Gaming is always better with a friend at your side. Whether you’re sitting together on the couch or connecting online and barking orders and encouragement at one another via voice chat, you’ll get far more out of any game if it allows you to team up with others. The key to a solid co-op game is that developers envisioned it for that purpose rather than shoehorning co-op in to add another bullet point to the game box. Soon after you pick up a controller, you can tell whether or not a game will be a chore or a breeze to play together.
Here’s a look at the best cooperative multiplayer games available right now:
5. Lego Marvel’s Avengers
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developers: Traveller’s Tales
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Vita, 3DS, PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Rounding up a ludicrous amount of characters from the most obscure reaches of comic book history, the game lets you and a friend brick-smash your way through loose interpretations of the stories presented in the Avengers movies, as well as several of the other recent Disney-made Marvel flicks.
4. Super Mario 3D World
Platforms: Wii U
You and up to three others choose Mario, Luigi, Peach or Toad, then help each other and mess with one another as you hop, run and glide your way through some of the most inventively designed levels Nintendo has ever created. Daunting boss battles are a lot more manageable when you’ve got a friend or three working on your side.
3. Gears of War 4
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: The Coalition
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
A brutal and invigorating continuation of the long-running third-person shooter series, the experience is designed from the ground up for campaign co-op. Be there for your buddies to lend weapons and ammo, revive them when they’re down and work in tandem to flank and draw cover fire from enemies. Once you’re done with the story, blow off steam with your pals in Horde 3.0 mode.
2. Halo 5: Guardians
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: 343 Industrites
Platform: Xbox One
Switching among two stories of Spartans at odds, the game gives you the chance to march together as brothers in arms as you face down enemies in a twisting tale that is one of the better examples of storytelling in the franchise’s extensive universe. Developer 343 Industries shows that the Halo series is in good hands.
1. Diablo III
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Whether you’re pointing and clicking your mouse or button-mashing your way through demonic enemies on consoles, Diablo III provides some of the most exhilarating co-op action you’ll find in all of gamedom. Once you’ve found someone who works together well, you’ll probably find yourself moving through the campaign several times, selecting different complementary characters and venturing for new loot via rifts and expanded areas developers continue to tack on years after release.
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