The 20 best Nintendo multiplayer games ever

You heard us - ever! From Big Bang to current day!

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7. GoldenEye


It seems a bit redundant to wax lyrical about a ten-year-old N64 game when there's canyons' worth of multiplayer FPSes on consoles and PC now. But it isn't. And not just because most modern shooters don't support split-screen. There's an innocent inventiveness to GoldenEye that identifies it as a game trying to be entertaining in its own right; a game that appeared before people got a fixed idea about what FPSes 'should be like'.

The brilliance of GoldenEye took many forms - from one-hit kills and killer mines to the cat-and-mouseness of the Golden Gun mode. Even today, there are few shooters with the versatility and eye for improvised mayhem that GoldenEye boasts.

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6. New Super Mario Bros


New Super Mario Bros Wii has its fair share of clever multiplayer options, but nothing as of yet has managed to dislodge NSMB DS's Mario Vs Luigi battle mode from the special place it occupies in our hearts.

It's a straight race to grab as many stars as you can from one of five different levels. Except there's nothing straight about it at all, because walloping your brother causes him to drop all his stars onto the ground, and as you'd expect, making this happen soon becomes the focal point of the contest. Brilliantly evil and addictive, this has a malicious streak inside it that New Super Mario Bros Wii sorely lacks.

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5. Micro Machines 2


It's a publisher's nightmare: your Mega Drive game is at its best with three players or more, but the console only has two controller ports. What to do? Codemasters came up with an elegant solution: mould two extra ports into the cartridge. If that wasn't enough, eight players could join the fray by sharing a pad between pairs, though this rarely worked well.

Still, four players are more than enough to appreciate this top-down racer's 'shunt your opponents off the edge of the screen' mechanic, even though a vigorous handbrake turn would often result in the cartridge popping out of its drive like a piece of toast.

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4. The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures


When a Zelda game's biggest claim to fame is being the third best selling game in the US in June 2004, you know something went wrong. Thankfully, in Four Swords Adventures' case the problem didn't lie with the game itself - four-player top-down Zelda is amazing - but with the technology of the time. Despite the game being played through a GameCube, players controlled their own Link using a GBA (which doubles up as a screen in its own right when players wander off). Amassing four GBAs is difficult enough in itself, but finding four link cables is a Herculean feat, and one that proved beyond most Cube owners.

Technology has moved on since then, of course, and there's no reason why this lost multiplayer classic can't rise again. We'd literally kill for an updated Wii version that allows us to play on our DSes. Well, not literally, but seriously - among the sea of cynical cash-ins that is the New Play Control range, why is Four Swords Adventures, the one game that might actually benefit, nowhere to be seen?

3. Super Mario Kart


There are disappointments (the English cricket team), major disappointments (finding out the Cadbury Caramel Bunny was voiced by Miriam Margolyes), and then there's Mario Kart Wii's Battle mode, a dismal team-based affair that takes place on tracks so boring it makes the M4 look like Alton Towers' Nemesis.

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