The best Switch co-op games January 2023

If you like sharing gaming experiences with friends, grab a Joy-Con or two and download one of the best Nintendo Switch co-op games from this list

Best Switch co-op games: Cuphead and Mugman look smug standing on a podium

If there’s one brilliant thing about the design of the Nintendo Switch, it’s that it really encourages you to play games with your friends wherever you are. Out of all the platforms, it has arguably the biggest catalogue of modern co-operative games, so much so that to help you along, we’ve created this list of the best Switch c0-op games to play right now.

While you won’t find many of the best games ever on this list, you will find plenty of names from our best co-op games guide. From classic Switch titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Kirby and the Forgotten Land to games like Cuphead, we’ve got something for everyone here.

These are the best Switch co-op games: 

  • It Takes Two
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Cuphead
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Minecraft
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Overcooked: All You Can Eat
  • Stardew Valley
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Unravel 2
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • ARMS
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Best Switch co-op games: May and Cody ride the frog taxis in It Takes Two

1. It Takes Two

It Takes Two tops the majority of our co-op games list although it’s a fairly recent addition to our Switch guide thanks to its port. It Takes Two follows the story of a distanced couple, who have recently been turned into dolls by their daughter, who, with the help of a relationship advice book, try to begrudgingly rekindle their relationship.

It sounds like a bit of a weird premise, but trust us – it really works. It Takes Two is a proper couch co-op game and features many different levels that encompass the traits of different genres. Essentially It Takes Two is several games rolled into one and with the help of a friend, you too can take it on.

Don’t believe us? Read all about the game’s impact in Jess’ Game of the Year nomination in 2021.

Best Switch co-op games: the villagers in Animal Crossing New Horizon stand on the bridge

2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

We couldn’t have a best Switch co-op game list without an Animal Crossing game, could we? New Horizons captivated people following its release in the middle of the global pandemic in 2020. Years on, people are still playing it, tendering to their islands, catching fish, and befriending new villagers.

It’s also a brilliant little co-op game. With options for online play and couch co-op, New Horizons does it all. In couch co-op, up to four people can play together on one Switch, and online or in local wireless, up to eight people can play together on their own Switches.

Here, you can build your own island together or divide it up into small parts, where you can each enjoy your own slice of heaven. If you’re stuck for what to do, give our Animal Crossing New Horizons island ideas a look.

Best Switch co-op games: Darth Vader looms over the cast of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

3. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

You can always rely on Lego games for a good couch co-op experience and The Skywalker Saga is no different. With two-player split-screen, there’s no better way than to experience the storylines of a galaxy far, far away.

The Skywalker Saga brings all nine movies into one giant narrative thread, allowing you and a thread to experience everything the universe has to offer, from different planets, different spaceships, and, of course, different characters, like Max Rebo.

The game is so stunning that we gave it a 9/10 in our Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review. If you’re a fan of the franchise, this is a must buy.

Best Switch co-op games: Cuphead and Mugman are scared of a Cuphead daisy boss

4. Cuphead

If you’re after something a little bit more unforgiving, then Cuphead is for you. This classic run and gun game, which is heavily inspired by the cartoons of the 1930s, follows Cuphead as he goes on a quest to repossess the souls of runaway debt collectors following a deal with the Devil.

Its gameplay, while appearing simple, is brutal, and you’ll need to level up your powers by defeating several bosses along the way. It’s a difficult single-player game, but in local co-op, you can pull in a friend in the form of Mugman, for some help.

You’ll both need to level up properly if you want to be successful, but if you’re after something a bit grittier than our other suggestions, then make sure to pick up Cuphead now.

Best Switch co-op games: Luigi looks worried as he opens a door in Luigi's Mansion 3

5. Luigi’s Mansion 3

The beauty of the Nintendo Switch is that it has an abundance of co-op games that you simply won’t find anywhere else and Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a perfect example of that.

In this action-adventure game, you’ll take on the role of Luigi as he explores a haunted hotel in the hopes of rescuing his friends from the ghosts wandering its corridors. In local co-op, a friend can help, providing you’ve unlocked Gooigi, and online, you play can with up to eight people in Scarescraper and ScreamPark.

It’s a lovely little game, especially for those of you looking to get some game time in with your little ones.

