The Best Nintendo Switch games to whip out at a party

The portable nature of the Nintendo Switch makes it the perfect console to bring to any party or family gathering because it’s so easy to carry around. Of course, if you’re bringing the Switch to a party, you’re going to need some party games because as much as we all love the best Nintendo Switch games, some of them don’t exactly liven up a party. Here are our top picks for the best party games on the Nintendo Switch!

Best Overall: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

If you go to a party and don’t play a Mario Kart game, did you even party? The Mario Kart franchise has been making parties and gaming nights a blast since the days of the Super Nintendo and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is no different!

You can play with up to four players with two sets of Joy-Cons and it’s a really easy game to teach because you only really need to learn a couple of buttons! It’s also a great game for all ages. There’s enough skill required to make it interesting for more competitive players and then you can also set up optional kiddie controls for younger players or people who aren’t confident with video games. This will keep them moving forward and make it so they can never fall off the track.

You and your friends get to choose from 41 of the most popular Nintendo Switch characters including favorites like Link, Bowser, Yoshi, Inklings, and Isabelle from Animal Crossing. Whether you’re racing in Grand Prix for a trophy, or you’re fighting each other in battle mode, Mario Kart 8 can offer hours of high-speed fun!

Pros:

  • Can host up to four people on one screen
  • Kid controls
  • 41 playable characters
  • Classic and new tracks

Cons

  • It’s technically a Wii U port and not a new game

Best Overall

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

$50 at Amazon$50 at Best Buy

A game everyone can play.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe allows up to four players to race against each other on one TV via splitscreen. It’s appealing for people of all ages as it offers competitive elements, silly items to trip each other up, vibrant courses, and even kiddie controls so younger folks can play more easily.

Best Fighting Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. has been the quintessential fighting game for the past several Nintendo consoles and things get seriously ramped up for the Nintendo Switch version. Select one of 74 of your favorite characters from a huge library of games including Samus Aran, Star Fox, Kirby, Marth, Donkey Kong, Mario, Cloud Strife, and more.

Each character has their own skill set and fighting techniques to change things up. If you feel so inclined, you can also purchase one of the DLC fighter packs and bring even more characters into the game like Banjo-Kazooie or Steve from Minecraft.

Whenever I play this game with friends there’s always a bunch of hooting, laughing, and good-natured trash talk. Up to four people can fight against each other on one screen as long as you have enough controllers for everyone. Or, if you have multiple Nintendo Switch consoles handy, up to eight people can fight against each other using local wireless. And if no one is around to play, you can always go online and find someone else to fight against.

Pros:

  • Up to four players on one screen
  • 74 characters to unlock
  • Dozens of stages and music
  • Optional DLC with more fighters

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming
  • Some players feel redundant

Best Fighting Game

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

$50 at Amazon$50 at Best Buy $50 at Walmart

Prove your favorite character is the best.

Unlock and play as your favorite video game characters from a number of different franchises. Up to four people can play at once on a shared screen and there’s also a Solo mode for when no one’s around to party.

Best for Large Parties: Super Bomberman R

I have had Super Bomberman R since the Nintendo Switch launch day and I have played this game at more parties, family gatherings, and gaming nights than any other game in my collection.

The best thing about bringing Super Bomberman R to a party is it can play up to eight players in battle mode! Plus, it’s perfect to play on a single Joy-Con controller because all you need is the joystick and one button to play. No complicated buttons, combos, or movement to teach new players, it’s about as close to a pickup-and-play game as you can get.

Pros:

  • Classic multiplayer modes
  • Online and offline play
  • Super fun to play with large groups
  • Supports up to eight players

Cons

  • Solo play can be boring
  • Small number of levels to choose from

Best for Large Parties

Super Bomberman R for Nintendo Switch

$24 at Amazon$50 at Best Buy$20 at Walmart

No one has to sit out.

Looking for a game that everyone can play instead of taking turns? This is definitely one to consider. It can host up to eight players on one screen and provides some hilarious, heart-thumping moments to share with your friends.

Best Teambuilder: Overcooked: Special Edition

Many multiplayer games pit you against each other, which can sometimes cause fights and hurt feelings among those playing. If you’re looking for something that helps create a sense of camaraderie rather than contention, then you really ought to check out Overcooked.

You and up to three other people work together to cook food in increasingly challenging courses. In order to keep the kitchen running smoothly, you’ll need to communicate with each other and man the proper station. “Will somebody chop a freaking onion!” is a common phrase you might hear or even yell at one of your friends.

The kitchens can be a little crazy too, offering ridiculous obstacles for you and your co-chefs to get around or deal with while you’re running around preparing food. This is one of those games where we often have to pause in between levels to laugh at how crazy everything just was. It’s the perfect party game for those who like to work together.

