Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Local multiplayer (2-4 players) and online multiplayer
Got a Switch? Get Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Already played Mario Kart 8 on Wii U? Get Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Don't have a Switch? C'mon now!
The Mario Kart formula has been long established, and MK8's anti-gravity track segments aren't as dramatically innovative as they might sound – but they've enabled Nintendo to create some of the series' most brilliant courses to date.
Furthermore, Deluxe adds in the brilliant DLC that was sold separately on Wii U, and better yet, its Battle mode is miles better than the original MK8 one. Whether split-screen or online, you can play this one forever.
If you'll play with friends, it's nearly worth buying the Switch for
Co-op (2-4 players), versus (2-8 players)
Just as Arms reimagines fighting with a Nintendo twist, Splatoon 2 takes the realistic firearms of squad-based shooters and swaps them out for paint rollers, ink-spitting squirt guns, and all manner of other curious ways to dominate.
And in Splatoon, the primary goal isn't to kill your enemies – it's to paint the majority of the ground in a level, for example, or collect clams and then toss a clam-filled American football into a goal (yes, really).
Splatoon 2 is weird and cartoonish, but it's much smarter and more strategic than you'd think, incredibly accessible and fun, and also packed with style and amazing tunes. Shame about the lack of split-screen play, though.
Splatoon 2 is the Switch's best online team game
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Local co-op (2 players), local versus (2 players)
It’s a real shame that you can’t bring a friend along to Mario’s main rabbid-thwomping quest, but at least you unlock a series of co-op focussed levels upon completion of each world.
Allowing both of the two players to assemble their own 3-man (or rabbid) team, the challenges become increasingly hard to compensate. You won’t just be fighting off standard goons, but multiple waves of boss baddies too. Go in guns blazing and you’ll likely be wiped out in minutes. You’ll need strategy and co-operation if you’re going to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom.
If that’s too much to handle for your poor noggin you can play the ‘versus mode’, where you can give the AI a rest and splat your friend into submission instead.
The surprisingly strategic Mario + Rabbids is twice the fun in co-op mode, while versus is a welcome addition
Local versus (1-4 players), online multiplayer
Remember Punch-Out!! from back in the day? Well, Nintendo's boxing classic takes on a whole new tenor in Arms, a game that features pastel-adorned, superhero-looking fighters with spring-loaded limbs that can shoot across a room.
It's an odd one certainly, but the Wii-like motion controls for tossing punches and throwing 'bows makes this a fantastic multiplayer experience.
Anyone can hop online and start trading blows with real-life swings, or if you grab an extra pair of Joy-Cons, you can get a two-player brawl going in your very own flat. Just keep a little distance, and seriously, use the wrist straps, unless you want to be replacing an entire roomful of furniture.
You'll get a serious workout – and have a blast too