Top 10 best couch co-op games for Christmas for Nintendo Switch
What to play together with the family on your Nintendo Switch
Updated: Original list by Jon Mundy, Updated by Jupiter Hadley. Last update December 21st, 2020.
An awful lot of multiplayer gaming these days tends to take play online. It's just the way things have gone with the arrival of broadband and gamers naturally moving apart from their friends and family.
Of course, Christmas is the time of year when people tend to group together under one roof, opening the way for some good-spirited, non-confrontational local co-op play. If only developers still made such things, eh?
There have been tons of couch co-ops lately, but if you're stuck at your grandparent's house, with their old, outdated technology, you'll want to find co-ops on your own console - possibly the one that you can actually bring with you and set up on your own - the Nintendo Switch.
This console is the perfect platform for bringing your family together to play some fun, challenging, multiplayer co-op games!
Here, then are ten fantastic local co-op games for your console.
Out of Space
Relatively new, Out of Space is a more challenging co-op survival game where you and your friends will be tasked with cleaning out a long abandoned ship, full of monsters, slime, and more. Taking on each room, you'll need to work together to clean, get rid of monsters, and bring electricity back to the room.
Out of Space is a great multiplayer for older children and adults alike - though younger kids might struggle and there is no way to help them keep their head above water so they can participate in the game.
Tools Up! is a chaotic game where you are looking to renovate a house, according to a blueprint, all together! With new items being delivered, houses that need their floors ripped up or walls built, and lots of decorating to do, you can use all of the help you can get.
Tools Up! has a timed mode where you are racing against the clock, but if you have younger people playing with you, there is a free play mode without any time limit, making it an ideal game to get everyone involved in. The levels contain a good variety and are quite fun to play.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
You might think of Mario Kart as an inherently competitive game, particularly with the introduction of online play in recent years. Heck, the headline addition to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a multiplayer Battle mode (albeit with team-based options).
Personally, though, I spent most of my time in the game this year playing through the various Grands Prix with a local co-op partner as my wingwoman. It's great fun unlocking all the karts and trophies together, and it gives you an extra weapon with which to fight against the game's maddening chaos.
The original Splatoon ensured that this young franchise would mostly be associated with competitive and online play, with an oft-forgotten yet brilliant single player campaign backing it up.
Splatoon 2's most transformative addition, however, is a horde mode known as Salmon Run, which can be played locally - provided you have two or more Switches in the house. That's a bigger technical challenge than the other games on this list, but fending off waves of gloopy enemies with a buddy/family member merits its inclusion here.
Enter The Gungeon
Dodge Roll's roguelike twin-stick shooter is a brilliant solo game, thanks to its impeccable combat mechanics, memorable gun-themed world and seemingly endless supply of quirky weapons and items.
But it's also an excellent co-op experience. Talk to the purple-hooded figure in the lobby and a second player can enter the fray with a unique ability and tougher enemies.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Here's another game that's been designed specifically for co-op play. You and up to three team mates must work together to guide a spaceship around colourful but hostile 2D levels.
Each crew member must each scamper between the controls of the ship's propulsion, defence, navigation and weapon systems. The key, of course, is good communication with the people sat near you.
In Overcooked 2, you and your friends run a chaotic kitchen, working against the clocks to get orders out in the least chaotic way as possible. Many of the levels are strange places to cook in, with their own challenges themselves!
Overcooked is one of my favorite co-op games out there! The second edition of the game provides more places to play, new recipes, new characters, and online multiplayer - which is fun if your friends are currently away from where you are.
Snipperclips is a game that's built entirely around the Switch's 'multiplayer anywhere' concept. Two to four players solve simple spatial puzzles together using a quirky shape-editing mechanic.
You and your partner must literally snip chunks out of each other to form rudimentary prodding, scooping, and wedging shapes - and then work together to put those shapes to good use. You might have forgotten about this simple launch game, but its co-op focus and recent expansion make it ideal for the Holiday season.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Like Overcooked, Octodad pumps a good deal of chaotic energy into the execution of mundane tasks. This time you're controlling an anthropomorphic octopus as he goes about his daily chores.
The key to Octodad's madcap multiplayer appeal is that each player controls one or two of the character's limbs, making even simple movement a hugely clumsy ordeal. Hilarity - and failure - inevitably ensues.
Putty Pals is one of those unassuming games that has probably been forgotten in the wave of fresh eShop offerings, but it deserves consideration if you're after a co-op experience that works on largely wordless communication.
This is a simple 2D platform puzzler built with two players in mind. Two blob-like characters must pull and prod each other through the game, forming makeshift platforms, swings and anchor points.