Co-operative games are a great way to spend some quality time with friends, whether they’re in the same room or on the other side of the world.
The great thing about co-op titles in comparison to other multiplayer games is that you get to work together, rather than against friends to overcome obstacles.
In this post, we’ll be listing our top five picks for the best co-op games to play in 2020. We’ve tried to include a few different genres to give you a bit of variety.
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1. Portal 2
Release Date: 19 April 2011
Genre: Puzzle platform
Puzzle lovers will feel right at home in Portal 2, in a surreal world featuring lasers, tractor beams, light bridges, and, of course, portals. There’s a single-player campaign but the co-op version allows puzzle lovers to join forces to solve them and navigate the world together.
In the co-operative mode, you play as robots Atlas and P-Body with a first-person perspective, either in a split-screen setup or with a separate computer or console. Both players can operate separate portal guns and communicate with each other through communication tools, portals or by “pinging” the other player’s attention.
In each puzzle chamber in the co-op mode, action is required from both players in order to progress. Designers ensured that in the puzzle chambers, the characters would always remain in sight of each other to improve communication and cooperative play.
2. Viscera Cleanup Detail
Release Date: 23 October 2015
If you’re looking for something a bit different, Viscera Cleanup Detail offers a combination of simulation and co-operative playing.
In Viscera Cleanup Detail, you play as a Space Station Janitor, tasked with cleaning up the bloody aftermath of an alien invasion. It’s a simulation title that you can play with others.
Typical tasks involve cleaning and repairing equipment and facilities damaged during the battles in space. You’ll have to dispose of debris, sometimes including dismembered bodies of humans and aliens alike, armed with a mop, a sensor device, and a PDA to take notes. Be careful not to drop debris, spill buckets or track blood around or you’ll have to go back and clean it all up again.
3. Payday 2
Release Date: 13 August 2013
Genre: First-person shooter
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Overkill Software
If you’re looking for something more action-packed, Payday 2 should fit the bill. Payday 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter game featuring a gang performing a heisting spree.
You can take control of one of the gang’s 21 members and either perform heists alone or with up to three other players and teammates. Those teammates can be the game’s AI or you can invite friends to join in on your missions. Tackling the heists with a group of friends is great fun, especially when communicating the best way to make off with the loot!
Heists range from bank and shop robberies to armored vehicles and even drug runs. In this title, there are more options for customization than in the previous game as well as improved stealth mechanics.
4. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Release Date: 8 October 2015 on PC
Publisher: Steel Crate Games
Developer: Steel Crate Games
Here is a puzzle game with higher stakes. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, you and your friends are tasked with disarming a procedurally generated bomb.
It’s a game best experienced through virtual reality but it can be played across typical consoles and PCs too.
The game is designed to be played by at least two people. One player must act as an expert who is tasked with reading the bomb defusal manual. The other player is the Defuser, who must listen to Expert’s instructions to help them defuse the bomb. If that sounds easy, don’t worry. What makes the game tricky is that the Defuser cannot look at the manual and has to rely on the Expert to guide them. The Expert also can’t see the bomb so players must think carefully about how they describe things to each other.
Bombs consist of modules, each locked by random puzzles that need to be solved together in order to defuse the bomb. The Defuser must verbally explain what they can see on the bomb and the Expert must look at the manual to try and find the best solution and explain it to the Defuser. Communication is key in this game, make sure you bring along a friend you trust otherwise things might get heated!
5. Diablo III
Release Date: 15 May 2012
Genre: Action role-playing, hack-and-slash
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III, an immensely popular hack and slash, dungeon crawler title set a record back in 2012 as the faster-selling PC game. In Diablo III, you get to choose one of seven character classes to play as, including Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Crusader, Monk, Necromancer, Wizard, or Witch Doctor.
The aim of this title is to defeat the Lord of Terror, Diablo himself – a quest much more enjoyable when playing with friends who can work together to bring him down.
Diablo III uses Blizzard’s Battle.net service which means that players can drop in and out of sessions with other players. For those looking for PvP combat, there is the Brawling system which is a free-for-all area where players can fight each other without lasting scores or damages.
We’ve tried to find some games which are quite a bit different than your usual multiplayer titles. While there are a few action titles to get stuck into, we hope you’ll enjoy some of the puzzle-based titles too.
Of course, this doesn’t cover every co-op title out there and we might have missed your favorites off the list. If there’s a game you would have liked to see on this list, be sure to let us know in the comments below.