The best online games you can play with friends (or foes), from Fortnite to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The best online games are built for competition and collaboration. Regardless of whether you’re linking up with friends, or making a few new ones in open lobbies, there’s something special about a great multiplayer experience. And if the last few years have proven anything, it’s that the very best online games that you can play right now have a special capacity to bring us all together.
Whether you’ve moved conversations from WhatsApp to Fortnite, have replaced family game night with Among Us, like coming together with strangers around Monster Hunter World battles, or competing with close friends over K/D ratios in Halo Infinite and Warzone, there really is an online game out there for everybody and every situation.
If you’re looking for specific lists on the best co-op games or the best MMORPGs, then you’ll find those by clicking through on the links. Otherwise, you’ll want to keep reading for our pick of the 25 best online games that you can play today.
Best online games, ranked
1. Diablo 3
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch
Even with Blizzard’s Diablo 4 looming on the horizon, the third entry in this classic action-RPG series is still one of the best online games out there. The premise is the stuff of fantasy gaming legend, hack-and-slash top down adventuring, sending the forces of evil packing with a variety of playable classes. Where Diablo 3 becomes essential is in its rich RPG detail, and the almost compulsive desire it’ll drag out of you and your friends to continue leveling and collecting new loot. Diablo 3 may be over a decade old, but there’s still magic to be found in its formula.
2. League of Legends
Developer: Riot Games
There are a few games on this list that could be described as the definitive article– the one example of a genre that stands tall – and nowhere is that truer than with League of Legends. It’s the archetype MOBA, a world beating esport, and the inspiration for a whole universe of spin-offs. Pick your champion, pick your lane, pick your poison, and have at it – you and your team need to find a way to push through the opposition team to their base. Sounds simple enough, but 13 years of strategy development, of upgrades and patches, mean that while League of Legends is as approachable as it’s ever been, the depth of high level competitive play is remarkable.
Developer: Iron Gate Studio
Survival games are ten a penny, you can’t move in the Steam store without treading on another base crafting, resource gathering title. But Valheim stands out from the pack; it nails the basics of the genre and iterated upon those ideas smartly, and the resulting early access experience is truly remarkable. Core survival mechanics are all present and account for: chopping trees, building your base, getting some food, and killing nasties. But developer Iron Gate Studios has excelled by making it all simple to grasp, with layers of depth waiting underneath. Beyond the objective of simple survival, Valheim includes boss battles, making co-operative online play a key focus; get all your vikings as beefy as possible, ready to take on these epic fights.
Developer: Riot Games
League of Legends developer Riot Games has applied its vibrant and exciting character design ethos towards this punishingly precise first-person shooter. The result is a tightly tactical team-based game with a miniscule time to kill, a defined art-style, and heroes with a whole lot of character. Getting involved with competitive games of Valorant is exhilarating, and you’ll need teamwork and communication to be on point to survive them – rounds of Valorant can often be won or lost by a degree of milliseconds and millimeters. It isn’t the most approachable FPS on this list, but if you can get a handle on Valorant you’ll find that there’s nothing quite like it.
Developer: Hello Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
One of the all time great video game fairy tales, a game with a troubled launch pulling itself up by the bootstraps and becoming better than ever thought possible. Update after update have made No Man’s Sky a constantly outstanding and surprising title. Space exploration and survival with friends in this beautiful sci-fi illustration of a game now exists in a much more traditional and satisfying manner, making it easier than ever before to party up, build a home base, and travel the universe together. You never know what you’ll find out there in the procedurally-generated stars of No Man’s Sky, but sharing discoveries with friends makes the experience truly unforgettable.