There’s something special about playing a video game with a friend. It can deliver unique and memorable gaming experiences and can turn a bad game into a good game and a good game into a great game! How many reviews do you hear nowadays that say something like ”It’s okay but way better with friends!” never has that statement been truer than with the games on this list! Here are the Top 10 Criminally Underrated PC Co-Op Games!
10. The Escapists 2
Back in 2015, The Escapists dropped out of nowhere. It was a fun prison escape game that quickly captured the attention of YouTubers and Twitch streamers, giving the game a surprising about of success. Two years later, The Escapists 2 was released, vastly improving the graphics, gameplay, and most importantly, adding multiplayer, a feature that fans of the original were begging the developers to add!
Now, with over ten prisons to escape (with each prison growing in difficultly), you and a fellow inmate can either work together or race each other to see who can escape first! Additionally, with the Prison Map Editor, you can construct your own prison or download others from the Steam Workshop, giving this game great value for money. In an interesting twist, the developers of The Escapists 2 are creating a Minecraft type game called The Survivalists set to release in 2020.
9. Overcooked! 2
Overcooked! 2 is a cooking simulation game, although your cooking environment is a ridiculous array of restaurants where pandemonium reigns supreme! In Overcooked 2, you and three of your friends try in vain to prepare and cook orders.
However, between setting the kitchen on fire and bumping into each other’s characters, typical games tend to become overwhelming chaos! Some levels have moving floors and other obstacles that complicate the cooking process. With a Story Mode, Arcade Mode, and Versus Mode, you have plenty of variety when it comes to playing. Invite some friends and enjoy the chaos!
8. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Stress, tension and anxiety—these are not the words you typically want to hear when purchasing a game. However, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is not your ordinary game. You’re a bomb disposal engineer who has to defuse a variety of bombs with ever-increasing difficulty. You’ll require the guidance of a friend who has the bomb defusal manual at hand. With his assistance, you need to try and defuse the bomb before it explodes in your face.
This means you and buddy need top tier communication if you want to survive. The game has procedurally generated puzzles that help keep the action fresh. Thankfully, only one copy of the game is needed to play, as the Bomb Defusal Manual is just a PDF you can find on Google, and with Steam’s new Remote Play feature, both players can take turns exploding. Just make sure one of you knows how to understand morse code or you’re in big trouble!
7. Police Stories
On first impression, Police Stories looks and feels like Hotline Miami. However, on closer inspection, the game plays more like Rainbow Six Siege or maybe the old SWAT games. Instead of fast-paced frantic action, you have to play slow, calculated and use your brain, with a big emphasis on tactics that force you to make split-second decisions. You can’t bust into a room guns blazing. You need to give the criminals a chance to surrender, and you may even need to keep them alive in case they have crucial information. This game requires you and your partner to have stop tier communication and patience.
Unforgiving and tense, each mission tells a story of two police operatives – John Rimes and Rick Jones. You’ll need to regularly check your surroundings and make sure to take criminals down quietly. In addition, you can use the Custom Mission Mode to create your own missions and scenarios. Once you get the feel of the game, you can pull off some incredibly satisfying playthroughs where you breeze through a level flawlessly! With new content being added throughout 2020, this game is well worth a pick-up!
”SpyParty is a competitive multiplayer game about a spy hiding in plain sight at a fancy cocktail party and a sniper outside the party with one bullet, sounds simple right? Let’s go deeper…”
Now here is a game I guarantee you haven’t played. SpyParty is a completely unique experience. Players alternate between playing as the Spy and the Sniper. When operating as the Spy you must complete a certain amount of objectives before the timer runs out. The trick is that you need to blend into the party by acting like an ordinary A.I, and this might mean walking into people, standing still, or moving around in circles.
The Sniper’s job is to eliminate the Spy with a bullet. You only have one chance, so make it count. You need to be vigilant, looking out for mistakes and trying to narrow down the field until you think you know who the Spy is. All the while, you and a friend are chatting away in a Discord server trying to psych each other out. That is the magic of SpyParty! With an excellent and deep tutorial mode for both the Spy and the Sniper, new players will quickly adapt to the many strategies of Spy Party. It truly is the perfect game to play when it’s just you and friend in a Discord lobby.
That said, it’s a beta, so there are bugs and unfinished features. The biggest downside of the game would have to be the price. £19.49 is very steep for an early access game with outdated graphics and an unfinished UI. That means that £40 will need to be spent if you want to play the game with your friend. Hopefully, that price will drop or the value for money will increase. Nevertheless, when that laser focuses in on you and you only have one more mission to complete, sweat dripping down your face, that £40 doesn’t feel so significant anymore. Please buy this game and support the developer!
