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So, you're having a party, possibly on a rooftop, dancing to the music and all that jazz, but suddenly there's a lull. Fear not because we've got just the thing to get the party started again! Nintendo Switch has a whole host of crowd-pleasing co-op and competitive party games, whether you're hosting a birthday party for a bunch of kids, throwing a casual soirée for a few select dinner guests or you've got all the furniture in the garage. Regardless of the function, you're sure to find games here for all occasions.
Below you'll find our picks — in no particular order — for the best party games on Switch. While the console's lineup of brilliant co-op games may fit the bill for smaller get-togethers, some games require a little more thought, consideration, and coordination than the average party-goer might be ready for (or capable of). For this selection, we've chosen games that work best with lots of people, including spectators, and ones that let anybody join in with the minimum of fuss.
So, it's time to check out the best Nintendo Switch party games. Fill those bowls of nibbles to the brim, charge your Joy-Con, and pack your party bags, people, because tonight's gonna be a large one...
What better way to get the party started than with the plumber and his Mushroom Kingdom pals? While Mario's had his ups and downs when it comes to this minigame series — with some of the recent entries feeling a little sterile — that simply isn't the case with Super Mario Party. This is a well-constructed and beautifully realised Mario Party game which takes the series right back to its frantic stick-swirling, button-mashing roots. It's a true return to form that can get genuinely raucous in the right company.
There ain't no party like a Mario Party, and with this first Switch entry in the franchise, that's not a backhanded compliment.
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For new, party-loving Switch owners who have only dabbled in the series around a friend's house, they may well be asking 'Is Jackbox Games on Switch?' Well, yes it is. There are multiple Jackbox games on Switch, in fact. Seriously, they're into double digits now.
This is a great option for anyone at your gathering that might find a controller intimidating. You'll need an internet connection and a smartphone each for this one, but if you can get a decent group together, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is a laugh riot for up to eight players.
We've specifically chosen the third instalment in the series because it includes Quiplash 2, Tee K.O., and Trivia Murder Party — three of the most popular Jackbox games, which offer word-based funnies, drawing-based giggles, and trivia-based triumph. Something for everyone!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe delivers a huge amount of racing goodness that's sure to please the crowd. The racing part is best-in-class and there's plenty of tweaks available to make it accessible to all, whether they're racing veterans or this is their first, motion-assisted encounter with the King of Kart Racers. Add in the enormous 48-track Booster Course Pass DLC and you really are spoiled for choice.
When you're done with racing, the Battle Mode lets you get into hilarious brawls as you hair around the arenas chasing each other with red shells and Bob-ombs. It's a game that continually raises a smile and, occasionally, induces that trademark Mario Kart rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It's addictive and unifying, unfiltered fun that draws in anyone daring enough to take up the wheel — absolutely perfect for a party.
It might not have set the world alight when it released at the start of the Switch's life, and it may have worked better as a pack-in title to showcase the unique features of the console and its Joy-Con controllers, but when played with a group of friends or family members 1-2-Switch is a proper hoot. What it lacks in longevity it makes up for with the sort of accessible social appeal that made Wii Sports a living room tradition for so many households all over the world.
This really is a party game — as in it requires the context of a social gathering to work properly — and if you've only tried it as a solo player we entirely understand if you found it underwhelming. In a group context, though, it really shines and if you can find it for a reasonable price, it's well worth a go. You always fancied trying that HD rumble ice cube trick, didn't you?
There's also the sequel, Everybody 1-2-Switch, if you just can't get enough and want to expand on the concept here with similar shenanigans involving many, many more people using their phones as an input device. We weren't enamoured with it, but given the right context, perhaps you could be.
Just Dance 2024 is a sleek entry to the franchise that does exactly what it says on the tin. The series has been running for years now with very few changes, so Just Dance 2017 or Just Dance 2018 or Just Dance 2019 or Just Dance 2020 or Just Dance 2021 or Just Dance 2022 or Just Dance 2023 *breathe* will do just as good a job of getting people on their feet.
