A Look at the Best Multiplayer Titles in Gaming
Once upon a time, gaming with friends involved huddling around a CRT TV with controller wires tangled above a bowl of chips. It was a novel time in at-home console gaming—unlike before, players could pick up controllers and battle one another in deathmatches from GoldenEye 007 to brawls in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
But multiplayer gaming has come a long way since then. Thanks to advances in internet connectivity and a growing interest in MMO (massively multiplayer online) titles, most games include a multiplayer option. This option will connect players to other remote players via a server. Depending on the game, players are able to compete with friends.
This new era in multiplayer gaming has led to some truly unique gaming opportunities. Let’s take a look at five of the coolest multiplayer games that you can play with friends today, in both cooperative and competitive modes.
Just about everyone remembers the online poker boom of the early 2000s—but did you know that playing online poker with friends is still a popular activity? Today, certain platforms offer home game-style setups. This allows a registered player to invite others onto the platform. Rather than compete in public table games, friends have their own private virtual table.
This allows friends to pick up the game at their own pace, and even share tips with each other as they encounter new situations. Similarly, private chat features offer a more immersive and realistic virtual experience, as players can easily interact—either to help, bluff, or just chat.
Sea of Thieves
This 2018 title takes friends on an adventure atop the high seas where they’ll battle their way through a dangerous world of pirates. The game is story-driven, meaning players will follow along a narrative as they explore an open world and take on unique challenges. The game is cooperative, meaning players join together to form a pirate squad.
From there, they’ll take on different jobs from trading companies as they set sail. But along the way, they’ll encounter other real-life pirate ships manned by remote gamers. Will your crew make more alliances than enemies? Or will your crew take on the world?
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Fighting games are some of the best titles for friends to play together. While most people immediately think about multiplayer combat games like Super Smash Bros., there are other great titles to explore—including classics like Tekken. Rather than a battle royale, players face off one-on-one.
This makes the game a bit more high-stakes and entertaining. Most of the Tekken releases (nine total) offer a multiplayer mode that allows players to advance through the King of Iron Fist Tournament. Compared to other games on this list, the learning curve is particularly short, meaning newcomers won’t need too much time to get their rhythm.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This game was originally released for early VR headsets back in 2015. But the game proved popular enough that you can now play it on just about any device. In it, players work together to disarm a bomb using manual instructions. But only one player can work with the explosive, and others must stick to reading off instructions.
This cooperative game requires players to work together. However, each new level is procedurally generated, which means players can’t memorize how to solve certain challenges. Instead, teamwork is the only way to survive each new job in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.
This cooking simulation game isn’t quite like the other multiplayer titles on this list. That’s because players aren’t necessarily building their own team amongst friends. Instead, Overcooked brings players together from a local network, meaning they’re interacting with strangers to complete cooking challenges. (Or a friend, if they happen to cross paths in this virtual world.)
The game requires players to work with others to prepare, cook, serve, and clean up in a restaurant. Multiple orders of different dishes can quickly complicate things, throwing the kitchen into chaos. Only those who manage to work together will be able to keep their customers coming back.