The best co-op games

Nothing beats a good blaster at your side, kid—except a friend who also has a good blaster, so you have two blasters and can blast twice as many things at once. That's just math, really. And it's also the joy of playing games co-op, whether that means jumping in with a single friend or putting together a squad of four.

This is our latest collection of the best co-op games to play together, with new shooters and platformers and RPGs joining the classics like Left 4 Dead 2. Some of these games make for a great afternoon, while others could last you months and months.

These are our favorite co-op games on PC right now. For more of our favorites played solo or with a pal, check out our top 100 best PC games.

Note: Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.  

Monster Hunter: World

Release date: 2018
Developer: Capcom
Link: Steam

You can play through all of Monster Hunter solo, or with random strangers from the internet, but co-op is where this game truly shines. Combat channels the combos of Capcom action games like Devil May Cry but feels more risky and deliberate, forcing you to learn the attacks of these giant beasts. Tougher monsters force you to collaborate and stay constantly on your feet, and fights go much better when you and your hunting party specialize with different weapons. And grinding for the rare drops you need to make gear out of monster parts is just so much more fun with a few friends in Discord.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Release date: 2018
Developer: Fatshark
Link: Steam

This sequel to Vermintide confidently expands on the Left 4 Dead-alike formula, adding a whole new faction of enemies to fight in addition to the Skaven, and more robust class leveling and loot systems. It still feels nice and meaty when you smash in a rat man's face with a giant club, and there's a welcome build variety now with the game's five characters. If you loved Left 4 Dead but have simply played enough of it for the past decade, this is where you should redirect your attention. It's good for a few dozen hours of bloody melee carnage.

Sea of Thieves

Release date: 2018
Developer: Rare
Link:
Official site

Rare's swashbuckling sandbox makes for a decent co-op game but it really shines as a co-op hangout. Sea of Thieves is a stunningly beautiful open world and it can be completely undemanding—board a ship with your friends, pick a direction, and just sail around drinking grog until you barf, playing musical instruments, and firing each other out of cannons. Or just chat for an hour while you cruise around taking in the picturesque sunsets. For excitement you can chase down other crews for some bracing ship-to-ship combat, hunt for buried treasure, or take down a skeleton fort, but it's just as enjoyable to treat it like a chat room with beautiful waves and the occasional Kraken.

Destiny 2

Release date: 2017
Developer: Bungie
Link: Humble 

Loot box woes aside, Destiny 2 contains a good Halo-esque campaign, a ton of playful side missions, a growing number of strikes (aka dungeons), and two trying six-person raid activities. 

All nested in one of the best feeling shooters on PC, Destiny 2 has dozens of hours of co-op shooting within, from brainless fun to challenging endgame encounters. That's more than enough fun to squeeze out before the Eververse even becomes a concern.  

Overcooked! 2

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Ghost Town Games
Link: Humble Store | Steam

Overcooked is chaos incarnate. It’s the type of co-op game where you’re supposed to be helping each other so that you’ll all succeed, but you may never want to speak to the people you play with ever again by the end of it. Overcooked 2 shares the same penchant for destroying relationships, but before you hate each other, you'll love playing this game together. The sequel adds new maps and new complexity. You can play multiplayer locally or online. Now you can make sushi, and there's teleportation involved. Just like your standard kitchen, really.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Release date: 2017
Developer: Larian Studios
Link: Steam 

According to our reviewer, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is "a sprawling, inventive adventure and one of the best RPGs ever made." And you can play one of the best RPGs ever made with up to three other friends in online co-op. Chaos and player agency reign supreme in such a reactive world, meaning one friend could piss of a guard or reveal their undead identity at an inopportune time—but that's exactly what makes OS2 so great with friends. 

You're no longer dealing with a loyal party of characters you shape over time. You're dealing with three other stubborn people, all vying for different outcomes. It's a beautiful role-playing mess set in one of the most lush, engaging RPG worlds ever. And once you complete the campaign, the Game Master mode lets you create new campaigns from scratch with an extensive D&D-style dungeon master's toolkit.

