What are the best multiplayer games on PC? Intricate gameplay and glistening visuals only go so far; humans often provide the biggest surprises with schemes that transform even the most average game into an unforgettable experience you’ll be talking about until the end of time.
Fast and frantic or tense and calculated, the best multiplayer games come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s vying for control of the payload in an FPS game or fighting for survival in a co-op game with your friends, these experiences wouldn’t be the same without a bunch of real people running around killing, maiming, or, occasionally, helping each other out in some of the best PC games.
The best multiplayer games on PC are:
World of Tanks
Even though World of Tanks was released over ten years ago, this free-to-play PvP vehicular combat game just keeps growing and evolving into one of the best multiplayer PC games. With its bustling servers and international player base, you’ll never struggle to find a team whenever you get that urge to hop into a tank and blow stuff up.
Whether you favor brute force battling or a more strategic approach, the easy-to-grasp game mechanics lend themselves well to different playstyles. Destroy all enemy tanks with powerful artillery fire right off the bat, or, if you’d rather take the subtle approach, you can triumph by finding a way into your opponent’s base and capturing it from within.
The more you play, the more vehicles you unlock, with over 600 of the best tanks from around the world to discover and exclusive rewards for those who want to participate in clan battles. It’s a very moreish game which may seem straightforward at first, but the more you play, the better you’ll get and the more you’ll discover. Trust us – you’ll be in a world of thanks once you’re hooked.
War Thunder is a free-to-play multiplayer game all about military vehicles knocking seven bells out of one another, whether that’s in aerial dog fights, sprawling tank battles, or naval skirmishes. That pitch might sound familiar, but no free MMO has achieved what War Thunder has regarding quality, balancing, and the sheer scope of vehicles waiting to be unlocked. While the multiplayer game started with a humble suite of aircraft and ground vehicles you’ll recognize from WW2 games, its myriad tech trees now encompass the military histories – past and present – of several nations, from global superpowers to smaller nations famed for punching above their weight.
What separates this war game from its competitors are its incredibly detailed ballistics modeling and simulation game modes. A 1v1 between two tanks can be affected by countless factors, such as armor thickness, armor angle, material, shell size and type, and distance from the target can be the difference between a shot ricocheting and dealing no damage or piercing and wiping out the entire enemy crew. The more you play, the more you learn to spot different types of vehicles so you can exploit their weak points and win the fight with a single well-placed shot. It’s an endlessly satisfying loop, and with hundreds of vehicles to earn, it will be a long time before you run out of new content.
Dropped into Viking purgatory in nothing but a loincloth, it’s up to you and nine other friends to survive the Norse wilderness by crafting the best armor or building vital structures with the help of an upgraded workbench, all while surviving the surrounding danger. You and your Viking pals start in the meadow but must slowly progress through different biomes by defeating enemies and discovering crafting materials to build your armor and weapons.
Valheim’s world grows increasingly sinister as skeletons from the swamp attack your base, wolves tail you across mountains, and aggressive Greydwarves fling rocks at you in the dark forest. Valheim is a glorious multiplayer, and you’ll find something for all the party by scavenging for materials, epic battles with Valheim bosses, or building a sturdy base that can withstand the swing of a troll club.
Riot’s ultra-slick tactical team-based shooter is coming for CounterStrike: GO’s crown and has many shiny new features to set it apart. The gameplay will be familiar to CS:GO players: teams of five begin the match either attacking or defending and swap halfway through; players must also purchase weapons at the beginning of each round, earning currency based on their performance in the previous round.
Crucially in Valorant, players choose from a roster of agents, each with unique abilities, which they can purchase each round (and one they get for free). Each of the Valorant characters has their strategic strengths and weaknesses; some are experts at defending sites, while others set up pushes or secure kills.
Although skills play an important role, Valorant still maintains a heavy emphasis on gunplay and balance to ensure it stands up as an excellent game for high-level play – as evidenced by its thriving esports scene. To catch up with the very best players, you can check out what the best Valorant crosshairs codes are via the link.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Sometimes, all you need is a relatively mindless game everyone can play, and what better than an arcade-style brawler starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Shredder’s Revenge is a spiritual sequel of Turtles in Time, one of the best Super Nintendo and arcade games from the early 1990s, managing to surpass it in every way.
