Sometimes nothing beats getting together with friends to play some local multiplayer games, and here are the best options. Online multiplayer games may be the standard nowadays, but nothing like yelling at your friends across the room during a hot team deathmatch. For a long time, LAN party were the only method for friends to play games like Unreal Tournament and Quake together.
What is Lan? On the other hand, LAN parties remain the best option to play certain games in a social setting for those who don’t mind hauling their computers or game consoles over to their friends’ houses—or for some who lack steady enough internet to make online play possible. So, whatever your motivation for wanting to put one together, here are some of the best games to consider adding to the lineup.
James Kennedy’s August 31, 2022 update: Sure, the LAN party scene isn’t as vibrant as it once was, but with the Nintendo Switch still on the market and a lot of its games supporting LAN play, a surprising number of newer games still support it. It’s not only Nintendo pulling up the slack. Classic PC games are being remastered all the time. And happily, many of these are still as suitable for LAN party play as they were when they were first released decades ago. We’ve chosen to update this list to include an entry from both. And don’t worry, despite being far from the dregs, both of these titles are classics!
18 Best LAN Party Games
1. League of Legends
League of Legends is a 2009 MOBA that is often regarded as the most popular game in esports venues. Its appeal extends to smaller-scale groups as well. Some of this is due to its usage of the freemium model, which makes the game accessible to folks who aren’t necessarily fans of MOBAs. It is, nevertheless, a game with a colourful environment and a diverse cast of attractive people.
We would have put this at the best top of the list since LOL is the perfect game to play with friends, but there is one tiny issue: it does not support LAN play. We understand, so why are we included on this list?
Because it’s such a great game to play in person with other people! And, after all, the tournaments are LAN-based. So it sort of counts, right?
Minecraft is another game that has gained popularity at LAN parties. After all, not all gamers enjoy the first-person shooter genre that often dominates such meetings. Some people would prefer to participate in first-person building and exploring.
Having an option like Minecraft to fall back on is essential for such people. Fortunately, hosting a LAN game is relatively easy, and inviting all of your friends to join you in your blocky sandbox paradise is just as easy.
3. Rocket League
When Rocket League was initially released on Windows and PlayStation 4 in 2015, its mix of racing and soccer captivated the esports world. It subsequently made its way to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, as well as Linux and macOS versions.
It is one of those games where ability and chance combine to create something undeniably enjoyable to play, which is why it had over 40 million players at its peak of popularity. And now that the game is entirely free to play, more people have access to its hectic gameplay, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be on your list of accessible LAN gaming alternatives.
4. Definitive Edition of Age of Empires 2
That’s right; the king has returned for those who haven’t heard. Age of Empires 2 has been remastered in its entirety. The king has returned, as Definitive Edition is the series’ second remaster (after 2013’s Age Of Empires: HD). And, yes, it does feature LAN play as an option. If you are unfamiliar with AoE2, it is still the favourite entry of many devoted fans of the series (despite AoE4 being pretty well received).
So, what makes AoE2 so fantastic? It’s a highly entertaining RTS with a TON of diversity. Your play style will significantly impact how you construct your empire and conduct war. Furthermore, each civilization has its unique set of strengths and limitations, which encourages players to employ various strategies.
Oh, and there are SO MANY civilizations to select from. Age of Empires 4 has eight impressive civilizations: not bad, right? Age of Empires 2, on the other hand, has over 40! It’s a fantastic combo that provides for a thrilling multiplayer experience. One that is ideal for LAN play.
5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
In Counter-Strike:Global Offensive, a player aims in front of an exploding building. Counter-Strike: Best Global Offensive (or CS:GO as it is more often known) is one of Valve’s most lasting first-person shooters, having been released in 2012 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. It is a sequel to Counter-Strike: Source, including many of the same game types and maps. Fans can’t get enough of the twitchy, skill-based action.
In 2018, CS:GO became free-to-play and received a battle-royale variant dubbed Danger Zone. This contributed merely to increasing its general appeal. In the end, Counter-Strike has long been considered the apex of the competitive shooter genre. Its incredible lifespan makes it a perfect choice for any LAN party lineup (though be warned, it isn’t a very easy thing to set up).
6. Team Fortress 2 (TF2)
Long before hero shooters became its subgenre, there was Team Fortress 2—a class-based first-person shooter that served as a precedent for that other genre. And remember, just because it was the first does not make it worse. Team Fortress 2 is still twitchy fun, especially when played with friends.
In the game, LAN Parties two players compete in one of several modes, each selecting a particular class with its own talents and powers. The Valve-developed game was released in 2007 to near-universal acclaim, building on its predecessor’s virtues to create something unique.
7. Unreal Tournament
Unreal is currently better recognized as a series of game engines created by Epic Games. However, it earned its moniker from the first-person shooters initially designed to power. This includes the original Unreal Tournament from 1999, a game that, while rudimentary by today’s standards, provides just as much fun now as it did back then. The game is still considered a classic in the first-person shooter genre and should be included on any list of LAN Party Games.
8. Arena Quake
When it comes to classic first-person shooters from 1999, we’d be negligent if we didn’t mention Quake 3 Arena. It was the first best game in the Quake series to forego a single-player narrative altogether in favour of multiple multiplayer modes, including the popular deathmatch LAN Parties.
The game was created by id Software as a direct rival to Unreal Tournament, and both games contributed to the development of the arena shooter subgenre. The subgenre’s mainstream appeal may have decreased over time, but those old enough to remember it recalls Quake 3 Arena fondly.
