10. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Combining two of the best Borderlands games into one souped-up modern package, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection offers hundreds of hours of couch co-op gameplay with genuine depth and millions of guns to play with. Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel are aloof and rib-tickling yet offer some seriously satisfying shooting and a cast of characters that are well worth getting to know (before you fill them full of bullet holes). The games are designed to be played with friends so this one is a no-brainer if you’ve got a flatmate with a hunger for Rakk guts and a penchant for shiny loot.
9. Rayman Legends
Harking back to the glory days of 2D Rayman albeit with a welcome coat of modern finesse, Rayman Legends is one of the best platformers of the past decade and a perfect co-op game to be enjoyed by young kids and adults, with a breadth of difficulty available that can be forgiving and unforgiving where necessary. If you’re a fan of games like Donkey Kong Country and the Super Mario Bros. series, you’ll no doubt feel right at home with Legends. The standout feature has to be the insanely cool music levels where you platform along to songs like Eye of the Tiger and Black Betty in time with the beat. Pure genius!
8. The Jackbox Party Pack Collection
Jackbox is a name known around the globe for helping coax out comedic genius as well as dark secrets from its players, offering small microgames that tease out evil quips, manic ad-libs and ridiculous artistic creations. The joy of Jackbox is that you don’t need any controllers, everyone can just use their phones to join in on the action. With a six-game strong franchise, there’s plenty to choose from depending on your tastes, from the absurd robot MC battles of Mad Verse City to the inane inventions of Patently Stupid, it’s difficult to get bored of Jackbox, a guaranteed hit when applied to a low-key party.
7. A Way Out
Easily one of the most unique games on this list, A Way Out is the only game here that you cannot play single-player. You need a friend to enjoy its cinematic set-pieces, designed specifically to be played with a companion. Another effort from the mind of Josef Fares (who previously spearheaded the equally worthwhile co-op experience Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons) you’ll take a wholly different approach and break out of prison, leading to a chaotic adventure on the lam, performing unique tasks spread between players that constantly keeps the pace high and the tension spreadable.
6. Divinity: Original Sin 2
If you’re in a tabletop group with your friends, a perfect companion piece to a game like Dungeons and Dragons is Divinity: Original Sin II, Larian’s incredibly detailed role-playing sim where you can craft and tune characters to your own particular design and throw them into a bustling narrative full of consequential choices, crunchy combat and high-level tactics, depending on the difficulty you choose. The experience is even more fun with a friend next to you to deliberate with and brew potions and spells to outwit the varied enemies in this fantastic fantasy world.
Unless you’ve been living under a layer of cobblestone for the past decade, you’ve most likely heard of Minecraft, which since its launch has slowly crept onto every available platform with relative ease, including the PS4. A procedurally generated open world buzzing with potential, even if you’ve not played it in years it’s well worth hopping back into Mojang’s blocky world, especially given that the game has received a series of updates since. The magic of getting lost in a dungeon and carving out a makeshift home with your friends in tow is still difficult to match, even in 2020.
We can skip the pleasantries here, I’m sure we’re all very well accustomed with Fortnite, Epic Games’ smash hit battle royale that was originally conceived as a lukewarm wave defence game. In December of last year, they finally added co-op for PS4, which is perfect if you want to split the screens and build laps around your online opponents as a dynamic duo. Fortnite is at its core a lot of fun, regardless of its hegemonic status. If you’ve been looking down your nose at it so far, give it a go with a friend, you may be surprised at how much you get into it!
3. FIFA 20
How could we talk about couch co-op and not mention FIFA. EA’s football series is synonymous with the concept of having friends over for an evening of fun. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… you might even shout if the beautiful game doesn’t go your way, but there’s nothing akin to the chesslike unravelling you can concoct when you break down an opponent’s defence and score an absolute screamer. Red faces all round and prideful tension in the air, FIFA is one of the best couch co-op games on the market, nevermind PS4. Even if you could care less about football, it’s well worth learning its systems like you would any self-respecting fighting game - you’ll be surprised when you unravel the tactile game hiding underneath. With the inclusion of Volta, there are even more fun ways to play in FIFA 20 specifically!
2. Rocket League
If you quite like sports games but can’t rifle with the realism of FIFA, Rocket League is the perfect compromise. It’s pretty much space football with remote control cars. The game’s controls are the key to its legendary status in the pantheon of couch co-op - they’re easy to pick up but incredibly difficult to master. The ground game is simple enough but floating and heading the ball is fine-tuned to feel curiously difficult, which creates this perfect layer of unexpected chaos in every match. There are never two games that play out the same in Rocket League, so if you’ve got friends who only play FIFA, convince them to give its nearest neighbour a shot.
1. Overcooked 2 / Overcooked
A game series that could signal grounds for divorce if you’re not careful, the Overcooked series is well-known for its ability to turn cosy couch co-op into shouting matches where you’ll guffaw until your hands turn limp. There’s nothing more hilarious than the miscommunication created when one player goes on auto-pilot and starts drowning the sous chef in lettuce. An absolute foregone conclusion for couch co-op, if you don’t already own an Overcooked game on PS4 and you sought out this article, you best do so, and quickly!