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Best multiplayer games 2022: The top titles to dig into with your mates

If you’re wanting some great games to get stuck into with a shedload of friends, then any of the best multiplayer games will be more than sufficient.

Our team of experts have reviewed plenty of marvellous multiplayer titles across a range of genres, and we’ve included the best in each category on our list. We’ve also included a good scope of different styles and types of games so everyone has at least one to get behind.

With each of these respective titles, we’ve tested out every mode and game mechanic so you know what you’re getting into and been sure to test the games on their relevant platforms to get the best playing experience possible, whether that’s on PS5, Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch.

And if you can’t find any games that take your fancy, then make sure to bookmark this page and return later. There are plenty more great multiplayer games on the horizon, and we’ll be sure to add them in when they arrive.

We also have plenty of other round-ups for the best games on other systems if you don’t want to look for a specific genre; our best PS5 games list is perfect for anyone who’s recently bought the latest PlayStation, and our best Xbox Series X/S games list is for all the Microsoft fans out there, and our picks for the best Switch games is ideal for those who’ve got Nintendo’s excellent diddy hybrid console.

Best multiplayer games at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we review games

We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.

Forza Horizon 5

Best racing game
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Pros

  • Absolutely stunning visually
  • The cars are a dream to drive
  • Loads of varied events

Cons

  • Lack of ray tracing in the main game

If it’s an excellent multiplayer racing game you’re after, Forza Horizon 5 is the game for you.

The Horizon series has always been about offering a big, expansive open world for you and your friends to explore, and the setting of Mexico in Horizon 5 provides the chance to do just that. There are loads of different areas, ranging from the deserts and dunes in the west to a volcano in the north (with one of the best driving roads in a Horizon game to date) and a speeding highway that extends through the middle of the map – in total, it makes for 11 biomes that’ll never get boring to drive round.

We found the driving mechanics and feeling to be great, even if they are a little arcadey, but that’s no bad thing. The focus on the Horizon games has always been to make driving a joy as opposed to a full-on simulation like F1 2022 does, for instance. With that being said, the cars themselves do have their own characteristics – a Land Rover Defender feels big and bulky, bouncing around dirt roads with ease, while a Corvette Stingray will be able to rip down the highway and take corners with ease.

On Xbox Series X especially. Horizon 5 looks and feels excellent, with 4K output at 60fps possible in the game’s Performance mode. The lack of ray-tracing in reflections is a bit of a sore miss, but the regular old ones do a more than fine job of recreating life-like imagery of lighting bouncing off of car panels. The vehicle modelling itself is also detailed for what is more of an arcade racer, and speaks volumes about how far racing games have come in recreating their real world counterparts in a decade or so compared to games of old.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Forza Horizon 5 review

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Best co-op
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Pros

  • Enough content to last for weeks on end
  • Massive levels to explore
  • Revamped combat keeps you more engaged
  • Co-op is an absolute blast

Cons

  • Space battles are a bit mundane
  • Camera sometimes gets in the way

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga signalled a return to form for Lego games in general, and it’s become our particular favourite Lego game, as well as also being an excellent co-op title, too.

This comes especially thanks to the fact that characters who were previously relegated to being second-rate options for simply opening doors and the like have been revitalised into fight-ready stars. It helped to make such characters an awful lot more enjoyable to use, especially with the changes to combat to make it more complex and engaging, with simple button mashing now a thing of the past. With that being said, it’s worth noting that the game is still accessible to younger players, but if you’d like, there are now more ways than ever of passing a level.

The levels here proved excellent, with each jam-packed with secrets, collectables and Easter eggs. There’s also a marvellous selection of levels on offer, from the barren wastelands of Tatooine to the rich streets of Canto Bright, which are able to capture the most captivating and memorable moments in Star Wars history.

In addition, the Skywalker Saga also looks impressive, especially on newer hardware with massive levels of detail on the Lego figures themselves that previously wouldn’t have been available to see. For the non-Lego items, the background looks as cinematic and realistic as it would in actual Star Wars blockbusters.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full Review: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review

Halo Infinite

Best shooter
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Pros

  • Hugely enjoyable gunplay, with great weapon variety
  • Grappleshot is incredibly fun to use
  • Compelling dialogue and engaging new characters
  • Fantastic multiplayer mode

Cons

  • Open-world sections are generic
  • Boss battles can be frustrating
  • Story’s conclusion is anti-climatic

The terms Halo and Microsoft have gone together hand in hand for the last two decades, and Halo Infinite arguably offers the best multiplayer shooter experience on offer today. 

