Do you enjoy a good competition? Are you looking for competitive video games that truly test your skills and knowledge of your favorite titles?
Many video games focus on delivering epic stories or challenging single-player obstacles. However, there are a few online multiplayer games that will test your might.
If you’re looking for the best of competitive titles to sink thousands of hours into, hunt no further. Here is our list of the best games to jump into right now:
1. Street Fighter V
If you take a look at the history of competitive games, it all starts with the Street Fighter franchise. Street Fighter II was the first competitive fighting game and the latest entry continues this legacy.
The game further refines the excellent mechanics introduced in previous entries. At the same time, it keeps things simple enough for beginners to dive into. Like many games on this list, it’s easy to learn but difficult to master.
Street Fighter V is always present in competitive tournaments. However, the most popular event is still the annual Evolution Championship Series (EVO).
The landscape of modern competitive e-sports changed when Fortnite launched in 2017. Along with PUBG, this game made 100-player battle royales popular.
It’s now one of the biggest competitive games in the market. Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer and publisher, pledged as much as $20 million in tournament prizes for 2021 alone.
However, the learning curve for Fortnite isn’t as easy as others. The game has a lot of moving mechanics, from building effective forts to learning where to drop. Mastering all of them, on top of the required skills for shooting, requires a lot of time and dedication.
The good news is the game now features smart match-making. Fortnite now sets up players of the same skill and ranking. This guarantees you don’t get unfairly pit against a professional tournament player when you start the game for the first time.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offense
Early esports games focused on fighting games like Street Fighter. However, one of the first PC titles to draw professional competition was the original Counter-Strike, a mod-turned-full game for Half-Life.
Global Offense is one of the newest iterations of the series and it continues to get patches and other updates by Valve.
Tournaments, both local and international, are some of the biggest financial events in the gaming industry. Prizes can range from cash to exclusive CSGO Skins.
One aspect that separates CS: GO from other competitive FPS games is the high skill-ceiling. It only takes a few hits for a character to die and fast twitch-shooting is a required skill to survive.
4. Rocket League
Are you looking for competitive multiplayer games that aren’t as difficult as CS: GO? Rocket League is a great alternative. It has a robust competitive multiplayer scene but it’s also casual enough for anyone to hop into.
On a basic level, you could describe Rocket League as football (soccer) with cars. It doesn’t get any more complex than that but the joy comes from mastering the game’s physics and sense of momentum. It’s all about learning when and how to speed up or pull off trick shots with your vehicles.
The game initially came out as a paid product but has since shifted into a free-to-play (F2P) model.
If soccer with cars doesn’t seem appealing but you still want something casual with a competitive scene, try out Splatoon 2. The game focuses on team battles but shooting the competing players isn’t the goal: it’s about spreading paint over the landscape.
5. League of Legends
It’s impossible to discuss competitive video games without mentioning the reigning king of all MOBAs. League of Legends took the world by storm when it launched, taking over the throne once dominated by DOTA and its sequel.
Like most MOBA games, the focus is on picking a champion and maneuvering them across a top-down map to annihilate the other team’s towers and home base.
This is a lot easier said than done. Each team’s base spawns monsters to impede the enemy’s team and there’s a lot of micromanaging to deal with.
While fun, the game’s community is notably toxic. You may want to play solely with friends before hopping into the professional competitive scene.
Today’s competitive multiplayer games need to introduce unique mechanics and design to stand out. There are a bunch of FPS games with a modern setting. There are too many MOBA games and battle royale titles.
One game that set a trend instead of following one was Overwatch. It focuses on team vs team combat but each player now controls a hero with a unique set of skills and abilities. Winning a fight requires synergy with the other players and the abilities they harness.
A few other games followed Overwatch’s footsteps, such as Paladins, Valorant, and Apex Legends.
7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Most professional gamers compete in “serious” titles like Street Fighter or League of Legends. However, one title that doesn’t shy away from innate fun and tickling everyone’s inner childhood is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
It’s a fighting game at its core but the spotlight shines more on the characters and their legacy in gaming history more than anything else. This is the only official game where Mario can fight against the likes of Link, Star Fox, and Solid Snake.
Ultimate has the largest roster to date, the most crossovers with third-party franchises, and the most robust fighting mechanics. Like Rocket League, it’s easy to learn but difficult to master.
Play the Best Competitive Video Games Today
There are a lot of great competitive video games to jump into. From the casual multiplayer games like Rocket League to the intense titles like League of Legends, there are a lot of options to pick from.
However, competitive multiplayer titles aren’t the only fun games to try.
If you’re looking for more recommendations or if you want to discover which platform to play on, why not read more of our in-depth lists today? We offer a wide variety of guides and topics for you!