You’re in the right place if you’re curious about the best co-op games on the Switch. We’re about to settle the debate for good and decide on the 4 best cooperative games on the Nintendo platform.
Since the list is small, we will scrutinize each entry for today’s criteria to decide their ranking. The broad 4 aspects we’ll consider are casual appeal, aesthetics, innovative game mechanics, and personal enjoyment.
Also, since the Nintendo Switch is the focal point in our list, we’re disclosing beforehand that all games are Nintendo first-party games. By sticking to the Switch’s Co-op games, we’re offering insight into each exclusive title and its impact on players. So we don’t wanna hear any complaining afterward because our picks are limited to the Switch.
Which Titles Are The Best Co-op Games On The Switch?
Now that we’ve got the small talk out of the way, it’s time to dive into our list of best Co-op games on the Switch. Let’s get started.
4. Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity
Legend of Zelda games are open-world structured, narrative-heavy, action-adventure games with tons of side activities for players to complete. Understandably, many fans were nervous about the spin-off, Hyrule Warriors, which is a massive departure from the Zelda formula. Thankfully, the game more than lived up to the hype and created more potential for future spin-offs for Nintendo.
The hack-and-slash gameplay style sets Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity apart from the mainline Zelda series. The co-op allows two players to engage in fast-paced action, using wild attacks to obliterate waves of enemies. Hyrule Warriors is a brilliant co-op game for players who want to see what other characters from Legend of Zelda games would play like.
What Is Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity About?
If you’re new to the Zelda games, Hyrule Warriors is a perfect chance to dive into the lore. Players can learn about the story without going through the long and intimidating Breath Of The Wild entry. Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity is a prequel spin-off that ties into Breath Of The Wild and provides a rich and consistent narrative.
The players fight against hordes of enemies that come after the selected character as they defend Hyrule Castle. The attacks are flashy and diverse, making each character feel unique and fun in their own way. There are also gargantuan divine beasts that players can use to crush enemy soldiers. The visual of those gigantic creatures in action is awesome, but controlling them is the icing on the cake.
Aside from Link, a new character, Urbosa is easily our favorite; her lightning attacks have finesse and grace and deliver serious damage. Zelda’s attacks are more powerful than we realized; we will never underestimate her again. Calamity Ganon, the antagonist, is next-level awesome with his fierce design, plus he’s playable!
Players have access to the glider from Breath Of The Wild to traverse the luscious landscape of Hyrule. The crafting features returns, where resource scavenging rewards with materials for upgrading armor and weapons. Various side-quests provide plenty of exciting activities for players who want to take a break from the main story.
How Is Hyrule Warriors One The Best Co-op Games On The Switch?
For players to fully appreciate Zelda games, they must play them with 100% completion. For Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity, it’s the same way; otherwise, the nay-sayers might dub the game a cash-grab. Truthfully, we had our reservations, but the reveals convinced us enough to try the game out, and we’re glad we did.
The Switch exemplifies Nintendo’s ability to innovate and become a trendsetter regarding hardware and software. The Legend of Zelda is a pioneer in making open-world, action-adventure games, and other games have followed its blueprints. When you put two and two together, it’s clear that Hyrule Warriors followed in the footsteps of Nintendo Switch.
The game takes a big risk by dropping many traditional Zelda formats while favoring a Musou-style approach. Having the option to play as anyone other than Link, with other players in co-op, is another colossal gamble now paying dividends. The combat and exploration, and puzzles remain intact from the main games. It’s this balance of homaging past entries while pushing boundaries that make the game have its own identity and charm.
For all the positive reasons we’ve mentioned, it’s easy to see why Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity is one the best co-op games on the Switch.
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Let us level with you; we’re not too big on racing games. Nothing against the genre; we prefer our games to be action-heavy or narrative-driven. However, if there’s a twist to the racing format, the game has our attention. Our curiosity peaked when we saw the gameplay and breakdown of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. After trying the game for ourselves, we admit that we got hooked.
Although the Deluxe version of Mario Kart 8 is a re-release, we’re thrilled to say that the game exceeds our expectations. We didn’t try the original version, partly due to the Wii-U not being our console of choice, but the Switch is a certified hit. The graphics are upscaled, and gameplay is optimized to utilize the Switch’s graphical capabilities fully.
What Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe About?
For those who don’t know about Marios Kart, in a nutshell, it’s a spin-off racing game series from the Mario games. In the vanilla version of the 8th installment, players had limited options. With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, everything post-launch is compiled in one convenient package, making it the definitive way to play the game.
