Top Five Party Games of All Time

WarioWare: Smooth Moves Screenshot - 845821

To some degree, I think most of us enjoy a good party game. Sure, the genre is now completely riddled with nonsensical releases and terribly average titles, but it is still a genre that can manage to bring gamers together for some good, clean fun. Party games have been around for a long time, and they have managed to give gamers and their friends hours of solid entertainment. GameZone takes a look at the genre and presents the top five party games ever developed.

5. Bomberman

Most Bomberman titles are pleasant and addictive party games (with the exception of the abysmal Bomberman: Act Zero) that manage to bring together a group of friends for some competitive fun. Since so many of us have our own personal favorite Bomberman title (Bomberman '93 right here), it would be incredibly difficult to just pick one for the sake of this list. That said, if there's one thing every memorable Bomberman game shares, it's that feeling of nervous anticipation as players begin blowing up walls, trying to take out their opponents, collecting power-ups, and eventually taking on a single competitor as time ticks away. It's fast, frantic, and totally hilarious. One round of Bomberman is never enough. You can expect to watch time slip by as you and your pals continuously go for one more match.

4. WarioWare: Smooth Moves

Given the Wii's high number of party games, you'd have to be kidding yourself to think that this platform wouldn't see some representation on this list. Luckily, this spot isn't being taken up by something stupid like Mario Party 9. Instead, we present to you WarioWare: Smooth Moves, one of the earlier releases on the console, and easily the best mini-game collection in the Wii's library to date. At their core, the "micro-games" in Smooth Moves are nothing more than simple actions, such as making Mario jump to hit a coin block or keeping an umbrella from tipping over using the Wii Remote. What makes this title so insanely awesome, though, is its constant reliance on a five-second timer. Sure, the instructions are simple, but because you have to do everything in a certain amount of time, the game is pleasingly hectic. Playing alone is a total blast, but get some friends and engage in one of the many multiplayer modes Smooth Moves has to offer, and you've got a game that's perfect for get-togethers.

3. Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now (B.U.T.T.O.N.)

If you want a frenetic good time, you can't go wrong with Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now, an indie game with a ton of charm and enough accessibility that both hardcore gamers and non-gamers can enjoy. The game constantly gives you instructions, such as spinning in circles, singing, or switching sides with other players. Then, you must run to the computer keyboard or your respective Xbox 360 controller and either press your button repeatedly, hold it down, or press another player's. These are just a few examples of the ridiculously enjoyable tasks that B.U.T.T.O.N. has you doing on a per round basis. Since the game puts an emphasis on brutally unfair tactics (which are totally OK now), you can cheat, push the other players, or run before the game tells you to. Play any way you like, but expect a bruise or two. After all of the fun that this game encompasses, you'll find that a couple of boo-boos are well worth the entertainment.

2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

OK, so Super Smash Bros. Brawl may not be the traditional party game, but get together with a group of friends, set up a tourney, and you've got an action-packed evening. With the right crowd, Brawl is the type of game that you can begin playing in the evening and go into the wee hours of the morning with (I got home at close to five in the morning a few days ago after a lengthy Brawl session with some pals). Get together with a small group or a larger crowd, order some pizzas, and have some ice cold sodas ready, and you've got all of the ingredients for the perfect Smash-fest. Whether you're playing big matches with four characters on the screen at once or going for a one-on-one tournament, Brawl will literally steal hours from your day and night.

1. Mario Party

It was terribly difficult choosing between Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the very first Mario Party for the Nintendo 64, but this decision was ultimately made based on the fact that Mario Party is the more accessible of the two titles. As a party game, no other traditional title in the genre can even touch Mario Party. The board map design is intricate, the mini-games are amazing, and the challenge is brutal. If you want to win in Mario Party, you have to be ruthless and cut-throat on the boards and skilled at the mini-games. So few party games (especially in this series) challenge players these days, but Mario Party does just that. To this day, no other party game has managed to captivate its audience and offer this style of addictive and rewarding gameplay quite like Mario Party. That makes this an easy pick for the title of best party game of all time.

The party game genre has managed to delight video game fans for years, and it has even garnered legions of non-gamers and casual players. The party game's inviting gameplay and mechanics make it the perfect activity for big group shindigs. No titles in the genre come close to Bomberman, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, B.U.T.T.O.N., Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Mario Party.

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