Get the party started
The best Switch multiplayer games excel at bringing friends and family together of all gaming backgrounds. Whether you’re competing for glory in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or making jokes in any given Jackbox Party Pack, there are a lot of Switch multiplayer games to play. Here are the best Switch multiplayer games on the Switch: just keep in mind a few of them require a Switch Online subscription!
Runbow is a hidden gem to the nth degree.
This party-platforming hybrid has you trying to survive quick platforming levels that constantly fluctuate. Nine players compete to be the first one to the flag at the end, and the wild colorful visuals truly pull you into the game. In fact, the platforms camouflage and blend with the constantly switching colors and disappear, adding an extra amount of challenge. While playing Runbow at an Extra Life event, I was shocked to pass through a tough section, getting so much fun from the chaotic nature of the game. This is a surprisingly entertaining Switch multiplayer game that you should pick up.
9. Nintendo Switch Sports
Nintendo Switch Sports does what it says on the tin. Like Wii Sports, you get a bunch of entertaining physical recreation activities to play. The Joy-Con does a great job of replicating the Wii remote, but unlike Wii Sports, this game supports online play, adding more replayability. You can compete to be the very best and unlock new costumes for your characters along the way.
You can play Badminton, Golf, Soccer (football), Volleyball, Bowling, and one of my personal favorites Chambara. Read our review of the game if you aren’t sold yet!
8. Ultimate Chicken Horse
I’ve never laughed so hard at a game than Ultimate Chicken Horse. The goal is simple: You need to head to the exit of the level. However, with each passing turn, you place obstacles in the way.
The action gets chaotic as rotating spikes are stuck to honey and pucks fly towards you at lightning speed. The fun revolves around the idea of making the level as difficult as possible for your rivals, but at the same time, easy enough to finish the stage. It can get so intense that your jaw drops.
7. Splatoon 3
One of the best Switch multiplayer games is Splatoon 3. The goal is to cover each area with as much ink as possible. If your team expands its ink more than the other, you win. That’s it! Kinda.
You’re using all manner of different weapons like a bow and arrow, a paint roller, and even katanas to win. The clothes you unlock throughout the game give you different abilities as well. The concept is simple, but Nintendo’s maps and unique take on a third-person shooter with ink-splitting makes Splatoon 3 stand out. The co-op-focused Salmon Run is engrossing as well. “You jump into a match, ink some turf, kill some enemies, see who wins in dramatic fashion (sigh or cheer), and repeat,” said Chris Carter in his Destructoid review. “It’s a loop that works even better than before because of all the aforementioned wrinkles in the formula, with some gameplay smoothing as well.”
6. Jackbox Party Packs
The Jackbox Party Packs are perfect for friends and family. The games are relatively easy to understand, and the only controller you need is your phone (or another device that has internet and browser access). You’ll be surviving in Trivia Murder Party by answering out-of-the-box questions, trying to come up with the funniest one-liners in Quiplash, and even trying to get the most dates amongst yourselves in Monster Seeking Monster.
Jackbox Games has so much creativity within its game design, and its Party Packs will help create memorable experiences for everyone in your immediate vicinity.
5. Mario Party Superstars
While the Jackbox Party Packs can create memorable experiences, Mario Party Superstars might be infamous for your friendships. The board game-like title has you competing to get the most stars. You’re exploring the board, finishing entertaining mini-games for coins, and then by the end of the game, you’ll be ranked by the number of stars and coins you own.
It gets really competitive too, as you can steal coins and stars from other players. If you’ve played a Mario Party game before, you may recognize some of the boards Mario, Luigi, and the like play on. Memorable mini-games also return to the classic series like Mushroom Mix-Up and Bumper Balls.
This may get a lot of flak, but Fortnite is an absolute blast. This battle royale has impeccable controls, a stunning Unreal Engine 5-powered world, and extremely cool weapons that are added each season. It’s constantly being updated, adding new surprising gameplay elements. Teaming up with friends, completing missions, and then winning the match is so much fun within Fortnite. The game is far more accessible now for those who don’t want to build; there’s a zero-build option that is solely focused on shooting and world exploration.
It’s also wild to see Kratos, Master Chief, Goku, and Spider-Man all at the same party. With Fortnite, anything can happen. You don’t want to miss out.
3. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Excellent game design? Check. Fun four-player multiplayer? Check. Gorgeous visuals? Check. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is the full package. This previous Wii U exclusive excels on Switch with the addition of faster movement speed and the addition of online play. The music is also stellar from the start, especially for the introductory world of Super Bell Hill. I still listen to covers of that track regularly!
The cat forms in 3D World also let you crawl up walls, adding momentum to the already stellar Mario platforming format. It’s one of the best multiplayer Switch games you can play on the hybrid system.
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an incredible achievement. The character list is huge with heroes and villains from all over gaming history. Third-party characters like Final Fantasy‘s Cloud, Metal Gear Solid’s Snake, and Castlevania‘s Simon Belmont fight against the likes of Mario, Link, and Fox in epic battles.
Tallying up your opponent’s health meter to high percentages with your arsenal of attacks and then launching them into the stratosphere is super fulfilling. There’s a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive scene for a reason as many love the simple, but deep combat of the game.
1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The best Switch multiplayer game is undoubtedly Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The tracks are absolutely stunning with plenty of detail and gorgeous artistic visuals. Driving in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe feels perfect as you drift around corners and get a successful boost.
Additionally, the music keeps up the exciting tone with a big orchestra performing the score. This is a game you can set up in a living room, and four people will quickly grab a controller and play. It’s simplicity at its best. Hopefully, you can avoid that annoying blue shell!
Chris is a freelance writer for multiple outlets, including Destructoid! He loves narrative games like Kingdom Hearts, Life is Strange, and Beyond Good & Evil. However, he does enjoy Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from time to time.