The short answer is yes, it's worth it.
Before Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out earlier this year, I had never even played or picked up an Animal Crossing game before, though I'd heard of it. The premise of this particular installment is that your character starts off on a deserted island, and from there can create their own house, invite villagers to live with them from other islands, craft tools and furniture, set up campsites, etc. There is a lot more to this game than I'd originally thought, and lots of little things to keep you busy.
The positives of the game are numerous. It's a relaxing game where one can go fishing, catch bugs, or wish on shooting starts. It's a pretty "safe" game in that it's kid friendly. Each of the villagers you invite to your island has an interesting, albeit always friendly personality. There is no gore, and no harm that can come to your character, besides momentarily passing out from being bit by a tarantula. Since I'm typically someone more into fighting and action games, I never thought I'd get into this one, but I was wrong.
It's difficult to explain the addictive nature of this game but I will say that considering everything that's going on with the world right now, an easygoing game with cute animals where one can play at their own pace is probably exactly what we need.
In a way, the game has also given me an appreciation for nature. There are so many different bugs and fish you can catch, and a museum you can make to set them up in. I learned lots of things about different species that were actually pretty interesting.
There are a couple of downsides to the game. For one, there can only be one island per switch. This means that multiple people playing on the same console will have to share, per se. And only the person who first started playing the game (player one) will have certain privileges, like being able to move buildings, set up villager homes, or build bridges. In other words, much of the island infrastructure is limited to one player. However, there are still plenty of other things for the others players to do.
The game also starts off a little slow and requires patience, as everything moves in real time (i.e if you order something in the game it actually won't come until the next day). You can get around this by time traveling in the game, but part of the reason the game is set up this way is so that you don't blow through the game itself and get bored of it.
I can't really speak for how it holds up compared to other animal crossing games. However, as a newbie to the Animal Crossing world. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.