Whats better than beating a game with a friend? Beating a friend with a game that they claimed they were better than you at. Ah that righteous confirmation of your gaming skills, as the scoreboard comes up and your name is higher on it. You then politely thank you friend for giving you the Madcatz controller (the sticky B button really helped out there), eat some more cold popcorn, put on your shoes over your damp and sweaty socks, and walk out the door as a god.
7. Left 4 Dead 2
Theres nothing more frustrating than having to depend on a loved one not to do something awful. In normal games you just have to believe in their skill, but Left 4 Dead 2 changes all of that with The Witch. She wont hurt you if you dont bother her. You could just walk past her, wave a bit, and be on your way. That is, assuming your friend isnt a backstabbing pile of filth.
Youre playing over Skype and chatting like old drinking buddies when your friend suddenly goes quiet. "No," you plead with yourself as you hear the strained breathing of someone about to pull off a devious prank. Your friend's character slowly turns--its probably Coach--and raises his gun. The world is quiet. Then in one split second he fires at The Witch and your whole team is dead. The quiet returns, this time accompanied by your once-friends crazed laughter. They got you! Man what a jib. Yeah, screw you dude. I'm leaving you to die when I find the chopper.
6. Starcraft 64
This one is just too funny. Who thought that local co-op on a console RTS was not only possible, but a good idea? I mean, just look at the picture of this slide! You can literally see everything that the other player is doing!!! WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA. Of course, screen peeking was going to be an issue. Even if you were a perfect human and tried your hardest not to look at what your friend was doing its the top half of the screen so youre pretty much sunk.
And though Starcraft is the most ludicrous example, this entry goes out to all of the local split-screen games and the poor children playing them. The game begins. No screen peeking, you say quietly to yourself, as if youve already given up on the morality of your friend. You play for a few seconds and then promptly die from a magically positioned snipe. Your friend must be screen peeking. Therefore you must screen peek. Fight fire with fire, hes already dead to you as a friend so why not destroy him in Goldeneye while youre at it?
5. Mario Kart
Borne on wings of night, it comes for you. Hurtling through the sky, it begins at the end and seeks the first. Be not afraid as you hear its approach, for death is but a swift end to torment. What is it? Its the blue shell that piece of shit you once called a friend threw from last place. You survived the lightning bolts, you dodged the bullet bills, but that goddamn blue shell is not something your weak flesh can combat. Here you are, actually being good at the game; and there your friends are, being so awful that the game gives them pity items that only serve to make your life worse.
And its not like you can get back at that friend either. Oh no. Once your friend speeds past (probably as Toad or Waluigi), you get no help to catch up to them again. Except for maybe three green shells, which of course come back and hit you after ricocheting off of an impossible arrangement of hidden barriers in the level.
4. New Super Mario Bros. U
No other platformer released gives players as many tools for betrayal as New Super Mario Bros. U. When played with four players, each controlling characters hopping along a 2D plane, it's absolute chaos. Even when you're trying to succeed you're still doomed to occasionally steal an extra Mushroom, or mistakenly bounce an ally to his death. But when you factor in the touch-screen on the Wii U Gamepad, things go from discord to malice.
Tapping the screen can stop platforms from moving or create blocks that players can jump on. These tools can all be used for good or for evil. Tapping a moving platform as an ally is about to leap to it could mean them missing, causing them to lose a life and doubt their ability to time a basic leap. But that's nothing compared to the destructive power of placing blocks in front of a player as they jump over a pit, or above their head as they attempt to jump away from rising lava. Touch-screen in hand you're no longer an ally--you're one of Bowser's minions, tormenting your friends while pretending you're "just trying to help!" Liar.
3. Double Dragon, TMNT, or any beat em up old school arcade game
It doesnt matter which one, but beat 'em ups with friendly fire--like Double Dragon--are obviously the worst. Even if you tried not to hit your friend, its not like theres much room to maneuver. And even if you cant directly ruin their lives, there are plenty of ways to turn a well meaning game of fun into a betrayal of friendship.
It comes down to the fact that you both share power-ups and healing items. Are you low on health but your friend is closer to that garbage can turkey? Guess who gets it. Feel like, for once in your miserable life, grabbing that slice of pizza and going crazy on enemies? Naw, your friend will grab it. Because Im Leonardo and my swords reach the farthest dude! The nasally words drip from the weasel you once called a friend. I hate you.
2. Portal 2
Most multiplayer games allow you to carry your friends to victory. It's alright if theyre performing terribly, its not like your victory hinges on an absurdly specific and timely series of inputs shared between two players. Oh wait. Welcome to Portal 2s co-op campaign. You thought single player mode was tough? Try having control over only half of what happens, with the other 50 percent being in the hands of a blind monkey. Thats your friend. The blind monkey.
If you havent had the joy of playing this mode 1) do it and 2) first try to imagine what it be like. Ok. Now, Ill shoot my thing here and then, once the ball goes through, you shoot your thing there. Ill jump off this ledge after and for god sake please have a portal ready at the bottom so me and the ball can get sling shotted to the platform. Level 2.
1. Mario Party
Mario Party was engineered by darkness incarnate to seep into the souls of friends and blacken them through unfair minigames and non-random random events. In my entire life I have never again experienced the anger I felt when one of my friends in last place just happened upon a star. Or when someone got randomly lucky on the slot machine and stole all of my coins and stars. In three turns, I was reduced to shooting pop caps at the other poor fools for pittances while my engorged friends rolled around in their unearned riches.
Whew, ok, calm down. Maybe its not that bad. Maybe the new star location is right next to your friend (completely randomly, of course). Or maybe all the green spaces you land on turn red because of how the digital coin flip landed. Maybe. But not. This is hell. This is literally hell.