Playing video games online is bigger than ever in 2021. As many of us are forcefully cooped up in our homes, it’s normal to seek out some form of escapism. Luckily, connecting with others to get our game on is easier than ever and available in a variety of genres.

In this list, we’ve assembled the top 5 games to play online and what makes them worth trying out.

Outriders (PS4/5, Xbox, PC, Stadia)

Released earlier this month, Outriders is a sci-fi looter shooter without the microtransaction nonsense that plagues most live services. It combines third-person shooting mechanics from Gears of War with powers and abilities similar to Destiny 2.

Its gameplay loop resembles that of Diablo 3 where the more you play, the more awesome loot you get.

The best part is that Outriders supports crossplay which means you don’t have to be on the same platform as your friends to join them.

Monster Hunter Rise (Nintendo Switch)

Another recent release, Monster Hunter Rise is the latest instalment in Capcom’s ever-popular series about using giant weapons to hunt giant behemoths.

The game has the same rewarding and skill-focused combat that the Monster Hunter series is known for, combined with a few new tricks that make it an even more fun experience.

Thanks to its new quality of life improvements and quicker access to online play, Rise makes it easier than ever to dive into Monster Hunter.

League of Legends Wild Rift (Mobile)

The legendary MOBA has finally made its mobile debut with Wild Rift.

Through well-designed touch controls and adapted design of Champion abilities, Wild Rift takes the familiar LoL experience and remakes it for the smartphone screen.

Matches average between 15-20 minutes which means you no longer have to book long sessions with your friends.

Even if you simply want to quickly scratch a bit of that multiplayer itch, Wild Rift makes it very easy and fast to get into matches for a quick fix.

Genshin Impact (Mobile, PS4, PC)

One of the most popular games online at the moment, Genshin Impact is the runaway open-world success of late 2020.

Borrowing a similar graphical style to Breath of the Wild and combining it with a character swap and elemental system, Genshin Impact has created a highly addictive gameplay loop that encourages experimentation and exploration.

With recent support for external controllers on mobile added, there hasn’t been a better time to dive in. Enjoying some co-op with your friends is also platform-agnostic if you’re playing from PC and mobile.

Destiny 2 (PS4/5, Xbox, PC, Stadia)

Despite its live service nature, Destiny 2 has turned things around greatly since developer Bungie parted ways with mega-publisher Activision-Blizzard.

With its season and expansion-based business model, there are more activities than ever to take on either with friends or strangers.

Thanks to its ever-intense and addictive shooting and ability mechanics, the loot-based game loop never gets old, either. And the online accessibility is only going to get better once Destiny 2 receives its promised full crossplay at a later date.

Can you think of other great games to play online? Let us know in the comments section.