Bond Over These Holiday-Friendly Video Games

These cooperative video games are great for parties. They’ll even bring out your inner kid.

By Daniel Steele

Some of my very best experiences with friends were centered around a TV, a video game and four controllers. Outside the house there was always a chance for competition or cooperation, but with a good game a bedroom was a colosseum. The energy was just as fervent.

All these years later, I’m still looking for the kind of games that brought my friends and I so close together. Read on for three party games that capture that cooperative spirit and are perfect for any holiday gathering with family and friends.

 

Jackbox Party Pack 5
Bust some sick rhymes against friends with the rap battle game Mad Verse City.
  • $30
  • 2-8 players
  • On Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC

Jackbox Games are the king of party games. Their bite-sized competitive experiences are inventive and always full of personality. And the best part is that everyone plays the games on their phone.

Party Pack 5 comes with five different games. One standout is Patently Stupid, where players must invent a product to solve a made-up problem by drawing it and showing it to other players. The best patent gets the most votes.

Another game is Mad Verse City, where players inhabit rapping robots and create lyrics to dis the competition.

To buy: click here

 

Overcooked 2
Sling some meat and veggies in Overcooked 2’s hectic kitchens.
  • $25
  • 1-4 players
  • On Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC

This frantic cooking game will seriously test you and your friends’ communication skills.

Up to four players can work together in the kitchen to cook and serve up recipes under a time limit. Players must work together to chop up ingredients, cook them in pots and pans, and even wash dishes, just like in a real restaurant kitchen.

Popular video game website IGN rated it positively, calling it a “great balance of hilarious chaos and strategy.”

To buy: click here

 

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Snip wires and decode symbols along with a physical bomb defusal manual in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.
  • $15
  • 2-4 players
  • On Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC

If running a kitchen takes good communication, then disarming a bomb takes the cohesion of… well… a bomb squad.

There is no room for family dysfunction in this game, because one player only has a bomb defusal manual and the other has only the bomb. The bomb handler must describe the bomb to the player with the manual, who then gives instructions for how to disarm it.

To buy: click here

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