Five fantastic multiplayer video games to play with your friends

A player places shock traps on reinforced walls in preparation for an enemy attack.

Promotional Material Courtesy of Ubisoft Entertainment.

A player places shock traps on reinforced walls in preparation for an enemy attack.

Finding new games for your friend group to play and enjoy is often a struggle. The following is a list of five incredible video games of different genres that emphasize multiplayer gameplay. Not all of these are available to play on consoles but all are available on personal computers.

 

Sea of Thieves

The rising sun illuminates the ingame world and silhouettes a towering ship in the background. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Microsoft Studios.)

“Sea of Thieves” is a multiplayer action-adventure pirate game initially released on Apr. 20, 2017. It is available on Xbox One, X and S as well as PC for roughly $40. “Sea of Thieves” delivers hours of mindless, simplistic fun with truly beautiful graphics and a cartoonish yet immersive gameworld. The gameplay can be repetitive with sailing back and forth to complete quests, however that time does present a great opportunity to talk to your crewmate friends. While there is an option for multiplayer ship battles in what can only be described as a naval battle royale, the open world adventure aspect is where “Sea of Thieves” truly shines. This friendly, light hearted pirate game is my go to for a stress free gaming experience.

 

Phasmophobia

The perspective of a player venturing into a dark room armed only with a camera and flashlight. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Kinetic Games.)

“Phasmophobia” is an early access co-op horror game released Sept. 18, 2020 available on PC and Android for about $14. “Phasmophobia” involves a group of players venturing into a variety of dark, spooky buildings in pursuit of ghosts. While Phasmophobia has VR compatibility, the surreal environment, entrancing audio, and absolutely terrifying visuals of the game make it one of the best horror games of 2020 even without a VR setup. The addition of a strong cooperative element as you attempt to survive the spectral encounter with your friends further strengthens its exceptional gameplay. All together, the intense atmosphere, gripping gameplay, and cooperative components make Phasmophobia a fantastic horror game to play with friends.

Jackbox Games

A loading scene from the game Patently Stupid in The Jackbox Party Pack 5.


“Jackbox Games” make up a unique genre of their own. Released in “Party Packs” containing five light hearted party games per pack, this icon of family friendly fun can provide endless hours of good times. These games can work with anywhere between two to ten players depending on the game. There are a total of seven Party Packs ranging from $25 to $30 each. The first Party Pack was released on Nov. 18, 2014 and the most recent, the seventh, released on Oct. 14, 2020. However, the gameplay does not vary much in quality between Party Packs due to game inspired player banter comprising a majority of the fun. Jackbox Games are available on a plethora of platforms from the Nintendo Switch to PC and Xbox. Only one player needs to own a Party Pack in order to play. They simply stream their screen to the others who log in on the jackbox.tv website using a code displayed on the pack owner’s screen. Overall, “Jackbox Games” are fantastic party games available to countless device users.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

A player places shock traps on reinforced walls in preparation for an enemy attack. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Ubisoft Entertainment.)


“Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” is an excellent first person shooter released on Apr. 7, 2015. It’s available on PC, current generation PS4 and Xbox 1 consoles along with next generation PS5, Xbox Series X and S systems. While not new, constant updates, a large community and vivid graphics keep the game relevant. “Rainbow Six Siege” emphasises close teamwork, communication, and tactical gameplay. Gameplay involves two teams of five players attempting to secure or defend an objective while fighting the opposing team. Combat is extremely deadly with as little as one well placed shot ending a player. The intense gunplay makes close cooperation and high reaction times vital to victory.  Additionally, “Rainbow Six Siege” retails at roughly $20, making it an excellent, affordable shooter.

 

Hearts of Iron IV

Plans are made for a vast amphibious and land invasion of Northern France. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Paradox Interactive.)

“Hearts of Iron IV,” (HOI4) released June 6, 2016,  is one of the greatest World War Two grand strategy games ever made. While only available on PC and Mac, “HOI4” provides exceptional medium complexity, map based strategy gameplay. Players assume control of a nation in either a 1936 or 1939 start date. The player has control of the economy, military, and political aspects of their nation. They must utilize these sectors to their fullest extent in order to achieve victory in the Second World War and defeat their friends. “HOI4” has both robust singleplayer and multiplayer game modes where the player can either fight against purely AI controlled nations or against their friends and AI controlled nations. However, “HOI4” is less than budget friendly costing $40 for its most basic edition. If the price is not an issue, “HOI4” is an incredible strategy game to play with friends.

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