Best Nintendo Switch Board Games

So you’re having a party… maybe on a roof — dancing to the music and all that jazz, but suddenly there’s a lull. Fear not because we have what it takes to get the party started again! Nintendo Switch offers a wealth of cooperative and competitive games that are sure to please the crowd, whether you’re throwing a birthday party for a bunch of kids, hosting a casual night out for a few select guests, or having all the furniture in the garage. Whatever the function, you’re sure to find games for every occasion here.

Below are our picks — in no particular order – for the best board games on Switch. While the console’s lineup of brilliant co-op games might be fine for smaller get-togethers, some games require a little more thought, consideration, and coordination than the average partygoer might be willing (or able to). For this selection, we’ve chosen games that work best with a large number of people, including spectators, and those that allow everyone to participate with the minimum of fuss.

So fill those snack bowls to the brim, charge up your Joy-Con, and get your party bags ready, folks, because tonight is going to be a big…

Super Mario Party (Switch)

Editor: nintendo / Developer: nd cube

Release date: November 16, 2018 (United States) / October 5, 2018 (UK/EU)

Get the party started with the plumber and his friends from the Mushroom Kingdom. While Mario has had its ups and downs when it comes to this minigame series – with some of the recent entries feeling a little sterile – that’s just not the case with Super Mario Party. This is a well-constructed, beautifully-crafted Mario Party game that brings the series back to its frenetic roots of stick-and-button whirling. It’s a real return to form that can get really rowdy in the right company. There’s no party like a Mario Party, and with this Switch entry in the franchise, that’s no longer a backhanded compliment.

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The Jackbox Party Pack (Switch eShop)The Jackbox Party Pack (Switch eShop)

Editor: Jack Box Games / Developer: Jack Box Games

Release date: August 17, 2017 (United States) / August 17, 2017 (UK/EU)

It’s a great option for anyone in your gathering who might find a controller intimidating. You’ll need an internet connection and a smartphone each for this one, but if you can get a decent group together, The Jackbox Party Pack (or one of the other five packs in the series available on the Switch eShop) can to be rioted. With a good mix of trivia, improvisation and interpretation, what’s great is that anyone with a smart device can play and many of the games included are for up to 8 players, which means fewer standing spectators. wishing they could get involved. Drawful 2 is available as a standalone version, but whichever pack you choose, there’s sure to be plenty of laughs for everyone involved.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

Editor: nintendo / Developer: nintendo

Release date: April 28, 2017 (United States) / April 28, 2017 (UK/EU)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers a massive amount of racing quality that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The racing part is best in class and plenty of tweaks are available to make it accessible to everyone, whether they’re racing veterans or it’s their first motion-assisted encounter with the King of Kart Racers.

When you’re done racing, Battle mode lets you engage in hilarious brawls as you battle through arenas chasing each other with red shells and Bob-ombs. It’s a game that continually brings smiles and, at times, induces Mario Kart brand rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It’s addictive, unifying, unfiltered fun that appeals to anyone bold enough to get behind the wheel – absolutely perfect for a party.

Switch 1-2 (Switch)Switch 1-2 (Switch)

Editor: nintendo / Developer: nintendo

Release date: March 3, 2017 (United States) / March 3, 2017 (UK/EU)

It may not have set the world on fire when it was released early in the life of the Switch, and it may have worked better as a pack-in title to showcase the unique characteristics of the console and its Joy-Con controllers, but when played with a group of friends or family members Switch 1-2 is a good hoot. What it lacks in longevity, it makes up for with the kind of approachable social appeal that has made Sports Wii a living room tradition for so many homes all over the world. It really is a party game – as it requires the context of a social gathering to function properly – and if you’ve only tried it as a solo player, we totally understand if you found it disappointing. In a group setting, however, it really shines and if you can find it at a reasonable price, it’s well worth it. You’ve always dreamed of trying that HD rumble ice cube trick, right?

Just Dance 2022 (Switch)Just Dance 2022 (Switch)

Editor: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft

Release date: November 4, 2021 (United States) / November 4, 2021 (UK/EU)

Just Dance 2022 is a stylish entry into the franchise that does exactly what it says on the box. The series has been running for years now with very few changes so Just Dance 2017 or Just Dance 2018 or Just Dance 2019 or Just Dance 2020 or Just Dance 2021 *to breathe* will do its job just as well to get people back on their feet.

The gameplay itself is just as precise and enjoyable as it’s always been and anyone with a smartphone can dance around using Ubisoft’s controller app. Little touches like rocking the Joy-Con’s HD Rumble beat make the Switch version particularly mouth-watering, and if you pay for the Just Dance Unlimited subscription, there’s a huge range of tracks to strut your stuff. Come down Saturday night, indeed.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Switch eShop)Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Switch eShop)

Editor: Steel crate games / Developer: Steel crate games

Release date: August 16, 2018 (United States) / August 16, 2018 (UK/EU)

One person has a bomb that needs to be diffused while the others have a printed manual (yes, an actual physical printout) with all the instructions you need to disarm the explosive. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes is an absolutely biting board game. Obviously, you’ll need to have the manual prepared in advance — it’s possible to use a PDF, but the game is far better yet, there are random A4 sheets flying around as you frantically search for the information you need. It probably wouldn’t go as well with young children as the reading required. With that in mind, you’ll need to be able to read while playing this one, so it really depends on what kind of party you’re throwing. Too many soft drinks can make it difficult to negotiate the written word, and when it comes to a race against time, you don’t want to let the team down because you can’t focus on the page numbers. Otherwise, it’s a blast.

Runbow (Switch eShop)Runbow (Switch eShop)

Editor: head-up games / Developer: 1 p.m. games

Release date: July 3, 2018 (United States) / July 3, 2018 (UK/EU)

Runbow is a great example of a board game that can cater to both single and multiplayer preferences, and is almost certainly worth a cheeky purchase on Switch. It’s a party platform game where the background periodically cycles through different colors, and all platforms that match that color will disappear until it changes again. It’s a lot of fun, with a presentation to die for, and unlocking the Nindie heroes through a really well put together adventure mode is the icing on the cake. However, the real beauty of Runbow as a multiplayer party game is that it supports up to 8 players, so the more the merrier (provided you have the required number of controllers).

Super Bomberman R (Switch)Super Bomberman R (Switch)

Editor: Konami / Developer: Konami

Release date: March 3, 2017 (United States) / March 3, 2017 (UK/EU)

Super Bomberman R is a no-frills entry in a series that’s been dormant for way too long. Switch’s unique focus on local multiplayer makes it a perfect choice. Switch Pro Controller support plus single and dual Joy-Con play – plus LAN and online multiplayer – make this the go-to multiplayer title for old-school gamers and those who never played Bomberman before (really – who do you invite to your parties?). Beginners will get into the fast pace of things very quickly, so if you’re looking to share the joy with your friends, Super Bomberman R is as dependably explosive fun as ever.

Joseph K. Bennett