The animation is top-notch, capturing the essence of the classic 80s cartoon, but Shredder’s Revenge also uses the voices of nearly everyone from the show. All playable characters feel unique, borrowing techniques from fighting games‘ greatest pugilists. The PC version is the best one as well, as it allows up to six playable characters at once, taking on hordes of Foot Soldiers and mutants, with each stage culminating in a slugfest against one of the many characters from the show. It may be short, but the nostalgic experience it gives you will stay with you for years.
Whether you want to squad up for gargantuan PvE raids, duke it out against others in PvP, or even combine elements of both in PvPvE, Destiny 2 ticks all of the boxes when it comes to the best multiplayer games. It’s been a few years since its launch, but Destiny 2 is better than ever, with the Forsaken expansion addressing plenty of foibles and a free-to-play launch on Steam bringing the game to new audiences.
Loot ties all multiplayer arms together, so no matter how you play Destiny 2, your goal is always to acquire powerful new weapons and armor like Destiny 2 Exotics. Every mission completed, miniboss slain, and PvP match won contributes by rewarding you with mightier gear, creating an ongoing, near-endless power fantasy.
With Destiny 2 season 20 – Lightfall – now underway, there’s no better time to start. We recommend that you check out our best Destiny 2 builds guide and complete the entire Destiny 2 Lightfall mission list so you are fully prepared for the carnage that awaits you when you begin the Root of Nightmares raid.
From hyper-mobile gameplay that lends itself to flanking maneuvers to respawn beacons that bring your mates back into the fight after death, Respawn’s nimble shooter boasts all the usual trimmings of the best multiplayer games.
Where it truly excels, however, is its ability to bring everyone into the fold with its ping system. Suppose you feel uncomfortable talking to strangers with your microphone or don’t want to. In that case, you can still contribute by pinging enemies, locations of interest, and even the best Apex Legends weapons you want or think others may find helpful.
The post-apocalyptic shooter has been out for a while, but this is still an excellent time to jump in and try our Apex Legends tips. There will also be a steady stream of Apex Legends new Legends for players to sink their teeth into, which promises to freshen up the current Apex Legends characters list every few months. Check out our Apex Legends Season 18 release date guide to see what the devs might be doing to give Revenant a new set of abilities.
If you have ever watched game shows such as Takeshi’s Castle or Total Wipeout and felt that you could do it, then you should give this party game a try. Your goal is not to get wiped out by the obstacles or occasionally by other bean people. You will work alone or cooperate with other players in several events, leading up to a winner-takes-all finale where the remaining bean people attempt to grab the victory crown.
Since becoming a free game, Fall Guys has taken a more seasonal approach to its updates, including challenges and battle passes, similar to Fortnite. By switching its events constantly, it always feels fresh, and if you join with friends, you can compete to see which of you is the ultimate survivor. Check out our Fall Guys review if you want to read more about this silly battle royale.
League of Legends or Dota 2
Now before you balk at the aggregation of these two rival beasts of the MOBA genre into a single entry, we intend to recommend one or the other, not both – and let’s face it: while the mechanics, items, and lanes offer different gameplay experiences, the multiplayer aspect of both these games is largely the same, no matter if you play with the League of Legends champions or the Dota 2 heroes. Gather four friends and discover how you each cope with blame and failure, or be assigned a team of four strangers who all somehow manage to be much worse than you at the game, even though statistically, they are likely to be very close to you in rank.
The competitive scene around both games is gargantuan – almost four million people watched the LoL Worlds Semifinals simultaneously in November 2019. In August 2019, the prize pool for Dota’s The International reached over $34 million, the biggest pool in esports history.
League of Legends is Twitch’s most-watched game of 2019, and with about eight million concurrent players a day to Dota’s average of 400,000, it’s clear to see which of the two is the most popular. That doesn’t mean LoL is necessarily the better game, but the figures make sense when considering how Riot churns out absolute bangers to promote their MOBA.
