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9 best Switch games to play in quarantine, from Smash Bros to Celeste

There are tons of excellent Nintendo Switch games for you to try out during quarantine.

Now that you’re stuck inside, you have a lot more time for gaming. If you’ve picked up a Switch so you can play in bed and on the couch, you’re probably looking for some fun new games to check out — either by yourself or with friends. Look no further, Inverse recommends these nine Nintendo Switch titles, which span from relaxing life sims to tough platformers, and from Marvel Universe bonanzas to a fighting game that will get you up and moving.


9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Developers: Sora, Bandai Namco, Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is undisputedly the most ambitious gaming crossover of all time. The platform fighter touts a massive roster of over 75 of the most recognizable video game characters ever and there are six more DLC fighters on the way.

You can wage battles with up to eight friends on local multiplayer or four players using Nintendo’s online service. Plus, if you ever get tired of the game’s multiplayer modes, the single-player campaign is chock full of difficult challenges that can take between 20 to 35 hours to complete. So pick up a digital copy during your self-quarantine and jump on Discord with some buds for endless fun. — Danny Paez

  • Vibes: Duke it out as your favorite video game character in this sandbox brawler.
  • Timesink: You can spend years mastering a specific character or learning how to play the entire roster.
  • How it keeps you connected: If you’re cooped up with roommates you can host up to eight-player showdowns or play with up to four players around the world via Online Play.

8. Splatoon 2

Developer: Nintendo EPD

If you’re a team-based shooter diehard then Splatoon 2 is a must-cop during isolation. The main mode of play is the online-only Turf War: a brief-but-intense, four-versus-four race to cover the map in as much as your team’s ink as possible. If you want to take a break from PvP, the newly added Salmon Run mode lets a team of four players splatter waves of monsters and collect golden eggs they drop.

This quirky shooter is a colorful breath of fresh air if you get burned out on Overwatch. — Danny Paez

  • Vibes: A unique team-based shooter that will cleanse your gaming palette after your Overwatch or Call of Duty binges.
  • Timesink: Trying you claw your way to the top of Ranked Battles or League Battles can easily take hundreds of hours.
  • How it keeps you connected: Splatoon 2 is defined by its multiplayer and co-op modes, so there isn’t a time you’re not connected with friends or other players while playing. Sadly, there’s no built-in voice chat so you’ll need to hop on a Discord server or Skype call for maximum team coordination.

7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Developer: Nintendo EPD

We’ll never know how Animal Crossing: New Horizons may have fared if it had been released in a pandemic-free world, but there’s something special about this community-building simulator set on a procedurally generated deserted tropical island.

In Animal Crossing, your cute avatar is sold a vacation package by the lovable, capitalist raccoon named Tom Nook. Over time, you expand a growing island community by farming fruit, crafting tools and furniture, meeting new humanoid animals, and just hanging out. It is an antidote to stress in dark times and engaging enough that it’s really fun to share your experiences with friends. — Corey Plante

  • Vibes: Chill tropical island sandbox meets financial debt simulator.
  • Timesink: Theoretically endless as you expand your custom island.
  • How it keeps you connected: Anyone can host up to seven friends on their island, and there are several robust online communities for sharing custom designs via QR codes or working together to maximize profit in the "Stalk Market."

6. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Developer: Team Ninja

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order serves as a “greatest hits” of the Marvel Universe, taking many of its most notable characters and letting players create parties of four with them to venture out on quests. While the ultimate goal of the story is to take on Thanos, expect to run into several notable heroes and villains (and even some obscure ones like Elsa Bloodstone) along the way.

It’s easy to pick up and play with simple combat and a digestible story, and a definite must-buy for any Marvel fan with a Switch. — Tomas Franzese

  • Vibes: Tour the Marvel Universe in this Diablo-like action RPG.
  • Timesink: A 10-hour story plus tons of post-game missions that will keep you playing for hundreds of hours
  • How it keeps you connected: The game lets you play with three others online or offline, so it's a great way to connect with the Marvel fans in your household or miles away!

5. Super Mario Party

Developer: NDcube

Mario Party is Nintendo’s third-best franchise to play against other people in-person (behind Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart) and the latest entry for Switch is no different. An assortment of Mario characters assembles to play various mini-games in a faux board game experience.