Total War: Warhammer 2

Release date: 2017
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Link: Steam

Total War: Warhammer was the first time the Total War team really got to deviate from the historical script, and it showed. A decade of pent-up creativity oozes from Warhammer's animations and faction asymmetry. With Warhammer 2, Creative Assembly also tried to solve a longstanding series problem: campaigns growing stale in the endgame, as they drag on towards total map dominance. What remains unchanged is how fun it is to launch a grand campaign with a friend, taking on two allied factions against the rest of the world. Splitting control of a huge army in battle is the real highlight: one of you can micromanage infantry while the other performs tactical strikes with cavalry.

Or, you know, whatever the Warhammer equivalent is. Lizard men, giant bats, etc. If you own Warhammer 1, you can also mash the two games together for a massive campaign map.

Warframe

Release Date: 2013
Developer: Digital Extremes
Link: Steam

It’s easy to fall into routine with Warframe, a game fundamentally about running through procedurally generated levels to upgrade your character over and over again. Playing alone just doesn’t make sense for some missions, and playing online with strangers can be intimidating at times, especially for newer players. But Warframe shines as a co-op game, creating the perfect digital space to hang out with your buddies while tearing through hordes of baddies. 

And if you want to really dive into it, Warframe’s systems go deep. You can lose yourself in upgrade planning and crafting component wikis until the sun comes up. But it’s still easy to play with friends of pretty much any skill level, meaning you don’t really need to start playing all at the same time, and don’t have to meticulously time out your play sessions. You can all play at your own pace, and then cross paths in a Grineer spaceship from time to time.

Cuphead

Release date: 2017
Developer: Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc.
Link: Humble 

Cuphead doesn't become a breeze just because a friend can have your back in co-op. Crowding the luscious animations with another body and even more bullets complicates this side-scrolling arcade shooter, you see, making the two-player option a challenge for only the absolute ironclad best of friends. 

But in the same way your brain and hands meld into a higher power after enough failure, and gradual pattern recognition hardens into pure instinct, bridging that rapt attention between two brains is a mild telepathy. Friend telepathy for the purposes of finishing a cartoon game.  

Don’t Starve Together

Release date: 2016
Developer: Klei
Link: Steam

Klei fought shy of adding co-op to its brilliant game of goth survival whimsy for a couple of years, reasoning (not unreasonably) that the addition of other people might break its esoteric spell, which relies on feelings of isolation and discovery. Turns out the developer needn’t have worried, because a disaster shared is even more fun. The mutual blame when a Deerclops stomps through your camp, ruining days worth of winter prep, is a strategy game in itself.

In keeping with Klei’s attention to detail and balance across its games, the core Don’t Starve experience is tweaked across Together’s three modes—Survival, Wilderness, and Endless—to ensure revival items and certain character abilities aren’t overpowered. It’s Endless you’ll likely find most enjoyable. Chilling out on Discord or a Skype call with a friend whilst pooling your resources to try to keep each other alive against the increasingly brutal effects of the seasons.

Remember: Happiness is a fridge full of frogs legs.  

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Release date: 2015
Developer: Asteroid Base
Link: Humble Store | Steam | GOG

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (LIADS) is a real achievement of great local multiplayer design. We’ve seen a bit of a resurgence of local multiplayer games for PC, but few have the style, color, and whimsy of LIADS.

LIADS also forces inter-team conflict in ways that other co-op games don’t. There are just too many stations and only two crewmembers, so failure comes from lapses in communication instead of bleak incompetence. This game is so good, it’s a bit of a bummer that there’s no online play. Still, it feels like side-by-side on a couch is how this game was meant to be played, and it's great fun if you have the setup for it.

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Release date: 2015
Developer: RuneStorm
Link: Humble Store | Steam

A strange, slapstick co-op game with a brilliant conceit: you and your friends play disposable space janitors sent to clean up the mess after a squad of square-jawed videogame space marines have done their bloody business. Grab a mop and bucket and get ready to clean blood off walls, incinerate body parts, collect shell casings, and buff away damage with a welding tool. Sure, you're doing chores: but you're doing chores in space, with friends, and it's strangely, evening-absorbingly compelling.

