My first multiplayer experience as a youngster was playing split-screen Super Mario Kart on the classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System, otherwise known as the NES. My brother and I would crowd around the telly in the lounge room and duke it out for hours on end. Oh, how times have changed. The days of getting your mates around to play GoldenEye 007 on your 32-inch TV are long gone as the Internet has provided gamers with a way to play with their friends without having to leave the comfort of their home. You can now log on and be instantly connected to people from all around the world and take part in all manner of different games. Many 0f the most popular games, such as Fortnite Battle Royale and Leagues Of Legends are free, meaning everyone can get in on the experience of multiplayer action.
With a raft of new games on offer, with many classic multiplayer modes being updated and once again available to play on a new generation of consoles, it can be challenging to know what games you should take a punt on. Games like World Of Wacraft, Monster Hunter: World, and Rocket League are awesome fun and provide hours of entertainment, while the likes of the recently released Fallout 76 and older multiplayer experiences such as Aliens: Colonial Marines and Extreme Paintbrawl are lousy and should never even be considered when thinking of a game to play with your mates. As someone who has too much time on their hands to play games, I've logged many hours playing a vast number of them with friends and have come up with the best and worst multiplayer games ever released. Let's take a look:
30 Best: World Of Warcraft
The granddaddy of them all, World f Warcraft is one of the highest grossing and most popular video game franchises of all time. Millions of people worldwide have created their unique character and set off on quests with their buddies across the detailed and expansive maps that make up the game.
There are literally dozens of reasons why this game is so good, from the character creation to the ability to level up your avatar, and the engaging missions, but for mine, it's the ever-changing detailed worlds you can explore that make playing WOW such a joy. With add- ons and expansion packs continually available, there's always something new to discover every time you play.
29 Disappointing: Fallout 76
High things were expected of Bethesda Game Studios' first crack at a multiplayer game, but things didn't exactly go to play. A prequel to the previous games in the franchise, Fallout 76 lets you explore what's left of a ravaged West.
There isn't much to the plot as you wander the expansive landscape completing various boring missions. Fallout 76 is full of bugs, lousy gameplay, and doesn't contain one single non-playing character, making it hard to push the narrative forward. Add to that in-game purchases being way too expensive and you have yourself a monumental flop.
28 Best: FIFA 19
When you talk about football simulators, they don't get anymore popular than FIFA. For over two decades, FIFA has been the world leader when it comes to football games and over that time, they've mastered the multiplayer aspect.
Whether you're playing with four mates at home or online against people from across the globe, FIFA is as close to the real thing as you can get. Despite lacking any exciting new features, FIFA 19 is still an improvement over the last installment. The game has tremendous graphics and gameplay, and a stack of great multiplayer modes. FIFA 19 is the best way to get your football fix without leaving the house.
27 Disappointing: Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Counter-Strike; those who think it's an amazing online multiplayer, and those who think it stinks. I'm one of thousands who think Counter-Strike is average at best, with many similar games doing a much better job at creating an exciting first-person shooter.
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is easily the worst in the franchise. A slight update of the pervious title in this long-running franchise, it offers nothing of real note and features some dodgy frame rates. Even though it was worked on for five years, the game feels like it was rushed for release and is a real disappointment.
26 Best: Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 online might still be in its infancy, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth your time and effort. Rockstar Games have created a life-like Wild West environment you can explore with your mates while undertaking various challenges and missions to earn more money and upgrades.
The online multiplayer component expands on the base game and provides hours of entertainment as it continually evolves. With new additions on the horizon (including a new bounty hunter system and new unique events), Red Dead Online is shaping up as the definitive multiplayer game of 2019.
25 Disappointing: RuneScape
Fans of medieval fantasy worlds flocked to RuneScape when it first released in 2001. The game was so popular that over 200 million accounts have been created, and it's officially recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest and most updated free massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which is no mean feat.
Unfortunately, despite the huge number of subscriptions, RuneScape isn't as great as you might remember. The graphics are dated, the combat system is painful, and the gameplay is tediously frustrating. This one is not as fun as you've been lead on to believe and comes off as a poor man's WOW.
