There ain’t no party like a video game party because a video game party requires a fair bit of set-up. Also, it usually requires everyone to remember to bring their controllers, which they never do. Just can’t get the help these days. Basically, video game parties are a lot of work, but they’re almost always worth it in the end.
One of the best social experiences you can have is playing video games together at a party or social gathering, and there’s plenty of party games out there for you to accomplish this, but it’s hard to know which ones are the best. Allow us here at Cultured Vultures to help you out with fifteen of the best party games ever made.
Note: the below is is no particular order.
1. Mario Party
When it comes to party games, perhaps there’s none greater than the Mario Party series. If you need a hint as to why, just look at the name of it. Essentially a series of minigames played out via a board game, the Mario Party series has entertained and frustrated in equal *we gotmeasure for over two decades. Different gamers might have their favourites, and we’ll leave the comments to decide which that is, but everyone can agree that Mario Party delivers fun by the bucketload.
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Would you look at that? Another Nintendo game, and you know it won’t be the last. Intended as a more competitive party game, the reputation of the series tends to focus more on the competitive aspect these days instead of the party, but the crazy nature of the items and stages ensure an unpredictable time. Plus, Ultimate’s huge roster allows players of all kinds to find a character they love, hence why it gets the nod over Melee.
3. Gang Beasts
As already mentioned, one of the key factors of an awesome party game is a level of unpredictability that keeps things fresh, and nothing embodies that more than Gang Beasts. A physics based brawler, Gang Beasts is like watching a WWE Royal Rumble match, except all the entrants are blackout drunk. It’s as hilarious as it sounds.
4. Jackbox Party Pack 1-5
There’s a reason why games like Card Against Humanity have become so popular, and it’s because people enjoy revelling in their darker sides, and The Jackbox Party Pack games feed into that. Gather a group of quick witted, dark humoured friends together to play a game of Quiplash and just watch the laughs roll in. Fortunately, there’s plenty of other games available don’t emphasise vulgarity, so there’s something available for any kind of party.
5. Mortal Kombat 11
As for Mortal Kombat 11, that’s for adult parties only. I mean, not those adult parties where you put your car keys in a bowl, but you get what I mean. The Mortal Kombat series perhaps holds the most mainstream appeal of any fighting game, and the sheer volume of gore that fills the screens means that MK 11 will always catch the eye at any social gathering, either with excitement or disgust.
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
We told you that there’d be another Nintendo game on this list, and we couldn’t have created a best party game list without throwing in Mario Kart. You might disagree on which Mario Kart entry is the most party worthy, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the most content rich iteration of the series. Plus, you can play as Link and race around Hyrule, so it’s the best version without question.
7. Rock Band/Guitar Hero
Who hasn’t fantasised about becoming a rock star? We’ve all had those daydreams, but Rock Band and Guitar Hero allowed you to live it. Well, get as close as possible to living it without actually leaving your living room. Or owning a real instrument. Anyway, you can always guarantee a good time with Rock Band or Guitar Hero, as everyone gathers around to sing various power ballads in out of tune unison.
8. Rocket League
There’s arguably no game easier to understand at a base level than Rocket League, because it has its basis in half of all the existing sports going on right now: score more points than the other team. With 4-player split screen allowing for multiple players to get involved, along with its simple and effective concept, Rocket League is a perfect party game for all players. Just maybe don’t break it out if only one of your friends understands how to do aerials.
9. Overcooked & Overcooked 2
If you’ve ever had the inclination of finishing a party with screaming matches and possibly even a fight, Overcooked and Overcooked 2 are your go-to picks. The ultimate test of friendship and communication, up to four players try to stay above water in a rising tide of food orders and fumbles. With plenty of interesting levels to conquer, Overcooked will either make or break your party.
10. Nidhogg & Nidhogg 2
The reason why most fighting games don’t end up making the rounds at parties is because there’s a barrier of entry that stops most people from enjoying themselves fully. Nidhogg, and Nidhogg 2, eliminates that. Basically fencing, but extreme, two players compete to stop their opponent from reaching the destination behind them. It’s tense, unpredictable, and absolutely incredible.
11. Mount Your Friends 3D
This will not be the longest lasting party game you’ll ever play, but it will definitely be hilarious. The concept is simple: players take it in turns to build a giant tower of man meat, by stacking nearly naked men in banana hammocks on top of one another. It’s a physics based game, making for a unique experience every time, though the novelty of seeing a monument of flaccid penises does wear off pretty quickly.
12. Super Bomberman R
Bomberman has been around for years now, and with good reason, as the simple but effective gameplay is almost timeless. Super Bomberman R takes the same formula that the series has used since its inception, offering local and online multiplayer for up to 8 players. Honestly, there’s no greater feeling than nailing an opponent with a bomb after you’ve been eliminated.
13. Hasbro Family Game Night
Games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit have been a staple of parties for generations, but sometimes you’d rather just gather everyone around a TV instead of setting up a table and board. Hasbro Family Game Night allows you to play favourites like Monopoly, though moving everything to the TV won’t stop your salty friend from pitching a fit when they go bankrupt.
14. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
You can switch this into your own FPS game of choice that supports split screen multiplayer, but we’re going with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. With five of the best Halo games ever made available already, and Halo: Reach in the pipeline, there’s enough content here to sustain you for a long time. Plus, the creation tools on hand allow for a near limitless amount of maps and game types.
15. Human: Fall Flat
A nice, wholesome co-op adventure to finish things up, Human: Fall Flat is an experience that changes depending on who you play it with, making it almost infinitely replayable. Though the levels and puzzles remain the same, the solutions are often only limited by your own imagination. With a full party watching you play, you never know what answers people will throw out.