The soul of Viscera Cleanup Detail is found in its physics system, which has a mind of its own. Get bumped by another player while carrying a bucket of bloody water and you'll spill it everywhere, necessitating even more work. You'll get yelled at for accidentally putting explosive debris in the incinerator and laugh yourself inside out when a friend gets crushed by a malfunctioning elevator, even if that means another round of cleaning up giblets.

Lego Marvel Superheroes

Release date: 2013
Developer: TT Games
Link: Steam

There's a bunch of good Lego games that we'd recommend to serious players: Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Lego Batman 2 and Harry Potter are favorites, but Marvel is still the king of them. It's not tied to any particular film adaptation, so it features a pleasant mix of Spider-Man, Captain America et al alongside the rosters of the Fantastic Four and X-Men (something you can't really see in the comics these days). 

The levels are nice and imaginative, taking you to locations like Doctor Doom's castle or Stark Tower or Asgard—basically a complete representation of the Marvel Universe, with an obvious love for the characters in how they're animated and voiced. Plus, you can explore Manhattan, and jump off the SHIELD Helicarrier. It's way better than the reskinned-feeling Avengers-focused sequel.

Far Cry 4

Release date: 2014
Developer: Ubisoft
Link: Humble Store | Steam

The quiet joy of Far Cry is anticipation. Creeping up to an outpost builds tension. Taking out a couple of guards builds even more tension. Eventually, someone spots you, you go loud, and all hell breaks lose.

With a friend, the peaks and valleys of a Far Cry 4 attack is even greater. Co-op partners can always see outlines of each other, so it’s possible to watch quietly as your buddy does something truly risky. When it’s time to go loud, Far Cry 4’s huge variety of toys makes the chaos amazing to play with. Why slink around in the shadows when you can drop grenades from a helicopter as your friend charges the front door on a war elephant?

Sven Co-op

Release date: January 1999
Developer: Sven Co-op Team
Link: Steam

It's pitched as cooperative Half-Life, but this must be the closest thing to Interdimensional Cable from Rick & Morty. Hop into a random server and suddenly you’re inside a technicolor playground populated by Teletubbies. Join another, and you’re in a Mega Man homage, a secret military base, or Egyptian pyramids where you throw grenades at Anubis himself.

Download an assortment of weird maps, hop in Discord with five or six of your buddies, and lose yourself in hours of retro-weirdness, laughter, and awkward platforming. With the right group of friends, it’s a calamitous and hilarious mashup of Half-Life’s blocky cast of monsters, scientists, and security inside ever-stranger worlds.

Starbound

Release date: 2016
Developer: Chucklefish
Link: Humble Store | Steam | GOG

Exploring, mining, crafting, and adventuring in Starbound’s massive open world 2D galaxy can provide you dozens if not hundreds of hours of fun. It's both a charming and challenging experience to work your way through story quests, building colonies on planets, and upgrading your arsenal, ship, and abilities. And it's even better with a pal or two along for the ride.

With drop-in/drop-out co-op mode, it’s easy to invite a friend to your game to work on joint projects, battle monsters, or just hang out together on your starship. You can even play through the story together, especially useful if you’re having trouble with one of Starbound’s tough-as-nails bosses. It’s cute as heck, too—type into chat and it’ll appear in a word bubble above your character, a nice touch for a game that’s already pretty adorable.  

Forza Horizon 3

Release date: 2016
Developer: Playground Games
Link: Microsoft Store

As an open world car game, Forza Horizon 3 would be wasted without co-op. The basic concept of driving cars with friends in a big space is inherently appealing, because who doesn’t want to play bumper cars in Ferraris and Jaguars? In Horizon 3, you get rewarded for driving like a maniac and with finesse in equal measure, whether you’re in an event or tearing through a poor farmer’s fields. 

Every event is cooperative too, so even if you’re in the middle of the pack, as long as a friend holds up out front, you’ll have a shot at a medal. Or if you don’t hit a jump in a bucket list challenge fast enough, your buddy can make up for it. You can also initiate a race with one another at any point in any vehicle, so if you want to see whether rally car or Halo’s Warthog can make it over a mountain faster, feel free. If your friend just isn’t very good, just disable some driving assist UI and control options to turn Horizon 3 into more of a sim and earn more XP and credits. It’s one of the most player friendly, open-ended car games ever made, and made far better with someone you know ramming you off the road.

