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Best co-op games to play right now with friends and family

The best co-op games will bring you and your friends / family together for an unforgettable digital adventure. We've hand-selected this list based on the quality of the co-op experience on offer, to ensure that you can skip that part where you argue over what's worth downloading or try three or four terrible games before finding a winner. 

Oh, and if you need a spare pad, check out our guide on how to buy an extra PS4 controller cheap or Xbox One controller cheap. And, if you're feeling frugal there's always the best free PS4 games help spread the cost. 

Check out our video for the best co-op games below:  

30. Rainbow Six Siege

Best co-op games - Rainbow Six Siege

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Co-op style: Online

Rainbow Six Siege is known for its tense, tactical PvP fights, but its co-op Terrorist Hunt mode, a staple of the series, is deserving of an evening or two of your time. Just like in previous instalments, your job is to clear your chosen level of terrorists as quickly as you can. Don’t expect to go in all guns blazing: you’ll have to clear traps, use your abilities and coordinate timings with up to four squadmates if you want to down all your foes.

Our advice is to dial up the difficulty as high as you can bear it. The greater the challenge, the more you’ll have to rely on teamwork, and this mode is at its best when you’re forced to create detailed plans and execute them flawlessly. Round by round, you’ll feel yourself improving, until eventually, you’re able to sweep through a map like a real-life SWAT team.

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X

29. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Best co-op games - Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Co-op type: Local

Unless you've invested in a VR headset, you probably haven't even heard of this one. However, it's a uniquely brilliant take on co-op play, and demands your attention. One person wears the VR headset, while a number of other people sit - in the real world - and look at a booklet of bomb-defusal documents.

The person inside the VR headset sees a briefcase with a bomb in it, and various devices to disarm, which he/she describes to the people in the real world. The idea is to use the bomb disposal docs to defuse the device by... actually talking to each other and cooperating. It's all set to a time limit to add tension, and bombs get increasingly tricky to dismantle as you play. It's brilliant fun, and a perfect party game.

Plus, it's now on Switch, so one of you will have the console in your hands, the other the instruction manual. It's a great piece of teamwork, and a word of warning, may ruin families. 

Play it on: PC, PS4, PS VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

28. Don't Starve Together

Best co-op games - Don't Starve Together

Co-op type: Local and online

The threat of permadeath is somehow softened when it’s shared. I mean, you’ll all still die but at least there’s comfort, and blame, when you’re playing co-op. Don’t Starve’s resource gathering, base-building challenge was already great fun, but it’s even more so with a friend. Especially as you can split the workload and responsibilities as you tend to your home or farm, and explore the world to find more of whatever you need to make it through another day. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, PS5

27. Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 best gear builds

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Co-op type: Online

Taking down Anton Castillo and bringing peace - or at least a better life - to Yara is a huge undertaking. You'll have to find allies, take down figureheads and power-hungry rulers, and above all-else, survive. Be a guerilla, fly planes, soar across the treetops in a wingsuit... whatever you do is only better - and safer - with a friend in toe. And what fun you'll have. 

You can either play through the entire game together in co-op, or jump into the awesome Special Ops missions that are fun and brilliantly tricky. 

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

26. Deep Rock Galactic

Deep Rock Galactic

(Image credit: Ghost Ship Games)

Co-op style: Online

Think Left 4 Dead with space dwarves and you won’t be far off. Deep Rock Galactic is a team-based shooter where you and up to three stout friends rocket into a procedurally-generated planet in search of minerals. To find what you want, you’ll each have to use your class-specific abilities, slinging grappling hooks, creating platforms, lighting up dark caves and blowing holes in the scenery to create new paths. Every so often, a swarm of alien spiders will jump on you, and you’ll be forced back to back, pulling your trigger for dear life. Its varied, colourful environs never seem to repeat, and when the lights dim and smoke rises, it’s properly atmospheric. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One

25. Warframe

Best co-op games - Warframe

Co-op type: Online

Tens of millions of people play Warframe so it must be doing something right. It’s an online four player co-op shooter where you explore and fight your way through space in ultra futuristic suits, gaining powers, abilities and new weapons along the way. That’s basically the main draw here - battle things to get more gear to battle more things. Like the Destinys and Monster Hunters of the world this is all about chasing better shotguns and space boots. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC 

