There is a week-long silence in the group chat. After another round of bland Netflix suggestions and fuzzy photos of everyone’s dinner, you’ve officially run out of things to talk about. If getting together isn’t an option, there are other ways to connect with your friends from afar without Zoom, such as gaming. Even if you haven’t thought about your Game Boy since it ran out of battery in a sleeper camp in 1998, there are plenty of video games you can jump into, rusty thumbs and all. The best video games to play with friends will lead to healthy competition and a lot of crap, which might be just what you need to revive group morale.
According to seasoned Twitch gamers, playing video games with friends is a surprisingly connecting experience. “It’s just fun to hang out in a video game, especially since a lot of us stay indoors,” Bee, 32, a Final Fantasy streamer, tells Bustle. “My friends and I often hang out in voice chats while we also play together,” Bee says, adding that gaming with friends is like talking on the phone without the pressure to lead the conversation. “Sometimes we don’t even play the same game, we just hang out in voice chat, play in parallel, just to keep in touch,” she says.
Gaming is so popular that Instagram noted its popularity in a 2022 trend report, sharing that 40% of teens and young adults expect to see more video game trends in 2022. Read: If ever there was a time to get your old console, it’s now. Plus, there are tons of popular games that you can play online or on your phone. No need to cramp the fingers of the controller.
Here are six video games to play with your friends to shake things up.