The weather outside is miserable, we’re in the midst of a petrol crisis, and the darker nights are drawing in. A spot of video gaming has never been so appealing! So our friends over at WeThePlayers.com have created a collection of some of their favourite local co-op games to keep you and your buddies amused during the winter months.
Great local co-op games are a rarer thing these days. Back in the 90s and early 00s, they were everywhere. But now online gaming has eaten up local multiplayer – outside of Nintendo that is. Nintendo chose years back to prioritise fun and inclusivity over fidelity and online play. The results are that you get grannies who have played Wii Fit every day for the last 10 years.
Even beyond Nintendo though, there’s still a strong demand among players for the old school split/shared screen experience. So kick back on the sofa, throw a friend a controller, and boot up one of these local co-op games:
When it arrived in the mild game-drought of February this year, It Takes Two brought the rain. Though of course, because players had shrunk to the size of a wooden doll, those drops were now life-threatening – in the best possible way.
It Takes Two is currently smashing in at a 9.7/10 on We The Players. ExBee calls it ‘Cooperation Perfected’ while our own TokenGeek says,
‘The game is a tour-de-force on what an imagination, some fresh ideas, and a capable development studio can create.’
These days it’s difficult to nip down to the Arcade with a few coins to bash your way through a brawler with a friend. But you can still relive that level-hurdling experience with games like Streets of Rage 4.
This gorgeous reboot of a long-dead sequel might not have the most in-depth mechanics in the world. But you and your fellow players will need to look out for one another if you’re going to reach the end. You can punch, kick and backflip your way through Streets of Rage 4 in a few hours but you’ll almost certainly go back for more.
There’s a reason this collection is currently scored as a 10 by WTP members. Of course, multiplayer is a big part of this. But it’s also because Halo: Combat Evolved was one of the first games to make co-op campaigns every bit as fun as the single-player experience.
In this collection of classics, you’ll find engrossing stories, wild set pieces, and manic shootouts where you’ll need to have each others’ backs. Where Halo is perfect for co-op though, is in its Warthog shenanigans and I’ve-got-a-bigger-weapon-than-yours gunplay. It’s a game to take seriously or goof around in – and the choice is yours.
When players were at the end of their tether looking for local co-op platformers, Unravel Two gave us the rope. Woollen rope, to be precise – and precise is what you’ll need to be in this game of careful positioning and realistic physics.
A side-scroller with enough melancholic heart to tether even the most cynical gamers together, this game answers the age-old question: ‘How long is a piece of string?’ The firm answer: ‘not long enough.’
If you happen to hate woollen figures, sackcloth may be your thing. While Unravel Two plays with a folky ambience, Sackboy throws on a Daft Punk record and sends you and up to three friends chasing after bells and buttons.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is charming, beautiful, and crucially it’s not too punishing, which makes it a joy to play with a partner who may not have highly trained platforming thumbs.
Now there are many games that don’t deserve a remaster, or a remake, or a reboot. But this game needs to re-exist on consoles, if only so players can once again jump into its unique co-op campaign. (You can still buy the game on Steam but the co-op mode is long gone.)
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory had you shooting out the lights for a friend so they can sneak through the dark, or silencing a guard so your partner could disable the security systems. One of you would take a side entrance, the other would crawl in through the ventilation shaft.
It was ingenious and it’s a memory. But at least there are still other local co-op masterpieces to enjoy elsewhere.
It’s got some of the best comedy, puzzles and local co-op in video games. In fact, Portal 2 would probably make it into most gamers’ collections for the ‘best games of all time’. It’s currently rated high as a 9.1/10 on the We The Players site.
In Elkian’s review, the WTP member wrote,
“Portal 2 is, and I am 100% serious about this, the perfect sequel. And quite possibly a perfect game.”
While bognog04 said in their (spoiler-filled review),
“I actually cried when it was all said and done, due to the fact that I knew nothing quite as good will come again.”
(Yes, we know we didn’t include Overcooked, 1 or 2, but those games are relationship destroyers)