Best Competitive Games 2023

Looking for multiplayer games with a competitive scene? Then check out this list of the best competitive games on Steam and other platforms.

With more live service games focusing on competitive multiplayer, picking the right one to play has become increasingly tough.

So how do you decide which games are worth buying and investing countless hours honing your skills to “git gud”?

To help you along your way, we’re highlighting the best competitive games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

For more multiplayer recommendations, check out our other curated gaming lists, and comment below with your favorite competitive game!

Related:Best FPS Games 2023Best Looter Shooter Games 2023Best Fighting Games 2023

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MultiVersus is a new free-to-play platform fighter in the same vein as Smash Ultimate that’s already showing promise as a competitive game.

It’s also one of the most ambitious crossover games, pitting characters like Batman, Shaggy Rogers, Buggs Bunny, and even LeBron James against each other.

In it, players must jump, run, and punch their way to victory using their character’s unique playstyle across 2D stages inspired by different WB properties.

While it’s still unclear just how many characters will make their way to MultiVersus’ roster, based on WB’s deep catalog, the sky is the limit.

Aside from voicing complaints over Halo Infinite’s ranking system and battle pass progression, players have been quite receptive to Xbox’s new FPS title.

Much like its predecessors, Infinite manages to stand out from other arena shooters by doubling down on weapon spawns, map size, and time-to-kill duration.

While you still can’t play the campaign cooperatively just yet, an update is currently in the works to make the feature available in the near future.

In the meantime, players can explore a growing list of competitive PvP playlists and tackle daily/weekly quests to earn XP and level up their battle pass to unlock rewards.

Moving forward, CarX Drift Racing Online is a driving simulation that emphasizes authentic drifting mechanics in various urban areas and unique racecourse environments.

Players can explore detailed customization options that include custom vinyl and wraps, as well as fine-tune their car’s performance within certain parameters.

Additionally, the game offers open online rooms and events that let you compete against other players around the world.

While it may not always do a great job at feeling mechanically realistic, it does feature an assortment of cool-looking cars and supports most steering wheel controllers.

Valorant is a tactical team-based FPS from Riot Games that draws inspiration from games like CS: GO, Overwatch, and Rainbow Six Siege.

In it, players compete in 5v5 teams where one side is assigned the role of Attacker and the other Defender.

To win, both teams must try to carry out their objective while preventing the enemy from doing the same, usually by eliminating them to end the round.

Like many of competitive games, Valorant features an extensive roster of characters called ‘Agents’ that introduce unique abilities and strategies to add to your arsenal.

Next up is The Cycle: Frontier, a competitive PvPvE shooter where players must explore a world gathering valuable resources and riches while watching their backs.

This is because your rewards aren’t truly yours until you’ve managed to reach the extraction point in one piece.

Along with enemy players, you’ll have to keep an eye out for alien monsters and a deadly storm that can damage or otherwise leave your character exposed.

The game manages to strike a nice balance between risk and reward while keeping players engaged with rolling content updates each season.

Overwatch wasn’t the first hero shooter but has managed to dominate the genre while building up its esports community with the Overwatch League.

This is partly due to Blizzard’s obsession with rebalancing the game and, in some cases, completely reworking how each character plays.

Although this approach can prove frustrating for casual players, it presents more opportunities to develop new strategies and team comps while also keeping veterans on their toes.

Combine this with a growing roster of easy to pick up, difficult to master heroes, and its clear Overwatch a solid contender for competitive gaming.

Since going free-to-play, CS: GO has seen an uptick in popularity that’s led to a thriving competitive scene surrounding the game.

Consistent content drops add new maps, characters, weapons, and game modes have played a major role in keeping things feeling fresh after all these years.

The best example of this would be the addition of “Danger Zone,” a battle-royale mode that brought in an entirely new audience of players.

Now that Valve has removed a majority of the paywalls, the playing field is a lot more balanced, allowing skill to take priority over deep pockets.

Dota 2 is another Valve title that has managed to stand the test of time and still holds the title of “most-played game on Steam.” 

It does so by avoiding many of the pitfalls that often plague free-to-play MOBAs, namely content paywalls and poor balancing.

That’s not to mention the game’s massive roster, which includes over 100 diverse heroes designed to be versatile enough to fill multiple roles.

Letting players devise unique strategies is where Dota 2 truly shines, as the sheer number of characters and equipment options make it so no two matches play the same.

You can’t deny Fortnite’s dominance over both battle royale and free-to-play categories as the game continues to add new content across multiple seasons.

The formula is well known by now: players explore a shrinking map where they’ll have to loot, shoot, and build their way to victory.

The addition of Daily Challenges and a continually shifting map has made the game’s most popular mode also one of the most replayable free-to-play experiences around.

Additionally, Fortnite still puts up staggeringly high player number in 2024, making it one of the top picks for competitive players that want a challenge.

Rocket League is bigger than ever after going free-to-play, and now has a mobile game spin-off called Rocket League: Sideswipe.

