There’s no shortage of great PC games to play by yourself, but what about the best PC games to play with family members? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of those either. Whether you’ve got lots of time to spare or just want a quick round of multiplayer, there’s a multiplayer PC game with something to offer everyone. Even better, there’s something for every kind of family. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best PC games to play with family to help kickstart your next family night.
Rocket League is one of the hottest games around, both for esports and plain personal enjoyment. It’s a wild mix of bright colors, frenetic action, and sports that combines easy-to-learn mechanics with physics-based action. Better yet, it’s affordable at just $19.99 USD.
At its core, Rocket League is an arcade style soccer game where you control a selection of awesome racing cars instead of actual human players. These cars are fully customizable as well — though not always for free — so it’s an easy and fun way to put your personal stamp on the game.
Though soccer is the primary mode, Rocket League offers a number of extra modes as well. These include a hockey mode and a baseball mode. On top of all that, Rocket League hosts a number of events throughout the year, or you can just play offline if you want.
It’s that adaptability that makes Rocket League one of the best PC games to play with family. You can play together in local co-op or take turns and watch each other race to success (or utter failure). Better yet, Rocket League is fully cross-platform. If you have other platforms in the house and want to play competitive, you can all still play together on your own consoles as well as the PC. As an added bonus, developer Psyonix removed loot box mechanics last year, so there’s no need to worry about younger family members playing.
The award-winning Outer Wilds is a completely different kind of game. There’s no violence against others, and you often don’t know what you’re doing — but that’s the point. Outer Wilds is all about exploration and figuring out the mysteries you uncover during your journeys. Just note that until summer 2020, Outer Wilds is only available on the Epic Games Store.
Players take control of a new recruit to a space program and set off to try and find a way of saving the solar system. Everything’s gone drastically out of control, but fortunately, you aren’t stuck to a time limit. That’s good, because part of the wonder in Outer Wilds is seeing how environments you come across earlier change over time.
Previously hidden areas are uncovered as the landscape changes, and you may just find the key to moving forward there. Like a roguelike game, you’ll fail in Outer Wilds. A lot. But you’ll use those failures to further your exploration the next time you fly out into the unknowns of space.
Outer Wilds isn’t multiplayer. However, it’s a perfect opportunity to play together anyway, discussing what to do next or where to go. Or, if your family is more patient, you can take turns as each player’s journey comes to an end. Either way you go about it, Outer Wilds is a surefire conversation starter and an absorbing experience.
If you’re looking for more of a traditional multiplayer experience, though, then consider giving Overcooked! 2 a try. As the 2 suggests, it’s a follow-up to the well-received Overcooked! And expands on everything the first title did so well.
Your overall goal is following recipes to create dishes and save the Onion Kingdom. It’s not a simple cooking simulator by any means, though. Countless obstacles obstruct your paths in each kitchen. And that’s when the kitchens themselves aren’t making life difficult. You’ll try and cook things in some pretty unorthodox places — a floating raft, an airship, graveyards, tombs, and those are just the start.
The seemingly mundane task of preparing ingredients and transporting them across the kitchen suddenly transforms. Other players, moving tiles, rotating floors and more mean everything you do becomes an exercise in quick thinking, strategic movement, and space management.
If it sounds hectic, that’s because it is. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier and much more fun when you’re playing with others. Overcooked! 2 was essentially designed as a multiplayer experience, which means it also supports local co-op. If you’re playing with others nearby, you can take advantage of split-screen play. There’s also an online multiplayer option if you want to play with family members who aren’t nearby.
Whatever you choose, Overcooked! 2 serves up heaps of bright, colorful, chaotic fun and fits the menu for players of all ages.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
We at PC Invasion know not all families are couples with 2.5 young kids. Maybe you’re at home with your older teenage children or adult kids. If that’s the case, you’d definitely want to check out Divinity: Original Sin 2. Don’t let the “2” in the title put you off either; you can jump into it without knowing anything about the original.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is pure high fantasy. It takes place in a world where magic is strictly controlled by an authoritarian regime, and anyone who can use it is at risk of being arrested — or murdered by ambitious bounty hunters. The overarching story isn’t the main draw in DOS2, though. It’s the story you create with your own characters (whom you also create) and the choices you make along the way that stand out.
Almost every decision and dialogue choice you make affects how the story and various side quests unfold. It’s admittedly a bit overwhelming at first, if you aren’t used to this kind of game. However, the level of immersion and freedom is unparalleled. The turn-based battle system is also one of the best in RPGs, with multiple skill types and environmental impacts to consider in your strategies.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 supports local co-op play, so you can experience the journey together if you want. Or, you could opt for single player and all weigh in on significant choices or just talk about your adventures separately. Essentially, you can figure out your own ways to play to keep things fresh. If someone has the game on Switch as well, you can also take advantage of cross-save functionality between the versions.
Stardew Valley is one indie developer’s interpretation of the classic Harvest Moon formula, and it’s widely regarded as a modern classic. Your customized farmer inherits a rundown farm near a town in the sticks. It’s up to you to bring it to life and maybe make some deep, lifelong friendships in the process.
