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Online multiplayer is part of nearly every major game release these days. However, local multiplayer, which was once wildly popular, has sadly become less prominent.
Thankfully, even though local multiplayer isn’t widespread on current-gen consoles, you can still enjoy a great time playing with friends on one system in one room.
With that in mind, here are the best local multiplayer games on PS4, in no particular order.
1. Rocket League
Rocket League is a popular sports game that has you playing soccer with rocket-powered cars. You’ll need to master its physics to get the hang of boosting, flipping, and scoring goals.
For offline fun, Rocket League lets local players join and start an exhibition match. You and a friend can also compete against others online, if you prefer. The pick-up-and-play competitive nature of this game makes it perfect for novices and veterans alike. We also think it’s a great PS4 game for kids.
Buy: Rocket League ($20)
2. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Borderlands is an open-world loot-based shooter series. The Handsome Collection bundles Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for hundreds of hours of content to enjoy.
You can play both games in local multiplayer with up to four players. In fact, Borderlands works best in multiplayer, so this is the ideal way to play the game.
This probably isn’t a title your non-gaming friends will appreciate. But if you want to sink your teeth into a long adventure with roommates, it’s a perfect pick.
3. TowerFall Ascension
TowerFall nails what a multiplayer party game is all about: friendly competition where the victory is never guaranteed. It’s a 2D pixel-art battle royale where you shoot the other contenders with arrows.
But you have a limited supply of ammo, so you’ll have to retrieve them from walls to stay in the fight. A variety of gameplay options keep the experience fresh every time.
If you’re looking for a Super Smash Bros.-like experience that will have you hurling insults at your buddies all night, this is the game for you. As the developer states:
“TowerFall is best played competitively with friends, cross-legged on the floor within punching distance of each other.”
Buy: TowerFall Ascension ($15)
4. Rayman Legends
Rayman isn’t as well-known as Mario or Sonic, but that’s no excuse to miss this game. It’s one of the best platformers of all time, with gorgeous graphics, excellent level design, and a kicking soundtrack.
While the adventure is great in single-player, Legends supports playing the whole game with up to four players in local co-op. You can work together to reach the end of each level, but depending on your companions, you may hurt each other more than help.
If you need a break, try the Kung Foot minigame. It’s a basic match of soccer with the same controls as the main game, and is surprisingly enjoyable on its own.
Buy: Rayman Legends
5. Diablo 3
Diablo 3 is a dungeon-crawling action game, and the series is one of Blizzard’s most popular. For the right audience, it’s a perfect co-op multiplayer game.
Like Borderlands, we definitely don’t recommend this one for playing with casual gaming friends or kids. Diablo is a complex game and by the time you explain everything to a newcomer, the night will be over. This is a game to grind through over a long time with your significant other.
We’ve previously published some Diablo 3 tips if you’d like to read more about this fantastic game.
Buy: Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition ($30)
6. Overcooked / Overcooked 2
Overcooked is a truly special multiplayer game. It tasks up to four players with cooperating in a restaurant kitchen to complete orders. What starts off as a simple premise soon turns into a chaotic mess with conveyor belts, flickering lights, floors that break apart, and more.
Anyone can grasp the concept of the game, but the coordination required will test even the best of friends. Give it a try if you like teaming up more than competing, and don’t mind a little stress. Our Overcooked tips can help you succeed.
If you enjoy the original, the sequel is largely more of the same with some extra polish.
Buy: Overcooked: Gourmet Edition ($20)
Buy: Overcooked 2 ($25)
7. Everybody’s Golf (2017)
Everybody’s Golf is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a family-friendly golf game for up to four players. Due to the nature of golf gameplay, you can take turns with just one controller. This makes it a good choice if you don’t have extra controllers sitting around.
You don’t have to enjoy golf in real life to get a kick out of this game. It has a great character customization tool, simple controls, and the cartoony graphics keep it lighthearted.
Buy: Everybody’s Golf ($20)
8. The Jackbox Party Pack
If you’d like your local multiplayer experience to be less like a video game and more like a party board game, give Jackbox a look. This wacky title contains five sub-games:
- You Don’t Know Jack, a multiple-choice trivia quiz.
- Fibbage XL, where you make up an answer to an obscure question and try to trick others into believing it.
- Drawful, a visual game similar to Pictionary.
- Lie Swatter, where up to 100 players have to determine whether statements are true or false.
- Word Spud, a word association game where players vote on the quality of associations.
Unlike most other multiplayer games, Jackbox allows everyone to join with just their smartphone or tablet. This makes it a great pick for large groups, or if you don’t have a lot of controllers. But due to some suggestive content in the questions, it may be inappropriate for young players.
If you enjoy this, you can also check out Jackbox Party Packs 2-5, which offer more games and questions.
Buy: The Jackbox Party Pack ($25)
9. Puyo Puyo Tetris
Love puzzle games and want to see who’s the sharpest? Puyo Puyo Tetris combines two classic puzzle games into one, and has great options for local multiplayer.
You can keep it simple and compete in basic matches of Puyo Puyo or Tetris. But the game also includes a variety of combination modes, including one where you regularly switch between a board for each mode, and another where you play them at the same time.
Whether you’re a fan of one or both of these series, there’s a lot to love here for traditional puzzle fans.
Buy: Puyo Puyo Tetris
10. Nidhogg / Nidhogg 2
Nidhogg has simple visuals, but its tug-of-war gameplay makes for great competition. It pits two players in an arena, where the goal is to push your opponent back. You have a sword to fight with, but getting one kill isn’t the end. It takes several victories to earn the crown.
Like the best multiplayer titles, it’s simple but endlessly addicting. A night with this game will settle any outstanding feuds between friends for sure. And if you enjoy the original, try Nidhogg 2 for more weapons, updated graphics, and more.
A Night of Multiplayer PS4 Fun
While local multiplayer isn’t as prevalent today as online play, you can still find awesome experiences with a bit of digging. Each of these games supports various amounts of players and differing skill levels. With the right game for the right crowd, hours will tick by without you ever noticing. What’s even better is that these games will all work on the PS5 as well.
Don’t forget about the wealth of other titles on the PS4. As we’ve rounded up the best PS4 exclusives you should definitely check out. If your regular controller feels limiting for some of the fighting games on PS4, an arcade stick might be a better choice. Try one of these arcade sticks for PS4 gaming.