Hobbies are always better shared with someone. This rings doubly true for video games. Every gamer loves their alone time, but most will jump at the opportunity for some multiplayer mayhem, whether it be co-operative play or competitive matches. Thanks to the proliferation of online modes, people don't have to be in the same room to play together any more.
Most fans of the medium have their stories about trying to get their friend, loved one, or family member to play a game with them, only for that person to give up shortly into the session. The controller is hard to grasp for many who are not accustomed to it. To help out with this conundrum, this list will present ten games that are perfect for playing with non-gamers. These include more casual co-op experiences and games that are easier to understand for beginners.
Super Mario games have a cute aesthetic that catches children's eyes. The games themselves can sometimes become so difficult that even veterans of the series have trouble navigating the later platforming challenges. With this in mind, a co-op experience like the one offered in Super Mario 3D World or New Super Mario Bros. Wii is less than ideal for a partner who isn't up to the challenge.
Super Mario Galaxy, on the other hand, offers something more laid back for the second player. They control a floating hand that assists Mario on his journey through the cosmos. This hand can activate certain objects and disturb enemies. The best part is, if the hand makes an error, it usually won't result in a game over. Alternatively, Switch owners can try the same thing with Super Mario Odyssey. Controlling Cappy is a little more involved, but still very much a supportive role.
The Resident Evil series started leaning heavily into co-op game play starting with Resident Evil 5. While RE5 still offers one of the best multiplayer experiences, it can prove too hectic and complicated for those inexperienced in the genre. Resident Evil Revelations 2 offers the second player a more accessible role, while never compromising on the fear and tension that makes the series so great.
The first player has access to firearms, while the second player can use melee weapons to defend themselves or uncover items the other player would otherwise be unable to find. Needless to say, this isn't a title to play with a child, but it's perfect for someone who loves horror but is inexperienced with video games.
The original Portal is a great introduction to gaming as a whole. It's short, easy to understand, and the challenge comes from figuring out what to do rather than doing it. Portal 2's single player expands the campaign significantly, but they also added a co-operative campaign.
Like the first game, it can get challenging, but only because some of the riddles are real head scratchers. This can work in the game's favor, because two heads are better than one when it comes to puzzles.
All three Little Big Planet games offer four player co-op throughout the campaign, but they do get a little challenging for beginners. The third game remedies this by offering different character types in addition to the iconic Sackboy.
One of the characters is a bird that can fly through most stages and pick up other characters. This makes their contribution to the game easy, but also important. In addition to the story mode, the game contains literally millions of user-created levels from numerous genres.
Pretty much any one will do, but find out which series is the potential co-op partner's favorite and go with that one. If they like Marvel, Lego Marvel Superheros; If DC is their flavor, Lego Batman; If Star Wars strikes their fancy, then any of the Lego Star Wars games.
The list goes on and on, but most games in this long running franchise will surely produce hours upon hours of breezy entertainment. The combat and platforming never gets too challenging and the penalty for failure is light.
There is a little more depth to this one than most of the other games on the list, but it is easy to understand the basics.
Diablo III is a dungeon crawler that thrives on an addictive loop of constantly obtaining better armor. The controls are simple, and it is forever satisfying to eliminate giant hordes of enemies with the push of a button. Your actions are flashy on-screen yet very easy to pull off, and that's exactly what makes Diablo a hit for players of all skill and experience levels.
Minecraft has nearly taken over the world with its popularity. The simple concept of scavenging and building is accessible to everyone.
Local multiplayer is available, allowing two buddies to build whatever they want at their own pace. Again, it's a game that can offer fantastic results without the need to master complex inputs, which is why it's such a great way to welcome non-gamers into the fold, whatever their age.
Castle Crashers' art style is immediately inviting. Fortunately, the game itself is also easy to pick up and play. It's not entirely shallow, though, since it offers light RPG elements.
The game is over ten years old, but a remastered version on the PS4 and Switch is coming this year. As a bonus, check out Alien Hominid on the PS2. It's a little harder, but just as creatively hectic and easy to get your head around.
PixelJunk Monsters is truly addictive. Getting perfect scores on every stage easily becomes an obsession. If you want to simply have fun messing around and finishing the levels, you can do that too. Which is why the game rates so highly on our list.
In PixelJunk Monsters 2, four people can play simultaneously. The tower defense game is slow enough that a more experienced player can guide newbies through strategies in real time. It's a great way to build their confidence.
Those who have been keeping up with Rock Band since its inception have probably amassed a library of songs reaching well over five hundred, and perhaps even a thousand. With this massive catalog, there is surely something for everybody to enjoy.
Anybody can play on any difficulty, and it won't affect the other players. The total band score won't get too big, but the point is simply to have fun and enjoy some great music.