The Top 7... games that should've had co-op

Some games simply must have cooperative play. Gears of War, for example, was clearly designed with a co-op experience in mind – there are two main characters on the same mission with the same abilities with a strong personal bond. Blasting through the story with a friend lets you partake in that bond, which is a much more powerful experience than plain ol’ deathmatch or CTF. Just think – would Contra, Final Fight or Bubble Bobble be half as memorable if they were only one player?

Then there are games that were seemingly supposed to contain a multiplayer campaign but bafflingly omitted the feature. Collected here are the seven most glaringly obvious cases of “wait, there’s no co-op?”

Special contributions by Mikel Reparaz and Charlie Barratt


Needed co-op because: there are six people in your group of paranormally powered goth marines.

Above: Collect the whole set

The Hot Topic-approved Jericho squad begins its mission to kill God’s first creation as a unit, and stays that way until the final battle. Occasionally the team breaks into smaller groups, but then so do Marcus and Dom, so it’s a goddamn mystery why there’s no multiplayer, co-op or otherwise. Seriously, you’re going to make a game with six super-powered soldiers, each one with unique attributes and relationships with the other members, and not even include the option for co-op?

Above: Have fun fighting them alone

The standby excuse is something along the lines of “hurrr focus on single player durrrr more intense that way.” Bullshit. We loved swapping back and forth between the Jericho agents, and one of the game’s most crippling problems (terrible AI partners) could have been erased if it supported six player co-op. Then each player could concentrate on learning their character and putting their powers to constructive good use, like teaming up WoW-style to take down this sopping-wet sack of meat:

Above: Kind of hard to kill this when your AI teammates are off dying in a corner

Consider the review scores – this was an OK-to-good game hampered by a few terribly obnoxious issues. Everything’s more fun in groups, so we figure the addition of team play would have added at least a point to every single one of those reviews. Such wasted potential.

Needed co-op because: you’re accompanied by at least one ally at all times, and co-op has become so de rigueur in shooters that it’s weird to play one without it.

Above: None of those guys are player controlled?

Killzone 2 is part of a growing trend in shooters (particularly military shooters) that does away with the notion of the one-man army in favor of giving you a few buddies to watch your back. In fact, you’ll have at least one squadmate with you at nearly all times, and Garza, Rico and Natko do an excellent job of staying alive, boosting you over high obstacles, carrying on mostly one-sided conversations with you and generally making sure you view them as indispensable, if not endearing.

Above: Real men frag with a friend

The difference between Killzone 2 and other games that do this, however, is other games usually enable a real-life buddy to drop in and help you out for a while. As we pointed out in our review, KZ2 is completely devoid of co-op play, which is more than a little strange in a game that seems tailor-made for it. For a little while, rumors flew that this would be added in a patch, but sources at Sony have since told us that won’t be the case. Maybe we’ll see it in the inevitable sequel.


Top 7

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  • PatHan-bHai - March 8, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    yep, when i got that new TMNT i thought 'Co-Op here i come!' ------------- i quit playing the game at factory platform shit :/
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - December 3, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    I agree with GTA IV and CoD 4.
  • twingun - December 21, 2009 3:10 a.m.

    got to agree about dead rising
  • xShakex - May 6, 2009 5:44 p.m.

    The list should definitely included the new-ish Prince of Persia. You play through the whole game with two people, why couldn't you have online co-op???
  • Savannah1994 - March 17, 2009 3:04 p.m.

    uncharted drakes fortune should've had co-op!
  • chuck17j17j - March 12, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    Realmen frag with a friend Thats Great
  • SWEDE7769 - March 4, 2009 9:06 a.m.

    Oblivion & Fallout 3 are absolutely capable of & would kick much a$$ if made multi-player. Conquering both games with a buddy would be much less frustrating than letting your AI-controlled tag-along get you killed - CONSTANTLY!
  • Gunner - February 17, 2009 4:57 a.m.

    No doubt that Fallout 3 should be on this list... I would have loved rummaging the Wastelands with a group of friends, instead of some followers... Hopefully we can own the crap out of a bunch of Muties co-op style in the next Fallout.
  • frozentundra123456 - February 7, 2009 4 p.m.

    Wish they would make co-op for PC that you could play on the same comp. It is bogus to have to have 2 computers and 2 disks to play co-op (aka Red Alert 3, COD WAW) By the way, the AI allies in Red Alert 3 are the stupidist is have ever seen.
  • Stabby_Joe - February 6, 2009 5:12 p.m.

    I actually liked Jericho, thought it was massively under-rated... ...although the co-op thing is very true but I think the real reason it wasn't there is because some characters are a hell of a lot better than others (I only used Jones when I HAD to).
  • rollaire - February 5, 2009 1:29 a.m.

    Wow dude, no Zelda? I cant believe it! RT
  • Metaks - February 5, 2009 1:23 a.m.

    Star wars: Republic Commando would have been an awesome co-op.
  • CyberSkull - February 4, 2009 10:55 p.m.

    BioShock wouldn't work co-op, it would ruin the mystique of your faceless silent protagonist. BF: Bad Company could use co-op for the campaign as well.
  • game_over - February 4, 2009 10:53 p.m.

    GoldenEye64 has co-op? Yes.
  • noobeater - February 4, 2009 7:08 p.m.

    fable 2s co -op was shouldnt have been stuck to 1 screen but your own so long single but u can see other guy on your screen but not some barrier and stupid camera...i hate fable 2...but anyway to the point fallout 3 should have had this concept but with the correction to fables crappy multi also zelda twilight princess or any other could be fun multi tho it scraps story of 1 hero kinda thing but at this time every game should have some kind really?!
  • Sash - February 4, 2009 12:35 p.m.

    Final Fantasy where your friend can control one half of your party during battles. So much more fun than the other person sitting bored watching you go through the story. FFIX had this, it was awesome. Kept my friend entertained while he was watching me play. Fallout 3 would be good as a multiplayer, but would probably be better as a separate game instead. Either that or a second player could control the henchman. I wanna play as Dogmeat xD
  • Kerfluffle - February 3, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    Awwwww..... Charlie's just sad Gabriel Knight isn't on this list. Just think, Charlie, solving the ridiculous puzzle in that uuuutheeer Top 7 with a friend.... Anyway, this is a great list, but I have to disagree that co-op was needed for Fallout 3. The whole idea is that you're supposed to be a LONE wanderer. No groups EVER take you in. Outcasts, Brotherhood, Vance, hell you're not even given the option of joining the Enclave. But whatever, that's just my stupid opinion. End Rant.
  • phoenix_wings - February 3, 2009 5:33 a.m.

    I agree, unless it's an MMORPG, RPGs should remain single player. Can you imagine? Waiting for someone to go through the story because they don't understand, casting spells that are just totally off and using up all your good items for shit purposes?
  • kingpin202 - February 3, 2009 2:10 a.m.

    WTF!! What about Fallout 3?! Fallout 3 is an Epic game, but could you imagine going through the wasteland with you best friend at your side? Blasting the hell out of gouls and such! Sounds like a Perfect Game! Should of had it on your list!
  • saveTehcheese - February 3, 2009 1:42 a.m.

    ^da funk? fable 2 had co-op. sorry to kill your smartness high.....