You know how it is; fighting it out with the family for time with the TV is one of those holiday traditions we’d rather do without. But with a wide range of local multiplayer games available for your PlayStation 4, you don’t need to worry about compromising.
Below you’ll find a selection of cooperative and competitive games available on PlayStation Store (so you can stay close to the festive foods). Just stick a Dualshock 4 (or smartphone/tablet with PlayLink games) in the hand of a family member/friend and get gaming.
1. Knack II
PEGI 7 | Co-op, 2 player
When the average seasonal kids movie can’t cut it, a colourful rampaging romp with size changing heroes is perfect entertainment to pick up the slack. Knack 2’s collaborative action platforming has the rough and tumble appeal of a great Saturday morning cartoon.
How quick is a game session? 10 minutes (with jump in, jump out cooperative).
Best played with… Your niece and nephew who’d enjoy cartoonish action that’s big on item-smashing battles.
2. WipEout Omega Collection
PEGI 7 | Competitive, 2 player split-screen
Forget the blissful buzz from post-lunch sweets; hurtling at breakneck speeds round roller coaster tracks rivals that sugar rush. And with its marriage of precision piloting and targeting skills to blast your opponents off the track, you can earn family bragging rights with skills that’d make a Jedi jealous.
How quick is a game session? Blast round a track in five minutes.
Best played with… Your sibling who loves sci-fi, EBM music and Fast & Furious equally.
3. Gran Turismo Sport
PEGI 3 | Competitive, 2 player split-screen
If you prefer your racing more realistic, and want to take the world’s most iconic cars for a spin, then wow your family with some split-screen GT Sport.
How quick is a game session? You can whizz around a race track in around 5 minutes.
Best played with… The family car enthusiast.
4. Star Wars Battlefront II
PEGI 16 | 2 player competitive or co-op split-screen
With the Star Wars hype train making the jump to lightspeed for the latter half of 2017 (and well into 2018), Star Wars: Battlefront II will push you over the edge of the Scarlacc pit and even further into a galaxy far, far away with multiplayer matches set across every era of the sprawling space opera.
How quick is a game session? Around 5-10 minutes.
Best played with… Anyone with a love of Star Wars, no matter what era they prefer (especially if it’s the prequels, so you can toss them under an AT-AT’s feet).
5. FIFA 18
PEGI 3 | Up to 4 player competitive, co-op
EA’s annual match-winner is always good value when it comes to a great representation of the beautiful game. Like its cover star, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, FIFA 18 brings a ton of style to the sport to partner its slick, fast moving gameplay.
How quick is a game session? 5 minutes for a quick match.
Best played with… Anyone feeling bitter about their team’s current misfortunes, or wants to settle a footballing rivalry once and for all. Or maybe you just want to show off a legendary El Tornado skill move…
6. Injustice 2
PEGI 16 | Competitive, 2 to 4 players
If you were “all in” for the blockbuster Justice League film, then welcome to the dark side. This hard hitting beat ’em up continues the first game’s classic ‘What if Superman went bad’ tale, complete with dozens of popular DC Comics characters, and a few guest appearances, from downloadable extras such as Hellboy and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
How quick is a game session? 5 minutes.
Best played with… Slightly older fans of the Justice League movie who are looking for a great twist on their favourite characters – and want to settle the age old argument of whether Batman could really beat up Superman.
PEGI 7 | Competitive, 2 player
Hidden within Pyre’s lavish, choice-driven adventure is a glorious, fantasy-based spin on NBA Jam. It’s 3 versus 3 from a selectable roster filled with magicians, ghouls and colourful characters – perfect for both sports fiends and Lord of the Rings buffs.
How quick is a game session? 5 minutes
Best played with… Get the family’s chess prodigy hooked on a game requiring fast finger work and lighting-quick tactics on the mystical court.
8. Hidden Agenda
PEGI 16 | Co-op and competitive, 2-6 players
Chewed through your murder mystery box sets? Put your – and your family’s – well-honed investigative skills to the test! Grab your smartphones and play through this PlayLink game as you try and track down a killer.
How quick is a game session? You’ll want to settle in for the evening to play through the game’s story.
Best played with… Parents who repeatedly say they could do better than their favourite TV or cinematic detectives.
9. Knowledge is Power
PEGI 3 | Competitive, 2-6 players
Worried about having enough controllers for that Christmas party? Fret not! Grab your smartphones and prepare to enter the Pyramid of Knowledge, where you and your friends will go against each other and answer a variety of themed questions to be the first to reach its summit. Be careful, however… your competition might have a few tricks up their sleeves to slow you down!