Unlike some other Nintendo games, Super Mario Party is accessible for non-gamers. If you can play a board game, you can swing this. Sadly, the game lacks robust enough online features to truly make it a must-buy, but Super Mario Party is the epitome of fun for the whole family in times of quarantine — assuming you have some roommates and enough controllers to go around. — Corey Plante

  • Vibes: The jolly world of Super Mario is transformed into a board game chock full of chaotic mini-games
  • Timesink: Super Mario Party is essentially pointless for solo-play, but it can easily replace playing IRL board games with family or friends for endless hours of enjoyment
  • How it keeps you connected: Party Mode board games can’t be played online, but you can still play the many mini-games online with friends.

4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Developer: Nintendo EAD

Mario Kart has always been a go-to when hanging with friends, but there’s inevitably some debate as to which version reigns as the definitive kart racer. Some prefer Double Dash for its innovative gameplay, others say the battle system on Mario Kart 7 can’t be beaten.

Despite the name implying this to be simply a high-def port of the Wii U title, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe adds numerous characters like Splatoon’s Inklings, Breath of the Wild Link, and integrates the DLC content seamlessly with the original. Not to mention, Battle Mode has been tweaked to perfection. If you want to steer your friendship in a fun direction, pick up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. — Just Lunning

  • Vibes: A versatile kart racer, uniting the series’ best traits and introducing crossover characters like Link and Isabelle.
  • Timesink: Five Hours to beat the main cups, 40 hours to unlock everything, hundreds of hours spent making memories with pals.
  • How it keeps you connected: You can play the game with up to 12 players either locally or online. If you’re stuck at home, you can play multiplayer with folks immediately next to you or go online to reunite your old gang of friends.

3. Arms

Developer: Nintendo EPD

Arms took all of the fun of Wii Sports Boxing and transformed it into a stylized fighting game unlike any other. Choose from a roster of 15 lanky-limbed brawlers to one-versus-one your friends, take your skills online, or train your endurance against the computer in the solo or co-op offline modes.

Just like Smash Bros., each character has a unique skill set and combos that can take hundreds of hours to master. Plus, if you want to blow off some steam try out the game’s motion controls to work up a bit of a sweat during your gaming session. — Danny

  • Vibes: A quirky boxing game that will win you over with its characters and keep you hooked for the gameplay.
  • Timesink: The online and offline modes provide different arenas to hone your skills on all 15 Arms characters for hundreds of hours.
  • How it keeps you connected: Whether you're isolated with family or you want to play with friends across the globe, Arms has a game mode for you. But, just like Splatoon 2, you’ll need to use a third-party solution for voice-chat.

2. Undertale

Developer: Toby Fox

Undertale breaks tons of role-playing game genre conventions but that’s what makes it so darn addicting. This RPG plunges players into an unknown, hostile world that's also witty and engaging.

Its battle incorporates 'schump and platforming mechanics while players are dodging, and you can choose to spare every enemy you fight in the game, even the bosses! Undertale took the indie scene by storm when it released in 2015, and it remains just as much of a must-play on Switch. — Tomas Franzese

  • Vibes: A subversive RPG that will leave you laughing and crying.
  • Timesink: A short seven-hour adventure that you’ll want to replay as soon as you finish for the first time.
  • How it keeps you connected: There's no online or cooperative features, but Undertale has a very popular online community that you can immerse yourself in.

1. Celeste

Developer: Matt Makes Games

If you’re finding it difficult to take the world’s anxieties on, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Celeste’s main character. She can barely handle her mental health, but you’ve got to help her climb a mountain. Her struggle venturing to the top manifests as punishing platforming levels.

While it may be hard, you’ll figure out how to survive each section bit-by-bit, and finally reaching the top of the mountain unscathed will be one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Despite the difficulty, overcoming Celeste’s challenges often feels quite meditative. — Just Lunning

  • Vibes: A punishing platformer a la Super Meat Boy with a soothing atmosphere and gorgeous design.
  • Timesink: It’s a brief 10-hour game, but there’s so much to enjoy that you’ll be playing for far longer. Plus a free DLC!
  • How it keeps you connected: While this game doesn’t have any online components, seeing another soul with anxiety will remind you that you’re not alone.
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