Developers are spending more time on multiplayer than ever before, which means the list of great games you can play with your friends is constantly growing. In fact, there are so many new ones coming out each month that trying to keep up can feel overwhelming.
Luckily, you don’t have to—we’ve picked out the 12 best multiplayer games that you can play right now, and you can read all about them below. Whether you want a tense competitive shooter or a casual co-op puzzler, this list is the place to start.
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Challenging puzzles that are satisfying to solve
- Themed zones offer plenty of variety
- Genuinely funny
- None. It’s damn-near perfect
Portal 2 is one of the best puzzle games of all-time—and its two-player co-op mode is the clear highlight. Puzzles are split into six distinct zones, each introducing new tools to play with, so you’ll never feel like you’re solving the same problem twice. Expect some real head-scratchers, and finally cracking a puzzle you and your friend have been stuck on for ages is a great feeling.
It’s also Valve’s tongue-in-cheek humour at its best. There’s plenty of chances to play jokes on your partner, whether that’s leaving them hanging for a high-five or mucking up their portals so they plummet to their death. And, naturally, you can make your robot character laugh at their misfortune after with a well-timed emote.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
- Throwing mechanic expands core gameplay
- Diverse, charming character designs
- Another helping of one of the best co-op games around
- Finale feels underwhelming visually
As a well-oiled team of chefs, you and up to three friends must chop, cook, and plate yummy meals for demanding customers—all in kitchens that are designed to make you trip up. You’ll have to throw carrots through portals, chuck plates of fries over long drops, and make sure someone’s on washing up duty to stop the orders piling up.
When it comes together, and everyone sticks to their station, it’s a dream—but it’s even more fun when it starts going wrong. Expect to go red in the face at your teammates’ apparent stupidity and then immediately laugh about it after. Get some friends round, order a takeaway, and get stuck into Overcooked 2.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Mario Kart 8 is available on Wii U)
- Looks absolutely gorgeous on Nintendo Switch and on the TV
- Battle Mode is a superb addition
- Plenty of challenge here for all skill levels
- New assists for beginners work a treat
- So many tracks and racers
- Some will want a brand-new Mario Kart on Switch
This enhanced version of 2014’s Mario Kart 8, which came out on the Wii U, is the most fun you can have on four wheels. Whether you’ve been racing around Mario Kart tracks for decades or you’re new to the series, it’s got everything you need, including plenty of driving assists for beginners and a 200cc mode that only the most experienced drivers will be able to handle.
It looks gorgeous on both the Switch’s portable screen or your TV, and the PvP Battle Mode—absent from the Wii U original—is a blast. You can play it locally, connecting to seven other consoles for an old-school LAN party, or take on racers around the world.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Very well-written
- Wicked sense of humour
- Incredibly deep RPG systems
- Lots of replayability value
- Can be hard to penetrate
- Occasional graphical bugs
A complex, text-heavy RPG doesn’t seem like the most natural fit for co-op play, but Original Sin 2 is essentially built to play with a buddy—even when you play single-player, you control two characters. When a tough decision is to be made in co-op, you and a friend can argue out the best way forward and decide the solution in a fun mini-game, letting you craft a distinct personality for your character.
Its flexible combat system is the best in any isometric RPG, and playing as a pair comes with hundreds of ways to combine powers and fiddle with its elemental magic system. Combine oil with fire, water with electricity, or if your partner is undead, then lob a flask of poison to heal them and take out nearby enemies in the process.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
- Fantastic presentation
- UEFA licenses complete the package
- Small tweaks benefit the gameplay
- So much to do
- Not a huge upgrade
- Lack of career mode updates
The multiplayer in this year’s FIFA is the best ever in a football sim. Ultimate Team (FUT) is the main draw for many people: you compete online against teams across the world, gradually acquiring better players and turning your pack of minnows into an all-star squad. This year, there’s more FUT modes than ever, including the always-competitive Division Rivals.
Innovations in the head-to-head Kick-Off mode are even more impressive. You can play with a long list of custom rule sets, including a two-leg Champions League battle, or a Survival match, in which one of your players leaves the field every time you score. Best of all, you can create a FIFA ID to track all the matches you play no matter whose PC or console you’re playing on. That ought to settle some debates.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
- Brilliantly balanced strategy and action
- Different maps change the pace
- Incredible suspense and tension
- More polished and stable than the original release
- Xbox One version still lags behind
- Not the most immediately fun Battle Royale
Fortnite is the better battle royale if you want instant gratification, but PUBG—the game which made the genre explode—still has plenty going for it. You might only see two or three other people in a round, which makes it permanently tense, and means that when the action ramps up, it feels impactful.
