Multiplayer video games have come a long way since the days of Pong. Improved hardware and lightning-fast internet connections have given developers the ability to create connected experiences we wouldn’t have dreamed of just a few short decades ago. Nowhere is that more evident than on PC, as developers and game designs alike have pushed the boundaries of the medium and given players some truly incredible titles.
Many of the best multiplayer games on PC are free-to-play, and some are even crossplay enabled so you can enjoy the action with friends on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Whether you’re looking for your next competitive challenge or a fun way to relax at the end of the day, there’s bound to be a game with your name on it. Here are the 10 best multiplayer titles currently available on PC.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
It may have started out as a premium pay-to-play title, but Counter-Strike: Global Offense has pivoted to become an entirely free experience. The latest installment in the storied franchise continues to dominate the Steam charts despite being several years old, and Valve is adamant about constantly pumping fresh content into the game.
Multiple game modes have been added over time, but the core five-versus-five competitive experience remains the primary attraction. One team is charged with either rescuing hostages or planting a bomb, and the other must do everything in their power to prevent it. There’s nothing else quite like it on the market, and it’s easily one of the most competitive games you’ll ever play.
Customize your own rocket-powered car before hitting the pitch and attempting to guide a massive ball into the opponent’s goal. Casual players will easily pick up the core mechanics, but it’ll take an expert to pull off aerial stunts and give their team an advantage.
It revolves around a ridiculous concept, but somehow Rocket League was a cultural phenomenon when it launched in 2015. Even today, it remains as popular as ever and — like Counter-Strike before it — is shifting gears later this summer and transitioning to a free-to-play title.
Although it may not have the friendliest community, it’s impossible to deny the popularity of Dota 2. The original game was a simple community mod of Warcraft III, but Dota 2 takes everything that made the first one so popular and turns it up to 11.
Two teams of five compete to destroy each other’s Ancient while simultaneously protecting their own. Players can choose between more than 100 heroes to play as, each with their own skills and abilities that can help turn the tide of battle. It’s not for the faint of heart, but anyone looking for a deep strategic experience will love everything Dota 2 has to offer.
World of Warcraft
It’s the most popular MMORPG for a reason — great gameplay, a lengthy narrative, and consistent content patches that keep players coming back for more. Dozens of raids, dungeons, and quests are just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s easy to sink thousands of hours into fleshing out your character.
If you’re intimidated by everything World of Warcraft has to offer, you can instead opt for World of Warcraft Classic. When it launched in 2019, Classic sought to recreate the game in its initial form before any expansions were released. It has since added new content to closely replicate the original experience, and its servers are always bustling with players.
Fortnite wasn’t the first battle royale game on the market, but it’s definitely become the most popular. Quirky graphics, catchy dance moves, and a wonderfully clunky building mechanic helped propel this game into the mainstream’s consciousness.
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Fortnite is a cultural phenomenon. Epic Games certainly found the secret formula for hooking players and keeping them engaged, and there’s no telling where the game will go next. The company is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Apple over distribution rights on the App Store, yet somehow, we think it’s only going to help the game’s popularity.
Think of Apex Legends as Fortnite‘s big brother. It’s grittier, it’s a bit more mature, and its first-person action is much more ruthless than Fortnite‘s cartoonish skirmishes. Players will join forces with up to two other combatants as they battle to be the last squad standing across one of two maps, both of which are incredibly well designed.
Games are offered in both Ranked and Casual, but no matter which you pick, you’ll slowly be progressing your Battle Pass. Rewards vary by season; however, they’re always a great incentive to keep diving back into Kings Canyon.
The world of Destiny has seen some incredible changes over the years, the best of which turned the game into a free title. Now, anyone can pick up Bungie’s polished MMOFPS and start banishing the Darkness.
While it’s possible to play most of the game on your own, it’s best to experience the world with a few companions by your side. Raids are virtually impossible to complete without some great teammates, and much of the most exciting content requires you to join a party.
Its competitive scene might be lacking, but the cooperative experience in Warframe is unlike any other. Players can interact with one other in massive hub worlds before setting off on missions that accommodate up to four players.
The action is akin to the famous Dynasty Warriors franchise, pitting players against hundreds of enemies, and it’s not unusual for higher levels to see players working together to defeat more than 1,000 foes. It’s fast, it’s visceral, and it’s a multiplayer experience that you don’t want to miss.
At this point, nearly everyone on the planet has probably played — or at least heard of — Minecraft. It’s the blocky adventure game that is a virtual Lego set come to life, letting you build and explore to your heart’s content.
The game continues to receive updates 10 years after its release, and the PC community is able to take advantage of some crazy mods to make the world even more exciting. If you haven’t played Minecraft in the past few years, now is actually a great time to dive back in. The game recently released the Nether Update, expanding the hellscape that is the Nether and offering more ways for players to interact with their pixelated environment.
Monster Hunter: World
Arguably the best co-op RPG in recent memory, Monster Hunter: World is an adventure well worth your time. The hunt, craft, repeat gameplay cycle has never been more addicting, and teaming up with other adventurers makes the thrill of combat even more exciting.
There are more than 40 monsters to track, but you’ll need to slowly work your way up to the biggest of targets; otherwise, you won’t stand a chance during combat. Thankfully, every monster you defeat will drop components that can be used to craft stronger weapons that will help you fend off the most terrifying of monsters. Powerful gear is important, but coordinating with your teammates and planning ahead are always the keys to a successful hunt.