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The best games to play with friends online

From visiting your friend’s island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to teaming up with them to shoot down wasteland baddies in Borderlands 3, the best games to play with friends online offer hours of fun across PC, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and more.

Even miles apart, video games allow friends to play, compete, or even just hang out virtually. There are games you can play over Zoom — our list of the best Jackbox games will help there — but we wanted to focus this list less on party games and on games that are best experienced with a few pals.

We have competitive and cooperative game options below and some that strike a balance between the two. It doesn’t matter what kind of games you or your friends are into — our list has a little something for everyone.

Among Us

Among Us
73 %
E10
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Strategy, Indie
Developer InnerSloth
Publisher InnerSloth
Release June 15, 2018
Although Among Us has been out for nearly two years, it only hit its stride a few weeks ago. From drawing around 100 players every day, Among Us now draws nearly 200,000 each day. Among Us is a simple social deduction game for 4-10 players. In it, you play as a crewmember with a list of tasks to complete. So, the goal is simple enough: Complete your tasks, and your team wins. However, there’s at least one imposter among the group (you can have more imposters if you want). Imposters can kill crewmembers and sabotage various systems on the ship, keeping crewmembers from completing their tasks. To make matters worse, players can only talk amongst themselves if they report a dead body or call an emergency meeting to vote someone off the ship. Among Us is endless fun, and it’s free on iOS and Android. The Stream version isn’t free, but at $5, it might as well be.
Among Us Steam Release Trailer

League of Legends

League of Legends
77 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac
Genre MOBA
Developer Riot Games
Publisher GOA Games Services Ltd., Riot Games, Tencent Holdings Ltd
Release October 27, 2009
MOBAs are a huge hit for PC gamers with millions of players logging in every day. After the mod DOTA took off, League of Legends was the first stand-alone game to capitalize on this unique and addicting style of game. The game focuses on two teams of five, each playing a unique hero, attempting to get strong enough to push into the other team’s base and destroy it. Over the game’s impressive lifespan, they have added more than 140 heroes to pick from. Teamwork is beyond essential in League of Legends. Combining skills to take down opponents, strategizing the best time to push or retreat, and picking which character should be placed where will all be important factors in a match. These games can run long, so having a group of friends with whom you communicate well is key, but the reward for that teamwork and cooperation is a very satisfying victory.
Warriors | Season 2020 Cinematic - League of Legends (ft. 2WEI and Edda Hayes)

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World
85 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Capcom
Publisher Capcom
Release January 26, 2018
Monster Hunter: World goes a long way in making Capcom’s long-running franchise accessible. Still, the grind is real in World. Although the loop of hunting monsters and upgrading your gear is addicting on its own, it’s much better with a group of friends. And because of World’s accessibility, it’s easy for a series veteran to take a newcomer out and show them the ropes. Monster Hunter: World offers hundreds of hours of fun with friends, and with the Iceborne expansion, even more. If you’re a Game Pass subscriber, you don’t have to buy Monster Hunter: World, either. It ranks among the best games on Xbox Game Pass.
Monster Hunter: World - PS4 Gameplay Interview | E3 2017

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3
78 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter
Developer Gearbox Software
Publisher 2K Games
Release September 13, 2019
The ultimate looter-shooter, Borderlands 3 is an even bigger and deeper game than its predecessors, with multiple planets to explore and several classes that each use their own special abilities. It’s completely playable in single-player mode, but bringing along a friend online makes every mission more engaging and opens up strategic opportunities in battle. As one player draws fire, the other can ambush enemies who aren’t expecting an attack. With the loot system of Borderlands 3 that lets each player have their own drops instead of sharing them, there won’t be any arguments afterward, either. Plus, there are a whole lot of guns.
Borderlands 3 Teaser Trailer - Mask of Mayhem

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
4/5
RP
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Gearbox Software
Publisher 2K Games
Release March 25, 2022
If you prefer a more fantastic spin on the Borderlands formula, the spinoff game Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands might be exactly what you’re looking for. This full game is based on a previous DLC in which Tina, a slightly unhinged character, to say the least, leads a game of Bunkers and Badasses (their world’s version of Dungeons and Dragons), and narrates the entire adventure. The core game is more or less the same, only with spells, armor, and a revamped skill system, though it is easy to slip into if you’re familiar with the Borderlands games already. Partying up is easily the best way to enjoy this funny, lighthearted, and well-acted tabletop-inspired adventure that capitalizes on how creative and off the wall this series can be.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Official Announce Trailer

