The co-op gaming thread

Hey y'all, who would like to talk about co-op video games with me? Use this thread to talk about games that have a great co-op experience.

Cooperative gaming is a topic that seems to be underserved by the gaming press. I'm guessing this has to do with the nature of the job: it probably doesn't make any financial sense to assign two employees to review one game at the same time. Yet co-op is a staple of my gaming diet, as it is of all of the real life game players I know. The consequence of this missing perspective seems to be the mischaracterization of great co-op games as bad single player games. One touchstone is the comparison of Half Life 2 to Halo (I just heard this come up on a podcast I really enjoy). My memory of these games is that one is best played as an on rails cinematic single player game, and the other is best played as a very challenging and relatively open ended co-op game, but both games were being compared exclusively on the former terms. Both games are very good and very different! I replayed Halo 1 cooperatively just a few years ago: the game is still excellent!

Look, my least favourite game topic is dragging journalists for doing their jobs. My point is that there are a lot of very awesome co-op games that have been poorly remembered, forgotten, or never noticed at all. When I'm looking for a new co-op game I usually feel like I'm rooting around Steam's basement looking for lost treasures because there's not much information about what's fun to play. Let's remember some good co-op games here.


Recently I've been co-opping **Resident Evil Revelations 2**, a game that I heard very little about before playing it. I don't think it's well remembered but maybe I missed the dialogue on this one?
Co-op gameplay in RER2 (I don't know who is playing, just pulled a random video for reference.)

What I really enjoy about this game is the asymmetric co-op. There are two character sets, but both sets have one character that plays like a normal RE protagonist, and another that serves an unconventional support role with limited combat ability. This might be a negative if both players care a lot about shooting guns, but I love playing with unconventional ability sets, especially when placed in an otherwise conventional game world like RE. I get to play half of this game as a little girl with psychic vision whose only combat ability is to throw a brick. It is very awesome.

The game is otherwise conventional but solid. We played this immediately coming off of RE6, and I am pretty sure that this game is _much better_. Even though the scope of the game is narrower, the experiences it puts you through still feel more varied and consistently fun than RE6. It can also feel genuinely challenging in moments that require co-operation between the ability sets. The story is not interesting but you will mostly be chatting with your buddy so who cares?

I'm not sure how they resolve the different roles in the single player experience, but I can imagine that the game might feel forgettable when played that way. When played as a co-op game, this is a really goofy sort of bizarro universe RE where your buddy has to carry you around on his back because you are a child that fell down too hard. It's also sold in short episodes which are routinely on sale for 3 dollars. It's an easy recommendation if you're looking for a co-op game to play.

I am really into the idea of mega drive co-op gaming and I found this seemingly great link worth sharing:

I feel like the 360 generation has some of the best co-op experiences I have had in gaming. I am really into the system link feature and a buddy of mine and I have played through the campaigns on Halo ODST, Aliens Colonial Marines, and Gears of War Judgement that way. Both in the same room, but on different screens. Providing cover fire for each other, looking at the other person‘s screen to see if they’re in trouble. GoW Judgement is probably the best of the set as you have to revive on another and it really hits a sweet spot with the whole Declassified Mission element where you both have to agree to ratchet up the difficulty of each encounter. That moment of like, “should we go for it?!?” is so great in the room.

As a kid, the idea of playing video games was inextricably linked to the idea of co-op. They might as well have been interchangeable terms (until I was a teen and learned about JRPGs and told my friends goodbye forever).

Now, as a child-having old, it's much harder to arrange co-op gaming sessions, but recently some friends and I sat down and played Crawl, which is also asymmetrical, and unlike anything else I've experienced. It's a fast-paced dungeon hack'n'slash where one person controls the knight character, who levels up and gains new weapons and abilities, and the other people control ghosts and other enemies, to try and stop the knight's progress. It's just so easy to pick up, play, and have a heck of a fun time.

@bankbank#4127 I'm going to play through a lot of these soon! Me and my co-op buddy have started using Parsec for games without online multiplayer which has really opened the flood gates.

