17 great multiplayer games to play with your family

The best local co-op and competitive titles available.

Picking out the perfect family game for your home clan is a mighty challenging endeavour. There’s just so many factors to consider. Is the game suitable for all ages? Will it be accessible to those who have never picked up a controller before? And, perhaps most importantly, is the game so crazily competitive that it will drive a wedge of seething resentment and bitterness so deep into the family unit that it will never be removed?

Well, worry no more, we have a guide to family games that is the perfect calming balm to soothe your stress filled game choosing woes. In our list you will find the top family games to buy right now. Plus, we’ll even regale you with details on whether there’s local or online play, whether you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger telly just so you can see what’s going on in split screen and whether or not any family members will have to be excluded due to a limited player count.

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51 Worldwide Games

  • PEGI Rating: 12
  • Platforms: NSW
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

A late contender for this list and a game that appears fairly conspicuous next to some of Nintendo’s mascot-lead Switch exclusives. As the name suggests, 51 Worldwide Games packs in plenty of activities, from classics such as chess and draughts, to more exotic inclusions like Shogi, and more interactive favourites such as bowling and darts. Although designed primarily for two players, most games can enable up to 4 by connecting two Switch systems. Thankfully, you don’t need two copies of the game either with a free guest edition demo allowing you to piggyback.

Cake Bash

  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

Whoever came up with the idea of a party game pitting battling cakes in a showdown to become the tastiest treat of them all is a genius. Cake Bash is wonderful fun from beginning to end. It’s also one of the more accessible game on this list, with simple controls that can be easily grasped by novice players. Even better, there’s a wide range of challenges to put a smile on every face: from swatting pesky picnic ruining wasps, to toasting the perfect marshmallow and smashing fortune cookies to smithereens. We challenge even the grumpiest of teenagers not to love Cake Bash.

Rocket League

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

It’s footie but instead of overpaid divas, you play as supersonic acrobatic rocket-powered battle cars. Rocket League is the sequel to one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time, albeit with a more marketable name, fuelled by a colossal fan base. Despite the sheer simplicity of gameplay (hit ball into goal) Rocket League provides endless hours of free without needing to pay a penny. It’s accessible enough though it’s easy to tell newbies and experienced players apart thanks to the nifty airborne/boosting tricks you can pull off.

Just Dance 2021

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: NSW, PS4, PS5, XBO, XBSX
  • Local play: up to 4 players

An evergreen family favourite, the Just Dance series is perfect for getting everyone up off the sofa as you attempt to copy on-screen choreography. There’s a huge selection of songs to flail around to, from all-time classics to modern hits and a healthy serving of cheesy tracks that will have your body moving. As long as you can get your hands on one of the more recent entries in the Just Dance series you’ll have all the modern features at your fingertips including the option to use smartphones as controllers, and Just Dance Unlimited – a subscription unlocking more than 500 songs.

Super Mario Party

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: NSW
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

This eleventh main instalment in the long-running Mario Party series is a great way of getting the family together. At its core, Super Mario Party follows a familiar board game template as you roll dice and move from space to space, triggering various bonuses and events. The main head-to-head component here is the wide spread of mini-games. Sure, there’s a knack to each one though they’re never overly complex, giving all players a fighting chance.

Overcooked! 2

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

If you’d prefer your family game to be collaborative rather than competitive, then Overcooked! 2 is the connoisseur’s choice. A puzzle game that tasks up to four players with the challenge of preparing a multitude of meals, Overcooked! 2 starts off easy but becomes a very challenging proposition by the end game. Brilliantly though, the game upskills the player as they play, making it entirely plausible that a novice team could become culinary master chefs before long. Controls are simple, and, even better, two players can use one controller: meaning you can have four player fun without having to spend a fortune on new controllers.

Knowledge Is Power

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4
  • Local play: up to 6 players

It wasn’t long ago that Sony took a punt on PlayLink – their attempt at creating more socially-focused games, using smartphones as the main control input. It’s largely been forgotten though Knowledge Is Power is one game we like to keep installed: a trivia game in the same vein as Buzz! but without the same punch.

