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

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

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

Swordplay shouldn’t feel as brutal and hard-hitting as it does in For Honor, but there’s no denying the sense of impact these blades and clubs have. Combat in For Honor is in-your-face, meaty, and satisfying. Choose the Vikings, Knights, or Samurai faction and pick a class, then go head to armored head with three companions against a team of four foes in seven different modes. You’ve got your standard deathmatch and king-of-the-hill types, but also the more unique Breach mode, where players must successfully siege and invade an enemy fort. Whatever you play, you’ll know For Honor’s unique joy when you send a giant mace crashing into some poor sucker’s ribcage. Just watch out for those pitfalls…

Dauntless

Developer: Phoenix Labs
Format(s): PC, consoles (TBD)

Think Monster Hunter, but a bit more streamlined. Instead of a storied setup and long bouts of exposition, Dauntless immediately plops you and three other players onto islands which hover in the clouds to hunt and slay enormous beasts known as Behemoths. Your class is defined by your weapon, and hunts are as much about figuring out a creature’s weaknesses as it is hitting your combos. So if Dauntless is basically “Monster Hunter but…”, why didn’t we just choose the most recent entry in that series, Monster Hunter: World? While that’s also a fine choice for online fun, you can just as easily experience what Capcom’s RPG has to offer solo. In the case of Dauntless, online play is the whole point.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Developer: EA DICE, Criterion Software, Motive Studios
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Star Wars Battlefront 2 had a rough start, with its implementation of loot boxes souring many players on the experience. Heck, it was even the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for some countries, and the game was classified as gambling. That’s all gone now – the game has had its questionable progression system completely overhauled, and loot boxes are hardly a concern any more. Which is good, because without all that mess to distract you, you’ll be having so much Star Wars fun you’ll start making lightsaber, blaster, and starship noises with your mouth in no time. Vvvrrumm! Pew! Whhooohm!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Developer: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment
Format(s): PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3

There’s a reason Counter-Strike has stuck around for as long as it has. A fast and hyper-lethal portrayal of modern military engagements, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or just CS:GO for short) is all about being quick on the draw and an even quicker thinker. Tactics and teamwork will win the day here, as you set forth to eliminate other players or engage in more objective-focused modes such as disarming a bomb.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

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Developer: Ubisoft, Massive Entertainment, Red Storm Entertainment
Format(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Division saw a massive surge in interest when it first released, only to rapidly deflate as players moved on to the next hot item. But Ubisoft didn’t give up on the game, and the improvements made since launch are palpable. A third-person online tactical shooter set in our near future, The Division feels unique among its more fantastical brethren, though you may still find yourself equipping an “Exotic” hat that magically gives you better aim with your rifle. And if it turns out you really like this sort of gameplay, stick around, because The Division 2 is set to launch in March 2019.

Heroes of the Storm

Developer: Blizzard
Format(s): PC

Blizzard may have been late to the MOBA party, but its take on the genre is worth your attention. Bringing together heroes (and villains) from across Blizzard’s various properties, Heroes of the Storm makes its battlegrounds as much a part of the action as the characters themselves. Instead of a single map and game mode, HotS introduces a plethora of maps, with objectives unique to each. And because Heroes doesn’t restrict itself to conventional designs, you can have characters like Abathur, who might spend an entire match sitting in your base, or Cho’Gall, a single character controlled by two players. But really, the main draw here is the fan service. If you’ve ever wanted to see who would win in a fight between Diablo, Tracer, Illidan, and Jim Raynor, Heroes of the Storm is for you.

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