The competitive edge

By Avinash Bali

BEST OF 2019

Bring some friends along; here are top fi ve multiplayer games of 2019

FIFA 20 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

FIFA fans are a vocal bunch, but no matter what gripes or praise they may have for each new release, no one can deny that FIFA offers an unparalleled multiplayer experience. From 1v1 and 2v2 couch matches to tiered online leagues, there’s plenty to occupy fans all year. The meat of FIFA 20 is FIFA Ultimate Team, which offers infi nite replayability as players create star-studded teams and test them against other players around the world. The Kick-off mode allows players to compete with friends with unique match types that add more unpredictability and up the fun factor. If you like a bit of friendly footie banter, there’s no better place to do it than over a game of FIFA.

Apex Legends (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

PUBG and Fortnite may be the most wellknown games in the battle royale genre, but Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends carved a name for itself this year as one of the most fast-paced and mechanically satisfying fi rst-person battle royale games on the market. Apex Legends incorporates class-based gameplay into the battle royale formula, which means each character you choose would have unique abilities, like being able to heal themselves or create protective shields around teammates. Like Overwatch, your character even possesses a Super Move that would amp his or her abilities up making for some extremely thrilling moments. Oh, and did we mention, Apex Legends is a free to play game?

Call of Duty Mobile (iOS, Android)

Shooters normally do not make the best transition to mobile platforms, but Tencent’s TiMi Studios somehow managed to make it work with a solid adaptation of Call of Duty for both iOS and Android platforms. What made this game especially appealing to diehard Call of Duty fans was that it incorporated a lot of older fan-favourite Call of Duty maps in its roster. And best of all, it offered this all free of cost. Call of Duty Mobile even shipped with in-depth character as well as killstreak customisation, along with the well-received Blackout Battle Royale mode that was fi rst introduced in Black Ops 4. The only downside here is that Call of Duty Mobile features no single-player content.

Mortal Kombat 11 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Everyone knows about the over-the-top violence in the Mortal Kombat series, and Mortal Kombat 11 is no different, dialling the gore and carnage to 11 (get it?). MK11 features a robust story mode – that helps acclimatise players to new characters, moves, and so on. You can then take your skills online to compete in a wide variety of modes casual and ranked matches. But none of that is as fun as playing splitscreen with a friend or loved one while indulging in some friendly-ish trash talk.

Gears 5 (Xbox One, PC)

The Gears of War series was once the face of competitive multiplayer gaming on the Xbox. Post-Gears of War 3, the games started releasing on PC as well, and this year’s Gears 5 had a lot to offer to both Xbox and PC gamers. Besides a fairly long campaign – that could be played cooperatively – you had a slew of competitive modes that ranged from old fan favourites like King of the Hill and Team Deathmatch to new ones like Escalation and Arms Race. Gears 5 even shipped with its four player cooperative Horde mode, where players had to hold their ground against fi fty waves of bloodthirsty enemies.

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