Multiplayer modes have become, over the course of the year, among the most important features for many video games, and it’s easy to see why. While any game can be fun played solo, the fun exponentially increases while playing with other players, whether it’s local or online multiplayer.
In today’s article, we’re going to check out the best co-op games available on the Nintendo Switch, so if you’re planning to pair up with one (or more) gaming buddies, you do so playing the best games available at the moment.
The Nintendo Switch, with its unique features and the Joy-Con controller, has made it even easier for players to get in the same room and enjoy games together. While many titles offer multiplayer modes where players are competing with one another, there are many more titles featuring some excellent co-op modes which often get passed on.
As we feel like these games shouldn’t be overlooked, we are going to highlight the best Nintendo Switch co-op games, in no particular order. (Notice: This article was updated in 2020 with 7 new titles!)
ARMS is one of the most interesting fighting games released in recent years, and its unique mechanics shine in the game’s co-op mode, which is often overlooked in favor of the regular 1vs1 multiplayer mode.
In the ARMS co-op mode, up to four players can enjoy the game together, with the screen getting split differently depending on the number of total players.
While the setup is not ideal, especially if you’re trying to play the game in handheld mode, the co-op mode is extremely fun, thanks to the way ARMS is played, a modern revisitation of Rock, Paper, Scissors deepened by several gameplay mechanics and motion controls.
Even if you’re not into co-op modes, ARMS is the game to get if you’re looking for a game that takes advantage of the Joy-Con controllers fully.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
Diablo III took a very long time to get released on Nintendo Switch, but the wait for the Diablo III: Eternal Collection was well worth it.
Not only Nintendo Switch players got the very best Diablo III experience, complete with all expansions, but also a local co-op experience that is not available in the other releases, as well as exclusive cosmetics.
For the rest, Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch plays like the other releases. Players can take on the game’s main campaign as well as Adventure Mode, defeat a variety of monsters and gather loot to defeat more monsters to get even better loot.
It’s a simple gameplay loop, but the huge amount of customization possibilities make it extremely engaging.
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby Star Allies is among the most interesting platform games released so far on Nintendo Switch. Compared to other games like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and others, Kirby Star Allies is an extremely easy game that doesn’t offer anything much different when played in single player mode. Things, however, change quite a bit thanks to the game’s multiplayer features.
One of the unique abilities Kirby has in the game is the ability to befriend enemies, and up to three can follow him around to complete each stage. This means that three players can join in the action at any time, a perfect feature that helps those players who aren’t really experienced in platform games.
This type of co-op mechanics also plays well with the Nintendo Switch unique features, showing how things don’t need to be overly complicated to be good and enjoyable.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Mario Kart series has always been among the best series for multiplayer modes, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe fully delivers in this regard.
While it’s not strictly co-op, as there can only be a single winner, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe allows players to sort of gatekeep the computer controlled opponents so that the human players can get to the top.
The game also allows two players playing on the same console to play online against other human opponents.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is among the best entries in the series, featuring the same exciting racing experience of past entries in the series improved by new items, expanded character and vehicle selection and excellent track design.
The Nintendo Switch release doesn’t feature any major addition over the original Wii U release, but the fact that local multiplayer is made easier by the Joy-Con features is more than enough to make it better.
Mario Tennis Aces
Being a tennis game, Mario Tennis Aces couldn’t lack doubles matches, and the game indeed delivers. While it did release lacking content and with some issues, Nintendo fixed Mario Tennis Aces as much as they could, making it a much better experience.
Co-op in Mario Tennis Aces can be quite engaging, also thanks to the two different control options: the regular ones and Swing Mode, which allows players to swing the Joy-Con controller just like a tennis racket.
The rest of the fun comes with the game’s mechanics, which are incredibly deep, especially for a tennis game, as all characters come with unique stats and special moves that make character choice extremely important, especially if you want to play the game competitively.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Like for Rayman Legenda: Definitive Edition, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’s beauty lies in the simplicity of its mechanics, and how they are amplified in co-op multiplayer.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a Super Mario game through and through: players have to complete a lot of different stages, collect power-ups, take down Bowser to save Princess Peach once again.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a rather challenging game, despite its cute graphics, and the presence of three other players on screen can make the difference, not only for progression but also to alleviate the sense of frustration that some of the stages will bring players, especially for the Luigi stages.
The Switch version also makes it so that newcomers can enjoy the game without too many issues with the addition of Toadette.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! is a dream come true for all Pokémon fans, as it allows them to revisit the Kanto region and catch all of the original 151 Pokémon. The games also sport a brand new co-op mode which does make the game easier, but even funnier.
While co-op is not available right from the beginning of the game, it definitely makes the adventure more enjoyable once it is unlocked. The second player will control the trainer of the gender opposite of that of the main player and will take part in battles controlling Pokémon of the main player.
There are also some bonuses for co-op play, such as when catching wild Pokémon, which helps to complete the game faster.
At the end of the day, the Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! co-op features aren’t really a huge game changer, but they do manage to make what is a single player RPG into a game that can be enjoyed by multiplayer players without any of them being limited to just watching.
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
Rayman Legends is a game that’s been released on pretty much all modern gaming platform, but it’s the release of the Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch that has shown how much funnier the game can be when played with other players.
Mechanically, Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition is a very simple game. Players take control of Rayman or any of his other friends as they travel through a lot of different areas, collect collectibles, defeat the bad guys and the occasional boss.