24. We Were Here

Best co-op games - We Were Here

(Image credit: We Were Here)

Co-op style: Online and local

The We Were Here trilogy is all about clear communication. Two adventurers are split up and put through a series of escape rooms. While one person tries to solve the puzzle, the other feeds them clues from their own room. By describing your environment and observing how it changes, you’ll be able to puzzle your way out together, often by matching symbols between rooms (which is harder than it sounds when you’re trying to describe a bunch of squiggly lines that all look the same).

The first game is the shortest, but it’s also completely free, so it’s where you should start. Here, one player takes the role of explorer while another is a librarian. The librarian is the one with all the clues, but in We Were Here Too and We Were Here Together, the roles are more equally split. 

Play it now: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5

23. Payday 2

Best co-op games - Payday 2

Co-op type: Online

Sometimes you just feel like robbing a bank. Payday 2 might only do one thing but it does it well as you and four friends  case joints, play with alarms, and try to rob a bank as much as possible before the police get involved. It’s a much more focused experience than some co-op games but that clear direction makes for some some great tension as you rely on your friends to stick to the plan and not shoot the first customer that looks at them funny.  

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

22. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Best co-op games - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Co-op type: Local

If you fancy something a little lighter, that you can take your time with, then Mario XCOM’s turn-based battles are perfect for an afternoon of strategising with a friend. If you’ve not played it before then don’t be fooled by the happy plumber and the fat rabbits in costume. This is a challenge that starts off simple and slowly ramps up to seriously involving multistage battles and boss fights. Before long you’ll be pacing the floor to discuss tactics and planing your attack before grabbing the Joy-Cons and (hopefully) making the winning move. 

Play it on: Switch 

21. Borderlands 3

Best co-op games - Borderlands 3

(Image credit: 2K)

Co-op style: Online

Borderlands has always been better with friends. What good is a shotgun that chains electric damage between enemies, or a rifle that spits out bouncing saw blades, if you haven’t got a buddy at your side to watch it in action? The main attraction of the series has always been finding ever-wackier guns to shoot at ever-wackier enemies, and Borderlands 3 is the wackiest in the series so far. Many weapons have absurd alternate fire modes, and the world is bigger and far more varied.

In previous Borderlands, loot was shared between players, which meant you had to fight over the best guns. You can play Borderlands 3 that way (its called Coopetition), but in Cooperation mode you’ll get your own discrete pile of weapons showering out of enemies, so you never have to share.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One

20. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Best co-op games - Divinity: Original Sin 2

Co-op type: Online

Perhaps not one for a quick casual game with a friend, given this is a huge RPG environment filled with more potential, stories and events than most of us will ever see in one go. But, if you fancy a really deep co-op experience then this will keep you busy for years. As well as an entire nuanced world to explore you can play co-operatively or competitively, with players potentially trying to complete missions in different ways, or to different ends.  

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

19. Cuphead

Best co-op games - cuphead

(Image credit: Studio MDHR)

Co-op style: Online and Local

Cuphead might just be the best-looking game of the last decade, or at least the most stylish. It looks like a mash-up of all the best cartoons from the 1930s – but you’d be forgiven for not noticing that when you’re in the thick of it, because it’s also an ultra-difficult boss rush platformer where you’ll die hundreds of times trying to beat its imaginative enemies. 

Having another player on screen can actually make it more cluttered, and therefore more difficult. But the struggles are worth it when you finally down that boss on your 34th try, and whoop for joy over your headset. You’ll face a casino owner with a dice for a head, a genie on a magic carpet, and a psychedelic carrot. They’re all wonderfully-designed – but don’t stop and stare, because a moment’s hesitation means certain death.

