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
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?
Narrowing down the best cross-platform games isn't easy as these are games that are available across multiple platforms, which at the time of writing tend to include a lot of games released over the past few years. As the current generation matures, we're likely to see more platform-specific games, such as Starfield, that won't work on last-gen consoles.
However, check out our best PS4 games for a range of titles that'll work well on the PS5. Some games on our best PS5 games list work on the PS4, but we'd suggest you play them on Sony's latest machine.
On Xbox, there are a lot more games that will play well on the Xbox One and Xbox Series S. The best Xbox One games can benefit from being played on the Series X or Series S, while some picks on the best Xbox Series X games, like Forza Horizon 5 are compatible with the Xbox One. Also, some of the best PC games can also be found on Xbox.
The Nintendo Switch somewhat stands alone with no cross-generation games unless titles are ported over to the Switch. Do check out our selection of the best Nintendo Switch games for a selection of great Nintendo titles.
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.”
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.
Are you good at lying? Are you good at sussing out fibbers? Then Among Us is a game for you. This cartoonish title sees you and a team of other blob-like astronauts going about a spaceship (or a few other locations) and crossing off a list of tasks. But what you don't know is there's a traitor or two around you, looking to destabilize your work or pick off your crewmates one by one.
It's then the duty of the players who are not the so-called imposter, to detect and purge the enemy. The problem is this can result in accusing the wrong people of being an imposter, with the imposter player/players given the stage to state their case as to why they are actually on the side of the crew. Cue all manner of heated discussions and debates with accusations thrown all over the place; Among Us as stressful as it is riotous fun.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
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
Undoubtedly one of the most enduringly popular games on this list, Genshin Impact launched in 2020 for mobile, PS5 and PC before moving over to PS5 the following year. Even more than three years later, it remains one of the most popular MMO games on the market, and it's free to start playing as well.
In this anime-style action role-playing game, you must assemble a group of adorable anime characters and then set off on a grand adventure as you explore a vast open world full of quests to complete and loot to discover. There's no doubt that the game shares a lot of DNA with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but that's no bad thing considering Nintendo's acclaimed open-world title is only playable on Switch.
What we particularly like about Genshin Impact is that you can play it on your smartphone without many compromises to the visuals, and then pick up exactly where you left off on your gaming PC or console later. Just be mindful that once Genhsin Impact gets its hooks into you, it can be pretty darn difficult to stop play.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5
Remember Gwent, the card game from The Witcher 3 that you spent more time playing than you did tackling actual quests? That card game is now its own stand-alone experience and it's even free to play (though it will try to encourage you to spend money on new cards). Building on the original Witcher 3 iteration, Gwent is a free-to-play collectible card game that's all about customizing your deck, summoning all kinds of cool attacks and spells, and outsmarting your opponent.
Even if you're not a fan of CD Projekt Red's high-fantasy universe, Gwent is the perfect game for anyone who wants an addicting card battler. You'll need to position your cards carefully and play them wisely, otherwise you'll find yourself winning by a mile in the first round and losing the second and third. There's a choice of factions too to compliment your play style, meaning there's plenty to explore.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android
Minecraft practically needs no introduction. For almost 15 years, it's not just been one of the most popular cross-games you can play, but one of the most beloved games around in any genre. If you've somehow missed the Minecraft phenomenon, it's a sandbox simulation where you take control of a blocky avatar, gather resources and then build pretty much anything you can imagine, from a towering house to an intricate sculpture.
Minecraft is fully cross-play enabled, allowing you to collaborate with your friends and family, whether you want to fight off monsters in slightly more structured adventure mode or construct castles in the limit-free creative mode. And as Minecraft is far from a graphically demanding game, it can be enjoyed on practically every platform around from the latest gaming consoles to the phone in your pocket.
It's also the perfect game 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 necessarily mean “cross-buy” in this case. 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 to make sure you download the version that is best for you.
Supported systems: PC, iOS, Android, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition
Neverwinter Nights is a bit of a special game as it was basically Bioware's first foray into making a 3D game based in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons fame. It laid the foundation for many of Bioware's best RPGs that followed it, from Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic to Mass Effect.
So Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is worth a look for gaming history alone. As a game in the modern world, it may look long in the tooth but still has an intriguing story that had a good bit of depth to it than just standard fantasy fare. Then the multiplayer mode, which lets you play across multiple platforms, expands the scope of the game by some margins. You can embark on full D&D scenario with a party of friends, or serve as a Dungeon Master to take said party through a custom story and setting. Just bear in mind that custom scenarios need to be created, and are best done on a PC rather than a console.
Supported systems: Linux, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
The best ideas in life are often the simplest, and the core premise of Rocket League is very straightforward. In this popular sports game, you play soccer but with RC cars. And that's it. That's the whole game. Two teams of up to four players drive all over a stadium, bumping around an enormous ball until they can land it in an opponent’s goal. That's pretty much all you need to know to get started.
However, Rocket League does offer plenty of hidden depth with skilled players capable of pulling off outrageous tricks and ariel moves. But newcomers won't feel overwhelmed as the basics are so easy to grasp right out of the gate. 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
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 been a multiplayer favorite for more than four decades at this point. So it comes as no surprise, that Tetris Effect is even better when played against other players. This excellent version of the classic arcade game 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
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)
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.