Grab a cold drink, slide onto a beanbag, and zone out, cause it’s gaming time. Few things are better than drowning out your chaotic life with endless hours of racing, battling, and shooting. Nearly 70 percent of American households have at least one gamer, while the average player spends a minimum of eight hours per week plugged in.
It’s no wonder that the video game industry is worth over $10 billion per year. Millions of youths and adults pour countless hours into their latest game just to stay entertained, but what if there was nobody to share that experience with? Such an obstacle was encountered during the industry’s infancy. Early desktop and arcade games featured two-player, split-screen options so competitors could take on their siblings or friends, but it wasn’t until “Gauntlet” in the mid-1980’s that multiplayer gaming really took off.
The experiment continued until the early 90s when Spectre utilized LAN technology to connect players in separate locations. And with the growth of the Internet, the gaming world has expanded and exploded into what we know it as today. So while offering proper recognition to those early games that paved the way, what are some of the best multiplayer video games of all time?
“Time Splitters 2”
The second installment of a three-game series, “TS2” took players on a journey through history to recover crystals necessary for keeping the human race from enslavement. Wacky characters, time-period levels, and amazing flow put this underrated classic near the top of the list.
Exploring massive worlds? Check. Building incredible structures? Yep. Battling with friends? Definitely. Between the problem-solving fun and exciting collaboration, this sandbox game delivers endless pleasure. And, as if the original version wasn’t fun enough, third-party mods have created new characters, adventures, and maps for the already massively popular game. So find a Minecraft server list and get started playing with your friends and others today.
Perhaps the first great shooting game, the 007 classic entered the world of gaming almost 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Strategy teamed with action to create the perfect mixture for first-person shooting games to follow. Simple controls and smooth graphics didn’t hurt the second bestselling N64 video game of all time either.
“Mario Kart 64”
Blast your bestie with a shell or drop a banana peel and watch carnage ensue. Mario Kart turned even the best of friends into enemies. Playing with traditional Nintendo characters on wild courses with ridiculous power-ups added to the excitement of a good old racing competition.
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”
Aside from the incredible graphics (for the time) and smooth gameplay, CoD’s team-based multiplayer mode had massive appeal. Fight off juggernauts while calling in airstrikes as you team with a partner to wipe out the enemy. Or, include all your buddies in one map thanks to the outrageous 18-player game limit. Settle into a sniping position or grab an assault rifle as you and your friends duke it out on one of 16 levels.
It’s hard to limit this selection to just one “Halo” game, so I won’t. With 13 releases since 2001, this shooting franchise has taken over the cyber world. Tossing grenades without switching weapons, easy zooming, indestructible vehicles, and melee attacking were all innovations of Bungie’s series. Few other games have offered such incredible gameplay while delivering revolutionary alterations.
Great single-player campaign teams with an amazing multiplayer mode for a simply unforgettable experience. Try your hand at any of four different multiplayer modes for a challenging and exhilarating time.
“Super Smash Bros”
Who wouldn’t want to see Mario beat the snot out of Luigi? “Super Smash Bros.” was a smash hit for N64 in 1999. Select your favorite Nintendo character then fight on a rotating, tilting, or disappearing map against your least favorite character for supremacy. Sounds like a great time for everyone but poor Jigglypuff.
“World of Warcraft”
A fantasy filled world with mythical creatures and knock-down, drag-out, knuckle-bloodying fights — all while playing on a map that is 61 square miles? Enough said.
“Battlefield: Bad Company 2”
Resembling more of a movie storyline than a video game, “Bad Company 2” put together a succinct plot with humorous undertones that keep players glued to the screen. Realistic firearms, checkpoints, and health bars combine with the narrative for the apex of entertainment.