Best Online Multiplayer Video Games
Online multiplayer video games have become the most popular way to play games in recent years. Multiplayer video games have always held a special place in gamers hearts, whether it is a group of friends on a couch playing Mario Kart, or a LAN party where friends play games online in the same room. The evolution of online games has made it easier to enjoy multiplayer games from the comfort of your home alone while still enjoying that special bond with friends. Below is a list of online games that we place as the top online games to play, divided by genre.
Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter video game. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 1, 2015 and still has a very active player base today. The game puts heavy emphasis on environmental destruction and cooperation between players. Players assume control of an attacker or a defender in different gameplay modes such as hostage rescuing and bomb defusing. The game has main focus on online multiplayer and has no campaign but features a series of short missions that can be played solo. With the addition of Outbreak, there is promise they Ubisoft continues to improve upon it's successful online shooter.
Counterstrike Global Offensive - CSGO
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is an online multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series and was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in August 2012, with the Linux version released in September 2014. The game pits two teams against each other: the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. Both sides are tasked with eliminating the other while also completing separate objectives, the Terrorists, depending on the game mode, must either plant the bomb or defend the hostages, while the Counter-Terrorists must either prevent the bomb from being planted, defuse the bomb, or rescue the hostages. There are six game modes, all of which have distinct characteristics specific to that mode. CSGO is still played by millions of people monthly, making it one of the best online games still today.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in May 2016 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Overwatch assigns players into two teams of six, with each player selecting from a roster of over 20 characters, known in-game as "heroes", each with a unique style of play, whose roles are divided into four general categories: Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. Players on a team work together to secure and defend control points on a map or escort a payload across the map in a limited amount of time. Players gain cosmetic rewards that do not affect gameplay, such as character skins and victory poses, as they play the game. The game was initially launched with casual play, with a competitive ranked mode, various 'arcade' game modes, and a player-customizable server browser subsequently included following its release. Additionally, Blizzard has developed and added new characters, maps, and game modes post-release, while stating that all Overwatch updates will remain free, with the only additional cost to players being microtransactions to earn additional cosmetic rewards, which is why this online game will last as long as they continue supporting it. See Joystik Entertainment's review of Overwatch here.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the Warcraft fantasy universe. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth. The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. With a peak of 12 million subscriptions in October 2010 and Blizzard's final report of 5.5 million subscriptions in October 2015, World of Warcraft remains the world's most-subscribed MMORPG, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers. In January 2014, Blizzard announced that more than 100 million accounts had been created over the game's lifetime.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 on August 27, 2013, with PlayStation 4 and macOS versions coming later. The game, originally released as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, is a replacement for the original 2010 Final Fantasy XIV, which was shut down after negative reception at its launch. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original release. The original Final Fantasy XIV was released in September 2010 to overwhelmingly negative reviews. As a result of this poor reception, then-Square Enix President Yoichi Wada announced that a new team, led by Yoshida, would take over development of the title. This team was responsible for generating content for the original version as well as developing a brand new game which would address all of the previous release's criticisms. Initially dubbed "Version 2.0", Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn features a new engine, improved server structures, revamped gameplay and interface, and a new story. The return of Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn finally succeed as Square Enix executives attributed the company's return to profitability in part to the game's strong sales and subscriber base, reaching a cumulative total of over six million players by July 2016, and still heavily played today.
Grand Theft Auto Online
Grand Theft Auto Online is an online multiplayer action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 1 October 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and was released on 18 November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a Microsoft Windows version on 14 April 2015. The game is the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas (based on Southern California), Grand Theft Auto Online allows up to 30 players to explore the open world and engage in cooperative or competitive game matches. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas, which includes open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles). Developed in tandem with the single-player mode, Grand Theft Auto Online was conceived as a separate experience, to be played in a continually evolving world. At launch, it suffered widespread technical issues resulting in the inability to play missions and loss of character data. It initially polarized reviewers, being criticized for its lack of direction and repetitive missions, with praise particularly directed at the scope and open-ended gameplay. It won divided year-end accolades, ranging from Biggest Disappointment to Best Multiplayer, from several gaming publications. The game receives frequent free updates that further expand on the game modes and content, which has improved critical reception. The 2015 Heists update had been especially well-received by the critics. The game community for GTA Online conintues to grow with mods and role playing with other players online on dedicated servers to experience the online game in many different ways.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean publisher Bluehole. The game is based on previous mods that were developed by Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene for other games using the 2000 film Battle Royale for inspiration, and expanded into a standalone game under Greene's creative direction. In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves. The available safe area of the game's map decreases in size over time, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters. The last player or team standing wins the round. PUBG has opened the gateway for battle royale games such as Fortnite, H1Z1, Hunt The Showdown, and many more coming. The game was released for Microsoft Windows via Steam's early access beta program in March 2017, with a full release on December 20, 2017. That same month, the game was released by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox One via its Xbox Game Preview program. Battlegrounds received several positive reviews from critics during both its early access period and on final release; reviewers found that while the game still was not fully finished and had some technical flaws, Battlegrounds presented new types of gameplay that could be easily approached by players of any skill level and was highly replayable. The game received several nominations for Game of the Year and other awards for 2017, and is considered the defining game of the battle royale genre. Several other video games, following in Battlegrounds's success, added battle royale-style modes. PUBG Corporation has run several small tournaments and introduced in-game tools to help with broadcasting the game to spectators, as they wish for it to become a popular eSport.
