When it comes to impromptu local multiplayer gaming, no console comes close to matching what the Nintendo Switch offers.
Its portability allows for ad-hoc gaming parties wherever and whenever you want, and with the split function on the bundled Joy-Cons, you always have at least two controllers with you at all times.
It comes no surprise, then, that there are so many incredible local multiplayer games available on the Switch. Most of these are party titles, designed for player-on-player scuffles that are easy for a laugh and bite-sized fun.
Then, there are the co-op games. These are the titles that ask players to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate to achieve a shared objective.
The Switch has a huge selection of couch co-op games for you and a few pals to hop into. Here are some of the best couch co-op games that we think deserve a spot in your library.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
This retro tribute to the classic TMNT beat ’em ups of the ’90s perfectly emulates the button-mashing appeal of fan favorite games like Turtles in Time. Nearly every inch of Shredder’s Revenge is a nod to its arcade inspirations, from the aliased pixel art to the deliberately lo-fi audio clips, and those who grew up with Splinter and his turtle teens will love every second.
Shredder’s Revenge is fueled by more than nostalgic vibes, though; it adds spice to a tried-and-true recipe with various small but meaningful new features. Most notably, the game supports simultaneous couch and online co-op for up to 6 players. In a full party, it’s total unbridled havoc and ridiculously fun.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat
Put on your chef’s whites and grab your toque because you’re about to get a heavy heaping of kitchen chaos. In the Overcooked games, you and up to three other players must work together to prepare and serve delectable dishes for hungry customers.
Getting the orders done right takes communication, coordination, and kitchen mastery. To complicate things further, many of the wacky, themed kitchens have a gimmick, from slippery walkways and rolling barge decks to the rotating rooms of an interstellar vessel.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat features all the content of Overcooked and its sequel. With hundreds of new levels thrown on top, this is easily the best way to experience one of the best co-op game series around.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Kirby games tend to be overshadowed by Nintendo’s other platformer mascot. This time, though, everyone’s favorite pink puffball finally gets their standout title.
Kirby and the Forgotten Island finds our rotund hero on a quest to run, jump, and munch their way through the various zones of a sprawling post-apocalyptic ruins. It’s classic Kirby platforming evolved and one of the most charming platform games in recent years.
There’s a rudimentary co-op mode that lets you and a friend play together, though player number two can’t use Kirby’s iconic power copy ability. Veterans will sneer at the basic platforming, but Kirby and the Forgotten Land’s co-op mode is a great way to introduce non-gamer friends and family to the wondrous world of video games.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a co-op experience as quirky as its title. In it, up to four players must maneuver a love-powered spacecraft through deadly asteroid fields in order to rescue trapped spacenauts.
That sounds simple enough, but the systems on your ship won’t work unless they’re manned. And so the task of saving stranded spacenauts can quickly devolve into miscoordinated mayhem as your team tries to avoid rocks, blast baddies, and position the laser-blocking shields all at once.
It takes some learning, but after a while, things will start to click—that’s when Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is at its best. Once you get your team working like a well-oiled machine, it really does feel like you’re swimming through the stars in a spaceship powered by love.
Unravel two is a charming co-op platformer game in which you and a partner must journey through a gorgeous miniature world, completing physics-based puzzles along the way.
Designed from the ground up for co-op play, Unravel two is experienced puzzle by puzzle. As you progress through the gorgeous natural environments, the game throws increasingly difficult challenges at you. You’ll need creative problem solving, careful platforming, and a lot of coordinated effort if you want to see it out to the end.
Polished and pleasant, Unravel two is a delightful puzzle adventure that challenges but rarely frustrates. It’s the type of game that’s full of “Eureka!” moments; one that subtly encourages experimentation and discovery until the pieces fall into place.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets you and a friend relive the thrill of some of the original trilogy’s most iconic moments. Infused with the LEGO series distinct family-friendly humor, this is a game that’s fun for the whole family.
More than simple recreations of memorable set pieces, The Skywalker Saga gives you a chance to walk through a series of free-roam playgrounds that encourage discovery. These are lighthearted reimaginings littered with Easter eggs and scattered gags that will make you chuckle.
Combat is simple but satisfying and twice as fun with two players. Each player is free to explore untethered; you’re never forced to follow suit when your friend decides to wander a hidden side path (or off a ledge and into a bottomless hole).
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is the action game prequel to Breath of the Wild that combines the massive one-on-many combat of musou games with The Legend of Zelda.
The excellent combat and varied fighting styles give Age of Calamity endless replayability. Combat is fast and frenzied, with quick animations and responsive controls that make demolishing waves of baddies a total blast. The game also features a sizable roster of playable characters, each with unique weapons and abilities that add variety to the button mashing.
Tearing through gangs of Bokoblins is even more fun with a pal. Stages are massive, and the non-linear quest structure gives you the freedom to play how you want to—team up to give a beatdown or complete objectives separately.
Prepare to be defeated…a lot of times.
Cuphead is a tough-as-nails run and gun platformer game that borrows heavily from 16-bit classics like Contra. The stages are long and difficult—one mistimed jump can spell the end of a run—but if you’re a glutton for punishment, Cuphead hands it out readily.
Inspired by the rubber hose animation style early Golden Age cartoons, Cuphead is a visual treat, with stunning, hand-drawn backgrounds and characters that squish, scrunch, and stretch. Subtle touches, like the soft lines separating the sheets in the scrolling background, give the game a vintage authenticity that’s unparalleled.
At any time, a second player can jump in and take control of Cuphead’s blue brother, Mugman. Of course, the difficulty scales to account for the added firepower, and you’ll find the enemies and bosses take twice as many bullets to take down.
Fast, fun, and hard-as-hell, Cuphead is a blistering run and gun experience that’s as fun as it is frustrating. It’s redefined the bullet hell genre, and is perfectly tailored for anyone who loves a good challenge.