The 10 best 2 player Nintendo Switch games

The 10 best 2 player Nintendo Switch games

The Nintendo Switch is a console specifically designed around 2 player co-op, mainly because it always comes with two controllers in the form of Joy-Con by default. Playing two-player Switch games is second nature, by this point, whether playing in handheld, tabletop, or docked mode. Both Joy-Cons can be easily broken off at any time and used independently for instant local two-player play. But what are the best two-player Switch games? We've put together this ultimate list, helping you decide which Nintendo Switch game to play as a team of two.

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The following is an eclectic mix of cooperative Nintendo Switch games, ranging from cell-shaded first-person shooters full of loot to brick-ified versions of your favourite Pixar film. This ensures that, whatever your gaming tastes happen to be, there's sure to be something for you and a friend to indulge in. While most likely known primarily for being the perfect console for kids, Nintendo Switch actually has plenty of 2 player games to cater to all types of gamer. And now is the time to prove it:

10. Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition

One of the most colourful and inventive 2D platformers to come out in recent years, Rayman Legends eventually came to Nintendo Switch via its definitive edition after a successful release on Wii U. Don't let this being a port put you off, though, because it's by far one of the best 2 player Switch games out there. Not only because Rayman Legends expertly blends fair challenge with fun level design, but also because it seamlessly allows you to drop in/out of the adventure as a pair.

Rayman Legends Definitive Edition earns its place on this list because the best way to experience this game is with another. This is made easier thanks to the Switch coming with two controllers right out of the box. You'll run, jump and bash your way through various vibrant stages, moving to the beat and hunting for collectibles in a way that never ceases to be freeing or fun. Unfortunately, the game may be too simple for some gaming pairs. While there is some replay value in each of the levels, once you finish the game there isn't much reason to come back and play some more, thus why it only gets the number 10 spot on this list.

Side-scrollers are a dime a dozen these days, so don't discount Rayman Legends on Nintendo Switch.

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9. Rocket League

To nobody's surprise, the combination of rocket-powered cars and football is one that just works. Rocket League is a fantastic experience on any platform, but the portability of the Switch and the jump-in, jump-out gameplay on offer here is ideal. I mean at this point I'd assume you've played Rocket League, and if you haven't - what are you doing? It's free! Free to play even online/offline and you don't even need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The game is monetised by a battle pass and skins etc, but you really don't have to spend any more here if you don't want to.

When it comes to two-players Rocket League can be played online in duo league ranked/unranked and a plethora of other game modes. Or you can simply grab a Joy-Con each and battle it out on the same console couch co-op style. Like most sports games, the fun comes from the competition. Going online to thrash other teams is the meat of this game. If you're not hyper-competitive and don't want to play with others, Rocket League will be a flight of fancy and not much more. However, if you love to compete, what are you waiting for? Grab a friend and play one of the best 2-player Nintendo Switch games for free!

8. Luigi's Mansion 3

The cult classic Luigi's Mansion franchise returned in 2019, this time bringing with it all-new modes that can be played with up to eight players in local multiplayer. You're still roaming about spooky settings in search of ghosties to suck up with your vacuum, only now you can do so with others either working alongside you or against you. 'ScareScraper' is Luigi's Mansion 3's co-op mode where you and your team must clear out 25 procedurally generated floors. 'ScreamPark', however, sees you go head to head.

'ScreamPark' features three different match types where teams of four can go up against one another to complete a specific objective. 'Cannon Barrage' sees you score points by wrestling cannonballs away from the ghosts, 'Ghost Hunt' challenges you to catch ghosts the quickest, and 'Coin Floating' sees both teams compete to collect the most currency without having their own stolen.
Holding Luigi's Mansion 3 back from being higher up on the list is the lack of interactivity in the co-op mode. While it's great to work with friends on a common objective, it often feels like you're playing two separate games together. While that may not be a problem for most, it does make it feel like a tacked-on mode as opposed to a fully-fledged experience.

Luigi's Mansion 3 is simply the most feature-complete entry yet, easily making our list of the 10 best 2-player Nintendo Switch games.

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7. Splatoon 2

The Splatoon series came back with a bang in 2017, coinciding with the launch of the Nintendo Switch to offer online shooting fans something a little more colourful compared to the mass of brown and gritty genre entries. However, as well as being great for splatting others with creative weaponry online, Splatoon 2 also boasts one of the deepest and most feature-complete co-operative portions on the platform, which makes it perfect as a 2 player Nintendo Switch game.

