ArqadeWhat games offer a good co-op multiplayer experience?
[+52] [41] Paolo Bergantino
[2010-07-08 03:30:09]
[ game-rec multiplayer co-op console-agnostic ]

I am not really a big fan of playing anything that is not with at least one other human being. For this reason most of the games I've ever really loved are FPS that you can play online with/against others.

One thing that has always surprised me is how few games actually let you play their "story mode" with another player. The few games that do allow this are so ridiculously fun to play that I can't imagine why a game would be released without this feature.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, what are some good "story mode" co-op multiplayer games that you know of? I'm particularly looking for Wii, PS3 and PC games as that is what I have, but any answers are welcome.

To illustrate some examples of what I mean:

Any other good ones?

(8) Excellent question for this site, but watch out for the SnA crowd. You said the B-word. - Lance
(2) Upping in the hope to learn of some great co-op games. There are way too few out there from my opinion. - Dave
Is this a poll question? Maybe, maybe not. No offense intended, of course. Just throwing it out there. - Matt Blaine
@oak ...and make it wiki. I like this question too. - Drake
as I already said, I really like games that offer a (good) co-op modus. This question is a great possibility to learn about more of them. If Paolo follows the two suggestions from Oak and Marco it is perfectly valid for me. - Dave
Maybe this question is just fine, I'm not saying otherwise. But if a question is considered subjective, I don't agree that making it "Community Wiki" would change anything. I don't mean that as a comment on this question in particular, but the purpose of Community Wiki in general. - Matt Blaine
(5) "Best" makes it unanswerable. Even if we're okay with subjective quesitons, they ought to represent cases where there are multiple right answers, not none. I'm being a little pedantic, but I see "What are recommended games that meet X criteria?", and I think that one can answer accurately, if subjectively. But "best" implies a factual statement, not an opinion, so it doesn't play well with questions that want opinions. In my opinion. - Jaydles
Followed the suggestions... - Paolo Bergantino
@Matt Blaine You're right, CW's purpose is not to mark subjective questions. But since this question is rather a poll than only being subjective, I think one should not get any rep out of the answers.. - Dave
[+33] [2010-07-08 03:44:43] Juan Manuel

I love Left 4 Dead 2 [1]; you really need to work as a team to succeed, if you get separated you will most likely die.

You can even play a mode called versus, where 2 teams play against each other, but each team has to co-op. Very entertaining.


L4D2 is a fantastic co-op game as you really need to play co-op, you can't win otherwise. - Alastair Pitts
(5) And L4D1 as well. - rlb.usa
L4D2 is a great coop game, because you really rely on your teammates, and there are really intense moments. The problem is that it's also a source of high frustration if you don't play with friends, because most of the time you will end with players who won't play as a team, and it unfortunately ruins the game for everyone, since you are very dependent on others to survive. - Gnoupi
(3) If you like this one, Killing Floor is good too. It has specialization and leveling for a little bit of an RPG feel thrown in. - Chris
Thanks, perhaps I'll check it out @Chris - Juan Manuel
[+22] [2010-07-08 21:05:34] Morinar

I play games almost exclusively for co-op modes. I usually play with 1-3 other people. Here's the list of all of my favorites sorted by genre:


  • Left 4 Dead 1/2 (others have mentioned these, really top drawer)
  • Army of Two 1/2 (console specific, but really a blast with a buddy)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (The Spec Ops mode is probably my all time favorite co-op experience)
  • Call of Duty: World at War (full campaign co-op + the super fun zombie mode)
  • Borderlands (a mediocre game by yourself, an AWESOME game with friends)
  • Killing Floor (survival horror game, tons of fun)
  • Serious Sam HD 1/2 (old school fast paced shooter, great with friends)


  • Diablo 1/2 (still classic and very playable)
  • Titan Quest (a Diablo like game, plays great with friends)


  • Starcraft 1/2 (You can setup matches against the computer to your liking)
  • Red Alert 3 (It has a full co-op campaign)


  • Madballs in Babo: Invasion (Cheap game that is WAY more fun than it has any right to be)

I'm sure there's plenty more (that's just off the top of my head), I'll add more when I get home tonight and look through my games.

