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The 30 best online games to play right now with your friends (or foes)

10. Final Fantasy 14

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

MMOs haven’t gone anywhere - they’ve just narratively expanded in their own ways, growing denser and more complex without compromising the social aspects that one can expect from the genre. Final Fantasy 14 is a breathing testament of this, setting itself apart as one of the most interesting titles in the series, and for good reason. The expansions not only focused on adding more content as per usual, but also brand new storylines and areas to explore.

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to jump into it, this might be the ideal time. The free trial version includes not only the base experience, called A Realm Reborn (which has been reworked to be more welcoming to new players), but also the first expansion, Heavensward. There are no time restrictions and you won’t have to subscribe until over dozens of hours, with the possibility of levelling up jobs up to level 60 as well, which work as specialist character classes that impact your playstyles drastically.

9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

best online games - mario kart 8

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Format(s): Nintendo Switch

Is it the best Mario Kart ever? Anyone who grew up on Mario Kart 64 might think not, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (opens in new tab), an enhanced edition of the Wii U racing game, is certainly the best online Mario Kart to date. Connecting with up to 11 friends or internet randoms, you can play the Grand Prix, VS Race, and Battle modes over WiFi. If you thought matching up against the CPU was thrilling, wait until you pip a real-life opponent to pole position (and if you thought losing to AI racers was heartbreaking, wait until you get blue shelled just before the finish line and have to watch a player-controlled Bowser drift pass).

8. Fall Guys

Fall Guys

(Image credit: Mediatonic)

Developer: Mediatonic
Format(s): PC, PS4

It’s impossible to talk about online games without mentioning Fall Guys, one of the most inventive and welcoming battle royale experiences out there. Instead of focusing on combat or reaching specific objectives, developer Mediatonic threw all of that away and instead chose a more light breeze route. Dozens of players still compete with each other, sure, but they do so in obstacle-filled courses that can be as funny as frustrating, but never tiring.

Fall Guys works best when you’re gathered with friends in a group, but it’s also engaging when on your own, slowly learning the obstacle courses and trying to reach first place to grab that ever elusive crown. With a friendly aesthetic and a fast learning curve, it’s one of those games we can recommend to anyone.

7. Fortnite

best online games - fortnite

Developer: Epic Games
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Fortnite (opens in new tab). Is. Everywhere. It's everything. Everyone’s heard of it. With good reason, because it’s just really, really fun. Yes, it's a battle royale game with all the trimmings: 100 players dropped into a large map, an ever-shrinking safe zone, and one player left standing. But Fortnite is also a crafting game, where the best players aren't just those who can shoot straight, but those who can build mega-structures and fortresses in a few button presses. Its seasonal structure adds exciting new mechanics every few months, giving players added incentive to come back and check things out. It’s also extremely accessible, being free to play and available on pretty much every device. So yeah, Fortnite is everywhere, including on this list. 

6. Monster Hunter World

best online games - monster hunter world

(Image credit: Capcom)

Developer: Capcom
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Grindy? Yes. Confusing? Definitely. But once you’ve got into your stride, Monster Hunter World (opens in new tab) is one of the most rewarding action games around, and playing with friends makes finding and crafting the best gear all the more satisfying. Combat is the star here. You track monsters through a dense, gorgeous world, before facing them in fights to the death. Enemies are smart, agile, and react realistically to your actions, but if you coordinate as a team, you’ll bring even the nastiest of beasts down. A constant sense of progression, and a flood of new items, stops the grind becoming overwhelming.

5. Minecraft

best online games - minecraft

Developer: Mojang, Microsoft Studios
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

All this death and killing – wouldn't it be nice if there was a game all about being constructive and creative while fostering a sense of community and cooperation? Well, that's exactly what Minecraft (opens in new tab) is. Don't let the simple graphics fool you: Minecraft is a complex beast of a survival game, where you'll need to harvest resources in order to tame the wilderness and make a home. Or, just drop into the free build mode and construct whatever you can imagine; players have already made everything from King's Landing to functioning computers. And yeah, you can do all this alone, but where's the fun in that? 

4. Apex Legends

best online games - apex legends

(Image credit: Respawn)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Apex Legends was a bombshell of a release; an unannounced sensation that changed the way we thought about battle royales. Teams of threes could communicate seamlessly without a headset, using a ‘ping’ system to flag up items, tag enemies and suggest regrouping locations. It still feels like the best co-operative battle royale, with class abilities that combine to lethal effect – pop Bloodhound’s smoke grenade to obscure your enemy’s vision while Bloodhound tracks them through the fog, for instance. If you haven’t played it in a while, it’s time you jumped back in to see how the maps have changed.

3. Sea of Thieves

best online games - sea of thieves

(Image credit: Rare)

Developer: Rare
Format(s): PC, Xbox One

Sail the seven seas in the best pirate sim around. Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab) casts you and your friends as a crew of scallywags, and the open-ended structure leaves you free to roam the ocean. You might take on quests for factions, ferrying goods between ports. You might gather treasure maps and go digging for loot. You might just mess around on deck, each playing a jolly tune on one of many instruments. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you might load up your cannons, climb the mast, and use your spyglass to search for other crews to sink. Just make sure you don’t run into a Kraken. Those things will tear your boat to shreds.

2. Among Us

Among Us

(Image credit: InnerSloth)

Developer: InnerSloth LLC
Format(s): PC, Switch, Xbox One, Android, iOS

If Zoom calls started to feel outdated for you, Among Us might be the perfect alternative to catch up with friends and family. That is, if the scenario of up to 10 people being locked in the same airship with one or more hidden imposters doesn’t frighten anyone. This concept sounds fairly simple on paper, but it takes a lot of skill to either survive, or be a great liar when it comes down to deciding who might be the culprit.

Developer InnerSloth LLC was planning to come up with a brand new sequel, but instead will be focusing on the same version as ever, adding new maps, cosmetics, and refining what has made Among Us one of the most surprising titles of 2020, which will surely follow through in the coming years as well.

1. Destiny 2

best online games - destiny 2

Developer: Bungie
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Bungie's not-quite-an-MMO Destiny 2 has hit a few snags over the years, but ever since 2018’s Destiny 2: Forsaken (opens in new tab) expansion, things have been looking up, and 2019’s generous free-to-play offering Destiny 2: New Light (opens in new tab) brought in a bunch of new players. There's so much you can do with friends in Destiny 2: farming for that next piece of awesome gear; mixing it up in the Crucible for some PvP; or learning the ins and outs of the latest uber-challenging Raid. At the core of all this is Bungie's excellent gunplay, which just feels so. Damn. Satisfying. 

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.