The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games in 2024

The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games let you play together in person, online with your friends or even with your entire family. From titles with online multiplayer where you can show off your skills and compete against players around the world to light-hearted couch co-op games you can play together in the same room with your friends, there’s something here for every kind of gamer.

The Switch gives you access to a wide range of popular multiplayer games including exclusives like Super Mario Bros. Wonder or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well as cross-platform hits like Rocket League or Fortnite. While these are all excellent games, don’t forget to give some smaller titles like Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and Overcooked a try too, as they offer just as much fun in fresh and innovative ways with a much smaller price tag too.

Although the Nintendo Switch OLED is the latest and greatest Switch console, the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite are just as capable when it comes to playing the best Nintendo Switch games as well as the best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games. These are the best multiplayer games on the Switch right now with new titles added to this list as they’re released. 

The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games that you can buy today

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Mario, an Inkling, Donkey Kong and Link throw down in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the pinnacle of Nintendo’s beloved all-star fighting franchise, with 74 characters and 100 stages that allow you and your friends to create the chaotic brawls of your dreams. The game’s massive roster is a love letter to all things video games, with newcomers like Simon Belmont, Ken Masters and Incineroar mixing it up with Nintendo mainstays like Mario and Link and returning favorites like Solid Snake and Ice Climbers.

Ultimate is brimming with ways to play with friends, whether you want to have crazy 8-player brawls with items galore or get competitive with 1-on-1 matches. And with local and wireless support for up to 8 players, compatibility with everything from single Joy-Cons to Pro Controllers and a bevy of online options, you’ll be able to settle those Smash grudge matches anytime, anywhere.

Read our full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review.

2. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Mario riding a moving pipe in Super Mario Bros. Wonder

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a reinvention of the 2D Mario formula packing new characters, a distinctive art style and a host of gameplay twists that will surprise and delight you constantly. It's designed for new and veteran Mario players to enjoy, and the entire experience can be enjoyed with up to four players either locally or online. 

Playing with friends and family adds a chaotic element to Super Bros. Mario Wonder, but that's part of the appeal. Don't worry about matching up younger players and experienced gamers either, as characters like Nabbit and Yoshi are immune to damage making them ideal for first-timers still getting to grips with Switch gaming. 

Read our full Super Mario Bros. Wonder

A skeleton Koopa takes the lead in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the biggest installment in the series yet, with tons of characters, dynamic track design and highly customizable vehicles. Pick your speed, specify your power-ups and get racing with opponents either locally or online.

Best of all, Battle Mode is back. The fan-favorite game type that had all of us pulling all-nighters at our middle school sleepovers returns in Deluxe, after a brief absence in the original Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, and it's a much better party game for it.

A brawl on the subway in Capcom Beat 'em Up Bundle, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Capcom)

4. Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle

If you and your friends have fond memories of mindlessly mashing away at hordes of bad guys at your local arcade, the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a must-have. This collection packages together seven Capcom arcade classics, from staples like Final Fight and Captain Commando to more obscure cuts such as The King of Dragons, Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit. 

The Beat ‘Em Up Bundle features save states, an art gallery and both online and local multiplayer support for every game. All of these features combine to allow you to relive the arcade experience both on your couch and on the road — while taking breaks when you need to.

heavily armed-fighters throw down in Arms, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

5. Arms

Nintendo isn't afraid to take a few risks on new ideas, and Arms represents an early gamble in the Nintendo Switch's lifecycle that paid off handsomely. The unique fighting game has you take control of a range of combatants with seriously stretchy arms. And no, there's not really any further context to explain the bizarre concept. 

You'll need two sets of Joy-Cons to fully enjoy this one, as it's a multiplayer game designed around motion controls. Rather than hit buttons to punch, dodge and block, in Arms you move your own (less stretchy) arms, resulting in sheer hilarity. 

What's wonderful about Arms is the surprising amount of depth. Flailing your arms around wildly won't get you far. Instead, you should carefully consider each move to win bouts. Arms is decent enough to play alone but an absolute blast with a partner.

Mario smashes the ball in Mario Tennis Aces, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

6. Mario Tennis Aces

If you like how Nintendo serves up its tennis games, you'll like Mario Tennis Aces. It has Joy-Con motion control support so you and up to three friends can go at it, just like you did back when Wii Sports was hot to trot. Its deep roster even includes Boo, also known as the best character (Editor's Note: this is highly debatable) in the Mario franchise. And, most importantly, it's a blast to play. 

Mario Tennis Aces is a fun, simple tennis game with a few neat mechanical gimmicks, such as trick shots and final-smash-esque special shots, thrown in to set it apart from the usual tennis game riffraff. But don't think that's a backhanded compliment: Aces' simplicity is its biggest strength, hence why it's so easy to lob this game into a party setting and get right to volleying.

