Good multiplayer old console games.
February 19, 2007 7:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for your favorite multiplayer games for older consoles/emulators.

Folks love to play NES, SNES, and GENESIS, but what are the best multiplayer games on these consoles?

Some of my buddies favorites are Tetris Attack, Family Feud, Rock and Roll Racing, NBA Jam, Toobin', MTV's Remote Control, Dr. Mario, etc, I know there has to be more good ones!
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo to Computers & Internet (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We used to spend hours playing Micro Machines on the Mega Drive. I don't know what the recent version is like, but the 16-bit version had extra controller ports on the cartridge so you could plug in four controllers, and there was a special mode where you could have two people playing using the same controller so you could have eight people playing at the same time, oh my god. Sweet simple racing fun.
posted by chrismear at 7:36 AM on February 19, 2007

Diddy Kong Racing
posted by bkiddo at 7:43 AM on February 19, 2007

Mario Kart on the SNES was awesome, especially the battle mode.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:45 AM on February 19, 2007

If you liked NBA Jam, have you played NBA Hangtime? Pretty much the same game, but with the ability to create characters, which is very awesome.
posted by muddgirl at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2007

Bomberman on the SNES = a-OK.
posted by pollystark at 7:50 AM on February 19, 2007

Best answer: I'm a little bit confused by consoles/emulators (i.e., whether MAME is okay), and by multiplayer-as-in-two versus multiplayer-as-in-more-than-two. I'll try to soldier on.

Sounds like your buddies like puzzle games, quiz games and early '90s nostalgia. For two-player puzzle games, check out Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (maybe--if I recall correctly, it's PSX/arcade/PC/Dreamcast/GBA) and Puyo Pop. For multiplayer puzzle games, there are some 4-player Tetrises, though I don't think any of them came out for 8-bit/16-bit consoles. And, more importantly, there's Bomberman. I recommend it in nearly every videogame question, because it's the best multiplayer franchise ever developed. Genesis Mega Bomberman is a good one, and there's a good SNES one whose name escapes me.

Name That Tune is a good arcade quiz game, but I don't know if there were ever home versions. You Don't Know Jack sounds like it might be up your alley (more than the endless Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! releases, anyway).

Besides the obvious Tecmo Bowl (and variants) and EA franchises (I think it was Madden '95, or maybe '96, that let you hit after the whistle, and had a golf-cart/ambulance drive onto the field), Golden Tee, Arch Rivals and NFL Blitz are all available through arcade-hardware emulation (Golden Tee loses a lot if you don't have a trackball, though). And if two player games are okay, the other early-90s nostalgia play is fighting games--Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II are the heavy hitters, so why not try Pit Fighter, Samurai Showdown or Time Killers? Or, consider going a few years further back, and returning to >2 multiplayer, with some beat-em-ups. The genre is almost extinct these days, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Streets of Rage, Final Fight, Sunset Riders, etc. are all a good time, especially with four players.
posted by box at 7:52 AM on February 19, 2007

I nth Bomberman. I'm particular to the Genesis/Dreamcast versions, but any version is a good one.

My friend and I love ToeJam and Earl for the Genesis, but it is definitely an acquired taste.

Try any of the Super Marios with a friend.
posted by Diskeater at 8:02 AM on February 19, 2007

Second Micro Machines, absolute classic.
posted by Cookie Monster at 8:29 AM on February 19, 2007

A group of friends and I have been seeking the perfect 4-player arcade/console game to emulate for years. NBA Jam '96, the arcade version, is our staple. We've also played (mainly for the sheer absurdity value), "RAW is War" and one other wrestling game. If you can find a used Dreamcast, Virtua Tennis is a blast if you can find 4 people who like tennis, and there're also a few racing games, and one utterly absurd-but-chaotic arcade flightsim that're worth playing.

And of course, Mario-Kart/Super Smash Brothers/Super Smash Brothers Melee.

I should note that our gaming sessions are more "things to do on Friday night for grins" than any kind of hardcode competitive event.
posted by Alterscape at 8:41 AM on February 19, 2007

NES Ice Hockey. I had an emulator cabinet when I lived in the dorms at college, and a friend and I played probably 200 games of Ice Hockey.

Seconding ToeJam and Earl.
posted by adamwolf at 8:44 AM on February 19, 2007

Gauntlet Legends
posted by mattbucher at 8:44 AM on February 19, 2007

Best answer: NES: Bubble Bobble, Contra, Super Mario Bros. 3,
Arcade: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men
Sega/Arcade: Mortal Kombat, Time Crisis
Sega: X-Men 2: Clone Wars, Contra: Hard Corps
PlayStation: Armored Core

Are all among my favorites
posted by deeman at 8:53 AM on February 19, 2007

Gunstar Heroes is one of the best games for the Genesis, period. With two players it becomes one of the best side-scrolling action games, ever. Innovative, fast, ever-changing, with a fair amount of depth without resorting to annoying jumping puzzles.
posted by lesingesavant at 9:04 AM on February 19, 2007

How about Battletoads and Double Dragon for the Genesis?

And Crash n' the Boys Street Challenge for NES is awesome. I remember my brother and I losing countless precious hours of childhood on that game.
posted by gaiamark at 9:45 AM on February 19, 2007

NES: definitely Contra, Snow Bros., and probably the best 4 player NES game ever Nintendo World Cup Any of the Ninja Turtle games, except for the first one.

