With the benefit of a simple internet connection, we can now transcend normal social groups and form relationships around the world. One of the biggest factors bringing people together is the boom in online gaming. It lets us pit our skills against someone we never meet, but can relate to entirely.

Perhaps more ubiquitous than chess, at least amongst teenagers, Fortnite has become the planet’s biggest gaming phenomenon. If you’re out of the loop (or over 40), it’s very simple. One hundred online players jump onto a map, grab weapons and attempt to be the last person standing. Simple in idea, devastatingly cunning in execution. While it might sound like bloodthirsty mayhem, this massively popular title veers towards cartoonish slapstick and teamwork.

There’s also a big growth in excellent online casino gaming, which offer all the facilities of a big city casino without having to leave the house. Lincoln Casino, in particular, provides a friendly environment on either mobiles or browsers, with a wide range of gaming experiences. Featuring a wide variety of different slot machines, alongside popular gaming titles like Double Gold, Pay Day, Treasure Trail, and Mega Money Mine, there’s an extensive selection of familiar table games – including roulette, craps, and baccarat.

Over in your pocket, there are mobile games which are a little more sedate, but no less challenging. Alto’s Adventure sees you snowboarding at through a cold landscape. Deploying a super simple, one-touch control scheme, it allows you to navigate the slopes while grabbing huge air, grinding everything in sight and pulling off stunning flips. They graphics are exceptional, with beautiful mountain vistas and an exceptional day/night cycle, paired with one of the best soundtracks you’ll find on any platform.

With a slight nod to gaming’s proud legacy, Sega Heroes is a must for any old-school fan – young or old. It mixes frantic and responsive battle action with the perfect nostalgia trip.

Decent first-person shooters might be a bit scarce on mobile platforms, but Shadowgun Legends does a fantastic job of addressing this. From blasting your way through waves of opposition to solving absorbing puzzles, this brilliant game will drag you in.

Over on less mobile devices, Red Dead Online has eschewed the subtle brilliance of its sister single-player version, and adopted a hectic and bloody PvP environment where every encounter is fraught with danger. Obviously, it still occupies the same incredible environment, as well as deploying a compelling series of new co-op missions, but unless you can find some trustworthy companions you’ll be fighting for life in this lush recreation of the wild west.

Of course, there are other, less aggressive, ways to challenge other people online. Games like Words With Friends allow you to test your vocabulary and sometimes your patience. The World’s most popular mobile word game, it’s fun free and a great way to stay connected with friends, or even learn some new words and phrases.