We recommend you try a couple of matches in both games before you decide on the best MOBA. Still, if you’re looking for a game that is a different experience, every match depends on your draft vs the opponents’ draft, meaning you and your team can enjoy a new challenge night after night – we advise getting into LoL or Dota 2.
Left 4 Dead 2
Let’s face it, while there have been many pretenders trying to copy the spirit of Left 4 Dead 2, including efforts from the original team such as Back 4 Blood, no game entirely captures the heart of the first-person co-op zombie game. Still seeing updates as late as November 2022, you and your team of survivors must blast through a bayou, a creepy circus-themed amusement park, and the suburbs of New Orleans, all while zombie hordes try to stop you.
Left 4 Dead 2 has stood the test of time because it doesn’t try to over-complicate the formula with randomized perks or other bizarre mechanical alterations that bog down the gameplay. If you want the absolute peak experience, get a bunch of friends together and play the campaign with half the group becoming the Special Infected, all with well-balanced abilities that reward skillful play. Left 4 Dead 2 is always heavily discounted during Steam Sales, so there’s no excuse for not at least giving this one a shot.
The more things change, the more they stay the same – but as far as Overwatch 2 is concerned, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Overwatch is a cultural phenomenon, and its colorful cast of characters has captured the hearts of many, from the most casual to the most hardcore players. The class-based hero shooter owes much to Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends, fostering essential teamplay across payload maps featuring asymmetrical combat. It’s a tantalizing mixture of popular styles, ripe with possibilities, which has captured the imaginations and evenings of the masses.
As our Overwatch 2 review points out, the sequel is more a continuation than a rebirth. Blizzard introduces several quality-of-life improvements to extend the legacy of the game’s predecessor, including a 5v5 format adjustment, minor hero changes, and replacing the game’s controversial loot box system with a seasonal battle pass. It’s also free-to-play, making jumping into quick play with your pals easier than ever. Overwatch 2 introduces new maps and gameplay modes and expands the impressively diverse and colorful roster.
Want to master the best Overwatch 2 DPS heroes from the Overwatch 2 tier list? Prepare to commit months to the colorful blaster. Somehow, Overwatch gets even better while maintaining a careful competitive balance. With the game in its third season, now may be the time to answer Winston’s call and join the team.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has an underwhelming origin story. A refresh of Valve’s previous refresh of a Half-Life 1 mod, CS:GO was conceived as nothing more ambitious than a console port, an experiment to see if PlayStation and Xbox gamers would engage with the Counter-Strike name. And, if PC players fancied a go, what’s the harm? As it turns out, we got one of the best multiplayer games on PC.
Thanks to regular CS:GO updates, the shooter sensation became one of the most-played games on Steam. Its weapon skins support an entire cottage industry of trading sites. It is an ultra-competitive, high prize pool esport. Its popularity is self-evident, but its quality requires a deeper understanding of its appeal as a nostalgia trip and a well-supported, pacey shooter with state-of-the-art spectator tools.
Valve’s masterpiece is ripe for tactical exploitation, meaning you should check out our CS:GO tips if you want to succeed. Bristling with razor-sharp weapon feedback, this FPS is more comforting than Mama’s homemade apple pie. Its time in the spotlight may soon be over, however, as the Counter-Strike 2 release date is very soon.
The sequel to Call of Duty’s battle royale game already has a huge player base, dropping into the Al Mazrah Warzone 2 map to get that sweet victory. While this free PC game is initially part of Modern Warfare 2’s game client, it’s clear that it will see the same level of support as the original Warzone, which got updates when Black Ops: Cold War and Vanguard came out. It also receives regular big updates, resulting in an ever-changing meta.
Compared to other games in the genre, Warzone 2 is blisteringly fast-paced and aggressive, with players respawning if they happen to win the now-changed Warzone 2 Gulag. You can also set up the best Warzone 2 loadout before buying them from shops during a match, allowing you to customize the best Warzone 2 guns with assorted unlockable attachments, unlocked by exploring the redesigned Warzone 2 battle pass. It feels like a necessary upgrade that gives plenty of reasons to return to the island after a brief hiatus.
