Ben Sherry ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Gamers, you know what it’s like: You have a few friends over and decide that you should all play a game together, but what game? Well Emertainment Monthly is here to help with the official Top 10 Party Games.
10. Just Cause 2
The only single player game on this list, Just Cause 2 excels purely because of it’s bonkers, balls-to-the-wall gameplay. Within five minutes of Just Cause 2, you can Hijack a car, ditch it for a helicopter and then free-fall from the sky until you hook on to a passing airplane, taking control of it in midair. There isn’t a game out there that’s even close to being as purely fun to watch as Just Cause 2 is. A fun way to play with friends is let everyone have one chance to see who can cause the most chaos and destruction in one go. On the PC, Just Cause 2 has a mod that allows you to play a multiplayer version of the game with hundreds of other players, leading to some of the most bizarre and hectic multiplayer out there.
9. You Don’t Know Jack
Ah, You Don’t Know Jack, what a unique creature you are. The trivia video game genre isn’t a place that many developers gravitate to, other than the occasional trivial pursuit. YDKJ changes up the formula by giving gamers a trivia game full of ridiculous jokes, weird games, categories, and modes to play. To win the game you’ll need both smarts and knowledge of all random things as well as a devious mind as you have the opportunity to “screw” your opponents, prohibiting them from playing for rounds or stealing points from them. The game moves at an incredibly fast pace, rarely allowing you a moment off-guard. All this makes for an incredibly fun game great to be played by a group wanting to find out who’s the “smartest” in their group.
8. Wii Sports
Wii Sports was the game that launched a revolution. Packaged in with the most popular console of the last generation, The Wii, it was played in millions upon millions of houses all over the world by many people who up to that point had never before played a video game in their life. Wii Sports had an effect over people that very few games up to that point did. It resonated with people. The Wii entered our homes and resonated with family friends who had never owned a video game system before, and who quickly remark that they just had to have it in their home. The game comes with a few different sports minigames: Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Bowling and Boxing. These games showed the different uses of the then incredibly strange Wiimote. The minigames did an incredible job of showing how the Wiimote could be used to truly change the way that we played video games. Wii Sports is evidence that video games really can be for everyone.
7. Street Fighter 2
Back in the ‘90s there wasn’t a better way for kids to settle their arguments than a round of what is still Capcom’s top selling game of all time. Street Fighter 2 captured the interest of boys and girls from America to Japan, it was one of the first really big fighting games to be released on the SNES. SF2 is considered the first fighting game to use combos, something that would come to define just about every fighting game after it. Everybody had this game, it was in homes and arcades and would come to define that era of gaming. From the shoryuken to Guile’s theme, this game is ridiculously iconic, it really popularized fighting games in a way that up to that point the industry had never seen before. Street Fighter 2 wasn’t just a great party game to break out, it was a turning point in fighting game history.
6. Mario Party
Is there a game that has consistently broken more friendships than Mario Party? It’s a game that doesn’t seem to make any real sense from the outside and, like any addictive game, your chances can change at any moment. Since 1998, when the first game came out, people have been complaining about how you can lose every single minigame and through nothing but dumb luck emerge at the end as the victor. Up to now there have been nine Mario Party games for home consoles and a few for handhelds. These games have varied in quality of boards and minigames but they all accomplish the same thing, to pit your friends against each other in an illogical fight to see who is the luckiest of the group. Everyone has taken part in a Mario Party game or two that haven’t ended well and knows the damage to friendships that this game can do. All the games on this list are different but there really is no other game series out there that’s anything at all like Mario Party. Mario Party has confounded us for years and hopefully will for years to come.
5. Goldeneye 007
You could go on and on about how Goldeneye: 007 on the Nintendo 64 was the first big console first person shooter and how Rare basically forever changed the landscape of video games because of it’s control scheme and maps, but the thing that everyone loves and remembers is clear: The multiplayer. In Goldeneye, four players could sit down on a couch and stalk each other in four-way split-screen. This is the originator of the deathmatch, a game type that has come to almost entirely define online shooters today. This was entirely new to people back then and they ate it up. Without Goldeneye, the road would not have been paved for the most popular games of today, Halo, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor. None of them would be what they are without Goldeneye: 007 there to show them how to make a multiplayer shooter that was fun to play with friends.
