The 10 Best Co-Op Story Games for Consoles

A co-op FPS

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Cooperative games are a great way to engage with other gamers, challenge your skills and introduce new gamers to platformers. Co-op games are modern, more complex versions of classic multiplayer games. They let you team up with other players to navigate complex environments as you work to defeat your enemies. While co-op games undoubtedly offer unique experiences, some are more enjoyed than others. Here are the 10 best co-op story games for consoles. 

1. Left 4 Dead 

Year Released: 2008

Developer: Valve 

Publisher: Majesco Entertainment 

System: XBOX 360

Left 4 Dead is a 2008 first-person shooter game developed by Valve South and published by Valve. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 in November 2008 and for Mac OS X in October 2010, and is the first title in the Left 4 Dead series. Set during the aftermath of a zombie outbreak on the East Coast of the United States, the game pits its four protagonists, dubbed the “Survivors”, against hordes of the infected. Each player has a unique role and characters must work together to survive the zombie apocalypse. 

The game was awarded as the best multiplayer game of 2008 by many organizations and publications, including BAFTA and IGN. It’s praised for its graphics and gameplay. 

2. Borderlands 3

Year Released: 2019

Developer: Gearbox Software

Publisher: 2K

System: Playstation 4

The Borderlands games are open-world shooters with role-playing elements. The players are Vault Hunters who travel to the planet Pandora to find its mysterious vault. Each character has a skill tree of abilities that help them accomplish the task. Ancient, powerful monsters guard the vaults and prevent the team from its treasures. 

The enhanced release allows for four player split screens on consoles and “drop in” and “drop out” modes online. For many reviewers, Borderlands 3 is the highlight of the franchise. 

3. Phogs!

Year Released: 2020

Developer: Bit Loom Games

Publisher: Coatsink

System: Nintendo Switch

Phogs relies on player cooperation, as two of you will take control of a two-headed sausage dog. As you navigate the dog, you’ll have to work through puzzles encompassing three separate worlds – Play, Sleep and Food. Each of the worlds offers opportunities to utilize different powers. To get past each world, you must defeat a boss. 

It’s silly but challenging levels got rave reviews. You can play it as a single player with control over the entire dog. 

4. Warframe

Year Released: 2013

Developer: Bit Loom Games

Publisher: Coatsink

System: Nintendo Switch

Warframe is a free-to-play third-person shooter role play game that began as an online offering before seeing publication to various platforms. It is now commonly played on the Nintendo Switch. The game is a perpetual open beta, meaning it is open to expansion and adaptation.

You and your teammates control members of the Tenno race–ancient warriors who recently awoke from a suspended animation and entered into a war with different factions. You can use the powered Warframes, weapons and skills to complete different missions. The game receives praise for its story, graphics, sound design and challenging gameplay. 

5. Castle Crashers 

Year Released: 2010, 2019

Developer: The Behemoth

Publisher: The Behemoth 

System: Nintendo Switch (Remastered)

Castle Crashers is an indie game that works as an excellent co-op. Play as knights who must rescue the king’s daughters kidnapped by various enemies of the kingdom. Along the way, you must team up to fight guards, retrieve a gem and put a nasty wizard in his place. In 2019, Behemoth released a remastered version of the game. 

Through the years, gamers and critics alike praise the game for its stand-out art style and its enjoyable gameplay. It’s simplistic but incredibly fun and funny, letting fans come back again and again. 

6. It Takes Two 

Year Released: 2021

Developer: Hazelight Studios 

Publisher: Electronic Arts 

System: Playstation 4

This award-winning game is centered around divorce–but it’s far from paperwork and legal proceedings. Play as May and Cody as they must put aside their differences to save their daughter Rose. Doing so they face an extra obstacle – they are now dolls. 

Each level has new mechanics you and your partner can use to overcome the challenging puzzles. It’s a funny, heartwarming game that forces the characters to rediscover their passions and gain new perspectives on family relationships. 

7. Team Sonic Racing 

Year Released: 2019

Developer: Sumo Digital 

Publisher: Sega 

System: Nintendo Switch 

Team Sonic racing is similar to other kart racing games, like Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing.

Sonic’s version lets you team up with one or two other players to defeat your racing foes. You can collect items and trade them with your teammates mid-race. 

Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends get invitations from the alien Dodon Pa to compete in various races. The cars have special designs and abilities for each racer and you can earn them by winning races. The heroes agree to the task with suspicion and travel around the world to face increasingly difficult challenges. The game gets praise for its fun, unique take on the traditional racing platformer. 

8. Rayman Legends 

Year Released: 2013

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier 

Publisher: Ubisoft 

System: Playstation 

Rayman Legends is the fifth main title of the Rayman series and is considered one of the best. Rayman wanders through an enchanted forest with Globox and Teensies when they find paintings portraying mythical lands. Players adopt one of the roles as the characters get sucked into the artwork to discover their secrets. 

The game offers four-player co-op with options to join or leave a campaign at any time. The 3D boss battles release threats in all directions, creating a more challenging experience. The gameplay as well as its vibrant graphics and smooth controls make this co-op game a fan favorite. 

XBox controller and hands in front of large game screen.

9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Year Released: 2022

Developer: Infinity War 

Publisher: Activision 

System: Playstation 5

Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny the influence of Call of Duty. Modern Warfare II has plenty of features to create a fantastic co-op experience.  Activision is now releasing new versions of old plots to go with updated technology. Intricate but easy to follow multiplayer maps let you team off with friends to defeat Lieutenant General Hershel von Shepherd III and his forces. 

The game received universal praise for its in-depth story and various play options that keep players coming back. Its rebooted version used AI to enhance the co-op experience. 

10. Back 4 Blood 

Year Released: 2021

Developer: Turtle Rock Studios 

Publisher: Warner Bros. Games 

System: Playstation 5

Back 4 Blood is the renowned spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. Players take the role of Cleaners tasked with fighting off the infected Ridden to defend Fort Hope – a post-apocalyptic refuge. 

The game is built for co-op play, using an AI “Game Director” to modify the environments, enemy placements and obstacles. 

Embracing Co-Op Console Gaming 

If you prefer a controller over a keyboard or just want to play locally,  you can still enjoy plenty of cooperative games. These games allow you to delve into different challenges and environments with your friends and family.