With the festive season fast approaching and the chilly weather already here, staying inside and having some friendly competition around the telly in the living room is becoming increasingly tempting. Whether you get a crate of beers in and turn it into a drinking game, or get the whole family together, here’s our top seven video games to play at a party.
7. Wii Sports (Wii)
The flagship game for the Nintendo Wii that really showed how much fun motion controls can be is still a good laugh, despite releasing over ten years ago. It’s currently the third best-selling game of all time, behind Tetris and Minecraft, with an impressive 82+ million units shipped.
Minigames in Wii Sports include bowling, tennis, boxing, golf, and baseball and each of them is very easy to pick up, but with enough time you can learn the ins and outs of specific motions and mechanics, making the skill ceiling high. Perfect for parties and get togethers, if you have enough room.
6. Nidhogg (PC, PS4)
One of the lesser known games on the list, Nidhogg is essentially a tug of war. It’s only for two players at a time, but games can either be over incredibly quickly, or they can be tense back and forth games with only one player emerging victorious.
It’s based on the idea of fencing. When one player takes the other out, they’re able to keep progressing until the other player respawns and kills them, when the tide turns and the other player can make up for lost ground. It’s completely 2D, with multiple environments and the ability to throw your sword for some range. And to make things even better, after you win a match, you’re eaten by an enormous worm.
5. Towerfall Ascension (PC, PS4, XBO)
Another game many people won’t have heard of, Towerfall Ascension looks like it’s straight out of the NES era, but the precise controls and refined mechanics make for one of the most enjoyable local four player combat games on the market.
Each player is an archer in a small arena where your aim is to be the last one standing. Shooting or headstomping are the only ways to eliminate the other players, but various power-ups such as more powerful arrows and shields can be picked up. It’s quick and frantic action, where skill always prevails over getting lucky.
4. Rocket League (PC, PS4, XBO)
Rocket League is a game that needs no introduction. After launching on PS4 last summer and being free with PS+ for the first month, Psyonix swiftly accumulated a huge audience with their tantalisingly simple concept.
It’s football with cars. With matches being anywhere from 1v1 to 4v4, and a whole host of gamemodes now introduced like basketball and ice hockey, the utter chaos and carnage that can ensue is entertaining for all ages. From hitting sweet aerial goals to making last second saves, everyone can have a whale of a time when it comes to Rocket League.
3. Mario Kart (N64, GC, Wii, Wii U)
There’s been a shedload of Mario Kart games over the years and no matter which one you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time. Mario Kart 8 is the latest introduction on the Wii U, but even Mario Kart 64 is a lot of fun if you have a Nintendo 64 at your disposal.
Anyone from your five year old nephew to your 90 year old grandma can pick up a controller, accelerate and steer but only the true Mario Kart veterans will know the shortcuts and optimal uses of power ups to guide them to victory. Beware however, as Bullet Bills and Red Shells can tear families apart.
2. Mario Party (N64, GC, Wii, Wii U)
Another Mario entry comes in at second place, which is really a given when you take into account the name of the game. Mario Party was created for this very purpose and once again, there’s a bunch of different entries to the series that are all a bundle of joy to play at parties.
Mario Party 10 is the most recent entrant on the Wii U, but Mario Party 7 is widely considered to be the shining star of the series, mainly due to its introduction of eight player modes. It’s also praised for its variety in boards and objectives, not to mention the addition of Dry Bones (the best Mario character) as a playable character.
1. Rock Band (PS2, PS3, X360, PS4, XBO, Wii)
There’s nothing more fun that getting a bunch of mates and unleashing your true potential as the next Beatles with plastic instrument peripherals to a virtual audience. The kit can be a pricey investment, but it’s worth it when you need no previous experience to live your childhood dreams.
From classic songs, such as Bowie’s “Suffragette City” to recent pop hits like “Uptown Funk” from Bruno Mars, there’s songs to suit everyone’s tastes across the four main Rock Band games. Every player has a key role in the band no matter the instrument they play. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is the noise complaints.
There we have it; get the festive spirit flowing and kick back in the living room with good company and fantastic video games to enjoy the season. Do you think we’ve missed a game off the list? Let us know in the comments!