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

Needed co-op because: the co-op it does include isn’t good enough.

Above: Not gonna cut it

We’re spoiled and ungrateful brats. Last year, GTA IV delivered on pretty much every promise made and, in doing so, met or surpassed almost every one of our expectations. But as we drove around the game’s incredibly detailed world, soaking in the superbly told story and losing dozens of hours to the ridiculously open-ended gameplay, we couldn’t feel 100% satisfied. A single thought kept nagging us... this would be even better with a friend.

Above: Two people, one player

Yes, we know you can explore (a limited version of) Liberty City with up to 15 other people. We know you can team up for cop-and-robber style chases or load up specific, standalone missions built entirely around cooperative play. Sorry, that’s not enough. That’s not the real deal.

We want to join forces in the main game. We want to claw our way up the criminal ladder with an ally. We want to rule over virtual New York with a partner. When we’re forced to clean out an entire warehouse of crack dealers in order to progress through the story, we want a reliable wingman. When we need to chase down a biker gang while simultaneously escaping an armada of six-star law enforcement, we want someone in the passenger’s seat who can actually aim.

Mostly, though, we just want to play as Brucie.

Needs co-op because: the game was built with it in mind from the beginning.

Above: Guess what was cut from the final version?

How do you turn the sequel to one of the PS2’s most vibrant games into an exercise in dull, soul-crushing frustration? Swapping the bright colors of The Mark of Kri for a dull, grayish color palette is a good start, but if you really want to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, you design it around a specific feature - in this case online co-op - that you then cut at the last minute because of technical problems. If you’re feeling especially sadistic, you can then replace said feature with a dull-witted computer-controlled sidekick who likes nothing better than to blow players’ cover when they’re trying to be stealthy, and to not watch their backs when they’re getting mobbed by enemies. Doesn’t matter if you’re playing as bulky warrior Rau, his nimble kid sister Tati, their mentor Baumusu or his partner Griz – sooner or later, your “helper” will get you killed.

Above: When can we officially say tribal tattoos are over?

We’re not going to pretend that delaying the game to keep in the co-op would have made Rise of the Kasai great, but it would have removed one of the game’s main irritations. We’d still be left with a bleak, unsatisfying follow-up to one of the most original (and creatively violent) action games ever made, but not having to babysit an AI idiot all the time might have kept Rise of the Kasai from being a hollow disappointment.


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.....