What are the best PC games for LAN parties right now?
I am #blessed to have a group of friends that gets together for a yearly LAN. There is a magical synergy that occurs when everyone is playing the same game together, with no splinter factions. I would love to get any suggestions on cheap/free games that are fairly easy to pick up.
Below are some of the games we’ve played in the past, but please please please comment with some new suggestions
Team Fortress 2 was a solid choice for many years. Free-to-play, easy to hop in and blast people, but also a lot of depth. You can run a local server, meaning that you don’t run into problems with lag or bandwidth saturation. Did I mention free-to-play? Herding cats into buying a game for a once-a-year LAN is an uphill battle, so free is nice in coalescing around a game.
The Mann vs Machine mode in TF2 was a nice cooperative game too, but unfortunately capped at 6 people. There’s a lot of fun to be had teaming an entire LAN party up together.
Xonotic was a fun surprise last year. It’s basically Quake 3 with new maps, but Free (as in beer and as in speech). It turns out that I still have a lot of muscle memory from Quake 3.
As an aside – in the year 2000 I found myself with Quake 3 on my Dreamcast with a keyboard, mouse, and Ethernet adapter. Reader: that combination was basically cheating when playing against people on dial-up with their clawed hands wrapped around a Dreamcast controller.
Don’t Starve Together was solid when my friends and I last gave it a try. It has a local, dedicated server option. It looks like it only supports 6 players though.
Rocket League is great, but pretty much requires a controller, maxes out at 6 players. I don’t think it has a local server option either.
Town of Salem is basically Werewolf so let’s just play Secret Hitler or Resistance instead of lugging our computers over.
Left 4 Dead 2 has some solid co-op and vs modes, and has a local server. The humans-vs-super zombies mode can be fun, or just getting 4 people in the same room against the hoard. The downsides are that game sizes are either exactly 4 or 8 people and not everyone appreciates jump scares.
Counterstrike: GO works locally with bots to fill out the teams. The only complaint I heard was the realism – quick deaths, no respawns, and wild bullet patterns make the game less accessible for people who don’t play much.