Games that let you go in guns blazing are endlessly enjoyable. Whether you just want to let off some steam or you actually get competitive, some of the best online shooters put you in the ring with other players.
While countless multiplayer games let you and your buddies gun down your enemies together, a select few stand out in terms of gameplay, aesthetics, and even lore. Here are some of the best shooters out there for when you’re looking to play with friends – or against.
Updated September 7, 2023, by William Quick: The popularity of shooter games comes from their heavy leaning on action, excessive firepower, and fast-paced gameplay. There are FPS games of all sorts ranging from constant battles to more puzzle-oriented experiences. That being said, it feels pretty good to jump into a game and be an awesome action hero with all sorts of weapons and powers to unleash against hordes of enemies and opponents. What’s even better is to team up with other people to take on opposing teams or work together to beat waves of monsters and giant bosses.
What do you get if you mix Lovecraft with a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world and Western tones? You get the sequel to Remnant: From The Ashes, Remnant 2, which is just as exciting and brutal. Welcome to a version of Earth that is dealing with the aftermath of mutations and illnesses caused by evil plants called the Root. Although humanity has started to recover, it’s been revealed that they have access to crystals that allow them to travel to other universes.
Unfortunately, by using these crystals, the Root has also invaded these other universes, and now you’ve got to help clean it up. Grab your boomsticks and Gatling guns as you team up and visit the multiverse to destroy the biggest beasts out there to try and restore peace.
Team Fortress 2
Before there was Valorant and Overwatch, there was the game that pioneered the idea of FPS characters with class and character. This game was and still is Team Fortress 2, also credited with starting the trend of wacky in-game hats.
Return to a wackier and more colorful time when you weren’t just choosing your weapon, you were choosing a profession. Each class fills a specific role, but, depending on how you play, they can be adapted to any situation.
You got the classic mode of Deathmatch, Capture The Bag, and even defend the Payload. You can also customize each of the characters with different weapons, gear, and of course, clothing. Get out there and take one for the team… fortress too.
Minecraft is fun to play in both first-person and third-person, either alone or with folks, but it is limited to older technology and fantastical magic elements. This works well, but what if you took the visual style and introduce it to modern warfare, thus bringing about BattleBit Remastered?
This is as straightforward an introduction as you can get to a massively multiplayer shooter. Go online with some friends and jump into a game on one of many maps that are much larger than they first appear.
Choose your soldier class to determine your weapons and any additional abilities you may have. It’s a full-scale battle with large teams on either side and maps that make use of vehicles from quad bikes to helicopters. You may die quite a bit, but you can bounce back in just as fast.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Before we were able to jump online at the touch of a button with someone on the other side of the world, we had to make do with local events, known as LAN parties. One game that rose to the top in such an environment was Counter-Strike, and that evolved to become the more popular and expanded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Experience everything that made the original game great but with better graphics and more gameplay. It maintains the simple core of two very distinct teams that have very distinct goals to accomplish. Spend what money you have to get the best gear or take it off your defeated opponents.
Explore the classic game modes with or against your friends and other players as you try to become the MVP. The community remains active, and there’s even more Counter-Strike to come in the future.
After years of teasing, Overwatch 2 finally got released in 2022. There is some debate on whether it improves on the first game in a meaningful way, but given the fact that the first game is officially obsolete, there’s really no choice but to jump into this one if you want to get into the fascinating world of Overwatch.
Despite its rocky launch, you’ll have lots of fun whether you are a fan of the old series or a new player exploring the expansive list of heroes. It’s still easy to see the hallmarks that made the title so popular in the first place. The solid mix of play styles you can mess around with in this game is already enough to sink hours into happily, and the experience is even better when you have a team made up of friends.
Titanfall 2 is a mech shooter like no other. The controls feel good and the visuals still feel robust years after its release. The best part about the game is that it matches great gameplay with a fun campaign that’s actually worth finishing.
Despite not having the same popularity in its booming era, you should still be able to find a good number of active lobbies on PC. In terms of multiplayer, your best bet to match with other players quickly is the Northstar client. Titanfall 2 is such a robust and engaging shooter that beats out many of its contemporaries that it’s truly worth the effort to install the additional client just to experience one of the best online shooter gamers more actively.
Hell Let Loose
There is no shortage of World War 2 games out there, but Hell Let Loose is a shining beacon in a sea of the same old, same old. It offers a visceral look at actually being in the war zone, with genuinely fun FPS mechanics mixed with tactical gameplay. This isn’t a game for lone wolves, as you will quickly feel how important teamwork and strategy are for success.
You choose one of many roles available to help your squad and must traverse through maps that were actually based on imagery from World War 2. Whether you play Offensive or Warfare, you will see how this multiplayer game lives up to its name. From its environment down to its recoil and tactics, this game is an immersive experience that is brutal and rewarding all at once.
