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The 10 Best Competitive Games

Do you like to win? If so, the best competitive games are the perfect way to channel your fighting spirit into fun, action-packed bursts of entertainment. Reign down terror on your enemies alone or team up with your friends to take down the opponents — it’s up to you.

Many of today’s competitive video games are living and breathing organisms; receiving monthly (or even more frequent) updates and expansions that sometimes even drastically alter the game. A persistently evolving metagame provide gamers with an engaging experience. In the competitive landscape, this dynamic also helps separate the best from the rest. Take a break from the game at your own peril, you may come back and find you lost your edge.

Since competitive games are some of the most popular games around, there’s no shortage of titles to choose from. So where do you start?

We’ve rounded up the top 10 best competitive games for various platforms, so you can easily find one that suits your liking and jump right into the action. If you’re ready to compete, let’s check ‘em out.

Top 10 Best Competitive Games

This is our top 10 list of best competitive games, and you’ll find options for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and more.

1. Fortnite

Fortnite one of the best competitive games

One of the best competitive games on PC

As one of the best competitive eSports games around, you’re sure to get your fix with Fortnite by Epic Games.

Dropped into an arena with 99 other players, it takes everything you’ve got to emerge victorious. Throughout the game players collect resources, loot equipment, and build structures to defend against other players. As the eye of the storm shrinks, players are pushed further and further into the center. Do you have what it takes? Dive into Fortnite and give it a shot.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike

One of the most popular competitive games

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a first-person shooter that pits the terrorists against the counter-terrorists. Each team loads into a match with a specific set of directives, e.g., rescue the hostages or kill all opponents, and gains points as they complete their objective.

The f2p game maintains an active community of dedicated players, as well as a thriving eSports competitive scene. Over its lifespan, CS:GO has seen countless tournaments, with the overall prize pool numbering in the millions. Given Valve’s position in the gaming industry, it’s also been a driving force behind the rise of competitive gaming and an inspiration for countless titles that followed.

3. Overwatch


One of the best multi-platform competitive games

Released in 2016, Overwatch quickly became one of the best competitive games for team-based gameplay. Pair up with 5 other players and battle it out to defend territory, take down your opponents, and lend your team a helping hand.

Overwatch features action-packed gameplay and is available on the big 3 platforms. Perfect for short bursts of play or daylong sessions, there’s a mode for everyone. It’s also a top title in eSports if you’re serious about getting good.

4. Dota 2

Dota 2 Box Art

One of the best competitive games on PC

Dota 2 is Valve’s answer to the growing demand for Battle Arena games. The player is dropped into an arena with 4 teammates to duke it out with the opposing team. Both sides must defend their territory while simultaneously trying to destroy the base of the enemy.

It’s an exciting game that blends team-based gameplay with a focus on each individual player, AKA hero. Each hero has unique abilities and every match garners experience points and special items for enhancing one’s competitiveness. It’s one of the best competitive multiplayer games around and it’ll leave you craving more.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty Black Ops 4

One of the best competitive games on Xbox One

The latest addition to the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 4 is the game you know and love with some exciting new mechanics and twists. With the removal of a campaign mode, Black Ops 4 places a heavy emphasis on multiplayer and battle arena play.

But with the new ballistics system and a lack of health regeneration, shooting it out with other players has never been so thrilling. As one of the best competitive FPS games, be sure to check out the newest Call of Duty and see if you have what it takes to obliterate the competition.

6. Street Fighter

Street Fighter 5

One of the best competitive games on PS4

Street Fighter originated as an arcade game in 1987, quickly commanding a broad audience of enthusiasts and dedicated players. The latest editions, Street Fighter V and SF: Arcade Edition, were similarly released to critical acclaim and quickly picked up a competitive eSports scene.

How’s the game work? It’s pretty simple, actually. Two players pick their characters and battle it out in a bloody brawl that ends with one winner. Strategy is a significant component, as each character boasts different movesets, as well as various strengths and weaknesses. Combine the skill it takes to outmaneuver your opponent with just a touch of lady luck, and you’ve got the makings for an excellent addition to our best competitive games list.

