For as long as humans have existed, games served a crucial function, as a teaching tool, exercised disguised as fun, and a way to tighten social bonds. And then video game lobbies and voice chats came about, and everything went to… redefine what games are.

Jokes aside, multiplayer games are a staple of the video gaming environment, and many games thrive on MP alone. So let’s take a look as some of the best multiplayer games you can play on PC. Obviously, we couldn’t put all of them in the article, so we stuck mostly with non-serialised, big and medium-sized games, a few of which have a good premise or a cool gimmick. So no local coop party games like Overcooked or Worms, although we have some articles about them The best couch co-op & split screen games on PC and no Call of Duty or Battlefield games, which while good and intensely popular, there’s a new one every year.

Now, the list. Arranged alphabetically, because it’s not about rankings, it’s about finding something that sounds interesting.

PC Multiplayer games worth taking a look at

GameRelease yearGenreDeveloperMultiplayer typeCheck price below

Apex Legends
Apex Legends Lifeline Upgrade - Origin 2019Battle royale, first-person shooterRespawn EntertainmentTeam PvPBuy now!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - table2012First-person shooterHidden Path Entertainment, Valve CorporationTeam PvPBuy now!

Destiny 2
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - table2017First-person shooterBungieMMO PvE, PvPBuy now!

Elite Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous - table2014Space trading and combatFrontier DevelopmentsMMOBuy now!

Fortnite
Fortnite - table2017Survival, battle royaleEpic GamesPvE (Save the World), PvP, team PvP (Battle Royale)Buy now!

Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar - table2013Action-adventureRockstar NorthMMO PvEBuy now!

Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter World - table2018Action role-playingCapcomPvE, co-op PvEBuy now!

Mordhau
mordhau game box cover2019Hack’n’slashTriternionPvP, team PvPBuy now!

Overwatch
Overwatch Origins - table2016First-person shooterBlizzard EntertainmentTeam PvPBuy now!

PUBG
PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) - table2017Battle royalePUBG CorporationPvP, team PvPBuy now!

Rainbow Six: Siege
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - table2015Tactical shooterUbisoft MontrealTeam PvPBuy now!

Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 - table2018Action-adventureRockstar StudiosMMOBuy now!

Rocket League
Rocket League - table2015SportsPsyonixCompetitiveBuy now!

Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 - table2016First-person shooterRespawn EntertainmentPvP, Team PvPBuy now!

Warframe
Warframe: Starter Pack - table2013Action role-playingDigital ExtremesCo-op PvEBuy now!

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - table2004MMORPGBlizzard EntertainmentMMOBuy now!

Apex Legends

Release year:2019
Genre:Battle royale, first-person shooter
Developer:Respawn Entertainment
Multiplayer type:Team PvP

Set in the same universe as the Titanfall games (discussed later), Apex Legend released a lot of fanfare and glowing reviews. With good reason, too, since at day 1 Apex Legends had good gunplay, great mobility lifted from Titanfall, and a fantastic, useful, and simple to get the hang of ping system, letting you alert your team of virtually anything without losing a beat.

Apex Legends Lifeline Upgrade - Origin - gameplay

On the whole, AL is a mix between a hero shooter and a battle royale game. The players can choose from a number of contenders, each with their own unique abilities and role on the field. Players compete in teams of three, dropping onto the map, scavenging weapons, and trying to be the last ones standing. It doesn’t have Titanfall’s mechs, but it has enough features to make up for it.

Key features
  • 20 three-player squads duke it out on science fiction arena
  • 11 Legends (characters) to choose from
  • Excellent Ping system facilitates communication
  • A resurrection system in place, if it’s too late for a classic revive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Release year:2012
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer:Hidden Path Entertainment, Valve Corporation
Multiplayer type:Team PvP

Without a doubt, Counter-Strike is one of the most popular multiplayer series on PC. Originated as a mod for Half-Life, it quickly turned into a standalone series. After several iterations, the current version is Counter -Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO, and it’s seven years old at the time of writing. The absence of a new version after so long proves its strengths.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - gameplay

The core gameplay of CS:GO revolves around team-based PvP, in which one team acts as Terrorists, and the other as Anti-Terrorists, with opposing goals to accomplish, such as disarming a bomb, or preventing a rescue of hostage. After each round, the players get an amount of money (dependent on their effectiveness) to spend on tools and weapons for subsequent rounds.

