It’s Christmas time, and the family are gathering together for a table full of food, selection boxes, treats, and a few alcoholic beverages. You’re finished with the talking, and you have began challenging your brother/sister/cousin to a game to settle old scores. But what do you play? There are so many great options out there, some you may even be overlooking. Let’s pick out a bunch of local multiplayer titles worth giving some time to this holiday.
Whether it’s two or four player splitscreen, full screen multiplayer or a fighting game, there are tonnes of great games on the market now, some of which are backwards compatible if you’re gaming on the Xbox One. We’ll try our best to keep the list universal, but obviously some exclusive-to-console titles will be mentioned.
Hasbro Family Games from Ubisoft offer a wealth of digitalised tabletop favourites such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Risk and Battleships to name a few. They can be fun or infuriating, and at least nobody can cheat in Monopoly! Plus, there’s no set up times and tidying up required. Most of them offer a minimum of two to four player multiplayer, and of course, you can enjoy them alone as well.
Fighting games are great too, allowing groups of friends and family to pass the controller around the room, winner stays on style or whatever takes your fancy. Games worth taking advantage of are Street Fighter IV or V, Tekken Tag or regular Tekken, and Mortal Kombat X. However, that one isn’t too family friendly and could result in some repeating dinner, and nobody wants that. Keep the action fun and friendly, folks!
Killer Instinct is available on PC and Xbox One, and offers a tonne of characters and easy to pick up and play mechanics such as combo-assists for new players. Over on the Wii U, you can indulge in hours of Super Smash Bros which is also gorgeous to look at, and cute!
Racing games are superb fun too, and have proven to be a blast at parties over the years. Realistic racers might not be ideal for all players, but take games like Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing, even Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and you’ll all be getting competitive in no time! We may as well add in the classic Rocket League here, offering a mix of cars and sports. Who doesn’t like football/soccer?
Trivia and puzzles can be fun in groups, and as well as the aforementioned Trivial Pursuit, you can also take part in some Jackbox Party Pack, which allows a huge number of players to connect to the game via their smartphones. Submit answers to questions via your phone, no additional controllers required! You can watch it in the trailer below, and learn more over here. Great multiplayer, with only your knowledge being required. No previous gaming ability necessary!
For some good multiplayer action that doesn’t involve the screen being cut down into smaller rectangles, making things hard to see, you can go for ‘full screen multiplayer games’. An old classic that may be a bit difficult to grasp if the player isn’t a regular gamer would be Worms. Turn based combat, with hilarious results. Maybe turn off the timer to let everyone play at their own pace. Even if they press the wrong button and fall to their death, there will be laughs aplenty!
Tumblestone is a game I’ve put a lot of time into this year, and is a simple ‘Match 3’ title with a twist. You have to be the first to clear all of your colours, but each board can only be done in a certain way. Process of elimination. Make a mistake, you have to restart the board. Intense, simple to pick up, and just good fun. It also contains a character called ‘Sausage King’. Say no more!
Bomberman is still a great game after all these years. Finding a modern version can prove difficult, but if you have an Xbox 360 or an Xbox One, you can play Bomberman Battlefest. Plant some bombs, try kill the other players, be the last man standing. Hours of fun and action! Similarly, Knight Squad is a good shout, following a similar style but with knights, swords and horses. Loads of gameplay variety like TDM, king of the hill, capture the flag, domination and even medieval football!
Another great title, nominated repeatedly this year for its creative multiplayer is Overcooked. Working in a kitchen is hard, and trying to work as a team with other players to get the plates cleaned, vegetables chopped, and food served can get a bit crazy! Cute graphics, simplistic visuals, and lots of shouting to look forward to!
Then we have the Mario Party titles. The kind of games that all platforms should have available to them. Complete a round of moving around a board, followed by fun mini-games to earn extra stars and help win you the game. Lots of button mashing, teaming up, and fun music!
Sports titles generally offer multiplayer experiences, but they’re not for the casual player who has no interest in sports, obviously! However, plug in some extra controllers and play some 2v2 on NBA, Madden, FIFA or even some NHL. Simple enough, and you probably have a sports title within arm’s reach anyway!
A few shooters have the option for 4 player splitscreen, such as Halo and Call of Duty. Maybe some Perfect Dark if you have an N64 or Xbox lying about. Screencheats is also fun, but technical for a non-gamer.
That’s all I can think of for the time being, but if you have any good selections that I may have blatantly missed off the list, feel free to let us know and we’ll add them in! Happy holiday gaming, folks!