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The best multiplayer games in 2022
The more the merrier when it comes to the best modern multiplayer games.
If you walk into your nearest EB Games or JB HI-FI, you'll find no shortage of cinematic and expansive single player experiences. Regardless of whether you prefer to play on Xbox, PlayStation or PC, there are numerous experiences on offer. Between the militarism of Call of Duty, the dark fantasy of Elden Ring and the historical adventurism of Assassin's Creed, modern single-player gamers are spoiled for choice.
However, for many players, the best gaming experiences aren't scripted. Instead, they're social. These days, multiplayer games come in all shapes and sizes. Some are purely competitive. Others blend in elements of cooperation. Many are free to download and play. A few demand an up-front cost. Early Access has made it easier than ever to to jump in and try something new, but some multiplayer classics remain so for good reason.
If you're looking for a new multiplayer game to play with your friends, we've put together a list of the best.
A loose adaptation of social deduction games like Mafia and Werewolf, Among Us quickly gained popularity following the onset of the pandemic. The setup here is simple and accessible, while providing more enthusiastic fans with plenty of room for experimentation. It doesn't hurt that the game is available on basically everything at this point: iOS, Android, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Playstation and even VR.
Up to fifteen players are crammed onto a virtual spaceship and tasked with working together to uncover the hidden imposters within their ranks. Meanwhile, the imposters are looking to sabotage the mission and pick off their shipmates without being detected.
League of Legends
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) titles like League of Legends and DOTA 2 have risen from the ruins of the real time strategy game market over the past two decades, but the former is probably the best place to start if you’re looking to dip your toes into the genre and get a sense of why it's so popular.
League of Legends is a little more approachable than the other MOBAs out there, with a broad range of modes and a diverse roster of characters that provide plenty of different ways to learn and play the game. If you’re pressed for time, there’s also a mobile port called Wild Rift that provides many of the same thrills but crunches the length of a game down to a tight 10-20 minutes.
DOTA 2, Starcraft 2, Heroes of Newerth
Valorant is as much Riot’s answer to Counter-Strike as it is their response to Overwatch. Set in the near future, this fast-paced competitive shooter sees who teams of superpowered and heavily armed agents face off in first to thirteen shootout.
While Riot’s stylised take on the tactical shooter can feel daunting to get into, the high skill ceiling means that it's incredibly satisfying to master in the long run. Playing alongside friends can take the edge off learning to get good at Valorant, and give you someone to impress when the odds look grim.
Despite the ecletic mix of pop culture icons in the mix, from Darth Vader to Ariana Grande, the setup for Fortnite remains straightforward. 100 strangers parachute onto an island. Last one standing wins.
Epic’s ever-expanding and genre-defining battle royale shooter is still the king for good reason, and Constant variation is a key ingredient behind the game's enduring popularity. The developer behind the game are relentlessly and regularly tinkering with key aspects of the game, keeping longtime players interested and giving lapsed fans a reason to come back.
Fortnite is ridiculous, but it doesn't hurt that it’s ridiculously fun to play with a group of friends.
PUBG, Minecraft and Roblox
If Fortnite is a little too light-hearted for your liking, then Apex Legends might be more your speed.
It’s not as deadly serious as something like Call of Duty: Warzone, but Respawn’s science fiction battle royale shooter provides plenty of thrills with snappy gunplay and exciting hero mechanics that let you pull off creative plays that let you turn the tables on your opponent and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
An adaptation of the board game of the same name, Gloomhaven is a cross between Diablo, X-COM and Slay the Spire. Available on PC and coming to consoles, this cooperative RPG lets up to four players take up the mantle of adventurers crawling dungeons in search of gold and glory.
While Gloomhaven can be played solo with one player controlling up to four party members, multiplayer is where it really shines. The game eschews the typical action point system seen in turn-based tactics games like X-COM for a card-based alternative that provides greater variety and depth.
Legends of Runeterra
If you’re a fan of mobile-friendly digital card games like Hearthstone, but daunted by the way that these games try to milk as much money as possible out of that enthusiasm, Legends of Runeterra might be the more generous free-to-play card game that’s worth your time.
Set in the same fantasy world as League of Legends and Netflix’ Arcane, Legend of Runeterra is a collectible card game with no booster packs, champion cards packed with personality, a rich roster of gameplay modes and a vibrant competitive community.
Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, Gwent
Back 4 Blood
If you’ve got fond memories of Valve’s co-operative zombie apocalypse duology, you’re not the only one. The developer behind the original Left 4 Dead have revived the formula with the coyly-titled Back 4 Blood.
Like Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood lets you and up to three friends shoot, stab and smash your way through a series of apocalyptic scenarios. You can even jump into the versus mode if you fancy a few rounds on the other side of the fence. This mode lets you take on the role of an infected, flipping the game's premise on its head.
Blizzard’s team-based hero shooter has seen better days, but if you’re after a first person shooter with heart as well as headshots, it’s hard to beat. Overwatch boasts a rich roster of characters, 6v6 multiplayer and a crowded competitive scene that’s buzzing with energy and professional teams to follow.
Team Fortress 2 and Paladins
Diablo 3: Eternal Edition
With Diablo Immortal finally out in the wild, Diablo 2 having just gotten a new coat of pain and Diablo 4 on the horizon, there's never been a better time to be a Diablo fan. However, if you're looking for the best place to start with the hack-and-slash series, it's hard to look past all the things that the third game in the series gets right.
Available on both PC, consoles and even the Nintendo Switch, Diablo 3 picks up decades after the first two installments of the series and brings the the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary to life like never before. You can team up with up to four friends at a time to kill your way through dozens of demons and collect ever more exciting and powerful loot.
Diablo, Warframe, Path of Exile, Wolcen, Grim Dawn and Titan Quest
Over the course of two smaller, post-launch DLCs, four major expansions and a dozen season passes, Bungie’s follow up to Halo has grown, shrunk and evolved in too many ways to count. Nevertheless, if you’re after a cinematic and stylish first-person shooter with enough depth and flourish to satisfy you over the long haul, Destiny 2 is hard to beat.
Regardless of whether you’re more interested in PVP or PVE content, the world of Destiny 2 provides plenty of paths to progress and the game’s season pass model ensures new story content is never far away.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
If you grew up watching Goku, Vegeta and the rest of the gang defend the earth from intergalactic threats, Dragon Ball FighterZ is an absolute must play. It’s by no means the first or even the first good game based on the popular series, but it’s the rare adaptation that nails the kenetic hype of the superpowered anime.
The base game features 24 playable characters, a sprawling campaign mode and a rich online community. There are also several DLC season passes for the game, which nearly double the size of the roster and bring fan favorites like Broly and Videl into the fray.
Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Guilty Gear and Tekken
Rocket League is infectious and ridiculous in a way that only video games can be. Two teams of cars face off against each other in a penalty shootout. The goal is simple, but getting the ball over the line is a chaotic thrill.
For those who like their racing/soccer hybrids in 2D rather than 3D, there’s also an exceptional mobile version of the game called Rocket League: Side Swipe. This spin-off of the main game is available for free on both iOS and Android and well worth a look if you're keen to get a sense of why Rocket League is as popular as it is.
Wipeout (the TV show, not the game), Soccer and Trackmania.