@robinhoodie#4170 Yes, the 360 was excellent for co-op! I still feel like Earth Defense Force 2017 is my favorite EDF game because of the splitscreen experience on that system. When the enemy count gets high you get this incredible slowdown that makes the scale of what is happening feel really epic. I can‘t tell if any of this effect was intentional but it doesn’t exist in the same way in later EDF games. (This is similar to the pre patch Ninja Gaiden II staircase fight, when the game slow downed to matrix like speeds to accommodate the huge enemy count which was unlike anything ever seen in a game like that before. Long live slowdown!)

How do you think Judgement ranks up against other Gears games for co-op? I co-opped Gears 5 recently and didn't enjoy it. I'm pretty sure I've co-opped all the way through Gears 1 and 2 but I don't have strong memories of these games.

@whatsarobot#4173 I can‘t remember where Tim said it, but I loved when he said that back in the day single player games were the multiplayer games. There really was no true “single player” game experience for me until I was in my late teens, which is true to some degree for a lot of people I think. I think this is why people would rather watch Twitch than play a game themselves now. Getting your people together to play a game is what it’s all about.

I think he was saying if you had siblings then single player games were multiplayer games, you had to take turns, etc - and if he didn't say that, maybe I did, ha ha.

gunsport has co-op offline campaign mode, but I'm not sure how fun it'll be!

I just recently played xeno crisis for genesis with a friend in co-op - I do think that it'd be a great way to actually beat that game properly, but I need to train somebody up to get good at the game. tough during the ole pandemic, but maybe I should be looking at parsec... those few frames delay can make all the difference in a genesis game though.

@willi#4193 GoW Judgement was very fun. The story is generally stupider than others in the series, the arenas smaller and more focused on just being arenas rather than sets. And like I said the Declassified modifiers where it's like, “beat the challenge only using crossbows” really ramps up the video game-y-ness of the whole thing.

I for sure want to play EDF as a co-op experience. I went out of my way to get 4 Vita TVs and 4 copies of EDF2 for just that event.

Ah, yeah, EDF is great co-op!! Even moreso when you've got your own screen… I think they did a vertical split screen for one of them which was just a disaster.

I play Rocket League co-op a time or few a week. It's a nice do some stuff and chat with friends kinda game. I guess co-op sport games are kinda rarer than they should be, but then I guess most sports have much larger team sizes.

I never get to play _EDF_ with local co-op, but have plenty of good times with it online.

Always wanted to play those _Obscure_ survival horror games.

Mario Kart: Double Dash deserves to be checked out which combines typical MK racing with a mode that allows two players to work in sync with each other on a single kart in order to get speed boosts and such. I was really worn out on kart racing games when this first came out but I'm really glad my friend convinced me to play it with him.


I played Sonic 2 with this friend and we were in such perfect sync with each other that it didn't even matter who was Tails. It honestly kind of freaked me out.

For a deep cut, I recommend Heavenly Guardian on the Wii which is a spiritual successor to Pocky & Rocky.


Not a deep cut, but I really enjoy the co-op in River City Ransom. I don‘t like most belt-scroller beat-em-ups, but RCR has some super fast action. The GameBoy Advance port is good too. There’s also the added competitive element where you can hit and throw each other if you‘re not careful, and there’s always a fight for who gets the weapons and $$.

@hellomrkearns#4279 I am wary of beat-em-ups in co-op because it is so easy to get into hitting each other. like in streets of rage 3, there is no option to turn off friendly fire… why?

@bankbank#4284 yeah. The GBA version does have that option, which is nice.


also Resident Evil 5 has always been my answer to this just due to the fact that as a single player game I consider it a frustrating racist RE4 knock off but co-op it's legitimately great albeit still racist.

Starsky and Hutch isn‘t a great game by any stretch but if you’re crazy enough to have a steering wheel and a guncon, it becomes the closest thing to a home version of Lucky and Wild:

I too have the biggest soft spot for coop games where both players aren't doing the exact same thing.

ok Final Fight 3 not only does have the option to turn off friendly fire, it ALSO has the ability for a single player to play co-op with a CPU. nice!

@ttzop whoa, never considered that as a substitute for a lucky and wild home version! I'm gonna make it a goal to try to make this happen.

Final Fight 3 is great

RE5 really does have excellent co-op, shame about the racist stuff. I played through that whole thing co-op and was constantly screaming to my partner "I need an egg!" "egg over here!!"

Is it possible to finish Final Fight 3 with the CPU co-op buddy?

It is a lot of fun, but for me it always turned into a single player game eventually.