5. Stardew Valley
One of the calmest, smoothest and most addictive games I have ever played, and an absolute must buy. Combined with 4 player co-op and the recent 1.4 update, this game is still alive and well. If you have ever played Harvest Moon or are just looking for a relaxing time, Stardew Valley is the perfect game. You and three of your friends can all work together to build a thriving farm, share resources, and improve the local community. This is one of the most relaxing experiences you will ever encounter!
4. Human Fall Flat
Ever wanted to play a game where you can barely control your character? Human Fall Flat is the game for you! The goal of Human Fall Flat is simple: you fall from the sky and enter a level then try to find the exit. The challenge of the game comes from the fact that it’s so difficult to manage your character that simple things such as walking in a straight line or jumping across a gap become herculean tasks, but that’s why the game is funny. You spend half the time laughing at your stupid character!
Although the game can be played with up to eight players, I find the experience is best played with you and a friend, as this makes the puzzles more difficult and requires more teamwork. With twelve official levels and a near-endless stream of Steam Workshop maps, Human Fall Flat is an absolute bargain for the price you pay!
3. For The King
”The King is dead, murdered by an unknown assailant. Now the once peaceful kingdom of Fahrul is in peril. With nowhere left to turn and stretched beyond her means, the queen has put out a desperate plea to the citizens of the land to rise up and help stem the tide of impending doom.”
For The King is a strategic RPG that draws great inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons. Set off with your three-man party on epic quests with six lengthy campaigns to sink your teeth into! With a deep turn-based combat system, unique procedurally generated maps and challenging roguelike gameplay, For The King is the perfect multiplayer RPG to play with two of your buddies.
Do be warned: For The King is an immensely challenging game. If your party dies in battle, you lose. Game over, no save points, no restarts. You have to start the campaign from scratch. This can be infuriating if you get wiped after 10 hours of playing, but that’s what makes the game so special. Every fight is tense, every item choice is important, every dungeon is life and death! Invite two of your friends and enjoy the pain.
2. We Were Here Series
We Were Here, We Were Here Too, and We Were Here Together! This trio of games are first-person cooperative adventures where you and a partner must solve puzzles through smart communication and observation. You’re actively encouraged to leave your Discord server and communicate in-game via Walkie-Talkies. This means both players must have working microphones.
Each player will have a completely different gaming experience, leaving the games open for multiple playthroughs. Thankfully, the first game of the series is free to play on Steam, so you and friend and can try it out to see if it’s to your liking. Teamwork makes the dream work, and if you aren’t communicating effectively, you will never escape! I urge you to seek out these games.
1. A Way Out
A Way Out is an action-adventure game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts. (no wait hear me out) It is the second video game to be directed by Josef Fares, who made headlines for his ”F**k the Oscars” speech at the 2017 Game Awards. A Way Out has no single-player option. Instead, the game offers a “play free online” model, which means that only one person needs to purchase the game before inviting the friend they want to play with. This is a system I love, and I hope more developers will adopt this strategy when it comes to co-op only games.
In A Way Out, you and your friend will control Leo and Vincent, two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison and stay on the run from authorities. The game features a wide variety of gameplay sequences from stealth to puzzle to driving set pieces. The main feature that appeals to me is the Dynamic Split-Screen (you can see this in action below) which gives players the opportunity to see your buddy’s perspective at all times. For instance, if your friend enters a cutscene you will be able to see and hear that cutscene while still being able to play from your viewpoint without interruption. I loved this feature so much that I hope that all future co-op games consider implementing it.
In addition, while on your adventure, you will get the chance to play various minigames such as arm wrestling, baseball, basketball, bottle shooting, connect four, darts, horseshoes, and the list goes on. These side activities provide a surprising amount of fun and competitiveness. I swear I played connect four with a friend for almost an hour before getting back to the story!
Despite being a co-op only game, the developers were able to tell an engaging story with memorable characters, outstanding action chase sequences, and a fun variety of gameplay choices which make for a fantastic cinematic adventure that is well worth a playthrough! While the exact numbers are hard to find, it seems ‘A Way Out’ has sold around two million copies, but that simply isn’t enough for a game of this quality. Buy this game as soon as you can (it’s on sale at the moment). Unfortunately, you will have to download Origin in order to play it. (I’m very sorry)
Did you agree with my Top 10 Criminally Underrated PC Co-Op Games? Leave a comment below and tell me what game I missed out on.
For more Top 10 Lists go to gamezo.co.uk