Anyone remember the Unreal Tournament and the first Counter-Strike? LAN parties where we all brought our (then gigantic) systems to the host’s rec room and had a blast?
While online multiplayer gaming has taken over the world as the evolutionary next step, you can still experience the glory days of yelling at your friend to take cover while the sniper from the enemy team is about to take more potshots.
Here are the Best LAN Party Games that you can play today.
Best LAN Party Games To Play Right Now
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Release Date: 21 August 2012
Ah, yes. The mainstay of every multiplayer list, Valve’s seminal first-person shooter that paved the way for competitive shooter games such as Valorant to find a footing in the world.
With so many options to choose from, the fact that a game from 2012 still sits on this list is a testament to the quality and balance that Valve have mastery over in their games.
Still providing fun moments and clutch finishes, Global Offensive is one of the best LAN multiplayer games for PC out there, still!
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition
Release Date: 14 November 2019
Developer: Xbox Game Studios
Another groundbreaking classic, Microsoft struck gold when they introduced the world to Age of Empires 2. The much-anticipated sequel to Age of Empires, AOE 2 is a top-down fantasy strategy based around real-world regimes and events that shaped the world as it is today.
Still fantastic to kick back and relax with, you can stage large-scale battles with and against your friends in local multiplayer and watch as the drama unfolds around you.
Get Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition
League of Legends
Release Date: 27 October 2009
Developer: Riot Games
Still considered the best MOBA game of all time, in our humble opinion that is, League of Legends completely took over the multiplayer gaming scene on PC when it first arrived. Blizzard had the golden touch back then, and the love they put into League really showed.
With great characters, fantastic lore, and *chef’s kiss* balancing, League hit the scene at the perfect time and quickly became one of the premier esports games still being played today. It still is a great time with friends in the local area too, that is if nobody picks Teemo.
Release Date: 7 July 2015
The mid-2010s of online gaming were dominated by games like Rocket League, and that is for a reason. The concept of football with miniature model cars of all shapes and sizes was really unique and interesting for the time it was released.
Coupled with the fast, tight, exciting gameplay, Rocket League has shot up the ranks of multiplayer games and is great for a couch co-op or LAN party that goes well into the night.
Release Date: 22 November 1999
Developer: Epic Games
The poster child of local multiplayer gaming, Unreal Tournament was also the most frantic, fun, fast-paced multiplayer shooting game of its time, and kicked off the genre with style.
If you want to know why Call of Duty made a fortune, why Battlefield has such a fan following, and why Overwatch had a queue of 40,000 on opening night, play a round of Unreal Tournament with your friends. You’ll know. Easily one of the best LAN party games in 2023.
Quake 3 Arena
Release Date: 18 December 2000
Developer: id Software
Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena go hand in hand. Well, you didn’t expect the creators of the first-person shooter to stay put as Epic Games’ Unreal hogged all the attention, did you?
Considered the answer to Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena was one of the best in its own right and is still one of the best if you are looking for a good, tight, quick retro shooter to have fun with your friends.
Release Date: 18 November 2011
Developer: Mojang Studios
Yep, Minecraft. Still going strong as the best casual game ever to exist and creating a genre of its own. Minecraft has carried its unique, pixel-fed visuals with style, with a massive fan following of all ages to boast of.
Regardless of its appeal, the game is actually fun to play if you leave the toxicity at the door, and you can absolutely get a bright LAN session going if you are sold on the idea of building, crafting, exploring, and immense customization.
You can also use a variety of RPG Minecraft mods to use XP farms to improve your experience in Minecraft!
Left 4 Dead 2
Release Date: 17 November 2009
Coming in right at the peak of the zombie hype of the mid-2010s, Left 4 Dead 2 took a slightly different route at zombie horror than the likes of Dead Island and Resident Evil.
Instead, L4D2, known in the community, is a more action-packed, team-based survival shooter with a major emphasis on inventory management, actual survival, and teamplay, veering off the psychological and physical horror of the titles above.
Team Fortress 2
Release Date: Valve Corporation
Developer: 10 October 2007
Man, Valve really knows the formula to develop great team shooters with the Source engine, don’t they?
Team Fortress 2 is a classic in every sense of the word; old but gold, with a visual style that doesn’t age, mechanics that still hold up, and the fun, which has always remained the same.
Also, brownie points for paving the way for team shooters with compositions of different types of players. Say thank you, Destiny and Overwatch.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Release Date: 28 April 2017
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe combined all the elements that made all the previous games so successful for Nintendo’s platform and presented them in a great package.
The eternal symbol for a fun party game to enjoy with a group of friends, Mario Kart 8 has a longstanding love in the community that it has built over the years.
Along with that, the Switch’s innate design as a great multiplayer platform that is also portable means that you can enjoy this as a standalone on a single TV with up to 4 friends as well as on the inbuilt screen, leading to an infinite number of funny moments and experiences.
The best LAN party games around for a more diverse audience range.
Command And Conquer: Remastered Collection
Release Date: 5 June 2020
Developer: Petroglyph Games
One of the earliest innovators behind the real-time strategy formula, the first Command and Conquer title came out in 1995 with deep, fine-tuned simultaneous-command based gameplay, and a great design style all over.
The first two games in the series were remastered in 2020, retaining the elements that made it so great, and bumping up the visuals a little bit. Challenging, compact, focused fun. Local co-op gaming at its best, to this day.
Mario Party Superstars
Release Date: 29 October 2021
Another Mario game tailor-made for a family gathering or party setting, Mario Party Superstars is a collection of brilliantly-designed mini-games made for endless fun.
Aside from the lack of PC entries as it is a platform exclusive, Mario Party is still co-op friendly and contains over 100 minigames that you can enjoy with your favorite group of people. This makes it less of a unique standalone and more a greatest-hits collection of minigames bundled together. Still very fun at the end of the day.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Release Date: 15 November 2001
Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament might have started the journey, with Counter-Strike building on it, but Halo: Combat Evolved took it to the next level. A thrilling story, great combat, a memorable cast of characters, a proper MC, next-gen visuals, and varied maps, Halo had it all, two decades ago.
It is a testament to Bungie’s forward-thinking and holistic approach to game development that Halo still remains as legendary as it was back when it was released in 2001. If you haven’t played it yet, do yourself a favor and get the Master Chief Collection today.
Again, brownie points for launching and determining the success of Microsoft’s Xbox platform, which was in dire need of innovation and confidence at the time. Seminal and easily best LAN games for PC in 2022.
Want more? Check out our top RPG picks of all time, as well as the best racing games that you can try right now!
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