10 best party games to play with friends or groups, ranked

mario kart 8 deluxe booster course set 3 contents

Add some co-op chaos to your next gathering

Everyone has finally made it to your party, but you need something to get the night started. Suddenly it occurs to you — of course, you should play a party game! But there are so many out there, which one should you choose? Well don’t worry, it’s our jobs here at Destructoid to know which games are most likely to make your party a hit, and so we’ve compiled them into a nice, neat list here for you.

Whether it’s a goofy beat-em-up free for all, a tense game of wits and social deduction, or a test of who can come up with the funniest fake word, there are plenty of awesome games out there to have you covered for any occasion. All you need to do is make sure to have fun — and try not to let any of these games cause any lasting damage to your relationships. Happy gaming!

10. Gang Beasts

If there’s one thing I know about video games, it’s that ragdoll physics will never not be funny. Gang Beasts capitalizes on that hilarity by pitting you and your friends against each other in a fight to the death. You’ll be placed in a series of stages chock full of life threatening set pieces like lava pits and industrial meat grinders, and the only goal is to be the last one standing. Throw in some ridiculous-looking costumes, and you and your pals will be busting a gut in no time.

9. The Quarry

The Quarry is a bit of a special case, because it’s a narrative game — it’ll require you and your friends sitting down for longer stints to go through the story together (and likely over multiple play sessions). The cool part, though, is that the game’s multiplayer option allows each character to be controlled by a different player, so you can all participate in a collaborative storytelling experience. Fun!

This one does require everyone being on the same page about a more chill experience, but it’s perfect or breaking out some nice drinks and snacks to yell at your friends over their dialogue choices. If you and your friends are fans of cheesy, campy horror, The Quarry will make for a great time at the next gathering.

8. Ultimate Chicken Horse

I may be terrible at platforming, but Ultimate Chicken Horse is still one of my favorite party games ever. The goal is simple — you and your friends have to navigate the stage to make it to the finish line. Every round, however, everyone gets to add a new obstacle to the course, and things get pretty chaotic pretty fast. The game’s got a quirky art style with adorable characters, and it has solid game design that keeps it feeling great years after its release.

7. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

This is a bit more of a niche title considering it requires some extra setup, but I think Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is one of the most creative party games out there. One player takes the controller and is in charge of defusing a bomb. The rest of the players cannot see the screen, and therefore, the bomb, and instead must instruct the defuser on how to successfully disarm the bomb through a series of instructions that were printed out in a real, many-paged manual.

It’s one of those games that quickly becomes a whole bunch of chaotic fun of everyone screaming at each other, but if you have really strategic teammates, you can tackle the game with the focus on precision of a real-life bomb squad. I absolutely love how the game forces you to cooperate using a clunky paper manual, and it’s certainly a game I wish I could play more often than I do.

6. Overcooked 2

Mamma mia! Overcooked is another modern classic of a couch co-op series, and the sequel is even better than its predecessor. You and your friends are thrown into precariously fantastical kitchens and must make increasingly complex recipes. If you’re looking to turn up the heat on your next party, Overcooked will certainly do the trick — although you can’t deny the triumphant feeling of getting a new high score.

5. Among Us

The social deduction game to end all social deduction games. If that’s your thing, Among Us is a must-play with friends. There’s something really freeing about being able to accuse your friends of a fictional crime and yell at them about it — or maybe I just need to work through some stuff. Who’s to say?

Regardless, Among Us is a great time for anyone who enjoys the social deduction genre, and it’s easy to get everyone on board considering there are so many different platforms you can play it on. The team behind the title is also adding some new game modes as well to keep things fresh, so that might be worth trying soon if you haven’t checked it out.

4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Who wouldn’t love beating the virtual crap out of their friends while playing as their most beloved Nintendo character? No one, that’s who. Smash has always been a great fighting game series for newbies (myself included), because you can just button mash and get the job done, and it’s still a blast when you’re doing so.

Of course, you can train up to tournament level and kick your friends’ butts, which will further fan the flames of friendly competition if that’s your thing. Either way, Smash is a perfect game to break out at parties, and considering Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has every character ever introduced in the entire series, everyone will be able to find a fighter that they love.

3. Mario Party

The Mario franchise is known as one of the greatest of all time, and their party games definitely have something to do with that. Nintendo got the couch co-op party games down to a science, and one of their most beloved series is Mario Party. A big digital board game with mini games and beloved characters? It was always a formula for success.

Mario Party has been known to threaten a friendship here and there, but if you and your friends can keep things civil, it’s a blast to go head-to-head against your pals. Toad may give your opponents some annoyingly convenient stars right at the end, but it was more about the fun we had along the way anyway… right?

2. Mario Kart

Mario Kart is so classic, even non-gamers look forward to taking on Rainbow Road. It’s one of those games that’s fun to master but also really easy to pick up and just start playing with no prior knowledge, and when you throw in the fact that it’s perfect for all ages, it’s truly one of the best all-around party games you can get.

Fans may be clamoring for some news about the next new installment in the series, but your guests probably won’t know the difference when they’re getting blue-shelled all over the Mushroom Kingdom. It’s one of those games that when you break it out, you know everyone is gonna get sucked in and have a great time.

1. Jackbox Games

There could never be another number one. Jackbox now has nine different party packs, each of which has five games, but regardless of which one you pick, they’re all winners. Fan favorites like Quiplash or Fibbage will whip you and your group into a giggling frenzy, and some of the newer titles like Weapons Drawn can provide some head-scratching social deduction if that’s more your cup of tea. Whatever you like, there’s a game for everyone, and I’ve never been to a party where Jackbox games have disappointed.

What really solidifies Jackbox as the number one spot on this list, though, is just how accessible the games are to play. Obviously someone needs to have the game on their gaming platform of choice, but other than that, everyone plays the game using their own cell phone. This is perfect for all the non-gamers in your life, and what’s even better, there’s no real cap on who can participate, because once the lobby fills up more players can join the audience while they wait for their turn next round.

Noelle Warner
After a few years of working in game development, Noelle joined the Destructoid team in 2021. She particularly loves interactive storytelling and cuddling with her cats!