Favorite Competitive Multiplayer Experiences


What are your favorite competitive game experiences and why? This can be a single game, a game mode, or just a really cool moment with your friends. The important thing is that it was a competitive moment that made you feel good or that you enjoy.

For me when it comes to FPS I’m really into the Kill Confirmed and Domination/Point Control modes. I find normal deathmatch way too chaotic and dependent on reflexes, so each of these give me a chance to think a little more tactically. Domination sets up little points of conflict that let you predict where attackers will be and then flank them or deny access to a certain area. Kill Confirmed does something similar, but the hotspots are instead around the tokens dead players leave that you have to collect to win. It really breaks up the pace and forces players to move in instead of staying g at long range forever.

I’m also fond of Puyo Puyo Tetris’ Swap Mode, where you play both Puyo Puyo and Tetris, with each respective board switching to the other every 25 seconds. It keeps you from dominating entirely in one game and allows some really incredible comebacks when you get into dire situations.


I barely play any competitive multiplayer (I get really anxious playing online against other people) but standard TDM in Advanced Warfare I enjoyed a great deal, mostly because that was the point where I stopped trying to be good (Which, ironically, resulted in me actually having good matches and K/D) and enjoying people killing me in ridiculous ways.

The Division had some enjoyable Dark Zone moments at launch and I really fell in love with its idea of PvP/PvE. For three weeks the Dark Zone achieved its goal of unbearably tense moments with other real players during the extraction, boss fights and whatnot, although in the months after that mode just turned into everyone shooting each other and it stopped being fun for me.

Rocket League during the PS+ month was amazing. Best time I had with a competitive multiplayer game. Every online overtime period is a doozy, and I scoring game winners in that game is the absolute best.


Advanced Warfare was the last time I really really was into that multiplayer. Those exo suits and abilities were just the perfect combination of movement and flexibility. No other game past that really worked as well. And yeah, those games tend to work better when you just zone out and let yourself go with it. I play shooters alongside podcasts a lot of times for this reason.

I’ve yet to play Rocket League. A friend gave me a copy and it seemed fun but I was too anxious just to jump online.


Splatoon! The constant murder of other human avatars(especially when based on real life conflicts) honestly makes me feel kinda sick so I’m really not into most shooters usually but Nintendo made one that I could actually get into. Your primary action isn’t killing people, it’s trying to win this wild and colorful future sport. Painting the levels felt so cool and was low stakes enough that I never really felt stressed out by losing. Combined with the dope fashion and music it was just all around super engrossing for me.

Oh and Marvel vs Capcom 2 is probably my most played local multiplayer game. It was just so fun to sit around and try different character combos with the huuuuuuuge roster. The game is a total unbalanced mess but its chaos is beautiful.


I recently rediscovered how much I enjoy the multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed after redeeming Assassin’s Creed III via Xbox Live’s Games with Gold. I recalled really disliking a lot of the single player in that game, as many attempts to move swiftly and get things done was hindered by clunky controls and a lot of empty space that was a slog to traverse.

Comparatively, the multiplayer promotes employing patience and deliberate, quick thinking instead of evoking a desire to simply hurry from encounter to encounter. I guess I’m happier playing against others when having good reflexes isn’t the primary requirement for success.


I started playing games online with a competitive attitude back in 2009 with StarCraft Brood War. It’s a hard game to begin with and a lot of people still playing had been playing for a literal decade. I won very few matches but still enjoyed “competing” so I kept at it and got into StarCraft 2 a year later. At the same time, I was introduced to my local Smash Bros tournament scene by a friend at university, so I was simultaneously trying to git gud at SC2 and Smash Bros. I still play both games at tournaments from time to time (recently went to a SC2 LAN and got knocked out by one of Australia’s top players!).

I also got heavily involved with the competitive Splatoon community. I don’t partake in Splat tournaments often, though I do help organise some tournaments mostly for the local AUNZ scene, including the recent AUNZ Splatoon Cup that sent a team to E3 for the upcoming Splatoon 2 exhibition tournament. I play a lot of the ranked mode in Splatoon because it’s a game I have a lot of love for, but for now I’m more interested in being an organiser in tournaments rather than a team player.


Honestly, I’ve yet to find anything that compares to sitting in the same room as my friends when we were kids, playing GoldenEye (and then TimeSplitters 2) and winding each other up with half-hearted trash talk we didn’t have the life experience, vocabulary or vocal pitch to convincingly deliver. Coming up with new custom game modes, like one-death proximity mines only and no time limit, and playing them for days at a time spicy meatball finger kiss


For me it has to be Neotokyo.

