The Nintendo Switch is arguably the most couples-friendly console thanks to its unique Joy-Con controllers which open up a range of motion control gameplay possibilities and its huge range of exclusive titles. Check out our picks for the best Switch games for couples below:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing is considered by many to be the ultimate chill-out series: the games feature pleasant pacing, mellow music, and gratifying gameplay loop.
The critically acclaimed New Horizons is the best-selling entry in the Animal Crossing franchise and with good reason: we think it’s almost certainly the best of the bunch.
Players arrive on a desert island at the start of the game and it’s left open for them to decide exactly how they want to develop their new home through crafting, collecting, and socializing with other characters.
Once a player has set up an island, another player on the same Switch can join them. There’s no split-screen so the second player does have to follow player one around, but you can easily get around any issues that are created by switching who the lead player is.
Switch exclusives can be expensive but this is well worth it: an amazingly relaxing experience both solo and with your SO.
Games like this also show that the Switch can deliver aesthetically excellent gaming experiences even though it lacks the raw power of other consoles.
Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rage is an absolute classic, as are the second and third installments that were originally released on Sega Genesis back in the days before most of us even had dial-up internet at home (seriously, how the hell did we cope?).
There’ve been various different remakes and ports of Streets of Rage 1-3 but it took 26 years after the third game was released until some clever cookies thought it would be a good idea to release a fourth.
And, like a fine wine, Streets of Rage has aged beautifully. Number 4 introduces several new characters while retaining the same glorious hand-drawn visuals and addictive beat-em-up game play.
Couch co-op play is a blast, of course. As the saying goes: Those who button-bash together, stay together. Definitely the best Switch game for couples who love fighters, not fighting.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
It’s kind of hard not to like the Legend of Zelda series and I also think it’s kind of hard not to like hack-and-slash games. So when the two are combined, its not surprising that the result is hard to put down.
Taking place a century before the events of the Switch’s smash hit mainline Zelda game Breath of the Wild, players control a selection of the different heroes that feature in Breath of the WIld (in addition to Link and Zelda) as they battle to ensure the evil Gannon never regains his strength.
In single-player mode you can send another computer-controlled hero to go handle some baddies in another area of the map if you like.
Having multiple objectives on the go at the same time lends itself particularly well to co-op play, as player 2 can go and handle different objectives in split-screen instead. Super cool game.
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby is still the cutest enemy-inhaling, skill-stealing bouncy little pink floof that we know about. This is one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises ever and the sixteenth instalment is a bundle of fun.
It’s also better for couch coop than the newer Kirby and the forgotten land. In Star Allies, you can hit enemies with hearts to turn them into allies who can then be controlled by other local co-op players.
Star Allies is far from the most difficult platformer of all time, which makes it a great option to play alongside your loved ones in a super casual setting and a top choice for any of you who are at the casual end of the pro-casual spectrum. The music is fantastic, too.
Kingdom Two Crowns
Regular readers at ProCasual will know that we really do like indie games. There’s something super satisfying about finding a new diamond to sink dozens of ours into and that feeling is amplified if we find a game that supports awesome local co-op. Kingdom Two Crowns is one of those games.
In Kingdom Two Crowns, players must display a healthy dose of strategic acumen as they build, explore and defend their gloriously animated realm. It’s a 2D side-scroller with intriguing depth and we think, if anything, the main campaign is a better experience when taken on with a local co-op partner.
Player 2 can drop in and out of the adventure whenever they want. That’s maybe not how every couple wants their actual relationship to work but hey, whatever works for you. It certainly works well on Kingdom Two Crowns.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
We could justifiably include basically every Mario game into this list but we’ve gotta draw the line somewhere. Also, co-op play on some of them isn’t exactly ‘fully fledged’ (only being able to control Cappy in Odyssey, for example).
However, it’s great on this Switch update of Wii U title Super Mario 3D World and the new extension focusing on the perennial thorn in Mario’s side, Bowser.
Players can either team up and cooperate or compete against each other on the creative and sometimes challenging stages.
Each of the four playable classic Mario characters (luigi, Peach, Toad, and the plumber himself) have their own special abilities, so there’s tons of replayability here as you and your partners try out different approaches.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection
Diablo is another genuine classic with a well-deserved sport in the Pantheon of gaming culture. This Switch release of the third game includes the expansions as well as some Switch-exclusive content and it really plays well on this platform.
If you’re a couple that is partial to a bit of demon-slaying, Diablo III is the ultimate way to satisfy your urges.
Like with Animal Crossing above, you start the game as normal with one player but once you’ve created your player and you’re at the game’s main menu, a second player can join the fun and create their own player from the seven different classes available.
Fighting the bosses in this game is just way more fun when there’s two of you.
Mario Kart 8
It’s safe to say that most of you reading this will have picked up a pad and played a Mario Kart title at some point. If you haven’t yet, then go out right now, buy a Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8. Trust us, you and your SO will thank us for it.
There are a few decent kart racing games on Switch (Team Sonic Racing is worth checking out) but for us, Mario Kart is still the king.