Key features
  • Tense, tight tactical experience
  • In-game shop with equipment to use between rounds
  • A battle royale mode added in 2018
  • One of the most popular competitive multiplayer games on PC

Destiny 2

Release year:2017
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer:Bungie
Multiplayer type:MMO PvE, PvP

Destiny 2 came three years after the launch of the original game, with a new, more pronounced storyline, a new weapon classification system, and new subclasses. It’s an all-new Destiny through and through. And barring the most recent expansions that you’ll still need to buy, the game is free to play, including the earliest expansions.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - gameplay

The new subclasses are Arcstrider for Hunters, Dawnblade for Warlocks, and Sentinel for Titans, each with a new Super, of course. As is usual with Bungie’s games, the moment to moment gunplay is excellent, and there’s a large diversity of guns, from revolvers to sniper rifles, and some heavier pieces, too. Go on and give it a try.

Key features
  • New subclasses for the classes from the original Destiny
  • Tonnes of loot
  • The storyline is more pronounced this time
  • Four expansions out at the time of writing

Elite Dangerous

Release year:2014
Genre:Space trading and combat
Developer:Frontier Developments
Multiplayer type:MMO

Elite Dangerous is a sprawling space sim, letting you become the captain of your own space ship, explore the massive galaxy, and ply your chosen trade alone or with other players. Since launch it has evolved, of course, and the player base has been very active through roleplaying, trade, combat, and especially exploration, since there are still some under-explored regions.

Elite: Dangerous - gameplay

Although you can go solo, or at least without seeing other players, ED is much better if you treat is as a multiplayer game it was made to be. Trading is going to make much more sense then, certainly, and exploring the far reaches of space is easier and more fun as a part of a huge expedition force, even if only for protection and a steady duel supply.

Key features
  • Huge galaxy filled with things to do
  • Player-driver economy
  • Incredibly immersive space sim
  • Can be as social an experience as you want it to be

Fortnite

Release year:2017
Genre:Survival, battle royale
Developer:Epic Games
Multiplayer type:PvE (Save the World), PvP, team PvP (Battle Royale)

For all the things that can be said about Fortnite, it’s still one of the most popular multiplayer games out there, and it being free-to-play in its Battle Royale segment accounts for a portion of its popularity. It has an easily identifiable aesthetic, generally lighthearted atmosphere, and a fairly interesting gimmick in the form of building structures on the fly.

Fortnite standard edition - gameplay

Although it gets lost in the buzz around Fortnite Battle Royale, there’s also a PvE segment, which was the original form of the game, before the BR craze. Save the World is all about defeating zombies and building a defensible fort. If co-op is more your style than BR PvP, then you should check it out some time, especially if you have some friends willing to play along.

Key features
  • Two separate segments: PvE and PvP
  • Frequent and substantial updates to the Battle Royale map
  • Frequent tie-in events to popular movies
  • Construction at the centre of the experience

Grand Theft Auto V

Release year:2013
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Rockstar North
Multiplayer type:MMO PvE

Or, more specifically, its Grand Theft Auto Online part, coming together with the base game at no additional price. In the multiplayer segment you get free reign of the city you already probably know from the singleplayer, except now you can mess around with over two dozen other players per server. After a rocky launch, it grew to be extremely popular, with a diverse set of activities.

Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar - gameplay

In addition to various more or less competitive modes, GTAO is also open to roleplaying servers, and it’s quite easy to find them. If you are too old and tired to play cops and robbers in the real world, jump into GTA Online, find an RP server and go to town. You can even establish your own crew of up to 5 people and go cause mischief or enforce order together.

Key features
  • Up to 30 players per server
  • Several modes (such as Deathmatch) in addition to the general open world
  • Extensive player avatar customisation
  • Plenty of roleplaying servers

Monster Hunter: World

Release year:2018
Genre:Action role-playing
Developer:Capcom
Multiplayer type:PvE, co-op PvE

Monster Hunter: World is quite playable when you go solo, at least most of the time. But it’s not until you team up with other players that you start to get a good feel for the hunt. With four people having four different weapons, most damage types can be covered, including something for a nice stun, and something to cut off pieces of the monsters.

Monster Hunter World - gameplay

The monsters are also harder if you don’t play alone, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where you’re standing. Either way, running a good team composition on a hunt can be very satisfying. Although getting hit by a wild swing of a fellow player’s can be frustrating, at worst interrupts something you were doing.

