It happens every year at the holidays. Your house gets invaded by family, and they’re all sitting around watching you play games. Sometimes they want to join in, but they’re more than a little intimidated just watching you play Bloodborne. These eight games not only lower the barrier of entry, but they’re plenty of fun for players and spectators alike.
Think we missed one? Tell us what it is in the comments!
Mario Kart 8
Nothing can come close to the chaos of a four-player Mario Kart match, especially when the other three players are your family. The game is easy to pick up, and even novices can do well. You could play for fun, or up the stakes and play for places in the food line. Just be careful. You Aunt Flo may look like a pushover, but she’s pretty damn good with a blue shell.
Rock Band 4
Few games offer the party potential of Rock Band 4. You can set things up and start playing, secure in the knowledge that anyone who wants to jump can do so seamlessly. They can also bail out just as easily, meaning y9ou don’t have to interrupt your song when your little brother decides it’s time to go play with his LEGOs or something. Playing Rock Band as a group has never been more fun that it is in the newest installment, and the huge library of songs means you can find something everyone enjoys. Plus, you can finally let your Uncle Dave recall his glory years in that garage band in high school. It’s a win-win.
OK, Diablo 3 might not be the best game if you’ve got a bunch of little kids jumping in. But for older kids and adults, you can’t beat the fun that comes from jumping into the cartoony world of Diablo, slaying some fantastic monsters, and gathering up all the epic loot. Plus, you can play with up to four players, assuming you have enough controllers for it. It’s a good time for everyone involved.
Wii Sports Club
Wii Sports Club may have added online multiplayer, but the best way to play it is still with everyone in one room. You can play baseball with your cousins, bowl with your grandma, or even box with your dad. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, and the friendly competition makes it that much better. Plus, the Wii U version adds some neat features using the gamepad. Just don’t be surprised if the family takes over the TV to keep playing.
Everyone’s got that one relative that loves to solve puzzles. If you do too, get them on the couch and throw in Portal 2. Not only will they enjoy it, you can bet that you’ll have the rest of the family looking over your shoulder offering up suggestions on how to solve those co-op puzzles. Not only will you have a good time trying to play through the testing chambers, you’ll also be able to get your revenge on anyone who stole the last piece of turkey by tossing them to their doom with your portal.
LEGO Whatever Your Favorite Movie Is
There are not many games more endearing than the LEGO titles. The LEGO treatment takes beloved movies and characters and brings them into a block-ified world. You can play with anyone, of any age, and you’re almost guaranteed to have a good time. The more recent games have added voices for the characters as well, making them even more endearing. No matter which of the LEGO games you choose, you can count on having a lot of fun.
Minecraft is available on nearly every platform, and the console versions let you play splitscreen with a friend. You can mine, explore, build and hunt together, and the ability to have multiple worlds means that you can have different games going depending on who’s playing. It’s also a low-stress game, making it perfect for when you need to relax and take it easy. Plus, you can show off your building skills and make your annoying cousin jealous.
Mario Party 10
Like the previous games in the series, Mario Party 10 is nothing more than a collection of mini-games that are loosely tied to a board. You take a turn, roll the dice, and do what the space tells you to. The very nature of the game is easy to comprehend, and that makes it perfect for including people who are not gamers. There’s a large variety of mini-games to play, and they’re so easy to pick up that there’s almost no learning curve. Still, use this one sparingly, because the the very random nature of Mario Party can lead to some seriously hurt feelings.