You can play it solo, duo, or with a squad, and teaming up gives you lots of tactical flexibility. When you execute the perfect flank, co-ordinate grenade throws to the millisecond, or lay down covering fire as a buddy sprints across to gather an airdrop, you’ll feel like a military genius.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Building system adds valuable depth
- Simple gunplay is immediately fun
- Combat mechanics feel polished
- Limited time events
- Cheaters can be a problem
- Junior atmosphere feels jarring
Fortnite Battle Royale is as close as you’ll get to guaranteed fun—and it’s completely free, unless you want to buy fancy outfits. Its 100-player rounds are short and full of action, with a small map full of high-level loot encouraging constant firefights.
Beneath the bright cartoony visuals is a remarkably complex game with a high skill ceiling. Its building system sets it apart: it’s intuitive, letting you lay down cover or construct a shelter in no time, but once you master the mechanics of the system, you’ll be building full-on towers filled with traps, escape routes and windows to snipe out of.
It’s best played in a squad with friends that you can share battle stories with later, but it’s fun to play solo, too.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Fun and diverse cast of heroes
- Deep and engaging lore
- Addictive and endlessly rewarding to play
- Seasonal events are a regular treat
- Bad team composition can be frustrating
Overwatch is the best team-based shooter since TF2, and it’s expanding all the time. Its growing roster of 28 heroes contains, among others, a beam-based flying healer, a cyborg ninja with a deadly blade, and a giant gorilla with an energy gun. Basically, there’s something for everyone, whether you want to play a support class or rack up kills.
The game modes cater to every need, too. If you want to just jump on a chilled-out server to test a character, you can do that, but it’s in 6v6 competitive play that Overwatch excels. Teamwork is essential, and there are countless opportunities to co-ordinate hero abilities. Once you start improving and your rank ticks slowly up, it’s near-impossible to tear yourself away, and regular seasonal events keep it feeling fresh. I can’t help but get excited for Lucioball year after year.
Rainbow Six Siege
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Deeply engrossing tactical shooter
- Teamwork is not only encouraged, but necessary
- Diverse and well-balanced cast of operators
- Consistent updates and additions
- Can seem impenetrable to newcomers
To a beginner, 5v5 FPS Rainbow Six Siege is mercilessly intimidating. Its diverse arenas are rabbit warrens, and you always seem to get shot from an enemy peeking out of a tiny hole in the wall from across the map. It’s a shooter you’ve got to work at if you want to improve—but don’t worry, that investment is paid back later, revealing an endlessly rewarding tactical shooter that nails the feeling of working with your teammates.
Each of the 40 operators has distinct strengths and weaknesses, and working out how to best counter the enemy team at hand, whether you’re attacking or defending, is a frantic, thrilling puzzle. The heroes are (mostly) balanced to perfection (sorry, Tachanka fans), and Ubisoft is constantly making tweaks to iron out any kinks, as well as adding new operators to play around with. Start with casual play, and make sure to watch some tutorials beforehand.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
- Easy to pick up and play
- Complete control over your car in the air or on the ground
- Lots of varied game modes
- I got nothing…
It’s football, but with cars—and yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. The joy of Rocket League comes from the freedom with which you can control your vehicle as you roam the pitch. You can powerslide, hop into the air, double flip, corkscrew, and all the while use two huge rocket boosters on your bumper to reach breakneck speeds.
If your cars were tied to the ground, it’d still be fun, but the sense of verticality you get from zooming above the pitch opens up new opportunities for creativity—for swooping saves, spinning assists and last-minute winners. It’s immediately fun to pick up and play, but you could spend 500 hours with it and still be learning new tricks (pro matches are joyous to watch).
Dead by Daylight
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Genuinely tense and nerve-wracking
- Clever balancing between the two sides
- Never predictable
- Experience systems and unlocks add depth
- Lobby and connection issues
A wonderfully-balanced asynchronous multiplayer game that pits three survivor against one maniacal masked killer in a twisted game of hide and seek. Playing as a survivor and slowly edging your way towards the escape point, wondering whether Freddy Krueger is breathing down your neck, is palm-sweatingly tense, and the abilities and perks that both sides have make rounds unpredictable.
Matches will feel completely different depending on which killer is stalking the shadows—there’s 13 in total, with more on the horizon. It’s still going strong with regular updates, making now as good a time as any to jump into Dead By Daylight.
Monster Hunter: World
Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
- Incredibly deep and rewarding gameplay
- Beautiful and varied worlds
- So much depth to its systems
- Each monster is a new challenge
- Story is actually engaging
- Multiplayer matches can be fiddly to set up
If you want to know just how good Monster Hunter: World is, look no further than Trusted Review’s perfect 10/10 score, which few games have ever attained. It offers a stunning world packed with dangerous beasts big and small (mainly big) to slay. The combat is fluid and responsive, but the real joy of it is in what happens after you kill the beasts.
The loot and upgrade system is an analyst’s dream: every weapon, item, armour piece, attack and skill has numbers attached to it, and tweaking your build is addictive. Best of all, you can play it all through with a friend, comparing shiny new swords and glinting armour pieces as you go.