As for the gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the simple racing mechanics from previous installments return, but with more welcome additions. The different characters from the Mario verse are playable with their own carts used for racing modes. With the Deluxe upgrade, other Nintendo franchises also enter the racing battleground. Particularly, Splatoon Inklings splash onto the scene in stylish and colorful carts.
The crux of the racing involves completing laps around a race course with random power-up drops with bizarre abilities. Some power-ups allow players to fire elemental attacks at their opponents, while others slow them down. The goal is to be in first place and use any means necessary to get there at the end of the race. Several weapons can be used to attack opponents, like the patented Spiny Shell from the previous entries.
Many racing modes are available in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but the game is most famous for introducing anti-gravity racing. Players can move their carts to drive over walls and ceilings in intense, drastically unique ways to spice up the racing formula. Up to 4 players can play locally on the Switch, which is fantastic for a group of friends to pass the time.
How Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe One Of The Best Co-Op Games On The Switch?
Thprominentus multiplayer and co-op modes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are instrumental in the game’s appeal for the Switch. Players get to use all-surface vehicles with the Deluxe version of the game. The new vehicles provide seamless movement whether players drive on the course or receive pushes into the sea or other terrains. The balloon battle mode is highly engaging, where players must destroy their opponent’s balloons, and the winner is the one with the most pops before the time runs out.
Similarly, there is a coin-runner mode where players race across the tracks and collect coins, then attack each other to steal their stash. The one with the bigger coin haul at the end is the winner. Another highly competitive and our favorite mode is the Shine Thief, where players assume possession of a shine sprite. The goal is to hold onto the shine sprite for as long as possible until the timer runs out by avoiding contact with other players. The one who holds onto the shine sprite the longest wins.
A family-friendly and fun variation of the cops and robbers scenario called Renegade Roundup is the ultimate co-op Mario Kart experience. Armed with Piranha shooting plants, the authorities team chases the renegade team across the course. After capturing the Renegades, the authorities keep them in cages. The twist is that Renegade teammates can free them.
Hopefully, our enthusiasm for the engaging co-op and multiplayer modes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is convincing enough. We’re staunch to classify Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as one the best co-op games on the Switch.
2. Astral Chain
Okay, time to turn up the heat as we’re at the runner-up position of the best co-op games on the Switch. The game we’ve played numerous times and still can’t get enough of is the terrific Astal Chain. Given the pedigree involved in Astral Chain’s creation, Platinum Games, to be exact, it’s unsurprising that the game is excellent. The concept and ideas of the game’s premise are entirely original, and the combat system is unique.
The vibe of Astral Chain is somewhat similar to Persona 3, but that’s mainly due to the looming danger from a different realm. Astral Chain allows players to create their character, then tailor it to their preferences. The customization options include gender, appearance, clothing, weapons, accessories, and skills. The main character’s twin always accompanies them in the Astral Plain, where dangerous Chimeras roam and wreak havoc.
What Is Astral Chain About?
Humanity fights back in a desolate future where the human race is on the verge of dying out because of Chimeras. The fearsome rabid creatures have invaded every part of the earth, making humans retreat to a singular sanctuary, Ark. The humans devise a counterplan through the Neuron Police Task Force; they use tame chimeras to fight fire with fire.
The player character and their twin are new recruits within the order of the Neuron Police Task Force. Through experience and observing senior members, players learn about the origins of the Astral Plain and chimeras. The gameplay sections have even distribution and pacing, balancing investigative exploration and rapid-paced combat. Players first master the use of legions, which are chimeras that are no longer hostile to humans. In fact, they serve as the instruments of the demise of their rabid, aggressive brethren.
The combat of Astral Chain is a wonderfully innovative way of engaging enemies. The titular Astral Chain is a highly versatile weapon and tool, binding Legions and getting them to perform specific actions. The Chain can also restrain enemies that directly attack the player, and there are special moves that unlock, which deal great damage.
The players must maneuver around the battlefield to avoid damage from enemies by rolling, dodging, and using the chain to zip out of the way. The player’s physical and projectile attacks create a visually impressive spectacle when they work in tandem with their Legion’s action skills.
How Is Astral Chain One Of The Best Co-op Games On The Switch?
Astral Chain has tons of replay value, and the local co-op mode, in particular, is a delightful way to maximize the fun. Since the game lacks online multiplayer, players must make do with this one glaring flaw; otherwise, the game is perfect 10/10. The players control the main character, and the second player can join and leave the co-op session seamlessly.
