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The 20 best Nintendo multiplayer games ever

You heard us - ever! From Big Bang to current day!

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Cube games work on the Wii, and extra bongos are around £5 a pop second-hand these days, so there's really no reason not to get involved. And 99 Red Balloons isn't getting any less catchy, is it?

16. 42 All-Time Classics

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Board games are a much under-rated genre on DS - it's easy to sneer about how cheap they are to develop, but it's a lot harder to be uppity when you're enjoying a trouble-free game of Cluedo or Monopoly on the train without little magnetic pieces sliding off the playing area and into your undercrackers.

There are lots out there that we recommend - we're having a lot of fun with Scotland Yard at the moment, but not so much with Mouse Trap - but the king of the yard has to be 42 All-Time Classics. Chess! Backgammon! Dominoes! And, er, Ludo! Hurrah!

15. Tetris DS

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Just one copy of Tetris DS is all that's needed to keep up to ten people engrossed in a spot of block-arranging multiplayer action. When you stop to think about it, that's a bit magical, isn't it? Throw special moves into four-player matches - such as banana peels that shape-shift your blocks and lightning bolts that freeze them in place at the least opportune times - and the stage is set for one of the best multiplayer puzzle battles you'll ever experience.

14. Animal Crossing: Wild World

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Surprisingly, given its focus on communal play, Wii's Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City doesn't have local multiplayer. If you want to frolic and dance and fish with a real-life friend, you'll have to downsize to a house in the DS sticks. Once you've been invited to a friend's village, you can do all the things you normally do - trample their flowers, steal their stuff - except this time you can see the horror on their faces as you transform their idyllic paradise into concept art for Fallout 4. Ha!

13. F-Zero X

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Although this isn't as punishing as its sequel, F-Zero GX, the average F-Zero X racer saw their fair share of 'Retire!' screens. Realising that the chances of all four players making it to the finish line uncombusted were slim, Ninty decided to give fallen racers something to do with their spare time. And that something was a giant slot machine with the capability to strip active racers of half their health. Result: more skilled players think twice before knocking less-experienced types off the track.

12. Secret Of Mana

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If you're snowed in, have recently moved to North Korea or are just otherwise looking for a lengthier multiplayer session than the norm, look no further than the SNES's Secret Of Mana, which allows up to three budding heroes to slash their way to glory at the same time.

A multi-tap was required to do this back in the SNES days, but there's no such obstacle on the Virtual Console - simply plug in three, er, Classic Controllers and you're on your way. Additional players can be replaced with the AI at any time, which is well worth noting if you think that your friendship is likely to end at some point within the next 35 hours.

11. Bomberman Blast!

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Bit like the videogaming equivalent of noughts and crosses, this: the rules can be picked up in a matter of seconds, it's a bit random but there are strategies you can employ to help you win, and as soon as a game's over you want to play another one straight away. But which is the best version?

As an overall package, we've picked WiiWare's Bomberman Blast, but multiplayer nirvana is pretty much guaranteed regardless of whether you go for this, Bomberman '93 or one of the DS's Bomberman Touch! titles. Watching someone haplessly trap themselves into a corner in the opening seconds of a contest has never grown old, even after all these years.

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