If your resolution this year is to spend more time with your friends, then warm up the console and get ready to start kicking some butt – in a very friendly manner, of course. There are plenty of classic party games to choose from, and we’ve picked eight modern favorites that make for great local couch sessions. Instead of picking up the same old games, we’ve picked ones that you might have missed. Grab those extra controllers, turn on the TV, and prepare for a fun multiplayer experience.
#IDARB (Xbox One)
Originally offered in the Xbox Live Games With Gold program, #IDARB is still worth its reasonable budget price, thanks to the crazy multiplayer. Your job is to score goals on a small, side-view playfield, which is easier said than done since you can lose it with a simple attack from your opponent. What’s more, the rules of the game can change with something as simple as a hashtag on Twitter, as well as what ridiculous characters you can create in the customization screen. If you’re savvy enough, you could pit an #IDARB-based Joker against an #IDARB-based Iron Man and watch the sparks fly. Who would deny watching that contest?
Amplitude (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3)
Originally released for the PlayStation 2, Harmonix’s Amplitude saw a wild resurgence, thanks to a popular KickStarter campaign that was supported by thousands. The final product has arrived this month, with over 20 new songs to choose from and a fun single-player campaign. The local multiplayer can’t be beat, as you either work alongside or against fellow players while trying to hit as many song notes as you can on your grid. It can get a little crazy at times, but there’s no doubt it’s still the best music-based fun you can have outside of a plastic guitar.
Towerfall Ascension (PlayStation 4)
What looks like a routine throwback to the NES days is anything but, as Towerfall Ascension has some of the best fighting tactics since Super Smash Bros. dominated the Nintendo 64. Fight with a number of combatants on a small, ever-changing set of playfields, using a limited amount of archery-based weaponry in your hopes of staying alive the longest. It’s easier said than done, since various hazards also pop up, forcing you to stay on your toes. This is easily one of the best versus games you’ll find on PS4, period.
Jackbox Party Pack 2 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4)
The original Jackbox Party Pack did a superb job of setting the party mood with a number of offerings, including Fibbage and You Don’t Know Jack. Jackbox Games’ second compilation ups the ante with a number of new games, including Quiplash XL (with people making up answers based on suggestions), Fibbage 2 (where lying is the name of the game) and Earwax, a ridiculous game where you have to guess answers using a variety of sound samples that shouldn’t go together (but kinda do anyway). Throw in two additional games, Bomb Corp and Bidiots, and you have a compilation that shouldn’t be missed.
Nidhogg (PlayStation 4, PC)
Think fencing is a waste of time? Chances are you probably won’t after playing Nidhogg. This insanely fun side-scrolling action game has you competing against opponents across a number of arenas, trying to reach the other side where a giant worm will eat you. Hey, you’re still the victor and that’s what counts. Featuring a number of unique tactics (like being able to throw your sword into your opponent’s heart, or having to scramble for it if you miss) and fun 8-bit style graphics, Nidhogg is worth taking a stab at.
Sportsfriends (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)
Still a fun party game several months following its release, Sportsfriends manages to garner a victory through some of the most absurd party games ever designed. First up is Super Pole Riders, where you take on fellow players using a large pole, thus having to balance your attacks accordingly. BariBariBall is just as strangely exciting, as you struggle to keep a ball from going into the water while trying to sink it on your opponent’s side. Hokra also has its moments, as you guide little pixels around a screen while trying to score goals. Finally, there’s the PlayStation Move powered Johann Sebastian Joust, where you try to throw off players while keeping in consistent motion with a playing theme. No matter which of these weird games you pick, you’re in for a good time.
Gang Beasts (PC)
Feel like Super Smash Bros. is a little overcomplicated for your fighting tastes? Then Gang Beasts is the game for you. Made by the team at Boneloaf, this wacky brawling game simply tasks you with using whatever punches and kicks you can on the little beefy dudes, residents of Beef City. The goal is to knock them out, then use items in the environment to finish them off – even the weird looking sausage things featured in the trailer above. Hey, nobody ever said that winning had to be pretty. With support for multiple players and plenty of manic action to go around, these Beasts just can’t be contained. Nor should they be.
Runbow (Wii U)
Who knew that doing something as simple as running and punching would be so enjoyable? In 13AM Games’ Runbow, players compete across a string of ever-changing levels, with warping colors that can either hinder or help certain combatants as they race for the finish line. Along the way, they can punch and kick to their heart’s content, or try to throw someone off into one of the awaiting obstacles. Runbow‘s a lot of fun with just a couple of folks, but it really gets to a whole new level once up to nine (yes, nine) jump in. Time to start running!
Do you have any new favorite games you like to play with your friends? Let us know in the comment section below.
Feature Image Credit: Boneloaf Games/Double Fine Productions