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The best casual social games for groups this holiday season

Tis the season for friend and family gatherings. With the holidays on the horizon, you’ll probably be surrounded by jolly loved ones before you know it. Whether you’re the host or a guest, entertainment is always a must at these meetings. An easy choice to fill that void is video games. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the perfect casual group games that anyone can pick up and play. Just don’t get jealous when your console becomes the life of the party.

Mario Party Superstars

Mario Party is a series that is synonymous with group gaming fun. The long-running party game series recently received a new entry in Mario Party Superstars, which very well may be the best title in the entire series. If you’re new to the Mario Party series, the game is basically a digital board game with a wide variety of nutty interactive minigames after each turn. The boards all have their own twists that add even more drama to every playthrough. But tread this title with extreme caution. The chaos that will ensue may build closer friendships with your co-players, but there’s an even greater chance that it will destroy those relationships.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Speaking of games that can destroy friendships, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is another great game to play with a group. Whether you’re a beginner driver or a longtime Mario Kart fan, this game doesn’t fail to deliver an exciting time to add to your shindig. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an enhanced edition of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Switch. This version offers hours of entertainment, packaging in all the DLC previously released with the original Mario Kart 8 release. There are more courses, battle arenas, modes, and characters than anyone could ask for at a great price. Thanks to the Joy-cons, it’s easier than ever to have four controllers, so you and all your guests can get in on the fun.

Overcooked 2

If you haven’t gotten enough of cooking for your actual guests, then how about inviting them to the kitchen to help you feed even more in Overcooked 2. In this sequel to the original Overcooked, up to four players can team up in a Diner Dash-esque game where you all have to work together and around one another to get various dishes ready and served to hungry customers in ample time. Though, things aren’t as simple as they sound. Just be ready to cook on rocking boats, moving vehicles, and in the middle of the road.

Among Us

Among Us is a game that needs no introduction. It may have already been the life of your party plenty of times before now. However, just in time for the holiday season the game added an update that gives players even more to do besides finishing tasks and getting the drop on unsuspecting crewmates. Those additions include cosmetics, items, currencies for unlockables, and roles like vital checking scientists or vent-using engineers. The Imposter also got a buff, allowing it to shapeshift into any character in the game. With Among Us being on so many platforms and making its way to Xbox and PlayStation on December 14, there’s no reason this can’t entertain at any gathering.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8

The Jackbox line of games is a series that was literally made to give a good time to groups of casual gamers. It even allows players to join in on the fun with their tablets and smartphones if they’re lacking controllers. The latest entry in the series, The Jackbox Party Pack 8, includes five party games that fit any occasion. The best part about Jackbox is that the featured games can be played with up to eight or 10 players, depending on what game is chosen. The games go from a parody on job interviews to a murder mystery.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is similar to the Jackbox Party games. This game puts you and a group of co-players in charge of defusing a bomb. However, the catch is that only one player can defuse the bomb while the “experts” with the defusing manual are unable to see it. That’s where the “keep talking” part comes into play. This game will turn any party into a frantic and stressful experience, in a good way.

Hidden Agenda

If the party is more in-tune with mature and dramatic games then the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Hidden Agenda is the game for you. This game is similar to titles like Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human, with the twist being the entire group being able to vote on the outcome of decisions. Adding an extra layer to an already proven gold type of gameplay. Each player can also lend a hand with the investigation and puzzle portions of the game. Thankfully, Hidden Agenda is a cheaper title, at just $10 on the PlayStation Store. It supports up to five players, who join in on their Android phones.

Wii Sports

When it comes to casual games that haven’t lost their luster, Wii Sports may just be the king. This is one game that has stood the test of time, still holding up as one of the best titles to throw on at a party for a good time. From golf to bowling and baseball, the sheer simplicity of the various minigames in Wii Sports makes it an incredibly simple game to pick up and play with a group of friends while still being able to engage in conversations or having to split your brain too much. The only downside of this game is that it is only available on Nintendo Wii, an older generation console that some may have gotten rid of. Speaking of that… Nintendo, where is our Switch Sports?

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