• Andrew McPherson

Best Couch Co-op Multiplayer Video Games for the Whole Family on the Nintendo Switch

Some of our most vivid memories as kids are of late-night video game adventures with our friends. Us wee lads crammed four people on the couch (or usually kicked a friend to the floor), emptied more Pringles cans than we admitted to our parents, and vanquished our digital enemies with long, rubbery controller cables attaching us to our Nintendo. Presently, the connectivity of the internet has brought some truly wonderful innovations to multiplayer; however, experiencing a video game with all players in one place (aka “couch co-op”) forges a bond that is not easily broken. Moreover, it can be a perfect tool to bring families closer together…provided little Timmy doesn’t win against Dad. At that point, Timmy’s virtual avatar is goin’ down.


The Nintendo Switch has some phenomenal couch co-op video games for families. Here are some great ones that are Dadgum Nerds’ favorites (in no particular order)…


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

What makes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate special is that it, and the rest of the series, is simple to learn and difficult to master. In this latest incarnation, two to EIGHT players vie for either the most points or (even better, in our opinion) last man standing by dealing damage on the other players and launching them off the sides of the screen. It’s perfect for series rookies and veteran’s alike, as new players can easily jump in and start “rocking” Kirby’s Down-B onto Bowser’s pointy head or unload the full might of Samus’ charge shot into Ganondorf’s miserable face, potentially winning a few matches right out of the gate. To this day, we still remember stories of “that one win” or “that time I lost when a crate blew up in my face,” which has brought our family and friends closer together. If you have yet to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we can’t recommend it enough for the family.


Rocket League

Heads up, Rocket League has a little bit of a learning curve; but if you can figure out the delightfully wonky physics of soccer-meets-jet-powered-cars, there’s nothing quite like it. Sinking a goal is rewarding and satisfying EVERY time, especially if you can manage a rocket-assisted one from the air. Moreover, the Switch allows you to hand a controller to another player to bring some local double-trouble to the opposing team. If playing online against other players isn’t your thing – like us, who don’t have the time to master an aerial triple-flip goal from across the field – we highly recommend the Season mode against CPU players. Crank the difficulty high enough and you both will have a blast.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 was initially released for the undervalued Nintendo Wii U, but Nintendo brought it and it’s DLC along for the ride at the Switch’s launch, branding it with the moniker, “Deluxe.” The title is well-earned. In our opinion, this is a must-have for anyone with a Nintendo Switch, as it is what we consider to be the definitive version of Mario Kart. Everything about the game from the race tracks to the music to the anti-gravity gimmick is executed to perfection, creating one of the best multiplayer experiences on any system for up to four people locally. There’s a reason this is currently the #1 best-selling game for the Switch: it’s dadgum fun.


Killer Queen Black

Killer Queen Black is a quiet addition to this list, as many have never heard of it. However, we feel it very much deserves a place on this list. It’s unique in that victory comes to your team in one of THREE ways: 1) you eliminate your opponents’ overpowered queen bee player, 2) your worker bee players gather up enough berries in your hive, or 3) you ride the gloriously slow snail to your finish line. Between the gameplay, music, pixelated art style, and support for up to EIGHT people locally, there’s no other game quite like it – and it is very much worth the price of admission.


Super Mario Party

Talk to anyone who has owned a Mario Party game over the last 20 years and you will receive a flurry of passionate recommendations. You also may get a few stories of how it jokingly destroyed friendships (and literally destroyed the palms of their hand). Super Mario Party is the only entry for the series on the Switch, but it’s a great place to start. With its board game-like play, frantic minigames, and trademark mix of skill and luck, you and up to three others will undoubtedly have a memorable time. While it is a bit bare-bones on its maps compared to the rest of the series, there’s still enough there to enjoy. Trust us: stealing that star back from another player who stole it from you is devilishly intoxicating.


Overcooked/Overcooked 2

You either love it or you hate it, but you can’t deny its charm. Overcooked’s concept is simple: you, the chefs, cook and serve food to your hungry guests. However, the wrinkle is that the kitchen basically fights back. You and up to three other players will find yourselves serving sushi in the middle of an earthquake, tossing fish and chips in a hot air balloon, and stuffing pizza, salad, and hamburgers down the throat of the gargantuan Ever-Peckish – all the while crying with laughter because you JUST. CAN’T. PICK. UP. THAT. PLATE. Overcooked 2 is a bit more refined than the first game and has added a few nifty mechanics like throwing, but the original Overcooked still has a near and dear place in our heart. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.


Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers has been around the block a few times, seemingly re-releasing on every new game system that arrives; however, there’s a reason people keep buying it. Up to four players see themselves donning knight armor and dispensing chivalric justice across a delightfully hand-drawn realm. The memorable part of Castle Crashers, however, is the madcap humor. Without fail, you will repeatedly find yourself in a sweet spot between laughing out loud and what-the-heck. It’s best if we don’t spoil much, as its charm lies in surprise; but if whacking bug-eyed aliens across the face with a lobster-sword sounds like your kind of game, you won’t be disappointed.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Those familiar with this game are probably crying foul. “Wait, this is only a single-player game!” Why yes, it is! However, hear us out. Breath of the Wild is a masterful game that’s all about exploration and discovery. Its vast, fantasy world encourages players to experiment with a variety of different ways to defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and tackle problems in general. What better way than to do all of that with others! We have heard many stories of people playing alongside significant others, spouses, and kids all sitting around the TV - each group walking away with stories of how they did this or that remarkable thing in the game. This single-player title actually encourages playing with multiple people, which is rare. Breath of the Wild is going down in history as one of the greatest games ever made, and enjoying it with others makes it that much more unforgettable.


Conclusion

There you have it! These are some of Dadgum Nerds’ favorite couch co-op games to play on the Nintendo Switch. We will, however, admit that this list is far from exhaustive. If you have any other recommendations for some phenomenal couch co-op games for the Switch (and other systems too), be sure to comment about it! We would love to hear what some of your favorites are.

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