Considering most party games are part of a series, let’s list these as a franchise, as opposed to single games or we’ll be here all day.
Surprise, surprise…one of the most renowned party games of all time. As of January 2017 there are fifteen Mario Party games for N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, GBA, DS and 3DS. Each game has a party mode where player navigate through a game board, collecting coins to reach the end and claim victory. There are about seventy different mini-games involved in each game. If you don’t want to commit to an entire game, there is a free-play mode where you just pick a game and play against your opponents.
Super Smash Bros.
As of 2016, there are four different versions of Super Smash Bros. The original from 1999, Melee, Brawl, and handheld. This game was a hit from the start, and is not only an iconic party game, but also a popular competitive game. The game started with twelve total characters and now features 58 in the Wii U version. This game is great for parties, whether you are pulling out your 64 or playing your Wii U. The fighting style in this game is totally different than any other fighting game. Instead of depleting your opponents’ health, you bring their resistance, in a way, up, by raising their vulnerability to amazing heights, capping at 999%. This allows you to easily launch them off the map, where they lose a life.
If your party is into racing games, Mario kart is by far the best for groups. Play as your favorite Mario Bros. characters as you race your opponents to the finish suing sabotages to delay them. Unlike many racing games, Mario kart is simple enough for on-gamers and children alike, yet enjoyable for the hardcore gamers too. This game (in different versions) is available on NES, 64, GBA, GameCube, DS, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, and very soon to the upcoming Nintendo Switch.
I know, weird game to put on the “best party games” list. But, I’m not talking about the campaign on Banjo Kazooie, but the mini-games. Oh yeah, remember those? The games for the 64, which were recreated for Xbox 360 and One, are a blast for everyone. There are forty-four mini-games total. Ranging from shootouts to puzzles to a Grunty’s quiz for the dedicated Banjo Kazooie fans.
Guitar Hero/Rock Band
Not fair to group them, but it is understandable. Playing guitar, drums, bass and singing leads to great party fun. Some version of this game has been available on every console since the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Wii. Even DS released one! But that’s for solo play only. The best part is, your guests will be playing 60% Cherry Pie on easy, while you’re at 99% Through the Fire and Flames Expert level. What a great way to show off how you have no life…
Yes! The best FPS for groups. Whether you are four people playing matchmaking online or you just want to chillax with some custom games, Halo is there for anyone with a Microsoft console. You can even forge with friends as you create ridiculous or pro maps together. Hot pursuit? I think yes!
Gang Beasts is a type of fighting game where you control gel-like characters to beat your opponents up with. After you knock them out you can finish them off with built-in map hazards. So, it isn’t officially available yet, but we expect it to go down as an amazing party game. But there was an early access in 2014 for Linux and Steam. It will be on consoles sometime in 2017.
Nintendo Land is a virtual amusement park where you travel around with friends to ride the attractions which turn out to be min-games. The best part? The attractions re Nintendo themed! Zelda, Metroids, Pikmin, Mario, and more! This game is great for Nintendo fans!
Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball is a lesser known party game that spreads across most platforms from GameCube to PS2 to Xbox to iOS. The initial idea is to tilt the board to control your character; this is made easy on mobile devices and motion sensing consoles. The game varies based on platform and year, but it consistently consists of rolling around your monkey to reach your goal quicker or more efficiently than your opponent.
Since 2006, the Rabbids have branched out and made games of their own, away from their predecessor and partner, Rayman. The games usually have a story mode, but the star is party mode. In this mode, players face off in different mini-games. From shooting Rabbids to shaking your booty in a dance-off. The Rabbids are crazy and keep any party alive and interesting. Fans of the series on TV will especially be interested in the gaming franchise.
Karaoke has always been a blast at parties, so the best karaoke game out there is no exception. You can pick up a Pop hits, Rock ballads, ABBA, Queen, today’s hits, or whatever suits your group’s particular fancy. If you’re not sure, just get a classic game with a mix of everything. You can get a game for any Sony console since PlayStation 2.
It’s as simple as that…Just Dance! No party is complete without a dance party and Just Dance does it best. Play with four players in a competitive game or load up the floor with as many as you wish and the points don’t matter! Orignially for the Wii, it is now available for Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and soon for Nintendo Switch.
You Don’t Know Jack
Anyone up for a quiz? For those game show fans, You Don’t Know Jack is a fun way to see who is full of the most random knowledge. There are tons of categories so everyone can feel comfortable and have their time to shine. Thankfully, there is a version of this game for nearly every platform, console, and mobile device. YDKN twists the questions to make you think about the answeres even if you know them.
I bet you forgot about this game. Remember on N64 when you played your Gameboy Pokémon games on the big screen? Well, they had battling too, which is loads of fun for groups. Especially if you get to use your own Pokémon that somehow you still have from twenty years ago. But this game really shone with the mini-games. Between Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2 there are twenty-one games. All featuring some of your favorite Pokémon. Before long everyone will have their favorite game that they want to go back to over and over again.
When the Wii was released, it was accompanied by a little game called Wii Sports. It was simply an addition at the time, but soon evolved into a great, must-have party game. Play Tennis, Golf, Bowling, and much more with Wii Sports. The game was followed by Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club.
This game for PS4, Windows, and OS is a simple fast-paced sword fighting game where players face off to see whose swordsmanship is superior. Your goal is to push the opposing player off the edge of the platform.
Rocket-powered cars and soccer? Sure! The game is pretty self-explanatory. Players utilize speed boosts and terrain to propel the soccer ball into the goal. This can be played with teams of four or simple 1v1. The matches are usually five minutes, making it great for big parties who wish to take turns.
If your party prefers a more classic fighting game that Smash, consider Street Fighter. The icon for all fighting games. Since 1987 Capcom has given us these amazing games. Decades later, they are still going strong. There’s nothing like a fighting game to get things going and Street Fighter does it best. Players will be fighting over combos and button mashing in no time.
For a fighting game a little too graphic for younger viewers, but very intense, try Mortal Kombat on for size. This bloody game has a great selection of characters with in-depth personalities. The most iconic part of Mortal Kombat is probably the finishing moves, called Fatalities. Whoever wins, will get to use their finishing move with a engaging and gruesome animation.
I know, Atari isn’t a game, but it deserves a spot on its own. You can break out the old set or play an updated collection. Flashback Classics for PS4 or Xbox One is a great and easy way to bring Atari to the 21st century.
This list is jam-packed with party fun, but of course, all party games cannot be covered in one article, so let us know which ones are your favorite!