(9) One game per answer would be better. It would allow voting for each game individually - Piaskal
+1 for MW2 Spec Ops. - monorailkitty
Switch Invasion with the original Babo Violent 2 and you got yourself a match. - phwd
(2) +1 for Titan Quest! - Chris
Borderlands isn't mediocre,it just starts slow - Mahmoud Hossam
+50 for Spec Ops! - LoveMeSomeCode
[+19] [2010-07-20 15:42:06] Drake

Alien Swarm [1] is a co-op game provided freely through Steam.

alt text

These are the feature listed on the Store [2]:

  • Tactical, 4 player co-op action game with a top-down perspective
  • Complete game code and mod tools
  • Unlock persistent items by gaining levels
  • Over 40 weapons and equipment with countless loadout configurations
  • 4 unique classes and 8 unique characters
  • Matchmaking, Steam Cloud, Steam Stats
  • 64 achievements
  • Tile-based map generation tool
  • Powered by Source and Steam

(1) Amazing screenshot! - BlaXpirit
+1 I love this game - Pieter888
[+18] [2010-07-09 14:02:48] FallenAngelEyes

Aside from the games already mentioned, if you are a fan of co-op gaming, I would recommend checking out Co-Optimus [1]. It's a gaming site whose main focus is on co-op gaming. Reviews of games are centered around co-op, it has a database of games with ratings based on co-op quality and handy filtering options (like online co-op, couch co-op, etc), and you can even sign in and make an account to find other players online to co-op with! Heck, it's even got a podcast. It's really a great resource if you're into co-op gaming, and its database isn't limited to current-gen games.

I am always looking for more fun couch co-op games to play with my significant other, so this is a really nice site for that. :)


(1) +1 for Co-Optimus! I was going to recommend it myself. - Chris
[+16] [2010-07-08 03:48:32] OedipusPrime

Diablo 2 remains one of the very few games that I enjoy playing more with friends than solo.

Yeap! Truly agree on this! - George
If you liked Diablo, check out Titan Quest. Some people think it's a shameless ripoff, but the graphics are great and it's just plain fun. - Chris
[+16] [2010-07-08 03:48:49] Lance

Not being a Star Wars fan, I was skeptical, but my wife and I have a lot of fun on Lego Star Wars for the Wii. (It's always nice to be able to Force-Choke her and pretend it was an accident.)

(5) +1 I'll second that for any of the Lego games (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, etc) - squillman
Lego Harry Potter just came out, I haven't tried it but it's supposed to have excellent 2-player co-op. - Jacob
(9) +1 For virtual spousal abuse. - Präriewolf
[+10] [2010-07-08 03:54:05] Dave

Clearly, without any doubt, way better than any other game... Gears of War [1]. Beside overall great game play (even in single player mode) I think it's the variety what makes this game good: There are passages where

  • You face many enemies and really appreciate the help from a fellow player
  • Your paths fork/split(?) and everyone of You has to fulfill their task to succeed the lvl
  • You complement in other great ways like one of You steering a vehicle and the other one shooting with the mounted MG.
  • ...

Me and my friend played it shortly after release during our vacations every night for two weeks. That was a hell lot of fun.


If I could, I'd give you +2! GoW and GoW2 are probably the best coop games I ever played... by far. - Ondrej Slinták
Agreed. Playing the campaign with a friend was an awesome experience. - Oak
[+8] [2010-07-08 03:39:14] Jarrod Dixon

One of my favorite co-op experiences in college was the original Halo [1] (XBox) - my roommate and I almost put beating that sucker's "Legendary" difficulty on our resumes :)


[+5] [2010-07-09 03:17:09] Jaydles

Resident Evil 5 is effectively designed for co-op.

You're on a two person team and there are a number of places where decent teamwork (one person snipes from afar, while one gets in close with a shotgun) is important to progressing.

[+5] [2010-07-09 08:29:37] Dana Robinson

I'm surprised Halo 3 hasn't been mentioned yet. The co-op experience is very good and the only way to beat Legendary without pulling your hair out.

Halo: ODST is also good in co-op but you'll want to play through by yourself first. The game's ambiance is much better suited to solo play. Again, co-op is the best way to do Legendary without going insane.

[+5] [2010-07-14 23:31:48] Freyday

Crackdown and Crackdown 2 are favorites among my friends. Even after the campaign is complete, the "Keys to the City" mode offers endless fun for up to four players.

[+5] [2010-07-20 15:49:03] Blorgbeard

When it comes out, Portal 2 will have a co-op mode [1], with separate characters and story.

It's not out yet of course, but it sounds really good (if you like Portal 1, anyway).


[+4] [2010-07-08 04:13:55] Matt

I like co-op mode of Uncharted 2 [1], the levels and platforming aspects have you working together to get through them.

Borderlands [2] is pretty cool co-op multiplayer too, definitely makes the later levels/areas easier with a buddy or three to cause mayhem with. :)


[+4] [2010-07-14 19:20:27] Erick Sasse

Splosion Man is great for two players.

Any number of players from 1-4 are supported, but I've enjoyed three and four player matches the most. - Caleb Thompson
[+4] [2010-07-14 23:10:14] Adam Nofsinger

My brother and I had hours of fun playing through Bubble Bobble [1] for the NES together.


