7 Multiplayer Gaming Classics to Play Over the Holidays

7 Multiplayer Gaming Classics to Play Over the Holidays. There’s something about the holidays that evokes powerful memories and feelings of nostalgia. I think it’s because we inevitably end up comparing this year’s festivities with family traditions that span decades. And sometimes we want to go back to happier times.

7 Multiplayer Gaming Classics to Play Over the Holidays

But my brother and I grew up, of course, and we now have families of our own. And my father passed away in 2013, so that part of my life will always be incomplete. But if I switch on a video game of my youth, I am transported, even if temporarily, to a world of happy memories. I think it’s okay to escape this way, because it plays off of how we are built as humans: nostalgia is quite possibly a coping mechanism for dramatic change.

So with all that heavy pop-psychology stuff out of the way, I thought it would be fun to take a look at seven classic video games that can be enjoyed by groups of people (three or more, in this case) over the holidays. If you’re a retrogamer like me, you might have this hardware already sitting around. If not, get thee to eBay and make your retro dreams come true.

1 Saturn Bomberman (1997)

Platform: Sega Saturn

Number of Players: 1-10

Accessories Needed: Saturn 6 Player Adapter (or two), 2 to 10 controllers

The Bomberman series has always been known for its frenetic multiplayer action, and this classic edition for the Sega Saturn is no exception. Using two “6 Player Adapters” (as they are officially called), a whole family can play single-screen Bomberman tournaments with up to 10 people simultaneously. And before you ask: Yes, it’s literally a blast. You will explode when you play this game.

2 Scorched Earth (1991)

Platform: IBM PC (MS-DOS)

Number of Players: 1-10

Accessories Needed: None (or on a modern machine, DOSBox)

Scorched Earth billed itself as “The Mother of all Games,” and I don’t disagree with that assessment. It taught me everything I know about artillery games.

It’s about time I finally register this shareware classic, because this game has infinite replay value—it’s an artillery game with an incredible array of weapons and defenses, and up to 10 players can duke it out round-robin style over multiple matches until a winner emerges victorious. Here’s a shield-busting tip: rollers and napalm.

7 Multiplayer Gaming Classics to Play Over the Holidays
7 Multiplayer Gaming Classics to Play Over the Holidays

3 Gauntlet IV (1993)

Platform: Sega Genesis

Number of Players: 1-4

Accessories Needed: Sega Team Player (4-player adapter), 2 to 4 controllers

Few multiplayer games are more fun than Gauntlet and Gauntlet II in the arcade. And in my opinion, Gauntlet received its peak home console port in 1993 with Gauntlet IV, which presents the original 4-player action dungeon crawl in its entirety with an additional RPG-inspired mode tacked on. Please don’t shoot the food.

|> See more: Free online action games to play now for kids

4 Secret of Mana (1993)

Platform: Super NES

Number of Players: 1-3

Accessories Needed: Super Multitap, 2 to 3 controllers

If you’re looking for deeper multiplayer fare this holiday season, look no further than Secret of Mana, which is a fully fleshed-out action RPG that allows up to three players simultaneously. But be patient, because you don’t start out with all three players available in the beginning; one player has to play until the other two are discovered in the storyline. But once you get there, you’ll see that you can hardly find a more satisfying and memorable 16-bit multiplayer experience.

5 Warlords (1981)

Platform: Atari 2600

Number of Players: 1-4

Accessories Needed: One or two pairs of Atari Paddle controllers

Sometimes the most fun multiplayer video games are the simplest. Warlords, originally an arcade title, combines elements of Pong (a bouncing ball and movable paddles) with Breakout (the walls of your fortress break apart when the ball hits). In this game, played with rotational paddle controllers, your goal is to break apart your opponents’ fortresses before they break through yours. It’s one of the best multiplayer games for the Atari 2600.

6 M.U.L.E. (1983)

Platform: Atari 800

Number of Players: 1-4

Accessories Needed: 2 to 4 Atari 2600 Joysticks

You’re probably tired of me talking about M.U.L.E. already, but it’s hard to over-preach this strategy classic. This is a game for thinkers who like to plot, strategize, then wheel and deal their way to economic success during a tense auction screen where all four players vie to buy low and sell high. In some ways, it’s a lot like a well-crafted board game that plays out on a computer.

Note that four-player mode is only available on the Atari 800 model computer, which is the only Atari 8-bit computer model with enough RAM and joystick ports. The NES also has a four-player version of M.U.L.E. available with the Four Score or Satellite adapter, but the music is nowhere near as good.

7 Mario Kart 64 (1997)

Platform: Nintendo 64

Players: 1-4

Accessories Needed: 2 to 4 controllers

Those inclined to action and racing games can forget M.U.L.E. Instead, reach for this perennial classic that allows four players two compete in racing cups set in the friendly Mushroom Kingdom. And glory of glories: You don’t need a special multiplayer adapter, either, since the Nintendo 64 has four controller ports built in.

The tracks in this game are ingeniously crafted, and the characters couldn’t be more lovable. It’s perfect for all ages, so I hope you get a chance to play it— and I hope you have a happy holidays, from my family to yours.

Source: pcmag.com

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