7. Rocket League

Rocket League one of the best competitive games

One of the best fun competitive games

Epic goals, narrow misses, and breathtaking saves are a few of the treats awaiting players in Rocket League. This game is simple to learn, hard to master. You’d think the short 5 minute matches wouldn’t be enough to hook you, but therein lies the brilliance of the game. Even when you are getting your butt kicked you at least know the pain will be over soon enough.

The impact Rocket League had upon its release is unparalleled by nearly all games of its size and scope. You wouldn’t think virtual soccer with souped up cars thrown in for good measure would be so much fun, but it is. The game’s controls and physics are impeccable. Precise control and understanding of the game is necessary to execute plays, in particular when working with teammates. More than half the battle is knowing how the ball is going to bounce. Once you get that down you can start successfully making saves, passes, and shots. Combine that with aerial maneuvering and you can begin to understand the technical expertise responsible for the game’s high skill ceiling.

Each player is dropped into a rocket-powered vehicle and must hit the ball into the opposing team’s goal to score points and reach victory. But be careful! Your opponents are everywhere, and it’s up to you to find the perfect blend between offense and defense. Rocket League offers cross-platform gameplay and is great for casual and hardcore competitive players alike.

Get in gear and take down your opponents in Rocket League. Available for all major platforms, Rocket league sports exciting game mechanics and offers a unique twist on competitive gaming.

High Ground View: Though much of the initial hype of Rocket League has worn off, jumping into a quick 5 minute match here and there continues to be entertaining.

8. League of Legends

League of Legends

One of the best competitive games on PC

All hail the king of MOBAs. League of Legends has sat upon the throne of the most played video game for a couple years now. Summoner’s Rift is the current arena of choice for virtual gladiators. The total number of hours spent playing this game and money spent on skins must be ludicrous. Whatever the case, there are numerous reasons why so many gamers are drawn to League of Legends (and sometimes never return). A vibrant competitive scene, deep champion pool and customization, as well as the rush of ruthlessly crushing unskilled opponents are certainly among those reasons.

And let’s not forget those lovely skins. League of Legends also enables players to have the opportunity to be a playmaker — “that guy” on the team that carries everyone to victory. Match making rage, critical teammates, and ladder anxiety are all thrown in the pot for added potency. This competitive intensity, combined with compelling champion releases and depth of strategy is sure to satisfy those in search of gaming glory.

League of Legends was first released in 2009 yet it remains one of the most popular games in the world. Featuring genre-defining mechanics and a unique blend of fantasy, steampunk, and horror elements, it’s a stunning game that’s perfect for competitive play.

Each player takes on the role of a champion, and each champion has its own special abilities and style. You’re placed with a small team of heroes and must battle it out to destroy the opposing team’s Nexus, a defensive structure that’s right in the heart of enemy territory. With action-packed gameplay and exciting mechanics, you can be sure to get your competitive fix with League of Legends.

High Ground View: League of Legends is the MOBA juggernaut with a robust eSport league infrastructure sustained by Riot Games.

9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Smash Ultimate

One of the best competitive games Switch

Everyone’s heard of Smash Bros. It’s one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises and a top-rated fighting game series in its own right. The latest iteration, Smash Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, burst onto the competitive scene shortly after release in late 2018. And it continues to stay relevant thanks to new characters, DLCs, and more.

How’s Smash Ultimate work? Each player takes control of one of several different game characters. A stage is selected, rules are set, and the countdown starts. Then, the screen lights up as the platform arena comes into focus. Game on!

Each character boasts unique abilities that players can use to KO their opponents. Alongside that are different items, weapons, and super abilities that spawn randomly, or at specific times throughout the match. It’s a free for all, and the last one standing wins!

10. Hearthstone


One of the best competitive card games and best competitive games for iOS and Android

Another hit by gaming juggernaut Blizzard, Hearthstone is their foray into the mobile market and it does not disappoint. Featuring turn-based card game mechanics, the goal is to use your deck alongside your selected hero to destroy your opponent’s toon.

