Top 10 CO-OP Games For Valentine's Day
Time To Show Your Player Two How Much You Care
So V-Day is upon us.
For those of you that are out there on the front lines, providing love and adoration for your loved ones, Valentine's Day can be a hard time to make sure that you show a sign of affection that comes across as both romantic, and sincere.
For those of you that are hopeless romantics and are still searching for someone to place trust into and spend time with, it can be an equally tense affair as you're hiding in the trenches, having to wait out until the bombs of constant couples kissing and lovey dovey celebrations subsides and it's safe to come out again.
However, whether you're in pain or in pleasure, in happiness or hopelessness, broken-hearted or in bliss,Video Games won't let you down! So if you have a loved one to share these great Co-op games with, or if you have your girl-friends/bros to settle down with for the day, or whether you want to bond with someone and get closer to them, hopefully expressing your interest and feelings for them, here is a top 10 list of the best Co-Op games that will make your V-Day go as awesomely as possible! To make the cut, these games have to either be fun to play with your friends or significant other, and/or requires teamwork to complete. So here we go!
Top 10 Games Perfect For V-Day:
#10 Most MMO Games
Perfect for those of you in a long distance relationship, or have friends from across the pond. The MMO genre allows you and a group of friends to adventure together in a party, taking on hordes of enemies and completing quests. This can be a solo affair, or you can get a partner/group of friends involved. To list only but a few: World of Warcraft; Lord of the Rings Online; Tera; Guild Wars 2; Star Wars The Old Republic; Runescape. With the recent rush of Free-To-Play games becoming popular, most MMOs these days are free from both subscription fees, and first time purchases of the game itself. World of Warcraft remains the largest MMO currently, but needs a subscription after level 20. One step down the ladder is Guild Wars 2, which costs money to buy the game initially, but has no subscription fees afterwards, and does very little to push microtransactions in your face (which other free games are notorious for). Towards the very bottom then you have games like Star Wars and Tera, which at the time of writing are both free to play and download, Lord of the Rings being the first major MMO to go completely free. Needless to say, you'll both need your own system to play the games on as Split-Screen is not an option, but if you both have a laptop/pc, then this is a good way to spend some of your time today.
#9 House of the Dead / Time Crisis
Excellent arcade games that have a few titles on the console. Plug in a light gun for the two of you, and start shooting! House of the Dead is a little more challenging and harder than the Time Crisis series, but both are excellent experiences to play with a friend. You both help each other, cover each other's backs, and the games become much easier with 2 people squeezing the trigger at the same enemy. Sometimes there are events where one player is caught by a monster/person, and you must carefully shoot the enemy to release your partner or lose a life. A very overlooked genre for multiplayer fun, the lightgun action games list is very short, but every title is packed full of fun.
#8 Super Smash Bros / Mario Kart: Double Dash
Not many gaming experiences can match you and two other people going head to head against a computer on Level 9 difficulty in any of the SSB games. Pick your favourite character, get a friend or two join in, and you're set. Put the items off (or on full), and see if the 2 or 3 of you can defeat the computer before he finishes you both off. If you're really hardcore, you and a friend should take on 2 computers at level 9, and have a 2vs2 duel! As for Mario Kart, the Double Dash entry in the series is the best for Co-op play. You and a partner both hop on the same Kart, and one of you drives while the other aims the weapons, as well as organises them (detach useless items to pick up better ones etc). Again, this can be great fun against the harder opponents, and come result in some messy fun on the track.
#7 Streets of Rage / Golden Axe
The Mega Drive (Genesis) had two of the best Co-Op fighters ever created, the excellent Golden Axe, and the just as fantastic Streets of Rage. This is a game that even my mother would play with my brother and I. Easy to pick up, with only a jump, attack, and special ability buttons to remember, the rest came after time. Simply hack and slash (or punch) your way through hordes of enemies on screen, progress to the next screen, fight a boss, repeat. Notoriously hard to finish, but still within a respectable reach to complete. The optimum word is “challenging”, but because of its arcade style, finishing the game is never really the goal, as simply playing for a few minutes achieves what it sets out to do; be as fun.
#6 Borderlands 1 and 2
A great Co-Op Shooter that includes both FPS and RPG elements, combining into something wonderful. Absolutely crazy and whacky at times, the game focuses 100% on fun and gameplay, and strays very little from that focus throughout. With memorable characters and exciting scenes of frantic action (and a large pool of different weapons to collect), Borderlands is a very unique and identifiable game. The 2nd game largely improves on the mechanics, but 1 is still a hoot to play Co-Op. There's plenty of DLC on offer too, which means this will last you long after V-Day is over.
