The 8 Best Multiplayer Xbox One Games to Buy in 2018

Will you play together, or play to win?

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Xbox One games (and all video games, for that matter) shine the most when you can play them with other people. Whether you're cooperating or competing, multiplayer games boost the fun by adding another layer of interactivity, making gaming a lot more social — and unpredictable. Play basketball with your friends on your favorite NBA team, or save each other from wild animals in the heart of a spooky forest. Multiplayer games put you and your fellow players into all kinds of impossible situations together, reaffirming friendships and forging rivalries along the way.

Xbox One multiplayer games allow for endless amounts fun, whether you're a collaborative player or in the mood for a "winner-takes-all" battle royale. Establish family grudges with classic games like Monopoly and Risk in the "Hasbro Family Fun Pack: Conquest Edition." Cover your buddies' backs in the minute-to-minute survival game of "PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds." Or cook up some soup with your friends in the ridiculous arcade-style "Overcooked! 2."

Read on for our list of the best Xbox One multiplayer games for all kinds of genres and play styles.

Our Top Picks

Best Survival Game: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Courtesy of Amazon

The long-awaited "PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds" (PUBG) is finally out, and it offers the best multiplayer Xbox One survival game experience around. This online multiplayer battle royale pits you (with up to three other teammates) against 99 others players on a giant map filled with cities, suburbs, and rural areas. You must use your wits, and most likely teamwork, to fight for survival — only the last person standing can win.

The action starts immediately in PUBG as you parachute onto the map. From there, you and your friends must run for your lives to find shelter, equipment, food, and weapons. That's the only way you'll stand a chance against all the other players that are trying to kill you. Work with your friends to stay alive at all costs by manning vehicles and machine guns, avoiding bombs, and staying inside an ever-shrinking play zone full of enemy players. Teamwork is crucial in PUBG. And when you're reviving a downed teammate behind a rock, throwing smoke grenades to hold off snipers, you have to trust that they'll return the favor.

Best Open-World Game: Far Cry 5

"Far Cry 5" isn’t just an ordinary shooter game for the Xbox One — it’s debatably the most immersive open-world gaming experience on the market, filled with endless possibilities where exploration is rewarded and danger lurks around every corner. The game’s main campaign can be played cooperatively online with one other friend. You're dropped into the great outdoors among the mile-wide forests and hills on the outskirts of Montana, investigating a murderous cult that’s out to kill you. In this far-ranging adventure, you and your partner can man boats and helicopters, rescue hostages, destroy buildings with rocket launchers and even adopt a pet bear to fight alongside you. "Far Cry 5" might sound outlandish, but that’s what the series is all about: an exercise in exploration that pushes the boundaries of just how much you can get away with as you build your character and see how the world changes around you.

Best First-Person Shooter: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" differentiates itself from other Xbox One shooters by combining elements of the classic "Black Ops" series with the best multiplayer elements of popular new games like PUBG or "Fortnite." In fact, this game is designed without a single-player campaign, instead focusing entirely on multiplayer-only modes like online competitive matches, zombie survival, and battle royale.

The game reworks traditional first-person shooter gameplay and employs more tactical and teamwork-based play styles. You can outfit customizable characters that complement your squad, acquire medical kits to recoup lost health for both you and your teammates, and collect and give away custom upgradable gear. "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" also offers local co-op and multiplayer so you don't necessarily have to be online to play with friends.

Best Narrative: A Way Out

"A Way Out" combines the driving narrative of a prisonbreak movie with the interactivity of a cooperative video game. This multiplayer Xbox One game must be played with another player (either online or through split-screen) and provides an atmospheric cinematic experience that truly feels like you're in a film. The best part is that you only need one copy of the game to play through with another person.