There are loads of multiplayer-specific modes to get stuck into, including Arena and Team Battle, as well as the larger 24-player Big Team Battles that offer similar game modes to the smaller-scale ones such as Capture The Flag and Total Control, but provide the additional chaos of vehicles into the mix. Given the multiplayer is free to play and provides such a fun experience, it’s amazing to see how much you’re getting.

Halo Infinite also looks fantastic on both Series X and Series S, and even though we didn’t play it on the more powerful console of the pair, we were still impressed. Character models featured a great level of detail, while colours were punchy and made for a more vibrant and cartoonish art style compared to the gritty realism afforded by other shooters.

For multiplayer mode, there’s also the option of running the game at 120Hz for extra smooth output on the Series X, as long as you’ve got an HDMI 2.1 capable display. Generally speaking, the game feels wonderfully polished and looks that way too.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Halo Infinite review

Nintendo Switch Sports

Best sports game
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Pros

  • Fantastic motion controls
  • More variation in the sports
  • Character customisation options
  • Detailed and wholesome backgrounds

Cons

  • Football and Volleyball don’t hit same heights as other sports
  • Overall game feels slower
  • Leg strap has limited use

Nintendo has arguably been the kings of party games for several console generations, and that extends right across the genres, including sports games  – first, there was Wii Sports back in 2006, and 16 years later, we got Nintendo Switch Sports.

There is the option for online multiplayer, but arguably where Switch Sports excels the most is with local multiplayer, or when you’ve got two people battling each other in the wide variety of sports on offer – there are six in total. They all rely on motion controls, but each has its own distinct charm and flair to it. Volleyball may not be fast-paced as the likes of tennis or badminton, but offered an especially lifelike yet arcadey feel to it, while football would be more entertaining with more players than one. We particularly enjoyed Badminton, with its fast-paced and action-packed gameplay, which rounds off the new sports added.

Three sports also return in the form of Tennis, Bowling and Chambara (with Golf on the way also) and offer an experience familiar to those who played Wii Sports or Wii Sports Resort respectively. Tennis was especially fun, given the lifelike controls and convenience of building a rally against opponents, while Bowling is simple in theory but difficult in practice, which makes it such a great sport for Switch Sports, and Chambara offered impressive motion controls, although is quite a short-lived game, with some rounds only lasting a matter of seconds.

The graphics on offer reflect Switch Sports’ vibrant, bubbling world that comes complete with lively and punchy colours and the ability to create your own avatar, like with Miis on the older Wii games. There are plenty of fun options for different clothing and hairstyles, more of which unlock with progression, which offers a great incentive to keep playing.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles

Full review: Nintendo Switch Sports.

Destiny 2

Best MMO
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Pros

  • Great solo campaign
  • Strong and addictive multiplayer
  • Absolutely gorgeous
  • Plenty of content

Cons

  • Takes away your time
  • Loot system could use some tweaks

MMOs (or massively multiplayer online) games emphasise the importance of a large world and player base to their successes, and Destiny 2, despite its criticisms early on, has emerged as a brilliant MMO title.

While the start of the game might be single player, the main action happens in Destiny 2 when it opens up into a multiplayer title, offering an expansive open world filled with new equipment and intense matches in a variety of settings. All of these ounces of progression build up to taking on the Emperor of the Cabal in a six person Raid, in which you can put all of the knowledge and skill you’ve acquired to good use with five other friends. 

As well as this, there’s also a mixture of other PvP and PvE modes that bring with them rebalanced teams with an emphasis on smaller teams and changes to weapon loadouts to reduce the likelihood of cheesed one-hit kills as it were. It makes for an intriguing experience, as does the fact that you don’t need the DLC to play on additional maps, which is a much welcome change to shooters of old when map packs were a very large component of DLC.

With Bungie behind it, it’s perhaps little surprise that Destiny 2 also brings with it some of the best gunplay available in a shooter today. Each weapon class feels distinctive and viable to use in the heat of battle and we’d argue it’s never been as fun to shoot things, given how engaging it is with weapons that feel this good.

Reviewer: Ian Stokes

Full review: Destiny 2

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FAQs

What is the most popular online game in 2022?

According to various sources, PUBG (or Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds) is the most popular online game by player count, with a total of over 1 billion registered accounts.

Do I have to pay for online on console or PC?

On PC, for the most part, no. There’s no requirement to sign up to a service to give you access to online services. On console however, yes. Each manufacturer has their own service you’ll need to subscribe to to give you access to online services, be it Xbox Live, PS Plus or Switch Online.

Can I play online games with friends?

In short, yes. As long as you’re signed up to a relevant service (if on console), there’s nothing stopping you playing online games with friends. You may need to add your friends on services such as Xbox Live or Steam for PC to play with them specifically, though.

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