#5 Lego Games (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, Indiana Jones etc.)
The Lego video games are a great chance for advanced gamers to play alongside casual gamers, and neither feels disappointed with the experience. The casual player doesn't feel as if they are being pulled along faster than they can keep up with, and the advanced player doesn't feel as if they are being pulled back and slowed down from playing the game at their own pace. This doesn't just go as far as parent and child however, maybe your friend isn't as much a gamer as you are, and just wants to play something “fun”. This is the game series you'll most likely point to in times of need. Same applies with relationships, maybe your other half plays games as a means of connecting and spending time with you, but has no real interest in the medium. The Lego games are an easy and quick way for you both to achieve that and not feel as if it's any real effort for either of you. For the non-gaming couples/friends out there, these would be #1 on the list for you!
#4 Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 / Portal 2 / Team Fortress 2
Valve struck gold with Left 4 Dead, as well as Portal and Team Fortress 2. Left 4 Dead has become one of the most tense experiences for Co-Op in gaming, and reaches extremely high tension at times of panic, making for some great laughs, and Portal 2 achieves the same hilarious nature through a more comedic and relaxed approach. Team Fortress 2 just manages to be one of the best multiplayer experiences without breaking a sweat, and with the new inclusion of the Co-Op mode where you face off against waves of robots, the experience has only gotten better. Portal 2 is the best choice for the casual gamers, Left 4 Dead for the competent among you, and Team Fortress 2 for the more experienced players looking for a challenge online or against bots.
#3 TimeSplitters Series
All 3 of the TimeSplitters titles are great fun to play. Known for its excellent multiplayer, it's sound Co-Op story missions, and of course, taking whacky and crazy to whole new heights, TS 1, 2, and 3 are excellent games to play with friends. Play with a friend and tackle the various missions and challenges, or play with more of your friends in multiplayer and stick some computer bots on to go against. Play as Mr.Snowman in the Chinatown map, or play as Zombie Monkey in the Training Grounds map. Stick some miniguns in, some rocket launchers, TNT, and some proximity mines, and you'll have one of the best multiplayer/coop experiences ever created.
Some would argue that Halo defined Co-Op as well as polishing what we saw as FPS multiplayer with friends. Whereas Halo 1 had a solid and fun Co-Op alongside a great multiplayer, Halo 2 sought to perfect the Online Multiplayer format, and turned it into a huge and mainstream passtime with Xbox Live. Afterwards, Halo 3 kept the formula going with 4 player Co-Op (from the usual 2 player) and improved multiplayer with Forge map editing. Halo ODST, Reach, and Halo 4 have all kept the usual traditions going as well, adding in the “Firefight” modes, as well as “Spartan Ops”. Mention online multiplayer and/or fun Co-Op, then ask for a game that satisfies both, and you'll most likely hear Halo mentioned. Halo also popularised the Lan setup between friends, and was a great way for Roosterteeth to produce their Red Vs Blue Machinima video series. This makes Halo perfect for the romantic night in, or simply a great night with friends.
#1 Little Big Planet 1 and 2, and Vita Version
LBP is a great game for friends to play. With the ability to interact with each other in various ways, from making facial expressions, to slapping each other in the face, and pulling each other around, the game more less begs for you to interact with each other in a more meaningful way than just simply playing together. Creating maps together is a pure joy, as is completing the default levels the game provides. LBP also requires at least 2 players for some sections, otherwise you won't unlock all of the goodies and rewards! There's too much to cover about the game without going into a review/article in itself about the series, but those that have played it will know exactly what I'm talking about. It's diverse enough to appeal to everyone from every type of culture and background, and is just a toolbox for you to play with. Most certainly the pinnacle of multiplayer gaming if we're to take into account all areas into consideration at once, and certainly hits the top notes in more of those areas than other games would. Yes, there are better Co-Op games out there, but none do as much as LBP can do at once at the quality it achieves.
Weird and Wonderful:
Psi-Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy / Beautiful Katamari
Two games that have a strange take on the Co-op feature. In both games, you both control the same character, but two different parts of him/her/it. In Psi-Ops, one of you controls the characters movement, aim and Melee, whilst the other shoots weapons, changes weapons, and uses Psychic abilities. In Katamari, you must both roll the ball together, meaning that any uncooperative decisions instantly results in the ball not behaving efficiently, and not really doing what either of you wants it to do. Both are hard to play well together, but once a type of synergy is found between you both, it becomes a whole new type of meta-game so much different from anything you'll have experienced alone. Both dependant on each other, it eventually demands you both get along for anything to be achieved. Any arguments whilst playing will slowly descend and fade into laughter, and whoever wasn't moving in the right direction quick enough will soon forget about who was blaming who.
