The latest highly anticipated and talked about multiplayer game Splatoon was released last week, and the popularity of the game seems to be quite tangible. It seems like a perfect time to bring out Multiplayer Madness for a second edition with Splatoon as the leading game to start us off. These games I have selected are some of the ones I've had the most fun playing with other people, whether online or off. If you missed the first installment of Multiplayer Madness, get yourself caught up to speed with this link. Once you're caught up, you can start reading the next eight games added to my list of multiplayer faves.
Splatoon (Wii U)
The latest game that has consumed part of my life, Splatoon is Nintendo putting its own take on a popular genre, the third-person shooter. Matches don't revolve around defeating other players. Instead, the goal is to have your team use their weapons to unleash paint on more of the surface than the other team before time runs out. The terrific thing here is that as long as you are painting the ground, it doesn't really matter how many times you're splatted (i.e. K.O.'d). Matches are short enough at three minutes, and the tide of battle can change in an instance. Splatoon is wonderfully chaotic, brilliantly executed shooter that has already had me spend more hours on the game's multiplayer than I care to admit in less than a week since its launch!
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)
Most of my time with Animal Crossing: New Leaf was spent alone, fixing up my village as the mayor through public works projects, buying new furniture, wallpaper, flooring, clothing, and home renovations, and doing my best to make my villagers happy. However, there was a whole other piece to New Leaf, and that was the multiplayer portion. It was a lot of fun to invite friends over to my town, hang out with them, trade items, head over to the island to play some of Tortimeter's mini-games, and just have a very relaxing go of things. It was a pace that was leisurely, and for once, I was content with that.
Rayman Legends (Multi)
Rayman Legends on Wii U is what I consider to be the definitive version of the game, offering the most intuitive experience around. This 2D platformer shines brightest during the Murfy stages, where one player controls the character Murfy via the GamePad touch screen. You move platforms, tickle enemies, and arrange obstacles to assist the player or players going through the levels. Of course, not all of the game is devised up by Murfy levels. Traditional platforming challenges for up to four players are also available and as entertaining in Rayman Legends as they were in Rayman Origins, the game's predecessor. It's a platforming package that is worth its weight in lums.
LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)
We leap into another platformer with a game with less tight controls than Rayman Legends, but it's still an amusing game to play, LittleBigPlanet 2. One of my first experiences with playing online with the PlayStation 3 was hopping online and playing through the game's story levels with total strangers. In the game there are locations that require multiple players to get the Prize Bubbles within. For instance, one player holds a switch to keep a door open while the other players enter to salvage their Prize Bubble bounty. It was also fabulously fun to play user created levels in a party, randomly selecting and checking out creations from the community. While the jumping may be floaty, the fun is most definitely grounded in greatness.
Star Wars: Battlefront (PS2, XBX, PC)
To prep for the upcoming DICE-developed Star Wars: Battlefront, I reviewed the original game. I had played it and its sequel when both came out, but the impending release of the new entry gave me an excuse to return to the games. Even after all of this time, Star Wars: Battlefront for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC is still as fun to play as ever. There is nothing like being a part of a full-scale, highly contested battle, fighting alongside a massive squad of troops, and pushing the enemy back, all the while capturing their command posts. Playing the game cooperatively with my brother was like shooting a phaser-- it was a blast. We'd divvy up tasks and chokepoints to try to control, sharing impromptu strategies during battle. There's nothing else like splitscreen gaming!
Perfect Dark Zero (360)
My first Xbox 360 game and probably the one that I've spent the most hours playing, Perfect Dark Zero may not have been the great successor to the original Perfect Dark that fans or me, for that matter, wanted, but overall the game wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. The grandest part of the game was the multiplayer, offering multiple expansive maps for over 32 players to play in Killcount, Team Killcount, Capture the Flag, Territorial Gains, and more. Vehicles like the hovercraft and jet-pack allowed for fast traversal over the great scale maps housing little hiding spots and a multitude of pathways. It might not have been "perfect", but this Xbox 360 launch title was a blast from the opening seconds of a round to the final kill.
Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
From one Rareware game to another, Diddy Kong Racing is my favorite kart racer of all time. Part of what makes it so great beyond the awesome track design, innovative adventure mode, and three vehicle types to play as was the multiplayer, offering traditional races against up to three other players, a grand prix mode, and a battle mode. However, the best option available came within using the "JOINTVENTURE" code on the password screen. This would allow you and a friend (or in my case, my older brother) to tackle the adventure mode together. Diddy Kong Racing was just the gift that kept on giving long after you beat Wizpig all by your lonesome.
Mario Party 2 (N64)
My favorite in the Mario Party series, Mario Party 2 did away with the palm and thumb-destroying mini-games that its predecessor possessed. It did receive plenty of returning mini-games with new twists to each, plus a wide amount of brand-new ones as well. While the game was enjoyable enough solo, Mario Party 2 truly shun when you had four players in the room to tackle one of the game's six boards, battling over Power Stars, screwing over your friends and family members, and just having a great old time. More modern Mario Party games don't have the same level of craziness of earlier Mario Party games, and that is a shame, as Mario Party 2's brand of party game is definitely one of my personal faves.