The Splatoon 2 co-operative mode is specifically called 'Salmon Run', where you and up to three other players fend off waves of fishy enemies to see how long you can survive. There are three different waves to take on across a wide variety of maps, and during each wave, you and your team will be required to rescue eggs from enemies and bosses to take them back to your home base.
Only hitting number 7, Splatoon 2's only true co-op mode is limited to a wave-based horde-shooter. Once you've smashed a few waves and got into the flow of how it functions, Salmon Run can begin to run out of ink. Before that point, though, Salmon Run proves that shooting is fun when there's more ink and paint involved, easily making it one of the best 2 player Nintendo Switch games currently out there.

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6. Nintendo Switch Sports

Back in 2007, we saw the release of the Nintendo Wii alongside the launch title Wii Sports, this dynamic duo took the world by storm making the Nintendo Wii almost impossible to find back when it was released. (People hunting for a PS5 recently have no idea how bad it was back then). Fast forward 15 years and we now have a spiritual successor on the Nintendo Switch with Nintendo Switch Sports. Bringing back some of those beloved sports from back in the day like Tennis and Bowling, this game is sure to tug at the nostalgia strings. However, it also has shaken up the formula with a selection of new sports: Chambara, Badminton, Volleyball, and Football.

All the sports on offer in this title can be played both locally and online with 2 players or even more if you have the Joy-Cons to accommodate. So grab Nintendo Switch Sports, invite some friends and family over and enjoy your very own living room grand slam rich with the spirit of competition. Just make sure you find your Joy-Con wrist straps so no televisions are harmed in the process (some things never change).

Unfortunately just like its predecessor, while the novelty of these minigames is brilliant at first, they are, after all, only minigames. That means they've got limited gameplay and can be quickly forgotten about. While Nintendo Switch Sports is a fun game in its own right, there are better 2-player Nintendo Switch games on our list.

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5. Mario Strikers: Battle League Football

Sports games make for perfect 2 player experiences, but few are as great as Mario Strikers: Battle League Football. An easy contender to be one of the best 2-player Nintendo Switch games, Mario Strikers: Battle League Football allows you and a teammate to work together to demolish your opponents and claim the championship as your own. In this Mario game, teamwork is everything, and with the brand new robust Club Mode, you can even compete against other players online to really test your skills.

If you're not looking for teamwork, you and a friend (or 3) can go head-to-head and prove once and for all who's the best Battle League footballer.
With the ability to customise your players, you can show off your style as you show off your skills.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football only places at number 5 on our list due to the lack of characters. You are almost guaranteed to have at least one character shared across teams every single match. While more characters are being added, it will take quite a few more additions before you see fresh faces in each of your games. If you can get over that though, you'll have a blast. Your wit, strategy, and teamwork are required to win in this great 2-player Nintendo Switch game.

 

 

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4. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Yes, it might be an updated remaster of a pre-existing Nintendo Wii U game, but there's enough new here to warrant giving this version a place on our list of the 10 best 2-player Nintendo Switch games. A spiritual sequel to 2011's Super Mario 3D Land, here you and up to three other friends can don a catsuit to complete platforming stages that contain multiple worlds' worth of fun. Almost every one has its own specific set of obstacles, ensuring that you and your cohort of Mario buddies have to think on your feet (or paws) in order to stay on top.

Exclusive to this Nintendo Switch update is an entirely separate expansion called Bowser's Fury. This plays out like a more traditional 3D Mario adventure as opposed to the isometric perspective found in the base game. The result is a unique 2 player setup that sees one person play as Mario while the other controls Bowser Jr. Prevent the evil Bowser from unleashing his fury by completing enough cat shines, exploring all the islands, and uncovering ink blots with a buddy. It's this perfect brand of 2 player fun on Nintendo Switch that gives Super Mario 3D World its place on this list. While the base game is your standard chaotic co-op affair, Bowser's Fury brings a new twist to the formula and is well worth trying for any 2-player Switch player.

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3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Initially released for the Nintendo Wii U in 2014, Mario Kart 8 quickly became thought of as the definitive entry into one of the biggest racing franchises on the planet. For this reason, Nintendo released it again for Switch rather than develop a new entry, giving players more of what they love with a few new extras. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for instance, saw the inclusion of all-new characters like the Squid Kids from Splatoon and Link from the Legend of Zelda.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also includes all previously released DLC tracks and karts, bringing the total number of tracks to a staggering 48 (and growing thanks to the booster course pass). This makes it the perfect way to kill time or have a fun afternoon with another player, rendering Mario Kart 8 Deluxe unabashedly one of the very best 2 player Nintendo Switch games out there. It would place higher, but after 8 entries we all know what to expect from a Mario Kart experience. The top two spots should be reserved for games that stand out from the usual Nintendo Switch catalogue.

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2. Borderlands: The Legendary Collection

The most bombastic entry on this list is also one of the best 2 player Nintendo Switch games currently out there. Borderlands: The Legendary Collection bundles together the first game, its sequel, as well as 2014's Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, with all three titles fully supporting local 2-player co-op on one console as well as four-player co-op online on multiple. This package represents a whole lot of value, seeing you and up to three other friends shoot and loot your way across the galaxy.

