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Published: May 27, 2024

Written by: Barney


Multiplayer has been a key part of gaming since the very dawn of video games many decades ago. In the past, this meant a few friends gathering around a TV and a console but as the Internet exploded in the world in the early 90s, online gaming has seen exponential growth. 

However, in the earlier days, console and PC releases were competing a lot in the beginning, meaning that players from one platform could not play with or against those using another. Games were also often exclusively released for just one platform. Fortunately, the last decade has seen more and more companies opt to both release their games for multiple platforms and also enable crossplay. 

With many titles now offering this option, this begs the question – what are the best crossplay games out there? This is a somewhat difficult question to answer as multiple factors go into judging this. However, in this article, we will try to answer this and give our opinion on what the best titles are with a list that is not arranged in a particular order. However, we will also split the games into two categories – paid and free-to-play.

What Do Crossplay and Cross-Platform Mean?

In modern parlance, the two terms mean the same – a technical feature of games that allows players to connect with other gamers using different platforms. However, there’s still some confusion thanks to what the term “cross-platform” used to mean in the past. Years ago, when a game was cross-platform, it meant it was released for multiple different platforms. 

That meant that the same game could be available for both PC and PlayStation, for example, but this did not guarantee that players from each platform would be able to play together. Fortunately, in recent years when a game is said to be released on multiple platforms, it is almost always able to be played between gamers using different devices as well.

What Are the Best Free-to-Play Crossplay Games?

Traditionally, you were supposed to buy a game in order to play it. However, the recent decade has seen a huge rise in free-to-play games, largely due to the accessibility they offer. Of course, these titles’ developers have found other ways of monetizing their games, such as battle passes and purchases of various in-game cosmetics. However, you can still experience these games in full without spending a single dime.

Apex Legends

  • Available on: Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Android, iOS

Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts in 2019, Apex quickly became one of the most popular battle royale-hero shooters. It was initially launched for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One, but in 2021 it was also released on the Nintendo Switch. The final addition of platforms to the title’s roster came in March of 2022 when the game became available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

The decision to add the game to multiple platforms was praised by critics and players alike. It meant that the player base became much larger, making for a very resilient community. It also cemented its place as one of the best battle royals and best crossplay games currently on the market.

Call of Duty: Warzone

  • Available on: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One

Battle royals will be a recurring theme in this article as the genre has become hugely popular over the past years and CoD Warzone is definitely among the top ones. When it launched in 2020, it quickly became a hit, surpassing 100 million players in a very short time. By today, the player count has subsided somewhat, but it’s still one of the best free crossplay games on the market.

It is still considered one of the best CoD games that are currently played. Warzone is still thriving at a time when other games from the CoD franchise have been met with mixed feelings. A large reason for Warzone’s success is the fact that it is free-to-play, which is also something unorthodox for CoD games, as in the past, you had to buy most of them if you wanted to play them. 

Another reason for Warzone’s success is that as well as being one of the best crossplay games, it also offers cross-progression. What this means is that Warzone players link their progress to a central account, and if they move across platforms, they simply bring their progress with them. This makes the game much more appealing for gamers who have different platforms or decide to switch from one to another.

Rocket League

  • Available on: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch

This is one of the older titles on our list but that does not mean it still isn’t one of the best crossplay games on the market today. Launched in 2015 for PlayStation 4 and PC, the game was initially not free at all. However, this did not hinder it from quickly gaining popularity thanks to its unique gameplay, combining football with car racing.

Perhaps this was one of the main reasons that the devs decided in 2020 to make Rocket League free-to-play. Since then, the game has seen an even bigger growth and has cemented itself on the market. Its already vibrant esports scene has also seen much development thanks to the game spreading on multiple platforms, meaning we will be seeing the game for quite a lot longer.

Halo Infinite

  • Available on: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

The latest iteration of a long-lasting franchise that has always been associated with the Xbox series of consoles. Despite that, even in the mid-2000s some of the Halo titles were released for PC, and Infinite is built on that legacy. Released in late 2021, Halo Infinite quickly became one of the most popular crossplay games thanks to the franchise’s reputation and the title’s free-to-play nature.

Technically, the game also has a paid version which grants you access to the single-player campaign, which sees the iconic Master Chief explore the vast lands of the Forerunner ringworld Zeta Halo. However, the title’s multiplayer is completely free to play. It offers players dynamic gameplay in dozens of game modes featuring many iconic Halo weapons and vehicles. Players can either team up with three others in a 4v4 ranked experience (or its unranked versions) or dive into a 12vs12 big team battle where they could play classic modes such as Capture the Flag or Slayer. Of course, this is just a snippet of what the game offers.

Halo Infinite has had a rocky couple of years, however. Despite it initially being quite popular, players complained of the many bugs and other issues it had, resulting in a massive decline in player numbers. However, the devs have tried to address these issues and now Halo Infinite’s number of players has risen to a more stable level and the game finally offers a decent amount of content for you to dive in for free.

Fortnite

  • Available on: macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Android, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5

There is no denying the popularity of this battle royal. Since its release in 2017, Fortnite has become a cultural phenomenon, drawing more than 125 million players in less than a year, earning hundreds of millions of dollars per month. 

We should not underestimate the availability of the game on multiple platforms as one of the reasons it is so popular. Furthermore, its cross-platform mechanics are some of the sharpest around, which also plays a factor in what many consider to be the best battle royale game to exist. 

