Remember back in the day when multiplayer meant you and a friend on the couch together playing on the same screen? Even if this meant you could see each other’s portion of the display while playing COD 3, it was still the most fun you ever had gaming. Well, the thing these days is that couch co-op is not a staple anymore. Rather everything is online and requires two consoles, PCs, and two displays in order to play the game together.
Sometimes you just want to sit next to your friend and get punched in the arm when you kill him, or just share the same screen experience like gaming was meant to be. If you are longing for that couch gaming session then look no further, there are some fantastic games which you should look at that will offer the couch co-op game on modern hardware.
Overcooked (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch)
Overcooked is just like that Xmas day lunch when everyone is in the kitchen fighting over counter space, swearing at each other, and burning the mash potatoes. 4 players venture into a kitchen and need to now work together to cook set dishes which are requested by customers. Each person has no role, which you are responsible for assigning to a friend and they need to work on what they are asked to do in order to make the kitchen run smoothly.
If it is chopping a tomato, peeling a carrot, boiling soup, frying meat, or putting it all together to serve, you have to get your job done while relying on another person to do theirs too. It gets crazy when the kitchen starts to fall apart, literally as the floor moves and you are now separated by a gap while you watch your steak burn because your friend did not take it off the stove. Overcooked is simply chaos, and every new person you add to the game makes it even worse, in a good way.
Rocket League (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Who would have thought that a game such as Rocket League would be such a massive hit? You drive around in a car and hit balls into nets!. Well, it also makes for a fantastic couch co-op game as it supports split screen multiplayer. Think of Rocket League as the classic FIFA 89 game but with cars and prettier grass.
Rocket League makes for a fantastic co-op game as you and your friend scoot around the arena trying to make the most of the little control you have over the car you are handling. Not to mention that while you are trying to score, your friend and his team are trying to steal the ball away from you. If only you could now pick it up and carry it right?
Alienation is one of those PS4 jewels that every owner should play. You and your friends are dropped into an alien-infested map where you have set objectives to complete. The thing is that it is like I said, an “alien-infested map” so you will have to now survive the hordes of enemies coming at you while protecting yourself and your team mates, and work together to wipe out the alien scum.
Different classes in the game have different abilities and each player’s role in the game will depend on these skills. Making use of your guns and abilities, and chaining them together with your friend’s is what Alienation is all about.
Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare was one of the best shooters back in the day, and the sequel to it to a whole other level with bigger maps, a greater focus on the Plants, and of course the co-op modes. Given that is used the Frostbite Engine, it is capable of some fantastic visuals treats and one of these is the awesome split screen mode.
Your friend can jump into your entire game with you and fight the plants or zombies, depends on how you are inclined. It also signs them into their own PSN or Xbox account so their progress is carried over to their main game which is something you don’t see very often. You can fight each other in the backyard or simply go into a wave-based match and protect the garden from the brain eaters.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
What makes the Lara Croft spin offs so great is their strong emphasis on co-op gameplay and how each player is vital to the game’s puzzles and progression. Players need to work together to overcome the deadly tombs, survive the creatures that await inside, and of course make use of each other’s abilities to overcome the obstacles.
Helping each other over a spike gap by pulling another player up with Lara’s grapple, or protecting a player from harm using a shield. Each player has a role to play and the game’s difficulty and challenges gets harder the more people play with you. With four players in the game at one time, things do get a little crazy, but it is all for the best of fun.
Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4, Xbox One)
To say that Diablo 3 feels like a different game on the console is a huge understatement. Diablo 3 on PS4 and Xbox One has an arcade feel to it and is much faster than the PC version. It also boasts an awesome local co-op feature that lets you and three friends join up and take on Sanctuary together.
The madness then ensues as all four players are causing destruction on the world at the same time with their abilities and skills. There is truly nothing else like having four players run a rift at the same time with hundreds of enemies coming at you and loot flying all over the place.
Death Squared (Switch, PC, PS4)
I just recently played this great game on the Nintendo Switch and what was so nice about it was the ability to turn the Joy-Con into two controllers and add another player without buying or needing any extra hardware. Death Squared sees you and some friends control coloured blocks across a set of levels as you try and complete puzzles.
While this sounds simple it is not. Each puzzle has been cleverly designed to make sure you need to move your block into place at the right time and use your environment to your advantage. Careful placement of block, deadly traps, and of course other players getting in your way is what Death Squared is all about.
Rayman: Legends (PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Ubisoft really hit the nail on the head when they rebooted the Rayman series into a gorgeous 2D platformer. Rayman Legends is a fantastic co-op game too as you and a friend can run around the game together and often help each other out. There are dozens of levels to explore, challenging trials, and of course, various characters to unlock that will make your experience as colourful as ever.
I remember quite fondly playing the game every day as I tried to get the platinum trophy on it. This means I had to grind the daily trials to try and get to the end in time to level up my overall ranking. If only I had someone to help me like a co-op partner back then, it would have made a huge difference.
Skylanders (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
It does not matter which Skylanders you play really as they are all fantastic. They bring back the classic platforming excitement that we have been lacking this generation that ties together the same mechanics seen in games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Banjo Kazooie.
While this is a toy-based game, the story of each experience is great and the toys are just an added bonus to the game. Each world has been carefully created and the co-op side of things lets you and a friend tackle the evil creatures that Kaos has summoned to each fresh new land.
LittleBigPlanet (PS4, PS3)
Last but not least we have the mother of couch co-op, LittleBigPlanet. Back in the day, the PS3 version redefined what it meant to play with friends as you could experience the entire campaign together and then venture into the millions of online levels created by other players. The games then grew even bigger as LBP 2 introduced a way to create your own games, so now you had the co-op but with games in a game.
The latest release on PS4 took it further by keeping everything we loved from the first two game, including all the millions of levels, and adding in new characters to play with. All this again is completely playable with four friends on the same TV. This is truly the best couch co-op game on the market and one which I wish I played more of.