Enliven your summer with our line-up of excellent - and mostly family-friendly - multiplayer video games, from Mario games to Street Fighter and Tekken.
Liven up your summer with our selection of multiplayer video games
Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics Wii, 3DS
Following Wii and DS-based outings at both Beijing and the last Winter Olympics, these two once fierce rivals of video game land reunite again for this summer's sportsfest. With three different categories of games (including the rather fun Mario Party-style London Party that has very little to do with the Olympics at all), more than 30 events and countless multiplayer options that vary from the easy-peasy to the insane, this should see even aunties and uncles swinging their Wii controllers about wildly while howling at Italian plumbers for not being fast enough.
Family friendliness: *****
Street Fighter x Tekken PS 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, PC
Proving that not all blockbuster tie-ups need to end up like Alienvs Predator, two of the biggest fighting franchises of all time squared off earlier this year with outstanding results. Having been magically morphed into Capcom's loveable 2D world, Tekken's 3D favourites take on the Street Fighter line-up in one of the best button-mashers to date, with some of the winning elements from both games combined into one. If there was ever a way to decide which family member gets to control the TV remote, this is it.
Family friendliness: **
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes PS 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PC
Sure, you may roll your eyes at the sight of another cheeky Lego-goes-to-the-movies affair, but to your old-age relatives, it's probably the most magical thing they've seen since Bob Dylan went electric. Take them on a cooperative split-screen tour of an almost open-world blocky version of Gotham City laden with cameos from the DC universe and see their faces light up. Thankfully, while you'll no doubt have to wait for them at various stages and repeat for the umpteenth time which button is jump, it's not the most complicated of games.
Family friendliness: ****
Kinect Sports: Season Two Xbox 360, Kinect
If the sight of a room full of disorientated folk waving their arms and legs at a TV screen while shouting makes you smile, then you should definitely invite this into your home. Motion-controlled silliness is spread across a curious selection of sports, from the excellent darts and golf requiring stillness and accuracy, to the more action-packed American football and baseball, through to leg-bending skiing and finally tennis, which should probably be avoided because the lag is a bit sloppy. But five out of six isn't bad, so long as nobody's arthritis starts kicking in.
Family friendliness: *****
Mario Kart 7 3DS
It's practically illegal to discuss multiplayer games without mentioning possibly the greatest title of all time. The latest incarnation of Nintendo's karting klassic has the usual mushroom and red-shell daftness, but with some cool extras such as customisable vehicles, hang-gliders allowing for track-avoiding air-based antics and parts of the game that are completely underwater. Oh, and it's only on the 3DS so you'll need to ensure all your guests have one, which could be an expensive outing.
Family friendliness: ***