Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is a sort of ‘greatest hits’ collection of the high points of the series, giving you hundreds of hours of content to play through. Couple this with HD visuals, easy-to-use multiplayer, and the ability to play the full experience on the go, and you’ve got a game that will easily appeal to both veterans and newcomers alike. An entirely separate quest board and ranking system exists for the multiplayer component, potentially allowing for limitless hours of replayability. Monsters fought while online are generally much tougher to take down, but having up to three other people whaling away with weapons of their own makes up for this, and you get a much greater sense of satisfaction beating a monster as a team, rather than alone. It may not necessarily represent the future of the series, but Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is an utterly fantastic experience in its own right that no Switch owner will want to be without.
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While Digital Extremes hasn’t quite perfected the formula it needs to make Warframe completely accessible - the sheer number of interconnected systems and customisable elements suggests it never quite will - it still offers a brilliant co-operative third-person shooter with all the MMORPG elements you never thought you’d see running on Nintendo Switch. From the impressive visual fidelity Panic Button has maintained, to the sheer breadth of free-to-play content, Warframe represents another milestone for the console.
This is yet another excellent port of Minecraft, nothing more and nothing less. The versatile setup of the Switch allows this to be the most easily accessible, convenient and playable version to date. Of course, it's a game that’s often best enjoyed with others, and both online and offline multiplayer are supported here, with up to four players allowed locally and eight players online. If you want to play the best portable version of the game, look no further.
Another one from Hi-Rez Studios, some might write off Realm Royale as a Fortnite wannabe, and occasionally it can feel like one if you choose to play it that way, but the core principles of its gameplay bring enough new features to help differentiate it from its battle royale bedfellows. The unique traits of its four classes make a big difference, especially to teamplay, while the combination of forges (and their crafting potential) and the ability to seek shelter when downed (as a chicken, naturally) offer a more complex, and ultimately more forgiving experience. It’s also still in its beta, so expect developers Heroic Leap to be improving it for years to come.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order isn’t a groundbreaking, narrative-heavy reinterpretation of the comic characters you know and love, but then again neither were the first two games. In that regard, it’s a very faithful sequel that mines the vast roster of characters from the comics while including plenty of nods to the current state of the more modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it doesn’t do anything particularly new or outstanding, it embraces the brainless fun of its brawler combat with gusto, and it’s at its absolute best when played with a team of player-controlled supers whether locally or (as its placement on this list necessitates) online. Excelsior!
How does Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stack up against previous entries? Vocal concerns about past games have been actively addressed, every single fighter from the series is present, the customisability is overwhelmingly vast and it’s all topped off with super-solid single-player modes to boot. Online is a bit of a minefield for games like Smash that demand precision timing and the lowest latency possible, but thanks to what we can only assume is some sort of cosmic magic, Ultimate plays really well online. You’ll occasionally run into a game with someone whose connection is less than solid, but the majority of the time it feels practically as responsive as playing a local game with a wireless controller (possibly thanks to the system’s preference for matching up against nearby players).
We’re not sure how you could make a more robust or pleasing Smash game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly is the ultimate instalment in the series, and it makes you wonder where Sakurai can possibly take this franchise next.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a delightful addition to Nintendo's slow-life-sim series and one which upholds the traditions of being able to visit friends' towns and nosily inspect their tragic sense of interior and exterior decor. While there are a host of multiplayer options that include Party Play with one Switch or local co-op with more than one Switch in the same room, the online option gives you the opportunity to visit any willing host's island, judge it mercilessly and, perhaps, take home some exotic fruit or other goodies.
Sure, it's hardly the cutthroat world of death matches and score-based competition you may find in other online experiences, but its gentle, sedate brand of online multiplayer is just the ticket in these trying global times, and well worth investigating if you're stuck at home far away from friends who are also playing the game. Which from the look of our Friends List is absolutely everybody. Except for that one guy playing Zelda.
That's it for our round-up of wonderful online multiplayer games to keep you occupied on Switch. Do you think we've missed any? As always, let us know below.