This simplicity, however, translates in a truly hilarious multiplayer experience, as players can join in the action at any time. This means that players can not only collaborate to collect all of the items found in each stage, but also smack each other and cause some hilarious premature deaths.
As death is not punishing at all in Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition, it’s easy to see how the game can be a lot of fun in co-op.
SnipperClips Plus: Cut it out, together!
SnipperClips Plus: Cut it out, together! is not only one of the best games currently available on Nintendo Switch, but also one of the best co-op experiences available for the console. Like all the other best co-op games in this list, it features a relatively straightforward experience that only becomes better when enjoyed with other players.
SnipperClips Plus: Cut it out, together! is a simple puzzle game where players must cut paper characters into new shapes to solve dynamic puzzles. As these puzzles are extremely creative, players will have to work together and coordinate their efforts in order to complete them.
There’s really no way to tell how fun the game can be in co-op, so do yourself a favor and get it as soon as possible if you have friends to play it with: you will not be disappointed.
Super Mario Party
The Mario Party series is the signature Nintendo multiplayer series, and Super Mario Party definitely delivers in the multiplayer aspect, even though it lacks online multiplayer, which would have made the game huge.
Since Super Mario Party is a multiplayer focused game, there are many ways to enjoy the game with other human players.
Alongside the traditional Mario Party mode, where four players battle against one another, there are a couple of extremely engaging co-op modes called Partner Party, where two teams of players navigate the game’s board independently and complete mini-games together, and River Survival mode, where four players paddle an inflatable boat on a river filled with features and hazards to the finish before time runs out.
As it usually is with Mario Party games, the mini-games are extremely good, so if you have friends you can play with regularly, Super Mario Party is definitely the best game you can get on Nintendo Switch.
The Overcooked series is one of my all time favorites when it comes to co-op play, as it requires not only skill, but also constant communication between the players in order to succeed.
You can actually choose the sequel or the original – it doesn’t really matter! Just make sure that you have three good friends nearby and get cooking: it’s a lot more difficult than you can imagine and it’s just as fun as it is frustrating. One of the best games to try on the Switch!
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
There aren’t many strategy games that you can play in co-op modes on the Switch, and this one is as close as it gets – although you’ll also find it on our list of the best RPG games on the Ninteno Switch.
Combining two apparently incompatible worlds – that of Mario and the Rabbids introduced by Rayman years ago, the game manages to surprise us all and deliver an amazing final product, with incredibly depth for its wackiness and casual approach.
You do have to work a bit to unlock the co-op mode (complete chapter 1.5), but afterwards you can easily take on fun and funky missions with your friends.
This is a game that took a lot of time before making its way to the Nintendo Switch, but it was well worth the wait. For me, it was also a pleasant surprise as I haven’t played it on other platforms, never really attracted by it.
It has a particular style (that I don’t necessarily love, but I can appreciate) that makes it look like a cartoon from the 30s, but also offering a challenge level that few games in current times do.
A run and gun game that focuses heavily on boss battles, it is best played with a partner in order to make the entire experience complete. It won’t be easy, but it will sure be fun!
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
For some reason, I really love this type of game – and my love started back on the Wii, when I first played this fun mash-up of genres, characters and awesomeness. And fortunately, with the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, the new release proves that the Nintendo Switch can deliver an even better experience.
It’s basically Super Mario Party with a focus on the Olympic Sports and with a bunch of new characters to play as, and it is as fun as it gets.
And I know that it’s not technically co-op (just like Mario Kart, for example), since there has to be a winner at the end, but it’s as fun as it gets so it has to be here on this list – as long as you shake hands with your game partners at the end of the day, it’s all good.
A game that’s best suited for hardcore platformer fans, Unravel Two tests your skill constantly and makes it even more challengeing to play in co-op mode with a friend.
With its nice graphics and increased difficulty levels, it’s definitely not a game for the casual players – and I would dare to say it’s not a game for most people, but those who are ready to take on a difficult game and are fans of the genre, it’s a real treat.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Even though this game was originally launched more than 6 years ago on other platforms, it brought a fresh breath when it launched on the Nintendo Switch, with the addition of the co-op mode.
A puzzle-filled adventure game with lots of obstacles, the story-rich game will deliver a complete experience, even though it does show its age. But it’s still well worth the money, especially for the new co-op mode.
Capcom Beat’em Up Bundle
I grew up playing beat’em up games and I still have a lot of room for them in my heart. I also know that they’re better played in pairs, so I am extremely happy that Capcom decided to bundle some of their best beat em ups and offer them to Switch owners.
With your purchase, you get a collection of 7 side scrolling fighting games – some of the best ever released: Final Fight, Captain Commando, The King of Dragons, Knights of the Round, Warriors of Fate, Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit. That’s an amazing collection that will probably bring on some nice memories!
I am extremely happy to be able to play these games with my son and let him enjoy some of the games I grew up playing. Sure, there are much better looking games out there, but nothing beats some nostalgia-infused gaming!
The Nintendo Switch is probably the best console on the market for co-op experiences, and these titles prove it without a doubt. There are so many games that it was a very hard task to just pick a limited amount to recommend, so if there’s any outstanding experience that we may have missed, let us know in the comments below.
Or just keep on reading for our top picks and check out the best turn based games on the Nintendo Switch.