It follows the same format as Counter-Strike (i.e. two teams, you die and you stay dead until the round is over) but has three classes that handle completely different. The main differences between them apart from speed and health are the presence of camo (essentially invisibility), weapons, which grenades they have, and what vision modes they can use. The Recon and Assault classes can use thermoptic camo (ala GitS) which leaves them invisible to the naked eye, but has them appear as black outlines to the Support’s thermal vision. They were still pretty hard to spot, mind you, so you had to know what you were looking for. The Recon had the 99% useless night-vision, and the Assault had motion vision. Supports could throw out smoke grenades, Assaults had frags, and Recons had flashbangs.

It had a ‘Capture the Flag’ variant, which involved two teams racing to get the Ghost. In order to pick it up you needed to drop your main weapon and you couldn’t move very fast with it. The trade off was that you got to see the location of all the enemies.

The combat was very ‘realistic’ in that it did not take a lot of bullets to disable someone. This combined with the class differences to create a unique variance of pace that I haven’t encountered in any other games. Overall the gameplay was methodical and slow, but each match would have parts with Recons parkouring around and harrasing each other, and parts with Supports and Assaults slowly moving in to skirmish. Communication was vital, and a team that didn’t communicate just straight up lost. As a result most people used voice chat, and thankfully enough the community was pretty alright.

I looooved playing that game. It also had a dope soundtrack by Ed Harrison .


I rarely play with people I know, but I’m sure that if I did so routinely it would surpass my current favorite competitive multiplayer experience.
Rainbow Six: Siege is very stressful and the community tends to be vile and obnoxious, but the ocassional enjoyable match is how I can understand why people like watching sports. I spend most of my time dead, watching other people play. It sounds like something that would bore me, but the level-design is flexible (a range of destructibility of surfaces) and the special abilities/loadouts all result in diverse end-of-round scenarios.
So a made-up example would be that as a Defender, I’ve fortified some doors as Castle and since died, but I’m watching a camera that Valk put on the stairs and I see an Attacker Glaz looking for a line-of-sight into the room to snipe Tchanka who has mounted a gun in a corner that wasn’t vulnerable at the beginning of the round, but is now due to a breach in the west wall that resulted in a 1-1 trade. So then various other teammates and myself might try and frantically explain where Glaz is coming from or the corner our teammate should hide in to wait out the timer. Stuff like that is super fun.
It takes a lot of familiarity with the maps and obscure rules (doors fortified by Castle can be destroyed with 11 melee hits) to feel the satisfaction of predicting how the Attackers are going to breach, but I’ve already invested time into that. Watching other people play while I’m dead shows me all sorts of tricks that and attempts that I’m entertained by.
Also of note, most competitive shooters can establish some amount communication through game-mechanics, but R6:Siege has you huddled in a corner, all your teammates watching what you do, and you are listening to foot-steps on the floor above. The potential for mindgames is high (knocking out windows or shooting through walls to imply positioning would be a good example). Players tend to pay a lot of attention to what otger players are doing, especially at the end of a round when there are just a few still alive and time is running out.

Here is one of my favorite rounds that I captured.


Pikmin 3 has actually got n incredible vs. mode in there. Basically you and your opponent have bingo cards of items and you’re trying to collect a whole row and if you play with the Victory Macaroon on (ie, the correct way) you each also have a cookie that the other team can capture to win instantly.

I think the thing that really works about it is there are so many different win conditions that it really capitalizes on your ability in pikmin to work on multiple things simultaneously. and sometimes you’re just racing to complete a line, sometimes you end up fighting over a treasure you both need to win, sometimes you end up fighting over one just to keep them from collecting it. sometimes you launch sneak assaults to steal their Macaroon from their base. and if you’re good you’re doing two or three of those things simultaneously.

the other thing that’s great is you start each round with a handful of one type of pikmin and so another level of the game is building up your army and finding new types of pikmin planted around the map to give you an edge on your opponent.
the flying pikmin are MVP because there are maps where you can use them to bypass huge maze sections by just flying treasure across a bottomless pit. One map is set around a puddle with your bases on opposite shores and I managed to find a few pink guys and sneak them across the water and grab his Macaroon and then let them fly it home while I took the rest of my troop out basically to distract him from my sneak attack, even when he noticed all he had were blue guys so they were stuck at the bottom of the puddle while my guys flew on overhead.

it manages to condense a simple RTS experience down to a few very hectic minutes, it’s fantastic.


There’s a not-for-profit community run LAN event in western Canada that’s been going for like 20 years called Fragapalooza. Back at its height in the Quake 3 days it drew around 1,000 people for various tournaments. I finished 3rd in Quake 3 twice and 3rd in Unreal Tournament 2004 once. Always fun playing with a crowd behind you and it definitely put “playing competitively” into perspective.

Friend of mine probably takes the cake when, in the same year, his team finished 1st in the Quake 3 tournament, he won an impromptu late night single elimination 256 player rock-paper-scissors tournament, and then he finished off the weekend by winning a random draw for a door prize. All 3 were worth a motherboard+processor combo.


I had a really great time with Planetside 2 until a patch made the game completely unplayable on my computer.