You’ll plant crops, raise animals, get to know your neighbors, and explore some of the mysteries surrounding the town. In the process, you’ll also decide whether you want to oppose the big-box retail chain interested in taking over the town or if you’ll play along and sell your fellow townsfolk out. Whatever you do, it’s not just farming and livestock rearing. Restoring the community center (or turning into a corporate headquarters) involves taking on a number of focused tasks — goals to hit that help guide the otherwise very open gameplay. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get hitched to a lovely batchelor or bachelorette as well. All this doesn’t even take into consideration the new content updates Stardew Valley receives either.
Each game has multiple save files, so you can all have your own farm. Stardew Valley offers a huge variety of farm customization options, so no two farms will be alike. Plus, the way character events unlock by how you increase your friendship levels, it’s pretty much guaranteed everyone will experience the game in different ways. If you want to experience it together and have multiple PCs though, you can all share a farm with Stardew Valley multiplayer. The farm plot is expanded, and everyone gets their own cabins to create and customize. However you go about it, Stardew Valley is an expansive and relaxing game to share with others.
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World is another title you can play with your teens or older family members. That’s not because MHW is a particularly mature title, but it is a complicated one to get used to. That’s also what makes it one of the best PC games you can play with family.
As with other Monster Hunter games, your goal in World is taking on tasks from an adventurer’s guild, tasks that involve hunting monsters (surprise!). You’ll prepare your equipment and items, track down the beast or beasts in question, and then try and get the better of them in combat. The materials gathered during and after these expeditions go into forging new equipment, and the cycle starts again.
Tracking and fighting aren’t as simple as you’d expect either. Monster Hunter World is a huge and gorgeous open-world game, where tracking down your quarry involves paying attention to the environment and all the little clues you can pick up on there. How you fare in combat depends on choices you make.
You’ll begin the game by choosing a weapon type. You’re locked to that weapon and its skills for the duration as well. That means every playthrough is different, you’ll always discover new ways to play the game, and — more importantly — you’ll have plenty of unique experiences you can share with others playing the game. That also means plenty of people to lend a hand if you get stuck too.
While Monster Hunter World doesn’t support co-op, you can have multiple accounts accessing their own save files in the game. If you’ve got more than one device capable of running it, you and your family can team up to take on some of the game’s tougher monsters too. The base game is frequently discounted on Steam, and there’s a massive expansion, Iceborne, available if you’re interested as well.
Ultimate Chicken Horse
Ultimate Chicken Horse is as bizarre as the name sounds, and that’s a very good thing. You’ll work together with (read: against) other players to create levels on the fly and see who can make it to the end.
The goal is outwitting everyone else while trying to avoid being outwitted yourself. You’ll take control of a quirky animal character and build the ultimate platformer level of your dreams — or nightmares. Ultimate Chicken Horse offers a large library of parts you’ll use to build these levels. With 15 different stages to choose from and countless parts, there’s a near-infinite amount of variety just waiting to be tapped.
Ultimate Chicken Horse also includes an option to include customizable rules if you think things are getting too stale or easy. Whether you build a level that punishes players for taking the easy route or create a hellish labyrinth full of traps, buzzsaws, and other deadly tricks is entirely up to you. But just as you can pull the rug out from under your co-players, they can pull it from under you as well. Naturally, that means it’s best to play this one with family members who are up for some fun and can handle competition easily.
Tricky Towers is a blast to play, and it strikes a great balance between zen-like puzzle action and competitive chaos. Best of all, it offers couch co-op play for up to four players, and you don’t even have to deal with split screen to get it.
Tricky Towers is essentially Tetris with a twist of magic and a fun physics machine. You’ll work to build a Tetrimino-block tower on a rather shaky foundation. Unlike Tetris, the blocks don’t just slide nicely into place. They bounce, they fall, and they can potentially ruin your carefully laid plans. If the shaky blocks don’t ruin your plans, however, then your crafty opponents might just do it themselves. Periodically, you’ll deal with blasts of incoming magic from your opponents. You can dish it out yourself, of course, and use your own magic to protect your precious tower.
There’s a single-player mode and a number of special challenges to tackle, if anyone wants to improve their skills before challenging others. And the entire presentation is quite lovely, a nice blend of cartoon-y graphics with bright colors and simple designs.
Tricky Towers supports multiple control types, so you can all choose what suits you best. There’s a number of inexpensive content add-ons as well that let you customize your wizard and the blocks you use.
Just saying a Lego game might sound a bit non-committal. But that’s just because there are so many Lego titles for candidate of best PC games to play with your family. It’s really all down to what franchises your family likes best and what you want out of it.
For example, the Lego Star Wars and Lego Harry Potter games offer a more traditional co-op experience. You and another player take control of a huge number of playable characters. You’ll work through Lego-built levels retelling the franchise’s main story, fight enemies, and use special skills to progress. As always with Lego titles, there’s a ton of collectible items to find as well.
The Lego superhero games — Lego Marvel Superhoes and Lego Batman — offer a range of different experiences. These are more action-based, with bigger worlds that tell new stories in these respective series. Then there’s Lego City Undercover. This one is an open-world game that’s basically the antithesis of Grand Theft Auto. You and another player take on crimefighting roles and keep the huge, 20-district city safe from ne’er do wells.
Whichever style and theme takes your fancy, the Lego games are always just plain, simple fun. The gameplay is geared for younger players, true. However, the quirky humor and Lego take on classic stories and characters make them perfect for anyone and definitely among the best PC games you can play with family.
Whatever your family type and interests, these games should help make it easier to plan your next family shindig. What games do you plan on playing with your family?