7 Fun Games To Play Online To Bond With Friends

Don't let a little distance stop you from spending some quality time together!

If there's one thing we've learned from the pandemic, it's how to stay connected from hundreds of miles away. Thanks to advancements in technology, it is easier to do this now than ever before. Still, in times like these, it's common to feel disconnected from friends and family when their physical presence is missing.

Luckily, we have a variety of digital mediums to choose from when it comes to keeping up with our friends. Some choose to stay connected through social media or consistent FaceTime calls. In my case, I bond with my friends from afar by playing online games. I find gaming preferable because it keeps me and my friends entertained, makes us use our critical thinking skills, and is (usually) free.

There are so many games and gaming sites out there, it can be difficult deciding which ones are right for your friend group. Do you all like strategy, card, or open-world role-playing games? Which of these games will invite more conversation and allow you to bond with friends over the internet?

Here are 8 fun games to get you started!

1. Uno

Online games to play with friends
Image Source: Pixabay

It would be a crime to exclude this classic from the list. Uno has been a staple in American households for years. It's fast-paced, competitive, and completely unpredictable. The intense gameplay can foster a temporary grudge between players, but the fun you have will only bring you closer together in the long run. Even after a long, drawn-out game you and your friends will be begging for another round. 

You might think you have to be face-to-face to get the full UNO experience, but think again! The game has been adapted for online play by many different websites, but I prefer to play using the app. Not only does it allow you to connect with the friends you already have, but you can play with strangers from all around the globe.

2. Among Us

Games to play online with friends
Image Source: NPR

Among Us took the world by storm this year. You and your friends play as workers attempting to fix a spaceship. Seems simple enough, but the twist is that one of you is labeled as an imposter — a backstabber (literally) intent on killing as many crew members as you can. Whether you are a regular worker trying to survive or the "sus" imposter, the game requires attentiveness and careful planning.

Communication is key in this breakout hit, as you must meet with the other players to figure out who the imposter is. Most groups choose to use voice chat to verbally debate, which can lead to hilarious conversations. You'll find yourself yelling, laughing, and possibly crying with friends by the time the round is up.

3. Would You Rather?

Another classic, Would You Rather can be played with an infinite amount of friends. It is a simple game where players ask each other if they would either do one thing or the other. Both options are usually unfavorable, and it can take a lot of thought to decide on one. The game has been around for quite a while, but it began to make its way back into pop culture when popular YouTuber gamers began to play the online version on their channels.

A big advantage of this game is that it doesn't absolutely have to be played online. At its core, it's just people asking each other questions. It can be played over the phone, on FaceTime, through text, etc. You can learn a lot about your friends by asking them these types of questions. Diving deeper into the way that they think will inevitably bring you closer and build your bond.

4. Words With Friends

Online games to play with friends
Image Source: Mashable

If you don't have this gem on your phone, you probably know someone who does. Words With Friends has dominated the App Store gaming charts since 2009. It is a word game reminiscent of Scrabble, but the rules are slightly different and it is more visually appealing.  Its Facebook compatibility makes it easy to connect and play with friends and family alike. 

What I like about this game is that it offers a more intimate experience. It's one-on-one and played at your own pace. Depending on how long it takes each party to make their move, a game can take a full month and maybe even more. It is more of a long-term commitment rather than a quick round, and over time you can strengthen your bond with the other person by continuing to play.

5. Mario Kart Tour

Online games to play with friends
Image Source: TheNextWeb

This game first graced the App Store in September 2019, and I've been hooked ever since. Fans of the original Mario Kart console games were delighted this app was announced and we found out we could take our favorite game everywhere with us. When it first debuted, there was no option to play locally with friends. However, that has changed as of March 2020 with the addition of the multiplayer feature.

What's impressive about the game is just how much Nintendo can pack into such a tiny package. The app has a handful of features to keep the player invested — daily rewards, badges, tournaments, and an ever-changing shop. Not to mention, the graphics are fantastic. Races are only two laps and average about 3 minutes, so you and your friends will find yourself competing in multiple races.

Mario Kart has been bringing friends and families together for years. Having a mobile version to play with friends from a distance just brings the joy closer to home. The ability to display badges adds a touch of originality, and different playing modes will help you to bind with friends and strangers alike.

6. Grand Theft Auto V Online

Games to play with friends
Image Source: TheMarySue

This option might cost a bit of money, but the endless possibilities for fun are worth it. Grand Theft Auto is known for its celebration of crime, gunfights, and high-speed chases. GTA V Online is an extension of this, allowing the player to create their own character and live out their wildest criminal fantasies.

This one might be more difficult to get for some, as it requires you to buy the game and then pay $9.99/month for Xbox Live to play online. However, it's worth the investment. 

The whole city of Los Santos is your playground when enjoying GTA V Online with friends. The game has a chat feature embedded in the characters' phones, allowing you to chat and bond with others while simultaneously wreaking havoc and earning wanted stars.

You can drop by your friend's in-game condo to compare car collections or race through the streets. Either way, GTA is guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment and bonding time for you and your friends.

7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Online games to play with friends
Image Source: Nintendo

This is another game that blew up during quarantine, and another that might also dip into your pockets. It is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, but as usual, it's worth the splurge. Animal Crossing: New Horizons provided comfort to millions around the world during a scary, uncertain time in our lives. The laid-back gameplay, cute characters, and satisfying aesthetic make the game hard to put down.

Animal Crossing provides a temporary getaway for players. It allows them to disconnect from the world around them and immerse themselves in their fictional towns. Better yet, it provided its players with a way to visit each other virtually.

Animal Crossing has always incorporated a multiplayer town-visiting feature even in earlier versions of the game. Players can invite their friends and showcase the hard work they've put into their towns. You'll find yourself spending hours exploring towns with your friends, staring up at the virtual blue sky.

It's emotionally draining having to keep a distance from friends. Many are struggling to find ways to stay in touch with others, and this can take a serious toll on your mental health. That being said, if you want to connect with friends via online games and don't know what to try out, one or more of these games might be what you're looking for.

Writer, blogger, and content creator from Sunny San Diego. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring, eating, and watching Netflix.

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