In the first Better Together blog post, I talked about the two types of games you can play with friends, co-op and competitive. I also talked about how social gaming has influenced my life and how it may impact your lives too! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, click here. Today, let’s continue talking about playing games with friends, specifically, competitive games!
Throughout my life I have always been a really competitive person. I love to compete and love to win even more! So its no surprise that I have played a LOT of competitive games with friends and family over the years. Looking back, the first competitive games I remember playing were on Nintendo systems against my brothers (that’s why we have siblings right?) and my love of competing in games only grew from there. Over the years I expanded my competitive gameplay to all sorts of different genres. Here are some of my favorites, but definitely not all the ones I play!
Halo 2: This is where my online gaming really started, back when Xbox Live was in its early years. Halo 2 is and always will be one of my favorite first-person shooter (FPS) games, both for its story and for its online competitive play. Those of you who played this game along side me years ago may remember playing online in modes like slayer, big team battle, and SWAT, hosting a lan-party (a way of hooking up multiple systems to play together without internet), and playing all sorts of fun custom games like infection. How about all the silly glitches in the game like sword canceling, super jumps, and banshee-launching? There was so much fun to be had in this game and if you ever feel like enjoying some classic Halo multiplayer action like I do from time to time, check out the Halo Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. It has every major FPS Halo game up to Halo 4 (Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach were added after launch) with all the original multiplayer maps to boot!
Call of Duty Modern Warfare series & Black Ops series: Can you believe this series has been around for 15 years now? Call of Duty has become one of the most consistent franchises in gaming history as it has released a new title every year. One thing you may not realize about this franchise though is that there are three different developers (Treyarch, Sledgehammer, and Infinity Ward) who rotate and make a Call of Duty game every third year. This is why they seem to come out in such a weird order, but it allows each developer ample time to make their games the way they want them. It is hard for me to choose between the Modern Warfare series and the Black Ops series as my favorite and even harder still to choose a single game out of those as my favorite because each title has unique, fun, and rewarding gameplay. However, I am a little partial to Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 3 since that is when I played this franchise the most. If you are interested in the new Call of Duty Black Ops 4, I am having a really good time with it and recommend it to fans of the series. It is a great hybrid between the older Black Ops games and the newer specialist style gameplay that Black Ops 3 had. This Call of Duty also features a Battle Royale game type which is another great competitive mode. Check out the launch trailer here.
Overwatch: I remember the first time I saw the trailer to this game, I was mesmerized. Originally called Titan, this game was suppose to be a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game with every player being a hero character. Although that would have been awesome, I am still very happy with how Overwatch turned out. This game ended up as an FPS game, but each player is a different hero with their own set of abilities. Competitive matches are based around objective gameplay such as escort the payload, assault, control points, and more. This game is as much a competitive game as it is a co-op game since the game modes are objective, teamwork is very important to secure a win over the opposing team. Overwatch has become very big in the esports world and has continued to grow (especially in Asia) after its initial launch. One of the best features of this game is its constant, FREE updates with new characters, maps, and modes. The last thing I’ll mention about Overwatch is its story. It is not told through a campaign like most games, but through multiplayer matches, comics, and short animated films. If you do nothing else, watch these animated shorts on PlayOverwatch’s YouTube page, they are amazing!
Fortnite: It’s everywhere! But really, it is everywhere and you can play it everywhere whether it is on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, Switch, mobile, or tablet, you can play this battle royale game on any major electronic device for free! Fortnite blew up in popularity a few months after its launch last year. In Fortnite, you (or a group of 2, 3, or 4 players) drop onto an island with 99 (98, 97, or 96) other players and you try to survive and take out all the other players to win. During every match, loot (weapons, bandages, ammo, etc.) is scattered all over the island at random and a circle slowly closes in on the map to draw players together. One of the biggest differences that Fortnite implemented that set itself apart from the other battle royale games, was the ability to build structures in the game. This game is extremely competitive as it is a free-for-all and everyone is against each other. Personally, the first time I ever won a match by myself, I could have ran a marathon on the adrenaline I was feeling from it. Its no wonder that Fortnite has continued to dominate the battle royale market, but other contenders are on the horizon.
Super Smash Bros.: How can I do a post about competitive games with friends without a great fighting game? I can’t! There are many out there I love, but one series that I will always play is Super Smash Bros. The first of this series came out on the N64 and I can even tell you the first time I ever played it was at my cousin’s house in Ohio! Once he introduced me to it and I ended up playing the game for the entire day. It wasn’t long before I became a Yoshi-main and I still use him to this day. There is just something about being able to play all your favorite characters from all your favorite games together in one that makes this game great! But when it comes to Super Smash Bros. everyone has their own style of playing whether stock or time, items or no items, having a favorite character to use or always switching it up, this game will always be a fun competitive game with friends. I am super excited about the next title in the franchise launching this December, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Mario Kart: It’s simple. I. Love. Mario. Kart. This was one of the first competitive games I ever played and I own every version that has been released since 1992. The series has come a long way since then adding new characters, new, modes, and new tracks, but it only ever got better. It is still one of my go-to games when friends come over. My favorite character to race as is Yoshi (you can start to see a trend on how much I use Yoshi in games) and I hardly ever use anyone else. If you want to know a little more about Mario Kart or the racing genre in general, check out my previous post, here.
Mario Party: The video game version of a board game that ends friendships or at least that’s what people say! I have been playing this series ever since it released on the N64. This is the ultimate competitive game with friends because everyone is out to win by taking first in all the minigames, collecting coins, and getting the stars to become the SUPER star. Over the course of the franchise, Mario Party has gone through some changes and for me, my favorite will always be Mario Party 2 on the N64. The series went through a period with Mario Party 9 and 10 where players worked together cooperatively and both of these titles didn’t do as well as the others because people expect these games to competitive. The newest addition to the series, Super Mario Party on the Switch, has gone back to its roots and are pitting friends against each other once more. I have played a few rounds myself and like the game thus far, but the real challenge will come when I play against my closest friends….will they still be my friends once I win? 😉
What competitive games do you like to play? Do you have any memories of crazy things you’ve done playing against your friends or other people?
Make sure you follow or check back soon for Better Together v3, where I’ll be talking about my favorite and most recommended co-op games!!!
“I play to win!” D.Va, Overwatch, 2016