The patent Blizzard polish, captivating card artwork, and challenging gameplay propelled Hearthstone to the top of my list. Though it is not a completely new IP for Blizzard this is the first time they have done a collectible card game. We think by now the verdict is in: they got it right. As of 2018 there are over 100 million registered Hearthstone accounts.

One of the things that makes Hearthstone so cool, is that it works flawlessly on so many devices. That is an impressive feat in and of itself. It may not be as pleasurable to organize a new deck on a smartphone screen as a 27 inch 4K monitor, but it can be done. And certainly, the matches are short enough it isn’t hard to get in on some card slinging action on-the-go. The turn-based style allows deep thinkers to deliberately plan their next turn. Blizzard hit the nail on the head with their latest expansion aka adventure the Rise of Shadows, the new cards profoundly altering the meta. Many critics consider the new adventure to be Blizzard’s best addition to the game thus far.

Each hero has unique abilities and specialized equipment that provides both offensive and defensive boons. Alongside mana crystals, special abilities, and the proper dose of strategy (plus a little good ole RNG luck), you can come out on top. Think you have what it takes? Jump into the App or Google Play Store and download Hearthstone today.

High Ground View: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft features a lovable theme, fun expansions, absorbing deck crafting, beautiful card design, and rewards players for meticulous decision-making skills.

Best Competitive Games: Honorable Mentions

Here’s are a few other titles worth trying out.

Some of them may not have large eSports scenes, but we selected them because they are great competitive games to play locally with friends!

Starcraft II

Starcraft ii

One of the best competitive RTS games on PC

The game that started it all. The original Starcraft was a driving force behind the rise of top competitive games like Dota, League of Legends, and others. When Starcraft 2 came out, it expanded upon the foundation laid by its predecessor to further develop the saga’s enduring legacy. In this process, Starcraft 2 established a diehard competitive scene (the biggest in the world at one point) that has shaped eSports as we know it.

Starcraft 2 is an RTS that revolves around humans vs. aliens battling it out in gruesome conflicts. The objective? Control the map by collecting and managing resources, building strategic outposts, and outmaneuvering enemy advances. The player to dominate the map wins the game.

The eSports scene typically consists of 1v1 battles, though other game modes feature teams and larger brawls. In terms of competition, the community remains active, even a decade down the line. This is largely due to the game’s loyal following, as well as Blizzard’s continued sponsorship via the StarCraft II World Championship Series, which has occurred yearly since its launch in 2012. If you’re a fan of RTS and competitive games, Starcraft 2 is one you don’t want to miss.

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

One of the best competitive games on Switch

Outside of Smash Bros, Nintendo’s games don’t really have large eSport scenes. Come on Wii tennis eSport scene! Even though Splatoon 2 doesn’t have the largest eSport following, the competitive element of Splatoon 2 makes it a special game to play with friends. Splatoon 2 builds on the success of Splatoon, altogether the series has sold nearly 11 million copies. We’re excited Nintendo tried something new and it paid off for them. A new shooter IP from Nintendo — new game world, new catchy pop soundtrack, new style, and new game mechanics.

The game’s paint and cartoon style are substituted for realistic blood and gore making it kid-friendly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a joy to play amongst adults. Like Mario Cart, anyone can jump in and delight in a quick match or two. Splatoon reminds gamers that there’s nothing more important than having fun.

There are plenty of fun game modes: rainmaker, slat zones, and tower control are creative and offer players some variety. Nintendo continues to bolster the game with a constant stream of free updates adding new weapons, maps, events and the like. The bottom line? This title is a great addition to party friendly games like Mario Cart, Mario Party, and Smash Bros.

High Ground View: The Splatoon series is a breath of fresh air and a successful attempt to add something new to the stagnant shooter genre.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is one of the best online co op games PS4

One of the best competitive games PS4

  • Website: https://www.bungie.net/
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: First-person shooter, RPG
  • Developer: Bungie

The first-person shooter meets RPG crossover, Destiny is one of the best competitive games to check out if you love exploration and adventure. Battle against other players in the exciting PVP crucible mode, or take down bloodthirsty enemy aliens in the open-world environment- it’s up to you.

