Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Nintendo SwitchSource: iMore

Best Nintendo Switch party games iMore 2021

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

super mario kart 8 deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch

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 Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch

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 sleepovers & birthdays: Mario Party Superstars

When I was a kid, Mario Party was the most important game to play during sleepovers and at birthday parties. Nintendo's latest entry, Mario Party Superstars, is just the same as it brings 100 classic minigames and five boards from previous Mario Party games into one collection with updated graphics.

Up to four players can play on one screen. Gameplay takes place on a large game board and then jumps into a quick minigame at the end of each round. These minigames might pit you against your friends, free-for-all, or cooperative, which changes up how you all play together. The winners of the minigames earn coins, which they can use to purchase Stars from the main game board. The players with the most Stars by the end of a predetermined number of rounds wins.

Since the minigames are relatively short, they can easily hold your attention 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. There's also online play, so you can compete against friends or people from around the world when there isn't anyone nearby to play with.

Note: There's also a Switch game called Super Mario Party. Many people consider this to be one of the worst Mario Party games ever made since it has limited modes and games. So make sure you purchase Superstars instead.

Pros:

  • Up to four players
  • 100 classic minigames
  • Play as your favorite Mushroom Kingdom character
  • Several different modes
  • Online play

Cons

  • Not as many game boards as previous versions
  • Don't confuse with Super Mario Party!

Best for sleepovers & birthdays

Mario Party Superstars Mushroom Minigame Luigi Flat

Mario Party Superstars for Nintendo Switch

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.

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 Switch

Super Bomberman R for Nintendo Switch

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! All You Can Eat

Many multiplayer games pit you against each other, which can sometimes cause fights and hurt feelings (we've all been there). If you're looking for something that helps create a sense of camaraderie rather than contention, then you really ought to check out Overcooked! All You Can Eat. It's a collection of both the first and second games in the series, along with all related DLC to date.

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 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.

Pros:

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

Cons

  • Obstacles can be annoying
  • Play can be repetitive

Best teambuilder

Overcooked All You Can Eat Box Art

Overcooked! All You Can Eat for Nintendo Switch

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 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

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch

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

Jackbox Party Pack 3 for Nintendo Switch

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 really are the best party games on Nintendo Switch whether you're playing with your peers or family. If there's only one game to get from this list it's Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This silly racing game is a perfect fit for people of all ages. You can turn on kiddie controls to prevent younger players from going the wrong direction or stopping on the track. Plus, more competitive players can really vie for the lead and use those items to their advantage.

If you're looking for a game that will bring everyone together then you should consider Overcooked! All You Can Eat. Up to four players work together to fulfill food orders in crazy kitchen settings. You'll need to divide tasks, communicate effectively, and avoid ridiculous obstacles together.

Want to have a lot of people over for a party? Then you need a game that can handle a crowd. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lets up to eight players fight against each other on one screen as long as you have enough Nintendo Switch Controllers to go around. There are dozens of characters to choose from and even more fan-favorites if you purchase the fighter DLC packs. Choose your favorite video game characters and beat your friends to prove you're the best. Have a blast and try not to get too competitive.

Credits - The team that worked on this guide

Author:

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

Author: Luke Filipowicz

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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