While gamers of all ages have locked themselves away in their online virtual caves, the best Mario multiplayer games are still championing couch co-op gaming and get-togethers with friends.
Nintendo has always held multiplayer gaming at the heart of its brand. From the original Super Mario Kart game for the SNES right through modern-classics like the Nintendo Switch games featured in this list, they have always produced games that bring us together.
The Nintendo Wii is a great example of this real-time socially engaging style of play, and I know that many families have turned to their favourite Mario multiplayer games on various consoles throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mario is a tour-de-force when it comes to multiplayer action, and we’ve picked 10 of the best Mario multiplayer titles for everyone favourite handheld-hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch.
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What Are The Best Mario Multiplayer Games?
Mario isn’t just an Italian plumber. He’s also a tennis pro, an adventurer, a fighter, a racing kart driver, an athlete, a cat, a football player, a board game fanatic, and many more things besides.
The dude’s talented, I’ll give him that!
This list could have been 10 times longer if we’d delved into the best Gamecube games and the best N64 games. Still, with the Switch having won the award for the most popular console for the past three years running, we’re dedicating this article to Mazza’s portable and dockable adventures.
Which Mario Multiplayer Game Should I Buy?
Honestly, they’re all great. That’s not me just being a die-hard Nintendo fan (ok, it is), but there’s a reason that Mario is the most famous gaming icon of all time.
There is something for everyone in the list below. Team up to go on adventures together, compete in mini-games or fast-paced multiplayer mayhem, and even play online if you can’t meet up with your friends during the pandemic.
The best bit about the Switch is that you can play locally too. Use two Switch screens in tabletop mode with four Joycons, hook up four switches in the park on a local network, or just battle the old school way on your TV.
That’s enough of me jabbering on. You came here to find the best Mario multiplayer games, so scroll down to check out our list!
The award for the best Mario multiplayer of all time has to go to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the upgraded version of the legendary Wii-U racer.
Mario Kart is a game that anyone can pick up and play with ease. Even my Grandma could play this back in the N64 days, though I think cars flying upside down might have been a bit too much for her!
Being able to play Mario Kart on a plane or in the park with such good graphics still feels revolutionary. I’ve even played this game in tabletop mode using the two joycons to race against people in a remote village in the Italian mountains!
The new Deluxe version of this game has all the tracks from the original Wii-U game plus some new downloadable content. New characters such as the Inklings appear for the first time, and all of your favourite racers return to try and win big.
Players who aren’t as confident with video games can now turn on a smart steering function which moves their kart along the track without the need for turning or accelerating. That leaves plenty of time to concentrate on smashing other opponents with red shells or strategically placed bananas!
You can race and compete in battle modes both online or on the same sofa, and the 1080p graphics are rich and vibrant up on the big screen.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was always going to top this list as it’s such an accessible game and one that every Switch owner should have in their arsenal!
What… a…game! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest fighting game of all time. It features characters from pretty much every major Nintendo game series with a few more beside, all battling it out on stunning stages and worlds from your favourite titles!
There are 77 characters to play with in total including some that can be downloaded as part of an extra DLC pack.
I never thought I would see a game where Banjo & Kazooie faced off against Ryu!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is button-mashing madness at its best. This edition incorporates a Super Smash ‘finishing move’ style attack that can be unleashed to destroy your opponents with a signature move, as well as all of the classic abilities and moves that each character is famous for.
Pull out a Hadouken with Ryu, charge up Samus’ plasma cannon, or suck up foes with Kirby. There are so many ways to play and tonnes of different modes to work through.
This Mario multiplayer never gets old and sessions can easily last for hours. Most of that time is probably taken up deciding which character you’re going to use!
Picking the Top 3 Mario multiplayer games was a tricky business, especially as they are all games that I play on a regular basis. I’ve put what I like to call the ‘family choice’ at Number 3, and that’s Super Mario Party.
If you’ve never played a Mario Party title before, then you should probably take some time to evaluate your poor life choices. These games are jam-packed full of multiplayer goodness no matter whether you are playing against the computer or with your friends.
Super Mario Party is the latest edition in the series and the best title yet, in my humble opinion. With special dice for each character and exciting new courses, it’s a fun and family-friendly game that everyone can enjoy.
Players take it in turns to roll a dice as they travel around a virtual board game filled with hidden surprises and challenges. Call allies, pick up items, and collect coins to trade for Stars!
At the end of each round is a mini-game where players compete against each other to win coins. Sometimes you might even have to gang up on one player or join teams to complete specific challenges.
If you’re looking for a Mario multiplayer that children or adults of all ages will love, then you can’t go wrong with Super Mario Party!
Next up on our list of the best Mario multiplayer games is a new release that’s set to drop in February 2021. We’ve been very excited about this remake of the original Super Mario 3D World for a long time now.
In fact, we pretty much spend every moment thinking about the day when we can finally get our hands on it!
Super Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury features all of the same co-op gameplay from the original title with tonnes of new features for fans to encounter while exploring this epic game.
Fed up of fire mushrooms? No problem; just grab a Super Bell and turn into a cat, giving you abilities that can help you to climb obstacles and scratch oncoming enemies!
Super Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury is set to be a bright and vibrant adventure that you and three friends can play through either locally or online.
Play as Mario, Toad, Peach, or Luigi and try to get a high score at the end of each level. It’s all the goomba-stomping action that you know and love mixed in with lots of new surprises along the way.
