Party Video Games perfect for any occasion.
What is the perfect party video game? You’d think the party game genre would be easy to crack, but not even Mario Party can consistently get it right. And if a game with “Party” right in the title might be a bomb, what hope does the casual gamer have of finding a good game?
But never fear! As a massive video game nerd who has hosted many a get-together with non-gamers, I am here to offer my self-proclaimed expertise. If you’re looking for party video games that can spice up your living room, here are five guaranteed hits no matter who you choose to have over.
5: Rocket League
It is just as fun to be bad at Rocket League as it is to be good at it. And frankly, it takes a lot of hours to be good at Rocket League. People don’t play soccer with cars in real life for a reason, but in the context of a social gathering, cars absolutely improve the sport.
Whether you play Rocket League to win, or you like to crash into your opponents at max speed, you’ll have a lot of fun. Recommended for owners of big TVs to appreciate the four-player split screen madness.
4: Ultimate Chicken Horse
There are a ton of fantastic indie party games, but Ultimate Chicken Horse is in a league of its own. The concept is simple: Up to four players dodge obstacles and pits while racing to a flag at the end of the course. Catch is, after every race, each player gets to pick an additional death trap to add anywhere to the course. The goal is to make a level that’s too hard for your friends to complete, but not so hard you can’t complete it yourself.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is great because of the sheer monstrosities you and your friends will create by the fifth or sixth lap. I’ve never heard grown adults scream “what have we DONE!?” more than playing Ultimate Chicken Horse. With a helping of handicap options and a variety of cute animals to play as, anyone can get a kick out of this one.
3: Rock Band
We’re a full decade removed from Guitar Hero‘s peak popularity, but the plastic-guitar genre lives on. In fact, the community around Rock Band 4 for PS4 and Xbox One is alive and kicking!
Even if you don’t want to spend cash on the newest software, past Guitar Hero and Rock Band games are just as fun and can be found for fairly cheap from the right seller. Even if the fad isn’t there, strumming on fake instruments makes for a great throwback night. Just maybe avoid Guitar Hero Live.
2: Wii Sports Resort
For all the motion controlled gimmicks Nintendo’s Wii console gave us, none shined as brilliantly as the pack-in Wii Sports. Wii Sports Resort was the only logical step to improve on an already great game, and it remains one of the best party games to this day.
Whether you’re sword fighting, playing bowling, or going against each other in archery, Wii Sports Resort is still one of the best casual games ever created. Heck, even if you aren’t throwing a party, dust off the Wii and give this one another run.
1: Quiplash 2 (Jackbox Party Pack 3)
Honestly, the Jackbox Party Pack series could have comprised this entire list. These hilarious collections of minigames check all the boxes of what a party game should be, and they go even above and beyond with some key innovations. The games using smart phones as controllers makes them instantly accessible, and with many games supporting up to 8 players, it’s easy to get your entire room in on the fun.
It didn’t feel right to rank the packs outright, since each one has one or two standout games that are worth owning. But in terms of which individual game is the best? Quiplash 2, found in Jackbox Party Pack 3, is the best way to get into the Jackbox Party Packs. Imagine Cards Against Humanity with all blank white cards, multiple judges, and a seemingly never-ending variety of prompts to answer, and you have a good idea of what Quiplash is. Frankly, if that doesn’t sell you on the game, I don’t know what will. If you’re looking for a great party game to break the ice, or just want to rib on your close friends, this is the best one you’ll find.