4. Dance Dance Revolution
Who saw Dance Dance Revolution coming? DDR is a dancing game that’s incredibly popular in both arcades all over the world as well as in homes. The game is played by using a mat to step on arrows that correspond to what is being shown on the screen. Many people who don’t play video games enjoy DDR because it doesn’t operate like most video games; all it takes to have fun in DDR is a willingness to let yourself go and move with the beat. There have been countless DDR games on every platform, including a Mario themed spin-off. DDR has been letting kids go crazy with their dance mats for years now and has always been a great choice when at the arcade or just lying around at home with nothing to do and wanting to get your dance on, there’s little that’s more hectic and ridiculous fun as a spirited game of Dance Dance Revolution.
3. Mario Kart
Mario Kart is the be-all, end-all of driving games, and it doesn’t even technically feature cars! Mario Kart is incredibly popular and is one of Nintendo’s top selling franchises. I think the thing that makes Mario Kart stand out from the competition is that while other games focus solely on speed and technical skill, Mario Kart takes another route: Mario Kart focuses on it’s many powerups and the various ways to finish a course. The game is supremely inviting to series newcomers due to how easy it is to catch on to the series formula of drive, throw item, and repeat. Mario Kart is one of the most perfect games when everyone is sitting around and wants to throw on a video game that doesn’t require intense concentration but is still fun and rewarding enough to always make playing a great time. Mario Kart has gone through so many iterations, from the controversial two man karts in Double Dash to the flying karts in Mario Kart 7. Mario Kart 8 comes out in May, which will lead to a whole new generation falling in love with the red plumber and his trusty go-kart.
2. Rock Band
The crowd springs to life as the band takes the stage. You and your friends grab your plastic instruments: Guitars, a drum and a microphone. You’re taken to a new world where you aren’t just kids in a basement; you’re rockstars. That’s the feeling that games like Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, and of course, Rock Band bring to us. We all dream about learning an instrument, practicing and practicing until eventually gaining that dream of becoming a rock star. Rock Band is the ultimate cooperative experience. Everyone in the “band” has to work together to finish the song or beat mini challenges within the songs. Rock Band has been keeping parties going for years since the original was released in 2007. The original Rock Band notably changed the formula from the then popular Guitar Hero series, which offered a guitar as the only instrument to play with. Rock Band changed this by offering drums, a microphone, and in Rock Band 3, a keyboard. There’s nothing like getting all five stars on a song in Rock Band and knowing that you and your friends all worked together to the best of your abilities. Rock Band has many iterations, with a Lego spin-off as well as games specifically focusing on The Beatles and Green Day. Rock Band is a game that will continue to be played every day around the world thanks to its near perfect exploration of the cooperative experience and because it’s damn fun to rock out.
1. Super Smash Brothers
What else could it be? Is there a game more appreciated by so many people than Super Smash Bros? Smash Bros, created by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai, was originally designed to be played with characters made specifically for the game instead of the incredibly iconic Nintendo characters until he made a prototype starring Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus and Fox; and the rest is history. Smash Bros is ridiculously easy to pick up and play, as all you need to know about the game is to press buttons until you figure out what works. Smash Bros tournaments are incredibly popular all around the world as fans of the series throw down to show their skills. The game can be played in an incredibly varied amount of ways: Some play it professionally with no items in final destination, while others prefer to use the items and play on random to make every game different. There’s no wrong way to play Super Smash Bros, unless you’re not having fun, then you’re playing it wrong. Letting people play as their favorite characters from video games makes the game incredibly fun as you can settle debates, like the age-old issue of Mario vs Sonic. Smash Bros has been a staple of video game parties since the original’s release in 1999 on the Nintendo 64 and it’s continued to dominate party games with the release of Melee on the Gamecube in 2001 and Brawl on the Wii in 2008. With the announcement of new installments in the series for the 3DS and Wii U, the battle will begin again for what this writer considers king of the party games.