Local multiplayer gaming is becoming, unfortunately, less and less popular by the year. Growing up as a gamer, this was all I knew. I'm sure a lot of you can say that about the medium as well. The feeling of stepping up and playing NBA Jam directly next to your buddies for four hours straight on a Saturday stands out, right?

I've picked a few of my favorite games with local play options for all of you folks heading back to college over the next few weeks. I didn't pick some obvious titles, of course, but I guarantee you'll have a blast playing any of my favorites below.

Here goes…

Mario Kart

Yeah, I'm going back a few years for this one. Sure, you may have to hit eBay to snag a console, the game and four controllers, but you'll be doing it in order to play one of the best iterations of Mario Kart to-date. I'll also accept purchasing the game on the Virtual Console.

Second option? Mario Kart: Double Dash!! While not as strong as the game for the Nintendo 64, there are some gamers out there that will get all cranky over the old graphics. They're wrong, of course, but Double Dash is still fun enough to warrant dorm room play. The Wii Mario Kart? Blech.


Pick your poison, here. Each Halo title has its own merits, and they all have strong local multiplayer options. You can't go wrong. Reach, however, has the strongest Forge Mode. If you want to get creative and make some ridiculously absurd maps and gametypes, the most recent Halo game may be your best bet.

Smash Bros.

Just like Halo, you can't go wrong. There are some purists that will insist the Wii version of the game is garbage compared to the previous titles. I'd say go for what's most in your budget. You'll have fun with each of the games in the series. My personal preference will always be the original Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. Though, I know fans will probably argue against me.

Virtua Tennis

I'm speaking from personal experience here… get a Dreamcast. Then get Virtua Tennis. My goodness, the simplistic gameplay, the precise controls and the outstanding replayability make this one of the best games to hang out and play with friends between classes. It pulled me through four years of college, no exaggeration. Plus, buying the Dreamcast will let you pick up other incredible games for local multiplay.

Marvel vs. Capcom

I have yet to even touch the most recent version of this game outside of conventions. That's the truth. I'm terrible at the franchise, but I recognize it for its greatness. Get the new one, maybe, or get the game for the Dreamcast (you know, the system you bought for Virtua Tennis?). Unlocking characters and pounding fury into your floormates and friends will be incredible.

What local multiplayer games do you think would work best for the dorm room environment?