With the last two years primarily spent in forced isolation at home, the genre of multiplayer games has taken up a distinct life of its own. From crowd favorites like Fall Guys and Among Us to the latest Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty Vanguard titles, multiplayer games are the new norm, and players love getting into it.
Even the unique asynchronous multiplayer of Death Stranding was a hit, so much so that Sony ended up patenting it.
Five most enjoyable co-op/multiplayer games of 2021
The list brings together myriad games linked by their multiplayer mechanics. Each choice has been a delight for players, and coming from varying genres and settings, they do an excellent job adapting the mechanics in their storylines.
Five titles from this year that users must definitely try:
- It Takes Two
- Monster Hunter Stories 2
- Halo Infinite
- Back 4 Blood
Note: The list is not ranked but rather a compilation of the best multiplayer games that fans can try.
1) It Takes Two
- Developer - Hazelight Studios.
- Platforms - Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and X|S.
- Released on - March 26, 2021.
Since its release, it Takes Two has had a storied existence, from receiving multiple accolades and positive reviews to being embroiled in a trademark dispute with Take-Two. Controversy apart, this title has been one of the best of 2021.
Filled with colorfully designed levels, intriguingly innovative puzzles, and a story that oozes warmth and love, It Takes Two takes the two participants on a journey that they are not likely to forget any time soon. The Game of the Year, along with the Best Multiplayer Game, win at The Game Awards 2021, further marks this point.
2) Monster Hunter Stories 2
- Developer - Capcom.
- Platforms - Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch.
- Released on - July 9, 2021.
A sequel to Monster Hunter Stories and a spinoff titled in the Monster Hunter series, Monster Hunter Stories 2 consists of optional quests where players can play co-op. They can embark together on these quests from the Quest Board available in every town.
The game also provides a versus mode where gamers play each other and is an excellent multiplayer for them to jump into.
3) Halo Infinite
- Developer - 343 Industries.
- Platforms - Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and Series X|S.
- Released on - November 15, 2021.
The latest installment in the long-running, popular Halo franchise has been described as a perfect entry, embodying everything Halo. Halo Infinite's multiplayer component was released earlier than its campaign release and has been made free-to-play for anyone to try.
Users can drop into this arena shooter, which is becoming one of the best multiplayer games of 2021, and engage enemies in different maps and modes with a plethora of weapons, old and new.
- Developer - Iron Gate Studio.
- Platforms - Microsoft Windows, Linux.
- Released on - February 2, 2021.
The art and music of the indie game Valheim struck a chord with countless players who logged into it upon release. Based on Norse mythology, this survival sandbox game soon became a phenomenon and one of this year's most popular multiplayer games. Users play as slain Vikings who need to defeat the evils that walk in Valheim.
Up to ten gamers can join a server in the procedurally generated Viking world. There are different biomes with unique creatures and mythological beasts for them to slay. Building and crafting mechanics enable users to let loose their imagination and create extensive homesteads.
5) Back 4 Blood
- Developer - Turtle Rock Studios.
- Platforms - Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X|S.
- Released on - October 12, 2021.
Widely considered the spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios' online survival horror multiplayer game, Back 4 Blood, has garnered numerous positive reviews from critics and fans alike. There are different kinds of enemies to deal with and a plethora of weapons to choose from.
Back 4 Blood focuses strongly on cooperative teamwork, as teams comprising four players, called Cleaners, complete goals while slaying waves of undead in a post-apocalyptic world.
Note: This multiplayer games list reflects the author's views.