The best Xbox games for a remote holiday party

Kes Eylers-Stephenson - December 25th 2021

Online gaming will save your holiday. Remote communications with friends, family, and others are essential and wholesome, obviously, but destroying them in a grudge match is equally vital to holiday cheer. Being able to do so with the magic of the internet in these games will make that possible, no matter where you all are! All a game needs to qualify is an online mode in which there is some kind of party-style grouping so you can achieve great things right in front of those you know. Here are some of the best online games on Xbox.

Among Us

Among Us is obviously on this list. Unfortunately, the trail of dead bodies from the engine room to the cafeteria leads us to believe Innersloth’s wonderful social sleuthing title is a little sus and might have to be yeeted into the abyss of space. We thought it would be a great online game for this list, but nay: it might be too good. You and up to 14 other players come together on various spaceships and outposts and have to discover which of your crewmates are the imposters. Trying to complete tasks before those pesky traitors cut down every innocent person, you are looking at a game that necessitates great conversation. However, and this is why we are so sus of Among Us, sometimes the whole thing spills out into the real world. Suddenly, you find yourself looking at your cousins and your best mates with an eye for anything they get up to. If you think this kind of socialising is your bag and can cope with being concerned about a potential knife at your throat, then Among Us is one of the most entertaining online games around.
Among Us

An online and local party game of teamwork and betrayal for 4-15 players...in space!


Apex Legends

Apex Legends is our pick of the Battle Royale genre for you to pick up (for free) and start squadding up with your mates to take down all rival teams. First and foremost, this is because the core gameplay loop of shooting, looting, and traversing is phenomenal. Developer Respawn made fan-favourite FPS Titanfall and its sequel. You can tell, because it has brought forward everything that made the shooting and free-flowing movement so wonderful and sticky. The implementation of hero-shooter elements helps give you a focused goal of getting good with one unique skill set while your teammates try out the others, meaning you have to assess who you want to be the healer, and who the damage sponge. That makes it a well-balanced game to play with up to two others in a three-man squad. Finally having everything click is really what makes this deserving of a place as part of the best online games on Xbox. If you want to have a look at the other best Battle Royale games to play with your mates, take a peek at our comprehensive list of the best available!
Free
Apex Legends™

Apex Legends is the award-winning, free-to-play Hero shooter from Respawn Entertainment. Master an ever-growing roster of legendary characters with powerful abilities and experience strategic squad play and innovative gameplay in the next evolution of Hero Shooter and Battle Royale.


Minecraft

Minecraft can be played online with anyone, but the fun is always immediate. Maybe you and a sibling or child just want to build a house. So, chop-chop — down goes a tree! You build a crafting station. Now you need some rocks for a glorious cobbled foundation. Off you go, but you discover a hole in the crag of a cliff face. Down you go, screaming as a huge drop sneaks up on you. Saved by the waterfalls of a crevasse, it seems you’ll never find the light again. Oh wait, the pair of you have descended into a dimly lit mineshaft. What on earth is that scuttling up to you? It’s a damn cave spider. You both leg it back from whence you came, vowing to never head down the mine again. On the plus side, you have a little iron ore… maybe another trip is needed. That is what keeps us coming back. This is endless adventuring at its finest. No matter how much you have played, how much modding you have done, how many worlds you have built, you can always breathe fresh life into it by playing just one more world seed with a new group. Seriously though, stay away from those cave spiders.
Minecraft

Explore randomly generated worlds and build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles. Play in creative mode with unlimited resources or mine deep into the world in survival mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off the dangerous mobs.


FIFA 22

FIFA 22 online with friends is genuinely the best way to play, and you don't even have to like football. All it takes is a few of you to gather around at the same time to create a team in Pro Clubs mode, with each of you taking up a position on the pitch with a custom player. Then, your blue-haired monstrosities can take to the pitch. You will try and take on the Pro Clubs ladder and get to Division 1. That moment you don the custom kit of your club, you become a different beast. All of you are united under one club name and that pride should be everlasting. We promise you, this experience will be the making of many fine combinations of play and all-night celebrations. You will slap each other on the back for every good assist, and pretend not to celebrate a goal because your mate scored it and not you. You will also have a few crushing lows as you succumb to a 1-0 defeat with your striker missing a clear open goal and you making a floundering defensive mistake. There is simply no equivalent game mode across the rest of gaming: this is a competitive co-op at its finest. If you delve into other modes, you’ll find that you can play against others cooperatively in Seasons or try and conquer Ultimate Team, too. That is online co-op value, right there.
FIFA 22 Xbox Series X|S

Powered by Football™, EA SPORTS™ FIFA 22 on Xbox Series X|S moves the game forward with the groundbreaking next-gen HyperMotion technology that elevates every moment on the pitch.


