Although online co-op is pretty much standard in games these days, couch co-op is less prevalent. That’s a shame, because there’s something awesome about playing alongside your friend as you’re working together to accomplish a goal. It’s not about fighting each other, it’s about defeating challenges together. These eight games let you do exactly that.
Don’t see your favorite? Tell us what it is in the comments!
Army of Two
Although the Army of Two series gets a lot of flak, it’s actually a blast to play with a friend. The game offers up an aggro mechanic like you’d see in an MMORPG, allowing one player to hold the attention of enemies while the other moves to flank them. In the sequel, Army of Two: The 40th Day, co-op combat maneuvers are added. While it’s great to play in co-op, the single-player can mostly be avoided thanks to a substandard partner AI.
If there’s one game that can go from co-op to adversarial in the blink of an eye, it’s Portal 2. You and a friend play as a pair of testing robots who must work together to portal each other to a solution. While that sounds straightforward, what usually happens is that after you screw up a couple of times, the game devolves into seeing who can smash the other person in the most creative way using portals. You know what? That’s OK, too!
If you’re looking to kill an afternoon with a friend in the most charming way possible, pick up a game from the LEGO series. It really doesn’t matter which one. They’re all fun, and they’re all entertaining. From Star Wars to Marvel Super Heroes, Traveller’s Tales combines the LEGO aesthetic with popular universes to make some of the best family-friendly gaming experiences around.
Gears of War
The entire Gears of War series is a blast to play in co-op. Not only does it have hordes of enemies for you and a buddy to fight your way through, it makes is ton of fun to do. You can pop out of cover with several different weapons, and you can even tag team and enemy with your Lancer-mounted chainsaws. Gears of War 3 really embraced co-op, offering up more branching paths and different vantage points than any game in the series. If you’re looking to shoot things with a friend, Gears of War is a great choice.
Splinter Cell Conviction
Splinter Cell Conviction offered up a co-op campaign that was a bit different than most. Instead of simply playing through the single-player campaign with a friend, you jumped into the boots of either Archer (an American agent) or Kestrel (a Russian agent). You’ll team up to play through a prologue that leads into the single-player campaign, and that prologue offers up a completely unexpected twist at the end. The great stealth and solid gameplay make the co-op completely worth a look.
Call of Duty: World at War Nazi Zombies
While the co-op campaign in Call of Duty: World at War was quite fun in its own right, the Nazi Zombies mode is where the co-op really shines. There’s no lone wolfing your way through this mode – you absolutely need to work together to survive. Fighting off wave after wave of zombies turned out to be so much fun that the mode is now a staple of the franchise.
Diablo 3 had its issues when it launched (error 37, anyone?), but once it made it to consoles, it was a pretty tight experience. It’s designed to be played with friends, and it lets you stomp some enemies together. Luckily, the game is made to be played over and over, which means that even if you lose the fight over who gets that sweet loot that just dropped, you can dive back in and try to swipe the next epic thing that drops.
Rock Band 3
Is there any game that more personifies the awesomeness of playing with friends than Rock Band? It’s the pinnacle of party games. Anyone can play it, no matter their skill level, and it somehow manages to bring you all together, no matter how much you fail at hitting that crazy high note. You can have a blast with any game in the series, and the huge amount of DLC means there’s a song for everyone in the mix somewhere.