Chances are pretty good right now that there’s a lot of people out there feeling a little lonely. Sure our friends and family can drive us crazy, but when you haven’t seen them for a month or more and you aren’t sure when you’ll get to see them next, it can be a real bummer. Not to worry though, the gamers of the world have an easy solution that they’ve been applying to this problem since the days of dial-up — play online games together of course!
But if you aren’t a seasoned veteran of the gaming community, you probably aren’t sure where to get started with your adventure into the world of co-op multiplayer gaming. Heck, even if you are a seasoned veteran, there’s just so many good games out there, that sometimes it’s hard to know what to play next. So whether you’re a newbie or an old hand, a panel of AIPT’s most dedicated gamers has put together a list of some of their favorite multiplayer co-op games for you and yours to enjoy together.
Cause really, what else is there to do right now anyway?
Guild Wars 2
(Mac OS, PC)
A good MMORPG is something that not only kills time, but offers endless hours of gaming with friends. World of Warcraft is an obvious choice, but I have fallen in love with the world of Guild Wars. My friends and I have been playing this game for nearly a decade. Guild Wars 2 continues to drop in new living world and live events. You can choose between multiple races. I personally like playing as the beastly Charr race, or the weird plant people known as the “Sylvari.” This game is beautiful, through and through. The music is soothing, composed by Jeremy Soule. There are endless puzzles, which my friends get a good laugh out of when I fail miserably. They also do an event called “The Super Adventure Box” which puts your characters into a 3D version of an 8-bit world, which is absolutely fantastic. The best part about Guild Wars 2 is that there is no subscription fee to pay after you purchase the game and most importantly, you can play with your friends.
– Ryan Pagella
(Mac OS, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
I’ve been a fan of Blizzard games for as long as I can remember. I’ve written in great length over the years about my obsession with World of Warcraft, but Blizzard’s darker property, Diablo, is almost as near and dear to my heart. Every day in my high school years, I would get home, discard my backpack, put off homework, and spend hours doing Baal runs in Diablo II. So when Diablo III came out, I put an absolutely obscene amount of time into it. Since then, it’s undergone several major changes and sort of ended up the forgotten child of Blizzard’s portfolio, but I’ve recently rediscovered it with some friends, and I’ve come to realize that it’s just about the perfect quarantine game: it brings loads of nostalgia, is a great way to virtually hang out with my friends, and its signature repetitive-but-somehow-soothing gameplay is the best way I’ve found to just turn my brain off and forget about the horrors of reality for a few hours.
– Patrick Ross
(Android, iOS, PC, PS4, Xbox One)
I’m not a huge gamer, but that’s partly PUBG’s fault. I’ve played nearly only this game for a year or two now with over 1,200 hours dumped into it. The game is great if you like team-based play in their 4-man squad mode. Duos is another great format so you can play with just one friend. It’s addictive because it’s so hard, but also because you can win or die based on how well you communicate with your team. Calling out where the enemy is, what gear you might need, or coming up with a strategy on the fly can mean winning or losing.
Adding to the fun was the April fools game-mode which allowed players to join forces as fantasy style characters. Guns were removed and replaced with giant axes for the Barbarian, magic potions for the Paladin and Wizard, and a deadly crossbow for the light footed Ranger. This game-mode showed how deep the game can be and how mods can be even more fun than the game itself. It further made the game fun for friends because we had to learn all the abilities of each character and then how to apply them strategically in battle.
– David Brooke
A Way Out
(PC, PS4, Xbox One)
For the truly co-op experience, few games provide players with as much dependency on one another quite like A Way Out. Unlike many games that fall under the “co-op” banner, A Way Out can only be completed with two players. Granted, the narrative only provides roughly eight hours of gaming, but the quality of gameplay and utterly unique cooperative experience is unlike anything else. Best of all, A Way Out can be enjoyed remotely or locally. Couch co-op may feel like a thing of the past, but with the state of things as they are, it is a welcome experience to sit with a friend or family member at home to take on this extraordinary co-op adventure. As two criminals trying to escape both a literal prison and the metaphorical ones they’ve created in their minds with their unique narrative conflicts. Whether creating diversions for one another, enacting simultaneous parts of an escape plan, or just fishing, the level of interaction A Way Out provides is indelible. Most importantly, it’s a story that only could (and should) be experienced together.
– Benjamin Novoa
Little Big Planet (series)
(PS3, PS4, PS Vita)
Bit of a blast from the past here, but I think Little Big Planet is an excellent co-op game, couch or otherwise. There’s a whole lot of scary stuff happening outside our doors nowadays, so why not enjoy an adventure with a cast of colorful (and customizable) characters as they solve puzzles that require 2, 3 and occasionally 4 people to solve. It’s a cutesy world and a game all about working together to achieve a goal – the mass accumulation of outfits and stickers for your cute little sack person. It’s great for adults and kids, and has an excellent soundtrack. Plus, given it’s advanced age, it should be pretty cheap at this point. All of the games are worth the money, but 3 may have more going for it in terms of complexity. That being said, 2 is a personal favorite. Still, regardless of which version you play, you’re sure to have a good time with Little Big Planet.
– Jason Segarra
The Division 2
(PC, PS4, Stadia, Xbox One)
I understand why you might be a bit apprehensive to play an MMO tactical shooter set in an America ravaged by an unstoppable global pandemic, but I promise you The Division 2 is an awesome online co-op experience worth your time. A couple buddies and I have been plugging away at The Division 2 for about a month now and we love it— the fluidity of cover transitions, the precise gunplay, and the dire need for coordinated attacks makes the game a blast to play with friends. And make no mistake, you must play with friends. This is not a game that can be played solo or even with strangers. You have to approach missions and firefights with tactical strategy or you will find yourself rage quitting after an hour and a half of dying over and over and over again because you keep getting bottlenecked outside the D.C. Air and Space Museum (not that that happened to me or anything). Communication and precise planning of attacks and special abilities are the only way to find success in the game, and the need for such tactical prowess only immerses the player further in the experience and really elevates the RPG-like elements of the game.
– Connor Christiansen
Jackbox Party Pack
(Android, Amazon Fire, iOS, Mac OS, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One)
While not a traditional co-op game, I had to ensure Jackbox Games were represented here. Their games are not only very affordable, but they’re also available on more or less every platform out there, and they’re strictly multiplayer. So whether your friends are on Android or iOS (the great battle of our times), it doesn’t matter, you can still easily have fun together. The Jackbox Party Pack delivers five games: Drawful, Lie Swatter, Word Spud, Fibbage XL, and You Don’t Know Jack 2015. I’ve been playing these games for years and they’re great for parties and a small get-together, but also for long distance fun when you can’t be next to your friends and family. Drawful is probably my favorite; each person has to draw a random subject assigned to them, and every guesses. The concept is simple and the results are almost always hilarious.
– JJ Travers
But how can we voice chat while playing these games?
For folks out there who want to play multiplayer co-op games with friends and family during quarantine, but aren’t sure of how best to communicate, I wanted to recommend a few different options to help you connect and have fun. While Sony and Microsoft offer online voice communication through their games, not everyone else on this list does, so everyone else, this is for you.
All of the following apps are FREE and have both desktop and mobile apps:
Discord (Arguably the top choice for the gamers of the world)