If you make it through the game and are looking for more cooking challenges, you can check out Overcooked 2

Pros:

  • Up to four players
  • Work together to succeed
  • Dozens of levels with different challenges
  • Different characters to play as

Cons

  • Obstacles can be annoying
  • Play can be repetitive

Best Teambuilder

Overcooked: Special Edition

$30 at Amazon$20 at Best Buy$16 at Walmart

We need more cooks in the kitchen.

Work together to prepare various dishes in zany kitchens while running around a ship, avoiding fire, or sliding around on ice. Can you run a tight crew and get customers’ orders out in time?

Best for Sleepovers & Birthdays: Super Mario Party

When I was a kid, Mario Party was the most important game to play during sleepovers and at birthday parties and Super Mario Party is just the same. Up to four players can play on one screen. Gameplay takes place on a large game board and then jumps into a minigame at the end of each round. These minigames might be 1 v 3, 2 v 2, free-for-all, or cooperative, which changes up how you all play together.

Since the minigames are relatively short, they hold your attention easier without you getting bored. If someone is in the lead, other players can work together to try and thwart the leader and bring themselves closer to first place. As you play, you’ll unlock more minigames and more options to keep the game interesting.

Pros:

  • Up to four players
  • Several fun minigames
  • Play as your favorite Mushroom Kingdom character
  • Several different modes

Cons

  • Minigames aren’t as varied as past Mario Party titles
  • Not as many game boards as previous versions

Best for Sleepovers & Birthdays

Super Mario Party

$50 at Amazon$50 at Best Buy$50 at Walmart

Mini-games galore!

Choose one of your favorite characters from the Mushroom Kingdom and then compete against other players in a bunch of short mini-games. This is the perfect game to keep everyone’s attention during sleepovers and birthday parties.

Best Team vs Team Minigames: Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is definitely one of my favorite games on the Nintendo Switch. The happy news is that the game offers two-player co-op for the base game and also has three multiplayer minigames that can host up to eight people at once. If you want to add six more multiplayer games, you just have to spend $10 to get the Luigi’s Mansion 3 Multiplayer Pack.

These minigames typically pit players against each other in teams while they work on catching ghosts in a time limit, play dodgeball, or try to shoot things at a distance. Each player controls a different colored Luigi or Gooigi making it easy to tell at a glance who is on your team.

Pros:

  • Up to eight players
  • Base game allows two-player co-op
  • DLC with six additional games
  • Several team vs. team games

Cons

  • It can be hard to catch ghosts

Best Team vs. Team Minigames

Luigi’s Mansion 3

$57 at Amazon$40 at Best Buy$54 at Walmart

Who ya gonna call?

Run around various levels catching ghosts and completing challenges while competing against another team. Up to eight players can play together on one screen in this spooky multiplayer.

Best Adult Fun: Jackbox Party Pack 3

Jackbox has been the king of adult-themed party video mini-games for a while and they come out with a new party pack every year or so. I have played all the games in the Jackbox Party Packs and personal number three is my favorite.

If you’ve never tried a Jackbox Party Pack before, each one consists of a handful of small games that you play on your phone with the help of your Switch. They have done so many games that’s it’s hard to keep track, but Quiplash and Fibbage tend to be the two most popular.

I personally love the Jackbox Party Pack 3 the most, its variety of games is the best in my opinion, but Part Pack 2 is also worth a look!

Pros:

  • Classic multiplayer modes
  • Online and offline play
  • Super fun to play with large groups
  • Supports up to eight players

Cons

  • Solo play can be boring
  • Small number of levels to choose from

Best Adult Fun

Jackbox Party Pack 3

$25 at Amazon$25 at Best Buy

Put the kids to bed.

Depending on the games you play, you might be asked to answer questions on your phones and then everyone’s hilarious answers will appear on screen. Get as inappropriate as you want and see the true depth of your friends’ humor.

Best Nintendo Switch party games

These are just a few of the best party games for the Nintendo Switch, which make great additions to your best Nintendo Switch games collection. Let us know in the comments below!

Credits – The team that worked on this guide

Rebecca Spear loves keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest electronics. She is a life-long gamer and a writer who has written hundreds of online articles over the past few years. On any given day, you’ll find her drawing with her Wacom tablet, playing RPGs, or reading a good book. Hit her up on Twitter: @rrspear

Luke Filipowicz iMore’s resident gaming guru. Loves playing games from all eras, and still has a working Atari 2600 in his basement. When he isn’t writing about games, you’ll probably find him slapping the bass to his favorite ’80s tunes.

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