Video games are a great way to spend time with friends—especially when they’re created with that exact purpose in mind. Party games are great for getting a group of people together for something fun, creating memories of triumph, laughter, and at times, unbridled rage. And whether your friends are near or far, you can find plenty of games like this for your PC.
This list will be covering both local and online games, but thanks to Steam Remote Play Together (Steam’s service for streaming local multiplayer games to other users), even games that only support local play can be played online. We’ll specifically mention whether or not each game supports full online multiplayer, or if you’ll need to rely on Steam Remote Play Together.
There’s also the matter of crossplay—while it’s great to see, not many games support it. We’ll be noting whether or not each game supports crossplay, and what platforms besides PC each game is available on. (We’ll do this regardless if crossplay is currently supported, in case these games get support for it in the future.)
Update, 7/13/21: Added Jackbox 7 and 8 info; clarified console details.
Platforming Sabotage: Ultimate Chicken Horse
Ultimate Chicken Horse ($14.99) is all about balance—balance between ensuring your victory and messing with your friends. At the beginning of every round, each player will choose a single item to place on the stage. It could be spikes, an enemy, or even just a simple platform. Then comes time for strategy: will you place your item to benefit you? Or will you purposefully make a difficult jump to make things harder on others while hoping you won’t make a fool of yourself? There are plenty of tough calls to make, but all that matters, in the end, is that you’re one touching the flagpole first.
Ultimate Chicken Horse supports both local and online matches with up to four players. It’s also available on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch with crossplay between PC and PS4 and PC and Nintendo Switch. (You can’t do PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch all at the same time though.).
Don’t Stop Running: Move or Die
Variety is key in a great minigame collection—doing the same thing over and over is boring, simple as that. Move or Die ($14.99) definitely believes this as well, as it throws you into fast-paced minigame after fast-paced minigame until a victor is decided. Sometimes, the games have you chase down a special crown, while other times it’s a simple matter of not blowing up. Of course, the game’s namesake and most-defining mechanic is that each player has a timer for how long they can stand still. Stop moving for too long and you’re out—so you’re gonna have to keep on your toes with this one.
Move or Die supports both local and online matches with up to four players. It’s also available on PlayStation with cross-play between both platforms.
Fierce Insects: Killer Queen Black
Let’s move onto a more aggressive game. Killer Queen Black ($9.99) is a team-based action game where you play as various units trying to win in a variety of ways. You’ll jump, dash, and fly around the maps to complete objectives and fight foes. With three different win conditions to chase every match, there’s plenty of strategies to hash out with your other three teammates. And while this game can be played casually, there’s a surprising amount of depth to its mechanics if you and your friends want to dive a little deeper.
Killer Queen Black supports both local and online matches with up to eight players. It’s also available on Nintendo Switch with full crossplay support.
High-Stakes Cooking: Overcooked! 2
The original Overcooked was such a hit that a sequel only made sense. In Overcooked! 2 you have to face the ultimate dinner rush chopping veggies and grilling meat to make sure you match the mass orders coming in. Of course, these are no normal kitchens—that would be too easy!
Sometimes, you’ll have to deal with pedestrians rushing through your workspace, while others you’ll be cooking on a raft dealing with whitewater rapids. You’ll need to coordinate with your fellow cooks to ensure ingredients are prepared properly and placed in the correct order for the current dish. No matter the order, Overcooked! 2 is sure to lead to a lot of fun and tense moments.
A Grab-Bag of Game Modes: Jackbox Series
The Jackbox series runs back to 2014, and it’s still going strong with a new game (Jackbox Party Pack 7) coming right around the corner. Each title in the series holds its own collection of hilarious and varied minigames. You can’t go wrong with any of the games in the series, so we recommend just reading each game’s descriptions of the included modes to see which one draws you in the most.
Of course, the best part about Jackbox games is how inclusive they are. Only one player needs to own the game, everyone else can just join through the jackbox.tv website on their computers, phones, or tablets. (Although, if you’re playing remotely, you will have to use some form of screen-sharing service so that others can see the full game. Jackbox provides some info on this.) And even if you go over a certain minigame’s player count, you can always have additional players join as “Audience Members.” (What they can do varies per game, but Jackbox always make sure they feel involved.)