LittleBigPlanet 3

  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Platforms: PS4, PS3
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

While its creation tools now seem fairly limited compared to Media Molecule’s Dreams, LittleBigPlanet 3 is still great for those wanting some co-op fun. It’s a little more advanced than its predecessors and their simpler platforming gameplay but that shouldn’t stop less experienced gamers getting involved. If LBP3 clicks then there’s a near endless number of user-created levels to explore.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Platforms: PS5
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

Perhaps overshadowed by Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, this PS5 launch title is certainly worth checking out if you want to wring some family friendly co-op fun from Sony’s newest console. Sackboy: A Big Adventure can feel pretty empty when riding solo whereas playing with up to three others makes the game far more alive and involved with some creative co-op puzzle solving at work.

Rayman Legends

  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Platforms: PS3, 360, Wii U, PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Local play: up to 4 players

If platforming is your thing, then Rayman Legends is a standout choice. Up to four players can leap, swing, and punch their way through some wildly creative levels. The animation is silky smooth and the musical stages are a joy to behold. Word of warning; Rayman Legends gets pretty tricky pretty quickly, so best ensure you have an experienced gamer along for the ride to help everyone out. How can they help? If a player ‘dies’ then they inflate and lurch around the level like a balloon bouncing on a bubble bath, ready to be freed by the pro when the tricky bit has been bested.

Moving Out

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Local play: up to 4 players

Moving Out tasks up to four players with a wonderfully straightforward objective: work as a team to get all the furniture out of the building and into the back of a removal van. What brings the game to life are the hilarious physics. Players must work together to knock doors off their hinges, lob sofas through windows and drag uncooperative pigs through fields. It’s a delightfully silly experience and, thanks to a comprehensive range of game settings, eminently accessible for all ages and skill levels.

Tools Up!

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Local play: up to 4 players

If DIY is more your thing than furniture removal, then Tools Up! is the game for you and your family. Up to four players must redecorate a flat, office or haunted castle before the time limit expires. Tools Up! is a far more chilled out experience than either Moving Out or Overcooked! 2, it’s actually quite relaxing beautifying a home. That is until you discover that you’ve put the wrong type of carpet down or painted the walls the wrong colour. If that happens just head outside to release the expletives – don’t what the kids repeating the swears to their teachers, do we?

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Local play: up to 4 players

Let’s face it, there are good dozen or so Lego games that could have filled out this list but Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is one of the best, newest entries in this long-running series. A surprisingly gripping story, reliable if well worn gameplay mechanics and the inclusion of the most popular kid’s movie franchise – sorry Star Wars – makes this follow up an easy choice. For those who haven’t played a Lego game before then you’ll find an extremely accessible experience brought to life with buckets of Lego charm. Only downside? Its campaign only supports two players even if there are modes that enable up to four.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: NSW
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

An absolute essential for Nintendo Switch owners and, judging by the continued strength of its sales, a game most of them already own. Mario Kart 8 is kart racing perfection, the Deluxe edition stuffed with loads of goodies including extra tracks and more characters you can shake a Blue Shell at. Bonus points to Nintendo for adding accessibility features to help level the playing field between Mario Kart vets and younger/casual racers.

Horizon Chase Turbo

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW, PC
  • Local co-op: up to 4 players

If you want to do some family racing but need the gameplay to be as accessible as possible, then Horizon Chase Turbo is a great option. This racer is as old school as they come, summoning memories from the arcade cabinets of yesteryear as player’s speed around twisty turny tracks in pursuit of victory. Gameplay is simple, you only need to worry about moving left and right to dodge anything that gets in your way. The highlight though is the Rookie Series Mode that streamlines all the gameplay mechanics and is perfect for younger players.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

  • PEGI Rating: 3
  • Platforms: PS4, XBO, NSW
  • Online multiplayer
  • Local play: up to 4 players

Missing out on the kart racing crown by the narrowest of margins, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled provides a solid alternative for those who don’t own a Switch or gel with Mario Kart’s gameplay. As well as a story mode (which allows for co-op), there’s a huge selection of tracks and modes that developer Beenox expanded on with several modern additions. The amount of customisation and unlocks will keep you coming back race after race.

RingFit Adventure

  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Platforms: NSW

Sadly, RingFit Adventure doesn’t support multiplayer out of the box but that doesn’t stop you from getting your friends and family up off the sofa and getting their sweat on. It requires a little preparation and a few props though you can easily create workout sessions for you and others with one player being the leader. Some exercises will require a yoga/Pilates ring for those not holding the RingFit peripheral but you can tailor custom workout regimes that don’t need them.

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