The Best Games to Play Remotely with Friends

During the pandemic, we have all grown used to the idea of socializing with friends from a distance, as well as entertaining ourselves at home. The good news is that these may not be necessities for too much longer. Conditions are improving slowly, and a recent article taking data and expert opinions into account predicted “some normalcy” by summer. That means in another four to six months’ time, you may well be able to meet up with friends safely

We still need to be responsible in order to get to that point though, and that means for those next few months there will still be remote socialization, lots of home recreation and entertainment, and so on. So what better help could we offer than to highlight some of the best games you can play remotely with your friends?

Online multiplayer has become so popular in modern gaming that really, there are virtually unlimited options. But from certain mobile games to full-fledged console adventures, there are some multiplayer experiences that simply stand above the rest. We won’t list all of them here, but the following games will certainly give you and your friends something to do — both as we wait out the pandemic and thereafter into the future.

Mario Kart

We looked back on Mario Kart 64 back in December, and the truth is it still stands as one of the best local multiplayer games in history. In fact, it may well be the best, if such a thing could be accurately measured. You can’t help but have a blast with friends sitting around an old Nintendo 64 and racing those beloved, iconic characters around their tracks.

Online multiplayer in modern versions of the game isn’t quite the same, but it’s certainly still a ton of fun. On both Mario Kart Tour (a mobile game) and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (on Nintendo Switch), players can link up with friends over the internet to race together and against one another. And these options still top most other multiplayer games.

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Words With Friends

Words With Friends became an extraordinarily popular game early on in the smartphone gaming era. As many are well aware, it is a near-exact replica of the classic board game Scrabble. However, it is designed to be played over distance against online opponents. Words With Friends makes for easy one-on-one competition, and allows players to chat as well. What makes it particularly enjoyable though is that it’s one multiplayer game you can stick with over time. Rather than having to compete with friends in real time that is, you can simply make your moves on the word board whenever you’re able to, and drag on games and rematches for days, weeks, or months at a time. It’s a surprisingly good way to maintain connections when you’re not actually with friends or family.

Online Poker

For those who enjoy card or casino games, it’s still hard to beat poker for an online multiplayer option as well. Within this idea, however, there are a few options. One is to play at real-money poker sites, if you’re in an area where this is permitted. In an explainer on how to play poker online, one article notes that there are numerous types of games you can get in on — even including one-on-one heads-up games (which can be fun with a friend). You’ll only need to set up an account first, though this is a quick and straightforward process.

If you prefer an even more casual brand of poker though, or if online sites aren’t accessible where you live, you have free-to-play options as well. Various apps allow for multiplayer poker with “play money,” and the 2020 game Poker Club at Steam does the same. These options won’t look or feel quite as professional as a good online poker site, but they’ll still give you the chance to link up with friends remotely and play.

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Sea Of Thieves

Sea Of Thieves is a gorgeous and massive adventure game that came out in 2018 for major consoles (as well as PC play via Steam). And basically, it invites players to live out the life of a pirate — exploring, hunting treasure, gathering resources, battling, and so on. Beyond this basic setup, the game is set up as a multiplayer experience in that players can collaborate and work together on quests in real time. Furthermore, there is also an “Arena” mode in which four teams of players compete to collect silver in a confined map. There’s a lot to like about Sea Of Thieves in general, but these multiplayer features were particularly well received, and make for great options for friends getting together remotely.

Call Of Duty: Warzone

Any conversation about the best online multiplayer games today has to include a “battle royale” style experience. This is essentially a genre of game that has emerged of late, and which involves gamers entering an arena together to do battle. And while it’s largely thanks to Fortnite that this style of online multiplayer gaming has become so popular, the Call Of Duty franchise’s version of battle royale play is now out in front. According to one review, Call Of Duty: Warzone — the free, battle royale offshoot of the core franchise — is now preferred over Fortnite among players.

That pretty much makes this a premier online multiplayer game of our time. Warzone lets you and your friends assume the roles of warriors within maps that look like traditional Call Of Duty games, and engage in action-packed, realistic battles over and over again.

Check these games out and you’ll have no trouble entertaining yourself among friends at a distance for another few months!

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