Lord of the Rings: The Third Age / Eternal Sonata / some other JRPGs
A strange feature in these games is the ability to play 2 player. Because of a JRPG system's turn based nature, a few titles using this kind of system allow player 1 and 2 to alternate control between characters, which is essentially the same as passing the controller around the room. Not really a multiplayer function in itself (because controller swapping achieves the same result), but definitely a strange feature nonetheless. It sort of works in The Third Age, because you maintain control of the same characters in combat, and you both have different tactics in mind, so it requires some kind of agreement between the two of you and Co-Operation, but with other games it's a little trivial. The reason behind not including any of the JRPG Co-op games on the list, is that MMOs achieve the same result, but in real time. MMOs allow two players to play together at once, instead of the controller swapping effect of taking turns, thus making these redundant in a sense.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The old Mega Drive (Genesis) Sonic games had an unofficial 2 player mode whilst playing single player. If a 2nd controller was plugged in, players could take control of Tails if he was on screen. The strange thing is that the view would always follow Sonic, and player 2 controlling Tails would not be able to see where he/she was 99% of the time as Sonic would move too fast to keep up with. A weird kind of easter egg almost, but on the slower levels, this was a legitimate feature almost, as Tails could be used as Cannon Fodder without losing any lives.
Earth Defense Force 2017 / Dynasty Warriors Series
If B-Movies were ever made into a Video Game, this would be one of them. 2 players, against a swarm of giant spiders, robots, and ants attacking the city. Given exaggerated and over the top weaponry like 8 missile rocket launchers amongst other crazy weapons, your job is simply to destroy anything that moves and isn't human. Dynasty Warriors being the same kind of crazy horde massacre, but against humans. The romance of the three kingdoms serves as the context unto which you both choose a general and slash your way through 1000s of soldiers in a 10-15 minute battle. There is a huge sense of power felt and a ridiculous feeling to the whole venture, but it does it in that crazy Japanese style that simply lands up becoming a whole lot of fun. An over the top hack and slash you'll love playing together.
Call of Duty Series
Let's face it, CoD has become a powerhouse in the game industry in the last few years. While it was difficult to choose between Halo and CoD, I chose to remember that Halo has been going since the start of the millenium, ever since the release of the original Xbox. CoD has only really become this new thing since the release of Call of Duty 4, when it popularised the series.
Most Tom Clancy Games
Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, the list is long of titles from all 3 that are either Co-Op story, or against the bots. Terrorist Hunt in both Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon is an incredible experience on the hardest difficulty mode, and still has people playing to this day across all titles old and recent. Splinter Cell's best Co-Op was around the time of Chaos Theory, but has evolved into multiplayer since, with Conviction still giving an enjoyable Co-Op experience albeit a little different to the stealth mechanics of Chaos Theory. The latest Ghost Recon was again (like Splinter Cell Conviction), a little different to the style of the early titles in the series. Again, depending on who you ask you'll get a different answer over whether they've strayed too far from the formula and become poor quality games, or whether the change is good and a welcome change of pace. However, what remains is that most of the Tom Clancy entries are just great Co-Op titles.
Resident Evil 5 and 6
Resident Evil 5 and 6 both have great Co-Op experiences, but the quality of the games in themselves is questionable. 5 being a very good game, 6 suffered from much criticism and a generally poor reception from fans. Still solid experiences for Co-Op though, and definitely worth a rent.
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
A great hack and slash game that combines magic into the mixture. A classic game from the days of the PS2/Xbox, hard to get a hold of for a cheap price, but worth it if you see it floating in the wild for an affordable price.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King / LotR Conquest
ROTK was an excellent hack and slash game that followed after The Two Towers game (also from EA), Conquest was a take on what the Battlefield series would be like if seen from the eyes of the LotR universe. Very addictive, and hard to put down.
Rock Band Series / Guitar Hero Series
Amazingly great fun at parties and social events, it can be as equally fun together with a few friends in a room full of pizza and soda. Both games have enough songs to satisfy everyone, no matter what their tastes. The difficulty is adaptable and can be set different for everyone involved, and the instrument controllers don't take long at all to learn. Everyone can join in, the only requirement is that you have an enjoyment of music.
Indie Game Developer, Machinimist, Musician and Writer.
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