The best multiplayer PC games 2024: top competitive games to play today

best multiplayer PC games: characters horse back riding over a snowy field
(Image credit: Team17)

The best multiplayer PC games are a fantastic way to have some fun with friends or just see what everyone else is enjoying. 

If you're a fan of fast-paced action games, then you'll be happy to see that many of the entries in this list are just that. However, there are also some titles in this list of best multiplayer PC games that are more relaxing and can help you unwind after a stressful day. 

Thanks to Steam's vast array of games, there tend to be more options for players to enjoy compared to the best Xbox Series X games and the best PS5 games. Many of these titles also appear on the best FPS games list and the best indie games list.

So, if you're looking for the best multiplayer games to play with friends, then check out the list below, as we've collated all the best ones in one place for your ease of reference. 

Heroes looking at the sunset

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Overwatch 2

Heroes wanted
Why we love it

Overwatch 2 is best played with friends. Together you can form a coherent five-person team and work together with callouts and strategy to beat whatever team you come up against. You can also play non-competitive or competitive matches, which can help take the heat off. 

Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play live service game that offers tightly designed PvP matches in a 5v5 format. As with many of the best PC multiplayer games, Overwatch 2 is easy to learn and hard to master, rewarding skillful gunplay and tactical decision-making in equal measure. 

Blizzard Entertainment's first-person PvP shooter is set apart not only by the game's vibrant esports scene but also by its roster of iconic, well-designed heroes. Every one of Overwatch 2's characters is unique, with their own weapons, abilities strengths, and weaknesses. This allows the game to offer a distinctive range of experiences, brought to life by the synergies and interactions between the different heroes on offer. 

Cronen Squall Battle Rifle

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0

Escape the Gulag
Why we love it

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 provides an experience that's both grounded in reality, but also accessible to newer players. Genre veteran Infinity Ward has ensured that Warzone is easy to learn but hard to master.

A refreshing twist on the traditional battle royale formula, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0  offers a challenging PvP experience that's sure to get your blood pumping. Easily one of the best multiplayer PC games of its kind, Warzone is a free-to-play shooter that has you parachute into a continuously shrinking map and battle it out with the other players. 

However, Infinity Ward's world-renowned shooter has a twist: the Gulag. This is a small arena where you spawn once killed. You're then forced to engage in a frantic 1v1 battle for the honor of re-entering the battle royale. The game also offers an extraction mode, called DMZ, which challenges you to take as much loot as you can from the combat zone while escaping with your life. Both modes offer rewarding challenges that become all the more enjoyable with friends.    

best indie games: farmer with a hat standing near several vegetable beds

(Image credit: Eric Barone)

Stardew Valley

Heading out to the country
Why we love it

Video games can often be quite tense and frantic affairs, filled with thrilling battles and edge-of-your-seat moments. Stardew Valley is the opposite. It's gentle, peaceful, and cozy, and, what's more, it can be shared with a group of friends.

Stardew Valley is a cozy farming simulator that rewards hard work and perseverance. The premise is simple: you've inherited your grandfather's old farm plot in the scenic village of Stardew Valley. Arriving at your new home, you'll swiftly find yourself thrust into your new life. What's more, you can invite up to three other players to work alongside you on your farm, allowing you and a group of pals to bask in the gentle yet compelling farming lifestyle. 

What's more, you and your friends will be able to form relationships with members of the local community, and even take the fight to the Joja Corporation, which has set its sights on destroying Stardew Valley's gentle way of life. Playable at your own pace, Stardew Valley is one of the best multiplayer PC games out there when it comes to offering a peaceful time with friends. 

The Battle Pass characters for Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 4 stand side by side, holding weapons

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite

Take on the world
Why we love it

Fortnite offers a vibrant, global community of players who are constantly innovating and putting their own spin on the game. Recently, a group of players even developed an MMO-like raid - presenting a whole new way to enjoy the title.

No list of the best Multiplayer PC games would be complete without Fortnite. Though not the first battle royale game, Fortnite popularized the formula, taking it to new heights. Fortnite is more than just a battle royale game, though - it's a playground where you and your friends can face off against hordes of enemy players in an attempt to come out on top. 

Fortnite is a multiplayer-friendly action figure playset, full of fun tie-ins ranging from Star Wars: Ahsoka to beloved anime Attack on Titan. The game also boasts a fully fleshed-out PvE mode in the form of Fortnite: Save the World as well as a sandbox mode called Fortnite Creative. Both of these modes have thriving communities and are brimming with opportunities for multiplayer fun.

First person gameplay in Escape From Tarkov, a combatant levels a rifle on a sunny day

(Image credit: Battlestate Games)

Escape from Tarkov

Jumping the gun
Why we love it

Escape from Tarkov is a punishing but refreshingly realistic experience, where strategy and cunning are just as useful as skills in a firefight. Teamwork adds another dimension, allowing you to carry out deadly ambushes and flanking attacks against other players.

Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore first-person survival shooter. One of the best multiplayer PC games when it comes to extraction shooters, Tarkov has a simple premise. You and your friends are dumped in the middle of a map and must escape to the other side, avoiding enemy players and NPCs along the way.

Thanks to its minimal UI and emphasis on realism, you'll need to rely on your friends if you want to make it to the extraction point. As you journey across the map, you'll find loot that can be used to improve your loadout. Survive, and you'll have the honor of being able to keep what you found. You can even loot from enemy players. Tarkov is brutal and unforgiving, but also immensely rewarding, especially if played with the right friends.