[+4] [2010-07-14 23:11:52] Adam Nofsinger

The Mario Kart [1] series. Fun to team up to try to get through the circuits (you could do that on the SNES, I don't know about more recent games in the series).


Particularly Double Dash, where you could both ride in the same kart. - Trevel
[+4] [2010-07-27 06:56:41] David


Playable as single player or multi-player co-op. The story isn't much chop but it is very fun to play. First-person RPG with randomised weapon, shields, power-ups etc.

Available on PS3, PC and Xbox.

[+4] [2010-07-27 14:22:21] 17 of 26

I've played a lot of co-op games over the years and below is a list of the ones I've enjoyed (I'll add more as I remember them). The platform noted is the one that I played it on. The larger scale FPS games (such as Operation Flashpoint) play better with more players (4+) - I'll note those with an asterisk.


  • Rabbids Go Home (Wii 1-2 players)
  • LEGO Star Wars (PS3 1-2 players)
  • LEGO Indiana Jones (PS3 1-2 players)
  • LEGO Batman (PS3 1-2 players)
  • Toy Story 3 (PS3 1-2 players)


  • Ground Control II: Operation Exodus (PC 1-2 players)
  • Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II (PC 1-2 players)


  • Baldur's Gate series (PC 1-6 players)
  • Icewind Dale series (PC 1-6 players)
  • Dungeon Siege 1/2 (PC 1-4 players)
  • Diablo 1/2 (PC 1-8 players)
  • Titan Quest (PC 1-? players)
  • Alien Swarm (PC 1-4 players)
  • Sacred (PC 1-4 players)


  • Ghost Recon (PC 1-8 players*)
  • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (PC 1-8 players)
  • Rainbow Six: Raven Shield (PC 1-8 players)
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas (PC 1-4 players)
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (PC 1-2 players)
  • Operation Flashpoint (PC 1-8 players*)
  • Joint Operations (PC 1-? players*)
  • Delta Force Xtreme (PC 1-? players)
  • Left 4 Dead 1/2 (PC 1-4 players)
  • Borderlands (PC 1-4 players)
  • Hexen 1/2 (PC 1-4 players)
  • Serious Sam 1/2 (1-8 players)
  • SWAT 4 (PC 1-5 players)

[+3] [2010-07-20 16:20:31] cruzja

To me its Castle Crashers on Xbox Live Arcade. Its a side scrolling adventure with up to 4 players. Its really well made and includes around 20 playable characters which you level up and can customize stats, around 40 different weapons, a pet system, buy-able items with in-game coins and tons of other features.

[+2] [2010-07-08 03:57:14] RCIX

AI War [1] is one of the few games i know of designed primarily for co-op, and while i haven't played any co-op games with it, it's a brilliant strategy 4x/rts game.


[+2] [2010-07-08 04:09:41] Joshua

Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege 2 both offer co-op with the main story as well as a special multiplayer map that has it's own massive story. In fact, I still play Dungeon Siege 1 with my friend!

[+2] [2010-07-09 13:49:10] monorailkitty

Have you considered some Xbox Live Arcade games?

Perfect Dark (on Nintendo 64, not PDZero) features co-op I think. I played a lot of the original and the remake is really excellent. It might make an interesting retro choice. Also Gauntlet and Smash TV provide seriously retro co-op options.

[+2] [2010-07-09 14:01:43] Grace Note

If you and your compatriot are fans of cooperative challenge, there are some good ol' arcade style scrolling shooters that work well. Some of them give an interesting challenge with how the two players cooperate on both the offensive and defensive fronts. The length of these games tends to be short, but the inherent challenge allows for lots of interesting results just replaying them. And most of all, the satisfaction of actually clearing some of these games is best shared with another individual.

I'm not going to list a whole lot of them and just mention Ikaruga, a shooting game with a mechanic involving polarities. Everything is aligned to either a black polarity or a white polarity - bullets and enemies, even yourself.

It's a great game single player, but when you're working with another player, there are all kinds of different approaches to tackling the same issues. Considering the choices between doubling your firepower by matching your polarities, or having opposite polarities to allow double-ended defense.

[+2] [2010-07-15 17:15:10] Suspi

The best multiplayer story game I've played is Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure [1]. Get 4 people in a room together and "work together" (in actuality, sabotage each other as much as possible) to quest to the very end. I have countless stories of a pyromaniac friend setting us all on fire, throwing bombs that bounce back and kill us all, and "throwing" allies across a gorge and watching them plummet to their doom.


[+2] [2010-08-02 14:48:59] Hugo Riley

Recently I had a few good co-op games of Civilization IV. Research, territory, fog of war and wonder benefits are shared in team play. Simultaneous turn mode eliminates waiting (that applies for every multiplayer mode, not only co-op).