Also, thanks to the series trademark cell-shaded art style, Borderlands: The Legendary Collection looks just as good as any other version, except now you can take all three games with you on the go. Choose your vault hunter, build up your personal class and begin a planet-hopping adventure to find the best weaponry. Borderlands: The Legendary Collection is number two on our list, marking it as one of the best 2-player Nintendo Switch games for all these reasons and many more.

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1. Diablo III: Eternal Collection

Our top pick for the best 2 player Nintendo Switch game is Diablo III: Eternal Collection, an isometric dungeon crawler that began life on PC and other consoles, before bringing its massive amounts of content to the Nintendo Switch. What's more, this edition includes all previously released DLC, such as the Crusader and Necromancer classes, to make killing foes and hunting for loot alongside friends even more satisfying and addictive.

It's easy to lose endless amounts of hours in Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch, especially since all the loot you find is randomly generated. You play the game always in pursuit of unlocking further upgrades for your character and the best possible gear, preparing for the run through the next challenging dungeon. The peak of co-op gameplay, you and your friend start with nothing and work together to become champions of the realm. With endless hours of content available, Diablo III is one of the best games solo, but it's even better when played in a pair.

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Honourable mentions

Overcooked! 2

If you don't mind getting into the occasional heated argument, Overcooked! 2 is top-down culinary chaos at its finest. You and a partner must complete table service in the kitchen as part of a range of inventive levels, being sure to cook the correct order and get it out on time before your customers go hungry. Floating ships, speedways, and burning castles are just some of the environments you'll need to contend within.

Yoshi's Crafted World

Nintendo characters don't get cuddlier than when they're created from wool. Yoshi proved this once before back on Wii U, and now he does so again in the aptly titled Yoshi's Crafted World. This charming 2D platformer is perfect for players of all ages, being even more fun when you have a different coloured Yoshi gobbling up enemies and throwing eggs alongside you. Plus, with every console coming with two joy-cons, there's no reason not to enjoy this stitched-together world of tape and glue with a friend.

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

Everyone's favourite wizard, thief, and knight are back in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, the 2.5D puzzle platformer that returned the series back to its creative roots. The Nintendo Switch version looks and plays beautifully, too, ensuring that any 2-player pair wanting to embark on a colourful fantasy adventure can find an enjoyable experience that rewards lateral thinking and challenges to overcome. All three heroes sport unique skills that make them essential for progressing, so it pays to have a friend by your side to help.

Snipperclips

An early Nintendo Switch launch title with creativity at its heart, Snipperclips tasks two players to make their way through various puzzles, cutting and slicing specific shapes out of their characters to progress. Snipper and Clip can both be rotated to fill the shape as needed, altering their bodies to insert into any needed template. Everything is portrayed in a charming papercraft world, making Snipperclips the ultimate 2 player switch game for small kids.

Not too long after the release of the original download version, Snipperclips received a physical edition update known as Snipperclips Plus: Cut it out, together! This updated version packs in 30 new levels that can be played across two new worlds, giving players that want to jump into the game's papercraft fun even more value.

LEGO The Incredibles

TT Games has created countless beloved LEGO games based on Hollywood properties throughout the years. How then do you select just one for this list of the 10 best 2-player Nintendo Switch games? It's an impossible task, but that's why we have to mention LEGO The Incredibles, which not only features characters and levels relating to Pixar's superhero family but other famous franchises like Toy Story, Cars, and A Bug's Life. It's 3D platforming perfection for all types of co-op players, sure to put a smile on every family member's face.

You and another will be able to play through the events of both Incredibles movies, smashing and bashing your way through LEGOfied locations you're bound to recognise. Combat is made more thrilling, though, thanks to each character boasting unique abilities that come in handy to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. LEGO The Incredibles can only be played locally in the same room, but it's still an excellent co-op candidate and is easily one of the best 2-player Nintendo Switch games.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Marvel's classic Ultimate Alliance franchise finally returned in 2019, giving players more of the super-powered hack-and-slash action they loved - all played out from an isometric perspective. The roster featured in Ultimate Alliance 3 is simply one of the biggest in any Marvel game, letting players take hold of such icons as Spider-Man and Wolverine, but also less mainstream comic book heroes like Miss Marvel and Ghost Rider.

Playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order works as a whistle-stop tour across many familiar Marvel locations, all of which can be enjoyed as you beat down legions of faceless bad guys alongside up to four other players. It's exclusive to Nintendo's hybrid platform, making it a must-buy for anyone seeking an ideal 2-player Nintendo Switch game that can't be played anywhere.

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