The Big Question: Multiplayer Or Singleplayer?

The Big Question: Multiplayer Or Singleplayer?

Okay, I like both. And I feel as though it’s difficult to compare them.

But imagine you had to choose between single-player game experiences and multi-player experiences.

Which would you choose?

I honestly don’t know. I mean my gut feeling says ‘single-player’ — because those are the experiences that stay with you, the experiences you share and discuss.

But some of my favourite gaming moments have come from the chaos of playing against other human beings.

I’m a bit torn.

[polldaddy poll=9338776]


  • I like the idea of multiplayer, but it happens so far and few between and feels like it takes a whole lot more effort. The vast majority of my gaming is single player.

  • Im sorry but this is a very silly question.
    Single player games can be great, multiplayer games can be great but it doesnt mean that both are better or worse than the other.
    Some games are good as single player (eg fall out) other games are good as multi player (eg the division).

    If i HAD to chose, then singleplayer because my internet isnt always the best

    • It’s not a silly question – He’s not asking what is best, he’s asking what you enjoy more.
      It’s a simply and rational question.

      • He should have an option for those who like them equally. Sometimes I want single player, sometimes multi player. I wouldn’t be happy with just one

  • So is the question “you have to pick one”? Like a stuck on the island with only one option type thing?

    I was having the discussion the other day with a mate at work, and although I’ve grown up on mainly single player experiences, if I had to pick one game for all of eternity, I came to the conclusion that it would be World Of Warcraft, starting from Vanilla, and having the patches and expansions pushed through over their original time frame.

    • Well in that scenario multiplayer if clearly the best option. Then you can just spam chat with GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS ISLAND

  • Multiplayer is good when everything clicks but if I had to choose only one it would be single player just cause then I can game when I want rather that when other people are around to play with me………plus I like a good story Which tend to be in multiplayer games…..

  • I uuuh uuum not sure how to answer this. They’re two very different game experiences.

    Buuut thinking about it more I’m going to have to say multiplayer, as you get games that you can coop play the main game and then you have pure multiplayer games.

  • Co-operative multiplayer!

    I find competitive multiplayer games a bit stressful so they have to be really fun before I get home from work and want to play them (Rocket League is fine).

    I think Quake 3 would be the only multiplayer focused game I’d have in my all-time top 15 games. Maybe you could include Goldeneye on that list too, the multiplayer took that game from being great to being a cultural phenome for a guy who was in year 7/8 at the time of release.

    • I think a large part of me finding co-operative multiplayer enjoyable (and abandoning competitive almost completely) is that with co-operative MP it isn’t in anyone’s interests to be a complete dick. Not to say it still it doesn’t happen, but on the whole co-operative multiplayer tends to be a less toxic environment.

    • This is what destiny did perfectly. The main missions and all the quests, night falls etc. were so so good playing with mates online. But then the crucible sucked because of the normally multiplayer problems.

  • In the event of a Zombie apocalypse there would be no one to play multiplayer games with so I’ll go with single player.

  • The only multiplayer I really enjoy is co-op/competitive with good friends. That’s not to say I don’t like other forms of multiplayer, but if those were taken away I wouldn’t be raging about it on the internet. I have better things to be salty about.

  • BOTH.
    i cant pick one.
    i love my multiplayer games like GTA Online and Rocket League and PayDay 2 with friends on Team Speak.
    but i just recently finished the Mass Effect Trilogy and OH MY GOODNESS it was soooo good.

  • Singleplayer. I never play multiplayer games except when I can go about my own business a la Division or Destiny.

  • Single player for me, definitely.

    I don’t mind the occasional multiplayer game (mostly Battlefield, and I guess the Souls / Bloodborne games kind of sometimes count as multiplayer). But the vast majority of my gaming is done solo, and I prefer it that way.

  • I would say both but prefer single player more. Just bugs me when one tries to be another (e.g. Titanfall single player campaign when its clearly a multiplayer game)

  • I would normally say “coop” multiplayer > SP > PvP… but then I remember coop in the Division last night, and “that one guy” in our group who took it upon himself to kill every dog he saw for reasons none of us understand. So, SP for me.

  • Single player. Games are like films and books to me. They are the input that contributes to my output. Playing MP games gives me little more than moment to moment, fleeting stimulation.

  • Single player. 100%. I hate playing with other people competitively, and I’ve never had a co-op experience nearly as compelling as the most interesting single-player narratives (with the possible exception of Portal 2). I never got into MMOs because I’d rather just play rather than be beholden to the expectations of others. In multiplayer games I will always feel annoyed when I’m not on top, and never satisfied if I am on top because that’s simply the natural order of things from my point of view – it never feels like I am succeeding rather than invoking the status quo.

    Give me a game with a solid playable combination of story, visuals and gameplay and I will plough through it as intended, I don’t need anyone else mucking it up for me.

  • Single player, but I love some couch co-op.

    Been dicking around in Elder Scrolls Online recently though, pretty fun.

    Basically I’m just not a very competitive person.

  • Single Player.

    I mean, I love MP games. When they aren’t absolutely fucking infuriating, then they’re fun!

    But I reckon SP games will always have that edge. All of my favourite gaming moments have come from SP games (… mostly from HL2. Fighting Striders in the streets! Ravenholm!). You can script the single player experience so that it’s truly epic… and while individual games might have more longevity through multiplayer, I don’t think they’ll ever quite reach the highs that the single player experience can deliver.

    Co-op multiplayer could get close… but being able to experience the game entirely as you want in single player is really the pinnacle of what gaming can deliver.

  • This is just too tough to call. Single player is like watching a TV series/movie or reading a book, multiplayer is more like a sport or activity you play/do with other people.

    Do I prefer watching a good TV series or going out riding with mates?….ummmm depends on the weather and my mood I guess

  • Single player and multiplayer is like term deposit and stock market. Term deposits are (mostly) a safe bet and nearly guaranteed to be good – but the stock market can be amazing in ways you didn’t believe, though most of the time you just get screwed over by shitty people.

    Therefore, the smartest investment is single player.

    • Yeah, good analogy.

      Thought I’d posted, but cant find it now. Ah well. For me, the highs of multiplayer can never be matched by single player, simply because of the randomness you cant script. Ditto for the lows.

      Some of my friends most memorable gaming moments were simple things, and the repercussions of those simple things. Falling through a fake floor in a tree in Everquest in the early days, then a 3 hour adventure getting their gear back, and things like that.

      Something mundane, elevated to a lifetime memory thanks to the people around me and the best told story in a single player can never match that.

      I’ve also seen hours and even days of effort ruined by one person being an arsehole. And that sort of low is something no decent single player game is ever going to match either.

      So as you say, the question becomes more about whether you want the consistency or the chance of being amazed. Something I for one wouldnt want to answer.

      *edit* dumb me, there are two pages of comments…

  • Both but I prefer Multiplayer to be local whether it be at home with friends or a lan, I don’t really like playing multiplayer games on the internet. Because of that reason the bulk of my gaming is single player……. so I chose single player.

  • Co-op Multiplayer, because it can make even the dullest game a more interesting and different every time. Case in point: Destiny, I would never endure the Omniguul strike that many times on my own, was only fun with my mates jumping around shooting stuff.

  • Yeah, I cant make the call either. Single player games are more consistent, but the highs of multiplayer are that much higher.

    For me and a bunch of friends, one of our best gaming moments has been a throwaway moment in Everquest, and something so basic its crazy. Someone fell through a fake floor in a tree.

    The resulting corpse run to get their gear back became the stuff of legend to us, and still something we talk about some 17 years later, along with a bunch of similar day to day adventures. Likewise, some of the high end raids my guild managed to pull off were the same, and it was simply because it was stuff that wasnt (and couldnt be) scripted.

    Its that randomness that makes multiplayer hit such high notes, but it also means theres a lot of low notes inbetween, at which point the consistency of single player games can give a better experience.

    Playing through something like Mass Effect, or The Witcher has a satisfaction that you wont see in multiplayer, because in those games the scripting does work. But the highs of those games cant beat online highs, just as they dont deliver the same lows.

    For both though, the core material still needs to be good enough to allow that enjoyment so to me, its the base game that decides.

  • I honestly couldn’t decide. And why should I? If none of my friends are online, I’m playing single player, but as soon as 1 of about 3 irl friends comes online it’s multiplayer. Mostly because of the friendship I guess. We jump in to a party and socialise, talk about our day, work, games that are coming out, arrange when and what we are doing on the weekend.

    I’d hate to lose single player as much as I’d hate to lose multiplayer… so I guess I honestly can pick.

  • I play both but interestingly if the multiplayer portion of a game is co-op I tend to stick to single player (Borderlands being a big example) whereas competitive multiplayer often has me ignoring the story – unless the PvP is shite like Far Cry 4 or Tomb Raider

    • ^^This. If i wanted to interact with people I would go outside and interact with my friends or family. If I’m playing computer games it’s because I want to escape the world for a bit.

  • In my experience, single player lends itself better to encapsulated story experiences.. more emotional experiences that leave a more lasting impression.. however, there are exceptions to every rule. I’d definitely prefer a single player game like The Witcher 3 over a multiplayer game like (insert latest and greatest fantasy online game)

  • I am pleasantly surprised by this result. I assumed given the general over-representation of multiplayer games on here that’s I’d be the minority.

    I hope this kind of information reaches game devs – not every game needs MP!

  • Single player games are for immersion and escape in my mind. Multi is for laughs and competition and socializing, to me.
    Whenever co opping with my bro or whatever I tend to just play the game in a fairly shallow manner, whereas single player I’m a bloody obsessive kook.
    I guess I’d have to pick multi if I had to choose cause few games tell good stories or offer challenging or original gameplay these days.
    Id miss dark souls and deus ex and Zelda like fuck but!

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