Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Best online multiplayer games

GameCentral readers discuss their favourite online titles, with everything from Call Of Duty to Supreme Commander.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Hammeriron, who asked what it is about the game you like so much and how much have you played it. Has the game been running for a long time and if so when did you start and how regularly do you return to it?

Although most of the choices were from the current generation, we still had a wide variety of suggestions, from current favourites such as Fortnite and PUBG to less obvious choices like Splatoon 2.


Return to Warfare
I’m not really sure what’s going to be the most popular picks here as I imagine there aren’t too many 12-year-olds reading GC and so Fortnite is probably less popular than it might be generally. But I would like to go for what may seem to others to be an uninterestingly mainstream choice: Call Of Duty.

Specially I’m going to pick Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is the first entry I’ve played in several years but I’ve got to say is really, really good. It’s certainly the most I’ve played an online shooter in years, although I’m not sure how much of that is down to the benefit of not having played one for quite a while.

But the multiplayer in the new Modern Warfare is great: tons of modes, great gunplay, lots of customisation options, and you don’t ever feel you’re just being picked on by more experienced players. The co-op is great too and the campaign also, with really amazing graphics. It feels like a very good value for money package and the thought of adding Battle Royale on top should make it even better.


Supremely entertaining
This may be a bit of an obscure pic but my favourite is easily Supreme Commander. The game isn’t even officially supported anymore but since it’s the best real-time strategy of all-time (I’m sure GC will back me up on this) there’s plenty of fans willing to set up their own servers and keep playing.

Supreme Commander wasn’t a hit and was probably far too complicated and involved for most people (in terms of how long it takes to play, it’s not actually that hard to get into) but I love it and all of it feels like second nature now.

It’s a strategy game but it can be just as exciting as an action game as your plans are put into motion and everything goes to hell. I doubt it’ll ever get a sequel so I’ll probably be playing it forever!


Monster wait
I’m not a big one for online games but I do love Monster Hunter: World. It’s not technically a multiplayer-only game but that’s definitely the best way to play it as it gets very lonely on your own, not to mention a lot more difficult. But hunting around with three friends it’s a great way to spend an evening and the most fun I’ve ever had in co-op.

Playing with strangers though never seems to work out as well. They disappear halfway through a hunt, don’t know what they’re doing or otherwise mess up on purpose or by accident and I ended up getting frustrated.

This is my problem with a lot of multiplayer games to be honest, where it’s so difficult to get the perfect set-up, in terms of connection and people playing that it’s very rare you play the game you want to. And even if you do it’s preceded by hours of organisation and waiting. That’s probably the main reason I don’t play more.


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Squid out of water
Nintendo aren’t exactly known for their online games but the most fun I’ve ever had, especially in recent years, is Splatoon 2. The game is amazingly fun considering it’s a brand new idea by a developer that doesn’t normally do anything like this. I love the whole painting and squid transforming gimmick and the motion controls are excellent and really should be adopted by every PlayStation 4 game.

I also love the way Salmon Run isn’t always available, so that when it is it feels like this special treat. It is too and I think I probably enjoyed it even more than the main modes. The co-op action and enemy waves are just too much fun.

The only problem is, because it’s Nintendo all the online options and communications are very basic. There’s no easy way to talk to people or communicate and there’s no good reason for that.


Third time unlucky
At the beginning of last year I expected to be saying Borderlands 3 for this question but I have to say I’ve found it quite underwhelming. I used to find the games funny but I don’t know if I’ve suddenly got old or something but I just found the new one painfully unfunny and very juvenile. And even though the action is better than the previous games it just all felt strangely dull. I think because the game didn’t really do anything new and the graphics hadn’t seemed to change at all.

The vault hunters weren’t all that interesting either, I think they really dropped the ball there and I haven’t seen anything from the DLC to suggest there’s better ones coming. I must’ve spent hundreds of hours on Borderlands 2 but I haven’t even bothered to complete the third one yet.


Guilty admission
I not only hate to admit how many hours I’ve put into Destiny 2, I hate to admit how many times I’ve sworn I’m giving up on it and then ended up going back anyway. I do play it less than I used to now but I still enjoy an evening’s blast, especially if I can get some mates involved.

I do think they should just get on and release Destiny 3 though. The game feels a bit directionless now and they could do with making a proper break from the old.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Perfect entertainment
Outside of local couch greats such as Mario Kart, Sensible Soccer, and NHL Hockey I never used to be into multiplayer games. My first foray online was Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on the PC, and although I really enjoyed the experience, I didn’t really follow it up.

That was until Rocket League. No game can ever be described as ‘perfect’ but in terms of execution, consistency (in that everything that goes right, or wrong, is 100% down to you) and out and out fun this title comes close. In my view, the best online multiplayer games should offer the right amount of balance between fun and challenge, be straightforward enough to pick up and play but have a depth to them to make mastering their finer mechanics worthwhile. And although I certainly haven’t conquered the latter, I do appreciate the skill of players that seemingly fly through the air at will as I watch them score another goal against me as I flounder backwards, yet again.

However, last year it was superseded by the new sheriff in town: Wreckfest. In some ways they are similar in that the game is relatively simple, the physics are consistent, and the balance between challenge, fun and frustration about right. One person’s fun is another person’s frustration in this game, quite literally if the fun part is watching first place get wiped out on the last corner by a backmarker as I breeze past for the win. If you listen closely enough, you can almost hear the industrial and colourful language coming from faraway lands as the erstwhile leader scrambles for a fifth-place finish.

Not sure if it’s a coincidence that my two favourite online multiplayer games are both vehicle based. Look forward to hearing the thoughts of other readers for inspiration of other genres, although I lack the skills to make first person shooter or Battle Royale offerings much fun these days, so anything else out there that I wouldn’t immediately think of would pique my interest.
TheTruthSoul (PSN ID)


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