How quick is a game session? 30-40 minutes.
Best played with… Everyone, but especially that one member of your family who thinks they know everything!
10. That’s You!
PEGI 12 | Competitive, 2-6 players
Looking to really set the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons this Christmas? That’s You! is just the ticket. The flagship title in PS4’s new Playlink range is an audacious multiplayer quiz game that helps you really get to know your friends. Which of your pals practices chat-up lines in the mirror? Whose diary would make the most explosive reading? That’s You! will help you find out…
How quick is a game session? 30-40 minutes
Best played with… Anyone! If playing with youngsters you can adjust the type of questions to ensure things stay family friendly.
11. Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier
PEGI 18 | Co-op, 2-4 players
Family argument a Christmas tradition? Direct that energy into something positive and decide the fate of two species with this tie-in to the cinematic trilogy.
How quick is a game session? Put aside that movie re-run evening and try out this narrative adventure game instead.
Best played with… With its adult themes, it’s best to enjoy this PlayLink title with the older family members.
PEGI 3 | Co-op and competitive, 2-4 players
Kitchens are always pretty hectic, but with the help of a few friends, Overcooked can get straight up chaotic. Work together or against each other to complete your restaurant’s customers’ delicious requests and save the Onion kingdom!
How quick is a game session? 5 minutes.
Best played with… Friends and family alike will enjoy the cheekiness of this messy cooking game.
13. Lego Marvel Heroes 2
PEGI 7 | Co-op or competitive, 2-4 players
The family-friendly Lego range of games returns to the Marvel universe! Pick your favourite hero (or villain) from an icon-filled roster of characters and battle across different eras and realities.
How quick is a game session? 10 minutes.
Best played with: Marvel movie junkies who have re-watched their Marvel cinematic Blu-ray collection.
14. Sonic Mania
PEGI 3 | Co-op and competitive, 2 player
One of the blue blur’s most triumphant games ever, Sonic Mania is all about thinking fast and acting even faster. Featuring some of the most inventive 2D platforming in the genre and tons of surprises, Sega’s speed fuelled hedgehog is a glorious delight for new fans and veterans alike.
How quick is a game session? Five minutes.
Best played with: Your younger members of the family who want a great introduction to classic Sonic action brought bang up to date – or fans of the older games who want the perfect nostalgia hit.
15. Everybody’s Golf
PEGI 3 | Competitive 2-4 players
The much-loved golf series returned to PlayStation this year, debuting on PS4 with its trademark light-hearted but surprisingly in-depth gameplay – plus a few new game modes to tee off with online.
How quick is a game session? 5-10 minutes.
Best played with… It’s accessible enough that golfing newbies will have a good time, yet deep enough that even the wannabe PGA tour winners in your family will want to play.
16. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
PEGI 3 | Co-op, 2 to 4 players
Thought PlayStation VR was best enjoyed as a single player experience? Not so – there are heaps of great multiplayer VR titles available, and this is one of the finest. One player wears the PS VR headset and sees a bomb on a table in front of them; meanwhile, other players must figure out how to defuse it using an online manual and shout instructions before the timer runs out. Frantic, inventive and masses of fun.
How quick is a game session? Each bomb timer is set to 5 minutes.
Best played with… You’ll need a cool head and calm nerves, so pick your collaborators wisely…
PEGI 7 | Co-op and competitive, 2 to 4 players
An already difficult game which somehow gets even harder with three friends, Spelunky is a classic roguelike platformer that is as hilarious as it is challenging. And if the frustration of teaming up gets too much, you can indulge your desire for revenge the franticly brilliant deathmatch mode.
How quick is a game session? 5 minutes (if you’re lucky).
Best played with… Good friends who won’t take it personally when you “accidently” push them into spikes and then use their lifeless bodies to set off other traps. Actually, better make that really good friends.
18. Nex Machina
PEGI 12 | Co-op, 2 players
Single-handedly saving the world from a malevolent robot menace is one heck of a responsibility. So, why not share the burden and take on wave-after-wave of enemies with a friend? The latest top-down shooter from arcade experts Housemarque is one of 2017’s most acclaimed titles, and an absolute blast in couch co-op.
How quick is a game session? You can blaze through a level in 10-15 minutes.
Best played with… Perfect for any grey-haired gamers who hold on to muscle-memory of the twitch arcade classics of their youth.