Mario Kart: When you think of local multiplayer, Mario Kart is one of the first games that comes to mind. The combination of luck and skill makes it both approachable and satisfying to play (except for when a Blue Shell makes you lose first place). The amount of playful trash talk that this game can generate is unparalleled, and I love it all the more for that. As some people bring older consoles to university with them, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe may not be your only Mario Kart fix on campus.
Mario Party: In a similar vein to its racing counterpart, the Mario Party franchise is chaotic and exciting in equal measure. When a player’s Star gets stolen it’s always as frustrating as it is hilarious, and despite how competitive it can get, everyone ends up getting invested in the game and has a great time. And with Mario Party Superstars coming out at the end of the month, there’s going to be a whole new selection of minigames and boards for people to enjoy soon.
Super Monkey Ball: You can tell that this franchise started out as an arcade game, because it’s capable of creating the same atmosphere as when everyone crowds that one arcade cabinet to see someone beating the final level of a game. And not only that, but it comes packed with a variety of minigames that are perfect for local multiplayer, including golf, bowling and so much more. With Banana Blitz being remastered on the Switch and a remaster of the original GameCube games coming out on the 1st of October, it’s a great time for Super Monkey Ball fans.
Overcooked: Unlike the other games in this list, the Overcooked Games are co-op rather than competitive. You must make a bunch of different meals and send them to customers in time before they get tired of waiting and leave. Organisation and communication quickly become key when you get onto some of the trickier levels, because they can become incredibly hard and chaotic. If you communicate well with the other players, it can be a great way to break the ice. Overcooked! All You Can Eat contains all the levels from the first two games and bonus content as well.