The world just wants to tear us all apart. Whether it’s politics, yanny, or a black and blue dress, life conspires to make enemies of friends. Video games are always a great escape from the rigors of the real world, but what about if you can bring your pals along for the ride with the best PS4 co-op games?
Whether you just want to dick around in New York City or work in a bustling kitchen together, co-op games on the PlayStation 4 have what you need for some cathartic bit of bonding. Those who say these types of games are dying a death with the focus from many being on PVP are just cynical at best. Really, when you look at the gamut of different options we have now, we may actually be in the best spot ever for co-operative play.
The games you will find below require your partner to have a controller of their own, but many narrative games, such as Telltale’s output (rest in peace), could probably fall under the same umbrella. Without further ado, it’s adventure time — c’mon grab your friends and dive into the best PS4 co-op games.
Developer: Ghost Town Games Ltd. Publisher: Team 17 Online/Offline Co-Op: Offline
Co-op games are meant to be great for bonding. Overcooked, meanwhile, is intended to ruin Christmas for everyone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably end up hurling expletives at your aunt, just like if you worked in a real-life kitchen.
Grab three friends and get to grips with the hustle and bustle of running a kitchen and all the stresses that come with it. Despite its cutesy looks, it’s one of the most stressful games you’re ever likely to pay. Before too long, you’ll become as cynical and jaded as real chefs. If you can handle the game at its toughest points, Overcooked can be a real thrill despite it having such a simple hook.
2. A Way Out
Developer: Hazelight Publisher: EA Originals Online/Offline Co-Op: Both
Sure, some of the writing may be rote, but you won’t find a more surprisingly emotional game that slowly creeps up on you in how much of yourself you invest into it. Over the course of six or so hours, you learn to love Leo and Vincent: two criminals looking to escape from prison together.
Playable locally or online, A Way Out has players pick the character they want and then work with the other through some interesting gameplay mechanics. It’s a cinematic adventure full of heart and quirks that most developers wouldn’t even attempt, but never mind any of that: it lets you play Connect Four. Worth the entry fee on that alone.
A game so long in the tooth that it probably predates the internet and all life as we know it, Payday 2 has been able to stick around for so long despite such a straightforward premise for a very simple reason: its community. Who knew playing banks and robbers could bring so many people together?
Payday 2 is a great distraction for you and friends as you scope out a bank (or something bigger) for a big score before swooping in and swooping out with as little fuss as possible. If you’ve ever seen a heist movie then you’ll know that things will go awry. In Payday 2, when things go wrong, it’s usually because your friend is an idiot and did it on purpose for the laughs.
Developer: Techland Publisher: Techland/WB Games Online/Offline Co-Op: Online
We’ve said it many, many times but we’re going to say it one more time for the people at the back. Dying Light is one of the most underrated games of this generation. If you’re writing it off as you’re sick of zombie games, that’s fair, but Techland managed to created something that even the most jaded of gamers would probably enjoy.
It’s even better with friends, allowing you to dropkick and decapitate your way across Harran to your heart’s content. In the daytime, amble around and parkour your way through some The Office references. At night, prepare to run and scream like crazed banshees as the terrifying Virals close in. You can team up with up to three friends to explore the delights that Dying Light has to offer and with it now being very cheap and a sequel on the way, there couldn’t be a better time to jump in.
The country of Bolivia is a playground for you and your squad in this open world destruction simulator. Those expecting a Ghost Recon game will be disappointed in Wildlands as it strays far from its predecessors, though the fun factor of griefing your friends can’t be denied.
There are missions and important burly dude things to do, but that’s not what you’re here for. Wildlands is an excuse to pull off ridiculous stunts and explore with your friends. The world may be somewhat empty, as is the Ubisoft way, but that just gives you more room in which to treat your loved ones with the utmost of disrespect.
“Despite the minor and not so minor technical hiccups that can briefly stymie the experience, Ghost Recon Wildlands is the most fun I have ever had in a multiplayer game and the glitches, while frustrating, never served to hamper my fun for more than a few minutes.”
Those who played and loved every other World thought they were in on something that nobody else was, especially in the West. Monster Hunter struggled to break through into the mainstream until World came along and smashed a tonne of records for Capcom in the process.