Currently, seven games are in the series: Jackbox Party Pack 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (with 8 on the way). All the games are available on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch as well. (Crossplay is not required due to the way multiplayer works here.) Each game costs around $30.
Slapstick Wrestling: Gang Beasts
You know what the real problem is with most fighting games—you simply have too much control over your character. Gang Beasts ($19.99) aims to solve this glaring problem though by making your avatar the gaming-equivalent of a ball rolling downhill. Fight using slapstick punches and charges until one player comes out on top, or play in the more cooperative “WAVES” game mode where you fight, well, waves of AI enemies. Gang Beasts makes no attempt to be a serious or competitive fighting game, but hey, that’s where the fun comes from.
Super Smash Brothers is one of the best party-game series around. The problem is, it’s only on Nintendo’s systems. Brawlhalla (Free) is here to the rescue though, featuring similar gameplay to Nintendo’s golden goose of a franchise. Just like Smash, Brawlhalla asks you to knock your opponents out of the stage with various moves. The gameplay isn’t as deep as Smash Bros, nor are the characters as varied, but for a free game that doesn’t feel like it’s trying to nickel-and-dime you, it’s a more than worthy contender.
Brawlhalla allows you to create private rooms with two to eight players, and can be played in both local and online play. Brawlhalla is also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation as well with full cross-play between all platforms.
Arcade Archers: Towerfall Ascension
Time to get acquainted with archery, because in Towerfall Ascension ($14.99) you’ll be duking it out to see whose the best shot. Use various power-ups to surpass your opponents, play on 120 different stages, and even learn to catch arrows out of midair with perfect timing all in this chaotic and fast-paced action game.
Towerfall Ascension supports matches with up to four players and only features local play. It supports Steam Remote Play Together though. It’s also available on PlayStation, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch—no crossplay.
Batter Up! Lethal League Blaze
The first thing you’ll notice about Lethal League Blaze ($19.99) is how it screams style in both its music and visuals. The second thing you’ll notice is that it’s basically a standard 2D fighting game … but with baseball. Doesn’t that just sound fun? You’ll select from one of the 12 various characters (all with their own unique abilities and attributes), and whack around this ball faster than the human eye can track. It may start chaotic, but as you and your friends start to grow accustomed to the fast-paced gameplay, it evolves from frantic to strategic, as you find the best ways to close out the match.
Couch Lifters: Moving Out
Moving Out ($24.99) starts as you would expect—you move some furniture and boxes out of houses, so it’s nothing too special. But as the stages progress,you’re thrown into increasingly crazy environments and circumstances. You’ll need to help each other out lifting and pivoting larger pieces of furniture around corners (or to jump over pits of acid) to finish your mission and get the job done in time.
Moving Out supports matches with up to four players and only features local play (with Steam Remote Play Together support). It’s also available on PlayStation, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch—no crossplay though.
Batman Racing: Speedrunners
Typical of your standard powerless superhero, Speedrunners ($14.99) is all about running through minimalistic stages while using gadgets to push yourself forward and slow down your opponents. Ice rays, bombs, and flaming rocks all serve to push your opponents off-screen, which eliminates them. Every player has access to a grappling hook at all times as well to make sure the movement is as fun as possible.
Bombastic Battling: Stick Fight: The Game
Just looking at Stick Fight: The Game, you might underestimate it due to its simplistic visuals. But without a doubt, Stick Fight is one of the more spectacular games on this list. You’ll be able to use a wide variety of weapons from swords, guns, and snake bazookas (yes really), to defeat your opponents either by whittling down their health or pushing them into the endless pit below.
Weapons are stupidly powerful, which of course just makes it more fun. Missle launchers envelop entire stages in explosions destroying parts of the environment, miniguns fire so quickly you can use them as makeshift jetpacks, and the pushback from using something like a sniper is enough to launch you offstage. The game has some great variety in stage layouts (including community-made stages), and even some special stages that mix things up (like turning one of the players into a boss).