Play it on: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

18. Monster Hunter World

Best co-op games - Monster Hunter World

(Image credit: Capcom)

Co-op type: Online

This might not be quite as welcoming to newcomers as regular players are so insistent to insist, but stick with it and Monster Hunter World is huge amounts of fun as you take down big monsters as a team. The online system is a bit weird, though - requiring several steps just to be online, then a few more to post a quest, and people can’t join until you’ve cleared cutscenes and so on… but once you get use to all that, the interplay between you and your friends as you track and battle huge creatures is top stuff. There’s a bewildering array of weapons and gear, meaning you and your team can explore numerous possibilities and combinations. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

17. KeyWe

KeyWe

(Image credit: Stonewheat & Sons)

Co-op type: Online and Couch

Who doesn't want to be a tiny kiwi bird who just got hired to work a post office? No-one, that's who. KeyWe sees you working as kiwi birds Jeff and Debra to get all sorts of mail delivered. Make sure packages have the right stamps and address labels, decode messages, send letters of your own. It's a big job and it's going to take two of you to do it. Did we mention there are unlockable outfits?

Play it on: Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X

16. GTA Online

Best co-op games - GTA Online

Co-op type: Online

There was a time where Grand Theft Auto 5’s style of murderous online meant you needed a friend, preferably several, if you want to just survive for more than a few seconds. Now, however, there’s a vast array of activities and things do, even without simple player created goals like ‘breaking into the army base’ or ‘shooting everyone you can see’. After years of updates and additions, it has become and expansive digital playground of things to do with friends. Everything from team games to bank heists, races, stunt courses and more. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC (coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2022)

15. PHOGS

Phogs

(Image credit: Bit Loom Games)

Co-op style: Online and local

Completing Phogs definitely requires plenty of co-operation as you and your pal will take control of a two-headed sausage dog - each of you taking one of its heads, connected together by a long, stretchy body. Together you'll have to bite, bounce, and bark your way through a series of puzzles set across three unique worlds. Each one is utterly adorable, and is themed around a phog's favourite things - Food, Sleep, and Play. As you work your way through them, it's easy to appreciate the fact each world - and the levels within it - offers a unique way to utilize your good phog abilities and your co-op power. It's a delight that also feels like going on a walk in a cheese dream with a friend. Just wait until you see the hat shops too. 

Play it on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One (also on Game Pass)

14. Stardew Valley

Best co-op games - Stardew valley

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

Co-op style: Online and local

Stardew Valley hands you the keys to a run-down farm in a small, lazy town and asks you to turn its fortunes around. But it’s not pushy: you and your friends can do as many or as few chores as you want. You can chop up wood and plant crops, fish and trade, craft and scavenge, or you can just wander around town chatting to the pleasant townsfolk. This game became famous for its relaxing singleplayer mode, but the online co-op is, in our opinion, the best way to play. 

If you’ve already got a save going, you need to build some cabins to add your friends, or you can all start a new game with a shared farm (progress only saves for the host). With up to three co-op partners, you can come up with freeform projects, dividing up tasks to hasten production. Or just sit around, watching the sun go up and down – it’s your farm, your rules.

Play it on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

13. Knights and Bikes

Best co-op games - Knights and Bikes

(Image credit: Foam Sword Games)

Co-op type: Local and Online

Taking on the roles of tough girls Nessa and Demelza, Knight and Bikes sees you exploring Penfurzy Island in a Goonies-inspired tale where bikes are king, and mischief is paramount. It's made by Moo Yu and Rex Crowle, who are both ex-Media Molecule, so, as you can imagine, it's infused with quirk, cuteness, and the kind of spirit you can only find in a Famous Five book. Yes, the gameplay is about puzzle solving, mini-games of crazy golf, and riding your bike as fast as you can humanly pedal, but it's also a heartfelt adventure about two kids that offers the kind of gameplay experience that you can rarely have. And it's even better with a real-world friend by your side. 

Play it on: PS4, PC, Xbox, Xbox Series X (Also on Game Pass)

12. Sea of Thieves

Best co-op games - Sea of Thieves

Co-op type: Online

Although you can play Sea of Thieves solo, this is very much a game that encourages you to tell stories, and, more importantly, create those tales with other people. Galleons can be sailed by crews of up to four, with adventures spinning out from the various voyages you undertake. That might be finding buried treasure, collecting goods to trade with the merchants, or hunting down undead pirate captains. Or, you know, fighting a Kraken or taking on a huge Skeleton Fort. 

