The best party game ever is Super Smash Bros. for the N64.
RENT IT NOW.
take some of the cooler nintendo game characters and stick them in a game together. make them fight each other on a side scrolling map. no death by many hits, instead you die by getting knocked off the screen. the more you get beat on, the farther you can get knocked, until you get so dead that one little tap will send you flying.
now do it with 3 other people simultaneously. =D
don't pass it off as "kiddy." sure it is at first. learn the game more. there are combos, in a way. there is strategy. and best of all, to be REALLY good, you have to play like a cheap dirty bastard, thus enticing everyone to trash talk you (And thus get the social aspect going).
SSB has gotten THE most play time of *ANY* console video game i've ever owned, with possibly the exception of Final Fantasy 2 for SNES. Zelda64 (ocarina) has seen less time than my copy of SuperSmash.
i like the game so much i had to buy myself a copy off Ebay before going to college and leaving my little brother's copy behind.
give it a chance. it's great.
once you get hooked, start begging nintendo to make a sequel for GameCube. ;-)
<leonphelps>Yeah, now, uh, "sig," what is that?</leonphelps>