It's a new year, so it’s time to play some new games. This time, it’s a game night with all your best friends. Race each other in Mario Kart, show off your best moves with Just Dance 2021, or duke it out with Super Smash Bros. – there’s a game for everyone, as long as you have your hands on a Nintendo Switch! If you have an online Switch subscription, you can even play these must-have games remotely with your friends. Virtual game night, anyone?
Prep your favorite snacks, put on your game face and hit play, because it’s going to be a battle like no other. Just make sure your controllers are charged and ready.
Ready, set, pick your game!
- Just Dance 2021
Jam out to some of your favorite beats with Just Dance 2021. Dance with up to six players locally to songs from Lizzo, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa and more. Ubisoft’s Just Dance doesn’t support online multiplayer mode yet, but you can take on dancers from all over the world with the competitive World Dance Floor mode.
All you have to do is mirror the moves on the screen and working out will never seem more fun. You even get a full month free of Just Dance’s Unlimited subscription, which gives you access to another 600 songs, a clear upgrade from the base game’s 40 songs. If you and your friends love dancing or just miss the club, buy Just Dance 2021 and put on your dancing shoes today.
Ubisoft, Best Buy,
$50$30; shop now
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Race with your friends locally or online in Mario Kart 8. Choose between fan-favorite avatars like Mario or Luigi and battle your friends to find a worthy champion. Unlock new upgrades for tires, cars and chutes along the way to build the ultimate vehicle. If you’ve ever played any of Mario Kart’s predecessors, you’ll be happy to see older tracks re-debuting in this newer version.
"I love playing Mario kart with my friends because it really brings back the nostalgia and original love for gaming. It's fun to see games that I first played on a Nintendo 64 have stayed relevant, and been modernized with newer gaming systems," says Katie Wingel, who's been playing Mario Kart all her life.
Not only are there multiple old and new tracks to choose from, but there’s also fun battle modes. Challenge your friends to see who can grab the most coins with a classic like Coin Runners, or try one of the newer battle modes. With Renegade Roundup your task is to capture as many players from the enemy team as you can with a giant venus flytrap on your head. With multiple battle modes, versus plays and newer tracks available in the larger Grand Prix tournaments, there’s a lot of fun to be had. Challenge your friends to the races today!
Nintendo, Best Buy, $60; shop now
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Have your favorite characters duke it out against each other on more than 108 different stages. The new installment to the fan-favorite fighting series has 74 characters – more than any of its predecessors -- and a new single-player adventure mode to try when none of your friends are around. Your battleground can be your living room, or anywhere else. Easily connect with your friends through the online membership and create personalized battle lobbies for just you and your gang.
"Playing Super Smash is a great stress buster, and the rounds are timed so it's a good game that doesn't suck you in for too long," says Vijita Kamath, a Super Smash Bros. lover. Before long you’ll be logging hour after hour, battling it out for the ‘best fighter’ title. With stellar graphics, you’ll feel like you’re on the world stage with your best friends right next to you – the biggest virtual fight starts right now.
Nintendo, Best Buy, $60; shop now
- Overcooked! 2
The sequel of this addictive Indie game follows a similar formula to its predecessor: you and your friends have to cook and serve up dishes to invaders to save the beloved “Onion Kingdom.” This time, your enemy is the zombie army of bread, the “Unbread.” Learn and prepare up to nine different recipes in this cooking game while working with your teammates and surviving moving platforms to get to your ingredients.
Once you start playing this game, you’ll have trouble putting your joystick down. You can even take on this kitchen of mayhem with a total of four players, so your entire friend group can join in. There’s a ton of different stages to get through so don’t worry about ever getting bored. Invite your friends over, and lose yourself in this chaotic Indie game today.
Team17, Best Buy, $40; shop now
- Fifa 21 Legacy Edition
The Fifa series has been one of the most popular sports games for a long time. You can battle your friends on the field with your favorite soccer heroes making an appearance, and play match after match till your fingers start to hurt. The gameplay over the years hasn’t seen many noteworthy updates, except for the usual addition of new teams and players. If you’ve ever played Fifa with your friends before, you’ll be able to pick up the semantics of this game in a matter of seconds.
That said, it still remains very entertaining, and you can play with your friends online or locally with up to eight total players. Play a single match against them or go into career mode and try building up your team from the ground up – you can easily rack up hours of gameplay without getting bored.
EA, Best Buy,
$50$30; shop now
- Super Mario Party
This is easily the most fun game to play with your friends. Super Mario Party combines a collection of minigames that you have to get through in order to advance on the virtual game board. Play with four players and find out who can collect the most stars by the end of the game. Get stars by moving across the board and completing each minigame – you can also sabotage other players to move forward.
There’s more mini-games than ever in this edition (a total of 80), and each one is as entertaining as the last. "I love that there's so many minigames to choose from, you can never get bored. Playing Mario Party is the best escape during a busy workday," says fellow-player Disha Tripathi.
You can also choose to play as your favorite characters including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy and more. You and your friends will even love the 3D rumble sound effects on your Joy-Con controllers – it’s an immersive game experience like no other.
Nintendo, Best Buy,
$60$40; shop now
Try one or all of these multiplayer games with your friends during game night and find out once and for all who deserves the title of ‘Master Gamer.’
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