Whatever you do in Sea of Thieves, you'll need a crew. Then just let the hilarity commence.

Play it on: Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X

11. Diablo 3

Best co-op games - Diablo 3

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Co-op style: Online and Local

Blizzard’s legendary action-RPG feels as tight and polished as it did on release eight years ago. Even if you’ve trounced its campaign several times, replaying with a friend always throws up new surprises, such as an unexpected build or combo that makes you see the combat in a whole new light. 

At their heart, the Diablo games have always been about the pursuit of ever-shinier loot. Having someone to share your latest, shiniest ring with makes those rare finds all the more thrilling, and being able to share drops between your party makes it easier to create powerful characters. Don’t worry too much about picking complimentary classes: just jump in and start swinging (or casting, or punching, or throwing…)

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

10. Destiny 2

Best co-op games - Destiny 2

Co-op type: Online

Bungie's sci-fi epic is built on the ability to join up with other players as much as possible. Part FPS, part MMO, Destiny 2's outstanding shooting mechanics and tempting loot grinds will keep you and your friends in for the long run, or at least until Destiny 3 inevitably comes out and everyone jumps ship. Not only are there a ton of Adventures, Strikes, Nightfalls, and six-person raids to participate in, but you'll also find yourself working with random players you encounter in the world. 

Public Events literally fall out of the sky, tasking you and anyone nearby to fight off hordes of enemies for that extra piece of loot. If you've somehow never jumped on the Destiny train, you still have time to find and friend and become a Guardian pf the galaxy today. 

Play it on: PC, Xbox One, PS4

9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Best co-op games - Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Co-op style: Online or Local

The newest entry in one of the most wholesome series ever made feels like the perfect game to play in self-isolation. It’s just you, an island in the middle of nowhere, and a long checklist of meditative tasks. Pick up sticks. Shake trees for fruit. Decorate your home. The co-op experience is suitably gentle – you can’t live on a friend’s island, but you can visit, share resources, shop in their stores and complete projects together. Then, when you go off home, you can send them a thank-you postcard. Isn’t that sweet?

The process for inviting friends is slightly convoluted – head to the island airport to get started – but it keeps unwanted randoms from joining your game. Any visitors are limited in what they can do on your island until you name them a “best friend”, which frees them up for much more social interaction, including a chat system. Friendly messages only, please.

Play it on: Nintendo Switch

8. Snipperclips

Best co-op games - Snipperclips

Co-op type: Local and online

This two-person puzzler’s main gimmick is such a clever idea that you and a friend will easy waste half an hour just playing around with that alone, before even trying to solve anything. You each control a flat 2D character with the ability to cut pieces out of each other according to where you overlap. By using this ability you have to get through levels and solve puzzlers. It’s a simple but incredibly rich concept and something that works perfectly on Switch, with each of you taking one Joy-Con to direct your little paper person about. 

Play it on: Switch

7. Portal 2

Best co-op games - Portal 2

(Image credit: Valve)

Co-op style: Online and Local

If it were playable on current-gen consoles, Portal 2 would likely top this list. Right now, you can only play Portal 2 on PC, but don’t hold that against it. If you have a desktop or laptop that can run it (and most can), and a friend that can do the same, then you’re in for one of the best co-op experiences of your life. The co-op campaign is a noticeable jump in difficulty from the already fiendish original. Not only will you and a friend, who each control a loveable robot, have to put your heads together to figure out how to finish a test chamber, but you’ll often have to time your movements and actions just right. If one player jumps a split second early, or activates a button too late, the whole plan falls apart. 

It makes communication vital, and each puzzle all-the-more rewarding to solve. On top of those puzzles is a layer of Valve’s unmistakable humour, and GLaDOS (remember her?) is once again the star. You can high-five your friend, play rock paper scissors or, if you’re feeling evil, dunk them into deadly goo by pulling a bridge up from under their feet.