When someone at Psyonix said, “How about football… but with cars?” one of the best multiplayer games on PC was born; despite its failed first attempt, Rocket League’s success is down to its streamlined design: you push a ball across a pitch with a car. It is hardly something only hardcore petrolheads can understand.
Do not mistake simplicity for lack of depth, however. As we point out in our Rocket League PC review, mastering all the essential Rocket League tips and successfully passing, shooting, and scoring is a thrilling learning curve. It leads to a career – not just for new musical talent – of a thousand near-misses and ‘almost!’ moments, your body inching forward in your seat as the tension builds. Headshots in shooters are ten-a-penny, but a goal in Rocket League is special.
Rocket League’s exceptionally moreish online games are even better in local split-screen multiplayer. Everyone in the room will be oohing as the ball zooms from one end of the pitch to the other.
Rainbow Six Siege
Despite surface-level similarities to FPS darling CS:GO, Ubisoft has made reinforcing a wall or laying barbed wire as heroic as no-scoping an enemy from two rooftops away. Perhaps more than even the best multiplayer games, Rainbow Six Siege is about planning, communication, and execution of a team-based strategy.
Rainbow Six made its name by taking a quieter, more considered approach than the bombastic shooters against which it debuted in the late nineties. In doing so, it made you feel like a highly-trained, goggle-wearing, silenced MP5-toting specialist. The latest series entry evokes that feeling despite the meta changes presented by a barrage of Rainbow Six Siege operators, with more new operators coming in regular post-launch updates. If that sounds intimidating, Ubisoft offers a Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition so that you can try it out at a lower price.
Although, of course, there is destruction. Great big chunks of it that can kick up fine concrete dust every round. Just ensure you don’t get it all over your posh new cosmetics. Part of being ‘good’ at Siege is knowing each map intimately and coordinating your team accordingly. The depth, nail-biting tension, and tactical potential of Rainbow Six Siege make for a memorable cat-and-mouse multiplayer experience. No wonder the future of Siege is bright. As an esport it’s going global while still allowing inexperienced high school minnows the chance to attain the glory of a major tournament place.
Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve Together slightly differs from the other games in our best multiplayer games list. It doesn’t involve taking on an opposing team, but it does require a lot of teamwork, crafting, building, and not dying.
In this survival game, you and up to four other players are dropped into a sketchy Tim Burton-esque world filled with violent horrors and terrifying nightmarish creatures. These monsters are the least of your problems as you scramble to survive, keeping fed, warm, dry, and sane. If that wasn’t tricky enough, monstrous creatures emerge from the shadows each night, ready to snuff out your campfire.
In Don’t Starve Together, you’ll need to research new equipment to survive the changing seasons and progress through the world, all while collecting resources and trying desperately to, well, not starve.
Grand Theft Auto Online
Rockstar’s open-world game is nearly a decade old – shocking, we know – but Los Santos is still a popular destination for online multiplayer. In Grand Theft Auto Online, players create their budding criminal before connecting to a multiplayer server and teaming up with other players to complete jobs and heists.
A wealth of player-created content is available, too, including races and deathmatches for you to compete in. On the unofficial side of things, GTA Online roleplay servers are especially popular among content creators on Twitch and YouTube, as players use Los Santos’ bustling metropolis to create wild, improvised stories.
Street Fighter 6
The legendary fighting game has returned, introducing a new wave of players to the series with the most welcoming game in the series so far. In less than two months, Street Fighter 6 has already amassed over two million sales worldwide. What makes Street Fighter 6 so appealing is that it’s so easy to get into matches with random players, allowing you to play without having to worry about any potential downtime.
With the introduction of modern controls, there’s nothing to stop new players from grabbing a controller and immediately start getting into fights. You don’t need to spend hours learning combos or special moves, instead, you can use modern controls to instantly jump into the action with one-button combos and special moves. Give our Street Fighter 6 review to see why we gave Capcom’s latest fighting game an excellent score of 9/10.
So there you have it, the best multiplayer games on PC. Many of the best upcoming PC games also have exciting new multiplayer modes, so there’s never been a better time to tap into your competitive side. If you’d rather not pay too much for your gaming fix, our list of the best free PC games has some suggestions for great experiences before investing too much money.