The holiday season is upon us, and many a gamer both young and old will be opening up a couple of sweet new Christmas gifts. Some will be game consoles, and some will be games. Be wary, though — a few of the games you might get as a gift can destroy friendships and make your family hate you.
A handful of multiplayer games can be a lot of fun, which also includes a lot of the games on this list. They can also be super frustrating, horrendously unfair, or something that depends on the other people on your team working well together — and failure means a controller might just fly across the room. Some of these friendship-destroying games are old, some are new, and absolutely all of them are much more devious than they first seem.
Goldeneye 64Goldeneye 64 came out more than 20 years ago, but I guarantee that there are going to be people booting up their Nintendo 64s to play it again. In an era where basic PCs cost a lot more money, this served as the first introduction to the first-person shooter genre for many. It's also filled with countless ways to play dirty and get the drop on your opponents before they even realize what hit them, nevermind all of the crazy game modes like The Man With The Golden Gun. Just don't commit the ultimate sin of picking Oddjob — you might just get disowned by your family for that one.
Keep Talking and Nobody ExplodesSometimes the conversation at the Christmas dinner can feel like you're disarming a bomb, so I suppose that's good preparation for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. This asymmetrical multiplayer game has one person handed a codebook and the other person tasked with disarming a bomb. The instructions are often confusing, and neither of the two players can look at what the other person sees, so this is a game that's all about communication — and there's sure to be plenty of blame to pass around when you fail.
Mario Kart 8 DeluxeWhile Super Mario Party is its own special brand of insidious evil, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is just raw, distilled hatred in go-kart form. First, there are the items that can be used to slow someone down, blind them, or outright knock them off of the track. Then there are all of the various places on maps where you can ram someone and send them sailing into the abyss. And lastly (but far from leastly), there are items like the Blue Shell which can turn a comfortable lead into a shameful second place or worse. Come for the kart races, stay for removing a controller embedded in the drywall.
Overcooked and Overcooked! 2In the world of Overcooked, a terrible monster is going to destroy the world unless it gets something delicious to eat. Unfortunately, you and your chef friends haven't yet had the training to make something that this horrifying, otherworldly monstrosity will enjoy. You'll have to play through a bunch of levels where each person is responsible for cooking, cleaning, or serving up food — and a single mistake can spell disaster for the whole operation. Some games require everyone to work together well, and a weak link in Overcooked means the whole thing can fall apart.
Settlers of CatanSettlers of Catan is a game that's all about each player trying to build out their own settlement in a land filled with rich resources. At first, scarcity will require that you work together with your opponents, but that is going to change very quickly as players get more and more victory points. Whether you're playing one of the digital versions of the game or the actual tabletop version, Settlers of Catan is fun for the whole family that can quickly devolve into a cutthroat battle over prime real-estate.
Pretty much any fighting gameProbably any fighting game in the history of ever would be a bad thing to play with your family at Christmas. A healthy amount of competition never hurt anybody, but fighting games get to a special level of rage inducement. You just know that there's going to be one nephew mashing the sweep kick button and being a general annoyance. And let's not forget the tryhard in the family who ends up wrecking Uncle Billy with a 99-hit uninterruptable combo that's looks like someone hit fast forward on a Jackie Chan movie.
Super Mario PartySuper Mario Party is, at its face, a board game set in the world of Super Mario Bros. You and your friends or family go around a game board, playing minigames and collecting stars. The person who collects the most stars wins! The devil is in the details on this one, though. You can steal stars, mess with other players' rolls, and generally make their life a living hell. It's the Monopoly effect — there are only so many times you can screw someone over before they blow their top.
Super Smash Bros. UltimateThe Super Smash Bros. series of games is based on an especially fun idea: let's get a bunch of characters from Nintendo games and have them fight each other! Then, a man named Sakurai took that initial premise and implemented it in the most evil way possible. Random items mean that the tide can turn at the drop of a hat, and a skilled player can practically render their opponent helpless. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate destroys friendships (and it can probably destroy families).