Looking for the best local multiplayer Switch games?
You’ll see that we love this innovative little console. And the Switch is poised to punch a Mario-shaped hole in the gaming industry.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Not many people played Mario Kart 8 in the first round, as not many people had the necessary hardware (the much-maligned Wii U). The Switch’s re-release is a timely tactical move on Nintendo’s part, the antidote to Breath of the Wild’s exciting single-player campaign. If you own a Switch, it’s the best experience you can have with friends on your handheld right now.
The Deluxe release features all the DLC (including branded Mercedes karts and parts), a redesigned “decent” battle mode featuring a Splatoon-themed arena, and pretty much every multiplayer mode you could ever ask for. Race with up to four people on one console, take up to eight friends for wireless play, or network 12 Switch consoles together for a busy Mario Kart LAN party.
Beyond power-crazy action, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also has accessibility options like auto-acceleration and steering assist which means you can play with your little one, your grandma, or the guy from the office who never touches a controller.
The Switch has been home to some of the best indie titles in recent years, among them the co-op breakout hit Overcooked. Your game task by running a busy kitchen. You need to prepare ingredients, cook, serve food and wash dishes so you can make more food. Sounds easy? Not this one.
Overcooked constantly throws a curved ball in the shape of a kitchen that changes its shape, splits in half, and spontaneously catches fire. Grab three friends and work together, communicate effectively, and roll on the floor laughing when they all turn to pears.
One issue to note is that Overcooked suffers from some minor performance issues due to the Switch’s relatively modest hardware.
The Switch version includes both DLC releases in its $20, and you should read some over-the-top tips if you have any hopes of seeing them all.
Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
Love it or hate it, Minecraft is a video game that will define generations. You may play it, your children will surely play it, and it’s a formula that will remain relevant for generations to come. It only makes sense that Minecraft will finally arrive on the Switch, with a ton of technical improvements over the Wii U version.
It is also a multiplayer masterpiece; whether you play locally on the same machine via split screen (up to four players), or wirelessly on separate consoles (up to eight players). There’s even cross-platform multi-platform support for other platforms (except Sony PS4), so you can play Minecraft on Switch with other players using a Windows PC, Xbox 360, or any other supported platform.
Nintendo launched the Switch with two must-have titles: Breath of the Wild and Snipperclips. Before Mario Kart arrived, Snipperclips was the best proof of concept we had for the console’s multiplayer potential. The fact that it sold so well at the time and continued to appear on the eShop charts from time to time speaks volumes about this exciting and funny teaming experience.
Snipperclips is a cooperative game for two players. Each level presents you with objectives such as throwing a ball through hoops and the ability to cut partner characters down to size. You have to work together (or for comedic effect, don’t) to shape your character into a tool that can help you complete your objectives and move on to the next level.
It’s a wholesome local multiplayer experience that will challenge and intrigue you in equal measure. The Plus version includes 40 new stages, with a boxed retail release also available.
Jackbox Party Package (2|3|4)
For some of the most memorable multiplayer experiences you’ll find on any platform, look no further than the Jackbox mini game release. Known as the Party Pack, there are four available at the time of writing, and they bring the fun of quiz shows to your living room. The game requires the player to use a smartphone, tablet or laptop as a controller, to answer questions, draw and vote on the answers on the screen.
There’s usually a limit of around eight players per game, though some raise the cap and others even allow audience members to participate and have an impact on the process. Each pack will set you back around $25 (you’ll get a discount for having other titles in the series) and contains five party games with some notable inclusions:
- Fibbage: A game where you have to come up with a convincing lie in an attempt to fool your fellow players.
- Quiplash: A fast-thinking game where players pick the funniest jokes.
- Interesting: Like Pictionary, but with more obscure clues and funny pictures.
- Civic Doodle: A (somewhat) cooperative drawing game.
Payday 2 is a game where you rob a bank in groups of four, and it’s a little different from the other games on this list. Each player will need their own console, and a copy of the game to play as there is no split-screen support. Online multiplayer is a bit limited as the Switch still has unsatisfactory support for voice communication, and this is a game that really needs it.
But with three of your crew members in the same room, there might not be a better way to play Payday. This is a game that benefits from a certain amount of stealth and preparation, having a plan, and being able to execute that plan with effective communication. The Switch version may be inferior in terms of visuals and framerate, but it’s loaded with years of add-on content and you can hang out and play virtually anywhere.
There’s a reason Rocket League has enjoyed weeks on the Nintendo eShop charts since its arrival on the platform. In case you missed it, Rocket League is football with cars, and it took the world by storm when it arrived on PS4 and PC in June 2015. By early 2018, the game had already earned 40 million players worldwide, with cross-platform support for all but players. PS4 (thanks Sony).
Multiplayer support is great, with up to four split-screen players via docked mode (or two players on hand). You can gather up to eight people and play Rocket League wirelessly, or play online with other Switch, PC, and Xbox One players.
It may not be the best version of the multiplayer hit from a performance point of view, but it is one of the best multiplayer games you can play on any platform right now.
Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is a top-down bullet hell roguelike, meaning you’ll spend your time dodging incoming shots before dying permanently and starting over again. The game shuffles levels, enemies and weapon placement each time you play, which keeps it fresh and challenging.
The Switch version is the first to see quality-of-life improvements that make the game much more approachable nearly two years after it arrived on other platforms. So why not invite a friend for a busy two-player local multiplayer experience!
A classic multiplayer experience, Super Bomberman R is the latest in the hit arcade series that first appeared in 1983. The game pits you and three other friends against a square grid. You’ll need to place bombs to destroy blocks, pick up power-ups, and finally trap your opponents with well-placed explosions.
It’s a Switch launch title, but it was initially released at full price, which raised concerns about its value for money. Thankfully eShop prices have dropped, and used physical copies can be picked up relatively cheaply now. The game has received some major upgrades since its initial release as well.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
Not everyone enjoys shooting games, roguelikes, or racing. If you’re a fan of puzzles, Puyo Puyo Tetris might already be on your list because no one else likes it. The game mixes the mega-hit Tetris with the massive Puyo Puyo in Japan for some really fresh puzzle action.
There are almost every game mode you can imagine, from pure Puyo and Tetris modes, to hybrid versions of the two. And there’s even a mode where you play both games at the same time. Things get really tense in multiplayer, as players send unwanted back and forth in an attempt to fill their opponent’s screen.
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