Dungeon of the Endless

Release date: 2014
Developer: Amplitude
Link: Steam

Amplitude made its name with 4X strategy games Endless Space and Endless Legend, but their most creative and original game is the beautiful (and a bit bizarre) Dungeon of the Endless. The hybrid tower defense/roguelike gives you fragile heroes to control and resources to manage as waves of enemies attack your crystal. Every concept is familiar on its own, but twisted just slightly. Time only progresses when you open doors in the dungeon. Finishing a level requires picking up the crystal and making a mad dash for the exit as enemies swarm in from all sides. You’re driven to explore, but exploring too far or too fast can awaken an overwhelming horde of enemies.

Roguelikes, tower defense, and co-op RPGs seem like impossible bedfellows, and yet here we are. 

Killing Floor 2

 Released: 2015
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Link: Humble Store | Steam

The original Killing Floor deserves a shout here—it’s a great game—but it makes sense to recommend Killing Floor 2 going forward, as it has more players. And Killing Floor 2 is a great game, too. It’s a wave assault FPS in which you and five other players shoot and bash some very unsatisfied test subjects while scrambling around open maps trying to stay alive—simple enough, but teamwork is vital.

Or, if you want to relax, hop into a server with 50 players and go nuts.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Release date: 2015
Developer: Steel Crate Games
Link: Humble Store | Steam

Our favorite thing about Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is all the paperwork. Wait, wait! Come back! KTNB is a game about that scene in every action movie where the hero has to defuse a bomb, and the nerd on the phone asks him: What do you see?

KTNB made waves as a great Oculus Rift game, but you don’t need VR hardware to have a good time (although it's really fun that way). The defusing player can take a laptop to one side of the couch, and the advisers open up their bomb hardware manuals on the other. Communication is critical and any number of players can advise the bomb technician, making this a fantastic party game.

Grand Theft Auto Online

Release date: 2015
Developer: Rockstar North
Link: Humble Store | Steam

GTA Online has a whole of stuff going on, but the heists bring out the best in Rockstar’s open-world playground. Four players team up to conquer a series of story-like missions that involve each team member performing a different role building up to a bigger heist. This includes everything from stealing vehicles as part of the setup to assassinations and other interconnected tasks—the missions very cleverly allow everyone to feel like they’re playing a key part in the journey towards that endgame of earning mega money.

When all four players come together in the finale of each heist, making a dramatic escape from the cops as a collective is incredibly exciting and rewarding—more so than anything found in the main story. If only Rockstar would make more of them. They’d be worth paying for.

Portal 2

Release Date: 2011
Developer: Valve
Link: Steam

Portal 2, one of the most critically acclaimed games of the last six years, is on a best-of list? What a shock! There's no denying the raw quality of Portal 2's distinct co-op campaign, though. As the two testing robots Atlas and P-Body, you and a friend get to explore the darker, more dangerous side of GlaDOS's testing routines—the stuff that's too dangerous for (non-protagonist) human testers. The three-dimensional spatial thinking that makes the Portal series so addictive is only magnified when there's another friend getting stumped at the puzzles with you.

Portal 2's co-op is strongest when neither of you know the answer: if your partner waits patiently for you, you feel like a moron; if they don't, they'll be rushing you through all the discovery that makes the game great. Several years after release, though, finding two fresh players would be a rare trick indeed. Luckily, Valve's excellent map editor community has created a full array of excellent new maps to explore, and get stumped in, together.

Guacamelee 2

Release Date: 2018
Developer: DrinkBox Studios
Link: Humble Store

The first Guacamelee 2 occupied a spot on this list for years for being the rare Metroidvania-style game that supported co-op. The sequel offers more of the same, with up to four players able to adventure together and pull off fun, flashy combos in classic beat-em-up fashion. It's a breezier game than something slower and moodier like Hollow Knight, but that's why the co-op works so well. It's silly, over-the-top, and has really punchy combat. Also, you can fight as a chicken now.

Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

Release Date: 2015
Developer: Larian Studios
Link: Humble Store | Steam | GOG

This game may have been surpassed by Original Sin 2, but it's still one of the best of a rare breed: a deep, rewarding roleplaying game that you can co-op with a friend.

The Enhanced Edition also made a good game better, with a complete overhaul to the voice acting, art, and loot systems. Exploring this massive, hundred-hour RPG can be done with friends on a drop-in/drop-out basis, but the most dedicated among you should think about making a monogamous commitment to your Divinity partner. It's a huge tim esink best suited to best friends and spouses, but if you stick with it, you'll experience a story together on a scale that can't be found anywhere else (except the sequel).

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

Release Date: 2013
Developer: Thomas Robertson
Link: Steam

Let's get this one thing perfectly clear from the beginning: Artemis is not a Star Trek game. That needs to be understood for legal reasons, OK? OK. Definitely not a Star Trek game.

Artemis is the greatest Star Trek game ever made. It's billed as a “spaceship bridge simulator,” and its genius is that every player has a different control scheme and information readout. The players (captain, weapons, helm, engineering, communications, science) can only see what's in front of them or what's on the main viewscreen, so there's no way for, say, engineering to help out with aiming weapons or piloting the ship. If you want power redirected to subsystems, though, engineering can do that.

It's incredible how quickly you fall into a perfect naval-style call and response pattern (“Helm, set course for Deep Space 1, half impulse.” “Half impulse to DS1, aye captain.”). Not because you're LARPing, but because you've got to make sure you heard the command correctly or you'll all die. Well, maybe a little because you're LARPing. 

Arma 3

Release Date: 2013
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Link: Steam

It's one thing to have an adventure with two or three friends, sure, but the Arma engine supports dozens of players at once. There's really something to be said for having a human pilot fly you and ten humans to a war zone, drop you off, and leave you to link up with twenty other humans for an assault. Arma 3 doesn't have to be strictly cooperative, of course, but it's included on this list because it shines the brightest when everyone's on the same side against an overwhelming AI foe.

While you're diving into Arma 3, be sure to check out the Zeus multiplayer mode. One player, as Zeus, runs the game as a D&D-style dungeon master, spawning equipment and enemies. Anger your vengeful god, and Zeus will strike you down with a bolt of lightning. It's a fantastic, flexible take on co-op mission scripting that should not be missed.

Spelunky

Release Date: 2013
Developer: Mossmouth
Link: Steam | GOG

It's one of the best PC games ever made. Isn't that reason enough? No? Most of us think of Spelunky as a singleplayer game, but our best memories of it are playing co-op. There's potential for so much to go wrong when a poorly thrown rock or bomb or vase or really anything you throw can send your friend careening into deadly spikes, but that's part of the hilarity of it all. And when you work together, magic can happen.

You have two pairs of hands for carrying vital items through the levels. You can revive a dead player the level after they became a whispy ghost, making Spelunky easier on the whole. You can come up with a plan to work together—you enrage the shopkeeper, I'll drop bombs on him from above—and carry it out. And most of the time it all goes to shit, but isn't that what Spelunky is all about?

Left 4 Dead 2

Release Date: 2009
Developer: Valve
Link: Steam

It's really saying something about the strength of Valve's terrific zombie shooter that it's still clawing its way onto lists like this one after so many years. A fanatically balanced, cleverly written shooter, Left 4 Dead 2 is built on the strength of four survivors working as a team. As it throws zombies at the team, the group must coordinate their movement and help each other out of danger or death with last second heroics that give each campaign a story worth retelling.

Valve must also get some credit for how long it has supported L4D2, adding level editors, Steam workshop support, porting in the maps and characters from Left 4 Dead 1, and continuing to offer “mutations,” always-changing game modes that offer something new for experienced players.

Left 4 Dead 2's active modding community is also a huge part of why this game comes so highly recommended, as it has produced new campaigns, like Lord of the Rings' Helms Deep castle, which have kept L4D2 fun even after the base campaigns grew old. Plus, you can play as a velociraptor, which clearly warrants our highest praise.