24 Best: Battlefield 1
If you're looking for an awesome multiplayer first-person shooter set during World War I, then look no further than EA DICE's Battlefield 1. The 15th installment in the long-running series not only contains a brilliant single-player campaign, but also the best multiplayer mode in the series
Battlefield 1 contains all your favorite multiplayer modes along with a bunch of new additions, including War Pigeons, a new capture-the-flag-type map, and Shock Operations, which is like the standard Operations mode but shorter, faster, and only uses one map. The graphics and gameplay are solid, and the return to a WW1 theme make Battlefield 1 a worthy multiplayer experience.
23 Disappointing: Ridge Racer
Initially developed as an arcade racer, Ridge Racer went on to become a major title for the PlayStation before eventually ending up on just about every console ever released. In 2011, an updated version of the game was released as a launch title for the PlayStation Vita, but things didn't exactly go to plan.
Unlike other games in the series, it's very basic and requires players to spend money to upgrade their cars, something the online community weren't happy about. It's also too heavily online focused, with players only able to play three multiplayer tracks released with the game. There's really nothing here to keep you amused for more than five minutes.
22 Best: Monster Hunter: World
The Monster Hunter series has been around for over a decade, but Capcom really nailed the feeling of tracking down and taking out various monsters with last years Monster Hunter: World.
While the single player story is great, it's the online multiplayer mode that really makes this game special. Connecting with a bunch of friends, you can team up to hunt down all manner of fiendish beings. You can also trade guild cards among your squad to help strengthen your character and make the game that bit more enjoyable.
21 Disappointing: Star Wars: Battlefront II
Star Wars fans were quite rabid and let their thoughts be known when Star Wars: Battlefield II failed to live up to their expectations. The game looks great and really draws you into the Star Wars world, but the multiplayer mode is let down by loot boxes that could be purchased by players to give them a huge advantage. After thousands of complaints, Electronic Arts withdrew all multi-transactions in the game, making for a slightly better release.
Despite listening to fans, Battlefront II is still a rather underwhelming shooter with some poor level designs and a lack of solid content to keep you interested.
20 Best: Super Mario Kart
There have been multiple revisions and sequels to the Mario Kart franchise, but you can't go past the original Super Mario Kart as the best in the series. The graphics might not be up to standard when compared to todays video games, but the gameplay doesn't get any more addictive.
The single player mode is great, but Super Mario Kart is all about sitting around the screen with a group of mates trying to outdo each other. Being able to play as different Super Mario Bros. characters and the use of power-ups and special weapons only adds to the fun. One of the greatest games, period.
19 Disappointing: Extreme Paintbrawl
Often cited as one of the worst games ever created, Extreme Paintbrawl is as bad as it sounds. Developed over just two weeks, it's easy to see not much effort went into this one.
The general premise involves attacking enemies with your paintball gun as you progress through various levels. The gameplay is lousy, and this extends to the multiplayer mode, where it's often hard to tell who's actually on your team as you try to capture the flag. Somehow, an additional two games were released over the years, and as you can imagine, neither are great. You're better off actually going paint-balling yourself.
18 Best: Minecraft
Minecraft isn't really my cup of tea, but I have to admit, it's taken the multiplayer world by storm since debuting in 2011. Like the majority of sandbox games, Minecraft lets you create whatever you like in the game world, but the most fun you can have is playing against others online.
There are a wide range of servers available for players to join, with many having their own rules and activities to complete, adding to the longevity of the game and enabling players to participate in new challenges with their friends. The graphics are simple and the game mechanisms are easy to master, but considering this game is aimed at kids to help enhance their problem solving skills, it makes sense.
17 Disappointing: Dead Island
I love a good zombie game as much as the next person, but Dead Island falls flat in a number of areas, particularly the multiplayer mode. Unlike many online options, Dead Island doesn't include new maps or areas for you to battle hordes of zombies. Instead, you can invite your friend's to play the single player storyline in a co-operative capacity.