Best Switch co-op games: two Minecraft characters walk forward with pickaxes

6. Minecraft

When it comes to proper sandbox adventures with a friend, there’s nothing better than Minecraft. The possibilities are endless and how you play this blocky adventure is up to you.

You can tackle the undead in one of the many Minecraft survival servers, build houses with friends, or build a new world from scratch.

It’s the perfect game for any age and it’s ten times more fun with a friend.

Best Switch co-op games: several cooks in Overcooked with the Onion King

7. Overcooked: All You Can Eat

If Minecraft is too slow for you, then you need a bit of frenetic cooking in your life. With Overcooked: All You Can Eat, you can get two Overcooked games for the price of one, as well as all the extra content from those games.

In it, you’ll need to take charge of kitchens on different levels, take orders, and attempt to fulfil them while extinguishing several fires along the way. It’s the perfect Switch co-op game since up to four players can play at one time – just make sure everyone knows what they’re doing before you play.

Best Switch co-op games: the farm in Stardew Valley

8. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley might just look like a farming sim from the outside, but it’s so much more than that. Taking inspiration from the classic Harvest Moon games, Stardew Valley puts you in the shoes of a youngster who has just inherited an overgrown farm from their grandfather.

Just like in Harvest Moon, you’ll need to restore the farm to its former glory, sow seeds, rear animals, and get to know the many Stardew Valley characters in town.

It’s a tall order for single-player, so in co-op, up to three other players can join you on your farm where you can work together to make a small fortune.

Best Switch co-op games: Mario as a yellow cat jumps

9. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Like Luigi’s Mansion 3, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a great little Switch co-op game, especially if you’ve got younger players to entertain.

This platform game allows up to four players to free roam and tackle levels together. It looks and feels like a classic Super Mario game, except in this one, you have the Super Bell, a power-up which turns you into a cat, allowing you to climb walls and scratch enemies.

It’s a must for anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch.

Best Switch co-op games: Mario chucks his hat, Cappy, forward

10. Super Mario Odyssey

Another Super Mario game, but Odyssey is different to our last entry. Here, you’ll need to explore new kingdoms, collecting Power Moons, which power your Odyssey airship along the way.

In co-op mode, one of you will control Mario, and the other will control Cappy – Mario’s sentient cap – which will allow you to control other characters and objects. It sounds like a gimmick, but as you’ll discover as you play through the game, it’s a very useful tool for the plumber’s tool belt.

Best Switch co-op games: Two Yarn creatures help each other down a rockface in Unravel 2

11.Unravel 2

If you’re after a slightly different platforming adventure – and one that doesn’t have two moustachioed plumbers in it – then Unravel 2 could be the game for you.

Built largely for co-op, Unravel 2 lets you play as a pair of Yarnys – small creatures made from yarn and connected by a single thread. Like It Takes Two at the top of our list, you’ll need to work together to run, jump, and swing through the various levels thrown at your feet.

It’s not particularly difficult, and with that in mind, perfect for families.

Best Switch co-op games: Kirby charges forwad in the Forgotten Land

12. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

The latest Kirby adventure is arguably the best and, like all good games, can be played co-operatively.

This platform game, which is the first in the series to be in full 3D, follows our favourite pink blob as he searches the New World to rescue Waddle Dees.

While it can be played alone, Kirby is at its best when played with a friend. In co-op mode, player two will be handed the controls of Bandana Waddle Dee, where they’ll need to work together with Kirby to defeat the Beast Pack.

Best Switch co-op games: two fighters battle it out in ARMS

13. ARMS

Did you really think we were going to write a Switch co-op game without mentioning one of the best fighting games out there? ARMS is an unconventional fighting game in that you duke it out with other players long range. There’s no close quarters combat here, instead you’ll need to rely on extendable weapons in a three-dimensional arena.

In co-op, up to four players can play at once, but beware: to be crowned champion, you’ll need to knock your friends out of the fight.

Best Switch co-op games: Mario Toad and Luigi race in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

14. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

And finally, we have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. If you own a Switch, chances are you already own this classic racing game, but have you played it properly with friends?

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features great local and online co-op modes, so if you need to settle an argument, whip out your Mii, select one of the best Mario Kart 8 Deluxe karts, and get racing.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about the best Nintendo Switch co-op games. Of course, there are plenty of other titles to pick from, especially if you have other consoles.

Make sure to browse our list of the best PS5 co-op games and the best Xbox co-op games for more recommendations.