Being a PC gamer has many advantages – cheaper games, better graphics, and overall a generally smoother and more high quality experience than gaming on consoles. Despite the higher cost of entry and the difficulty some gamers have when assembling a PC and installing games, PCs provide a top-of-the-line experience.
One unfortunate drawback of PC gaming trends and peripherals is that PC games rarely support split-screen or local multiplayer – simply because the keyboard/mouse input isn’t conducive to multiple players in most PC games, and PC developers focus most of their efforts in other areas, such as good online gaming experiences.
There are some exceptions, however. If you’re looking for the best local multiplayer PC games, we’ll talk about the different kinds of games you can get and what to expect. In addition, we’ve put together a list of 6 of the games on the market, so you can get an idea of what sorts of games are on the market.
What to Consider When Buying Multiplayer PC Games
Narrow down the choices by considering whether or not you want a co-op game or a head-to-head game.
Co-Op or Head-To-Head (Vs)
- Co-Op Games. Offer a great experience on PC, and are usually just as seamless as cooperative games on consoles. If you’re looking to play with a friend non-competitively, co-op games are a great choice – there’s no winner or loser. You work together to achieve your goals.
- Head-To-Head (Vs). Games pit you and your friend (or friends) against each other, and this is a popular choice if you’re looking to compete with a good friend, and test your skills against one another while growing as players. However, these games can lead to some conflict, and if one player is much better than another is, they can lose some of their fun.
Top 6 Local Multiplayer PC Games Table
Buying Information – Types of Multiplayer PC Games
Here are the main types of games to choose from:
- Hot Seat Games. This functionality is usually seen in games like Civ V – one player controls the game and takes their turn as they normally would in single player, and then hands over the controls to the other player, who then does the same. This is perfect for a turn-based game, and has the additional benefit of being fast and easy to set up.
- Split-Screen Games. These games simply split the screen in half or in quarters (depending on the numbers of players). Each player has a screen in which their perspective is shown. This is common for competitive shooter games, driving games, and some adventure games, as each player will need a first-person or third-person view.
- Same-Screen Games. Just about all fighting games and many third-person co-op action-adventure games fall into this category. The players each control a character, but it remains on the same screen, which is shared by both players, and shows only one perspective.
Top 3 Best Local Multiplayer PC Games Reviews
LEGO Batman hails from the long-lived, popular LEGO videogame franchise. This game, and the other from the series which include Harry Potter, LoTR, and Star Wars, among others, are famous for incredible co-op experiences, as well as a fun, LEGO-themed take on famous films and book franchises that focuses on platforming, puzzle solving, and collection of hundreds of collectibles and special items that unlock hidden characters.
LEGO Batman features a single-screen co-op experience, which takes place during the main campaign and missions of the game, and is supported in every mode of the game, so if you’re looking for a game to play through entirely locally with a friend, it’s a great choice.
Co-op in these LEGO games allows players to reach areas and reveal secrets that they would never have found themselves, and allow collaboration and problem solving for puzzles that would otherwise be very hard to figure out.
Because it can be played through entirely with another player, LEGO Batman is one of the very best local multiplayer experiences you can have on PC, and it’s highly recommended for its fun take on the classic Batman franchise, and a gigantic amount of replay value as you discover secrets, and unlock characters who can help you find even more secret areas and items.
F1 2013 is a realistic driving simulator, based off Formula 1 racing, and is a member of the most popular F1 franchise on PC. This game features highly realistic F1 cars and a large number of F1 racetracks, as well as other new environmental effects – such as rain and adverse weather conditions that affect the handling of cars and the characteristics of tracks. It’s a smooth, fun, high-octane take that’s miles ahead of more arcade-style racers when it comes to realism and speed.
F1 2013 features a fully functional split-screen multiplayer mode, which can be controlled with either game controllers or specialized race wheels with floor pedals. In the split-screen mode, you can race each other, as well as AI racers who will populate the rest of the field, so this game is great for gearheads who want a fun, realistic gameplay experience that can support another player.
Portal 2 is one of the best games of the decade, featuring an outstanding single player mode with great puzzles and one of the best stories to be found in a video game. For some people, the fun stops there – but it shouldn’t, because Portal 2 also includes an incredible multiplayer mode. If you thought Portal 2’s puzzles were perspective smashing with only two portals, you’ll have another thing coming when you start up the multiplayer mode, which can be played either locally with a friend, or with online matchmaking services.
You’ll take control of 2 “testing robots” named Atlas and P-Body, and both players will be equipped with fully-functioning portal guns, meaning the total number of portals to be used to solve puzzles is 4. Throughout the 5-section campaign, you and your friend’s problem-solving skills and reflexes will be tested in a great co-op puzzle-solving experience.
In addition to the main co-op campaign, Portal 2 offers a level creator and level downloads, so whenever you feel like strapping back in for another session, you can download entirely new mind-bending maps and campaigns to enjoy, making this a game with plenty of replay value, and one of the best local multiplayer PC games.