Key features
  • Four hunters can exploit more weaknesses
  • In a group you can use more elaborate tactics
  • Friendly fire is a way to both frustration and hilarity
  • Up to four players per group

Mordhau

Release year:2019
Genre:Hack’n’slash
Developer:Triternion
Multiplayer type:PvP, team PvP

If you’ve never recovered from sorrow after Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’s numbers dwindled, Mordhau might just be the thing you needed, until Chivalry 2 comes out, at the very least. Mordhau quickly gathered popularity big enough to surprise even its creators, and with good reason, as it is a pretty crunchy and realistic (within reason) medieval combat simulator.

MORDHAU - gameplay

The game features an extensive armoury, with many different types of weapon, and plenty of armour pieces, from which you can assemble your own loadout. Many weapons also have an alternative attack, such as the eponymous Mordhau (murderstroke), and there are some close-quarters combat options, too.

Key features
  • Many Deathmatch servers are devoted to duelling
  • Lots of weapons and armour pieces
  • Mastering the combat system requires a lot of skill
  • Some weapons have alternative modes of attacking

Overwatch

Release year:2016
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Multiplayer type:Team PvP

Launched in 2016 Overwatch quickly became a hit. Overwatch has vivid, almost Pixar-like character designs, an ongoing storyline expressed through comics and cinematics, and well-designed mechanics aiming for tight teamplay. Given that it’s Blizzard’s first FPS, Overwatch did a lot of things well right away, and was committed to making regular updates and releasing new heroes.

Overwatch Origins - gameplay

Overwatch is almost entirely PvP-based, with only an occasional dip into the PvE territory, now reserved mostly for the Overwatch 2 sequelo-expansion. At the time of writing there 31 different heroes split into three broad classes: Tank, Damage, and Support, and a typical match is a 6v6, usually with objectives beyond just killing the other team.

Key features
  • Well over two dozen heroes at the time of writing
  • Good team composition is crucial
  • Each hero has a unique set of abilities highlighting their theme and role
  • Seasonal events bringing new game modes and new skins for characters

PUBG

Release year:2017
Genre:Battle royale
Developer:PUBG Corporation
Multiplayer type:PvP, team PvP

PUBG is the game that started the Battle Royale craze, although it was “just” a standalone version of mods Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene made for other games, such as Arma 2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds consistently ranks in the top 5 of Steam’s most played games and although it doesn’t have the numbers it once had, they are still in hundreds of thousands.

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) - gameplay

If you don’t fancy Fortnite’s cartoonish aesthetic and light-hearted vibe, you may find PUBG’s mostly realistic style more palatable. Probably the most outrageous element of the game is its, at this point iconic pan, but otherwise it’s pretty down to earth. With a fairly steady player base you don’t run the risk of not having anyone to play with (or against) anytime soon.

Key features
  • One of the most popular multiplayer games on Steam
  • Has a solid mobile version if you want to play on the go
  • Realistic aesthetic
  • Four large maps to fight on

Rainbow Six: Siege

Release year:2015
Genre:Tactical shooter
Developer:Ubisoft Montreal
Multiplayer type:Team PvP

The Rainbow Six series is fairly old, and it always put emphasis on tactics and teamwork, even in singleplayer campaigns. R6: Siege is a multiplayer-first, objective-based asymmetrical PvP pitting teams of specialised operators against each other. And not that it’s in any way relevant to the actual gameplay, but it had a trailer with Idris Elba in it, standing amid the destruction.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - gameplay

The destruction IS important, because it’s a crucial part of the overall gameplay. You can breach walls to create new paths to eliminating the opposing team, and you can patch these breaches to prevent getting outflank. Each operator is either an Attacker or a Defender, and has tools and reflecting that classification. It’s effectively a hero shooter by way of tactical PvP.

Key features
  • Tactically important environment destruction
  • Many operators, each with unique toolkits
  • Intense asymmetrical matches
  • Regular updates and continuing developer support

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release year:2018
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Rockstar Studios
Multiplayer type:MMO

After a nostalgic hit that the first Red Dead Redemption was, a sequel was inevitable, even if it took Rockstar a long time to make it. And it turned out that the game is great! But Rockstar also learned their lesson from GTA5’s multiplayer, and gave RDR2 an Online segment as well, and wouldn’t you know, it’s fun as well.

