Super Smash Bros Ultimate (for Switch)
Competitive, action-packed, and timeless, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is still one of the best multiplayer games ever made.
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Sure, online gaming can be fun, but there’s really nothing like getting all your buds in the same room for an all-out, winner-takes-all brawl. That’s exactly what Super Smash Bros is about, and why it’s still one of the best multiplayer games after all these years. With Ultimate, you can choose from a litany of old and new video game icons and an equally expansive list of maps, then go head-to-head in a 1v1, 2v2, or 4v4 (yes, that’s eight players total.) free-for-all.
And if you can’t get all your buds in the same room, don’t worry: this new version also features online play that’s every bit as fluid as the regular mode.
- Dozens and dozens of characters to choose from
- 900 different music compositions
- Tons of options for customizing gameplay
- Compatible with GameCube controllers too
- A little pricey
- Can be difficult for newbies
Overwatch (for PlayStation 4)
With its roster of fun characters and its focus on team collaboration, Overwatch is far and away the best multiplayer shooter on the market today.
Best First-Person Shooter
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Arguably one of the most popular products from Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch takes the concept of “team player” to new heights. The game revolves around a roster of quirky and original characters, each of which offers a different skill set in battle, from sharp-shooter to defense to healing. Players do battle in groups of six, and the idea is to put together a well-rounded team in which each member complements the whole — ultimately helping yours get the finish line first.
All of this makes Overwatch by far one of the most collaborative — and addictive — shoot-em-up games out there.
- Maps are rich and exciting
- Extremely fast-paced action
- Lots of different characters with unique abilities
- Regular software updates keeps things interesting
- Also available for Xbox and PC
- Online-only gameplay requires internet connection
- Requires monthly membership for PS4
Minecraft (Pocket Edition)
Whether you’re on a tablet or phone, Minecraft Pocket Edition lets you game anywhere and everywhere.
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The best multiplayer games let you team up with your friends regardless of where they are or what console they have, which is why Minecraft is one of our top picks. The wildly popular sandbox game from Mojang is as expansive as your own imagination, allowing players to build elaborate structures using a variety of blocks in a procedurally generated 3D world. It also allows players to share that world and get creative together.
But the real beauty of Minecraft is the sheer number of options players have when it comes to collaborating. Minecraft is one of the largest cross-platform games out there, available on everything from PC and Xbox to iOS and Windows. With the Pocket Edition, you can take your gaming on the go, and play with a whopping 10 people anywhere, anytime.
- Infinite worlds never get old
- Marketplace add-ons allow for customization
- Very affordably priced
- Great for all experience levels
- Pocket Edition is fully mobile
- Updates can be slow
- Too addicting
Fortnite Battle Royal (for Xbox One)
Few online multiplayer games are as popular -- or as addicting -- as Fortnite
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Fornite took the gaming world by storm when it was first released by Epic Games in 2017, and for good reason: it’s a highly immersive, highly addicting multiplayer game that is constantly evolving. In the insanely competitive 100 person PVP mode, players can duke it out alone or in teams, but in both cases the goal is to be the last one standing. And though the action all takes place online, the game is available on a huge variety of platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Of course, Fortnite can be downloaded for free, but you’ll also miss out on a whole lot of extras that way. The Deep Freeze Bundle, for example, comes with unique costumes and tools to help you stand out from the pack, such as the Frostbite Outfit, Freezing Point Back Bling, Chill-Axe Pickaxe and Cold Front Glider.
- Large online community ensures there’s always people to play with
- Comes with cash for purchasing in-game items
- Also available on PS4 and Switch
- Requires Xbox Live Gold Subscription
- Does not include single-player Save the World mode
Super Mario Party (for Switch)
For a classic multiplayer game that you play on the go, check out Super Mario Party for Nintendo Switch
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First released in 1998 for Nintendo N64, Mario Party basically defined the multiplayer game genre for a generation of fans. Super Mario Party, the latest in the series, continues that legacy on the Switch, Nintendo’s newest gaming system. After choosing from a range of classic characters, players take turns rolling the dice, then race across the board searching for Stars — just like in the original.
The major difference between this and the original is the console, which offers a host of features that help enhance the multiplayer experience. A new gameplay mode lets you link two Switches together, bringing the total number of players up to four and allowing you to play side-by-side. And the Switch is portable, so you can take the fun to the park, in the car, or wherever else the impulse arises.
- Suitable for all ages
- Simple but intuitive mechanics makes playing easy
- 80 new mini games offer endless fun
- Online mode lets you compete with far away friends
- Screens can be combined
- Only compatible with Joy Con controllers
- Graphics aren’t great
Frequently Asked Questions
How many players is “multiplayer”?
Multiplayer can refer to two, three, four or five or more people — essentially, anything past solo. The top picks on our list reflect that, with some games that allow for simple 2v2 team-ups and others that feature huge, 100-person PVP modes.
What is the best console for multiplayer?
Because most systems out there today feature online play, allowing you to faceoff against other players remotely, this is mostly subjective. But some systems are specially designed to encourage co-op play — the Nintendo Switch, for example, comes with two controllers out of the box for gaming with friends.
Should I buy another controller?
If you want to play with a friend in-person, yes. But, as noted above, most systems on the market today offer online play, which allows you to team up with friends in different places — all they need is an internet connection.