Multiplayer is probably at its strongest point this year. While couch co-op games are rare to come by the advancement in subscription services like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and 2018 newcomer Switch Online makes it easier than ever to play online with friends around the world. That being said, we're looking at the strongest games to play with or against your companions this year, from shooters all the way to swashbucklers.
5. FIFA 19 / EA Vancouver
For football fans, FIFA has always been a solid multiplayer choice, because there's nothing better than getting your mate over or linking up online so you can smash them and hold bragging rights. There's also the hugely successful Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs to diversify the content offering for FIFA, all of which has been polished and refined with this year's entry in EA's series.
Perhaps more interesting are the changes to Kick Off mode, as getting a friend over doesn't just mean playing a regular match. New options like Survival - which sees you lose a player every time you score - as well as others such as Headers and Volleys, were added to give more of a custom games feel to FIFA, throwing realism out of the window for some more light-hearted, arcade fun.
4. Fortnite / Epic Games
We can't neglect to mention Epic Games' goliath here, can we? The game has amassed over 200 million players, and you don't get such a large following and cult status for no reason. Fortnite keeps fans young and old coming back with its flavour and personality, whether that be the emotes, constant updates, new and innovative weapons, crossover events, skins, or the map changes, changes that keep the game fun and varied.
But more importantly than that is the fact that the core concept is so strong. It's simple in essence, having you move further into the map with the circle until only one team or player remains, but with all the elements listed above built atop this solid foundation comes together to define Fortnite's secret formula. It's even generated an esports following with millions of US dollars awarded this year alone, and a streaming culture that has propelled those like Ninja and Ali-A into the spotlight.
3. Sea of Thieves / Rare
While Fortnite may be about shooting others in and around the face, Sea of Thieves encourages a more harmonious approach to multiplayer. To succeed as a pirate in Rare's newest game you'll need to work alongside others to manage the ship, direct your adventure, fight off giant beasts, and a whole lot more. This isn't (all) about PvP but about living the pirate fantasy with a bunch of neat little tools at your disposal to help facilitate that.
The beauty of Sea of Thieves is that it doesn't take itself too seriously, and you're free to create your own fun or chaos at the pace you want. You determine the adventures you go on, you decide where you go, and you get to choose if you want to just ignore all of this to drink and play musical instruments instead. It's a really free adventure in every sense of the word, but be careful, because the seven seas might not be as friendly as you are.