Multiplayer games continue to be incredibly popular and 2016 has proven to be another incredible year for the genre. Here are Game Rant’s Best Multiplayer Games of 2016.
When it comes to multiplayer games, fans certainly have a lot of different choices to pick from and 2016 did not make things any easier. This year saw the return of some major AAA franchises, while some new IPs fought for a slice of the pie. But even with huge single player focused games like Quantum Break or Dishonored 2 launching this year and managing to grab plenty of attention, there were also some impressive multiplayer games released this year
While incredibly popular and probably the first genre to come to mind, first person shooters are not the only ones to have made the list below. Multiplayer games in our list run the gamut of shooters, to party favorites, and everything in between.
10 Titanfall 2
Though the game may not have rocketed off to such a hot start thanks in large part to its less than ideal release date, Titanfall 2 is what most sequels strive to be. Not only does the game expand upon what works well in the first game, such as the satisfying controls and a unique movement system, but Respawn Entertainment has also made sure to add a lot more to what players love about the title.
In addition to new game modes like Bounty Hunt, players can customize just about anything in the game by applying a ton of different skins to their character, their titan, and even the guns themselves. Loadouts have been tweaked with more options to pick from, there's a progression system on just about most things like weapons, titans, and the player themselves, and players can choose to unlock things early thanks to a credits system. With free DLC having just arrived including more on the way, it's clear that Respawn and EA plan to continue evolving the experience well into 2017.
9 Battlefield 1
Shooters in 2016 don't get much bigger than Battlefield 1, which saw the franchise return it its roots in the past. Unlike many shooters, which continue to push further into the future, Battlefield 1 takes things back to World War I, an underutilized timeline for most games. The risk seems to have paid off as the game has quickly vaulted into the top spots of most sales charts and best of lists as well.
After a massively successful beta period and record setting numbers on its debut reveal trailer, Battlefield 1 thankfully launched to stable servers, something the previous DICE games had troubles with. Featuring a bevy of classic game modes like Conquest and Rush, the game also introduces the dynamic and objective heavy Operations mode, where the outcome of a match affects the next round.
8 Forza Horizon 3
While most will play the game for its generous single player content and incredible visuals, Forza Horizon 3 is also the most connected game in the franchise. Leaderboards continue to be a staple element, letting friends try and top one another to see who can complete events fastest, Forza Horizon 3 adds a suite of multiplayer based modes from Flag Rush and King of the Hill which make up part of the competitive side, to co-op modes which let players tackle the campaign together or just free roam around the huge open world.
Creative players have a wealth of options as well, letting cars, liveries, or other items be put up for virtual sale. Players can also create and share events with others as well, including Bucket List challenges, and other race style events. All of these features alongside upcoming downloadable content will help keep players racing for a long time to come in Forza Horizon 3.
7 Gears of War 4
The return of the Gears of War franchise saw a new generation take up arms against a new and dangerous foe on the planet Sera. With Marcus and the old Delta Squad gang aging, it was up to Marcus' son JD and his friends Del and Cait to get to the bottom of what was happening to outsider settlements disappearing seemingly overnight.
Along with an all new campaign, for many, the most exciting aspect to Gears of War 4 is the fact that The Coalition brought back the popular stop-and-pop gameplay the franchise is known for with its Versus multiplayer. Core modes like King of the Hill and Team Deathmatch are joined by new modes like Arms Race and Dodgeball. Not only that, newly dubbed Horde 3.0 makes up the final part to this game, combining the familiar wave based defense gameplay with new features like dedicated character classes, bounties, and the fabricator building tool.
6 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
While the campaign may have been Nathan Drake's last adventure, Naughty Dog is hoping to keep its player base around for quite a while thanks to its multiplayer offering. Uncharted 4 manages to keep the addictive third person action found in the previous games while adding in a number of new features to help mix up the experience as well. The money that players earn during a match from playing the objective, earning medals, or picking up treasures can actually be spend inside of an in-game store featuring heavy weapons, ordinance, special abilities, or assistance from AI units like a medic or heavy gunner.
