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

The best co-op games are the ones that have seriously powerful energy to bring people together. Designed to be enjoyed by at least two – if not more – gamers working together to have maximum fun, these titles are all ones that take co-op gaming seriously. We’ve hand-selected each one to ensure that it’ll bring out the best co-op experience to date.

So, for these best co-op games, we absolutely implore you to find a friend, partner, or family member to enjoy each one with. 

25. Valheim

A castle in Valheim

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

Co-op style: Online

There’s so much you can do with friends in Valheim, it was easy to see why it’s been added to our list of best co-op games. Up to 10 people can play together in Valheim’s survival sandbox, which is inspired by Norse mythology, with dedicated servers for private hosting too. You’ll build a base, work together to craft better weapons and armor, explore further and further afield, and even take down various monsters. It’s a dangerous world, and it’s far better with friends. 

Play it on: PC

24. Rainbow Six Siege

Two characters back to back from 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

23. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

A bomb with a timer and other panels in 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

22. Don’t Starve Together

Four characters standing around a small fire on a rug in 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 (opens in new tab)’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

21. Deep Rock Galactic

Players mining and fighting off giant ants in 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

20. Warframe

Players working together to take down a giant robot in Warframe

Co-op type: Online

Tens of millions (opens in new tab) of people play Warframe (opens in new tab) 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 

19. Borderlands 3

Four characters sitting around a bar with neon hearts on the wall in 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 (opens in new tab) 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

18. Divinity: Original Sin 2

A character unleashes a lightning attack surrounded by fire in 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

17. Monster Hunter World

A character standing with a monster while a dragon looms overhead in 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 (opens in new tab) 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

16. GTA Online

Three masked characters wielding guns in a skyscraper in GTA Online

Co-op type: Online

There was a time when GTA 5 (opens in new tab)’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 an expansive digital playground of things to do with friends. Everything from team games to bank heists, races, stunt courses, and more, and it’s evolving all the time.

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


A two-headed dog next to some corn and a monster campsite in 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

A character looks at his crops on his farm in Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

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

Two young girls riding bikes stare down the camera in 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

A pirate carries a giant chest of treasure followed by four of their crewmates down the boardwalk inSea of Thieves

Co-op type: Online

Although you can play Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab) 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

A shadowy figure in 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

Two players in elaborate armor hold weapons in 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 (opens in new tab)‘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

Three girls face the camera with big smiles in 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

The two characters overlap to make a heart in Snipperclips

Co-op type: Local

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

Two robots embrace in 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

Two characters holding guns in 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 (opens in new tab), PUBG and Apex Legends (opens in new tab) are all worthy contenders, but the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in new tab) 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

A kitchen working across two floating airships in Overcooked 2

Co-op type: Local and online

Overcooked 2 (opens in new tab) 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 

the character line-up for Fortnite Season 2

(Image credit: Epic Games)

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

Fortnite (opens in new tab) 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

A recreation of a Super Mario level in Minecraft

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

Yes, Minecraft (opens in new tab) 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

Two men playing Connect 4 in 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 (opens in new tab) 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

Two dolls career down an icy mountain with magnets on their back in 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

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