There’s nothing wrong with playing games solo, but sometimes a social element can add a lot to the experience. Whether you and your friends are working together to take down vicious enemies or battling it out to see who reigns supreme, multiplayer gaming can be a blast. The only problem? It’s not always easy to find games that support multiplayer in any meaningful way.
Below, we look at some of the very best games that let four players team up to work together, or battle it out against one another in epic matches of skill. The one thing they have in common is that playing with friends adds a lot to the experience of each of these games.
1. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Are you ready to go back to Pandora? Or, more specifically, Pandora’s moon? This series of first-person shooters offers some of the most satisfying gameplay around, with big, gorgeous vistas to explore and tons of nasty enemies to pump full of lead.
One of the keys to the series’ popularity is that treasure chests are scattered around everywhere, and they’re full of sweet, sweet loot. The game also has hundreds of gun types, all with randomized stats, so it quickly becomes your mission to find and equip the best gear possible.
When you play with a group of friends, you’ll have to grab as much loot as you can, because it’s first come, first served. Sure, you can give your buddy the high-powered rifle you just found, but what’s he going to give you in exchange? There’s no better way to experience this game than with a party of four.
2. Left 4 Dead 2
Surviving the zombie apocalypse has no right to be this fun. This game sends waves of speedy undead creatures after you and three friends, all of whom need to work together to stay alive and make it to the exit of each level. That’s no easy task, thanks to the sheer number and variety of enemies standing in your way.
The key to success is teamwork. You and your friends need to talk it out and strategize every step of the way as you blast through rooms and discover caches of ammo, health, and weapon pickups. It’s tough, it’s tense, and it’s extremely satisfying when all four team members make it out alive.
3. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
This insanely addictive hack-and-slash dungeon crawler lets you play with up to three other players, either online or on your couch. Once you’ve played with other people, it’s hard to go back to playing alone. That’s because destroying hordes of enemies is a task best suited to a group.
Better yet, when you play with others the difficult level ramps up, which makes the combat much more strategic and enjoyable. But like Borderlands, you’ll want to make sure you get to the loot drops before your friends do.
4. Gears of War 3
Although Gears of War 3 has several multiplayer modes, Horde is the one you’ll want to spend the most time in. You can play on a team of up to five people, all of whom have to camp out in a relatively open area and withstand wave after wave of increasingly powerful enemies.
On the plus side, you rack up currency as you play. Between waves, you can spend that currency on reinforcements like turrets and traps to help keep enemies out of your territory. The enemies are no push-overs, though, so you’ll still have to strategically wipe them out before they splatter your insides across the floor. Happy hunting.
5. Rayman Legends
In all the world there’s nothing quite like Rayman Legends. Like the best Pixar movies, this side-scroller is overflowing with personality. From the hand-painted backdrops to the lovingly exaggerated animations, Rayman and his pals are practically guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The goal is always to make your way from point A to point B, but what you’ll find in between is totally bizarre and charming — whether it’s a tickle monster, a giant luchador, or the song “Eye of the Tiger” being played on a kazoo. If that doesn’t brighten your day, nothing will.
Up to four players can leap around on the screen at once, creating some of the most off-the-wall hilarity to be found in any game out there.
6. Castle Crashers
Whether your friends are with you in the room or scattered around the world, they can join you for four-player co-op mode in Castle Crashers, a fantastic and colorful beat-‘em-up game. Your job is to slice your way through the myriad enemies that populate the cartoonish medieval levels. As you go, you’ll level up and earn gold you can spend to upgrade your gear and magical powers.
It might not be the deepest game on the market, but that makes it easy for newcomers and non-gamers to hop in and have a blast.
Not every multiplayer game has to be about shooting guns and stabbing enemies. Sometimes a cheery competitive game based on luck and skill will do the trick like nothing else.
Uno is a classic card game that feels right at home on Xbox 360. You and up to three other players can face off in online matches full of skips, reversals, and draw-4s. All the while full voice chat lets you talk smack to keep things interesting.