You can expect countless hours of thrilling gameplay as you collect weapons, gain special abilities, and battle your way to survival. If you’re a fan of the Halo or Call of Duty series, you’ll feel right at home with similar mechanics and gameplay. Think you’re up for the challenge? Destiny’s calling.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 Guardians

One of the best competitive games on Xbox

Like Splatoon, Halo 5 may not have a vibrant eSports scene right now, but it deserves to be part of the top competitive games for Xbox conversation and it is a fun game to play with friends. Many a gamer’s formative years are sprinkled with Halo parties and campaign marathons. Every Halo release is preceded by great expectations and the hype train came through town once again — Halo 5: Guardians was one of the fastest selling Xbox One games of its time and still one of the best ways to get your competitive fix on Xbox.

We don’t know if you could say they hit a home run, but at the very least, 343 Industries made an admirable recovery from the atrocity that was Halo 4 multiplayer. As with some of the games that made our list, there is nothing astoundingly new here. Whereas Halo 4 tried to go with Call of Duty style matches with kill streaks and weapon progression Halo 5 returns the even playing field that was a staple of Halo multiplayer. The fast-paced, arcade action is back with an extra boost added in the form of a “quick-dash” button. Other such mechanics such as the ground and pound have a razor thin risk-reward tradeoff and must be used wisely. All the weapons are fairly well balanced and feel viable. 343 took the better aspects of previous Halo titles and other multiplayer shooters and delivered something worthwhile with Halo 5.

It may not bring back your childhood, but you’ll get more than a few months of enjoyment out of this title and it comes with a decent campaign mode to boot. Some critics are even arguing that Halo 5 is the best Halo multiplayer experience yet. We are looking forward to what 343 can deliver in 2021 with Halo Infinite.

High Ground View: 343 Industries delivered a Halo package worth playing: varied, satisfying, and it features the cool new game mode Warzone.


General Thoughts on Competitive Games

A competitive game is a game that involves players battling against one another, or against a challenging environment, to achieve victory. Not all competitive games have a thriving eSports scene and tournament infrastructure. Some of the games on our list are just plain fun to play with your mates, regardless of whether or not they’ve got large prize pools every year for the best players!

Best Competitive Games

With the advent of online multiplayer options and the subsequent rise of eSports gaming and streaming services like Twitch, competitive gaming has been taken to whole new heights. In fact, it’s never been easier to compete with others and see your status and rank grow among large segments of a player base.

The options on our list feature some of the best competitive games in existence, ensuring your fix for action-packed and eSports titles. Give one a shot and see if you have what it takes to achieve victory!

Further Reading

If you’re a fan of competitive games, there’s a chance you’ll love some of the other major game genres.

Check out our other lists of top games for a chance to prove your worth and reach victory:


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Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!

no Rainbowsix siege? the 3th biggest competitive in worldwide?

Hello, I appreciate the comment! We have two lists devoted to these types of games. I think the list you may be looking for is this one: https://www.highgroundgaming.com/best-esports-games/. In our competitive games list, we are looking at eSports games as well as games that are fun to play against friends. In contrast, our eSports games list is strictly covering games with active, competitive leagues.


This list looks more personal than really the best competitive games

This was a general overview of some of the top competitive titles. And, I’ll admit, I included a few of my favorites. If you’re looking for a statistics-based list, check out the best esports games.


We have to agree with Cpt.prce and Five here.

Rainbow 6 Siege is up there at the top of the competitive esport games, and as for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2….. they do not belong in this category.


Starcraft 2 is free to play now <3

Will thanks for writing in and the heads up! We changed the link from Amazon to the official Starcraft site.

Seventh Vulture

Why is Destiny on this list? Its PvP is a dumpster fire.


Rainbow is more competitive than cs go in every match I play in cs go either I come 1st or 2nd and I am a level 4 in it. In rainbow six seige I am level 35
and to get even a single kill is harder than any multiplayer game.




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