The vertical traversal and especially performing the Chain combos take a lot of practice to grasp. Working with the other player requires careful planning during the enemy assaults that are all over the screen. In many ways, the Switch’s versatile hybrid capability is a symbolic parallel to the Chain in Astral Chain. Both require players to adjust on the fly according to the situation.
Both players control their own Legions, and by mixing and matching various species of Legions, the combat scenarios always feel fresh. The investigation segments are also very engaging, and the use of cameras to take pictures for evidence analysis is surprisingly in-depth. The Astral Plane’s visual design is eye-catching, and the overall anime aesthetic gives the game a unique look.
The puzzles and exploration aspect of Astral Chain are another area where the game shines. The action sequences are fun and compelling, but when you have to use logic and overcome obstacles, it’s an additional layer that enhances the experience. Considering how much we’ve praised Astrail Chain, it’s accurate to say that it’s one of the best co-op games on the Switch.
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Are you ready for it? We sure are! Cause there’s no other series that represents the best thing to happen in gaming. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch embodies the spirit of freedom, creativity, and longevity of Nintendo. Without any second thoughts or doubts, we had pegged Super Smash Bros. as the best co-op game on the Switch, and it’s number 1 on our list.
When it comes to video game crossovers, most companies are stingy about letting their characters appear in other franchises. On the other hand, Nintendo dropped a sequence of bombshells upon gamers by teasing the dream crossovers. Nintendo showed the big-wigs at rival companies to give the people what they wanted.
What Is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate About?
Super Smash Bros. was the result, blowing everyone’s minds. The major mind behind Super Smash Bros., the honorable Mr. Sakurai, deserves all the praise. He was the one who was pushing hard on the cross-over elements of the game. Players are treated to a whooping 89 characters if you count the base game and DLC characters.
Some characters also have their themed stages, which have unique effects during matches. The number of stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is over 100; if that’s not overkill, then nothing is. The story mode is an intriguing narrative, where it’s not a straightforward path from start to finish. A twist in the story requires players to think of a solution for defeating the story’s antagonist(s).
Okay, now that we’ve gushed enough about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s time to talk about its gameplay. Players start with only 8 characters, and after completing the in-game challenges, they earn tags for unlocking other characters. The DLC characters are available after downloading and fulfilling the necessary conditions. Also, all characters have various skins to reflect their game’s lore, a nice little touch, and an Easter egg.
The competitive matches are winnable by defeating the opponent in three ways. Damaging the opponent character’s health until zero, or players can throw them off the stage. Another way is timed mode, where players compete for points and face multiple opponents in a limited time.
How Is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate One Of The Best Co-op Games On The Switch?
The Switch and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have parallels that make them ideal for one another. The Switch is an innovative console that shook the gaming scene upon release, and in the same vein, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate made a similar impact. The crossovers and surprisingly in-depth fighting mechanics have propelled the console’s popularity and the game side-by-side.
Evidence of the game’s popularity is in the sales numbers, as it is the best-selling fighting game ever. It helped that the other popular Nintendo franchises, whether retro classics or modern masterpieces, were included. All the heavy hitters of Nintendo’s wheelhouse are here. Samus Aran (Metroid), Kirby, Mario, Inklings (Splatoon), Isabelle (Animal Crossing), and Pickachu, to name a few.
Other than the Nintendo first-party characters, many third-party characters also appear. The crossover characters aren’t vague but popular ones, like Snake from Metal Gear Solid or Simon Belmont from Castlevania. There’s even Sephiroth and Cloud from Final Fantasy 7, Ken Masters from Street Fighter, Bayonetta, and Steve from Minecraft. The mix-and-match possibilities are endless; if you count the variants, the numbers rise further.
The switch’s controls handle the chaotic screen where multiple attacks and character animations happen during the match. There’s hardly any lag in local co-op, and the adjustable difficulty makes it the perfect fighting game to play causally or in e-sports. The platforming during fighting makes it very fun and makes players think of creative ways to win. Our love for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes it trump any of the other best co-op games on the Switch.
Well, there you have it; our list of four top-tier and best co-op games on the Switch concludes. We hope you enjoyed learning about our choices; let us know in the comments below if you did. If you feel like we’re way off and left off more suitable contenders, by all means, share your thoughts.
If you’d like another Nintendo-exclusive game-related list, check out All Harvest Moon Games Ranked, From Worst To Best.