In this time of quarantine and isolation, we all need to keep up both our social interactions and our spirits. Playing video games with friends online is the perfect solution. Here is a range of titles, suitable for everyone from complete beginners to veteran gamers. Whether you have an old laptop or the latest smartphone, there’s something here you can play with pals even if they’re far away.
Console games – Keith Stuart
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are excellent machines for playing with and against remote friends. They’re easy to set up online and they both have very intuitive “Party Chat” functions which let you talk to your friends via a gaming headset while playing – in fact you can chat between games too, or even while watching Netflix on your console. Things are a bit more complicated on Nintendo Switch which requires you to download a mobile phone app in order to chat with friends, but even then only a minority of games support the feature. So all our recommendations are primarily based on Xbox and PlayStation.
MinecraftXbox One, Nintendo Switch, smartphone)
Fortnite: Battle Royale
Sea of Thieves(PC, Xbox One)
Friday 13th(Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One)
GTA Online(PC, PS4, Xbox One)Have you ever thought about what would happen if you and your friends tried to rob a bank? Or a casino? This is probably the safest way to find out. GTA Online is available when you buy Grand Theft Auto V and it allows groups of four friends to plan and execute multi-stage heist missions together, all taking on different roles – just like an interactive crime movie. At least one of you will need to have played the game before and reached the appropriate skill level, but playing with a mostly amateur and unfamiliar crew offers hours of knockabout slapstick fun.
Don’t Starve Together(PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Mobile games – Stuart Dredge
The paradox of “mobile gaming” is that much of it happens when people aren’t mobile at all: they’re sitting on the sofa, lying in bed or (caveat: not recommended) perched on the loo. Most of these games will run happily on a recent (say, from the last three or four years) iPhone or Android smartphone, although a couple of them – Sociable Soccer and Butter Royale – are iOS-only and part of Apple’s £4.99-a-month Apple Arcade subscription.Golf Clash(iOS/Android)Armchair golfers who like to play with friends are well-served on mobile: see also Super Stickman Golf 3 and Golf Battle. What I like about Golf Clash is partly the rapid-fire matches: if you come up against someone much better than you, the pain is over fairly quickly. But I also like the sense it gives you of a big community of players out there, including your Facebook friends.
Pokémon Go(iOS/Android)Wait a second! A game that involves walking lots outside, at a time when we may soon be encouraged to stay inside? Stay with me. Developer Niantic is making some changes designed to make the game fun to play even if you’re stuck at home. More beasties will be spawning around you, and incense packs (which attract more of them) will be super-discounted, and will last for an hour. Meanwhile, another recent improvement is the “go battle league” which gets you battling your Pokémon against those of other players around the world. If doing it from your living room and garden is easier, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a big spike in players again.
Sociable Soccer(iOS)You can guess a football-loving gamer’s age by whether they go misty-eyed at the mention of Sensible Soccer. Some of the team behind that series are back together for Sociable Soccer, an Apple Arcade exclusive. It’s more than just an homage to Sensi’s wonderful pinball-esque gameplay either: there’s an inventive card-based team-building system and a meaty 60-hour campaign mode to keep anyone busy. Plus there’s a new online multiplayer option, which right now is teaching me just how far my standards have slipped since my glory days of Sensible Soccer.Asphalt 9: Legends(iOS/Android)Something I gravitated towards for this particular roundup was mobile games that do more than simply let you play against other people online. The latest in Gameloft’s Asphalt racing series is a good example: it has a “club” feature where you can create your own driving club, add friends, and then challenge one another and run a proper league table. Even if you’re playing alone, there’s a decent career mode and regular new daily “events” to keep your interest up in this fun arcade racer.
Butter Royale(iOS)Another Apple Arcade exclusive, this is essentially a top-down Fortnite with a dairy obsession. You run around grabbing food-themed weapons and splatting other players in 32-person battle royales, or teaming up with friends in squads of four. The pitch for a “child-friendly Fortnite” will elicit a massive eyeroll from most children (mine, certainly) but Butter Royale is great as a casual alternative – especially if you have an Apple TV and a compatible joypad handy.Kahoot!(iOS/Android)This isn’t a traditional game: it’s a website (and apps) for playing, creating and sharing multiple-choice trivia quizzes about… well, about pretty much any topic you can think of. Designed to be used by schools as well as by parents and children at home, there are subscription options but you can do a lot with it for free. In my house we’ve been casting a quizmaster’s phone to the TV screen and getting everyone to play on their phones, which works really well. Plus – not to tempt fate – it could be a genuinely useful tool for parents if and when schools in the UK close, and we’re all scrabbling around for good home-learning tools.
