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The 10 best games to play for an audience

Want something you can stream for an audience or play for your friends? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best games to play for a crowd of any size.
Written by Molly Gatt
Published on
Whether it's millions of viewers tuned into an esports event or a few friends watching you play on the couch, gaming has always attracted some sort of audience. Some games, like the ones you will see on this list, are new and trending and others have been around for years and maintain a strong following. They vary in price, content and art styles and, more likely than not, you will find something new which you can bring to a future gathering or Twitch stream.

1. Among Us

This multiplayer whodunnit came from humble beginnings but has skyrocketed in popularity, becoming a fan favourite for gamers of all skill levels to enjoy. The premise is that parasitic shapeshifters known as Impostors have infiltrated your spaceship, posing as Crewmates, in an attempt to take everyone out before you reach your destination. You play as either an Impostor, trying to kill the entire crew undetected, or as a Crewmate, completing your tasks and trying to vote out the Impostors before it's too late.
This game is free on mobile and inexpensive on Steam, so it’s accessible for pretty much everyone. What’s appealing about this game is that it appears simple on the exterior but, in reality, it involves quite a bit of strategy. Your audience can also point out things you might not have noticed so there’s an extra level of interactivity for them. Among Us currently has one of the biggest audiences on Twitch.

2. Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon has always attracted an audience. Ever since the early days of taking your Game Boy out at recess to play Pokemon Red or Blue with your friends watching from over your shoulder. The newest titles, Sword and Shield are just as much fun to watch now that there are so many pokemon to catch, places to explore and game modes to participate in.
The DLC packs, The Isle of Armor, which released in June, and The Crown Tundra, which came out in late October, have kept the newest Pokemon games relevant in the streaming world. These expansion passes offer brand new stories, Pokemon and Wild Areas to explore. Even new and returning Legendaries make an appearance in these DLC packs.

3. Phasmophobia

This co-op psychological horror game is a new release and has gained quite the following for it’s unique take on a classic genre. You play as a team of ghost hunters who have to prove the existence of the supernatural before they can send in the ghost removal team. To do this you will use various ghost hunting equipment, teamwork and as much courage as you can muster to record your evidence.
What makes this game great for an audience is the level of horror and how immersive the experience is. The sounds and graphics are pretty realistic and the ghosts can be very unpredictable since they change every game. There is even a VR element, if you have the necessary set up, which adds that much more horror for the player and hilarity for the audience.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild was released alongside the Nintendo Switch March 2017 and took people’s breath away with how stunning and diverse this open world adventure game looked and played. With so much to do and so many places to explore, people are still playing it and streaming it to keep showing love to, arguably, one of the greatest Zelda games ever made.
With the release of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which poses as a prequel to Breath of the Wild, as well as speculation on when the sequel to BOTW will be released, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will remain relevant for years to come so there will always be an audience for it.

5. Jackbox Party Packs

The Jackbox Party Packs are a batch of fun party games that participants can play using their phones, making it convenient for almost everyone. There are currently seven different installations of Jackbox Games so there’s a lot of variety in the types of games you can play for your audience. There’s drawing, trivia, dating, rapping, stand up comedy and so much more and your audience can help vote who they think the winners are so it's interactive for them too.
This game was built for streaming. These games allow for eight players and up to 10,000 audience members. You could just be solely a Jackbox streamer. If you build a following and make a regular schedule, there’s a good chance you’ll likely always have an audience. There is always the possibility you’ll have trolls that will try to turn your stream negative so best to leave an age warning on your stream or a solid mod squad to kick out players that don't follow the rules or act inappropriately.

6. Old School RuneScape

Old School RuneScape has been one of the biggest retro styled MMOs since its release in 2013. Players start off with a basic plain character but with enough time spent fighting and leveling up, they can become a force to be reckoned with. This game is free, so tons of other people are playing online with you and are all trying to have a great adventure. So there’s a good chance you’ll make friends throughout your journey.
The community has a pretty big impact on how the game is developed and expanded, so the fans are very strong. As a result, players who want to stream this game will likely have a lot of support from the Old School RuneScape community that tune in to their streams. It’s also a very relaxing game to play, if you want to spend all your time fishing and cooking you can, and your audience might be into it too.

7. Hades

This newer release is one of the highest rated indie games out and is attracting quite a bit of attention on Twitch. In this Greek mythology inspired title, you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades, who dreams of meeting his family in Olympus, but is forced to stay in the Underworld by his father.
Zagreus decides to leave home and break out of the Underworld using weapons, trinkets, and blessings from his extended family to hack and slash his way out of his father’s domain. Audiences will enjoy watching this game as a casual playthrough since it's relatively new and beautifully drawn, just as much as watching more experienced players try to speedrun or play the game with added challenges from the Pact of Punishment.

8. Valorant

This team-based, tactical first person shooter from Riot Games has gained quite the following since its release. Participants play as skilled fighters from the future, known as Agents, who come from all parts of the world and possess unique abilities and fashion choices. Agents operate in teams of five and play as either the defending or attacking team for multiple rounds.
Valorant released June of 2020 and immediately became a popular title, drawing attention away from audiences of similar games like Overwatch and CS:GO. It’s also free-to-play, making it friendly for new players that want a game they can easily break into. Those that get good can play for audiences who either want to learn how to get better themselves or want to watch competitive gameplay as esports fans.

9. Genshin Impact

This action role-playing game is turning heads with its beautiful game design that has people wondering how they could possibly be able to get such a high quality game for free. Genshin Impact has a huge fantasy open world environment and a great combat and story to boot. News about this title has spread quickly with lots of people tuning in to Twitch to see what all the fuss is about.
As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Genshin Impact uses a gacha game monetization system in order for players to obtain new weapons, characters and other resources. Game developers do have to make their money somehow, though. At least they’ve given us a great title for us to try and share with our peers even if it might just be a passing trend.

10. League of Legends

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game that took the world by storm in 2009 and hasn’t let up. Developed by Riot Games, it’s considered by many as the world’s largest esport. The audience for this title is huge, seen by this year’s League World Championship reaching a peak viewership of 3.8 million people.
League has been strong for many years and is almost always in the top 10 for streams on Twitch, no matter the time or day. It's no surprise that, with the sophisticated lore, unique champions and regular updates to the game, League is the obvious choice for players that want to attract a large and faithful audience. Some people strictly only stream League of Legends and are able to make money from it, but they did have to grind to get there so it’s mostly for those that are serious about the game.