Fortnite Battle Royale is a battle royale video game being developed by Epic Games; it is currently in early access on Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with plans for mobile versions on Android and iOS. Fortnite Battle Royale was a spinoff from Epic's Fortnite, a cooperative survival game that focused on the players' abilities to deconstruct game objects and build fortifications for protection against computer-controlled enemies. Fortnite was released around the same time that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the game that popularized the battle royale genre, was also first released. Epic Games saw the ability to create a battle royale mode out of Fortnite. Epic Games launched this as a separate mode that did not require the base Fortnite game and later made it a free-to-play title supported by microtransactions. Since its release, Fortnite Battle Royale has become a major title of the battle royale mode, drawing similarly-sized or larger audiences as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
H1Z1 is a free-to-play battle royale game developed and published by Daybreak Game Company for Microsoft Windows. The game's development began after the original H1Z1 was spun off into two separate projects in February 2016: H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill. The games were further split as separate projects in October 2017, with Just Survive dropping the H1Z1 name, and King of the Kill becoming simply H1Z1. After three years of being in early access, the game officially released on February 28, 2018. Shortly after, the game went free-to-play. It is also planned to be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
League of Legends
League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The game follows a freemium model and is supported by microtransactions, and was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod, Defense of the Ancients. League of Legends was generally well received upon its release in 2009, and has since grown in popularity, with an active and expansive fanbase. By July 2012, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played. As of January 2014, over 67 million people played League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. League has among the largest footprints of any game in streaming media communities on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.tv. League of Legends has an active and widespread competitive scene. In North America and Europe, Riot Games organizes the League Championship Series (LCS), located in Los Angeles and Berlin respectively, which consists of 10 professional teams in each continent. The 2017 World Championship had 60 million unique viewers and a total prize pool of over $4 million.
Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is the stand-alone sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a "hero", who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully battle the opposing team's heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team's base, called "The Ancient". Dota 2 has a widespread and active competitive scene, with teams from across the world playing professionally in various leagues and tournaments. Premium Dota 2 tournaments often have prize pools totaling millions of U.S. dollars, the highest of any eSport. The largest of them is known as The International, which is produced annually by Valve and most commonly held at the KeyArena in Seattle. Broadcasts of professional Dota 2 matches are streamed live over the internet, and sometimes simulcast on television networks, with peak viewership numbers in the millions.
Clash Royale is a freemium mobile tower rush video game developed and published by Supercell. Although not a true MOBA, the game combines elements from collectible card games, tower defense, and multiplayer online battle arena (moba). The game was released globally on March 2, 2016. Clash Royale reached $1 billion in revenue in less than a year on the market.
Diablo III is a dungeon crawler action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Diablo franchise and was released on May 15, 2012 for Microsoft Windows and macOS. A console version was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 3, 2013. Versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released on August 19, 2014. Diablo III set a new record for fastest-selling PC game selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, and was the best selling PC game of 2012, selling over 12 million copies during the year. It has sold, along with Reaper of Souls, 30 million copies across all platforms. The online multiplayer capabilities makes it one of the best online games to play with friends.
Warhammer Vermintide 2
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is a game with gameplay experienced from a first-person perspective. Set in the Warhammer Fantasy fictional universe, players battle cooperatively against the Chaos army and a race of rat-men known as the Skaven. The game features five different characters to play as. These characters are divided into 15 different careers, each with a unique set of skills and abilities. After players complete missions, they receive rewards through a randomised loot system. It is the sequel to the 2015's Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide 2 was released for Windows on March 8, 2018. The game is also expected to release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Divinity Original Sin 2
Divinity: Original Sin II is a role-playing video game developed and published by Larian Studios for Microsoft Windows. The sequel to 2014's Divinity: Original Sin, it was released worldwide on September 14, 2017. The game received universal acclaim, with many critics praising its complexity and interactivity, considering it to be one of the best role-playing games of all time. It was also a commercial success, selling over a million copies in two months. Players are able to split up and individually control their party members, leading to potentially complex battle tactics, as well as excellent role-playing opportunities. The game features both on-line and local multiplayer modes, both competitive and cooperative. A skill crafting system allows players to mix and change their skills. The game also features a competitive multiplayer mode, where players are divided into two different teams and fight against each other in an arena map.
Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game developed and published by Psyonix. The game was first released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 in July 2015, with ports for Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and Nintendo Switch being released later on. In June 2016, 505 Games began distributing a physical retail version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment taking over those duties by the end of 2017. Described as "soccer, but with rocket-powered cars", Rocket League has one to four players assigned to each of the two teams, using rocket-powered vehicles to hit a ball into their opponent's goal and score points over the course of a match. The game includes single-player and multiplayer modes which can be played both locally and online, including cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows versions, as well as cross-play between Xbox One, Switch, and Windows versions. Later updates for the game enabled the ability to modify core rules and added new game modes, including ones based on ice hockey and basketball.
Madden NFL (originally known as John Madden Football until 1993) is an American football video game series developed by EA Tiburon for EA Sports. It is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, and has sold more than 120 million copies, and influenced many players and coaches of the physical sport. Among the game's realistic features are sophisticated playbooks and player statistics, and voice commentary that allows players to hear the game as if it were a real TV broadcast. As of September 2013, the franchise had generated over $4 billion in revenue.
NBA 2K series
The NBA 2K series is a series of basketball simulation video games developed and released annually since 1999. The premise of each game in the series is to emulate the sport of basketball, more specifically, the National Basketball Association, and present improvements over the previous installments. The series was originally published by Sega, under the label Sega Sports, and is now published by 2K Sports. All of the games in the franchise have been developed by Visual Concepts. The series consists of eighteen main installments and several spinoff-style titles. It has seen releases on eighteen different platforms. The NBA 2K series has also been used in eSports. The series has consistently achieved critical and commercial success.