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


  • Curtis_Stone - February 2, 2009 8:45 p.m.

    I just think every FPS should have the option of being CO-OP in this day and age... Why wouldn't it...I hate to say it but, Halo 2 did it last gen, so...
  • monojono - February 2, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    Dead rising should be on this list. U were constantly surronded with crappy AI partners, and messing around with a mate on this would of rocked.
  • curtw_819 - February 2, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    the game that comes to my mind is Fallout 3... how bad a$$ would it if u and 3 others roam around the wastelands... raidin the talon mercs hideout... just look at fable 2
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - February 2, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    I particularly enjoyed the entry on GTA IV. Masterfully worded.
  • Hypermonkey262 - February 2, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    Im surprised Mass Effect didnt make an appearence. Im sure my team wouldnt have died as often if I had someone else controling tham.
  • Christopia - February 2, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    I also had been thinking fallout 3 would have ruled with an actual human buddy, the AI side kicks were limited to say the least. Going back a few years, any one remember power rangers on the SNES? Awsome game but why leave out co-op?
  • twishart - February 2, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    I vaguely remember reading something about SOTC being a 4 player game originally? Or maybe it was some mod someone was dreaming up - either way, it sounds pretty cool, and would add a whole new dynamic to taking some of the colossi down (all four players need to stab seperate areas at once, form 'human chains' to reach inaccesible areas, etc). Overall, it would detract a little from the isolated feel of the game - but it would certainly be a blast to play...
  • GoldenMe - February 2, 2009 10:53 p.m.

    @Joe- I recently heard that Bioshock MIGHT have multiplayer (Maybe even co-op). Still, it might either enhance the perfection of Bioshock, or utterly ruin it.
  • TheSuburbiaRuins - February 2, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    Jericho.. If it had co-op, the person would have to be good with whatever character they were going to use. Because some peoples techniques and skills are needed to kill certain enemies, and get through certain parts of the game. I would know, I played the SHIT out of that game.
  • T0M95 - February 2, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    fallout needs coop
  • vic88 - February 3, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    devil may cry or ninja gaiden would be more hectic and fun with two or three other characters ( Dante, Nero, Trish and Lady all fighting at the same time
  • Over1imit - February 3, 2009 1:58 a.m.

    I really love the way you wrote up the TMNT part. Really hilarious :)
  • tysr36 - February 3, 2009 1:58 a.m.

    lol killzone
  • SketchLemon - February 3, 2009 2:07 a.m.

  • toobs - February 3, 2009 2:42 a.m.

    Gears of war 2 and Gears of war do not need not online co-op. They need normal co-op with moren 2 player they should have 4. Halo3 need more play on normal co-op SO IN THE NEXT HALO OR GEARS OD WARS GAME MAKE MORE CO-OP PEOPLE!!!
  • xFnKxTaLeNtx - February 3, 2009 3:29 a.m.

    why would TMNT be on the #1 for this list? it was a garbage game and co-op would only make your friends hate you for making them play But otherwise a good feature.
  • Yellowhat17 - February 3, 2009 3:43 a.m.

    I would've loved a co-op (Well, better co-op) GTA IV and Modern Warfare. Golden Axe: Beastrider also deserved up to three players. If they had developed co-op for Golden Axe though, they probably would've added a new character to the original three. I'm sure though, that most of the great FPS and/or RPG games in the future will have co-op after seeing this year's load of cooperative games. @saveTehcheese I think he was joking.
  • Cwf2008 - February 3, 2009 4:06 a.m.

    I dont really think CoD4 needed Co-Op. It was fine the way it was
  • DawgsFan117 - February 3, 2009 5:13 a.m.

    Well I agree with everything in this article and I can not wait for COD Modern Warfare 2 simply because its the follow up to my favorite online multiplayer game ever. However are some of you guys out of your minds. Stop naming RPGs for coop. That is stupid because an RPG is all about the story and that would be ruined by coop. However the stupidest comment i have seen is that Bioshock needed coop. Are you just a moron. That was the greatest experience on the 360 and all of its elements worked because it was a single player game. It was only you and against the horrors of rapture and the experience was epic.
  • AyJay - February 3, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    donkey kong country shoulda been up there

Showing 1-20 of 67 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000