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The 25 best online games to play right now with your friends (or foes)

10. A Way Out 

best online games - a way out

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: Hazelight Studios
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

A Way Out is a flawed co-op masterpiece. The dialogue is sometimes clunky and challenges are sometimes too simple, but no other game creates the feeling of truling relying on your multiplayer partner better than A Way Out. As two prisoners trying to break out of prison, you’ll do everything together, from laundry duty to playing Connect 4, right through to chiselling escape tunnels in the wall. On the rare occasions you’re not together, A Way Out whips between two perspectives with the pace of the best action TV shows. It all adds up to a close bond, and the story’s emotional conclusion is worth hanging around for. 

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, 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. Dota 2

best online games - dota 2

Developer: Valve
Format(s): PC

 One of the first games to wholeheartedly embrace the concept of esports, Dota 2 is as much a spectator sport as it is a game to enjoy yourself. One of the titans of the MOBA genre, it's treated with reverence by its playerbase, who constantly analyze and scrutinize every minute change to its gigantic roster of heroes. It's classic in its design: three lanes, five heroes on each team, and creeps pushing forward to destroy the enemy base. That singular focus has made Dota 2 a yardstick for similar games.

7. Fortnite

best online games - fortnite

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

Fortnite. 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 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 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 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. Rainbow Six Siege

best online games - rainbow six siege

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

Rainbow Six Siege focuses on teamwork and tactical thinking, and its slower, class-based brand of shooting has drawn a committed community. Operators feel unique, and Ubisoft is constantly expanding the roster, so there’s always new gadgets to get your hands on. With tools like deployable walls, battering rams, and drones, you'll have all kinds of fun trying out the various classes. Squad-based PvP is Siege’s bread and butter, but don’t ignore the co-op Terrorist Hunt mode, which is a staple of the Rainbow Six series. 

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 expansion, things have been looking up, and 2019’s generous free-to-play offering Destiny 2: New Light 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.