Smartphone games are the perfect boredom busters, offering entertainment right at your fingertips. But when you add a multiplayer element into the mix, you can really ramp up the excitement.

Whether you're after the perfect family-friendly game to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon, looking to whizz past your friends on a virtual racing track or simply fancy some traditional games and arcade favourites on your mobile, your local app store has got you covered. Discover our top picks for the best multiplayer smartphone games below, and start downloading.

Best multiplayer games for the young at heart

Keep kids entertained when their friends are over, or play together as a family, with some of the best multiplayer games designed to entertain young ones. There are so many out there, it was difficult to select just a few.

Let's start with Heads Up!. Created originally to be used on US talk-show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, only one device is required to play this multiplayer game. Gather your friends, place the screen horizontally across your forehead and get ready to guess the word on screen. You can choose from a whole range of different categories, from celebrities to movies and more, and friends will need to provide clues (by acting, making noises, singing or anything else they can think of) until you guess correctly…or give in.

Remember Frogger? The beloved arcade game from the 80s has inspired CrossyRoad, an app that offers hours of fun. Choose between a range of characters, select multiplayer mode, and try to cross the busy road without being squished. As you level up, things get more and more challenging.

Harry Potter fans will also be delighted to hear an augmented reality game based on the Fantastic Beasts series (from the makers of Pokémon Go) is set to be released in 2018. We have a feeling witches and wizards of all ages will love this one - keep your eyes peeled, and your wands at the ready.

Want to take your mobile gaming up a notch? Check out the Best of Smartphone Virtual Reality.

Retro inspired multiplayer games

Some games continue to be great, no matter how old they are. You'll find plenty of retro favourites transformed for the digital age on Google Play and Apple's App Store, from arcade classics like PAC-MAN and Asteroids to Crazy Taxi and Mario Kart.

When it comes to retro multiplayer games however, downloading WORMS is a must. Originally released in 1995 for PC, this tactical artillery game challenges users to control an army of worms in a mighty battle against enemy worms. Various weapons and moves are available to play, and the aim of the game is to be in control of the last worm standing.

WORMS the app allows up to four to challenge each other via Bluetooth in multiplayer mode. You can personalise your team by naming each worm, choose between six different battlegrounds and even post your score if you fancy taunting your friends on social.

Another favourite retro character is Sonic the Hedgehog. If you want to play with friends, hit download on either Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing or Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II. With All-Star Racing, just choose your driver (either Sonic or one of ten iconic SEGA characters) and get ready to race. Dodge traps, set your own, and do just about anything you can to finish in first place. Race another friend via Bluetooth, or compete head-to-head against three other online players to be crowned a racing pro.

With Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II, you and a friend will work as Sonic and Tails to take down the evil Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic. Again, connect via Bluetooth and control a character each to put a stop to the duo's terrible plans.

If you prefer Nintendo to Sega, take a look at what the new Nintendo Labo is capable of.

The best multiplayer racing games

Everyone loves a good racing game, and there are plenty to choose from on Google Play or the App Store. Popular with seasoned racers are Horizon Chase and Riptide GP: Renegade, both of which have previously been selected as Editor's Choice *by Apple, following numerous glowing reviews.

Horizon Chase combines modern technology with nostalgic, arcade racing. It's a pleasure to play, and tons of fun whether you go solo or select multiplayer mode. Try the game for free, challenge friends and whizz around different tracks across the world to win new trophies. There's a great soundtrack to accompany your drives too.

With Riptide GP: Renegade, you'll swap fast cars for futuristic, rocket-powered hydrojets. You'll have to race through flooded city streets to maintain your reputation, working your way up the leader-board. Access multiplayer mode to challenge friends, or compete against up to eight people from all over the world.

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