And for once, Bowser isn’t trying to capture Peach, so she can join the gang instead of being carted off to the moon or some dank dungeon somewhere!
Once bitter console rivals, the stars of our next Mario multiplayer game have put aside their differences and organised one of the best Olympic Games to date!
And even though the Tokyo 2020 games was unfortunately cancelled, at least you can experience the action from your living room with Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020!
Mazza and Sonic have been teaming up together since 2007 now when their first Olympic games title came out on the Wii. The graphics and the games have improve tenfold since then, and it has become a must-have title for many households across the globe!
But just what is it that makes these Mario & Sonic games so addictive?
Well, for starters you can use motion controls to compete in tonnes of sports with your favourite gaming characters…
… do you really need any more persuading than that?
There are brand new sports in this entry to the series too, with gamers taking on skateboarding, climbing, and karate for the first time ever. Try your hand at equestrian events, and see if you still have those skills from Mario Smash Football in an olympic football tournament.
This new game also has 10 2D events that showcase all of your favourite Nintendo and Sega characters in their original 2D pixel forms too! It’s a real blast from the past and a great mode for any nostalgic gamers out there.
Whether you play single or multiplayer, button or motion, online or in person, this is one Mario multiplayer that won’t dissapoint!
Of course, not all of the best Mario multiplayer games on the Nintendo Switch are new, or even physical Switch games.
Nintendo Switch Online gives users access to tonnes of incredible NES and SNES games that you can play on the go or in the home. There are some cracking multiplayer titles up here including Super Mario World and Dr Mario, to name but a few.
But the best has to be the original Super Mario Kart game for the SNES. It’s the title that started off the most famous video game racing franchise of all time and caused other companies to scramble back to their workstations in order to try and compete with Ninty’s success
As long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online pass, then you can play games like Super Mario Kart and many more as many times as you like until your subscription runs out. It’s $19.99 for one year (£17.99), and that also gives you access to online gaming in all of your favourite games too!
Give somebody the gift of Link’s Awakening, Super Metroid and Super Mario Kart on their switch, and they’ll love you forever!
I couldn’t get enough of the original Mario Tennis game for the N64, and Mario Tennis Aces adds to the series’ winning formula by including motion controls for real-life swinging action.
You can even get a tennis racket to stick your Joycon into for that true Wimbledon feel!
Whether you choose to play online or all looking at the same TV, there are so many modes and customisable options to make the ultimate tennis match for your family and friends.
There are over 20 playable characters to choose from in Mario Tennis Aces, so you can expect to see all of your favourite Nintendo faces appearing on the court.
Plus, if you’ve played Mario Golf before (one of the best Gameboy Color games), then you’ll know all about the single-player mode in these games.
The RPG elements, bosses, and exciting mini-games are back with a brand new Story Mode adventure to play through once your friends go home. Compete to become the best tennis player the Mushroom Kingdom has ever seen!
It’s the game that keeps on giving, keeps you fit, and keeps you coming back time and time again.
Everyone loves a classic Mario adventure, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has all of the 1UP mushroom-munching, Bowser-bashing goodness that makes these games so addictive.
An updated version of the Wii U title, this deluxe Mario outing can be played by up to four players. There are five characters to choose from including Luigi, Toad, Toadette, and Nabbit.
It also comes with Super Luigi U, Luigi’s first solo platforming adventure too. That’s two games for the price of one!
This is such a great title to play through with your mates or family sitting by your side. All you need is a Joycon remote to jump straight into the action.
Power up with classic Mushroom Kingdom items as you take on Bowser and his hordes of enemies together, or go solo if you just want to kick back and play on your own.
And take a look at those graphics! Bowser grows bigger and scarier every year!
Next up is Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a game that turns your living room into a Mario Kart racecourse!
This game is a pretty great invention and allows users to make and change courses every time they play. Using your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, you can actually hook up to a remote control kart with a camera on that captures the action as you drive.
There won’t be any real banana skins to slip on though, don’t worry!
This augmented reality experience could be the start of a whole new way of experiencing Mario multiplayer games. By placing four plastic gates around your home, you can make courses as easy or as difficult as you like.
The karts react just like they would in the game, speeding and drifting around your home made courses. You can even unlock items, costumes and more as you race!
The only downside is that you need to have a large house or living space to do this in. It wouldn’t work very well if you live on a Narrowboat, for example. The pack only comes with one kart too, so you’ll need to team up with a gamer who already has the set if you want to play the multiplayer mode.
First up on our list of the best Mario multiplayer games is one of the craziest titles I have played on the Switch; Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
You might have played Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Wii. Well, the Rabbids are back, and this time they’ve been warped into the Mushroom Kingdom.
By creating teams of three with Mario as the lead, you must fight your way through various stages using incredible fire power and sneaky tactics to beat back your Rabbid opponents.
Teaming up with a rabbit version of Yoshi or Luigi is pretty bizarre on its own. Plus, when you add health-draining hammers and duck bombs, things start to get really weird!
This game isn’t just a shoot-em-up though. You have to think about your moves, plan your attacks, and work together with your team if you have a hope of getting to the end of each stage.
The single player mode is a joy to play through, and there are some amazing multiplayer maps that you can team up with friends to play through. It’s the closest I’ve got to the thrills of the Mega Bomberman multiplayer on the Sega Mega Drive!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.