Multi-player has become an essential part of gaming, with the majority of current games possessing some degree of online functionality.
Even before the advent of Massive Multiplayer Online games and eSports, gamers have been competitive and have enjoyed playing with other players.
It’s this passion for social gaming that has made cooperative games popular on every platform.
Portal 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
Portal is widely regarded as one of the best games ever created. Valve made an excellent decision when it introduced co-operative gameplay in the second game of the series.
The innovative portal system introduced in the first installment was expanded on by the second game, which allowed players to work together and solve puzzles.
Halo Reach (Xbox 360)
Halo Reach was a massive success on the Xbox 360, offering gameplay improvements over previous entries in the Halo franchise.
However, the most popular feature Reach offered to co-op fans was the ability to play the campaign with up to 3 friends. The story arc of the campaign harmonised well with multiple players and gameplay was still fairly challenging.
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
Gears of War 3 is another co-op favourite for the Xbox 360, offering multiplayer campaign support along with various custom game modes which could be played locally or online.
Gears of War 3 is the perfect mix of casual and hardcore co-op gaming, and offers a range of different missions to suit your style.
Borderlands 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Borderlands is a definitive, genre-defining co-operative franchise.
From its unique graphics to its random gun generation, Borderlands offers a ton of content and embraces co-operative multiplayer as its main feature.
Left 4 Dead 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
The Left 4 Dead series is another purely co-operative franchise.
Left 4 Dead 2 allows you to jump into a world infested by zombies with up to 3 of your friends and attempt to survive countless hordes of the undead. Left 4 Dead was one of the original zombie-survival games and is a classic co-op series.
Torchlight II (PC)
Here’s a Diablo clone that’s actually good.
Torchlight 2 is an ARPG which doesn’t take itself too seriously. The game is similar to Diablo, offering strikingly similar gameplay, controls, and loot systems – although its charming graphical style and focus on co-operative gameplay make the game both entertaining and unique.
Trine 2 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
Trine 2 is an indie gem which features old-school, co-op platforming fun.
The game is the product of independent developer Frozenbyte and like many indie successes, it presents the player with interesting concepts and a unique gameplay perspective.
Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine (PC, Xbox 360)
Monaco was an instant couch co-op hit on release.
Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is a top-down heist game which can be played cooperatively with up to 4 players. The game allows players to choose from a variety of entertaining characters and attempt to complement teammates’ abilities.
Dungeon Defenders (PC , Xbox 360, PS3)
Dungeon Defenders is a lighthearted tower defense game.
Players control their character from an over-the-shoulder perspective and can construct traps or cast spells to halt an unwavering march of monsters. This game is perfect for co-op as teammates can choose skills and build items that complement each others choices.
Dead Island (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Dead Island was not the most polished title when it was released, although it did deliver interesting gameplay.
Dead Island is not a defining co-op title like Borderlands or Left 4 Dead, but it produced a unique and enjoyable cooperative survival mode which has been highly praised by fans of the game. The game takes place on a zombie-infested vacation island and players must find a way to escape the zombie infestation.