Nintendo consoles have a reputation for being excellent multiplayer machines, and the Switch just might be the Big N's best multiplayer system yet. Nintendo's hybrid console is loaded with fantastic multiplayer titles that you can enjoy just about anywhere, whether you want to dive into some Fortnite or Diablo online or get an impromptu Super Smash Bros. Ultimate session going in the middle of a picnic. From couch co-op essentials to competitive sports and fighting games, here are the best Switch games for your next big get-together.
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 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. – Mike Andronico
One of the most legendary action-RPGs of this generation feels more at home than ever on Nintendo Switch. Diablo III: Eternal Collection packs in all previously released content for Blizzard’s addicting loot-collecting slash-em up, allowing you and up to three friends to slay your way through both the core game and Reaper of Souls collection as one of 7 different classes. Speaking of teaming up, there’s no shortage of ways to play Diablo III with friends, whether you’re playing locally on the same TV, over local wireless with up to four Switches, or online with fellow demon hunters all over the globe. You even get some sweet Switch-exclusive gear inspired by The Legend of Zelda's Ganondorf. – Mike Andronico
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the biggest installment in the series yet, with tons of characters, dynamic track design, customizable vehicles and, best of all, Battle Mode. 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. — Adam Ismail
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, allowing you to relive the arcade experience both on your couch and on the road. – Mike Andronico
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is built from the ground up for two-player co-op, putting you in control of characters who have to rely on one another's abilities to survive. Series veterans Claire Redfield and Barry Burton are teamed up with newcomers Moira Burton and Natalia Korda, respectively, meaning you'll have to use a mix of firepower, stealth and clever tactics to make it out of this episodic horror adventure. And once you do, you can still chase high scores in the endlessly replayable Raid Mode, in which you and a pal mow down hordes of undead either locally or online. — Mike Andronico
You need two sets of Joy-Cons to get the most out of Arms, a bizarre fighting game that incorporates motion controls. In this competitive title, you'll take control of a warrior with inexplicably stretchy arms (no, it doesn't make any more sense in context). As you punch, dodge and block by actually moving your own (hopefully) nonspringy arms all around, you'll notice that the game packs a surprising amount of depth. Will you play defensively or go for broke with long combos and dangerous grapples? Either way, Arms is decent enough to play alone but an absolute blast with a partner. — Marshall Honorof
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. It has a roster that includes Boo, also known as the best character 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. — Robert Carnevale