Gamers often get a bad rap for wanting to stay indoors and immerse themselves in fantasy worlds instead of getting out and about, but now the shoe is on the other foot with COVID-19 keeping us locked up, albeit hopefully not for much longer.
There’s no better time to be a gamer, with millions stuck in isolation and taking to online gaming to cure their boredom. So to help you with your choice of game, here are the best multiplayer titles allowing you to isolate while still being social with your mates.
Grand Theft Auto Online (2013, Rockstar Games)
There’s no doubting Grand Theft Auto V is one of the greatest games of the past couple of decades, but it’s safe to say the online version is even better. Fulfil your criminal fantasies by enlisting three friends to run amok throughout San Andreas, robbing casinos, pulling of bank heists and creating general carnage. This incredibly detailed online world has all the things that make GTA V a hit with the added bonus of playing with your mates.
Sea of Thieves (2018, Microsoft Studios)
I never thought sailing the seven seas could be this much fun. Sea of Thieves lets you fulfil your Pirates of the Caribbean fantasies as you cruise the open ocean plundering islands and taking down rival pirate captains. You and three friends must work together as you man your vessel and follow tattered maps to find hidden treasure and take on other player-controlled crews. If you want more structure and a tougher challenge there’s even a story mode where you must solve complex problems and take on heavily armed bosses in search of the ultimate buried treasure.
Rocket League (2015, Psyonix)
What do you get when you combine football with car racing? The answer is simple: Rocket League. The basic concept of playing football with rocket cars works wonderfully well and is an interesting take on the standard racer or football title. The controls are easy to pick up and the gameplay fast paced, with trick shots and long range goals all part of the fun. There are a number of different game modes and in-game bonuses that mean no run through is the same, with this visually pleasing title extremely enjoyable.
Call of Duty: Warzone (2020, Activision)
Understanding everyone is in a tough spot right now, the heroes at Activsion released the free to play battle royale Call Of Duty: Warzone to add a little joy to our lives. Taking everything great about the fantastic Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot multiplayer mode and turning it up to 11, Warzone drops 150 players onto a map where they must battle it out to be the last one standing. The maps are creative, the weapons diverse and the action non-stop. Team up with friends or take them down as you chat shit and lay waste to various warzones in this epic multiplayer shooter.
Monster Hunter: World (2018, Capcom)
As the title suggests, Monster Hunter: World is all about tracking down fantasy creatures in exotic locations. Team up with some friends, select from a huge array of weapons and head out into the unknown and try to capture or kill your prey. While the concept isn’t anything new, what makes Monster Hunter stand out is the unexpected gameplay. You never quite know when another two or three beasts will suddenly join the monster you’re hunting and attack while the everchanging environment means shifting landscapes could disturb your hunt.
Overwatch (2016, Blizzard Entertainment)
This one is a great shooter for those with little to no experience with the genre. Choose from a number of different hero classes, including healers who don’t even use guns, and survive the onslaught of destruction and mayhem by using the special skills bestowed upon your character. Team work is the key as you have to work well together with your fellow players to capture and defend points or experience some of the fun arcade modes available.
FIFA 20 (2019, EA Sports)
The series might not have reached the heights of previous releases in terms of solo play, but the multiplayer Ultimate Team continues to be a hit with fans. Featuring iconic players from different leagues and eras across the globe, Ultimate Team allows you to build a squad of football greats as you battle others to achieve the ultimate success. Nothing beats opening a fresh pack and finding out you’ve just been awarded Ronaldo or Messi, although you’re more than likely to win a shitty bronze player like George Sykes-Kenworthy from Bradford City. If Ultimate Team doesn’t take your fancy then standard online gaming lets you bang in the goals with your favourite team against your buddies.
Red Dead Online (2019, Rockstar Games)
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of my all time favourite games and the online component is just as exciting to play. Similar to GTA Online, you can hook up with a group of mates and strike out across the Wild West taking down scores or capturing bounties. If you get sick of teaming with your mates, head off on your own and look for adventure in the large open world, but just be careful who you talk to as you’ll soon learn – much like in reality – not everyone wants to help you achieve your goals.
World of Warcraft (2004, Blizzard Entertainment)
The original and still the best online fantasy epic, World of Warcraft continues to be a hit with gamers around the world. One of the longest running multiplayer franchises, you can easily spend hundreds of hours wandering the lands of Azeroth completing quests and never getting bored. This is a game that continues to be updated with new expansion packs released to keep fans invested, with the forthcoming Shadowlands featuring five major zones, a new levelling system and access to the Death Knight class for races that didn’t previously have access to it for the first time.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018, Nintendo)
Here’s one for the Nintendo Switch crowd. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the most fun you can have with your pants on while quarantined. The vibrant fighter collects over 80 characters from some of the biggest video games in the world and pits them against each other in combat. There are 103 different arenas within the game while up to eight players can battle it out at any one time in a fight to the death. What sets this apart from standard fighters is the number of multiplayer options on offer along with the huge roster of players and special moves available to perform. Who hasn’t wanted to pit Mario up against Luigi or create a battle royale between Ryu, Princess Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog and Snake?