Outriders

Outriders
75 %
3.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer People Can Fly
Publisher Square Enix
Release April 01, 2021
If you’re more into looting and shooting from a third-person perspective, then the new surprise hit Outriders might be exactly what you and some friends are looking for. You and up to two other friends can team up as sever classes, each with its own suite of powers and abilities, to mow down waves of enemies with extremely satisfying weaponry. The story mode is fairly weak, but if you just tune that out, you and your pals can have a fantastic time blasting your way through the levels, collecting new weapons and armor, and leveling up your very fun-to-use powers. A positive, or perhaps negative depending on what you’re looking for, is that Outriders isn’t intended to be an endless live service game where you always have more to grind for. There is an end to the story, and while there are endgame-level things to hunt and grind for beyond that, you won’t have to dedicate your entire life just to this one game if you want to see it all.
Read our full Outriders review
Outriders - Official Reveal Trailer

Apex Legends

Apex Legends
78 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter
Developer Respawn Entertainment
Publisher Electronic Arts
Release February 04, 2019
One of the newer entries in the battle royale space, Apex Legends managed to carve out its own audience thanks to some smart innovations and design decisions. The game is focused around squads of three heroes that all have abilities and ultimates similar to that of a hero shooter. The main premise is the same — shoot your way to becoming the last squad standing — but this game does a few things that make it more friendly to playing with friends. For one, you’re not necessarily out of the game for good if you die early thanks to a revive mechanic, and the ping system means that you can communicate even if you or your friends don’t have microphones. As an evolving game, with map changes and new heroes joining the roster, Apex Legends is a satisfying and fun way to hang out with some friends.
Read our full Apex Legends review
Apex Legends Official Launch Trailer

Minecraft

Minecraft
84 %
E10
Platforms Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac
Genre Adventure, Arcade
Developer Mojang Studios
Publisher Mojang Studios
Release November 18, 2011
Why work on building a dream home in Minecraft alone when a friend can help craft more quickly? Minecraft features cross-play between nearly every supported system because of its Bedrock update. This includes Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC, and even mobile devices, meaning players can enjoy the game with their friends regardless of which system they’re on. The only exceptions are legacy platforms like Xbox 360 and PS3, which do not support cross-play. Provided players don’t get bored, there is essentially no end in Minecraft, making it a perfect choice for hunkering down when people can’t leave their homes for weeks on end.
Official Minecraft Trailer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
84 %
4/5
E
Platforms Nintendo Switch
Genre Simulator
Developer Nintendo EPD, Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Release March 19, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and that means putting up with the console’s archaic friend code system to invite friends to an island. Once that’s done, however, it’s a joyous experience of appreciating the mundane. Visit friends’ houses to admire their paintings and interior decorating, then venture outside and catch bugs and fish. There isn’t a set goal, but that’s what makes the series so special. Hanging out with friends and discovering secrets is its own reward, and text chat lets players easily communicate with each other without having to use the Nintendo Switch Online app. That said, Animal Crossing: New Horizons does have chat support through the app.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Nintendo Switch Trailer - Nintendo E3 2019

Call of Duty: Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone
72 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre Shooter
Developer Infinity Ward
Publisher Activision
Release March 10, 2020
Call of Duty: Warzone is a completely free-to-play battle royale game set in 2019’s Modern Warfare universe. It supports cross-platform multiplayer across PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Unlike the smaller Black Ops 4 mode Blackout, Call of Duty: Warzone doesn’t require another game to run, and it launched with 150-player battles. Friends can team up in trios and fight to the death against other squads with a mix of first-person shooting and vehicular combat. The unique Gulag system even lets killed players come back to life, giving their teammates motivation to keep fighting to their very last breath.
Call of Duty®: Warzone - Official Trailer

Gears 5

Gears 5
81 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer The Coalition
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release September 10, 2019
Another great shooter option for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC players, you can play Gears 5 entirely with a friend. The campaign is cooperative with support for up to two others, and the new Escape mode is only playable cooperatively. Alongside these is Horde mode, which is best played cooperatively for a fighting chance against waves of the Swarm, and there is a beefy competitive multiplayer option for those who want to fight with — or against — their pals. Gears 5 also includes local cooperative play if you’re looking for some couch co-op action.
Read our full Gears 5 review
Gears 5 - Official E3 2018 Announce Trailer