"A Way Out" is shot in a third-person perspective and follows the story of two prisoners with intertwining fates who are both set on escaping jail. Like a good movie, the action-adventure elements (like adrenaline-pumping car chases where one player drives and the other shoots) are intercut with slower and more emotion-driven plot points that heighten the game’s stakes, story, and atmosphere. Every now and then — between the chaos of breaking out, getting in fistfights, and knocking out guards — you’ll come across more cinematic scenes where your characters play a board game or shoot hoops together. All together, these elements combine to create an experiential and atmospheric journey that captivates in both its collaborative gameplay efforts and emotional storytelling. 

Best Sports Game: NBA 2K19

Unfortunately, the real NBA season only lasts for a short time each year. But with "NBA 2K19," you and your friends can play basketball with your favorite teams anytime you want on the Xbox One. When you can’t get a dose of the real thing, "NBA 2K19" provides one of the best sports simulations out there that shines for both its realistic presentation and for giving players that same exciting feeling of watching the fourth quarter of a playoff.

Looking at gameplay in "NBA 2K19" is like watching an actual NBA game. The lines of reality are blurred with lifelike motion-capture physics, graphical models of real players, and in-game linear voice commentary by Greg Anthony and Doris Burke who’ll discuss your team and what's happening on the (virtual) court. If you have some friends over, or you’re up for an online challenge, "NBA 2K19" will make everyone feel like everything is at stake — when Steph Curry steps up to take that three-point shot, it's you at the controls. And if you miss, the feeling will hit you like a real game. "NBA 2K19" also lets you play as classic teams like the legendary Chicago Bulls of the '90s, so you can finally make all those sports fantasies come to life.

Best 2D Platform Game: Cuphead

"Cuphead" is a modernized take on the classic run-and-gun 2D platformers of the past, the kind you'd play with your friends in an arcade, like "Contra" or "Gunstar Heroes." This charming and challenging indie game features offline co-op multiplayer so you and a friend can complete the entire game together just like old times.

"Cuphead" is designed in the style of retro 1930s cartoons (think Popeye or very vintage Disney) and consists mostly of exciting and creative boss battles where you can fight everything from telekinetic carrots to boxing frogs. Test your skills by performing synchronous bullet-dodging parries and slides while shooting energy bullets from your fingertips. Collect coins along the way to purchase charm upgrades to your health and firepower, a feature that gives the game an RPG element that forms to any type of play style. Overall, "Cuphead" is a challenging and fun game where the lives are infinite but the stakes are high.

Best All-Ages Game: Overcooked! 2

Time is ticking in "Overcooked! 2," where you and your friends are chefs working overtime to satisfy hungry hordes of diners in the world's most absurd restaurants. You can win by working together — and cooking up some delicious din-din to save the world. This kid-friendly teamwork-based game is a perfect choice if you have a few friends over (or online) and want to play something that is exciting, goofy, and made for laughs.

Designed for up to four players, "Overcooked! 2" has everyone performing a specific kitchen task, cooking up food as fast as possible to satiate the appetites of various menaces. Players will handpick ingredients, put them on counters (or throw them) for other players to chop up, then cook and combine them on dishes to serve to the restaurant at a ridiculous pace. This cooperative cooking simulator relies on speed and communication, and enjoyment can be found in both the follies of flying fish and the completion of a successful (virtual) sushi roll.

Best for Family Game Night: Hasbro Family Fun Pack: Conquest Edition

"Hasbro Family Fun Pack: Conquest Edition" makes family game night more streamlined, less expensive, and way easier to clean up than a closet full of board games. This multiplayer Xbox One game includes four classic board games: "RISK: Urban Assault," "Battleship," "Monopoly Plus," and "Scrabble."

"Hasbro Family Fun Pack: Conquest Edition" is designed to approximate the gameplay of the traditional games, and it's easy to learn and play for a wide range of age groups, making it a great choice for families. There are options to play both online and offline with up to four players, and families can "pass and play" with a single Xbox One controller if there aren't enough for everyone. Each title has the option to include AI opponents in case you and another player want to duke it out in multiplayer mayhem (or if one of the kids is away at summer camp).

Our Process

Our writers spent 8 hours researching the most popular multiplayer Xbox One games on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 19 different games overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 2 of the games themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.