Play it on: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X (via backwards compatibility)

6. Call of Duty: Warzone

Best co-op games - Call of Duty Warzone blood money

(Image credit: Activision)

Co-op style: Online

While battle royale games aren’t co-op in the traditional sense, they are undisputedly co-operative, so we wanted to include at least one on this list. Fortnite, PUBG and Apex Legends are all worthy contenders, but the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone is a fresh twist on the well-trodden formula. Its 150-player matches guarantee action; when you die you have a chance to instantly respawn by winning a 1v1 fight; and you can pick up objective-filled “contracts” that give structure to each round. Plus, it supports complete crossplay between PC, PS4 and Xbox One, so you can squad up with your friends regardless of their platform of choice. 

Apex Legends still has, arguably, a superior ping system for communicating without a headset, so if you want to play with randoms, it might be your best bet. But if you’ve got a couple of friends eager to join you then Warzone is a guaranteed good time.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X

5. Overcooked 2

Best co-op games - Overcooked 2

Co-op type: Local and online

Overcooked 2 sounds simple - prepare a bunch of meals as chefs within a certain time limit. Easy. Well, not so much. While there are up to four of you playing, it starts to get tricky to keep track of the game's various commands and stipulations, as well as avoiding various hazards and pitfalls in the kitchen itself. This can lead to some frantic play, and only the most cohesive of teams will get those dishes out on time. 

The levels are insane, the menus increasingly complex, and overall this is a mad, mad existence of a game. But, hilarious fun too. Warning: may cause bickering among even the closest friends, partners and family members. 

Play it on: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

4. Fortnite 

Best co-op games - Fortnite

Co-op type: Online and Local (splitscreen available in limited modes)

Fortnite is a shining example of a game that gets more fun the more friends you have playing with you, and what's even better is that its insanely popular Battle Royale mode is totally free. Weekly challenges keep things fresh so you have something new to do every week, and as each season comes and goes there are new updates thrown in and major map changes as the story subtly evolves.

Even still in Early Access, Epic's charming Save The World base-defense/shooter/survival game hybrid is a better platform for cooperative play than many full releases. Not only does playing with a handful of friends give you a better chance to fend of waves of husks or construct the ultimate base, those friends can also provide you valuable XP boosts and a better chance to nab some of Fortnite's massive catalog of rare loot. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X

3. Minecraft

Best co-op games - Minecraft

Co-op type: Local (on console and PC) and online

Yes, Minecraft gets everywhere but for good reason: its digital building block world has endless imagination-filled potential. You can team up with friends to build pointless structures, or grand engineering feats of construction. Or you can just bounce about the place creating chaos and generally hanging out. It’s lack of rigid structure means you and your friends can get up to anything - whether that’s an evening of messing about or a longer term project you can take your time over. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android, Xbox Series X, PS5

2. A Way Out

Best co-op games - A Way Out

Co-op type: Local and online

It's rare that a game is only playable in co-op, but that's exactly what A Way Out does. Whether you're splashing the water to usher fish to each other; going back to back to shimmy up a wall gap; passing a chisel between cells to find an exit route; or even just playing Connect Four or a game of basketball, the co-op never feels like an added extra, it’s all built for you to enjoy together in a way that’s satisfying and worthwhile regardless of the scale of the interaction.

You're two criminals trying to find a way out of prison and a step closer to redemption, but more importantly this is one story that you must experience together. And it's the best co-op game we've ever played. 

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, PS5

1. It Takes Two

It Takes Two

(Image credit: EA)

Co-op type: Local and online

It Takes Two is the latest game from the team that brought you A Way Out, and it's another game specifically built to be played co-operatively. This time around you're playing as a husband and wife duo, who have been turned into a pair of dolls by their daughter unhappy about their news that they're divorcing. Cue gameplay that's part Pixar, part Honey I Shrunk the Kids, add in a sprinkle of marriage counseling courtesy of an anthropomorphic self-help book and you've got a glimpse into what to expect with It Takes Two. But, it's also much more than that, a little slice of magic and literally the best co-op game around. 

And, only one of you has to own it if you want to play online with a friend thanks to the game's Friend Pass system. Bonus!

Play it on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, PS5

Sam Loveridge

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!