Not every game is meant to be played solo – Trust me, as an only child and a single adult, I do the 1 player experience better than most. I’ve played Nintendo Switch games alone that were meant to be enjoyed with others and had a blast (in the case of Bomberman quite literally).
Mario Party? Solo’d it. Smash Bros? Give me a match against 3 computers any day. But there are a few games that even the most isolated of us can’t deny are just plain better with other people.
For me, there are 3 games that really stand out as community oriented, and shocker, 2 of the 3 are Nintendo Switch games. Let’s start with an obvious one…
One of the best Nintendo Switch games that exemplifies the community aspect, Splatoon 2 is a tour de force for getting together with a few buds and having a good time.
The online community for Splatoon 2 is so unique, moreso than any of the other Nintendo Switch games I’ve seen. There’s a strong LGTBQ community that makes its presence known constantly through the use of lobby messaging. It’s odd to see how it’s cropped up in the one random shooter, but interesting none the less, it’s very welcoming.
The general community flavour is a positive one, and that speaks volumes to the game’s longevity. You rarely feel bad playing Splatoon 2. Rather, most matches are full of booyahs and playful squidbagging.
Obviously, the real fun starts when you connect with a few friends and start playing turf war or salmon run. As far as Nintendo Switch games go, Splatoon 2 does a lot right. Matches are quick and cooperative, and your overall performance is based entirely on group chemistry, so the friendlier your group, the more likely you are to see wins.
Splatfest is another great excuse to get together online. Get into a team with your besties and celebrate this virtual holiday together – it’s a wonderful excuse to boot the game up every month and get back into it. In fact, during the last Splatfest, I choose the team I wasn’t planning on being on just to play with my friend group for the weekend. And it was a great choice – everything in this game really is better with friends.
All of this speaks volumes for Splatoon 2 – Its an amazing time that’s made so much better by friends. Just make sure you bring the right ones with you – no need for sad sack squids in this turf war.
Maaaan, if you haven’t played Pokemon with a friend, you’ve been missing out.
This works on every level – from the most casual casual to the hardest of the hardcore. Seriously, boot up your favourite game in the series, have a friend play it at the same time, and arrange frequent battles and trades. It’s a great time – like having your rival right there in the real world: Who’s going to get that next badge first? Oh, you choose that eevee evolution?
Of course, team building is a blast with friends too. My friend and Infendo Radio co-host Steve and I used to love comparing strategies for new teams and then testing those strategies out in battle. It’s so much fun to see your friend’s team grow and then get the chance to battle that team. Knowing how they chose each Pokemon and what their general battle plan is makes the battles so much more intimate than random matches with strangers online.
Of course, Pokemon was always built to be a communal experience. As far back as the original Gameboy Pokemon games, they were designing 2 different games with the idea that you’d each pick up a different version and trade to “catch ’em all”. With the advent of the GTS (Global Trade Service), it’s never been easier to simulate that playground trading experience in a global format.
But really, the best part of Pokemon is the friends you know, not the ones you don’t. Hook up with some buddies when the Nintendo Switch games come out, compare your adventures and see how much more fun it makes the games. You’ll be surprised by the added fun you get from going through your journey with a friend.
At this point, I can’t think of a better example of a community driven game than the Monster Hunter series, in any form. Everything about Monster Hunter encourages group play in all the best ways, starting with the fact that the game is designed around teamwork. The core game, that being the online experience, is structured with the assumption that you’ll be playing with other people.
While you absolutely can do everything in this game alone, it’s so much better with a team. And when you join your friends, you start to notice just how team-oriented this game really is. You all share lives, so keeping your friends alive is the most important part of the game. What items you bring, what weapons and styles you use… everything matters, and shapes the experience for you and your friends.
To date, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate stands out as one of the best community-driven Nintendo Switch games you can play. When we hunt, Steve occasionally says “it’s less about the gameplay and more about the experience you have with the people you play with”, and honestly, as amazing as Monster Hunter is, he’s right. The thing that makes this game worth playing is the time you spend with your friends playing it.
You don’t go back to Monster Hunter and remember the epic hunts you’ve done… You remember the moments you had with your crew. That time Phantom leapt over a Hyper Gammoth’s trunk and avoided death, or that night we hunted 24 Astalos so Steve could have his damn hoodie.
Those moments mean nothing to you reading this, because you didnt experience them. But to me, those are moments that persist well beyond the joy of the hunt. Go out and make your own memories. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends to make your game time better.
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