9. Left 4 Dead
Horde Hiding Outside Safe Room in 2 Left 4 Dead 2. When the first Left 4 Dead was released in 2008, the source. engine had shown its scalability, enabling up to four players to join up against an overwhelming number of “infected” in this swarm-heavy, first-person shooter game that is all about getting from point A to point B in one piece.
The LAN Party Games formula of Left 4 Dead became so popular that a sequel was released the following year. Left 4 Dead 2 adds a fresh set of situations, a new pack of survivors to play with (DLC would bring the original survivors back into the mix), additional weapon options, and overall, WAY more diversity.
The second game LAN Parties is more fun to play with friends while being less horror-focused. And thank goodness Left 4 Dead 2 is a terrific game for LAN play because Back 4 Blood debuted with no LAN support. After all, while Back 4 Blood has beautiful new visuals, Left 4 Dead 2 still delivers the thrills and anxiety that players have grown accustomed to. Back 4 Blood was always a pretender to the throne; let’s face it. It would have offered us LAN play if it wasn’t.
10. Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Nintendo Switch’s appeal stems from its mobility. Gone are when players had to worry about bringing their GameCubes to a friend’s house – even if its nifty handle suggests it shouldn’t be that difficult – to play a few rounds of Double Dash. And, of all the games presently available on the hybrid console’s ever-expanding catalog, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe lends itself the most to a LAN party setup.
A battle for up to eight players may be set up in seconds using the Nintendo Switch’s built-in Wireless Play capability. Your visitors won’t need to bring their docks or find a spare TV because they can keep up with the action on their displays. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a few friends who have Mario Kart on their Nintendo Switches, there’s no reason not to play a few rounds at your next get-together.
Running about a kitchen attempting to prepare meals for an increasingly rowdier throng of restaurant clients may not be your opinion of a joy time, but that is precisely what Overcooked is about.
The LAN Party Games, released in 2016 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, is known for testing friendships and marriages with its fun but chaotic multiplayer gameplay. A sequel, as well as a, remaster of both games for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, were released in 2018. However, both games should be plenty to entertain any gaming-focused social gathering.
12. The Master Chief Collection (Halo)
Since Halo: Combat Evolved made console LAN parties a thing in 2001, the multiplayer modes in the Halo games have always proved popular with fans of the series.
However, with seven games to pick from, choosing which one to play is a task in and of itself. Thankfully, most of those games are available as part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Rather than choosing which of the classic games to play, having them all in one bundle makes it very easy to jump from one game to the next. While the game initially had some severe matchmaking difficulties, it is still the best option to play a fast round of Halo multiplayer with friends LAN Parties .
13. Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Eight Player Chaos
So, LAN play doesn’t contribute much to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate experience if you’re playing hyper-competitively. While competitive Smash play is stunning, the eight-player Smash’s absolute anarchy has its own thing. Yes, you read that correctly.
The latest Smash Bros. game allows you to play with up to seven friends. And, sure, you can do it through the “local web,” which means you don’t even need a TV. We doubt this will be the highlight of a LAN party because Smash played on that scale is a heaping load of foolishness. However, it will undoubtedly be entertaining LAN Party Games.
14. Command and Conquer: Remastered Edition
Command & Conquer was one of the first titles in the category of real-time strategy games. It debuted in 1995 and swiftly evolved into a series with over 20 distinct titles. The Remastered Collection is a collection of remastered versions of the first two games in the series. Which are still considered some of the best games in the franchise.
It was released on PC in 2020; it is currently a reasonably priced compilation. In terms of value, this package comes fully loaded with all expansions. Oh, and it has a LAN-based multiplayer mode. There’s a lot of good stuff, and it comes with LAN. This is a fantastic option for RTS-focused LAN Party Games.
15. The sequel to Star Wars Battlefront
Whatever you think of the loot boxes and microtransactions that dominated the game’s initial release, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is yet a joy, action-packed shooter at its heart. And the best way to have fun is with a bunch of friends LAN Parties .
You’ll need an internet connection to play together on one of the game’s online servers, like with most contemporary games. However, once everything is in place, there will be many hours of lightsaber battles and X-wing dogfights for everyone to enjoy.
16. Extraction of Rainbow Six
Rainbow Six Extraction is the long-awaited return to Rainbow Six Siege, acting as a direct sequel to the 2015 game and including many of the operators from the previous game.
The series has gone a long way since its start in the late 1990s, as the new game replaces the previous editions’ present-day scenario with one that appears to be torn right out of a science-fiction film. You and your friends will face an alien menace known as the Archaeans, so there will be lots of tactical mayhem.
17. Mario Party Superstars
If any Mario game appeared tailor-made for a party scene, it was the Mario Party series. Mario Party Superstars on the Nintendo Switch is the most recent entry. The LAN Parties game is a replica of the original Mario Party game for the N64, using five boards from that title. It also includes 100 mini-games culled from previous games, serving as a sort of best hits compilation while giving many hours of fun.
18. Infinite Halo
Halo Infinite was released after a one-year delay and was not released alongside the Xbox Series X as initially intended. The game, developed by 343 Studios, is considered a return to form by many fans, harkening back to the fondly remembered days of Halo 3 on the Xbox 360.
The game allows players to set local multiplayer matches and operates on a broad range of PCs and Xboxes, dating back to the first Xbox One. The best thing, LAN Parties though, is that it is free to play (at least in multiplayer), allowing long-time fans and newcomers alike to jump in with no barriers to entry.