Play in action in EA Sports FC 24

(Image credit: EA)

EA Sports FC 24

The beautiful game
Why we love it

EA Sports FC 24 doesn't reinvent the genre, but it does bring about a range of pleasant innovations that help keep the experience fresh. The addition of female players to Ultimate Team mode is a particular plus, and makes for a more inclusive experience  all-round.

EA Sports FC 24 is in early access and will be fully released on September 29. However, we've already gotten our hands on the game, and we can confirm that it's a worthy successor to the FIFA titles that came before it. Writing for TechRadar Gaming, Axel Metz called it "an objectively better football game than its de facto predecessor" thanks to "key upgrades to fan-favorite modes including Pro Clubs and Ultimate Team."

When it comes to multiplayer, EA Sports FC24 offers cross-platform play across all of its online multiplayer modes, allowing you and your friends to rewrite football history or to play your very own game of fully realized fantasy football. In short, it does everything you'd expect from FIFA's successor, easily earning a place on our best multiplayer PC games list.

Forza Horizon 5

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studio)

Forza Horizon 5

Gotta go fast
Why we love it

Forza Horizon 5 isn't just a great racing game, but it also allows players to customize almost every aspect of their vehicle of choice. Players can not only create custom liveries for their cars, but they can also make radical changes under the hood, too.

Forza Horizon 5 isn't just an open-world racing game, it's a multiplayer-friendly driving bonanza that takes you across over 100 kilometers of beautiful scenery. In Forza Horizon 5 - one of the best multiplayer PC games when it comes to racing - you and your friends will be able to compete across a wide range of on-road and off-road tracks, showing off your custom-tooled vehicles to your heart's content. 

The game also offers a series of multiplayer-friendly minigames which are dotted across the map in Horizon Arcade mode. These can be great fun if you and your pals are looking for some lighter automotive entertainment between no-holds-barred races. Forza Horizon 5's extremely wide range of vehicles and unerringly realistic races will be more than enough to satisfy you and your pals for hours at a time. 

best crossplay games: Minecraft character stand on top of a cave that creepers spill out of

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft

Polygonal playground
Why we love it

Minecraft can be tailored to meet your every whim. From texture packs to shaders to seeds for new procedurally generated worlds, there are a staggering number of tools out there to help you find the perfect Minecraft experience for you and your pals. 

Minecraft is the ultimate multiplayer sandbox. Despite its low-fi visuals, this beloved title allows for exploration and creativity on a massive scale. What's more, as with any of the best PC multiplayer games, you're welcome to bring your friends along for the ride. In its most basic form, Minecraft is a procedurally generated exploration and crafting game, allowing you to gather resources, craft items and travel the world. 

However, what really sets Minecraft apart is its community. Thanks to mods, layers can extensively customize their experience, making the game more structured or completely changing the resource economy. Best of all, though, is the game's scope for building and creating. Like a virtual Lego set, you and your friends can build almost anything you can imagine, making it one of the best open-world games on PC today.

The best multiplayer PC games: Overcooked 2

(Image credit: Team17 Digital Limited,)

Overcooked 2

An unforgettable luncheon
Why we love it

Overcooked 2 is pure, unadulterated chaos. As you and your friends scramble to organize your kitchen, your efforts will start to devolve to a level of chaos worthy of a sitcom. This indie delight will leave you with buckets of laughs and plenty of memorable moments.

No list of the best multiplayer PC games could be complete without this co-op triumph. The premise is simple: cook and serve up food for a restaurant before the timer runs out. However, you and your fellow cooks will have your work cut out. An organized kitchen swiftly devolves into a panicked screaming as you and your friends frantically attempt to meet the demands of customers. Dishes will catch fire, plates will remain unwashed and, all the while, you and your pals will be laughing your heads off. 

In later levels the kitchens are set on everything from airships to underground temples, shifting and moving, forcing your team to adapt and constantly rejig your approach. A fantastic party game - Overcooked 2 proves that a simple premise can deliver big results.

The best multiplayer PC games: FAQs

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Overwatch 2

(Image credit: Blizzard)

What can I play with friends on PC?

Fortnite is a great option if you're looking for multiplayer experiences with friends on PC. While any of the titles on our best multiplayer PC games list would make for a great choice, Fortnite is, perhaps, the most accessible option since it's both free-to-play and offers open-ended, easy-to-learn third-person shooting mechanics.

If you're looking for something to play in person, however, we'd recommend Overcooked 2. As party games go, it's hard to beat, offering a distinctive kind of laugh-out-loud chaos that you'll struggle to find elsewhere.

What is the #1 PC game?

The highest-rated PC game is Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, according to review aggregation website Metacritic. Easily one of the best story games ever made, Disco Elysium doesn't offer anything in the way of multiplayer modes. However, given its slow-paced RPG mechanics, it can be a great game to play as a group or over a stream with friends.

Though every game on this list of the best PC multiplayer games is an excellent title in its own right, Minecraft is arguably the strongest, offering a staggeringly wide range of different game experiences and endless replayability to boot 

How we made our best multiplayer PC games list

Our best multiplayer PC games list is the product of hundreds of hours of play across TechRadar Gaming. Not only have we aimed to bring you the very best multiplayer titles, but we've also tried to provide a wide range of genres in order to make sure there's something for everyone.

These sorts of lists can be very subjective affairs, but, when it comes to multiplayer experiences we felt it was crucial to take ease-of-use and accessibility into account. Convincing a group of friends to pay retail prices for a new multiplayer game can be a headache, whereas anyone can download a free-to-play title. Many of the titles on this list have a low barrier to entry, providing an emphasis on user-friendly mechanics. 

For more fantastic titles, be sure to check out the best horror games and best roguelike games that are available to play right now.