Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order isn’t a groundbreaking, narrative-heavy reinterpretation of the comic characters you know and love, but neither were the first two games. 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.
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Unravel Two is a wonderful little game, filled with heartfelt moments of poignant storytelling and challenging platforming puzzles, and fits very well on Nintendo Switch. Even with a few downgrades to the visuals, Unravel Two is far from an inferior experience when played on Nintendo's hybrid system. Full of charm and character, it’s one of the best cooperative platformers you can play anywhere and another robust Switch port that was well worth the wait.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection is a lovely port of a classic RPG loot-a-thon that keeps its feet firmly in the past. The execution is wonderful, but its gameplay is not something that will appeal to everyone due to the high level of repetition. If you’re looking for a loot-driven grind-a-thon with more explosions of viscera than you can comfortably discuss with your mother, this is the game for you. It's also one of those games which is best played with friends. While you can play online, couch co-op offers a much richer experience as you battle demons and collect loot together with three local players able to drop-in and join you on your quest.
Bigger and more fully featured than ever, BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! marks a high point in this quirky puzzle-platformer series. It's not perfect — the stripped-back aesthetic and lethargic physics won't be everyone's cup of tea — but fans of co-op puzzlers, in particular, should investigate pronto. The 'Tale For Two' campaign lets a second player take control of Qucy and you must work together to create strings of boxes and navigate through each 2D level to the exit. It remains a distinctive and deceptively layered puzzler very much in line with the trilogy on 3DS, but the fact that you can now bring a partner in on the fun makes this the best BOXBOY yet.
Mario Tennis Aces offers up to four-player couch co-op via its doubles mode and if you're a really big tennis fan, this is probably the best option right now on Switch — Switch Sports also offers familiar Wii-style tennis.
Also, while this is a couch co-op list, it's well worth mentioning that online co-op challenges, rewarding you with special outfits, characters, and alternate color schemes.
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance offers four-player local co-op with its top-down Zelda-like, endless dungeon-crawler roguelike gameplay. Bit of a mouthful, eh? Initially in Afterbirth+, only Player One could control Isaac, with everyone else restricted to babies who dealt half the damage and could fly, but only had a single heart container – which they took off Isaac when they joined. Fortunately, the Repentance overhaul remedied the situation. Offering an enormous amount to do, it'd be rude not to help Isaac out of this bind, if you're down with some procedurally generated violence with an abundance of poop.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are perhaps the most approachable of all the mainline Pokémon games, so you're unlikely to struggle through them. However, if you'd rather share the experience of revisiting the region of Kanto from the original Pokémon games, then you will want to get a buddy involved and take advantage of the co-op play. A second trainer can drop in whenever they want, essentially acting as a support character which makes the game even easier. If catching those pesky Pokémon and fighting other trainers is causing problems, playing in co-op mode will be a great option for you.
Heave Ho might not quite reach the lofty heights of Snipperclips, but it’s still one of the best couch co-op titles to hit the Switch. It encourages communication and careful planning, but remains utterly chaotic and achingly hilarious, with a fantastic selection of unique costumes to unlock as you progress. The fact that you’ll face the same stages whether you’re playing multiplayer or single-player is undoubtedly disappointing, so it's best to save this for when your mates are 'round. Whatever way you decide to play, Heave Ho is great fun and hauls itself onto this list with ease.
You might not be even aware that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has an excellent co-op mode, with you and a friend tackling a variety of mission maps as your favourite characters. You'll have to have completed World 1.5 in solo mode before it becomes accessible via the Buddydome to the right of Peach's Castle. Sadly, the sequel — Sparks of Hope — is missing co-op entirely.
While you could argue that the humble side-scrolling fighter is an endangered species for a reason – they can get awfully repetitive after a while – Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle illustrates perfectly why this particular genre was the toast of video gaming in the late '80s and early '90s. Addictive, enjoyable, and – perhaps most important of all – bloody good fun when played cooperatively with friends, all of the titles in this seven-strong compendium are worth your time. By adding robust local and online multiplayer support, Capcom has done its utmost to ensure they find favour with a whole new generation of gamers. If you've ever enjoyed a belt-scrolling brawl, this is a must-have download.
If you're after other brawlers to enjoy with friends, you'll find a few more in the list below. Check out our picks of the Best Beat 'Em Ups on Switch if you just can't get enough of that trashcan turkey.
As poignant, heartbreaking, and memorable as it was back in 2013, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons hasn’t lost any of its emotional impact in those intervening years. With a captivating soundtrack, an aesthetic design evocative of Fable, and a genuinely clever take on co-op, you can really see why it’s held in such high regard. The new, traditional-style co-op mode offers a new way to play, although bear in mind that it also robs the game of one of its most challenging and rewarding features and perhaps makes things a little too easy, but it's still a charming two-player experience.
Mario Party Superstars is a love letter to the Mario Parties you remember attending 20 years ago. A disappointingly slim selection of boards takes the shine off things somewhat, but it’s hard to argue that this is the best Mario Party has been in over a decade. While there aren't many new ideas here, we much prefer to have all these classic ideas intact rather than potentially tainting them with unwanted and unnecessary inclusions only added for the sake of being new.
This is how you do a compilation of minigames, and with online play, there are even more opportunities to claim victory once your pals have gone home. Grab a can of Tango and a fistful of 10p Freddos — you’re going to party like it’s 1999.
But really, Nintendo, where's the DLC?