As we enter the holiday shopping season, let’s be brutally honest for a second: AAA video games are expensive. And, even if we could afford to buy them all, how would you have the time to sit in front of your couch/computer to play them? That’s the beauty of game streaming — you can still get your fix of your favorite games while on the go or multitasking while being entertained by some hilarious personalities at the same time.
Facebook Gaming has jumped into the game streaming scene with a ton of great streamers to watch playing the season’s best games. Here are the ones to look out for when you’re ready to binge stream over the holidays.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
We know, we know — historically speaking Call of Duty isn’t the most beloved of series after 20 years of franchise fatigue. That said, Treyarch has really turned things around with the Blackout mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, an absolutely thrilling-to-watch Call of Duty take on PUBG‘s battle royale format. Yep, it’s 100 players, parachuted into an ever-shrinking open-world arena, only this time you have the hyper-tuned and blisteringly fast Call of Duty gunplay that’s basically unparalleled in this genre.
Though it’s the last one out of the gate in 2018 (in terms of AAA first-person shooters, at least) Battlefield V‘s multiplayer has already found itself a huge streaming audience. And what’s not to love here? You’re getting good ol’ fashioned Allies vs. Axis battles in some of the prettiest, largest, and most destructible arenas in PvP gaming. Better yet, each match is like watching a mini-series as each victory or defeat dynamically shapes the objectives for the next “day” of the conflict (3 days total). Thrilling stuff to watch, and witnessing half a team get wiped out by a V1 rocket strike will never not be glorious.
Red Dead Redemption 2
At the time of writing, Rockstar’s ambitious cowboy epic Red Dead Redemption 2 is looking like a lock for GOTY 2018. This is less a video game and more a cultural event that needs to be experienced by as many folks as possible — and we wouldn’t hand out that sort of praise lightly. Drop into a stream and see what the fuss is all about with the solo campaign (but know you’re walking through a spoiler minefield). Alternatively, skirt all that for the soon-to-be-released MP component, Red Dead Online. There’s nothing cooler than watching a streamer who can single-handedly waste an enemy posse with Eastwood-level gunslinging skills.
You didn’t seriously think you’d get through this list without seeing Fortnite in it, did you? Though its popularity may be on the wane due to the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and other newer titles, Fortnite still does big viewing numbers. It has staying power because its unique, build-happy mechanics set it apart from its battle royale genre brethren. Watching somebody deftly speed-construct a cubby house — and headshot an aggressor who’s trying to scale it — is popcorn-worthy stuff. If Bob the Builder then accidentally trips off their structure and dies from fall damage? Even more entertaining.
Though dyed-in-the-wool diehards of Fallout 4 aren’t exactly shouting their praises of this game from the rooftops right now, the fact is Fallout 76 is a damn good first-effort from a studio that’s still relatively new to the MMORPG genre. Yes, Fallout 76 is devoid of NPCs and script-heavy narrative threads, but it still makes for great viewing because watching four-person teams of Vault Dwellers work together (or stab one another) is riveting. It also helps that the play-space of Appalachia takes this franchise to new heights in terms of prettiness and color. Almost heaven, West Virginia…
God of War
Released earlier on in 2018, the quality of God of War blindsided us and put it on a fast-track to the GOTY award — until Rockstar dropped its cowboy odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2. Be that as it may, you need to forget everything you think you know about this franchise and give this new direction a look in. Click into a stream and expect to be greeted with absolutely gorgeous visuals (emphasis on the gore), top-shelf digital performances, and meaty, mythological brawling. As far as game-changing sequels and reboots go, wow, this is one for the ages. God-like, you could say.
Much like Fortnite, you were never not going to see this in our top picks. Behold PUBG, the one that started the battle royale craze off way back in March 2017. How successful was its concept of making 100 players murder one another in an ever-shrinking Thunderdome? Oh, you know – just 50 million copies sold and climbing. At the time of writing the PC player base is still incredibly active, though the console versions on Xbox (and soon to be PS4) aren’t nearly as big, due to iffy port issues. If you’ve never witnessed the intensity of a PUBG match before, log onto a stream and prepare to experience a painful cramp in your caboose. Sitting on the edge of a seat will do that to a butt.