Year released: 2003
Defense of the Ancients (DotA) was similar to CS in that it was a mod of an existing game. In this case, however, DotA was built in the Warcraft III engine and ushered in a new style of game that combined elements of strategy titles such as Warcraft with action RPGs (role-player games) like Diablo. The hybrid genre that this created is more commonly known as mobile online battle arenas (MOBAs.)
The game pitted two teams of five players against each other, with the goal being to destroy the opposition’s base. Players would select one of dozens of fantasy-themed characters, each with their own unique powers and abilities. As the game went on, players could earn experience to level up their characters through combat and completing objectives, as well as gold, which was used to buy better weapons and armor.
DotA has since spawned an unofficial sequel by the name of DOTA2, as well as numerous other similar titles, including the worldwide sensation League of Legends, a testament to why it’s undoubtedly one of the coolest multiplayer video games ever made.
Year released: 2009 (beta)
Today Minecraft is immediately recognizable, thanks to its blocky 3D graphics, and the fact it’s available on everything from mobile phones and tablets to consoles and even VR headsets. But before it took the world by storm, it was a relatively niche PC title developed by programmer Markus “Notch” Persson. Before selling the now iconic game to Microsoft for $2.5 billion, Persson spent years working on the beta version, with the official release of the game taking place in 2011.
In Minecraft, players explore one of its many worlds, gathering resources to build things within its virtual environment. The objects you build can vary from simple buildings to magnificent works of art, and, if you mine the right materials, even a working calculator. You are free to explore these worlds on your own, or you can invite your friends to join your journey to build great things and defeat evil monsters!
Minecraft is quite a unique entry on this list in that the game itself has no predefined goals. There are no objectives in the game, with the players free to do as they please. This alone makes it a great game to play with others all around the world, as well as your own friends and family.
5. Rocket League
Year released: 2015
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
What if we told you one of the most popular multiplayer games ever involved cars with rocket boosters knocking a large soccer ball into the back of an opposing team’s goal? You might initially think we’re a bit crazy, but you’d probably not have heard of the sensational Rocket League, the hit game that combines soccer and cars to create a truly unique video game experience.
In Rocket League, you play in teams of up to three players in different arenas with a goal on each side. The objective is to score as many points as possible against the opposing team by putting the (large) soccer ball in the back of the net. Some of the game areas follow the design and style of a traditional soccer field, while others get more imaginative and add obstacles and other objects to add more variety to the game. Players race around in their cars trying to put the ball into the back of their opponents’ net, or stop the opposing players from doing the same to them.
Add in rocket boosters (hence the name,) which can be recharged by collecting power-ups on the field and give you the ability to blast your way into the air for a short while, together with physics that focus on fun rather than realism, and you have a game that feels like soccer, but adds enough to the traditional formula to make it much more exciting.