PC Gaming: The Return of the Couch

Until recently, local multi-player gaming – meaning playing games with your friends, on your couch – had become almost the¬†exclusive domain of the videogame console. Have friends over and looking to game? Grab your Playstation, XBox, or Nintendo. This isn’t to say that PC gaming isn’t multi-player focused, but rather that the expectation there was that players were battling online, not against their friends.

In a nutshell: PCs were for the desk, consoles for the living room.

A number of factors have started to change this viewpoint, so much so in fact that some of the best local multi-player games to come out recently have been on the PC, not the console. With Valve pushing couch PC gaming with their Steam Big Picture mode, Steambox initiative, and Steam Link streaming box, I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. The ever-shrinking form factor of the PC now lets PC gamers pack components that far exceed the capability of today’s consoles into a console-esque form factor.

If you already have a PC or a PC streaming device connected to a common area in your home where you can game with friends, you may be looking for some games designed to play with friends, perhaps with a range of gaming experience.

Even if you don’t, though, you may be surprised with what you can do even with non-gaming PCs.

Today, I’ll give you four of my picks for the most enjoyable competitive local multi-player PC games, including:

  • Starwhal
  • Towerfall: Ascension
  • Lethal League
  • Nidhogg

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