This is fun for about an hour, until you realize all you really want to do is create unique weapons and take down zombies without having to worry about getting to check points or completing missions. If you're after an awesome co-op game involving zombies, then look no further than the next entry in this list.
16 Best: Left 4 Dead 2
Unlike Dead Island, which is a single player zombie game with a multiplayer option, Left 4 Dead 2 was specifically created to play as a co-op, first-person shooter. If you play the standard campaign mode, you and your mates take control of one of four new characters and must make your way through various levels as you try and escape the infected.
There's also five other game modes, including a timed Survival mode and Scavenger mode, where you have to try and collect as many fuel cans as possible before getting attacked, along with plenty of fantastic downloadable content to keep you interested.
15 Disappointing: Call Of Duty: Black Ops III
The Call Of Duty series has taken a few knocks over the past few years, but it continues to reign supreme as a leader of the multiplayer first-person shooter genre. This might cause a little friction among fans, but I always found the multiplayer mode in Call Of Duty: Black Ops III the worst of the series.
For one, the futuristic setting really never grabbed me, while the multiplayer modes are very similar to the previous Black Ops games, failing to offer anything new or exciting. It's not bad, but nor is it exciting, which makes Black Ops III a very forgettable game.
14 Best: Rocket League
Who would have thought combing a vehicular combat game with a football simulation would result in one of the most enjoyable multiplayer titles ever released? Developer Psyonix, that's who.
Rocket League is best described as a soccer game with rocket-powered cars instead of human players. It's an innovative sports game with colorful graphics and tremendous gameplay. The game is so popular, it's been released on almost every console and continues to be updated with new features to reward players. A great alternative for those looking for a sports game with a difference.
13 Disappointing: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
The multiplayer mode for this first-person shooter isn't bad, but fails to expand on what's offered in the first game. The two different modes, Undercover Cop and Cops & Robbers, are very similar to the multiplayer modes seen in the first game. Players either have to steal as much money as possible and shoot their way to freedom, or play as a policeman tasked with stopping the robbery. It sounds great, but it's been done before and the sequel doesn't expand on this.
The absence of Kane and Lynch from the multiplayer mode is also disappointing and makes you feel disconnected from the actual plot of the game. Even the campaign mode is poor, with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days not worth your time.
12 Best: Overwatch
As well as being responsible for the online phenomena that is World Of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment are also the experts behind first-person shooter multiplayer Overwatch.
With an emphasis on teamwork, Overwatch has you working with other players to achieve certain targets and complete missions, with rewards including new skins and weapons. The game really draws you into the world, making you feel apart of it with its wonderful and weird characters, ever changing map designs, and it's easy for anyone to pick up and play. The game is so popular that it's now recognized as an Esport, with professional leagues such as the Overwatch League, turning the game into big business for Blizzard.
11 Disappointing: Aliens: Colonial Marines
A sequel to James Cameron's Aliens film, Aliens: Colonial Marines fails to capture the spark of Cameron's thrilling sci-fi action as it provides a lackluster multiplayer mode and a glitchy first-person shooter.
While some praise the online aspect of the game, where you can battle other players in different scenarios as either a Colonial Marine or an Alien, I find it boring and unfulfilling. The suspense of the films isn't present, while the graphics are below par and buggy. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Alien: Isolation for a true Alien experience.
10 Best: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
This one is subjective as everyone has their favorite Call Of Duty game, but when it comes to non-stop multiplayer action, I'm all about Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This game is the reason online first-person shooters are so popular.
Although it's now over a decade old, the multiplayer mode has rarely been bettered, allowing you to customize your player, complete incredible streaks, and get your hands on a whole stack of extra features. It's one of the all time greats.
9 Disappointing: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
I loved the first couple of entries into the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series; never has skating been more realistic. However, that all changed with the release of Pro Skater 5 a few years ago.