PC games – Jordan Erica Webber
If you don’t usually play many computer games, an easy way to get started is to download the hugely popular platform Steam, but you can also buy and download games straight to your computer from online stores such as GOG.com (which has a great collection of classics as well as more modern games) and itch.io (which specialises in games from independent creators). You can also use the free voice chat app Discord to talk to each other as you play and its screen share feature allows you to show each other your screens. Me and my friend, who is stuck out in California, have been using this feature to show each other the houses we’ve been building in The Sims 4.
Overcooked! 2Windows/Mac (Steam/GOG)If you need a good laugh, this is guaranteed to deliver. You and up to three others team up to prepare meals for hungry customers: chopping, cooking, assembling, delivering, and washing up. Sounds easy, but each kitchen features unique and hilarious obstacles, from moving counters to collapsing floors.
Stardew ValleyWindows/Mac (Steam/GOG)A soothing game that’ll keep you occupied for dozens of hours. You and up to three others run a farm in a small village, carrying out tasks together or alone. Activities range from planting crops and caring for animals to fighting monsters and courting your favourite villager.
Tick Tock: A Tale for TwoWindows/Mac (Steam/itch.io)To make the best of a bad situation, try a game that is better when you’re not in the same place. In Tick Tock: A Tale for Two, you and the other player see different versions of the game’s mystical world and must communicate effectively to solve the puzzles.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of MedanWindows (Steam)For a remote movie night experience, Man of Medan’s shared story mode lets two people play through a horror story together by controlling different characters. The story itself isn’t great, but it’ll give you something to talk about, and at about four hours long you can play in an evening.
Civilization VIWindows/Mac (Steam)Want to try your hand at ruling the world? In Civilization VI, you try to take your chosen civilization from the Stone Age to the Information Age. It looks complex, but there are tutorials for beginners, and it’s turn-based, so you can step away from your PC at any time.
Rocket LeagueWindows (Steam)Rocket League is football played with rocket cars, easy to learn but with plenty of room to develop your skills. With multiple modes for different numbers of players, this will easily fit into your schedule.
Ticket to RideWindows/Mac (Steam/itch.io)Board game nights are not easily replaced, but we can try. Tabletop Simulator is software that lets you play virtual board games online, but if you want to keep it simple then grab a copy of Ticket to Ride, the classic in which you compete to connect cities by rail.
Diablo IIIPC/Mac (Blizzard)Sometimes only mindless button-bashing will do. If you want to run around a fantasy land with your friends, taking out hordes of creatures with a giant sword or magic spells, levelling up and collecting loot, all without having to concentrate too hard, Diablo III is for you.
Keep Talking and Nobody ExplodesWindows/Mac (Steam)To make your separation part of the game, try Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, in which one of you has to defuse a bomb and one has the manual, but neither of you can see what the other can. It’s frantic, silly, and you only need one copy to play.
Worms W.M.D.Windows/Mac (Steam)For a bit of nostalgia, Worms W.M.D. is a more modern-looking interpretation of the classic turn-based battle between teams of worms, wacky weaponry included, from bazookas to blow torches to banana bombs. And with its cartoon violence, it won’t matter if your kids glance over at your screen.
- Being a dad changed everything I thought I knew about video games
- 9 scary video games on sale for Halloween
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game Review for Xbox 360
- The Best PC Gaming Controller in 2017
- Tetris Effect is perfect for people overwhelmed by modern video games
- The Story Behind Square Enix's Failed Latin America Video Game Division
- The best VR games for PC and PS4 you should play today
- The best VR games and apps for kids and teens
- Monday's Best Deals: Affordable Furniture, 20% Off Video Games, Laser Printer, and More
- Whole NFL has gotten swept up in the Madden video game craze
- 25 Best Family Movies On Netflix: Choosing What To Watch
- Best VR games: the top VR games on mobile, consoles and PC
- Top 25 Best Kids Movies On Netflix: What Should You Let Your Kids Watch?
- Video games for the whole family
- Tech toys 2019: the best new games and gadgets from the NYC Toy Fair
- 25 Best Sci Fi Movies On Netflix For The Science Fiction Fanatic
- 'Brain training' video games may actually help kids boost IQ and memory, some experts say
- Video gaming on the go: Nintendo, Apple and Sony compete
- Tiger Woods face dropped from latest version of EA Sports golf video game; Masters flag in his place
- Year in review: Look at the best and worst video games of 2010
25 best video games to help you socialise while self-isolating have 1915 words, post on www.theguardian.com at March 17, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.