Arguably the biggest shooter of the year, Overwatch burst on to the scene destroying the release plans of many games that continued to launch around it. After a wildly successful beta period, the title has managed to not only keep its fanbase, but continually grow and evolve thanks to a combination of free to play weekends, and free downloadable content and holiday specific events.
Originally launching with a quick play option, Overwatch is a team based shooter featuring a unique cast of characters grouped into specific archetypes trying to either attack or defend a certain objective. Recently, Blizzard has added an arcade mode with additional game types and season three of the ranked competitive mode has currently raging online. The game continues to be so successful, that Blizzard recently revealed its plans for something called the Overwatch League, which will be an eSports style league with permanent teams in placements similar to traditional sport organizations like the NBA or NFL.
4 Tom Clancy's The Division
Even though it's been a very up and down year for The Division, the shooter remains a game that plays well with others. After breaking records right out of the gate last March, players were able to use matchmaking to find other players for all of the missions in the core game including the raid-like Incursion missions that were added in the following months. Players looking for a more tense experience can head to an area in the middle of the map known as the Dark Zone, where the best loot and toughest enemies roam. Not only that, the Dark Zone is a PvP-enabled area, letting players choose whether or not to betray others and steal their hard fought loot.
While The Division eventually fell into a dark period rife with bugs and other game breaking issues, Ubisoft ceased production on its DLC offerings to focus on fixing the once hugely popular title. Thankfully, after a couple of major patches that essentially changed the experience for the better, the game has seen a resurgence. Its latest expansion, Survival, is proving to be a hit with players and completely alters how the game is played. Not only can players work together to keep themselves alive during a fierce blizzard, but also an option to enable PvP during this mode is available as well.
3 World of Warcraft: Legion
Even after twelve years, World of Warcraft continues to stand the test of time with a strong community of players, and expansion packs like Legion adding tons of content to an already massive game. This latest expansion has revitalized the aging game by adding a new area called the Broken Isles, introducing the Demon Hunter class, and raising the level cap to 110, all contributing to a rise in subscriber numbers once more. For some however, its biggest contribution to the experience may be its multiplayer enhancements.
New Dungeons and Raids are a sure way to unite players and already Legion has added a bunch to the experience including The Emerald Nightmare, a newly refurbished Karazhan dungeon, and the arrival of a new raid called the Tomb of Sargeras. Player versus player also received a boost, unlocking specific talents for players to use in that side of the game through a new honor system and the ability to prestige. Social features have also been improved including group communication and queue notifications which are sent out when a friend is currently in line. With these slew of additions and improvements, Legion is proof that this MMORPG is alive and well.
2 Pokemon Go
Even though Pokemon Go became a smashing success over the summer, the experience proved to be pretty divisive among players. Still, there's no denying the strong multiplayer elements within this mobile app. Players were prompted to join one of three team factions, which then enables them to battle other real life players over gyms. Pokemon gyms controlled by other factions can be challenged in an effort to win control over the location, though members from either team participate in the battle to help attack or defend it.
In addition to its in-game multiplayer moments, Pokemon Go has also inspired the community at large, creating a vocal and active Reddit page that brings strangers together in unique ways. Many business also capitalized on the popularity by offering rest stops, discounts, and other perks to eager trainers. Starbucks went one further by partnering with Niantic for its own promotion.
1 Jackbox Party Pack 3
Players in need of some fun entertainment during the holiday season should look no further than Jackbox Party Pack 3. This popular party game collection features five new games and is available on pretty much any platform under the sun, including mobile devices, personal computers, gaming consoles, and devices like the Apple TV as well. More importantly, the Jackbox Party Pack uses mobile devices as controllers and is just as fun for small groups as it is for massive amounts of people. Each game is more goofy than the next, but is also packed with opportunities for big laughs.
What do you think of our picks this year? What other 2016 multiplayer games have you enjoyed? Let us know your top multiplayer picks in the comments below.