If this generation of consoles has taught us one thing, it’s that the advent of online gaming has not curtailed the demand for split-screen functionality. With historically supported split-screen games like Halo abandoning the feature – with the series’ most recent release of Halo 5: Guardians – in favor of power and performance, gamers are still able to enjoy a slew of titles with friends and strangers on consoles, albeit over an online infrastructure like Xbox Live or PlayStation Network and not on the same couch.
The co-op movement was probably at its peak during the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox era only to take a sharp downturn despite each passing generation boasting even more power than the last. With the ability to achieve 60 FPS gaming on consoles, some titles are forcing players to own multiple pieces of hardware in order to play under the same roof as things like PS2 multi-taps are a thing of the past.
PlayStation consoles are known more for their gripping single-player exclusives like The Last of Us, God of War, and inFamous as opposed to Xbox’s multiplayer focused exclusives like Gears of War, Halo, and Forza Horizon. But even then, there are still a bunch of games that players on Sony’s platform can enjoy co-operatively. Here are the 15 co-op games on PlayStation 4 you need to be playing!
15 Diablo 3
Whether you grab the original retail version or the Ultimate Evil edition that bundles the main game with the Reaper of Souls expansion, Diablo 3 is a blast to play with up to four players both in local and online play. This widely popular action RPG from Blizzard has five character classes that players and their teammates can choose from that are vital to combine in order to progress on higher difficulties.
The core of Diablo 3’s gameplay loop is the addicting nature of finding high level loot which can then be shared and traded with other human players. The thrill of sighting legendary loot items after defeating a boss is all the more exciting when playing with friends, unless you happen to be the only one that gets a weak loot drop. But hey, everyone else is happy!
14 The Last of Us
Yes, The Last of Us does have a multiplayer mode and it’s absolutely fantastic. But the reason Naughty Dog’s epic is on this list is the multiplayer’s focus on teamwork and understanding. Just like in the single player portion, the game’s multiplayer has a severe scarcity in resources and ammunition. Players are almost forced to work together in order to attain victory.
Sneaking around a map with a few teammates to gather resources while the others act as a decoy are the types of tactics that are necessary in the multiplayer modes. Holding out as the last two members of your team in the Survivors mode and having to work together to come up with a strategy is exactly what The Last of Us’ multiplayer is all about.
13 Rocket League
Whether you want to jump into some ranked play or mess around in the social game modes, Rocket League is both an intense and hilarious affair, all made better with some friends in tow. Being able to sync up offensive manoeuvres and counter-attacks over party chat is utterly satisfying, especially when it ends up in a goal.
The new game modes and arenas added over the last year and half by developer Psyonix only broadens the appeal of the game and opens up more co-operative opportunities for friends to enjoy. Making a goal line save with a full party cheering you on is the epitome of co-op gaming. Just make sure not to clear the ball into the path of another opponent for a simple tap-in goal!
12 FIFA 17
Now of course friends can enjoy a quick match of Kick-Off from FIFA 17’s main menu, but it’s with the inclusion of the game’s Pro Clubs mode that co-operative play reaches new heights. Pro Clubs allows friends to make their own soccer team and climb up the rankings while facing other teams made up of multiple players. But there’s a twist!
You can only control the sole player you create which adds a sense of responsibility when a failed attack is completely your fault. You have the ability to upgrade your players while also mixing and matching certain abilities. One friend could equip the long throw ability to launch the ball into the opponent’s penalty box while another could focus on swerve passing to make that one impossible pass that leads to a goal.
Similar to Rocket League, Overwatch is a game you can play with your friends in short bursts or in long hauls while trying to rank up. Have ten minutes to waste while you’re waiting for your favorite show to start? Why not jump into a social game and try out a new hero you’ve never used before. Looking for something more hardcore? Pick your best hero, put on a headset, and take a seat as you play match after match with friends trying to rank up while you call out enemy locations.
Overwatch supports a myriad of different playstyles with its many characters that is perfect for a group of friends to jump into. The many seasonal events and gluttony of character skins is sure to keep your co-operative experience fresh!
10 Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Having first played the original Garden Warfare because of a recommendation from a friend, I went into the game expecting little. Dozens of matches later, and the games unique art style and addicting gameplay had us playing through the night. Garden Warfare 2 takes everything the first game does and cranks it to 100.
Besides the standard PvP modes that pit players against opposing teams on massive maps, the Garden Ops mode is the highlight of the game. Players can team up with friends and choose from an array of different plant characters in a Firefight-esque game mode that throws waves of zombies at them. There’s an inherent sense of setting a high score and making it to the furthest wave possible as teammates set up traps and defenses to protect their garden.
9 Dead Nation
First released on PlayStation 3 in 2010, Dead Nation made its PS4 debut in 2014 with the Apocalypse Edition. The top down shooter has friends exploring a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies while looking for any way to survive. The game starts pretty easy, but once it gets going, hordes of zombies are thrown at players making for an exciting co-op game.
Players can upgrade their armor and weapons while working together to get through the game’s 10 missions. A score is given at the end of each mission and going back to play the game on harder difficulties for trophies is fun and incredibly stressful. Difficult games seem to be best enjoyed cooperatively and Dead Nation is no different.
