I listened to the EDG Podcast Ep. #314 – Top 20 Co-Op Games, and while it was a great podcast, I felt like even I wanted to respond to it. Now don’t get me wrong; Eric, Chris, and Robert put together a great list. However, it got me thinking, what would be my Top Ten Co-op Games?
This list represents my personal choices and tastes. I hope you enjoy reading through it. That being said, let’s begin!
10.) Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide was a 2015 release by indie developer Fatshark Games. Fatshark turned the horde wave genre upside down with the absolute best melee combat in a game of this style to date. It also incorporates some real tangible RPG elements, a crafting system, and is one of the first game’s to truly showcase the Skaven in all of their underworld glory. All of these factors, the melee combat, RPG elements, and the crafting system are all very innovative within this genre. It’s also the first time we see these elements in the 9 year history of the genre.
Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide is one of the best 4 player co-op games that I’ve ever played. It was an absolute joy to play, and I hope that we get to see more of this type of content from Fatshark Games in the future. Could Ork horde mode be next? I hope so!
9.) Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution is a stand alone title in the Dawn of War series that was developed by Relic Entertainment back in 2011. Multiplayer and co-op features are heavily scattered throughout this title. The player can play in teams online, or they can run through an extensive campaign in co-op across multiple races. The game also has a Last Stand mode which pits 3 players in a wave based horde attack mode.
I absolutely love everything that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution has to offer. It’s also one of the best games to date that utilizes the Warhammer 40K license. To this day the game still has a very active community. Any player can randomly find a match with someone in this game at any time throughout the day.
8.) Alien vs Predator
When I say Alien vs Predator, I am referring to the 1994 arcade coin op which was developed by Capcom. In the small town that I attended high school, the local pizzeria had two arcade machines. One obviously was Alien vs Predator, the other was Marvel vs Capcom. My closest friend and I would walk from school searching for any money we could find on the ground just to go play these two machines. One of the business’ we walked behind was a Sonic, and we constantly would find 5, 10, or even 20 dollars to sink into the machines from our walk.
That was practically every school day for the better part of a year. I couldn’t even tell you how many times we beat Alien vs Predator. We did get pretty good at it though. It also never got old; no matter how many times we beat it, we just kept coming back for more. I’ve never personally owned an arcade machine in my home, but if ever I buy one, this is going to be in top consideration.
7.) Streets of Rage 2
Now while my counterparts didn’t want to declare any one specific game to be the best in a series, I’m not going to be bound by that logic, because I personally believe that one game shines brighter in this series than all others. SEGA’s 1992 Streets of Rage 2 is the best side scrolling co-op fighter hands down ever created. This game can still be purchased across multiple platforms in today’s market. I have it for my Nintendo 3DS.
While Streets of Rage 2 is in the same genre as the Final Fight and the Double Dragon series, it shined brighter, had more critical acclaim, and has had the longevity to go the distance. It also gave the SEGA Genesis console a major sales push back in the day. This co-op game is simply historical for these reasons.
6.) Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2 was created by Epic Games in 2008. Not only is this one of the best games the developer has ever created, but Gears of War 2 was the originator of the horde wave genre. When a game can be innovative and establish an entirely new genre, than that game easily stands out far and above any other titles within the series.
The Gears of War franchise has been phenomenal, creating characters that everyone not only falls in love with but can also relate to on some levels. If you only ever play one piece of it though, you have to play Gears of War 2.
5.) Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Now I know the guys mentioned Time Crisis, and that particular game is in the same genre as Terminatior 2: Judgement Day, which was a 1991 arcade coin op machine created by Midway. Coincidentally Midway was the company that gave me my start working in the video game industry as a tester and developer. I may be a little biased towards Midway in those regards, and I won’t even try to deny it.
However, at my arcade, no one played Time Crisis. There was only 1 Time Crisis machine. We were all lined up around the Terminator 2: Judgement Day machines. The arcade eventually installed 3 of the machines. I loved that game. I still fondly look back on it to this day.
4.) Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Hands down, the best Warhammer 40K game made to date is Relic Entertainment’s 2011 release Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. It has everything: singleplayer, multiplayer, and co-op. It also has one of the biggest 40K communities that can be found on the internet. The game is still very active, and you can find a match for any game mode.
In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine you can even pilot a dreadnought. I think this is the only game that even has this feature. Just talking about it makes me want to stop everything and jump right into some more action!
3.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was mentioned, and the series has several memorable arcade titles, I believe that the series comes down to just two machines. Konami’s 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and Konami’s 1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.
Having played both extensively in the arcade. I feel that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time was superior in every way. It had better graphics, better combat, was a longer experience, a more intriguing story, and I can still remember to this day that one of the stage levels was called Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee. It’s an arcade game that if someone asked me if I wanted to play right now, I would instantly be down for a game.
Konami’s 1992 arcade coin op game of the decade had to be X-Men. It was the first machine that I played that had two screens. The early 90’s was such a great time for arcade coin ops. There were so many memorable machines.
However, this was the first machine that had me torn among playing as Cyclops, Wolverine, Night Crawler, or Colossus. I was so torn about who to be, that I would allow my friends to pick first, and whoever they left me with was who I would be. I loved this game so much. Despite my feelings for the Alien vs Predator machine, X-Men would definitely be my first choice if I ever bought an arcade cabinet.
1.) Borderlands 2
My favorite co-op game of all time is Borderlands 2, which was released in 2012 by Gearbox Software. It is one of the few games that I am down to play any time. While the singleplayer aspect of it wasn’t bad, the game shines in co-op. Borderlands 2 has a massive amount of replayability, and I own the game on multiple platforms willingly.
On Steam alone I have sunk 300 hours into Borderlands 2, and that only counts the times I played it while I was online. There was a month long period where I played the game offline just because I didn’t want to be disturbed by notifications while playing it.
There you have it. You’ve heard about my Top Ten Co-Op Games. You should also have listened to the EDG Official Podcast as well; if you haven’t, there is a link to it at the top of this article.
We would love to hear your feedback about what you believe are the top co-op games of all time. Share them with us at @EverydayGamers.