Singleplayer games are fun, but most of the time they are more fun with friends. These ten games are fun alone, but better with a friend. And in the spirit of co-op, I have invited Thegodofwine7 to help me. We agreed on the list, and have both written entries for this. So this might be different from our own personal lists. And with that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road.  


10-New Super Mario Brothers U

Xl9: Four people playing Mario at once may seem chaotic, but you haven’t seen anything until you have a 5th player spawning in platforms to hurt or help you. The funny thing is that the players will either be working in harmony and helping each other, or going on mad betrayal sprees and jumping off of each other’s heads and bumping theirs on platforms that were just spawned, knocking them to their doom. Either way is always an exciting and fun ride that no Mario fan should dare miss out on.


Thegodofwine7: Ever since the brothers Mario had their platforming debut on the NES, there has been something special about playing Mario together.  Multiplayer has been used to varying success in the series past, but lately Nintendo has really been knocking it out of the park.  Nowhere is this more evident than in NSMBU.  The innovative Boost mode may be as much of a hindrance as it is a help, but it’s a riotous good time either way.


9-Halo: Reach

Xl9: While Halo: Reach is not my favorite Halo game, it is the best co-op Halo in the franchise. Like all halos, you can play through the entire campaign with somebody else. But, the real star of the show is firefight. This horde mode lookalike has you and your partner teaming up to fight off hordes of covenant. But in the spirit of Halo, the areas are littered with fantastical weapons and crazy vehicles. You better be ready for some tough moments, because the aliens won’t stop coming until you’re dead.


Thegodofwine7: Halo has always been a destination game for people looking for a cooperative campaign, but ODST’s addition of Firefight really put the series over the top with its fun wave structure, smart point system and always-stellar gunplay.  Reach elevated that concept to new heights, as well as offering a great coop campaign and team competitive mode to enjoy from the couch. 


8-Gears of War 3

Xl9: If you have ever played a game this generation with Co-op, I am pretty sure that some form of horde mode was incorporated. The premise is simple: you and your friends have to survive waves of enemies that get tougher each round. But after Gears of War 2, it seemed impossible to top that feat. They did. Horde mode returns, but they have also added in a great spinoff where you can play as the evil locusts. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also team up to play through the excellent campaign. This is the greatest co-op action game around, and any fan of third person shooters should grab it.


Thegodofwine7: Of course, there would be no Halo firefight without Gears of War 2’s Horde Mode.  Often imitated but never quite duplicated, the original Horde mode is still one of the best.  A terrific four-player campaign and the addition of Beast mode are great coop bullet points, and few multiplayer games demand as much teamwork as an intense Gears match.


7-Rock Band

Xl9: Rock Band took the fun and addictive gameplay of Guitar Hero and turned it into a multiplayer fun fest. You can finally realize your dreams of getting your friends together and forming a band. Jamming to legendary tunes on different instruments is pure joy to fans of rock and roll music.


Thegodofwine7: There was something magical about picking up that small plastic guitar for the first time.  Mine was on Guitar Hero 2, and I’ll never forget it.  The music game craze may be all but over now, but there was a time when you couldn’t go to a party and not see people playing Rock Band.  The first time you get a full band together to absolutely desecrate “Don’t Stop Believing” is a hard feeling to match.


6-Contra III: The Alien Wars

Xl9: I recently tried to play Contra III: The Aliens Wars by myself. It took me exactly 37 seconds to get die. But when I tried it again with a friend, it only took us 6:32 to die. Progress, right? Contra is one of those games that is nearly impossible if you don’t have a partner to back you up. Since everything is a one-hit kill, you must be strategic and really work together to cover all angles. It ups the ante from the original contra, swapping out a plain jungle with burning cities and even alien airships.


Thegodofwine7: I’ve personally never played Contra 3, but xl9 assures me it is awesome.  However, I have played my fair share of the original Contra, and even beat it back in the day (with the help of the Konami Code of course).  The impact Contra had on console coop simply cannot be overstated, and for that, we thank you.