Chefs at culinary war in Overcooked, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Team 17 Digital)

7. Overcooked! All You Can Eat

One of the most popular local multiplayer games on any platform, Overcooked is a co-op kitchen simulator in which you and up to three friends work frantically to prepare dishes in a busy kitchen. With tons of tasks to juggle at once, Overcooked sessions often fail in grand, hilarious fashion — but that's part of the fun. 

This "All You Can Eat" edition of the game combined both the first and second Overcooked, all their DLC, plus new add-on content, with everything receiving a graphics overhaul to boot. This is definitely the best way to play this game if you're interested.

Mario, Yoshi and Rosalina on a board in Mario Party, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

8. Super Mario Party

You can’t have a Nintendo console without Mario Party, and Super Mario Party is one of the best entries yet in the iconic friendship-ruining multiplayer series. Super Mario Party mixes up the classic four-player Mario Party experience with character-specific dice, freely explorable boards and all kinds of wacky new rules. 

The game’s 80 mini-games use the Joy-Con’s HD rumble and motion controls in wildly inventive ways, whether you’re flipping steak on a pan or shaking candy out of a virtual jar. Factor in an online mini-game marathon mode and a special set of games that you can play across two separate Switch screens, and you’ve got the ultimate package for a long night of raucous, controller-throwing fun.

A truly Tex-Mex car revs its engine in Rocket League, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Psyonix)

9. Rocket League

Three words: soccer with cars. The Switch is home to one of the craziest multiplayer sensations in gaming, which has two teams of cars pushing a massive ball toward each others' goals. 

The automotive thunderdome leads to crazy stunts, near misses and adrenaline rushes. While the concept is simple, the game takes a while to master, making each goal feel like a true achievement. When you take your skills online, you'll face challengers of all skill levels, making each match memorable.

Spaceship action going down in Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Asteroid Base)

10. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

One of the finest couch co-op games out there, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a gorgeous and charming 2D space shoot-'em-up in which communication is key. 

You and up to three pals control various parts of a spherical spaceship, managing things such as weapons, shields and engines as you try to traverse the game's entrancingly colorful but increasingly deadly levels.

two-player action in Puyo Puyo Tetris, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: SEGA)

11. Puyo Puyo Tetris

You hear the phrase "perfect for the Switch" bandied about a lot, but if it's actually true of any genre, it's true of puzzle games. These titles have relatively simple gameplay, so splitting up a couple of pairs of Joy-Cons among four players is no big deal. Plus, Nintendo's hybrid system lets you take the fun on the road with you. Fortunately, the two most timeless puzzle games ever aren't just available for the Switch; they're also on the same cartridge.

Puyo Puyo Tetris offers a plethora of game modes that mash up the two series in a variety of clever ways, where mastery of both blobs and bricks is equally crucial to success. Of course, you could play the two titles independently, but where's the Joy-Con-throwing fun in that?

Read our full Puyo Puyo Tetris review.

Splatoon 3 screenshot

(Image credit: Nintendo)

12. Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 builds on the success of its predecessor with a wealth of quality-of-life improvements including the ability to skip cutscenes and a new training room to hone your skills between matches. There are also new weapons to try out along with a brand new card game called Tableturf Battle if you get tired of Turf War or playing Salmon Run in co-op mode.

Splatoon 3 refines the tried and test formula of previous entries in the series but doesn't introduce anything that groundbreaking. Still, it's a fun multiplayer game that can be enjoyed online with friends or together in the same room with multiple Nintendo Switch consoles. Unfortunately though, it doesn't have a couch co-op mode. 

Mario fires at a Rabbid in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

13. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Although the main campaign in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a single-player affair, you can still get in some co-op action. The game's cooperative missions become available early on, so you and one of your friends can collaborate to take on the tactical challenges within the Buddydome. 

Each player grabs two characters — choose from among Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi and all of their Rabbid counterparts — and then you set forth to tackle increasingly difficult maps, full of foes from the campaign. The only downside is that you won't earn anything that carries over into the single-player game — but the game did recently receive a multiplayer battle mode for more local fun.

Two characters ready themselves to cooperate in the colorful Snipperclips, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

14. Snipperclips

A couch co-op game all about communication, Snipperclips challenges you and a friend to cut each other's characters into unique shapes in order to solve puzzles. Between the core two-player game and its four-player party mode, Snipperclips is a perfect fit for puzzle fans craving something quirky and multiplayer-friendly.

It Takes Two review

(Image credit: It Takes Two)

15. It Takes Two

Many games offer an optional multiplayer mode, or allows a friend to hop into the action, but It Takes Two is a rare game that requires two players. There is no single-player whatsoever, from start to finish, It Takes Two demands you play co-op. 

