In an era where online multiplayer reigns supreme as the most popular way to play video games with friends, PlayStation and Xbox owners would be hard pressed to find some quality titles that allow you to play together on the same TV screen. The days when local multiplayer modes came standard with most games have long since passed, but luckily there are still some great gems out there if you know where to look. If we want to have more options to play next to our friends in the future, then we have to vote with our dollar and support these developers in order to show that there’s still a market for couch co-op games. So pull up a chair, because these are 5 games that I feel are deserving of your money.
As someone who has worked in the kitchen of a restaurant before, this game accurately reminds me of the stress and anxiety you feel when things get busy. In Overcooked (and it’s sequel of equal quality), you and up to three friends control little cartoon chefs in a zany kitchen environment with various obstacles and hazards to avoid in order to accurately fill orders within the time limit. Mixing puzzles with strategy while forcing vocal cooperation, this game will make you sweat over the simplest of tasks so that you aren’t the one in the group messing everything up. This game is intense and stressful in all the best ways, and will have you and your friends yelling at each other by the end of the night (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
Rocket League is a weird concept where you essentially play 3 vs 3 soccer with little RC cars. However, its brilliant execution of this unique idea is what lands it a spot on this list. The physics of the engine is the star of the show and it makes controlling your vehicle feel intuitive and incredibly satisfying. Additionally, the gameplay is easy enough to understand, yet difficult to master. While you do play online in this game, you also have the option to team up locally via split-screen with a friend in order to gain the advantage over your opponents. In addition to addicting gameplay, you’ll be impressed by the awesome soundtrack, and even the ability to play your own music playlist within the game. Once you start pulling off advanced maneuvers around the opponents with the crowd cheering in your ears as you score one for your team, you’ll be forever hooked.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls:
While not technically a game from this console generation, the best version of it is available to play on PS4 and Xbox One. The Diablo series has been around since the late 90’s and has remained one of Blizzard Entertainment’s most beloved franchises. A total of 4 people can play on one screen as you explore dungeons, slay monsters, and collect masses of loot. Once you select your class, you’ll begin upgrading your character with armor, weapons, and a diverse skill tree. With a myriad of different game modes, there are hundreds of hours of gameplay available to you and your friends. Being one of the rare RPG’s in which you can play cooperatively, Diablo offers a unique experience for fans of local multiplayer games.
Next on this list we have an exploration-based action platformer that you and a friend can complete together. Guacamelee! offers a hilarious story where you control a luchador that must fight his way through parallel worlds in order to rescue his love and save the day. On top of the insanely fun beat-em-up combat, you’ll swap between the living world and “The Land of the Dead” and even transform into a rooster in order to solve puzzles. Similar to Diablo III, this “Metroidvania” style game is not originally from this generation, but is offered with all of its bonus content on current-gen systems. Also, check out Guacamelee! 2 for more ridiculous fun.
Rounding out this list, we have a traditional 2D platformer that draws inspiration from the Mario franchise, but boldly takes it in its own unique direction. While there is no shortage of great co-op platformers available on current consoles, I wanted to give a shoutout to an often forgotten-about game. Rayman Legends is the fifth entry to the franchise, but is by far the best as a culmination of all of the improvements made throughout the years. The game features an amazing soundtrack and very accessible levels that don’t overwhelm you with overly difficult design. You and a friend can spend hours exploring the plethora of levels available to you as you search for countless collectibles.
I tried my best to include a diverse array of games with a little something for everyone on this list, but obviously there are still more options available out there. Sometimes we are forced to get creative in finding ways to play with people in the same room, but hopefully this list provides you with some more traditional options in case you don’t have access to a Nintendo Switch. If you enjoyed this article, please like it and follow me on Twitter @TheGameLounge5, or click the “Follow Blog via Email” button at the bottom of this page.