Red Dead Redemption 2 - gameplay

The events of Red Dead Online take place several years before the singleplayer experience, and despite it having some story tied to it, like in GTAO you are free to just roam the map, join or form a roving gang of bandits, and roleplay to your hearts contents. There’s no better Wild West-themed multiplayer experience anywhere, and now it’s available on PC!

Key features
  • You can form an outlaw posse with friends and make your names known on the server
  • Huge map you get to share with other players
  • Deep customisation
  • The only online Wild West game worth your attention

Rocket League

Release year:2015
Genre:Sports
Developer:Psyonix
Multiplayer type:Competitive

Although it is a spiritual sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, a game with arguably the best title in video game history, Rocket League’s name isn’t quite as descriptive, nor does it have as much rhythm. Nevertheless it’s a fantastic sportsball game in which leg-powered ground-bound humans are replaced by rocket-powered acrobatic cars.

Rocket League - gameplay

Although the ceiling over the arena is within driving distance (you can ride up the walls easily), the skill ceiling of the game is very high up. Experienced players can performs stunning manoeuvres in the air using their cars’ jets, and score a goal from improbable positions. If you know the French animated series Galactik Football, it’s sort of like that, but with cars.

Key features
  • Football played with cars
  • A large degree of car customisation, including paint jobs and accessories [sic]
  • High skill ceiling
  • Solid physics engine

Titanfall 2

Release year:2016
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer:Respawn Entertainment
Multiplayer type:PvP, Team PvP

Titanfall 2 has a pretty damn good singleplayer campaign, taking the player on a wild adventure of discovery and bonding with your Titan after a field promotion to Pilot. But great though it is, the core of the game rests in the multiplayer. After all why stick to the campaign’s single Titan, if in MP you could take your pick from several very different models?

Titanfall 2 - gameplay

You Pilot is a fantastically agile avatar, able to run on walls like it’s perfectly normal, and zip from cover to cover or enemy to enemy. And when a special meter fills out, you can call in your customised Titan, possibly crushing some opponents lounging in the landing zone. And when it fills again, you’ll be able to use your titan’s special ability defined by their Core.

Key features
  • Once titans come into the game, matches change completely
  • Each titan is unique and customisable
  • Extremely mobile player avatars
  • Great singleplayer campaign acquainting you with the game’s mechanics

Warframe

Release year:2013
Genre:Action role-playing
Developer:Digital Extremes
Multiplayer type:Co-op PvE

Warframe has grown enough to make simple descriptions harder to come by, but the essence, “ninjas in space” remains quite accurate. But there are also biotechnological viruses, warlike degenerate clones, money-worshipping technocrats, and extremely dangerous rebellious AI. Warframe is a hodge podge of science-fiction tropes, and is never ashamed of it.

Warframe: Starter Pack

The game is co-op oriented, with teams of up to four Tenno (player characters) taking on a number of mission types, ranging from typical horde-mode survivals and defences to more stealth-oriented spy missions. The warframes themselves, effectively “heroes” or “classes” can be freely switched between missions and cater to a lot of different playstyles.

Key features
  • A total of 69 warframes, including special Prime and Umbra variants
  • Hundreds of weapons
  • Extensive mechanical customisation through the mod system
  • Powerful cosmetic customisation with colours, accessories, and skins

World of Warcraft

Release year:2004
Genre:MMORPG
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Multiplayer type:MMO

World of Warcraft was far from the first MMORPG, but it sure quickly became the biggest one thanks to capitalising on the Warcraft brand, at the time stronger than ever thanks to a solid expansion for WarCraft III. Launched in 2004, WoW isn’t slowing down fifteen years later, and the release of WoW Classic saw some older fans surge back to revive their nostalgia.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - gameplay

Close to ten expansions in, WoW still consistently boasts well over a million players around the world, significantly more after each new batch of content arrives. Are there more populated MMOs out there? Sure, but WoW has a lot of history, and enough players to make you feel like you’re in a really populated world with an adventure and a new friend of foe around the corner.

Key features
  • Fifteen years after the original launch it still has decently populated servers
  • WoW Classic is included in the general subscription
  • Numerous post-launch expansions
  • The storyline goes into some weird places


The game begins in 3…2…1…

That concludes our list, but as you’ll see by browsing the “Multiplayer” category on any store you use, the world of multiplayer games is huge and covers many genre and playstyles. Even if our suggestions don’t speak to you, you’re bound to eventually find a multiplayer game just right for you.