Co-op gaming has been big in my life the past couple of years since my partner didn’t live in the same area as me. In any relationship, you try to spend as much time together as possible, with us being in a long-distance relationship we are limited as to what we can do together and for many others lately with having to self- isolate during the covid-19 pandemic. Being both gamers it’s natural to want to dive into co-op games. Saying that these are games that I have explored with my partner and have loved. Fair warning. I am TERRIBLE at games… Absolutely horrendous. Yet my dear significant other somehow wants to keep playing games with me. Some of these games are older, some newer. Since I have only really been exploring the co-op world this past year it feels there are tons of games out there but in reality, the co-op world that I love, games are few and far between. So, come explore with me and see which 10 games have made the list and why they are the ones I love.
10. Portal 2
Playing games with your S.O. could go two ways, both laughing having a great time or someone getting overly angry rage quit and not speak for the rest of the day. Luckily, we are the silly couple that instead of getting angry at each other for accidentally killing both of us multiple times, we instead have a good laugh and figure out how to complete the puzzle. Portal 2 was a lot of fun for us. I was pretty much the one that always killed us unless he intentionally offed me of course. While he whizzes through the portals he set up, I usually get the “something shiny syndrome” and mess up his portals somehow by placing one somewhere else and then as he’s flying through it at supersonic speeds goes splat. Portal 2 has some tough puzzles that take a bit longer to figure out together but it’s never boring which is awesome, there’s always fun things to do like covering paint everywhere. You will always need to work together, but the game provides handy tools to be able to get those puzzles done, from being able to count down so you both are on the same page, to seeing what the other person is doing. In this game, it doesn’t matter the number of times you die, just that you move onto the next stage. Yay for being robots, right?
This is the newest game we have been playing. A side scroller that is just ridiculously funny. Of course, I’m always either killing myself off or my partner, although he has had his fair share of killing me off in this game. The hilariously beefy bicep team is made of Rambo, Chuck Norris and other action heroes from different films. Their abilities and special movements are different from each other. Which makes playing each character fun and new. The missions aren’t drawn out and pretty easy to understand just fighting your way to the chopper. Making it easy for someone that might be new to gaming. You can play with up to 4 people, which we have played just our selves and then added another. The experience is the same, always teary-eyed and filled with continuous laughter.
8. Saints Row the Third
You can never be bored in this game. You can play hours and hours doing missions and activities or just run around in the open world is silly. The missions range in difficultly which makes you think, and I noticed while playing that some missions intertwine with each other. The only downfall is the DLC missions don’t show as completed so you have to make sure you know the ones you’ve already done or run the risk of doing the quests twice. You can dress up from completely modest to scanty clad and there is something so strangely enjoyable about beating your partner with a gigantic purple dildo bat. Luckily it’s not too easy to die, which is very helpful when faceplanting over and over because your driver runs into things and you go flying through the windscreen. There are some glitches, for instance, my partner was driving us for a mission and the whole time I saw him standing by the car or in the car. But all and all I giggled throughout the game more than moaned.
7. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
This game is a side story of Tomb Raider which obviously caught my attention because I love all things Tomb Raider, and this is the first game that I and my partner played together so for that reason it holds a place in my heart. That being said, I had some wonkiness with the camera when following my partner so it made it difficult sometimes to do the puzzles. Even in combat, there were also a couple of out of sync moments that made it odd, although it made for some very funny dying moments. We had fun with the puzzles of each level, they aren’t too hard to figure out. I died a lot in this game, sometimes because I accidentally fell (or some would say jumped) to my death. Dying as much as I did, I was surprised it had little side effects… and don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for that. As long as my partner didn’t die when I was dead, we were able to just carry on as nothing happened. We had lots of laughs, and a couple of moments when you really had to step back and say right, how do we do this, and of course tons of killing. The game is fairly quick and the weapons and gameplay are easy so that made for a good beginner game for us.
6. BattleBlock Theater
Battleblock has to be one of the funniest, cutest games I’ve ever played. The humorous narrator’s content and cut scenes are great and made me giggle all in itself, and to top that I had tears in my eyes because I was either killing off my partner, using him to get past before killing him off, or just sitting on his head. The graphics are great, you can design your little guy to look so many different ways. The narrator has to be my favorite part. Not only for the witty banter that he expresses in cut scenes but also as you’re playing and burst into flames, he will say “good try but try gooder” or something like that. I love bopping to the music that plays throughout the game too. There are levels that are trickier than others. Some you really have to work with your partner to get all the gems to end the level, sometimes by throwing your partner to a safe spot so that they can unlock something for you to get to, or jump into a boat together. Needless to say, we had to do some levels over since we missed a gem, or died but never too frustrating to want to quit. All and all this game is hours and hours of laughs for my partner and me.