Operation Tango

There’s always something so inherently interesting about asymmetrical co-op experiences like Operation Tango, where each player has their own role and tasks and you and a friend will need great teamwork and communication if you are to pull off your elaborate heists. One of you plays the operative — the boots on the ground and the more action-oriented of the two — while the other picks up the role of the handler, a tech expert capable of hacking and manipulating the target location’s defences. Neither player can directly see what the other sees (save for occasions where the hacker may be able to catch a glimpse of the agent by piggybacking the surveillance system), so it all comes down to explaining what you need one another to do as plainly and concisely as possible, because it all happens pretty fast. With objectives that change things up each time you attempt a mission and the option to swap roles to see each from a completely different perspective, this one is a great laugh… provided you’ve got a gaming buddy who can handle the intensity of these chaotic, high-octane heists.
Operation: Tango

It takes two to save the world in this cooperative spy adventure. Pair up with a friend as Agent or Hacker—with only your voices to connect you—and work together to bring a hi-tech global menace to its knees.


Uno

Uno is a household classic, so why should we not digitise it and play with people not in our house? Turns out, it’s a great idea! You can add custom House Rules to the normal colour matching, reverse turn, and +4 experiences of the original game. Being able to adjust some major facets of the game allows you to create a round that is short or long, has more pickups, or messes with the pillar of annoyance that is the reverse card. Honestly, that is that. It’s Uno, but online. What more could you want for a nice night in?
UNO®

UNO makes its return with new exciting features such as added video chat support and an all new theme system which adds more fun! Match cards either by color or value and play action cards to change things up. Race against others to empty your hand before everyone else in either Classic play or customize your experience with a variety of House Rules.


Rocket League

Rocket League has really kept exploding since it first launched. It's football, but with rocket-powered cars, innit. More content and game modes than ever before will keep you entertained for hours — and it’s free-to-play! One huge part of the experience is teaming up with your other mates who have doused their vehicles in obscene cosmetics and taking on the ranked pyramid together. These are hard yards, make no bones about it, but the rewards and friendship you will earn along the way are absolutely worth it. You will have to learn how to jet through the air, defend seemingly empty space, and do a bit of tactical ramming. Also, it is filled with rocket-boosted automobiles trying to score goals, what is not to like?
Free
Rocket League®

PLAY ROCKET LEAGUE FOR FREE!

Download and compete in the high-octane hybrid of arcade-style soccer and vehicular mayhem! Unlock items in Rocket Pass, climb the Competitive Ranks, compete in Competitive Tournaments, complete Challenges, enjoy cross-platform progression and more! The field is waiting. Take your shot!


Jackbox Party Pack 1-8

With eight different Jackbox Party Packs and multiple standalone games to choose from, all of them offering different selections of unique party games to play, you’re bound to find something that you and your friends love in these crazy compilations. You only need a single copy of the Xbox game, which the host can then stream to Twitch or YouTube — remote players then simply join by tuning into the stream and logging into the Jackbox site using the code shown to play along on their phone, tablet, or computer. Not every game in the sets is designed with remote play in mind (some involve a degree of physical interaction so only work for local play) but most work brilliantly this way, and the individual games even tend to have settings to extend timers and add/omit certain modes or options to make streamed gameplay even better. From simple trivia games to more elaborate nonsense like T-shirt design contests, joke competitions, and personality quizzes, you can get hours of multiplayer madness out of even just one of these cracking packs.
The Jackbox Party Pack

For 1-100 players! Your phones or tablets are your controllers! The team behind YOU DON’T KNOW JACK presents FIVE guffaw-inducing party games in one pack! You’re gonna need more than one party for this.

What a wild list! What do you think of the picks? Any to add to this pile? Let us know in the comments. From us here at TA, we wish you a grand festive period and a healthy one, too!