A Few Co-op Games for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is here, and that means more time with those we love. I am a big fan of celebrating this day whether you’re single or in a relationship, because it can be a holiday that’s about all kinds of love, including family and friendship.

Whatever the case, it’s a great time to play video games with a partner. I play games with my boyfriend all the time, and we’re always looking for new picks. Here are a few I recommend for their beautiful worlds and the cooperation they encourage between two players! My hope is that there’s something for everyone here. =)

If You’re Into Fantasy: Trine 2

trine2coop01.jpgWhile I haven’t actually played this game co-op yet, it’s built for exactly that. I had a blast playing it solo. Lush graphics showcase a beautiful fantasy world that makes the experience feel magical. You can play as a thief, a knight, or a wizard — each a unique character with special abilities. Working together with another player to master the platforming and puzzles in this game is sure to be a fun challenge!

If You Want to Shoot Something: Gears of War

Gears-of-War-Ultimate-EditionThis whole series offers some of the best co-op shooting gameplay ever. If you have to choose just one game, I recommend the original — it’s even been remastered for Xbox One — or the latest, Gears of War 4, which features a playable female character alongside the main dude. Either way, you’ll be using your lancer to shoot down monstrous enemies and chainsawing jumping aliens who try to melee you. I’m not usually a fan of post-apocalyptic settings, but this world is one I just sink into. The characters make the scary environments and crumbling buildings feel more like home, too. Better yet, the co-op will have you strategizing with your partner, whether you’re shooting side by side or taking separate paths to cover each other.

If You Love Puzzles: Portal 2

portal_2_coop_jan_22_2Portal features a whole new way to use a gun. Instead of shooting enemies, you’re in a test lab shooting holes in walls, floors, and ceilings to create paths that let you progress from one side of a room to another. These puzzles can be really challenging, which is why I’ve found that having a partner to talk things over with is super helpful. In Portal 2‘s co-op, many of the rooms are set up for two people working together, and you’ll have to decide who does what to make it safely to the exit! The dry humor of GLaDoS, the AI who is ushering you through the tests, will have you laughing, too.

If You Like Exploring Other Planets: Destiny

destiny3If you’re into epic science fiction adventures, Destiny is an exciting experience to play with a partner. I played the entire campaign, including all DLCs, with my boyfriend. This whisked us through over 40 hours of exploration and fighting on places like Mars, Venus, and our own moon. While you can certainly play this game solo, having a partner with you makes the sci-fi sightseeing more fun and can be a huge boon during the tougher missions.

If You’re Competitive: Mortal Kombat X

mortal kombat xIf you and your partner are competitive, I recommend Mortal Kombat X to get you sparring. The older games are fun too, but I personally got into this one first because of the modern graphics, smooth gameplay, and some pretty awesome redesigned outfits for the women. It takes several rounds to figure out which character you like best, and several more to start mastering moves, but this is a fun fighting game to pick up and play. Challenge your partner to a quick match, or spend the night betting on who’s better with a controller…

What are some of your favorite co-op games? And happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

— Ashley

7 thoughts on “A Few Co-op Games for Valentine’s Day!”

  1. I’m a bit more in the “humbug” camp when it comes to Valentine’s. Of course being single (probably permanently) and curmudgeonly in general probably contributes to that.

    Good post, though.

    I’ve been raving about StarCraft II’s co-op for months, so naturally that’s the first thing that comes to mind for me when it comes to co-op, but I also think ARPGs like Diablo III can provide some great small group multiplayer. The fact there’s hardly any cutscenes in D3 and most of the story happens in-game makes it especially co-op friendly, though it’s a shame you can’t bring companions when playing with other people. Miss out on some fun conversations that way.

    The Secret World could also be a good pick, though I suppose the occasional solo instances foul that up a little bit. MMOs in general are surprisingly bad at supporting small group multiplayer. It’s usually solo content, five-mans, and raids, and nothing else. TSW is a bit better because two heads are sometimes better than one at solving puzzles, and the open world content isn’t totally trivialized by adding a second person.

    1. Interesting. Definitely nice to hear about which MMOs are good for coop vs bigger group play, as I have tended to try them solo (and I haven’t tried many). I’m more a fan of playing with just one partner, as it’s hard to get a group together and I don’t like online matchmaking too much. Maybe I’m just shy about it because I haven’t done it much yet.

      1. I mean in most games you can do the leveling content as a duo/trio; it’s just a little bit of an awkward fit because the difficulty’s not tuned around it, and in some cases you might run into phasing issues. Very few MMOs have content directly targeted at small groups, which I find baffling because (anecdotally) it seems to be one of the most popular playstyles.

        A few years ago WoW introduced a new type of endgame content called scenarios that were tuned for three people of any role, and those were awesome, but they completely abandoned the feature after one expansion. I don’t think they’ve ever given a clear answer as to why.

        As for automatic matchmaking, I’m a big fan, but that’s because I’m comparing it to the traditional method of PUGing (standing around spamming general chat for an hour or two). If you have people you actually know you can play with, that’s always the best option.

        That said, I think dungeon finders and the like get way more flack than they deserve. The large majority of groups I’ve formed that way were at least decent, and bad experiences are generally pretty rare.

  2. Awesome list! I’m a professional single person, but I always enjoy “pass the controller” games, because you can root for the other person and actually pay attention to what they’re doing in-game, which is kind of nice, too :)

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