The gameplay is much the same as the majority of the other entries in the series (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?) – race around the tracks, picking up power-ups on the way to ruin other drivers’ days or greatly enhance your own.
Mario Kart made its name through local multiplayer in the pre-internet days, and couch co-op on Mario Kart 8 is still just as fun as it ever was on the Gamecube, N64, and SNES.
Overcooked 2 is the second game in this series of chaotic cooking simulators that were quite literally built for couch co-op. Up to four players must work together in the kitchen to prepare and send out different meals before time runs out.
The story mode is charmingly silly – your task is to get through a series of increasingly difficult cooking tasks to help the Onion King out of the pickle he’s got himself in (namely, accidentally summoning the ‘Unbread’).
Disclaimer – we take no responsibility if your relationship falls apart as a result of this game. Yes, this one requires absolutely faultless collaboration at times as some of the levels are fiendishly challenging.
It’s absolutely fantastic fun, though, and incredibly satisfying when you complete a level that you’ve been stuck on forever.
Couch co-op works pretty well on platformers, so we’ve got another one on our list for you. Indie gem Cuphead initially released in 2017 on Xbox and made its way to everyone’s favourite portable-but-also-dockable Nintendo console in 2019.
It’s won accolades all over for its unique art style based on oldy-timey cartoons, riveting gameplay and sometimes infuriating difficulty.
Like with some of the other titles on this list, it might not be immediately obvious that Cuphead supports local multiplayer, but just hit L + R on the second Joy-Con or controller when you’re in the menu or in a level and a second player will be able to join.
Cuphead seems a lot happier when he’s got his pal, Mugman, helping him out.
Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer
Plenty of games have been influenced or inspired by Legend of Zelda over the years, perhaps none more obviously so than Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer.
It’s not part of the official canon but you do play as Link and Zelda as you dance your way around this rhythmic roguelike.
There are some particularly gnarly parts which will leave you thinking that it surely takes two to tango. When you do add a second local player, they’ll play as Cadence while the lead will take charge of Zelda or Link.
It’s not quite like any other game (except the original Crypt of the Necrodancer, of course) but if you’re a couple that can find your rhythm, you’ll end up sinking hours into this.
Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time – in terms of raw numbers it quite frankly blows everything else out of the water. It has enduring appeal across a wide demographic, probably thanks to the fact that you can play it literally however you like.
Build a castle, explore a swamp, or do whatever else you want in either creative mode (unlimited resources) or survival mode where crafting and collaboration are key.
Teamwork makes the dream work, and that’s especially so on Minecraft. The basic gameplay on the Switch version is broadly comparable to releases on other platforms and, simply put, this is a game that’s better played together.
Split-screen couch co-op is available on Minecraft for Switch, and you and your bestie can team up with up to 2 more players locally (to make 4 in total) and 8 online.
Mario Party/Mario Party Superstars
Nintendo’s action-packed reimagination of board games has been a money spinner across several console generations.
The original Mario Party release on Switch left some disappointed due to its lack of different boards and disappointing online multiplayer, but the core features (most importantly, the crazy mini-games), still appealed.
Nintendo listened to the feedback and the new release – Mario Party Superstars – includes over 100 classic minigames from the N64 and GameCube eras plus 5 more boards rebooted from the N64 Mario Party titles.
Mario Party was designed specifically with local multiplayer in mind (it’s a little bit depressing to play alone), and the huge library of mini-games will keep you and your partner going for ages, whether you’re playing with or against one another.
The original adventures of the legendary Sega speedster can now be played on Switch in glorious high definition. Coin collecting, loop-running and generally hassling poor old supervillain Dr. Eggman has never looked so good.
With local co-op, the world’s favourite blue hedgehog can get a helping hand from his buddies Tails or Knuckles.
It’s a wonderful way to re-experience classic levels that you might have played as a kid, and newcomers to the game will no doubt have a top-notch time, too.
Just configure the controllers so you have two players set up, select two different characters and you’re good to go!
Fire Emblem Warriors
The staff at ProCasual recently had a big old argument about which is the best Fire Emblem game. I’m the editor and I say it’s The Blazing Blade on Game Boy Advance, so that’s that.
But the fact we were bickering over it just goes to show how brilliant this series is. Warriors is a hack-and-slash that brings that classic Dynasty Warriors gameplay to the Fire Emblem universe.
You can give tactical commands to different units in addition to the main combat mechanics and, with so many enemies for players to make their way through, it’s certainly a relief that local co-op is supported.
It’s a toss-up between this one and Hyrule Warriors for the best hack-and-slash for couples on Switch, so here’s our expert advice: Get them both!
Best Switch games for couples: Couch Co-op or Online Multiplayer?
There are two different types of multiplayer available for all you smitten couples: local multiplayer (often referred to as couch co-op) and online multiplayer which, as the name suggests, is played over the internet.
Now, for some of you readers in long-distance relationships, online multiplayer is obviously the format you’d be most interested in.
However, we’ve tried to focus mainly on those games that really shine when you’re spending quality time next to your loved ones on the couch. That used to be the only option for multiplayer gaming and we still think it’s the best one for couples.