Years later and Minecraft is still a powerhouse when it comes to co-operative gaming. Personally, I haven’t delved into the crazy depths that many players have on PC, but my own Minecraft experience is enough to recommend it.
Having known little about the games mechanics, my two friends showed me the ropes and eventually we were mining our way into caves and avoiding enemies while also building a base we could call home. As a co-operative experience, Minecraft is anything you want it to be and that’s the beauty of the game. Whether it’s simply building structures with friends or exploring when the sun goes down, Minecraft offers a wide variety of co-operative play.
7 LittleBigPlanet 3
A game that was almost a given, LittleBigPlanet’s ‘Play. Create. Share.’ mantra is all about the community and the adventures players experience together. While creating maps with teammates may not be so enthralling, playing popular user-created levels and the campaign mode that the game comes with is perfect for those looking for games to play with friends.
Whether it’s the famous train maps or a zombie hold-out level, LittleBigPlanet 3’s ridiculous set of tools and gameplay additions result in some hilarious moments that unfold in sack form. Customizing your own character is a hallmark of any co-operative game, but LittleBigPlanet 3’s ridiculous level of customization takes it to another level. What a sequel could add to possibly improve the co-operative experience is simply beyond me.
6 LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The LEGO adaption of Episode VII, like the film itself, is best enjoyed as an adventure with fans and friends. Almost all LEGO games are an easy recommendation for those who want to play co-operatively, but this game’s sheer production value and variety of gameplay, while telling film’s fun story, cannot be surpassed.
Working together with friends to shoot Stormtroopers, discover Maz Kanata’s castle, or do battle with the Dark Side in LEGO form alongside an epic musical score makes for a great adventure I cannot help but recommend. The game’s brilliant design to adapt events in the movie to fit perfectly in a co-operative game deserves immense praise and sitting back to view the cut-scenes you know from the movie is like re-living the first time you saw the film.
Now while I wouldn’t recommend Destiny as a narrative experience or a PvP shooter, the game’s co-operative leanings are undeniable. Inviting friends to your lobby to then travel to the Tower to do business and buy gear or to go to far-off planets to complete quests is what Destiny is about, and it’s supremely fun.
The raids are undoubtedly the highlight of the game, acting as the games longest and most difficult mission that change up the gameplay scenarios with each passing section. Getting a six player fire-team to tackle the raids requires a lot of communication, especially for those who are looking to get the Flawless Raider trophy that requires everybody to make it through an entire Raid without dying. Just don’t take it out on your controller.
4 Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
If you’re looking for bang for your buck, no other game on this list is filled with as much content as The Handsome Collection. Combining the first two Borderlands titles along with The Pre-Sequel, the Borderlands collection offers dozens of hours of co-operative heaven!
Four players, both in local and online play, can jump into the three adventures with different characters while levelling up and completing quests. The game’s humorous nature is also best enjoyed with a full lobby of friends as the fan-favorite Claptrap delivers gut-wrenching lines. The game’s open world, vehicle segments, and outrageous boss fights are designed with co-operative play in mind. Three of some of the best first-person shooters of the last generation all bundled into one package makes The Handsome Collection a must-buy for gamers looking for a thrilling co-op experience!
Don’t let the cartoony art style fool you. Overcooked, while simple in premise, is a game that will make you hate your teammates, but that’s the fun part! As players are tasked to serve delicious meals to customers within a time limit, the level of difficulty is almost brutal. The game is strictly a local co-op adventure as gamers must work hard and organize their kitchens with other players.
Communication is key as players scream at each other to get the tomatoes ready in time or pass out the order to customers before they walk out. Overcooked feels like an ode to co-operative gaming and deserves its place so high up on this list. Whether you’re doing the yelling or you’re the one being yelled at, it’s hard not have a good time when playing developer Team 17’s cooking simulator.
2 Resident Evil 6
To be upfront, Resident Evil 6 is not a very good game. But when playing co-operatively, that simply doesn’t matter because Resident Evil 6 is hilariously fun. Playing with my brother, we caught ourselves chuckling every few minutes and even had to pause the game at several points due to the happenings on-screen.
Like Resident Evil 5, the controls are a bit weighty in this third-person horror, but the amount of hilarious gameplay segments in Resident Evil 6 is what makes it such a great co-operative game. Whether that’s during boss fights as you and your friend toss the boss around the map with well-timed explosives, or during general play with your average zombies as you whack them into oblivion or they trap you in a corner as you yell for your partner to save you, Resident Evil 6 is just a good time.
Quite possibly PlayStation 4’s best game, Resogun is even better in co-op. The game is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up with a short but challenging campaign that ramps up the difficulty as the levels go on. Playing these levels with a partner to get a high-score though is where Resogun turns from brilliant to maniacal.
Players must work together to clear the screen of enemies with a limited number of lives as their digitized parts beautifully disintegrate with every kill. The final level, Mefitis, will have you ripping your hair out when you and your teammate make it all the way, only to fail by getting killed by the game’s final boss in its final form. Resogun is simply addicting and it’s all the more enjoyable with a friend.