Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy (Switch)

Trine 5 hasn’t changed all that much from its predecessors, which is more of a good thing than it is bad. At its heart, this is still a gorgeous, remarkably charming, and challenging puzzle platformer that features some of the best environment design in the business. It goes without saying that if you liked any of the previous Trine games, you’ll love what Trine 5 brings to the table—we’d argue that this offers the most polished and honed version of the series’ traditional gameplay.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (Switch eShop)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is the best Turtles beat 'em up ever made, and a faster, better-looking, and arguably more entertaining affair than even Streets of Rage 4. It looks delicious, sounds superb, and rekindles childhood memories beyond all expectation, time-warping you back to 1987. Its combat system is so much fun to mine that you feel compelled to keep coming back to try new strategies, and with its awesome co-op multiplayer, the experience evolves again and again. Like any beat 'em up, it does get repetitive as you enter the last third, but that’s more a fault of the concept than the game. Shredder’s Revenge really is an unprecedented shell-ebration. Ahem.

If you love it, then you can snap up the Dimension Shellshock DLC for two more fighters and brand-new gameplay modes for even more chaotic brawling actions. Fans of co-op brawlers might also want to check out TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection, which features a boatload of Konami classics that'll keep you busy for hours.

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Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great big joyride, and after the short intro section that sees Kirby arrive in the titular Forgotten Land, it's playable in its entirety in co-op mode, with a second player taking control of a Waddle Dee — an especially good option for younger gamers. The Forgotten Land is bursting at the seams with fun and inventiveness, managing to transpose everything we know and love about past Kirby games to this all-new arena whilst adding plenty of delightful new aspects as it goes. Mouthful Mode is daftly entertaining, each and every level is packed full of secrets and dripping in wonderful detail, and there are enough side activities, collectibles, and co-op fun here to keep you entertained and coming back for more for a good long while.

And if you're hungry for more, Kirby Star Allies offers side-scrolling four-player fun with Kirby and co.

Portal: Companion Collection (Switch eShop)

It's hard to overstate our satisfaction with Portal: Companion Collection. Portal and Portal 2 felt incredibly fresh when they first released, and the years since have not diminished their immense impact. To have two of the most unique and mind-bending puzzle games on a Nintendo console, and on-the-go if you choose, is a pure joy. If it weren't for the frequent load screens punctuating the experience, we'd have absolutely nothing to complain about here. The motion controls work like a dream, the games run at a near-rock-solid 60fps, you've got Portal 2's exquisite local co-op play available at the drop of a hat, and the writing remains as funny now as it did all those years ago. If you haven't played the Portal games before, this should be a no-brainer. If you have... well, just play them again.

It Takes Two (Switch)

If you were even half-aware of games news at the end of 2021, you will already be a bit interested in this Game Award-winner. It’s brimming with fun, uniquely committed to co-op gaming, plays solidly and distinctively, and usually discards one cool idea in favour of another before there’s time to get bored. Now-standard graphical compromises have been made for Switch, and the typical perk of playing handheld is questionable for an always-split-screen co-op-only game. Nonetheless, it keeps the frames moving well enough not to undermine its Game-of-the-Year sparkle. It Takes Two and the good old Switch may not be a perfect marriage, but it’s worth sticking it out.

Full Metal Furies (Switch eShop)

Full Metal Furies is an impressive fusion of genres from Cellar Door Games, the makers of Rogue Legacy. A beat ‘em up brawler at heart, we wish more developers would invest such considerable effort into this sort of puzzle design in action games, and coupling that with the deep RPG systems, punchy co-op gameplay, and memorable writing makes for an experience that no Switch owner will want to be without. We can’t recommend this release enough; put in the time to explore the different tactics required with each character and you’ll find a much deeper, more replayable experience than a typical brawler.

Vampire Survivors (Switch eShop)

Vampire Survivors skyrocketed in popularity in 2022 for good reason. It's one of the best roguelites in recent memory thanks to its gripping gameplay loop and metagame that hijacks your mind. The Switch port only adds more to love with local co-op and updated content. It's so easy to slip into a blissful sense of flow in Vampire Survivors' Castlevania-inspired, comically named levels as its ripping soundtrack and satisfying sound design propel you into the horde that you'll surely lose track of time playing it, even when you're playing with friends. With the addition of free Adventures and a host of DLC, this undead master is teeming with life.

Moving Out 2 (Switch)

SMG and DevM Games' Moving Out and Moving Out 2 are both well worth a look if you're after a breezy, chaotic removal firm sim that has you clearing houses as quickly as possible to an excellent '80s soundtrack. we marginally prefer the sequel — it may not quite be your multiplayer forever home, but its good vibes and intricate challenges are going to cause many joyful whoops of celebration, cries of frustration, irreparably broken furniture, and wild accusations about how the hell a bookcase fell off the balcony. Sounds like coming home to us.

Disney Illusion Island (Switch)

While you could certainly argue that Disney Illusion Island is perhaps more of a Metroidvania than it is a straight-up 2D platformer, we reckon it strikes a wonderful balance between the two genres that it could honestly fall into either category. Its focus on combat-free exploration makes this a great gateway into the genre for younger audiences, and its ability to support up to four players via local co-op means that it's an excellent option for families who want to spend a bit of time with some of the most iconic Disney characters imaginable. You can also hug each other to regain health. What more could you ask for?

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is, quite simply, the best 2D Mario game since Super Mario World. From its myriad animation details to its infectious anything-could-happen spirit, it's got charm up the wazoo, and with local co-op (and online) fun adding to the replayability factor, this feels like 2D Mario with its mojo back and one of the very best platformers we've played. Up to four players can dive in and choose from a large roster of Mushroom Kingdom characters, and the removal of character collision — which caused no-end of upset and arguments in the New Super Mario Bros. series — means that you can potter about without bumping into each other.

Not all the levels work quite as well with multiple people, but wowie zowie, with worlds this bustling with life and colour, any frustrations are sure to be fleeting.

What's your favourite local co-op Switch game on this list? Did it even make the cut? Let us know in the comments below.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.