With over 40 tracks included and more to purchase through the game's subscription service, plus a handy category list that splits the songs between workout hits, party anthems, and chilled-out groove beats, you can create the dance playlist of your dreams.
One person's got a bomb which needs diffusing while the rest have a printed (yes, an actual physical printout) manual with all the instructions you need to disarm the explosive. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes is an absolute nail-biter of a party game. Obviously, you'll need to have the manual prepared beforehand — it's possible to use a PDF, but the game is far better when there's random sheets of A4 flying around as you frantically search for the info you need.
You'll need to be in a condition to read while playing this one, so it really depends on the sort of party you're throwing. Too many grown-up drinks can make negotiating the written word challenging, and when it's a race against the clock, you don't want to let the team down because you can't focus on the page numbers. Otherwise, this is a blast.
Runbow is a great example of a party game that can cater to solo and multiplayer preferences alike, and almost certainly deserves a cheeky purchase on Switch. It's a party platforming game where the background regularly cycles through different colours, and all platforms that match this colour will disappear until it changes again. It's great fun, with presentation to die for, and unlocking Nindie heroes through a really nicely put together adventure mode is the icing on the cake.
However, the real beauty of Runbow as a multiplayer party game is that it supports up to 8 players, so the more the merrier (provided you've got the requisite number of controllers).
Super Bomberman R is a no-frills entry in a series which had been dormant for far too long. The Switch's unique focus on local multiplayer makes this a perfect fit. Support for Switch Pro Controller as well as single and dual Joy-Con play - along with local network and online multiplayer - make this the go-to multiplayer title for both old-school gamers and those who have never played a Bomberman before (really - just who are you inviting to these parties of yours?). Newbies will very quickly get into the frantic swing of things, so if you're looking to share the joy with your friends, Super Bomberman R is as dependably explosive fun as it's ever been.
And if you like this, the sequel — Super Bomberman R 2 (yep, shocker) — is also available, featuring a neat new 'Castle' mode which lets you create the board you'll be playing on.
One of modern gaming's true multiplayer success stories, Rocket League is a brilliant addition to the Switch party game lineup. The core game is so addictive, so compelling, so enjoyable that it makes for a fine option for spectators as well as participants.
As much as this is a game that rewards skilful play and perseverance, it's also hilarious to watch when inept drivers take to the wheel and careen past the ball at breakneck speed as they get to grips with its 3v3 motorised football. It won't take long before everyone's hooked and the colour, speed, and sheer fun of Rocket League make it a great choice to have on your party playlist.
Everyone is here! The beauty of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that it caters to everybody, from the deep-diving series stalwarts who analyse each frame and peruse patch notes to the novice button-masher who's simply excited at the chance to smash seven shades out of Pikachu.
With its huge roster of famous fighters, there truly is something for everyone, and with support for up to 8 players, it's a frantic, fantastic party game that should most definitely be ready and waiting on your Switch when your friends roll up fashionably late. Fight!
You can't go wrong with the classics, and there's 51 of them to enjoy in the appropriately titled Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. With a wide variety of card games, board games, and other games (including some golf and bowling), you're sure to find at least one activity that everyone will dig, whether you want a few rounds of poker or some target practice. It's not the most raucous of party games, but perhaps you're not throwing the most raucous of parties. Sticky floors and broken porcelain aren't prerequisites for a good time, you know! Crack out the (digital) cards, grab yourself a drink and enjoy.
A stand-out party game, Cake Bash deserves a place on your Switch menu. As with all games of its type, it benefits from having your friends alongside you, but online play with matchmaking (here called "matchbaking") works well, and you can play with bots if you really feel like you need to. It's only the eventual repetition that brings down Cake Bash, and that's really in the pie of the beholder. Far more than a mere trifle, Cake Bash belongs in the upper crust. Geddit?