TA Top Five: Party Games

By Jonathan Barnes,
If you're anything like me (and who's to say you're not) you enjoy hosting friends over for fun evenings. Myself, I like to make cocktails, grill, and then get weird. After the weirdness ends and the pants are put back on, though, everyone ends up staring at each other and wondering what to do. Enter video games. Even if your guests aren't hardcore gamers, the following games can easily be broken out at a party and a good time can be had by all.

Dishonorable Mention
Truth or Lies Achievements

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Honorable Mentions
BADLAND: Game of the Year Edition Achievements
Screenshot 8

When I threw out this question to the Newshound team in our secret lair over scones and Red Bull, Megan and Marc practically fell out of their chairs in their endorsement of BADLAND.

"BADLAND was a lot of fun with two people, so I imagine with four it would be pretty fun and mental too" ~ Megan

"Had me in tears of laughter when we played together, so I agree!" ~ Marc

Consider this your ringing endorsement of a new, hot release for party fun!

Top Five

5. Fruit Ninja Kinect Achievements
8 Bit Cartride DLC Screenshot 2

As I mentioned in our review of Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 Achievements, if you enjoy Kinect games, you'll enjoy Fruit Ninja. The great thing about Kinect experiences is that they're easy to grasp and play, so that everyone from grandma down to Sonny Junior can give it a go. With a simple interface and easy-to-understand visual language, the Fruit Ninja Kinect series makes for great party fodder that can please guests while you're waiting for dinner to finish.

4. Scene It

The console update of a home game hit, Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action Achievements did the HUGE favor of introducing the "Big Button" controllers that became an essential piece of hardware for the genre (as well as community favorite, 1 vs 100 Achievements). Scene It was one of the first (and best) games to encourage gamers to have friends over, plop down on the couch, and enjoy a casual, fun time comparing and testing movie knowledge.

3. Castle Crashers Achievements

A throwback to the four-player arcade machines of old, Castle Crashers is another party-pleaser that gives easy controls, an accessible story with great gameplay, and cute/funny enough experience to keep everyone happy. No matter how many games I loaded on and deleted off of my 360 hard drive, Castle Crashers always stayed because I know it could be broken out whenever company came over for a fun co-op time.

2. You Don't Know Jack Achievements / The Jackbox Party Pack Achievements

Easy to understand, both fun and funny, and quick enough that everyone can have a turn, the trivia series hits all the marks of a good party-maker. As an added bonus, the wide variety of games in The Jackbox Party Pack are played on smartphones and internet enabled devices, so you don't even need extra controllers to play! TJPP not only contains a new version of You Don't Know Jack, but also the incredible lying game Fibbage Achievements which won our "Party Game of the Year" for 2014 in addition to two other games which will keep you and your friends chuckling for hours.

The best news of all is that gamers in the UK will be getting the entire pack soon!

1. Rock Band

Yes, the plastic instruments take up too much space and create clutter in a living room. Yes, it does make a lot of noise. Yes, you will have to listen to someone (attempt to) sing. Let's face it, though, party games do not get better than Rock Band. With a seemingly endless catalog of songs available, you're sure to find something to everyone's taste. The experience is short enough that everyone can take turns and have a great time. The instruments are so accessible that you don't need to be a pro to feel like a rock god. It really doesn't get any better.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.