One of the most underrated parts of a video game is the co-op mode. Not only does it make a game much more fun, but it gives you an amazing way to bond with your friends in a non-competitive way. You get to have all the fun, and you get to experience it right alongside one of your good friends. Playing a video game is fun, but playing it with a friend is so much better. In fact, I kind of wish all video games offered some form of co-op.
Of course, there are some games that do not nail co-op. Sometimes, playing a game co-op just doesn’t make sense. Some games just don’t have an elegant way of duplicating characters without it just looking ridiculous. That said, when a game gets it right it is positively awesome. These three games make incredible use of co-operative play, and in my opinion, they are the absolute best co-op games of the modern console generations.
Rock Band 3
You could say that Rock Band is the mother of all co-op games. It’s not some single player game with co-op shoehorned in, it is a game that was built with co-op as the whole basis. You get together with your friends, either online or in the same room and rock out. What better way to bond with your friends than by plugging in some plastic instruments and playing along with some of your favorite rock and roll songs?
The other thing that makes Rock Band so awesome as a co-op game is that anyone can play it. It doesn’t require years of video game skill, all you need to do is be able to follow some basic rhythm. To make it even better, you can enable “no fail” mode. This way, even newbies to video games can still have a great time.
I am not a big Halo fan. In fact, I’ve gone on record multiple times on this very column stating that I don’t like Halo at all. However, I can’t argue that the co-operative experience in Halo: Reach is anything but great. If you are a Halo fan, it takes a great game and makes it even better. You get to play through the entire single player campaign with a friend.
Co-op works in Halo: Reach because you do not play as Master Chief. You are a group of Spartans fighting to save Reach, and because of that, co-op works without feeling forced. In addition to playing through the story mode, you can also play split screen competitive multiplayer on one console. This way you and your friends can have a great time owning noobs in the same room.
This is not only my favorite co-op game ever made, it is actually one of my favorite games in general. Sure, it has some problems but I’ll be damned if it is not one of the most fun games I’ve ever played. For me, shooter plus RPG is a purely winning combination. There are four character archetypes to choose from, and it works well for co-op, unless of course you and your friend both play as the same type, then you are essentially the same person.
That whole duplicate character thing isn’t a big deal, because the character you choose does not matter to the story. Plus, the game is so damn fun that it doesn’t make a difference. The satisfaction of beating a really hard quest with a friend is amazing. Seriously, if you haven’t played Borderlands, you need to go to the store and buy it right this second.
Co-op is awesome, and these three games take co-op to another level. I have actually found that some games that suck actually become decent with co-op. For games like these, that are good on their own, co-op makes them something truly special.
What are your favorite co-op games? Let us know in the comments!