8 Games to Liven Up Your New Year’s Party

Picking out the right video games for your New Year’s Eve party can be tricky. After all, there will be drinking, yelling, and plenty of rivalries developing, and you want to support that behavior as much as possible, right? These eight games allow you to compete against your friends, or just sit back and enjoy watching the show.

All of us here at The Escapist wish you all a Happy New Year!

Think we missed one? Tell us what it is in the comments!

You Don’t Know Jack

No matter which version of You Don’t Know Jack you break out, the long-running quiz game is always worth the time. Filled with irreverent humor and a wide variety of questions, all the games in the series share a few common features. There’s always a wise-cracking announcer, a number of repeating categories, and plenty of questions that cover almost any topic you can think of. Winning the game is as much about screwing your friends over as it is knowing the answers, and the games are always a great time.

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Rock Band 4

You’re going to want some music at your party anyway, so why not make your friends look silly while you play it? That’s what Rock Band 4 is for. Not only can it provide some much-needed background noise, it also let you seamlessly jump in and out of the game, so if a song comes along that you don’t like, or you just really need to get back to the cheese dip before someone eats it all, you aren’t stuck to the end of the song. Added bonus: Harmonies the get further off-key as the night goes on, plus great opportunities for blackmail videos.

Kinect Adventures

If you’ve got a Kinect around the house, then Kinect Adventures can be an entertaining choice, especially for the spectators. You can watch your increasingly intoxicated friends try to plug leaks with their limbs or go rafting on a virtual river, among other activities. With a mix of cooperative and competitive games, Kinect Adventures is one of those games that’s really only fun when you have lots of friends over anyway, so you might as well break it out.

Dance Dance Revolution

While you likely only have the one DDR pad, it’s worth getting it out for New Year’s Eve (or any other party). Not only is it good fun for those participating in the game, but it’s also entertaining for those who choose to just watch. If your guests dance like mine, you’ll certainly be entertained. For even more fun, leave the DDR pad hooked up, and challenge someone to play Dark Souls using it.

Mario Kart

Mario Kart is equal parts super fun racing game and relationship destroyer, so it’s perfect for your New Year’s party. Few games engender the verbal smack-talk and loud remonstrations that Mario Kart does. No matter which version you pick, you can expect that your friends will have a great time, except for that one guy who get s smacked with a blue shell near the finish line. For best results, don’t allow wagering.

Wii Sports

It’s hard to go wrong with Wii Sports. The games are simple, and just competitive enough to make for some good-natured ribbing. Plus, you can go bowling without leaving the house, and you don’t have to worry about the overpriced beer at the bar. Best of all, it’s a game you probably already have around the house. Just make sure that everyone straps their Wii remotes on their wrists. Nothing kills a party faster than a controller through a nice TV.

Mortal Kombat X

Nothing says Mortal Kombat New Year’s like dismembering your friends’ characters. To keep arguments down, just put the characters’ names in a hat, and have everyone draw. Build out a bracket, and you’ve got a tournament that will keep people interested for quite a while. Best of all, unless one of your guests is a fighting game pro, the playing field should be fairly even. As a bonus, you get to play one of our Editor-in-Chief’s favorite games of the year.

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. is a game that’s great even if all you do it watch, and that makes it perfect for a party setting. In the newest version for the Wii U, there’s at least one character that everyone recognizes from somewhere, be it Mario, Pac-Man, or Sonic. The game is simple to grasp – just knock your opponent out of the arena – and simple to play, so anyone can jump in and be competitive. Plus, the spectators gets to heckle and cheer as appropriate. It’s the perfect party game.

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