Featuring a lot of what made its predecessors so great alongside some refinements for a more casual audience, Monster Hunter: World is the natural progression for the series. As with most games with an emphasis on grinding, it’s better with friends. Grab some friends to share the guilt of massacring beautiful creatures and you will almost definitely love one of the best games of 2018.
“Monster Hunter: World isn’t for everyone. The focus on loot and grinding ensures that, but everything it does is superlative, making it an essential purchase for any RPG fans looking for something new. As for the established fans, it’s everything you loved about the old games, but prettier. A win/win, all round.”
7. Unravel Two
Developer: ColdWood Interactive Publisher: EA Originals Online/Offline Co-Op: Offline
The original Unravel won its fair share of fans for its simply gorgeous photorealistic style and a heart that was hard to deny. For its surprise sequel, it brings back that same unforgettable style and also a friend for Yarny to play with. Unravel Two turns the original game into a co-op adventure that lowers the difficulty while ramping up the adorable factor twofold.
It’s still a puzzle platformer at heart, though its puzzles are relative walkovers, presumably to help it find an audience with younger audiences. A short but memorable affair, teamwork is key in Unravel Two, so whether that means using momentum of your yarn to propel your friend across a chasm or making cute gestures to each other, it’s a game that thrives in co-op.
“Even if there are a couple of minor quibbles to be had with Unravel Two, it’s still everything you’d ever want from a follow-up. It’s a genuine step-up from its predecessor with smoother controls and more gameplay styles while also retaining the irrefutable charm that won the first game so many fans. With any luck, Unravel Two will win many more.”
8. All the Lego
Developer: Traveller’s Tales Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Online/Offline Co-Op: Offline
Literally all of it. All of the Lego. Really, apart from a few small changes to fit the theme of the adaptation, all of the Traveller’s Tales Lego games play the same way. As there’s so many to choose from, it’s ultimately down to which license you prefer the most when it comes down to picking the best co-op game to play.
Famously easy to pick up and play, the Lego games are ideal if you want to bond with your young children or introduced them to gaming as a whole. Goofy, forgiving, and totally charming, the Lego games offer a tonne of options as well as replayability that will keep the children from replaying the same episode of Peppa Pig over and over again. If you’re struggling to pick just one, any of the seven games released in the last two years are worthwhile.
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto Publisher: Ubisoft Online/Offline Co-Op: Online
Really, you could swap this entry out for Far Cry 4 if you’re more inclined towards a slightly more colourful time. Far Cry 5 doesn’t reinvent the wheel and instead opts for streamlining some of the franchise’s most cumbersome moments, but that doesn’t stop it from being on the best PS4 co-op games all the same.
Just like Wildlands, exploration is recommended over making your way through the story. I played the co-op aspects of the game with a colleague and it quickly descended into baseball bat fights, erratic helicopters, and battling bears, so if that sounds like it’s your kind of thing, book a ticket to Hope County and join the family.
“When it’s at its best, Far Cry 5 shows glimmers of being the fullest, most enjoyable game in the franchise to date. The gunplay is as meaty and satisfying as it’s always been and the promotion of exploration has never been more keenly felt — anyone who’s ever enjoyed a Far Cry game will likely feel right at home here.”
10. Sonic Mania
Developer(s): Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games Publisher: SEGA Online/Offline Co-Op: Offline
Sonic returned to all his blue glory last year in Sonic Mania: a game created by Sonic fans, for Sonic fans. Not even the most contrarian of hipsters could say they preferred Forces over Mania, such is the loving embrace of nostalgia that Sonic Mania wraps you up in.
Much like the games of old, Mania allows two players to team up as Sonic and Tails respectively. Whoever has the weakest of personalities will probably be lumped with Tails — it’s the Sonic show, after all. Still, if you can find another nineties kid to take the short straw, adorn your rose-tinted spectacles and play the best entry in the Sonic franchise since it began.
“Sonic is back, praise be, Sonic is back. Old school fans will relish the challenge and the attention to detail while younger gamers may able finally understand why Sonic was such a gaming icon in the 1990s.”