Xl9: When creative people team up, anything is possible. In singleplayer, building a giant castle is a daunting task. But when there are multiple other people who are also helping you build, it feels easier than squashing a goomba. When you have tons of people each assigned to certain jobs, watching the teamwork is fantastic. One player might be mining cobblestone, which will be placed in a chest for the smelter to melt into smooth stone, then place it in another chest for the builders to construct the castle. This is one game that you can’t afford to tackle alone.


Thegodofwine7: Minecraft excited a fascination unlike any other game when it first dropped on PC from then-unknown developer Mojang. Well, they and their charismatic leader Notch are unknown no longer, and Minecraft has emerged as both a critical darling and a commercial success.  The PC version offers mind-blowing tools for cooperative players to master, and the recent Xbox edition emerged as one of the best couch coop games on any console.


4-Portal 2

Xl9: Portal 2 is the puzzle game that made me realize that all of my friends are idiots. I think I lost my voice for a few days after this game launched because I did nothing but scream at my science buddies because they wouldn’t place the portal where I wanted them too. What’s great about Portal 2’s co-op mode is that it can only be completed if both people are cooperating, but it turns out that it ends up with us shouting. And shouting has never been this much fun.


Thegodofwine7: For such a celebrated single-player experience as the original Portal, it was surprising to hear about coop being added to the sequel.  As usual whenever a popular game spawns a sequel and introduces something new, there were questions about whether or not it would work.  Of course, we collectively forgot that this is Valve and they can’t mess anything up, hence Portal 2 features one of the standout coop experiences anywhere.  A free coop focused DLC add-on certainly didn’t hurt either.


3-Castle Crashers

Xl9: Don’t let Castle Crasher’s cutesy looks deceive you, this game is tough. While playing singleplayer, chances are that you will be surrounded by enemies and will most likely die. But when you have another player at your side, dying will be a rare occurrence. Chopping up demons, beekeepers, and aliens is an experience best tailored for two people.


Thegodofwine7: What exactly is it that makes Castle Crashers so awesome?  I’ve tried to pin it down, but I just can’t.  The catchy music?  The simple yet pleasing graphical style?  The pitch-perfect gameplay?  The perfect touch of RPG elements blended with a zany sense of humor that hits the mark more often than not?  Nope.  All these are true, nut it’s the cherry-on-top of fighting your teammates for the princesses’ kisses that really makes it special.


2-Borderlands 2

Xl9: The first Borderlands was a fantastic shooter that was even better if you played it with other people. The second one took everything good about the first and made it better. Better jokes, better weapons, and overall better gunplay are big parts of this, but the best part is that everything is still better with a friend.


Thegodofwine 7: The original Borderlands blew gamers away with its inventive weapons and fun mechanics, but its greatest achievement is spawning the brilliance of Borderlands 2.  Offering improvements across the board, Borderlands 2 blends fun character customization, top-notch gunplay and a story that utilizes both humor and tragedy to great effect. Siren FTW!


1-Left 4 Dead 2

Xl9: What’s more fun than killing zombies by yourself? Killing zombies with friends! Don’t even think of surviving the harsh terrain without another player. If you don’t ration out the weapons and health packs properly, your “fantastic” plan will crumble before your eyes. But it also reveals that your friends are backstabbing jerks who will throw boomer bile at you so that they can escape while all the zombies slowly devour you. That is the new meaning of friendship. 


Thegodofwine7: If there is a better cooperative experience than the Left 4 Dead series, I have yet to find it.  The first one introduced us to the craziness of trying to get your group to the safehouse, and the thrill of preventing it as the zombies.  The sequel addressed the biggest weakness of its predecessor by adding more weapon and enemy variety.  When its all said and done, no video game perfectly captures the spirit of coop better than Left 4 Dead.