tabletop versions of classic sports, and I think the game would have been better off if it just made the actual Sports rather than the Toy versions.

So, to summarise, what does 51 Worldwide Games get right and what does it get wrong?

The Verdict – 5/5

– Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

51 Worldwide Games throws you into a treasure trove of high-quality games, combined with amazing multiplayer support and addictive leaderboards. For players who want a quick gaming session or those who want to compete against their friends, the game is an absolute must-buy.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that 51 Worldwide Games is going to become an essential purchase for anyone who gets a Nintendo Switch from now on. For such a simple concept, Nintendo really knocked it out of the park. I just wonder, and hope, that they end up releasing DLC to add more games into the pack.

The game is priced at £34.99, which is a respectable amount considering how much other Nintendo Switch titles cost these days.

As I was taking notes for this review, I increasingly found it difficult to actually find technical flaws in the game itself. I even went out of my way to sit there and think of things that didn’t seem right, and it was extremely hard. Nintendo provided a classy collection of games for every type of player – and it nailed it.

The Good

  • A jam-packed assortment of games for anyone and everyone
  • For a Nintendo game, a surprising amount of local and online multiplayer support
  • Addictive rewards and leaderboards to compete against friends and foes

The Bad

  • A lot of the Sports minigames would be better off without being tabletop





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