Despite the launch of the new Sony and Microsoft consoles this holiday season, team “Switch” is still going strong because of the console’s affordability, compact size and online multiplayer games. Now well-known Animal Crossing has become one of the best selling Switch games when the coronavirus pandemic forced people to stop seeing each other and play together online instead. As experts warn that we may stay remote for a good part of 2021 as well, the demand for online games is still high.
To give you an idea of how to get a nice recap with friends (instead of glitchy Zoom happy hours), here is a list of the best online games you can play together, whenever you are.
This game, though modeled as a single-player story-driven arcade, allows you to play almost the whole storyline with a friend. Co-op mode is unlocked after you complete the intro playthrough and find Guigi. In addition, there is a series of mini-games to play with a team of up to eight people online or via a local network.
“Race the timer to defeat all the ghosts, find the lost Toads, and face any challenges that the tower throws at you — together. Use the mini-map to keep track of your teammates, cooperate to solve puzzles, and call to your friends for help when you need it most!” says the video game’s official website.
The game also offers a separate multiplayer DLC with more mini-games to play with friends of up to eight people. The DLC featured new minigames for multiplayer ScreamPark mode.
The iconic Super Mario Bros series has always had its loyal fanbase. I know of people who have bought Switch just because of the Super Mario games. The game looks like a throwback to first retro-games, featuring Tetris-looking scenery, though incorporating a different purpose. The multiplayer game allows you and your companion to fight each other, each given a time frame to complete the round. The game is a perfect choice for retro-games fans.
Super Mario Maker 2
Here is another Super Mario game, though this one features relatively modern traditional 2D graphics. Super Mario Maker 2 has been a favorite choice for co-op mode to complete the building “jobs” with friend or design a course together. There is also a possibility to play the levels other players created, which adds extra level of creativity to the game, making it stand out from the traditional Super Mario series. Gamers leave satisfied reviews, saying the game offers diverse difficulty levels and an extra story mode, which could act as a separate game.
This is a pretty classical choice for a get-together gaming session, though many of you can forget about it. The third-person online shooter game is entirely free to play and does not require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. For those who are not yet familiar with the game, it features a “quest”-like mode to complete shooting tasks to be completed in either a team or by yourself. There is a possibility to get in-game purchases for upgraded gear and outfits but those are unnecessary to have a good time with the game.
This $15 third-person team-based online shooter will give you a major Counter-Strike or GTA Online vibe. Once you choose a hero with different qualifications, weapons and special abilities, you can Fortnite-style parachute on location and start the fight against another team. The gameplay is pretty smooth and quick, and although the game lacks any outstanding creative content that would make it stand from other games in the genre, it’s a great solution for a fast-paced, casual but engaging gameplay with friends.
Another iconic series, the Pokémon Sword and Shield, offer partial multiplayer mode. Though the game is mainly designed as a single-player driven experience, some battles can be played with other people either through Live Competition or Battle Stadium. While Live Competition allows the multiplayer mode to create and join existing battles that could be played with specific players of your choice, Battle Stadium does not allow you to choose who you play with and randomly assigns you with a competitor instead. Another option is to invite a friend to a Dynamax battle by generating an invitation code.