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

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!