For years, multiplayer has given gamers a much needed break from the linear machinations of repetitive in-game AI.
Playing against the computer can be great, no doubt about it, but there's nothing quite like the satisfaction you get from humiliating friends and relatives to the point of them throwing a temper tantrum.
There are a lot of multiplayer games that were brilliant in their time. But only a few multiplayer experiences have been so unimaginably awesome, that people are still playing them today.
Without wanting to limit ourselves to a specific genre or platform, here are 11 gaming names that we think represent true multiplayer classics.
Actually, we tell a lie. You're actually getting more bang for your non-existent buck here because we think some franchises have been so damn consistent in their multiplayer offering, we thought it a crime not to mention a couple of iterations under the series name. What can we say? You deserve it.
Don't forget to give us your picks in the comments section below.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Our most recent entry, the original Modern Warfare took a welcome step forward from previous COD titles, marching away from the largely overdone WW2 scene.
Despite having an undeniably solid campaign, multiplayer was where the real party was at in COD 4.
The gameplay was simply incredible, but the sheer wealth of multiplayer options moved COD 4 into an even higher echelon. Smooth, responsive, fast-paced gameplay made for exhilarating battles online but it was Infinity Ward's smart use of XP that kept people coming back.
Supporting up to 32-player online gameplay with minimal lag. Modern Warfare was as addictive as it was epic, that's why people are still logging on to it today despite being given plenty more Call of Duty since its release. Truly a classic!
Super Smash Bros 64
A crossover of several Nintendo franchises featuring character's from such titles as Mario, Zelda, Kirby and F-Zero, Super Smash Bros is simply bonkers.
With special weapons ranging from magic stars to baseball bats and stages that are massive death traps waiting to strike, How could it not be?
Luckily the aim of the game is simple enough; beat up your competitors until they have a high enough damage percentage to be booted off the screen. If you're the last man standing, you win.
Taking control of some of Nintendo's most beloved characters is a blast. Watching Mario beat the crap out of Luigi just doesn't grow old and there no better feeling than Falcon punching a dearly loved mate into the next world.
Essentially Super Smash Bros is everything a multiplayer game should be and Smash Bros 64 is the series' peak for our money; action-packed but simple, well balanced, highly enjoyable and immensely playable. A true classic.
A mod of Valve's Half-Life, Counter-Strike is an outstanding game, another that is still being played today despite its age.
Counter-Strike divides players into teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists. Depending on your respective class, the game modes include assassinating/protecting a VIP, planting/defusing a bomb, liberating/holding hostages and escaping from/guarding an area.
The great thing about the game is that once you're dead, you're out. This makes for some really tense multiplayer gameplay that's quite unlike most other FPS titles.
After you meet your demise, you can take a front seat and view all events that follow via the free roaming camera. The dramatic irony of witnessing the seconds before the death of your team mate/opponent die is a definite nice touch.