I love games with cooperative campaigns. As some of you may have realized from my previous articles, I grew up playing games in groups. Most of the games I played with my brothers were multiplayer, but we came to love the ones we could play together instead of simultaneously.
Gaming has come a long way since the late 90’s, and I’m happy to say that it includes a lot more co-op titles than it used to. Now that I have a new gaming partner in my life, we’re always on the lookout for games that offer shared challenges and accomplishments.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 best co-op games for the Nintendo Switch (my platform of choice). Most of these support couch co-op gaming, but I also threw in a few online-only options that I just can’t live without. I hope you enjoy!
10 Best Co-Op Games for Switch
Ready for a new adventure? Let’s dive right into the list of Nintendo co-op titles, starting with #10 and working our way down to my #1 top pick.
10. Castle Crashers
- Publisher: The Behemoth
- Genre: Beat-em-up, Action RPG
- Release Date: September 17, 2019
The late-2000’s humor of Castle Crashers may be a bit dated, but the intensely fun gameplay still holds up. You and up to three co-op partners can team up as the game’s iconic, colorful knights as you wreak havoc through the countryside in your efforts to save the princesses and defend your kingdom from the evil wizard.
- Publisher: StudioMDHR
- Genre: Shoot-em-up, Platformer
- Release Date: April 18, 2019
Cuphead is notoriously tricky, but it’s also earned its reputation as one of the definitive indie titles of the decade. The game boasts beautiful, hand-drawn graphics that’s reminiscent of 1930’s animation. The characters move to an upbeat rhythm that creates a deceptively cheery atmosphere around the game’s darker themes. The campaign and mechanics work well in both single-player and co-op mode, so grab a friend and put your (cup)heads together to beat this gorgeous shoot-em-up.
8. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Genre: Platformer
- Release Date: May 4, 2018
I wasn’t too familiar with the Donkey Kong Country series before Tropical Freeze. My boyfriend was more excited about this title than I was when it first launched, but I have to admit that it’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen. Retro Studios did a masterful job capturing the spirit of the original series while bringing in a new set of challenges. The game is challenging without being punishing, and the multiplayer platforming is delightful and fun.
7. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Publisher: Yacht Club Games
- Genre: Platformer
- Release Date: March 3, 2017
I’ve talked briefly about Shovel Knight in the past, but I stand by my praise of its multiplayer. It does have its frustrations — it’s easy to bonk into each other, and the side-scrolling isn’t fully optimized, but the game is charming and wholly fun.
Treasure Trove includes the original game and all the subsequent DLC. I recommend it if you and your gaming partner are looking for a longer campaign!
6. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
- Publisher: Capcom
- Genre: Action RPG
- Release Date: August 28, 2018
I’m not good at the Monster Hunter games, but the aspects of it that I struggle with are the exact same aspects that I love. The game is massive and complex, and does a lot with its mechanics that a lot of modern co-op games can’t compete with. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate celebrates four generations of Monster Hunter with a long campaign and one of the most extensive monster lists of the series.
Plus, you can play as a Palico! Who doesn’t want to run around fighting unbelievably huge dinosaurs as a goofy little cat?
5. Stardew Valley
- Publisher: Chucklefish
- Genre: Farming Simulator, RPG
- Release Date: October 5, 2017
I’m a simple girl with simple needs. I see a cute farming simulator that lets me grow plants and raise chickens with my friends. I buy it on multiple platforms and spend entire weekends making the perfect, picturesque farm.
I fell in love with Stardew Valley before the multiplayer update, but bringing in friends added a whole new level to the game for me. The multiplayer aspects are neatly integrated with the game’s existing story and mechanics, allowing for a seamless switch from single-player to co-op. The “no griefing” options are an added plus if you’re picky about your crop placement!
(Check out our list of games like Stardew Valley!)
4. Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Genre: Platformer
- Release Date: September 12, 2017
I really loved Rayman as a kid, but the series had long since faded into memory before I rediscovered it in Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition. This game is utterly delightful and easily one of the best platformer titles out there. It offers a great co-op experience with a wide range of characters, but adds a bit of friendly competition to keep things interesting. The game manages to make each of its 120 levels feel unique, and the rhythm levels are literally music to my ears. I can’t recommend this title enough!
3. Overcooked! 2
- Publisher: Team17 Digital Limited
- Genre: Cooking Simulation
- Release Date: August 7, 2018
Overcooked! 2 is a fast-paced game that boasts all the charm of its predecessor with a few delightful gimmicks of its own. As a simulation game, Overcooked! 2 rewards effective teamwork and delegation. “Work smarter, not harder” becomes the name of the game as you work to master new challenges in limited space, especially as more players are added. I love this game and all the hilarity and frustration it inspires, and highly recommend it for both couch co-op and online play.
(If you’re already a fan of the Overcooked! games, I also recommend Tools Up!, which offers similar gameplay, but with home renovation instead of cooking.)
2. Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Genre: Action-Adventure
- Release Date: October 31, 2019
How can anyone look at the lovable green blob that is Gooigi and not want to play the co-op campaign?
I’m a sucker for Nintendo games in general, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 overflows with charm and personality. It’s not a difficult game, but it doesn’t hold your hand through some of the harder puzzles and rewards creative thinking and exploration. The puzzles themselves use both Luigi and Gooigi’s unique skills, making for a fun and engaging co-op experience.
1. Children of Morta
- Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
- Genre: Action-Adventure, Rogue-Lite
- Release Date: September 3, 2019
Children of Morta is a hauntingly beautiful, emotional adventure about the enduring power of love. You and a partner play as the Bergson family, a group of warriors that serve as a beacon of hope in the rising darkness. Each family member has their own strengths and weaknesses that come together through practice and teamwork.
The stylized dungeons are procedurally-generated, but the game saves your experience and progress. New characters are unlocked throughout the story, giving you and your co-op partner a variety of choices when it comes to playstyles.
(If you’d like more information on Children of Morta, check out our review of the PC version!)
Thank you for checking out our list of top 10 co-op games for the Nintendo Switch. If you have any other co-op titles that you love, please send them our way! We’re always looking to expand our horizons and find new ways to share games with the people we love.
And, if you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other great game roundups: