What are the best cross-platform games to play? It depends entirely on what you mean by “cross-platform games.”
The term refers to two distinct, but related, concepts, and both involve playing the same game across multiple platforms.
But whether you want to buy a game that’s available on several different systems, or play multiplayer games with your Xbox Series X friends when you have a PS5, we’ll help you figure out how to do so.
Cross-platform games vs. Cross-play games
When the Tom’s Guide team first set out to research this article, we encountered a curious conundrum. It turns out that a lot of readers search for “cross-platform games” when what they really want to play is “cross-play games.” We’ll explain the difference briefly.
Cross-platform games are, simply, titles that are available on multiple platforms. Think about a game such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, or Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is available on all of those systems, as well as the Nintendo Switch.
Compare and contrast these games to titles such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which is available only on PS5, or Halo Infinite, which is available only on Microsoft platforms, such as Xbox and Windows. (Although — not to make matters more confusing — Halo Infinite may technically be a cross-platform game, since it’s available on more than one system. You see just how broad the definition can be.)
Cross-play games, on the other hand, are usually what people want to learn about when they search for “cross-platform games.” All cross-play games are cross-platform games, but not all cross-platform games are cross-play games. Here’s the distinction:
A cross-play game is a title that lets people on different platforms play the multiplayer mode together. In other words, if you have a PS5 and your first friend has an Xbox Series X, while your second friend has a PC, a cross-play game will let you all play together. Many multiplayer games — even cross-platform ones — restrict multiplayer modes to other players on the same console family.
This was a big problem in previous console generations, when friend groups would have to confer with each other beforehand to ensure they all bought PlayStations, or Xboxes, or PCs. Thankfully, multiplayer games from recent years tend to support cross-play as a rule, and will even let you carry over your multiplayer stats from system to system.
What are the best cross-platform games?
If you’ve read the previous section, then you’ll know that “what are the best cross-platform games?” is something of an arbitrary question. Since most games are cross-platform, there’s no way to narrow down which the “best” ones are without knowing each reader’s personal gaming preferences.
The best we can do is direct you to our “best games” lists for each platform. Some of these games are exclusive, but most are available on multiple platforms. If you see one that you like, go for it:
- Best PS5 games
- Best PS4 games
- Best Xbox Series X games
- Best Xbox One games
- Best PC games
- Best Nintendo Switch games
What are the best cross-play games?
Cross-play games are much more common now than they were in the past. There’s no way to definitively list every single cross-play title, especially since you could technically define a game that works on both the PS4 and the PS5 as “cross-play.” (They are, indeed, two separate consoles.) Wikipedia has a useful-but-incomplete list (opens in new tab), and even that contains almost 300 entries.
As such, rather than just list every single cross-play game, we’ve singled out a handful that are worth trying, then included a longer selection below that. While first-person shooters (understandably) make up a lot of cross-play selections, we’ve decided instead to highlight a number of different genres, from social deception games, to RPGs, to sims, to board games.
For the purposes of this article, we’ve also elected to set our definition of a cross-play game as “any multiplayer game that allows players on at least three distinct systems to play together.” These systems could be PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X; they could be iOS, Android and Switch. For each game, we list the systems that support cross-play, so be sure to double-check those before you and your friends run out to buy multiple copies.
You’ve probably seen the adorable astronauts from Among Us, even if you’ve never played it. In this simple social deception game, a group of players on a spaceship or alien world have to determine which crewmember is secretly a baddie. The invader has to surreptitiously kill the crew; the rest of the players have to suss out the murderer before it’s too late. If you’ve ever played Mafia or Werewolf at a real-life party, you already know the general idea. Among Us is available on a ton of platforms, and it’s not very expensive, making it a good choice for a remote-play game night.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
- Buy Among Us: Steam (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab), PS4 (opens in new tab), PS5 (opens in new tab), Xbox One (opens in new tab), Xbox Series X/S (opens in new tab), Switch (opens in new tab)
Fighting games and multiplayer go hand-in-hand, which is why it’s always a bummer when these games limit your online opponents to players in your same console family. Brawlhalla isn’t the deepest fighting game around, but when it comes to cross-play compatibility, it’s available on a staggering number of platforms. In addition to consoles and PC, this one also plays nicely with macOS, iOS and Android. The premise is pretty simple: Take control of a colorful avatar (there are 54 available), then customize your loadout and fight against up to three other players as you attempt to knock each other off a platform, Super Smash Bros.-style.
Supported systems: Mac, PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
- Buy Brawlhalla: Steam (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab), PS4 (opens in new tab), PS5 (opens in new tab), Xbox One (opens in new tab), Xbox Series X/S (opens in new tab), Switch (opens in new tab)
One of the odder games on this list, Genshin Impact came out of nowhere two years ago to become one of the most accessible and popular massively multiplayer online games on the market. In this action/RPG, you recruit a team of adorable anime characters, then set out to explore a big, open world, more than a little bit inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What’s especially impressive about Genshin Impact is that you can play it on a smartphone with relatively little loss in quality, then pick up where you left off on a PC or console later.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5
- Buy Genshin Impact: PC (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab), PS4 (opens in new tab), PS5 (opens in new tab)
Everyone loves The Witcher lately, but most Witcher stories cost money. You can’t read the books, play the games or watch the Netflix show for free — but you can play Gwent. For those who haven’t tried it, Gwent is the addictive collectible card game that debuted in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In it, you build a deck of soldiers and monsters, then compete against other players to see who can survive the longest. Gwent is now a standalone game, and like most CCGs, it requires an agreeable mix of strategy and luck to master.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android
Minecraft needs no introduction. It’s one of the oldest and most beloved cross-play games in existence. In this building and exploration sim, you take control of a blocky avatar, gather resources and build whatever you can imagine. With cross-play, you can collaborate with your friends and family, whether you want to fight off monsters in adventure mode, or construct castles in creative mode. Since cross-play works across computers, consoles and smartphones, it’s easy for parents and kids to play together, which is always a big draw. Just be aware that you’ll have to buy multiple copies of the game, since “cross-play” doesn’t usually mean “cross-buy” as well. Also note that if you're playing on PC, you'll need the Bedrock edition to play with others on mobile or consoles, not the PC-only Java version. Our guide to how to download Minecraft has more information about that.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition breathed life into an old game whose premise was always a bit more ambitious than its execution. It's a Dungeons & Dragons game with a traditional single-player adventure, but that mode isn’t anything to write home about. Where NWN excels is in its multiplayer mode, which lets a Dungeon Master construct and run homebrew D&D scenarios, just like the pencil-and-paper game. Thanks to cross-play, you can gather up a whole party and live out your wildest adventures, provided you have someone who’s willing to build them in the first place. (Fair warning: That part is easier on the PC version.)
Supported systems: Linux, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Rocket League has an unusual premise, but it’s remarkably easy to describe: “Soccer, but with cars.” In this bizarre competitive sports games, two teams of up to four players apiece drive all over a stadium, bumping around an enormous ball until they can land it in an opponent’s goal. That’s it. That’s the whole game. And yet, the game can be either deep and demanding or random and chaotic, depending on how your group of friends likes to play. Rocket League’s cross-play features support PC and all the major consoles, and the game is free-to-play, so it’s easy to give it a try.
Supported systems: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
“What if Halo were also Portal” is a question that we didn’t even realize needed answering until Splitgate came along. This innovative first-person shooter combines the bright colors and weird weaponry of Halo with the mind-bending physics of Portal, and it’s just as addictive as it sounds. Splitgate matches are sometimes fiercely competitive, and sometimes unpredictably zany, and you won’t really know which you prefer until you jump into a few matches and play for yourself. Since the game is free-to-play, it’s easy to jump in and see whether you and your friends want to make it part of your regular rotation.
Supported systems: Linux, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Buy Splitgate here: Steam (opens in new tab), PS4 (opens in new tab), Xbox Series X/S (opens in new tab)
Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars: Squadrons is a good, old-fashioned space sim, in the vein of X-Wing or TIE Fighter from back in the ‘90s. And, like any self-respecting space sim, it has both a detailed single-player campaign and an expansive multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is actually where Star Wars: Squadrons gets really interesting, as it allows you to customize your protagonist and all of your ships, provided you rack up enough in-game rewards to do so. The best way to do that is to cooperate and compete with your friends, which you can do across PC, PlayStation and Xbox. May the Force be with you.
Supported systems: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tetris has had a multiplayer component going all the way back to the ‘80s. It’s no surprise, then, that Tetris Effect excels in its multiplayer offerings, or that it supports cross-play between PC and all three major console families. The gameplay involves clever spins on the classic Tetris formula, such as clearing more than four lines at a time, and setting down blocks in time with the music. It’s an extremely chill experience — or an extremely competitive one, if you want to test yourself against your friends and rivals. You can even play this one in VR, if you have a PSVR or an Oculus device.
Supported systems: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Ticket to Ride
While virtual board games will never quite replace physical ones, they’re not without their charms. They require no setup, no cleanup and no table space. A computer adjudicates the rules for you, and you can play with your friends, even if they can’t make the trek to your house. Ticket to Ride, a game about constructing and maintaining railroad lines, is one of the most popular board games on the market today, and the digital version is a faithful recreation of the analog experience. You can play with maps of the United States, Europe and Asia, and you can invite players to join you across computers, smartphones and PlayStation consoles.
Supported systems: Linux, Mac, PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5
- Buy Ticket to Ride for PS4 (opens in new tab) / Android (opens in new tab) / iOS (opens in new tab) / Mac (opens in new tab) / Steam (opens in new tab)
Cross-play games listed
If the game you're looking to play isn't in our picks above, here's a longer list of games that definitely support cross-play on multiple platforms.
- Among Us (PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Apex Legends (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Back 4 Blood (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Borderlands 3 (PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Brawlhalla (PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, iOS, Android)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Destiny 2 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Dirt 5 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Eve: Valkyrie (PC, PS4, PS5)
- Fortnite (PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Android)
- Genshin Impact (PC, PS4, PS5, iOS, Android)
- Gwent (PC, iOS, Android)
- Hearthstone (PC, Mac, iOS, Android)
- Just Dance (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Minecraft (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, iOS, Android)
- Minecraft Dungeons (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- No Man's Sky (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Overwatch (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Roblox (PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, iOS, Android)
- Rocket League (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Splitgate (PC, Linux, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Star Wars: Squadrons (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
- Tetris Effect (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
- Ticket to Ride (PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS5, iOS, Android)