Tired of giving up game night just because your friends, family, or even co-workers can’t gather in the same place? Maybe you’d love to play games online, but everyone doesn’t want to buy or download the same game. Try some of the best online games to play with friends that you can play right in your browser. The best part is they’re absolutely free, though some have some premium upgrades.
For years now (since 1995 in fact) game developer Jackbox Games has been treating us to some of the most innovative online twists on classic games out there. Just one person needs to actually own the game, then other players (dozens, even) join the room you host using a code. Many of the games are best enjoyed through the phone, though some can be played through the browser too.
Jackbox has made tons of games, so here are the best of them.
1. Drawful 2
The Jackbox classic, Drawful 2 sees each player taking it in turns to be assigned a ridiculous thing to draw, doodling it on their phone, then other players writing down what they think it is. After that, everyone’s guesses are shared, and you get points when people (incorrectly) vote for your guess as the right answer. Points are also awarded if you draw something so well that people actually get the right answer!
The silly things you’re asked to draw and the shonky means of drawing them on your phone leads to hours of enjoyment – whether you’re in the same room or online.
2. Fibbage 3
With its shlocky 70s aesthetic, this iteration of the lying game Fibbage is easily the most visually distinctive. A bit like Drawful, it’s about coming up with things to convince other players that you’re right. Each player fills in a blank on a piece of trivia with a lie, then all the lies are thrown out to other players along with the correct answer.
The more people think your answer is correct, the more points you get, and bonus points are awarded for actually getting the right answer.
3. Quiplash XL
As with many Jackbox games, Quiplash is a game of convincing people. Weird prompts are thrown out, like “Worst theme for a pinball machine” and “A better name for France”, then all players throw out their suggestions in the hope that people will go for their answer.
The game supports up to eight players, with an audience of up to 10,000 (which the very thought of is enough to give us performance anxiety but hey, each to their own!).
Cooperative, or co-op, games have taken off in recent years. Plus, they’re ideal to play with those overly competitive friends, so it’s the team against the game. Naturally, some of the best free online games are co-op, including some of these free browser games. You’ll need a free Tabletopia account to play the following games.
4. Sword & Sorcery
Can’t play the popular co-op board game Sword & Sorcery in person? Then play together online for free. It’s a fantasy battle of good against evil. With multiple scenarios available for free, and additional premium options, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Up to four friends can play Mistfall together as heroes who’ll need to battle monsters and participate in special challenges to prevent the mists from claiming their land. It’s an epic co-op game that’s easy to learn but difficult to beat. Games can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, making this a great option for shorter and longer game nights.
6. The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine
Come together as astronauts exploring space. You’ll face 50 different missions in The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine, with each person on your team having to successfully perform different tasks to succeed. While it may start out easy, it quickly amps up the difficulty so that you won’t get bored with this one any time soon.
From classics to newer hits, you’ll have a wide variety of card games to play online with friends.
UNO’s a classic card game of trying to get rid of your cards by matching colors and/or numbers. But, there’s also much strategy in using obstacle cards to prevent opponents from winning. It’s ideal for both kids and adults, and you can play for free via Crazy Games and UNO Freak.
8. Cards Against Humanity
The crude, rude, and absolutely hilarious social card game is available in multiple varieties online. While none are the official version, these clones are extremely close and let you play against 3 to 50 players at a time, all from your browser. Three of the best options to try include All Bad Cards, Pretend You’re Xyzzy, and Play Wicked Cards.
9. Classic Card Games
Love Hearts, Canasta, Gin Rummy, Spades, Texas Hold’em, or any other classic card games? CardzMania has all of those and many more, plus some solitaire options to play while you’re waiting on friends to join you.
Many board game publishers actually create free or low-cost online versions. The free versions might not always include expansions or every feature, but you can play online with friends from anywhere.
Hive is a great two-player game to play for free with friends online. Plus, games usually only last around 15 minutes, so it’s ideal for a quick game. It’s a board game where you create the board as you play using tiles. The goal is to be the first person to capture the opponent’s Queen Bee using strategic tile placement.
Rento is one of the many versions of Monopoly floating around online. However, it’s one of the best free options. You can play on most platforms, including just your browser. Play against friends or AI opponents and earn or buy coins to get new boards, different pawns, and more.
If you love games that can easily last for hours, then Diplomacy is for you. It’s one of the more strategic online board games. Make alliances, betray those alliances, and do whatever it takes to conquer Europe. The browser version by Backstabbr is easy to use and even offers a way to test moves before you play.
Some of the best free online games are word games. They’re usually simple to learn but still challenging enough to keep everyone coming back for more. Try these on your next remote game night.
Scrabble is the undisputed king of word games. After all, it’s what the popular mobile app Words with Friends is based on. Thanks to Pogo, you can play it free with friends right in your browser. It works just like the board game, but scores are calculated automatically. You can also play on Internet Scrabble Club.
Love playing Boggle and boggling your friends’ mind with your word prowess? Try Serpentine, which is a multi-player Boggle clone. It’s free to play, though there are ads. You can purchase a premium account to get rid of those if you want.
Part party game, part word game, Taboo is incredibly simple to play online. You’ll need a way to talk to each other, such as Zoom or Skype. Otherwise, team captains use the Taboo site to get their cards along with taboo words they can’t say. It may sound easy, but it’s a hilarious challenge.
While there are emulators to play your favorite retro games, such as those that allow you to play PS1 games on a PC, most online emulators don’t offer support for multi-player. Instead of listing individual games, let’s focus on a newcomer.