The main problem with the game is that the animation looks like it was drawn by a child, while the gameplay fails to capture the spirit of previous games in the franchise. The multiplayer mode isn't any better and with up to 20 people allowed to participate on any course at one time, it can get crowded, causing the graphics to glitch. This game damaged the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater legacy so much that it's the last game in the franchise to be released.
8 Best: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might be the best game in the franchise so far, it's Super Smash Bros. Brawl that takes the cake when it comes to multiplayer action. Assembling a roster of colorful characters chosen from a host of different Nintendo properties, as well as a third party release, players can duke it out online in a variety of different locations.
The rendering of the environments and characters is tremendous, with the easy-to-master controls only adding to the enjoyment of playing this one. The addition of Wolf from Star Fox is worth the price of admission alone.
7 Disappointing: Gears Of War 4
Another franchise that's never really got me enthused is Gears Of War. While I can appreciate the reasons people like playing this one, for me, there isn't much on offer to keep me interested.
The multiplayer aspect of the series has never been great either, and Gears Of War 4 is a testament to that. There are numerous technical issues that take you out of the game and it feels like a rehash of previous installments. There's nothing that makes this game standout, so that's why it's part of the disappointing side of this list.
6 Best: A Way Out
Unlike many of the games on this list, A Way Out is specifically made for two players only. You and a friend play convicted criminals Leo and Vincent and must escape from a maximum security prison. You can interact with non-playable characters while also switching between both main characters so you can experience the game through both men's eyes.
Along with some tasty graphics and great cut scenes, it's the interesting storyline and use of the multiplayer mode that makes A Way Out such a pleasure to play. It's not often a game made for co-op play is this well made.
5 Disappointing: The War Z
The War Z, also known as Infestation: Survivor, is a zombie survival game that's as spooky as the kids knocking at your door for candy on Halloween. The open world setting is poorly designed, and the use of microtransactions to purchase necessities such as bullets and health is seen as greedy by game critics.
The server the game runs on is full of bugs and it's rare to play without glitchy graphics or the screen freezing at some stage. It's also full of players who have hacked the system and deliberately attack you for no reason when you're playing. Your best alternative is DayZ.
4 Best: Timesplitters 2
The thing that's always grabbed me about Timesplitters 2 is the plot. Traveling through different time periods to stop aliens from ending the world is just a brilliant story that enables players to experience all manner of different periods of history, from the Wild West to the 25th century.
Along with being an involving shooter, Timesplitters 2 has a fantastic multiplayer option where anywhere between four and 16 players can battle each other across various maps. You can also customize many of the multiplayer modes and choose from a great selection of players, including an Elvis impersonator. It's regarded by many game critics as the best split-screen multiplayer games of all time.
3 Disappointing: SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation
The fifth title in the SOCOM series, and the first for the PS3, Confrontation is a major let down. An exclusive online only title, the game does its best to focus on teamwork as you and a bunch of players must complete various missions, but it fails to achieve its goal.
There are dozens of similar games that do this better, with the lack of maps and poor animation attributing to the games poor sales. There's also a major bug that often caused the game to crash mid-mission, making it extremely frustrating to play.
2 Best: GoldenEye 007
Even when you put it up against the best multiplayer games of today, Nintendo's GoldenEye 007 still reigns supreme. Not only is the solo campaign amazing, but split- screen, four-player mode is extraordinary.
Each of the Deathmatch modes is named after a classic James Bond film and players can customize what map they play on, weapons used, and how to win. It remains one of the first-person shooters on a console that demonstrated it could work just as well on a home system as well as a PC. It's an absolute classic.
1 Disappointing: Ashes Cricket 2013
Cricket might be a foreign sport to many of you, but as an Aussie, it's something I grew up with. Over the years, there have been many attempts at recreating the action in video game format, often without success, such is the case with Ashes Cricket 2013.
The game features the Australian and English cricket sides that battled it out for the Ashes, but it was quickly panned by critics for its lousy graphics, abysmal interface, buggy gameplay, and bad multiplayer mode. The game was deemed so bad that it was canceled after just four days, with anyone who purchased the game able to get their money back.