Despite my love for games that have engrossing and intense story lines or addictive online multiplayer, I still find myself on the lookout for games with couch co-op game modes. There is only so much fun you can have playing a single player game and passing the controller around the room so everyone feels involved and thankfully, some games have gone above and beyond when it comes to their local multiplayer experiences. See my selection of best couch co-op games and, if you are like me and want to play games with your girlfriend or friends, pick up some of these!
The concept of this game may sound like it was inspired by the dredge of cooking based mobile games that have infested many mobile phones over the past few years but there is so much more depth to this game. The phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ speaks volumes for this game as you soon realise that there is a real strategy to cooking up the meal orders that appear on screen. Perfectly time your run across a bridge or work together to open doors, reach ingredients or start cooking your ingredients!
There has also been 1 paid DLC and a free DLC release since it launched last year and considering how much fun you can have then these are must haves! You can buy all of these bundled in the Gourmet Edition of the game and this would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a fellow game lover like yourself!
2. Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Octodad is a great indie title for couples and friends who don’t value their relationships. Consider there are 4 of you in the room and each of you must control one set of arms/legs of the main character. Did I mention the main character is an octopus? Well, now you know and hopefully you can understand that, whilst in principle this sounds hilarious, coordinating any character movements in the game becomes a real challenge. Some people in the room may eventually play the blame game instead if you start failing missions often enough but Octodad is guaranteed to make everyone laugh and scream at one point or another. If you haven’t tried this game then I recommend you find a group of your closest friends and start the adventure!
3. Rocket League
Everyone should know Rocket League by now. If you don’t then what rock(et) have you been hiding under?! I don’t need to explain the aim of the game I’m sure but just in case, you must control your rocket powered cars to hit a giant ball into the oppositions goal. Basically is football with cars! You don’t need to be a hardcore fan of either though to enjoy this game with someone in the same room.
Play offline or online with up to 4 other players and let the chaos ensue. Sometimes you may score an embarrassing own goal or score a lucky goal because you were just in the right place at the right time. Chances are you will be constantly talking to each other as you are bashed around with all the players rushing for the ball. The advanced players may opt to apply more of a strategy to their game but no matter your playing style, there is hours of fun for people of all skill levels.
4. FIFA 17
FIFA games will always have a niche target market. Well, as niche as the majority of the male population can be. All football fans will most likely enjoy playing FIFA but if you are lucky, like me, then your partner may also like playing this game too. Either go online and team up to take down other player in Seasons or Ultimate Team or you can alternatively play through Career Mode and make those tough managerial decisions together. Should you sell your players or buy in new talent to take your team to the next level!
There is plenty of content here to give you hours of fun together and that is often hard to find in many couch co-op games. It is also very easy to dip in and out as much as you want so definitely a must have for the casual gamers. Of course, you should probably hold at least some interest in football to be able to truly enjoy this game.
5. Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime
The common theme with many of these great couch co-op indie games is that they literally border on euphoria and frustration. Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime is no different in that respect. You must all work together to control a spaceship where each player can control the ship, the weapons or the shield. Chances are you will all need to swap places at certain points through the levels creating the perfect amount of chaos that these games need to be successful. It is also a colourful game with plenty of nice graphics.
If you fancy taking on the fun challenge of Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime then you will need your best communicators on your team as the journey through space is bound to get a bit bumpy! Good luck.
6. Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is not just a great couch co-op game but it is also a very impressive platformer. If you have ever wanted the thrill of playing some of the best platformers like Super Mario 3D World on your Xbox or Playstation console then Rayman Legends is a closest alternative you will find! The level designs are nearing perfection and they bring out the best in the relatively basic movement controls of the characters you control. There are plenty of unlockables within the game too which will ensure you continue playing through the vast majority of the game.
The key to this game being such as good co-op game is that the difficulty remains challenging even when playing with two players. This means that you and your partner will never get bored of the game, especially if the main reason you don’t complete games is because you find there is no real challenge in the game play. Since Rayman Legends is cheap nowadays, this is a definite for the try list.
7. Little Big Planet 3
The Little Big Planet games have always been great couch co-op games as this cute platformer has some great puzzles which can sometimes require two players to complete. The third instalment in this series was not traditional, by Little Big Planet’s standard, but it was still another highly enjoyable addition. It can be tough sometimes to collect all the items 100% on your own but playing with a friend can help you reach that goal quicker! This is one of the few games that encourages positive team work rather than the borderline frustrating co-op modes that are more apparent in some of the other games on this list! If you haven’t played any of these games then make sure all the Little Big Planet games make it onto your games backlog!
8. Call Of Duty
All of the Call Of Duty games have included local co-op in some capacity but including the ability to play the campaign in cooperatively or play online multiplayer in split screen. The original Call Of Duty formula will always be my preferred game play but even playing Black Ops 3 is enjoyable with another person. Whether you are good or bad at the game you will play round after round just for the satisfaction of taking out other players! Perfect for when you have a bad day.
I guess another part of my reason for loving this game as a couch co-op game is reminiscing about the drinking game that my partner and I used to play to this game. Whether you play a drinking game as the same time as this or not though, there are plenty of hours of fun to be had on all of the Call of Duty games (except maybe Infinite Warfare!) so find a buddy who likes to shoots things and get stuck into Call Of Duty and do just that!
9. Gears Of War
Gears of War has been a beacon in leading the way for local co-op games. The campaign has always been a multiplayer experience and the online multiplayer has also always had that option. Gears of War 4 is the latest game to have been released with great couch co-op functionality and if you’re lucky, you may be able to find a version with all the previous games on backwards compatibility! If you can get all of the Gears of War games combined then you and your friend or partner will have days worth of killing locust and awesome story line to uncover.
There is one hell of a journey to go on from beginning to end and the games is finely balanced between a challenging shooter and a fantastic narrative with epic cut scenes. I recommend that if you haven’t played through all of these games yet to treat one of your friends to the experience as well. One of the best gun and cover shooter series ever made!
10. Super Mario World 3D
When you think of multiplayer Mario games then I bet the vast majority will think of Mark Kart but thankfully there are other examples of great couch co-op Mario games, namely Super Mario World 3D. Strangely, I do not own the console to play this game but having tried it on someone else’s Wii U console I instantly fell in love.
The levels in 3D make this Mario game feel new and fresh but still feel like the classic Mario games you will have played on the Gameboy. Playing with 4 players can feel crowded at times but mostly it is good old, innocent fun. There is an element of Micro Machines to the game play as well, since progressing too quickly can take a life off the players who are lagging behind; teamwork is definitely key! If you have been looking for a modern Mario game to enjoy and you’re one of the few people in the world with a Wii U then this game should be a staple in your Nintendo collection. Here’s hoping the introduction of the Nintendo Switch will see a sequel to this great couch co-op game (except you probably won’t be able to use the phrase couch co-op anymore!)