A long time ago, when fast internet connections weren’t as popular as they are today, players use to gather with their computers and establish a local area network (also known as LAN,) so they could enjoy multiplayer games together. This practice allowed the creation of LAN parties and the practice quickly became quite popular as there were special establishments like LAN gaming centers or Internet Cafés that had more permanent installations. During the years, this has become less and less common as better internet connections have pretty much killed the LAN method and most people are much more comfortable playing online than carrying their expensive (and in most cases really heavy) hardware, just so they can play with others. Still, there’s nothing quite like playing with (or against) your friends in the same room. For that reason I have compiled a list which features some of the most fun titles that can be played on LAN. Note that most of these games are classics and not very demanding in terms of system requirements so connecting a couple of netbooks shouldn’t be that hard.
Halo offers various multiplayer modes when played on LAN and some of them include: capture the flag, deathmatch, team slayer, king of the hill, oddball and race, among many others. Additionally, the PC version of this title features 6 exclusive maps and 2 more weapons that aren’t available on the original Xbox one. It’s worth pointing out that the Xbox version allows players to play multiplayer via split-screen and it also has co-op in the main campaign and this isn’t possible on the PC. Furthermore, the game has a 16 players limit when playing on LAN.
The fact that such a recent game became so popular to play through this antiquated method is the main reason why it was included in this list. Other games from the Call of Duty series may also be quite popular on some LAN parties, but the inclusion of this characteristic in those titles seem more like a filler that something that most people are interested in actually trying.
While Doom may have been one of the first games to have LAN features, Quake took the same idea to a whole other level. The game allowed players to play the main campaign cooperatively, the most popular forms of deathmatch were included (free-for-all, one-on-one, teamplay and so on) and the gameplay was completely refined (bunny hopping, strafe jumping and rocket jumping were all terms that first appeared in Quake.) Although a newer iteration can be even played from almost any browser (Quake Live,) the original Quake was one of the reasons why LAN parties were once that popular.
Not only had this title revolutionized first-person shooters, but also video games as we know them. In fact, Doom was the first game to use the word deathmatch to refer to the competition in which various players face off against each other. Since then, the game has changed a lot as it has received multiple official and unofficial conversions and even though new ports like ZDaemon allow you to play online against others, nothing replicates the feeling of playing Doom against friends in a LAN party.
Although this game could also be played online through Battle.net, Starcraft is probably one of the best titles to play on LAN with other people. For years fans loved playing in this way and the fact that its sequel didn’t have this capability caused one of the most controversial issues in gaming in the past few years. Ultimately, most players accepted the fact that Blizzard was moving on and the online portion of the game was so fully-featured that everyone forgot about the lack of LAN support. Shame on you guys!
1) Counter Strike
Playing this game online can be really tempting, but if you have a couple of computers that can run it and a few friends that are willing to play together, there’s simply no better title to play in this way. This is one of the best games to play on LAN and I’m quite sure that this method wouldn’t have been so popular if it wasn’t for Counter Strike.