Shack Chat: What is your favorite multiplayer game?

This week, the Shack Staff discusses their favorite multiplayer games of all times, from Bishi Bashi to Destiny.


Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.

Question: What is your favorite multiplayer game?

Quake - Asif Khan, Actually read Quakeholio

Quake is the one multiplayer game that I return to every year and it still feels great. It set the bar for all online FPS games with respects to gameplay modes, speed of play, and level design. It is one of the true tests of video game skill, and many people still play the game 23 years later.

We even featured Quake at the 2018 Shacknews World Championship final. Many young gamers may not realize it, but Quake was the first game to popularize a lot of the best practices still found in FPS games and online games as a whole. Check out our long read on the topic, unless you want to act like Overwatch invented the arena shooter like Greg.

Bishi Bashi - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

Bishi Bashi is one of the most oddly satisfying games to play with others that you'll ever see. None of its games make much sense, at least at a glance. They’re perfectly reasonable if you pay attention.

It can be easy not to do that, though. These games come at you in rapid-fire succession. From one moment to the next, you could be building a burger from the bun up a la Burger Time, or tapping the PlayStation's face buttons to clear out smiling totems, there's always something new and bizarre around every corner in his game. No matter which game you opt to play, there's a weird and wacky game coming up next. Like the WarioWare series, you get a few seconds to learn how to play, and a few seconds more to put what you learned into action.

This makes for some absolutely hilarious competitions, especially if you play the games with people who happen to have quick reflexes and love wild collections of mini games. From the loud, flashing "ATTENTION!" to the game's bizarrely animated games, Bishi Bashi is an absolute blast to play with others, especially if you're looking for something easy to understand that can appeal to anyone – like Resident Evil 5, which is a fantastic game, and anyone who says otherwise is just wrong.

Destiny 1 and 2 - Josh Hawkins, Some Guy

While neither of the games have been perfect—both have had some pretty rough stages to be honest—I keep finding myself revisiting the Destiny series again and again. Sure, I might take long breaks in between the times that I play, but each time I boot up the game and log in, I always find myself struggling to kick the habit once more. There’s just something about the Destiny formula that really sucks you in, especially when you find yourself playing amongst your friends.

Whether you’re exploring the various regions in the Director, or just chilling and shooting enemies while you shoot the breeze with your pals, there is just something that continues to draw me in about the Destiny series—most recently Destiny 2 as that’s where Bungie’s focus has been the past couple of years. Of course, not everyone shares this same sentiment, but when I think of multiplayer games and the ones I enjoy the most, my mind always pops back to the good times I’ve had exploring Destiny and Destiny 2 with my pals.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Kevin S. Tucker, In Position

I don’t really play very many multiplayer games because I don’t really like many multiplayer games. With that said, I have always been fond of Counter-Strike, and I’ve never really stopped playing it in the… geez, almost 20 years since it first released. There have been a few times when my computer couldn’t handle the latest version of the game, but that hasn’t been an issue for several years now.

Not only is CS my favorite multiplayer game, it’s also among my favorite games of all time. I’d hesitate to put it near my top 10 because there are so many other mind-blowing games that have left stronger impressions in my mind, but I return to Counter-Strike basically every week, and sometimes every night for many nights in a row. It’s one of those rare games where I can play for a few matches, get my fill, then move on to other things. Considering this line of work and all of the unusual or unfamiliar games we have to play, it’s nice to have something warm and comforting to return to when needed… even if it’s occasionally jam-packed with trolls.

Team Fortress 2 - Chris Jarrard, Need a dispenser here!

This week’s ShackChat was a tough one for me as I have so many fond multiplayer gaming memories. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, WWF No Mercy, and BF: Bad Company 2, but at the end of the day I’ll probably always side with Valve’s multiplayer masterpiece. Team Fortress 2 spent a decade in development hell and came out on the other side as one of the finest games of any type I’ve ever had the privilege to play.

From the striking art style to the 1960s spy music score, the game looks and feels timeless. Its presentation is as sharp today as it was nearly fifteen years ago when it debuted as part of The Orange Box. Every character in the game played differently and each served a purpose. The various game modes were well balanced and the top-notch server tools allowed communities to grow and expand.