Piepacker, a Kickstarter-backed project, gives you legal access to a variety of retro games along with video chat rooms to bring your friends closer together. It’s completely free, and you can play with most any gamepad or keyboard. An upcoming feature (currently only available to Kickstarter backers) is uploading your own ROMs for games not currently on the site.
Some of the top games on Piepacker include:
- Earthworm Jim 2
- Sensible Soccer
- Night Slashers
- Old Towers
Puzzle & Math Games
Love solving puzzles, even if that might include a little math? Some of the best online games to play with friends involve puzzles. While there are a wide variety of free options available, these should keep you and your friends busy for hours.
17. Ravensburger’s Puzzle World
If you enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles, gather your friends and tackle some of Ravensburger’s stunning digital puzzles. Pick a puzzle, create a room, and invite your friends. It’s a fun, casual option that gives you plenty of time to talk without any real competition.
Sudoku blends puzzle and math together seamlessly for a challenging game. While this is usually a solo game, Live Sudoku and UsDoku both feature multi-player versions. It’s a race to see who can finish first. UsDoku even features lobbies and in-game chat.
19. Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
If you miss the excitement of escape rooms, try a digital version. Hogwarts Digital Escape Room uses a Google doc to guide you through the virtual space. Sure, there aren’t amazing graphics or anything, but you’ll need to work together to solve challenging puzzles and escape. Plus, it’s completely free.
Role Playing Games
RPGs bring your friends together to dive into a virtual world where every choice changes the game. There are numerous free online RPGs. The following are a few to get you started.
While not a game by itself, Roll20 is one of the best platforms to play Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, and more tabletop RPGs. It’s completely free to set up your own game. However, if you want a pre-made adventure, you can buy one through the Roll20 store. If you just need a platform to bring your very own adventures and campaigns to life, then everything you need is on Roll20.
21. Dragon Blood
If you love MMORPGs, you’ll definitely want to give Dragon Blood a try. This standard fantasy story is free to play in your browser. The land needs heroes. Fight against evil and other players and form guilds with your friends to fight side by side. There are also regular events to keep things interesting.
22. The Kingdom of Loathing
If you’re ready to try something completely different with your friends, check out The Kingdom of Loathing. This isn’t your typical RPG that takes itself too seriously. The graphics are essentially doodles, including stick figures, in black and white. In between building guilds, exploring dungeons, and fighting off the bad guys, there are endless pop culture references, insanely bad puns, and even more random humor. You need a free account to chat with friends, though.
The great thing about Zoom games is that you have so many options. In fact, any of the above could be a Zoom game, since you can easily video chat while playing them. Many board games work over Zoom, especially if you don’t need to hide any cards. One person with the game can make moves for everyone while sharing the board via Zoom.
However, if you’re looking for fun games to play on Zoom and in your browser, try these out:
23. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf has you racing to figure out which players are werewolves and take them out before they infect others. You’ll need great deduction and bluffing skills for this one.
This particular version lets you quickly create a game and invite others using a unique four-digit code. There are no accounts to create, and it’s all free to play. You can try to decipher who’s bluffing, thanks to facial expressions on Zoom.
24. Random Trivia Generator
Want to host a trivia night via Zoom? Random Trivia Generator gives you random questions in a variety of categories. All you have to do is get everyone together on Zoom, read the questions, and keep score. Play as individuals or teams.
25. Escape Rooms
While I’ve already mentioned escape rooms, they’re perfect over Zoom. Everyone can view the clues together and work to solve puzzles to escape. You’re not in an actual escape room, but Google Doc-guided mysteries let you collaborate and get a virtual experience for free.
There are numerous free options, including:
- Minecraft Escape Room
- Aquarium Mystery
- Spy Apprentice Digital Escape Room and the sequel
- Jumanji Escape Room
- Escape from Wonderland Escape Room
- Unlock Disney World
Online Games for Kids
Kids need online games to play with friends too. While many on this list work well for kids, they mat also prefer a few of the following options.
Play Pictionary online with the help of Skribbl. Kids create a private room to play together. This allows kids to gather safely without random people joining in. It’s a simple interface – but one they’ll have fun drawing on. It’s especially fun for younger kids.
27. Set with Friends
While there are public games and public chat, parents can set up private rooms for kids to play the popular card game Set online. It’s simple to learn, but fun enough for all ages to enjoy. This is also a good option for families to play.
28. Wizard 101
Wizard 101 is an MMORPG that’s perfect for kids. They can play together in a virtual world as they work to become the best wizard. There are parental controls in place to prevent kids from talking to strangers, which means they can play safely.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there any sites dedicated to just board games?
Yes. There are numerous sites that give you access to a variety of free and premium board games. Check out this list of places to play board games with friends online.
2. Do I need any special software or device to play these games?
As long as you have a common browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, you don’t need anything else. All the games mentioned in this list are playable in a browser: there’s nothing to download, and you can play on desktop and mobile.
3. Is everything completely free?
You can play every game on this list for free. However, many of them have premium options. This can include expansions, extra features (such as in-game chat), or memberships to access additional premium games.
You can still do things together even when you’re physically distanced. Thanks to free online multiplayer games, you can play exciting games together even if you’re scattered throughout the world. From card games online to online board games, there are endless options.
Plus, thanks to recent Zoom changes, it’s even easier to play games via Zoom, as it becomes the perfect tool for work, online learning, socializing and play.
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