If you’re craving some high-stakes gaming, Hunt: Showdown is your best bet. The game has permadeath, meaning you lose everything (yes, skills and gear included). Despite the difficulty that this title poses for beginners, it’s actually one of the less toxic communities you will find in the world of multiplayer shooting games.
Within a large and haunting map, you must face off against vile creatures and other hunters with some good old Western paraphernalia. The experience is greatly improved when you’re playing with friends by your side, but even the solo players among you will find value in the game because it’s just that good.
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic is one of the best multiplayer shooters you can play if you prefer PvE. Its developers have staunchly avoided implementing any PvP in favor of encouraging teamwork and exploration. There are plenty of missions to enjoy with procedurally generated maps, so replayability is great.
It’s simply a fun adventure that you can dive into with friends and random players alike, especially as you work together to mine for resources and fight off hordes of aliens. Besides, who doesn’t want to play an awesome gruff dwarf who kicks flaming barrels, chugs liquor, and gets hyped over “Rock and Stone!”
Valorant takes team-based action shooting with bomb defusing and changes things up by adding abilities. The lore behind Radianite and the state of the world is very interesting and nicely sets up why all the agents have unique powers and face alternate versions of themselves.
The gameplay itself leads to endless fun, and different team setups manage to avoid making things feel repetitive. If you ever wanted to be a part of a hero squad that really makes you feel like the protagonist in a free game, Valorant is your best bet.
Risk Of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 does a pretty spectacular job of making you feel like you are truly on a journey to ultimate power. You unlock characters as you find secrets, and you make your way through wild worlds that threaten your frames per second with the full force of its chaos and colors.
You can loot a lot of interesting items that steadily make your build OP, with the exciting caveat that the game will keep getting harder the longer you wait. Take three buddies with you and experience the rush that comes with battling the final boss on the “HAHAHAHAHAHA” level.
Rogue Company has a matchmaking system that needs work, but it’s a great tactical shooter that combines the best elements of Paladins and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and turns it into a third-person adventure worth pouring hours into.
Its roster of Rogues is also varied enough that each one is actually worth trying. Once you find the type that matches your play style, all bets are off.
Whatever you may feel about Fortnite, there’s no denying its place in the world of multiplayer shooters. It really pummeled through the world of battle royales and introduced the interesting mechanics of building.
You can always choose the game mode that removes this gameplay function completely, but the building is what makes Fortnite the game that it is. You drop from the sky, loot rare items, build the defensive fort of your dreams, and shoot your way to victory.
Few multiplayer shooting games can make you feel as tense as GTFO. The latest update gives you access to a huge variety of Rundowns, including previous ones, so you can have an entirely new experience to look forward to every time you revisit the game.
This is a shooter where you actually have to work as a team, be patient, and communicate if you’re going to make it to the end. Loadouts matter, and you have to make use of terminals to find your objectives and essential items. It also doesn’t hurt that the setting is great, and the enemy design is disgusting in the best way possible.
If you’re looking to run and gun, Borderlands 3 serves that up in a glorious platter of madness and pandemonium. Though it’s still hard to beat the balance of story and gameplay that Borderlands 2 introduced, the third main entry manages to take all the best visuals and mechanics from its predecessors and put them into overdrive.
The customization and movement in this game take the cake and make an already intense game even better. Plus, you can get all manner of guns to expand your arsenal of destruction.
Left 4 Dead 2
Despite its age, Left 4 Dead 2 still refuses to die. With the strong base game and very active workshop community, many of you continue to find ways to enjoy this ever-engaging title.
Back 4 Blood makes a valiant effort to become a worthy spiritual successor (and it does introduce interesting new elements), but there’s just no topping the ultimate classic. From the interactive player voice commands to the smooth zombie killing, it’s hard to take its place.
If you want to talk about massive rosters of playable characters and intense battle royale shooters, then you can’t go without Apex Legends. There’s something about this game that makes it so accessible to beginners and yet perfect for veterans.
The gunplay here feels amazing, and you are encouraged to lean into the fast-paced nature of the game. It’s an almost constant adrenaline rush that can be punishing to campers and feels rewarding when you progress.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
What makes Rainbow Six Siege such an engaging multiplayer shooter is that the maps are really well done, and each game can feel varied depending on how you play. The gunplay is incredibly satisfying, and it’s worth mastering the areas and tools, so you can create an unbeatable team.
You can wreak havoc or play with precision, and still manage to have a fun time. Of course, it does have an interesting community that begs you to party up with people you already know.
Anyone who’s ever played Destiny 2 knows that it is simultaneously the best and worst experience you can have in an open-world looter shooter. That said, it’s extremely replayable. Somehow, you just can’t help but keep going back.
The expansions are mostly worth getting for content, but the base game is where the grind is really. Weekly missions, character progression, and both PvP and PvE options will keep you at it. Trying it solo really highlights why it needs to be experienced with other players on your side. Dive in and meet your destiny.
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