In this delightful puzzle-platformer you play a husband and wife that are on the brink of separating when they are transformed into dolls and must traverse an oversized world to return to their human bodies. One of the most creative and consistently enjoyable games you're ever likely to play, It Takes Two deploys new mechanics and gameplay twists around every corner. While collaboration is the name of the game, there are competitive mini-games that allow you to battle you buddy for top spot. 

The extremely corny story, and one highly irritating supporting character, are forgivable blemishes because otherwise It Takes Two is a marvel of multiplayer brilliance.  

Star-Lord raises into the sky in Marvel Superheroes 2, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

16. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 is one of the most charming and robust Lego games yet, and it has no shortage of local multiplayer options. Up to two players can enjoy the main game, whether you and a friend want to breeze through the story or freely explore the massive world of Chronopolis as the likes of Iron Man, Star-Lord and Spider-Man

There's also a four-player battle-arena mode to try if you don't want to fight through the campaign. It also makes a perfect venue for settling those debates over which of the game's 200-plus superheroes is best.

Bowser and Bowser Jr. attack Mario in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Nintendo)

17. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Sitting somewhere between the traditional 2D Mario and the newer 3D titles, Super Mario 3D World (yes it's a confusing title) lets you and three other local players run and leap around the colorful worlds you'd expect from a Mario title. New this time is the Super Bell power-up which equips you with a wall-climbing Cat Suit.

Make sure to try out the two-player Bowser's Fury expansion too. This part of the game takes place on one massive map that you unlock piece by piece, with dynamic moments of extreme peril when Bowser shows up. It's almost like getting two Mario games in one.

Read our full Super Mario 3D World review.

A mass of players have assembled for Minecraft, one of the best Nintendo Switch Multiplayer Games in 2021

(Image credit: Mojang)

18. Minecraft

There are a lot of ways to play this famous blocky building game, but the Switch is just as good as any. You can enter a fresh world and set up a home for yourself, crafting better and more effective items, or go into creative mode and just build without limits.

If you play online, you can cross-play with owners of other consoles, a rare and valuable feature for playing with friends with different hardware. If you want some more content, then take a look at the Mash-Up packs with their special themed content like skins and maps.

A screenshot showing multiplayer golf in Nintendo Switch Sports

(Image credit: Nintendo)

19. Nintendo Switch Sports

As the follow-up to 2006's Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports certainly has big shoes to fill. Although the lineup of available sports is a bit different this time around with the addition of soccer, volleyball, badminton and even Chambara , classic Nintendo sports games like golf, tennis and of course bowling also make their return.

While 2 players can play every one of the game's seven sports locally, bowling, tennis and volleyball support 3-4 players. In Nintendo Switch Sports, you can also play online in either single player or multiplayer for all seven sports. However, to play soccer and twin-sword mode in Chambara, each player will need their own set of Joy-Cons.

Kirby Star Allies

(Image credit: Nintendo)

20. Kirby Star Allies

Kirby Star Allies is a fun and easy game that's an especially good choice if you have young gamers at home. In Kirby's first Nintendo Switch game, up to four players can team up or you can play on your own with the game's AI controlling your companions. However, you'll probably want to play this one with friends because you can team up and combine Kirby's unique abilities with those of his allies to unleash powerful new Friend Abilities on the game's enemies.

Unlike last year's Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby Star Allies is a 2.5D platform game that shares more in common with past entries in the franchise. While the game's graphics, mechanics and soundtrack received a lot of praise when it was released in 2018, some players did find the game a bit too easy for their liking. However, this is what makes it such a great multiplayer game for kids.

A screenshot showing one of the minigames from WarioWare: Move It!

(Image credit: Nintendo)

21. WarioWare: Move It!

If you're looking for something a bit off the beaten path and don't mind a multiplayer experience that's a bit more zany, look no further than WarioWare: Get it Together! and the newly released WarioWare: Move It!. While both titles are all about microgames that you can play really quickly with friends and family, the former has more traditional microgames while the later focuses on motion-based ones. If you're in the mood to move around and wiggle some Joy-Cons, then WarioWare: Move It! is the better choice while WarioWare: Get It Together! is better to play seated. Either way, both titles offer the kind of quirky fun WarioWare games are known for.

How to choose the best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games for you

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There are no real tricks with picking good multiplayer games for the Switch, you just need to know what you want and see if the games offer it.

For example — do you want to play online or locally? All these games offer one or the other, and a few offer both. However also keep in mind how many players are supported in each game, and if you're playing in the same room as people, make sure you have enough of the best Nintendo Switch controllers on hand for everyone to use.

The other key thing to look for is genre and age rating. We imagine that some of you reading this are looking for games to try with younger players, so keep them in mind before choosing something particularly scary or violent. As for genre, that's simply a case of understanding what you'll be doing in game. Platformers like Super Mario 3D World are all about jumping around, whereas Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, despite starring the same characters, is a turn-based strategy game. But by doing a little research into a game's features, you'll know whether it sounds right for you or if it will be a flop at your next game night.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

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