Best boiled down as cars-meet-soccer, the game is relatively easy for newbies to pick up while still providing an infinitely high skill ceiling for competitive players.

Furthermore, it supports an assortment of configurations such as 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 soccer along with several alternate modes that riff on other sports.

If you’re looking for a competitive game outside of your typical MOBA or battle royal, Rocket League is a great option.

Rainbow Six Siege is another multiplayer game that’s been around for what feels like forever and continues to evolve.

This is somewhat surprising considering Ubisoft’s bad rap for sending multiplayer games out to die.

Fast forward to seven years after the game’s launch and Siege has managed to grow a large and active playerbase, and even spawn a spin-off, Rainbow Six: Extraction.

Much like CS: GO and Valorant, Siege sees two teams of five facing off against each other across modes like bomb defusal, hostage rescue, or asset protection.

As with most video game sports franchises, FIFA has had a foot in the competitive gaming scene since day one.

Every year, a fresh batch of contests arrives, inviting skilled gamers to vie for cash rewards and acknowledgement after dedicating countless hours to training.

While the series’ has had its fair share of ups and downs, its in a much better state these days.

While this can be attributed to a shift in development culture at EA, as more recent installments like FIFA 21 and FIFA 22 pack in more content and features day one.

League of Legends has garnered a reputation as one of the most competitive MOBAs around, featuring fast-paced gameplay and 140+ Champions across five classes.

Although the game has been around for over a decade, it still remains at the top of Twitch and YouTube’s viewership charts, a solid indicator of its popularity.

And while the game’s freemium model may be a turn off for some, Riot does promote limited time access to most of LoL’s content.

Furthermore, the developer is always trying to find new ways keep players comintg back, resulting in one of the most high-level strategy games on the market.

There was a time when Valve dedicated a large chunk of its resources towards Team Fortress 2, a luxury that has since been affored to Dota 2.

However, that doesn’t mean TF2 is a dead by any means, as it still receives occasional QoL updates and character/weapon rebalancing from time to time.

The game’s strongest selling point is its passionate community, which continues to create new user-generated maps, skins, and hats.

Although we never got to see more classes added beyond the original nine, each one offers a different experience that affects the flow of matches.

As far as competitive looter shooters go, Destiny 2 has struggled throughout its many seasons, with the recent Witch Queen among one of the better updates.

In it, players pick from Titan, Warlock, and Hunter classes before setting out into the world to explore and save the universe from multiple alien factions vying for power.

The game features an assortment of planets to visit, each with distinct biomes, enemies, and activities to grind for experience, crafting materials, and loot.

Outside of the main storyline, Destiny 2 offers free-roaming exploration, public events, competitive PvP modes, six-player raids, and more.

No stranger to competitive lists, Apex Legends is what you get when Titanfall multiplayer gets mashed together with hero shooters and battle royales.

Each round sees up to 60 players unleashed on a sprawling map filled with random weapons and equipment that can be the difference between a win or a loss.

On top of that, each character or ‘Legend,’ comes equipped with a unique set of abilities that determine their preferred playstyle.

Since releasing, the game has also become a populaer esport with organized cash tournaments held online and around the world.

Call of Duty: Warzone is the franchise’s second attempt at rallying behind the popularity of competitive battle royales, with Black Ops 4: Blackout being the first.

However, this time around, it’s a standalone game that’s free-to-play even if you don’t own a copy of Modern Warfare, which is excellent news considering the game also supports crossplay.

Where Warzone differs from other battle royales is its addition of the Gulag, a prison where players spawn after they’ve been killed and duke it out for a chance to respawn and join their team.

Combine this with the ability to bring back teammates by spending in-game cash at Buy Stations, and your squad’s chances of winning are significantly increased.

There was a decent stretch of time where PUBG dominated as the most popular battle royale game, leading towards its early adoption as an esport.

While console and PC lobbies remain populated to this day, the release of a free-to-play mobile version has been a deciding factor in the game’s continued relevance.

That shouldn’t be considered a slight against PUBG, as it’s one of the few skill-based shooters to use projectile ballistics in favor of hitscan damage.

Even if its a bit rough around the edges, PUBG is a good choice for those who crave realism and chicken dinners.

Mortal Kombat 11 is arguably the best installment in the series and continues to function as a fun and challenging competitive fighter.

The game features a roster of over 25 fighters as well as returning Fatalities and Brutalities alongside new Fatal/Krushing Blows.

What’s more, you would be hard-pressed to find another competitive fighter that features combat as crunchy and meaty.

While there are a plethora of other fighters we could recommend, MK 11 remains a top pick that’s well supported by developer NetherRealm.

Despite its reputation as a celebrated party game, Smash Ultimate continues to solidify its presence in the competitive gaming world.

Although a large portion of its playerbase was inherited from previous iterations, Ultimate has drawn in crowds from other less-popular fighters.

With a roster of 89 characters and a medley of stages and music based on various video game properties, Smash Ultimate has something to offer for everyone.

Furthermore, the game supports competitive local and online multiplayer with up to eight players.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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