Genesis: STREETS OF RAGE!!!!!!

The Gauntlet Legends games are fantastic too
posted by comatose at 9:46 AM on February 19, 2007

M.U.L.E. - Hands down the best multiplayer game evar. Likely the first game with a virtual economy.

Seriously, it was developed by Dani Bunten, one of the great early proponents of multiplayer gaming. Will Wright dedicated the game, The Sims, to Dani.
posted by Argyle at 10:13 AM on February 19, 2007

Tetris Attack on the SNES. Superior to Tetris Battle Gaiden in terms of balance, and arguably the best versus puzzler in existence. It's combines the Tetris and Yoshi's Island licences in what proves to be, effectively, a fusion of Dr Mario and Columns that far surpasses either.
It didn't make much of a splash on most gamers' radars but it's truly a hidden gem.
posted by RokkitNite at 10:39 AM on February 19, 2007

Okay, I'm a moron. I missed Tetris Attack in the 'more inside', assuming I was the chosen one with the secret knowledge. Okay, well try Tetris Battle Gaiden. It's a pretty servicable alternative, with cool power-ups, etc.
Secret of Mana is an awesome two-player RPG if you've got some time to invest. Sonic 2 and 3 both allow a second player to control Tails - quite a hoot if you're just after a couple of hours entertainment.
If MAME's okay, then Punisher and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs get my vote for best side-scrolling beat 'em ups. Waku Waku 7 is an awesome 2D fighter.
posted by RokkitNite at 10:46 AM on February 19, 2007

N64: Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, and FIFA 98
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:25 AM on February 19, 2007

Second Diddy Kong Racing, and also Mario Kart. Both on N64, I think.

On Super Nintendo: I still think Super Mario World is the best Mario game. So much to see and do and beat!

I also loved Chrono Trigger -- think that's SNES too.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:29 AM on February 19, 2007

I also loved Chrono Trigger -- think that's SNES too.

But Trig isn't multiplayer, is it? The poster is specifically asking for cool multiplayer games. (Turtles In Time is a great scrolling beat-em-up on the SNES - as for the NES, isn't Ice Climber multiplayer?)
posted by RokkitNite at 11:35 AM on February 19, 2007

River City Ransom for NES. Also, seconding NES Ice Hockey and the SNES Mario Kart.
posted by sleevener at 11:40 AM on February 19, 2007

Atari's Warlords with four paddle controllers. Awesome fun.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:44 AM on February 19, 2007

Trog on MAME. Schweet.
posted by plinth at 12:38 PM on February 19, 2007

Definitely Secret Of Mana on the SNES. It supports up to 3 players if I'm correct. I've played this one with my brother so many times.
Mario Kart is awesome too!
posted by davidr at 2:01 PM on February 19, 2007

Seconding Goldeneye on the N64.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 3:15 PM on February 19, 2007

RAMPART on SNES - you build your castle with Tetris blocks then shoot cannons at your enemy's castle. And if you have access to a Dreamcast, track down a copy of Fire Pro Wrestling D (there also exist Fire Pro games for the Saturn, but I haven't played 'em). Easy to learn and SUPER deep.
posted by jtron at 3:33 PM on February 19, 2007

Goldeneye's multiplayer mode was awesome when I was in college.
posted by EarBucket at 4:12 PM on February 19, 2007

nth Bomberman: The Saturn version supports 10 players (with two multitaps)

Gauntlet and Gauntlet Legends is cool too.
posted by krisjohn at 4:51 PM on February 19, 2007

I'm going to anger the Toejam and Earl fans by recommending Toejam and Earl 2 for the Genesis. Its very different to TJ&E1, but a really great two-player platform game. Try it, I know 2 player platformers are usually ikky, but this is really well done and a lot of fun.

Also very much Nthing Bomberman. Best multiplayer game ever!
posted by Joh at 8:13 PM on February 19, 2007

Angered TJ&E fan here. Please don't play TJ&E II and let that keep you from trying the first one.
posted by Kwine at 9:24 AM on February 20, 2007

Holy Smokes!

All these recommendations and not a single nod to the TG16/PCEngine. Well, even though it's late, I'll add my 2 cents - all on TG16.

1) MotoRoader - 5 player racing game, top down, you play an 8 race series and get to upgrade your car with the winnings from previous races.
2) Bomberman, Bomberman '93, Bomberman '94 - 5 player bomberman, the way it was meant to be played
3) Dungeon Explorer - Interesting little 5 player dungeon crawler, kind of like the original Gauntlet, but with a storyline
4) World Sports Competition - 5 player(?) track and field type game - get ready to mash some buttons

I grew up with 4 brothers, so the 5 of us played a lot of TG16 games. The TV Sports games have since been surpassed, as has Battle Royale. Super Volleyball was fun too - I think it was only 4 players.

2 player games that spring to mind:
Bubble Bobble/Parasol Stars etc.
Chew Man Fu (just came out for Wii arcade apparently) was the first game that my Mom ever played, and she has literally played through all 450 levels multiple times with various self imposed restrictions (ie, can't kill baddies, must destroy all walls, gold balls, various combinations.)

I doubt anyone will read this, but I thought I should add this stuff in anyway.
posted by Nodecam at 6:57 AM on February 27, 2007

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