Multiplayer used to mean playing video games with the others in the room. While online multiplayer is obviously amazing, it is a bit unfortunate that couch co-op and local multiplayer have subsequently fallen to the wayside as collateral damage. Thankfully, the Nintendo Switch has been keeping couch co-op alive with some of the best games out there with this feature. For players who still want that experience, these are the best Nintendo Switch local multiplayer games.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
The beat-em-up superhero series made its grand reintroduction with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order exclusively for the Nintendo Switch back in 2019. For players who love the diversity of characters and superpowers present in the Marvel universe, and especially ones who are more interested in comic canon than MCU canon, this is a good pick for beating up some classic villains with friends.
Resident Evil Revelations 2
There are tragically few couch co-op horror experiences out there, but the Nintendo Switch has one of the most entertaining ones. Resident Evil Revelations 2 allows two players to take on very different roles to play through the time-twisted story taking place on Sein Island. Player 2 may find themselves feeling a little underpowered compared to Player 1, especially when controlling Natalia and her amazing ability to… point at things and barely swing a brick. Regardless, it’s a fun, scary time.
Rayman Legends is a modern platforming classic that allows up to four players to hop and smack their way through a number of levels with extreme visual flair. The game has a knack for brain-teasing puzzles and enemies that are fun to dispatch, if not a little simple. It’s a game where it’s almost a certainty that an equal amount of time will be spent smacking your friends around and eventually actually trying to beat some levels.
For any pair of players out there looking for a couch co-op experience that is sure to test even the most Dark Souls-hardened gamers out there, Cuphead is the obvious answer. The run-and-gun is notorious for its string of boss battles that each get progressively more testing. The Delicious Last Course DLC from 2022 is an amazing addition for any who have beaten the base game and want another taste.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Super Smash Bros. series is one of the most obvious answers for a gathering of players who want to have fun in a local multiplayer game. It’s accessible for players of any skill level, and any gamer at any age will be able to find a character in the game that they love and want to fight with. It’s unfortunate that the game has been somewhat dormant since the final DLC character release in 2021, but that doesn’t make the game any less of a joy to jump into with up to seven other people at any time.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Any player who owns a Switch and doesn’t own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the few. It’s easily the best-selling game on the system of all time with more than 57 million units sold, 14 million units more than its closest competitor, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s not hard to see why this game is so popular. It’s the classic Mario Kart formula innovated on and refined to be as visually stunning as ever while being full of races that feel smooth and endlessly entertaining to experience.
Mario Tennis Aces
Mario Tennis Aces ups the visual flair of the sporting game to the maximum that has ever been seen. It combines this with really well-integrated mechanics and a surprisingly competent online multiplayer system considering some of Nintendo’s janky past attempts at online multiplayer for games like Mario Maker 2. The player and a friend can go against each other or work together in doubles.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
The latest 2D Mario game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, does a decent job reigning in some of the chaos that was present with co-op implementation in other recent 2D Mario games. It’s somewhat hard to imagine a world where this couch co-op system is made even near-perfect when the maximum of four players is present, because it seems in its very nature to be too messy to handle, but it still makes for a fun and fairly hilarious experience as friends bumble their way through each level trying not to get in each other’s way.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
This is definitely a game that any pair of players looking for a co-op puzzle experience should be looking out for. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker isn’t groundbreaking, but it is very creative in both its visuals and gameplay approach. It’s a fun game to play solo, and it becomes that much more interesting when Player 2 picks up Captain Toadette and expands the possibilities.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The Lego Star Wars series has been giving out some of the best local multiplayer experiences for years now, and The Skywalker Saga for Nintendo Switch is no exception. There’s not much more to say about this other than that it is exactly what players want out of Lego Star Wars pushed to the maximum. Tons of playable characters and levels featuring every episode throughout the nine films, and its great fun to play with a buddy.