I loved the game but playing it turned into an obsession with the deployment of the original Medic Update and the Payload game type. I must have played on 24x7 pl_Goldrush servers for years. I made lots of lifelong friends playing the game and have enjoyed many great rounds playing in casual ShackBattles. I don’t play the game very often and have become overwhelmed with all the hats and user-created content, but the underlying game is still as fun as it always was.

SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation - Charles Singletary Jr, Jolly Loser

What is my favorite multiplayer game? At different junctions in my gaming history, there were different crowned kings. Halo 2 had a long reign before I started dabbling heavily in Warhawk. Both of those were left behind as I experienced the magnificence that is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and MW2, thought there was a brief return to Warhawk when jetpacks were added to the experience.

Despite my love for those games, I’m going to say SOCOM Confrontation is my favorite, if only because it resulted in one of my favorite gaming stories. Can’t go into incredible detail, but SOCOM Confrontation, the online-only entry in that series, was the first time I tried to play games professionally.

With a crew of players that went from random strangers to friends (I even got to meet one of the guys when I went down to Orlando for vacation), we made the leap into an amateur league and...simply put, I had the most fun losing than I’ve ever had in a game. Me and the crew would practice and plan out different tactics, then we’d pretty much get completely wrecked. We were all cheery about it and actually got great ratings from our opponents, which allowed us to face off against some of the best players in the world (and lose even more, of course). I’ve dug my heels in with multiplayer games before and after Socom Confrontation, but never did I experience anything like the heights of excitement playing in an official league.

Destiny 2 - Bill Lavoy, Gold Gun and Celestial Nighthawk Pro

Oh, this one takes a bit of consideration. If we’re looking at our favorite multiplayer games of all time I would probably say Battlefield 3, which I played for three to five hours per night for over a year. I loved the squad gameplay, and I believe that’s the game that introduced me to Josh Hawkins. It’s also a game that I created content for and it helped get me into the gaming industry. It brought a lot of positives to my life.

These days, however, Destiny 2 is far and away my favorite multiplayer game, but that’s partly because it’s a multiplayer game without requiring the player to be in a PvP scenario all the time. It’s a game I’ll turn to when I don’t have any friends to chat with on Discord but I still want to feel that connection to real people. It’s even done an admirable job of mixing PvE and PvP with its Gambit mode. Truthfully, my least favorite multiplayer aspect of Destiny 2 is PvP in the Crucible, but part of the reason I’m continuously drawn to it is the connection to other players, even if they aren’t in my squad.

Sea of Thieves - Sam Chandler, A Real-Life Pirate

Sea of Thieves is the one game I’ve returned to almost every single day for a year now. It’s the one game I played consistently since it’s launch in 2018 and it’s a game I continue to pour dozens of hours into. Nothing has captured my imagination and love quite like Rare’s pirate title.

It’s for this reason that Sea of Thieves has to be one of the best multiplayer games currently on the market. Whether I’m playing duo with my partner on a sloop or as part of a 4-person crew on a galleon, the moment-to-moment gameplay is, so far, unmatched. Sure, Apex Legends is the hot new thing full of intense action, but the adventure that’s on offer in Sea of Thieves totally eclipses a lot of other titles.

There’s just something about Sea of Thieves that is so difficult to accurately encapsulate in words. There’s a feel to it, a sense of being within the world, and all of it is heightened through multiplayer. If you haven’t given Sea of Thieves a go or haven’t given it a fair shake, get some mates together and get on the seas.

Resident Evil 5 - David Craddock, Long Reads Editor

Resident Evil 5 is a terrible Resident Evil game. It is the Man of Steel of the RE series. Chris Redfield punches a boulder, okay? Jill Valentine is a blonde in a bodysuit who flips around and duel-wields SMGs. And Sheva Alomar? I barely remember Sheva. She was a vehicle for Chris’s long-winded exposition.

Take “Resident Evil” out of the title, however, and you’re left with… well, you’re left with “5,” which is weird. But you’re also left with a fantastic action game (albeit with an ill-suited control scheme) and my favorite multiplayer game, ever.

My wife and I have played RE5 to completion dozens of times on half a dozen platforms. We shoot our way through every difficulty level, unlock infinite ammo for every weapon, loot every treasure, claim every achievement, demolish par times for levels. The game’s multiplayer-centric design simultaneously makes it antithetical to what makes RE games work, while giving players so much to uncover together.

Shoutout to the Lost in Nightmares DLC, though. RE5 rallied back. Then RE6 happened. Let’s not talk about RE6.

Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

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