5. Heroes of the Storm
This game by Blizzard is a mash-up of all their other Blizzard characters from other games incorporated into a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I never played Heroes before I met my partner, but I did play World of Warcraft and Diablo so I wasn’t completely new to Blizzard titles. I did some arena play in WoW. but nothing like what this is. At first, I wasn’t going to put HotS into this list because we play with other people, but you really don’t have to. You can play just you and your partner vs A.I or against others. It’s two teams working together to beat each other. Sometimes there are stressful situations, but my partner and I are usually laughing and having fun. My favorite thing is that you can play next to each other or across the map, but my partner is always watching what I’m doing and comments on the camp I’m working on or the play I did. That has always made me feel like we are sitting next to each other instead of across the world.
4. Diablo III
Diablo has been one of my favorite hack and slash, dungeon crawler games, even before my partner and I played together. With amazing cut scenes and animated storytelling. This game is dark and fun, you can pick from different characters and since there are so many different options you can choose from with the talents it wouldn’t matter if you and your partner play the same toon. The controls are pretty simple, making it easy for newer gamers to enjoy the game also. When playing with other people, you can see their portraits and their health. You can also teleport instantly to their current location from their banner in town, which makes it super easy when you’ve died, need to fix your armor or if your bags are full and need to drop some things off to get straight back into the action. You can also trade some loot with your partner which is nice because sometimes you can pick up loot that the other would need more. You can play with up to four people. Which kind of sucks because there are 5 base characters (besides DLC) so in my opinion would be nice to have the full team of 5. This game is so much fun, with always something new that I didn’t experience the last time we played.
3. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley could have completely been my number one, I’ve spent hours in this game with my partner and it always felt like we could have played longer if we didn’t need sleep. There were times when we had to pry ourselves away from the game. I am a sucker for a game where you can build a family and do things like questing, farming, and fishing together. You make your own characters and you can work together to get the quests done or you can go lone wolf and do your own thing, all depends on what you’re into. We noticed ourselves doing a little bit of both when playing. Some games when playing co-op lose a bit of the gameplay but I thought that they did a great job at building the co-op experience. You can ask your co-op partner to the spring dance, marry your partner by jumping through a bunch of hoops, and then you unlock the little ‘burrito’ babies which you have limited interaction with. The person that hosts the game does control some items like deciding when to sleep (if you don’t wait ‘till the very end) and starting and stopping festivals and a few other things. The money is shared property so don’t go spending all the money without talking to the others on your farm, although if you do spend a crap ton on making your bags bigger it’s easy to get into the swing of things and bring in money pretty quickly. I can’t say enough about how much I love playing this game with my partner and I am looking forward to the new content and ideas that Concerned Ape will be bringing to Stardew Valley.
2. Oldschool Runescape
This is a game that my partner has held close to his heart, and really, I can see why. I know he was very worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this game. While the graphics are, let’s say nostalgic I don’t just play games because they are pretty. I mean I understand I am female and that’s our way of picking anything normally. I love how the graphics are because in the end this game was originally released in 2001. While I didn’t grow up playing this game, it gives me a sense of nostalgia also for the games that I did play in that graphical era. I love that that this game is set your own pace, it's really nice to just go into the game with my partner relax and work on our skills together, training and working towards our goals. We have even gotten my S.O.'s brother back into the game, which has allowed us to do missions with him. There are times when we are all online leveling our skills and then come together to do a quest or fight something big. This has become one of my favorite games to play with him and honestly even without him.
1. Fable III
It’s really hard not to fall in love with this game. The land is so beautiful and the witty remarks that are expressed by the British town folk make for a very fun game. You are given a handful of interactions that you can do with people, from dancing with them to farting in their face. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t have something nice to do say to a kid so instead of just walking away I fart in their face. Most of the time my partner would turn around and bam sees me doing that. I got a lot of “Oh.. honey.” Getting around is a bit difficult, I’m not sure if it was always buggy or just buggy now since this game stopped being supported in around 2014, the bread crumbs that are supposed to help you would sometimes disappear or sometimes it was hard to move to the next part of the map together. I love the story that Fable III offers, it follows the predecessors' Fable and Fable II but also brings new things to the game. You can get married, have children and watch them grow all the while working your progression to the throne. Depending on what you choose can drastically change the gameplay. It's hard to decide sometimes if you should keep your promise or break it. You can go quest and fight or you can sit around being silly making pies or listening to your partner play awfully on the lute. I love that you can switch your outfits, from just pajamas to a full-blown chicken suit. I know that a lot of people said that they didn’t like Fable III and maybe it was who I was playing with, but this game, even with its frustrations of not always working right, was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played.
There are so many other games that I enjoy playing with my partner that I didn’t list here. Some because we haven’t spent much time in the games to really get a good feel for playing with each other like Trine, and some because while they are fun to play with just my partner, they really need more than just two people to play with to really get into the game like Terraria, Overcooked 2 and Boarderlands 2. All in all, it really is about spending time with your partner, exploring different experiences together and discovering new sides of games that are unique to the co-operative perspective.
These games are great to play together whether you are sitting right next to each other or far away. What are your go-to games to play with your partner?