Top twelve games that will make you get into a fight with your friends

After listing my top ten picks for games that let you play as the bad guy, I got to thinking that while some games I’ve played don’t necessarily have you play as the bad guy, multiplayer games with your friends sometimes make someone in your group become the bad guy.

Here are my picks for the top twelve games that will make you hate your friends – even if it’s only for a little while!

1. Mario Party series

mario party video games

The rich get richer, until the damn random events wreak havoc

Here’s how the game works:

  1. Choose a lovable Nintendo character
  2. Choose an elaborate game board full of traps, shortcuts, and random events
  3. Compete in a series of simple yet challenging mini-games for coinage and pride
  4. Purchase stars in the hopes that you have collected the most by the end of the game

Here’s how you learn to hate your friends:

  1. Random events can take away all of your coins
  2. Random events can give your coins to any other player (including the leader)
  3. Random events can remove or give away your stars
  4. Your friends may be better skilled at mini-games … all of them … and you will never make any money
  5. Your friends may be better at mini-games simply because they’ve played them before
  6. Your friends may be better at mini-games because they pressed start before you could see the directions
  7. Bowser or one of his illegimate children could move you, hurt you, stun you, or generally ruin your day

Bottom line, you could spend 24 turns dominating the game, winning, building your star count, dueling other players, etc. only to have all of your hard-earned coinage and star-age taken away from some unfair random event. Kind of makes you want to stop trying …

2. Rock Band series

rock band

Rock out with your friends, just don't hold them back!

Playing video games cooperatively with friends is great. Playing rocking music together is also very cool. But playing a music-based game with your buddies that depends on coordination, rhythm, and skill? Sounds like a hell of a way to enjoy gaming.

Problem is, some people are more competitive than others: some may want to “just play the music man” whereas others want to get a five-star, record breaking, super score. Still others may not quite grasp the whole music game thing and just like the nice sounds and pretty colors.

Often times, you will have a nice mix of all three of these people, resulting in boiling anger and some frustrating music sessions. Imagine your buddy playing to the “crowd” on his epic guitar solo while somehow only hitting %5 of the notes! At least Rock Band now lets you disable the failure penalty that stops the song because your band sucks so much.

We can’t all be rock stars I suppose.

3. Super Smash Bros.

super smash bros melee

The fluffy pink poof ball can be dangerous

Here’s how the game works:

  1. Choose a lovable Nintendo character
  2. Choose an elaborate game level full of a traps, game helpers, and random events
  3. Compete against the other players using your chosen character’s fighting moves, randomly dropped items, and level elements to your advantage

While this may sound like the beginning of another Mario Party game, Super Smash Bros. and its resulting sequels have proven to be pretty well balanced and fair/random in it’s “giving” and “taking away”. The main reason this game creates turmoil amongst friends is when players choose to pick on others or go out of their way to revenge kill opponents (ie. killing the last person that killed you).

What starts off as a playful romp through Nintendo history and lore deteriorates into a no-holds brawl and battle royale between once-loved friends. There’s a reason they called it a melee!

4. Team Fortress 2

team fortress 2

Team Fortress is really fun, unless your friend is on the other team and they're better than you!

This game can be frustrating for one big reason: if you plan to play some rounds online with one or more of your friends, you better hope that the people you are playing with are good at what they do! If they choose a class that they suck at or just plain stink at this game, you’re gonna have a terrible time trying to coordinate attacks and strategy with them.

But there is another reason to hate your friends: Take a game filled with over the top characters, excellent team play, and explosive battles … and put your best buddy on the other team. As if it wasn’t hard enough to play Team Fortress 2, you now have to play against your friends! You better hope that they have less practice than you, otherwise you got trouble buddy.

5. Mario Kart series

Mario Kart Wii

Shooting shells and dropping bananas with your friends

Mario Kart is predominantly a game of skill, planning, and strategy, where players have to use their items carefully and craftily while still staying on the track and making the turns. In the main Grand Prix mode, players must make sure to keep ahead of the crowd and avoid the many many obstacles that cloud up the course.

But even the hard-earned first place may only be fleeting, because much like the other Nintendo series Mario Party, Mario Kart has a case of luck-based gameplay.

Imagine weaving through obstacles, dodging shells and bananas, and even careening around turns smoothly and with short lines – you really learn to earn that first place spot. But then you suddenly hear an alarming sound coming up the track behind you … it’s one of those damned blue-shells! And these things will really ruin your day – sometimes taking your lead from 1st to 6th in seconds. That’s no fun!

But the main reason you will learn to hate your friends in Mario Kart is Battle Mode, where drivers must tough it out with other players for supremacy. They must kill with all items and methods possible, all the while protecting their precious self and maintaining a healthy balloon count.

This gameplay cultivates hatred and meanness, as players develop quasi-truces, create vendettas, commit revenge-suicides, and even pick on the strongest (or weakest) competitors. No one is safe, and everyone will get theirs, be it by skillfully placed fake blocks or bananas or by being hit by a rogue green shell. Game on.

6. Wii Sports

wii sports bowling

Bowling for money

Take a simple game like bowling, add in some competitive hardcore gamers, a few beers, and somewhat haphazard controls, then put it on a console with tons of “casual gamer” appeal: you will end up with the a round of gaming designed to make you very angry!