Although this can be a controversial topic, it has to be said that Fortnite dominates all other battle royals in its sheer scale, earning its place as one of the best crossplay games. It has consistently averaged around 230 million monthly active players between January and February 2024. The game was a pioneer of the genre and with its rich offering of various game modes, maps, and skins, which can be experienced for free, Fortnite is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

What Are the Best Paid Crossplay Games?

Of course, not every great crossplay title is free-to-play. Some require an initial investment but that does not take away from the experience they offer.

Street Fighter 6

  • Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Arcade

Street Fighter is a decades-old franchise that has not only withstood the test of time but has also grown significantly. Street Fighter 6 is just the latest iteration of a long line of games that have dominated the fighter genre over the past three decades. It is also one of the newest titles on our list, having been released in 2023 after fans waited for seven years for a new iteration of the franchise.

The game features many classic characters such as Ryu, Chun-Li, Zangief, and others that have become recognizable in the gaming world, even if you’re not a fan of the franchise. However, players can now marvel at their athleticism and combat prowess in the HD version that the latest consoles and custom gaming PCs can offer.

SF6 offers a new Drive system and an expansive single-player campaign known as World Tour mode. Of course, it’s the multiplayer options that will appeal to most players. With support for up to 16 players and full crossplay support across multiple platforms, the game has a bright future ahead of itself and rightfully takes its spot on our list of the best crossplay games. 

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

  • Available on: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S 

We’re back to this classic franchise, which was exclusively for the Xbox series in its early years. However, as we mentioned before, there have been several Halo ports for PC in the mid-2000s. And while Halo Infinite was made to be on both PC and Xbox since the beginning, The Master Chief Collection is somewhat of an afterthought by the devs.

Despite that, the game compilation has gained a huge following since it went cross-platform in 2019 and quickly became one of the most popular crossplay games, owing to its already established reputation and great gameplay. It includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. As you may guess, the first two games are revamped versions of the original two titles that initially made Halo the popular franchise it is today. That being said, almost all the other games from the Collection got some sort of visual upgrades.

Although its player base has shrunk somewhat in recent years, the Halo: The Master Chief Collection still boasts a stable number of active fans.

Among Us

  • Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Since its debut in 2018, Among Us has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon on the gaming scene. With its simple premise of players having to find out who among them is the killer, the title has become hugely popular and it has spread to multiple platforms and mobile devices. A further benefit is that the game usually costs about $5 on most platforms, meaning it’s quite easy to pick up.

Interestingly, the game initially didn’t get much attention, but later it received a massive rise in popularity in 2020 due to many Twitch streamers and YouTubers playing it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the initial hype for the title has subsided a little over the years, its armless cartoony characters have become instantly recognizable the world over thanks to many factors, from official merchandise to memes. It’s safe to say that Among Us will remain one of the most popular crossplay games for a lot more time.

Helldivers

  • Available on: Windows, PlayStation 5

The newest title on our list, Helldivers 2 is a cooperative third-person shooter game developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game was released on February 8, 2024, and since then it has exploded in popularity with millions of players around the globe. In just the third week since its release, the player cap was increased to a whopping 700,000 concurrent users.

The game puts players in the boots of the titular Helldivers, elite shock troops dropped from orbit to reclaim planets that have been seized by giant bug monsters and evil robots. Environmental storytelling is prevalent throughout the game, with various logs, notes, and propaganda messages available for players to find during gameplay.

With its retro-esque sci-fi themes and emphasis on coop play, the game has already become one of the best crossplay games, despite being just a couple of months old. Sadly, Helldivers 2 is currently available only on PC and PlayStation 5, but considering its huge success, there may be ports for other platforms in the future.

Minecraft

  • Available on: Windows, macOS, Linux

It should not be a surprise that the most-sold game in the world is included on our list of the best crossplay games. For well over a decade, Minecraft has thrived thanks to the almost limitless possibilities it offers and the imagination of its player base. This is only expanded by the literally thousands of modifications and plug-ins that allow players to further customize their experience. It would not be a stretch to say that Minecraft spearheaded the genre of the modern sandbox game. 

Although it was initially created on Java for Windows, the devs also delved into crossplay in 2016 by enabling the PC and mobile platforms to link up seamlessly. Xbox One and Nintendo Switch support to come later in 2017, further expanding the outreach of the game which had already reached legendary status by that point. 

with over 300 million copies sold and nearly 140 million monthly active players, Minecraft is poised to stay one of the most popular crossplay titles ever.

Crossplay Games FAQs:

  • Are all games compatible with crossplay? – Unfortunately no. There is a development cost to including crossplay and it’s also not easy to implement for already available games, hence why you don’t see it everywhere. It is important to check where a game is available if, for example, you and your friends use different platforms, but want to play the same game.
  • Are there benefits to using crossplay? – Yes. Crossplay allows for the player base to be bigger, therefore offering you more options for teammates and opponents. Furthermore, it allows you to play with friends who may have a different platform.
  • Are there disadvantages to using crossplay? – Different control schemes can give users of one platform or the other an unfair advantage, according to some players. This is a more subjective matter, but FPS fans, for example, sometimes argue about this matter. Controller users say PC gamers have an unfair advantage for using a mouse to aim. Meanwhile, PC gamers blame console users for having aim-assist when playing.
  • What are cross-gen games? – Not to be confused with crossplay, cross-gen simply means a game that is released on more than one generation of consoles. For example, GTA 5 was released on both PS4/Xbox One and PS3/Xbox 360, and how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released on Wii U as well as Nintendo Switch. Sometimes cross-gen games also support crossplay, CoD: Warzone being a good example of that.
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