Considering that the holidays are almost upon us, it’s time to get your best party games out there. You know, the ones that you and your friends can play together. From trivia to action to brawlers, there’s something out there for everyone.
The choices can be quite overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of the must-have party games to add to your collection. Get the snacks, pour the eggnog (or something stronger, if they’re adults), and let’s get the party started!
The Best Party Video Games
Killer Queen Black (Nintendo Switch, PC)
A few years ago, the hit Killer Queen made the rounds in arcades, becoming a cult favorite with many. Now, that same game has come home; and despite a few minor changes, it’s still a must-play. The game gives you three ways to win with your squad — with a military victory over the opposing team’s queen, with an investment-style win by collecting berries and storing them within a board, or by riding a snail across a finish line.
Each one requires a bit of strategy but it is quite simple to learn. And the game supports eight players once the option becomes unlocked, making it an absolute must-play with friends and family.
The Jackbox Party Pack Games (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch)
Initially known for its radical You Don’t Know Jack trivia games, Jackbox Games has moved on with much greater variety through its Jackbox Party Pack compilations. Each one comes with games that are fun to play with cell phones or tablets, which connect with ease through the company’s website. What’s more, each collection is different from the last. The latest release, Jackbox Party Pack 6, comes packed with laughs aplenty with games like Trivia Murder Party 2, Dictionarium, and more. Check out our review to learn more about what’s in store with this package — and then get the others for your collection as well.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)
Are we recommending a fighting game for your next get-together? Yes, Yes, we are. But Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the best out there, with multiple players able to jump in for a chance to win the brawl for it all. What’s more, the game features an exciting cast of characters, between its cast of default heroes and the latest ones added via downloadable content, like Banjo Kazooie and Terry Bogard. And with multiple modes and rules to choose from, you can customize your battles any way you see fit, for newcomers and pros alike. Now step on up and smack your relatives around (in-game, please — we can’t make that clear enough, in-game).
Overcooked! 2 (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
Hold on — a competitive cooking game? Yep, believe it, because Overcooked! 2 is a well-done dish for all parties involved. It enables up to four people to take part in some co-op cooking madness as they try to prepare their favorite dishes in the quickest time possible. But as you might guess, making a gourmet dish is easier said than done. Surprisingly addictive and a real delight to play, Overcooked! 2 will stuff you with match-ups while you wait for the turkey this holiday season.
Rocket League (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
After years of becoming a big favorite on the esports scene, we’ve learned that Rocket League is just as much fun when it comes to playing against others in the local arena. With split-screen support, the game is jam-packed with the contest-themed appeal, as you attempt to score goals with your vehicle of choice while keeping shots from the other team at bay. Rocket League never gets old, and the add-on content, including the previously released Radical Summer pack, will undoubtedly keep you busy as the Christmas holiday rolls in.
Guacamelee! 2 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
Let’s say you want to enjoy a co-op side-scrolling brawler with a fantastic art style and lots of places to explore and cause trouble. Well, Drinkbox Studios’ Guacamelee! 2 will certainly do the trick. You play a luchador wrestler — and his friends — as they take on evil adversaries, while also finding secrets and taking on challenging levels. With terrific gameplay, an art style that lights up the room, and co-op support for two players, it’s good fun for you and your amigos. (Rayman Legends works just as well, and supports up to four players locally!)
Towerfall Ascension (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC)
Is Super Smash Bros. too complicated for some players? Prefer something a bit simpler, but just as competitive? Welcome to Towerfall Ascension. In this game, up to four players take part in battles with bows and arrows. It sounds confusing, but the matches themselves are quite thrilling, especially when you land some lucky shots on unsuspecting opponents and win the match as a result. It takes a little bit of practice, but you and your buddies should have no trouble becoming Towerfall fans for the holidays!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)
Last but not least, it may be a couple of years old, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still the most comprehensive — and well put together — kart racing game on the Nintendo Switch. With its wide variety of tracks and modes, it’s a blast to play in four-players local split-screen. For that matter, the graphics still look amazing after all this time; and the controls can’t be beat, despite so many other racers trying to do so. It’s an instant classic that’s well worth a few laps once Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) sets in.