Perhaps one of the most aggravating aspects of this game is the fact that a total non-gamer can school a well-seasoned player. Perhaps even worse is the fact that the Wii Bowling controls are so far off that you can get strikes with ease using a limp-wristed hand gesture.

7. Marvel vs. Capcom 3

marvel vs capcom 3

May the best team win

MVC3, or for that matter any game in the MVC series, inspires gamers and fighting game fans to put up their dukes in an all star list of favorite Marvel comic characters and Capcom games personalities, very much like the concept of Super Smash Bros. (although admittedly less cute).

This game creates a clash of wits when well-versed Capcom gamers who know move sets, combos, and proper timing compete against button-mashing fools in a game that favors excitement and “who can do it first” gameplay.

Before you start this game, make sure to prepare your yelling voice.

8. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

new super mario bros wii

They all started as friends, until someone got jumped ... on.

This game is exceptionally fun, either as a Mario game or on its own as just as a multiplayer game. But there is one major flaw in this game that inspires anger amongst you and your comrades – jumping.

Yes – jumping. The one drawing feature of any Mario game, one of the things that gives the series its soul is also a source of torment when used in a group setting. You see, using your Mario jumping skills in a level filled with friends and foes becomes difficult, as any familiar Mario gamer is pretty much mentally wired to jump off of anything and everything.

I leave you this video to explain things in a more to-the-point tone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ_dvNpoT9Y

9. Risk

risk cover art

The Game of Global Domination and Lost Friends

As part of the lovable game that never ends series (see Monopoly below), playing Risk will often mean risking your friendships. With shaky alliances, sketchy rule-bending, aggravating rule book readers [aka “Rule Nazis”], this classic board game is bound to spark some interesting debates.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this game is the penalty of success: often, as one player begins to do better and conquer the world, the other participants group together in the form of some kind of plastic-army freedom fighters in an attempt to topple the leader’s regime.

What comes to follow is predictably worse, as after the former allies beat the bad guy, they quickly and naturally disband, only to start back up the main war, where only one may win. That means you get something along the lines of WW2 and the Cold War, as once friendly countries begin to redirect their forces against each other.

Risk is war, and war is hell.

10. Starcraft

starcraft 2 protoss versus terran

Friends are great, unless they suck at terran

Similar to the problems in Risk where the lines between enemy and ally are quickly drawn, blurred, and drawn once more, Starcraft (especially the original) has a bad case of the team-switching blues.

Countless times in a FFA (free-for-all), newbie players get tricked into joining an alliance with others playing in the match in order to destroy a perceived threat or opposing alliance.

Countless times, the same newbie players find that their teammates have started to suspiciously move army forces into their puny, undefended newbie base.

Countless times, upon defeat of the opposite team, in-game allies (as opposed to locked allies that are agreed upon before the game starts) decide to “de-friend” their fellow alliance members and commence to destroy the bases of their former kin. Some friends they are.

11. North and South

north and south

May the best man win! (as long as you know your history)

North and South is a classic strategy game from 1989 made by Infogrames, and most memorably for the NES. This game is a pioneer in it’s own right by being one of the first games to offer options like changing the year of the battle which would sway the war into either the North or the South’s favor, and by having options to hinder or help armies with storms and reinforcements in order to provoke more strategic troop placement.

Where you learn to hate your friends is the fairly well-detailed (and very fun) battle mode that occurs when two troops collide. With a set of cannons, a small cavalry, and a squad of bayonet-abled soldiers, each team had a few ways to win the battle – battles which are a fight to the death.

The most frustrating aspect of the game is when both you and your friend want to play for the North (since they won the war!) and then whoever compromises and plays as the South actually ends up winning! That is just awful and somehow funny.

12. Monopoly

original monopoly

All the fun

It’s the game that never ends – it goes on and on my friend!

Seriously though, this game is a huge time sink … you could spend ten hours on this game and have no end in sight! The problem seems to arise in the stubbornness of your friends paired with the luck factor inherent in a board game (perhaps this is why Mario Party is so frustrating – luck).

In Monopoly, one minute you could be fleeced with riches, setting up hotels and housing, and ransacking other player’s fortunes. The next thing you know, you could land on a hotel from another player and severely deplete your bountiful cash stash! Minutes later on the next turn, you could be faced with even more bad luck, landing on someone’s built up property and be forced to mortgage your real estate and owe the bank money.

Now you’re hanging on by a thread, but your opponent is starting to build up his properties and develop his portfolio … but then you land on Free Parking and make a cool $2000+ cash! And the game goes on like this. And then you start to hate the other players. It becomes a war of attrition, and no one wants to trade their properties to allow anyone to build them up.

Another demon that is spawned from this game is the dreaded “free-ride” rule that some players use – basically allowing two players to trade property and also let each other get a free pass on any future monies owed – talk about a terrible rule and a competition killer! It’s called Monopoly not Partnerships!

But with all that’s going on in this game, it’s a wonder that people still play it – it takes forever, no one is willing to compromise, and people get more and more competitive as the money starts flying around. Good luck trying to finish a game before someone starts arguing – cause it ain’t gonna happen.

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