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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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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.

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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.

10. Super Street Fighter II

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Tekken? Virtua Fighter? Soul Calibur? Getting a crowd of bloodthirsty party-goers to agree on a fighting game is almost an impossibility. Thank the heavens, then, for Street Fighter II. There isn't an organism in the solar system that doesn't know how to throw a Dragon Punch - it's almost a universal fighting game standard, like Esperanto, except people speak it.

Better yet, Super Street Fighter II (available on Virtual Console) can organise eight-player single-elimination tourneys, which is handy as the night wears on and revellers slowly lose the ability to organise anything more complicated than a tug on a ring pull.

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9. International Superstar Soccer 64

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ISS64 better than PES or FIFA 10? Are we being old-school for the hell of it? Not a chance! While modern-day Pro Evo on Wii is ace, its complexity makes it more single-player pursuit than party favourite, and FIFA 10's great but, well, ISS64 has the edge.

There's an arcadish playfulness to ISS64 that's missing in today's footy games, where programmers spend six months mapping spots onto Wayne Rooney's face first, and ask questions of the gameplay later. So on Nintendo, ISS64 remains multiplayer champion.

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8. Band Brothers DX

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Controversial obscure Japanese DS music-making game occupying a slot that most people would give to Guitar Hero or Rock Band alert!!!!!1!!!1!eleven!1! Ah, but there's a method to our madness.

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See, is Rock Band really that great a multiplayer game? Everyone's too busy doing their own thing to appreciate the tune (or lack thereof) being generated, and nobody ever wants to be the singer. Band Brothers DX, on the other hand, allows four budding artistes to parp and gurgle their way through 60 different instruments, creating music entirely from scratch or doing their best to recreate a selection of classic tunes (all while trying to not die laughing). And if you're lucky enough to own a Japanese Wii, you can pipe the racket through your television set.

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