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
86 %
4/5
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Racing, Sport
Developer Playground Games
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 09, 2021
Forza Horizon 5 builds upon everything from the previous entry, including the same “Drivatar” A.I. system, but it’s even better in online cooperative modes. The transition is seamless, with friends all driving on the same map where they can run into each other, and they can easily join up to compete in the same racing events without exiting to another player’s session. Forza Horizon 5 features a huge number of races, collectibles, and stunts, and exploring its take on the Mexican landscape is an absolute joy. Racing friends from one end of the map to the other only makes it better.
Read our full Forza Horizon 5 review
Forza Horizon 5 Official Announce Trailer

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
68 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Simulator, Adventure
Developer Rare
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release March 20, 2018
Sea of Thieves isn’t just better with friends playing online — it’s almost impossible to play without them. Rare’s pirate game includes a small boat for anyone sailing alone, but it really requires a crew of at least three or four people to command the larger vessels and have a chance against other ships. Calling out enemy locations over a chat headset and coordinating to reposition sails and cannons is a blast, especially when players send their friends soaring through the air onto another squad’s deck to attack them directly. Sea of Thieves sees Rare back to its old, weird self, and that is a good thing.
Read our full Sea of Thieves review
Sea of Thieves - E3 Announce Trailer (Official)

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Tom Clancy's The Division 2
78 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Tactical
Developer Massive Entertainment - A Ubisoft Studio
Publisher Ubisoft
Release March 15, 2019
Available for only a few dollars at this point, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an excellent shared-world shooter that friends can play together in its entirety. That includes the campaign missions, which take agents into several sections of Washington, D.C. Separate cooperative side missions are also available, and when players have had their fill of fighting grunts in standard missions or raids, they can venture together into the Dark Zone to fight against other agents. Teamwork and cooperation are particularly important here in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, as valuable gear is on the line and can be lost to another squad in an instant.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 E3 2018: The Fall of Washington DC Trailer

Fortnite

Fortnite
68 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Strategy
Developer Epic Games
Publisher Epic Games
Release July 25, 2017
Fortnite is a great choice for online gaming with friends, as its battle royale mode supports cross-play across everything from Nintendo Switch to Android phones. Epic Games’ take on the genre is colorful and less gory than some of its competitors, and its building component makes it perfect for creative players tired of hiding in a bush or behind a rock. New events and gear are also added in Fortnite on a regular basis, ensuring friends will have new content to experience together for as long as they want to keep playing.
Fortnite Trailer

Overwatch

Overwatch
83 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre Shooter, Strategy
Developer Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix
Release May 24, 2016
Blizzard’s hero shooter ranks among the top multiplayer games ever created, and when you’re playing with friends and communicating through voice chat, it gets even better. You and your allies can coordinate with each other, selecting the perfect characters for each setting and announcing enemies’ positions as they approach or secure an objective. The good news is that all of the additional maps and characters added since launch are available for free. And not only that, but they are open and free to everyone. So, even if your friend doesn’t have the game, they can still play with you if you do. You can find Overwatch available on PC and all consoles — including Nintendo Switch. You’ll be shocked at how many incredible heroes you can choose, and we assure you that the game will still feel new even months after starting to play. 
Overwatch - Gameplay Trailer (Official)

Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft Dungeons
68 %
E10
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Mojang Studios
Publisher Xbox Game Studios, Mojang Studios
Release May 26, 2020
We could put most action RPGs into this category, and it’d make just as much sense. But Minecraft Dungeons has a couple of things going for it that put it ahead of the rest. For one thing, it’s available on Game Pass, so you can team up with friends and play together, as long as one person in the group has a PC or Xbox One. More notable, however, is the simple and easy to comprehend gameplay. The hack-and-slash genre is not without complication, and games like Path of Exile highlight how far nuts and bolts such as character creation can go. Minecraft Dungeons is elementary and offers plenty of unique loot while consistently concentrating on important things like hacking and slashing.
Minecraft Dungeons - E3 2019 - Gameplay Reveal Trailer

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