Best Party Video Games 2021

Best Party Video Games 2021
Images via GamesPress

Written by 

Ford James

Posted 

15th Dec 2021 23:43

The best party video games in 2021 are great fun, whether you're looking for something to play with the family on Christmas or you've got some mates round over the new year period. Sometimes board games just don't cut it, and you want to grab some controllers - or mobile devices, in certain cases - and stare at a screen. We've got a bunch of varying party video games here targeting kids and adults alike. So without further ado, here are the best party video games in 2021.

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Best Party Video Games: Mario Party Superstars

Best party video games: Mario Party Superstars
Click to enlarge

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Players: 1-4

When Super Mario Party launched for Nintendo Switch, it was sufficient as a Mario Party game, but was by no means the best in the series. Lack of handheld mode compatibility, next to no innovation, and a disappointing online mode meant Mario Party die-hards would stick to previous consoles for their fix. Then came Mario Party Superstars, which improves on the formula to no end.

Superstars brings together classic boards from earlier games in the franchise, has a much better online function, includes staples like achievements, and has a bigger variety of minigames. It's a vastly different experience from Super Mario Party, but considered by most to be one of the best Mario Party games available today. It's also incredibly accessible, since it's basically a virtual, interactive board game, so perfect for family members who aren't well-versed with video games.

Best Party Video Games: Gang Beasts

Best party video games: Gang Beasts
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Players: 1-8

Gang Beasts is a game where you get out of it as much as you put in, because a lot of it boils down to how goddamn funny it is seeing these plasticine figures beat the heck out of each other. While the game launched as a very bare-bones proof of concept, Gang Beasts now features plenty of modes, maps, and extravagant experiences.

The gist of things is to be the last gelatinous character standing. This is achieved by controlling all four limbs, punching and kicking your way to victory while using environmental hazards to assist. Building scaffolds, burning fire pits, and trucks hurtling down the highway all feature in this child-friendly game of cartoon combat.

Best Party Video Games: Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Best party video games: Overcooked! All You Can Eat
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Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, PC
Players: 1-4

The first Overcooked! was a revelation in making friends hate each other while laughing at the same time, because the concept is to cook as many meals as possible while adhering to customer orders. This is easier said than done though, because the levels get increasingly difficult due to external factors such as, you know, the entire level splitting in half or trying to cook on the back of a moving truck.

Overcooked! All You Can Eat combines both the first and second games, along with all DLC, to create the ultimate Overcooked! experience. Even though you'll no doubt be frustrated with your cheffing associates after the first few levels - and vice versa, of course - over time you'll improve and can make it from the start of the game to the end during the holiday period.

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Best Party Video Games: Jackbox Party Pack 3

Best party video games: Jackbox Party Pack 3
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Apple TV, Android TV
Players: 2-8

There are eight Jackbox Party Packs to choose from and with each and every one, you'll find a host of great party games, some suitable for kids and some not. The third instalment in the series is widely considered to be the absolute best though, as it includes Quiplash 2, the sequel to the immensely popular game of prompts and quick-wit, and Trivia Murder Party, which is much more comical than it sounds.

All Jackbox Party Packs are controlled via smartphone devices, so you don't even need to have the sufficient amount of controllers for your chosen platform. Just open up your web browser, type in the correct URL and password, and away you go. If you already have the third Jackbox Party Pack, and you're looking to try a different one, may we recommend thanks to Mad Verse City and Split The Room, or for the second Trivia Murder Party and Push The Button.

Best Party Video Games: Knowledge Is Power

Best party video games: Knowledge is Power
Click to enlarge

Platforms: PS4
Players: 2-6

Another game controlled strictly via smartphones, Knowledge is Power is part of the PlayLink catalogue of games which is unfortunately limited to PlayStation consoles only. However, if you do have a PS4, this is one of the best multiplayer trivia experiences you can get. It's loud, it's wacky, and it's even suitable for kids with questions that anyone can know the answer to.

The only downside to Knowledge is Power is that the final level makes it possible for anyone to win, even if they've done poorly throughout the rest of the game, "last goal wins" style. It's all about the fun along the way though, and the sequel, Knowledge is Power: Decades is great if you have some older adults playing along too as you get decade-specific questions.

Best Party Video Games: Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes

Best party video games: Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Players: 2-6

Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes is a unique game, because even though it's a video game, only one person can look at the screen. The premise is simple; one person has a bomb to defuse which has a bunch of puzzles to solve. All the other players must huddle around the defusal manual, communicating with the defuser to identify which game they're playing and the instructions on how to complete it.

This game can quickly turn chaotic and while it's best played with everyone in the same room, the downside is that the screen will need to be literally turned away from everyone else as to prevent cheating. Alternatively, you can easily hop onto a Discord call and play it remotely.

Best Party Video Games: 51 Worldwide Games

Best party video games: 51 Worldwide Games
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Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Players: 1-4

Fancy some classics but don't have them to hand? 51 Worldwide Games (known as Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics in the U.S.) is a collection of iconic tabletop games, all turned into video game form. Chess, Blackjack, Backgammon, Chinese Checkers, Mahjong Solitaire... if it's a classic tabletop game, it's probably on here. It's also got variations on typical sports like Golf, Darts, a Shooting Gallery... heck, there's even a piano keyboard.

What's even better about 51 Worldwide Games is that if you have friends with Nintendo Switch consoles, but they don't own the game, only one person in the squad needs to have it for you all to play together locally. This also includes "mosaic mode" which means the consoles can be placed next to one another to create things like a racetrack or river for their respective games.

Best Party Video Games: That's You!

Best party video games: That's You!
Click to enlarge

Platforms: PS4
Players: 2-6

The other PlayLink entry in this list, That's You! foregoes the trivia and instead opts for jokes and gentle ribbing amongst the people you're playing with. Scenarios and prompts are displayed on the screen and read out by a charismatic narrator, while you pick "which of your friends is most likely to come out of a pottery class with a grey blob", for example.

If everyone playing is 18+, there is an adult option, but you can filter those questions and games out if you're playing with kids or want to avoid uncomfortable topics with family.

Best Party Video Games: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Best party video games: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
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Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Players: 1-8

By this point, we all know the gist for Smash Bros: all your favourite Nintendo characters in a giant scrap, being punted into the sky and leaping around pulling off special moves. As long as you're not playing with someone who considers themselves the next SonicFox, everyone can jump in and have fun.

Even if you don't know who Olimar and Richter are, characters like Mario and Pikachu mean there's somebody for everyone to play as. Whether you want to set up a tournament or play one of the many game variations, the name doesn't lie; this is truly the ultimate version of Smash Bros.

Best Party Video Games: Rock Band 4 Rivals

Best party video games: Rock Band 4 Rivals
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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Players: 1-4

While Guitar Hero reigns on top for solo virtual guitar playing, Rock Band takes the crown when you want to get others involved. We haven't had a new Rock Band game for over five years now but Rock Band Rivals is the ultimate experience, including Rock Band 4 and its Rivals expansion pack into one complete package.

So grab your family, friends, and anyone else who wants to smash some fake drums, because Rock Band Rivals has 65 built-in tracks from bands like Arctic Monkeys, Paramore, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Van Halen, and more, with 2,000+ downloadable tracks to add to your catalogue. Your neighbours won't be keen if you're playing it in the early hours, but it's great for a casual get-together.

Now you know all of the best party video games, why not check out some of the best Switch games?

 

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