[+1] [2010-07-08 04:12:52] Corey

I don't know if you're looking for online or off, or are interested in the Spyro series, but Dawn of the Dragon [1] was extremely fun playing co-op. Two players can go through the entire story and each player has their own skill set.

It is a Spyro game and somewhat short, but still a good play nonetheless.


[+1] [2010-07-09 02:18:12] JamesGecko

Transformice [1] is the most magnificent flash co-op game around. Instead of limiting players to merely one to three allies, you are paired up in a massive cooperative death match with up to around fifty other players.

With so many allies, it is clearly impossible for everyone to win. Indeed, frequently, everyone looses.


(1) This game has caused me to laugh so hard that I've cried from the sheer insanity that goes on at times. - TheQ
(1) note: game has high profanity content and is possibly NSFW. - RCIX
(1) ...and it all comes from the player chat, just like pretty much any unmoderated multiplayer game. The primary difference is the sheer volume due to having 60 players all in the same place doing the same thing. - JamesGecko
Transformice is a perfect example of a good idea, with atrocious implementation. -1 for even bringing it up, sorry. - GnomeSlice
[+1] [2010-07-09 03:02:52] cowgod

Army of Two seems like a good fit.

[+1] [2010-07-14 23:50:24] Chris

Radiant Silvergun.

Sega Saturn required, but it's SO worth it :):):)

[+1] [2010-07-24 20:43:26] en1gmatic325

What it lacks in storyline, it makes up for by letting you kill literally hundreds of AI controlled soldiers...the Dynasty Warrior series has 2 player coop support. And what could be more fun than trying to beat your friend's kill count?

[+1] [2010-08-05 14:43:50] community_owned

Any of the Lego games [1] are really fun to play together! Plus the replay value on those games is really great. The second/third time through is more fun than the first.


[0] [2010-07-25 00:51:26] Nick Gotch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2 are by far our group's absolute favorite 4-player multiplayer co-op.

[0] [2010-07-27 01:30:57] Task

Extreme G III has a co-op story mode that works extremely well.
You and a friend try to work together and take both 1st and 2nd in the race so that the AI players get few winnings and therefore little to no upgrades for the next race.
It's not easy, an excellent challenge in an already great game.

[0] [2010-08-02 15:02:49] StampedeXV

For the Playstation 3 I'm playing Sacred 2 in co-op mode with my girlfriend.

Similar to Diablo regarding the gameplay.

[0] [2010-08-04 22:14:00] morfu

The Double Dragon series [1] is nice, especially Double Dragon 2. I love the "knee kick" (Don't know the official term). The third one is fun too, but really difficult.


[0] [2010-08-05 02:23:56] Alexander Morland

Since it isnt mentioned yet (wtf?), Splinter Cell Conviction [1] is a great game for coop play style (also the single player is great). Only allows for two players, but the different goals (can you complete a level without anyone being noticed, only h2h kills etc) makes for great replayability.

Also I must lend my support to Borderlands as a great coop game. Rpg meets Fps is the greatest invention since sliced bread!


[0] [2010-08-05 14:40:58] Antony Scott

Battlefield 2142 [1] on the PC absolutely rocks for a multi player experience. You can play in a number of different roles (Assault, Recon, Engineer, Support). You can control tanks, jeeps, personnel carriers, aircraft etc.

What I found really made it was that you'd join a squad and see what they were missing, then you'd fill that role. I never joined a clan so I just joined in!

I found it really cool to be a medic because a good medic could keep the squads health up and even revive shot down members with the defib! I managed to get into a few good squads and it was awesome either keeping them in good health as a medic, being a support guy (ammo resupplies) or even as an engineer making sure the transport was repaired after a heavy enemy encounter. The engineer could also get a kick ass anti-armour gun. So, the infantry guys would give me cover while I'd get into position to take a tank out.


[0] [2010-08-05 15:12:36] Dave Swersky

I'm an FPS fan, so I love Modern Warfare 2 on XBOX 360. The gameplay is fun and there is a wide range of weapons and game types. I like Ground War for the large team sizes.

[0] [2010-08-05 15:26:59] community_owned

A game which i really like is the 3rd person shooter Alien Swarm on Steam [1], it's for free and it is great fun. But you have to understand the game, if you don't you loose fast.


[0] [2010-08-05 16:58:58] community_owned

League of Legends [1] great co-op game.


[0] [2010-08-05 17:30:03] Wade Williams

Also keep in mind many sports games allow you to play co-op or as a team. The EA NHL series (about to be NHL 11 in September) is the best example of this in my opinion.

You and your friend(s) can play coop against the computer. You can also play co-op on XBox Live in versus mode.

While you can't do it on one console, you and a friend with his own console can play together on the same team in online team play mode too. I play many, many games as part of a 6-man team. Great fun.