Gaming. The word itself is good enough to bring a smile on your face. We live in a time where having a PlayStation, an Xbox or a high-end gaming PC is a given. We often seem to lose ourselves in the realms of the games that we make a part of our lives. Hours of straining your eyes and mind to achieve the ultimate goal of killing a dragon. Sounds fun right? That’s exactly what the best co-op games are all about!
What’s even more fun than losing yourself to the gaming world? Losing yourself to it with a friend. This is where the concept of “Co-op Gaming” comes into play.
So what are co-op games? As the name suggests, games, where you cooperate with a peer, are known as co-op games. People often confuse co-op gaming with multiplayer gaming; however, they are slightly different. Multiplayer gaming includes within its domain co-op gaming, i.e., playing with a teammate, and PvP gaming, i.e., playing against a friend. Therefore, one may say that co-op gaming is merely a part of multiplayer gaming.
So, how do we play co-op? It can be done both online and offline, while sitting together on a sofa. So, without further ado, let’s look at the best co-op games in 2021!
Best Co-Op Games: Our Top 10 Picks
Before discussing each game in detail, let’s look at a quick overview of the top co-op games on the market.
- Apex Legends (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One)
- Battlefield V (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)
- Fortnite (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One)
- The Division 2 (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia)
- GTA V Online (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360)
- Rainbow Six Seige (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, and iOS)
- Far Cry 5 (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)
- FIFA 20 (Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)
Let’s discuss our experience with each game in detail.
1. Apex Legends
- Emphasis on teamplay
- Loaded with innovation
- One of the best battle royale games
- Does not comprise a solo mode
- New skins are expensive
The latest game on the rise is Apex Legends, which makes it to the top of our list of good co-op games in 2021! Apex Legends is a battle royale game with the ultimate goal similar to that of PUBG or Fortnite – the last man standing!
A reason why Apex spread like wildfire in the gaming community is that it was free to play, much like Fortnite. But, unlike Fortnite, Apex’s game design was more realistic for a first-person shooter (FPS) game. Respawn Entertainment, the company behind the success of Apex Legends kept sending secret messages to the community before the game was launched. This created a lot of hype, resulting in millions of downloads.
Apex Legends concentrates on teams of 3 who fight till the end until they’re the only team surviving. The characters are hero-class based, allowing for users to having unique abilities and attributes with each different character. The gaming community is buzzing so much about this game, that even if you fail to find friends to make a squad with, you can always find people online ready to team up with you! So, one may say Apex Legends is the best co-op game available right now!
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Awesome satelites
- Powerful Marksman rifle
- Numerical value on attachments
- Improved pace of the gameplay
- Way too many obstacles in the Miami map
- All guns feel the same
- Frequent UI bugs
Call of Duty is a name that resonates with the gaming community unlike any other. In at number 2, Call of Duty has maintained its dominance among the best co-op games, with its latest version in the form of Black Ops 4. But, Black Ops 4 is unlike any other Call of Duty games. What makes this game one of the top co-op games is the fact that it is completely multiplayer and does not have a PvE game mode.
The previous editions of Call of Duty have always been a combination of offline campaigns paired with online game modes. But, Treyarch decided to kill the offline game modes on the Black Ops 4 and focus completely on making it the best multiplayer FPS game out there.
What’s also new, is the battle royal game mode! One may say PUBG brought around a revolution with their game, seeing many franchises have followed them into bringing a battle royal mode. Other multiplayer games like the classic ‘Team vs Team’ and ‘Zombie’ game mode are still present for the players to enjoy!
3. Battlefield V
- Fair and fun vehicle gameplay
- Powerful guns; fun to handle
- Excellent graphics and sound
- Time to kill is very fast
- Inconsistent destruction
Making it to our top 3 is Battlefield V! It is baffling that even after being the sixteenth installment of the Battlefield franchise, it has made its way to the top co-op games as 2021 commences! Set in and around the events of World War II, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield V is a game that will keep your adrenaline rushing through.
The offline mode will put players through the brutal journeys and wars that the soldiers had to go through. Beyond the emotional roller-coaster, the game is full of real-world guns and other weapons making it really exciting for the players.
But, Battlefield V makes it to the top 3 of our best co-op games because of its online PvP modes. Battlefield V has a plethora of co-op game modes for friends to enjoy together from ‘Conquest’ – the classic battlefield mode to ‘Team Deathmatch’ – the classic team vs team PvP mode.
- No violence
- Some kind of thinking involved
- Exciting dance moves
- Added humor
- Frequently updated
- Live chat and voice chat need to be monitored with kids
Fortnite is a game by Epic Games that has taken the world by storm. It is one of its kind battle royal PvP game, set in a sandbox world. A sandbox world refers to a virtual in-game world that can be altered or changed by the players. Fortnite allows players to change the world around them inside the game by collecting stone and wood to construct bridges, ramps and towers to defend or dodge bullets from their opponents.
Adding to the uniqueness of the ‘building’ concept, Fortnite’s game design is cartoon-like and beautiful with vivid colors all through the game world. This makes the game even more fun to play.
Players can choose to play in teams of 2 or teams of 4, or even play solo games. The last person or team standing wins the match! Fortnite is based in a post-apocalyptic world. Many Twitch streamers started streaming this game, which helped it gain the popularity it holds today! The game also has an offline Zombie based game mode but this mode is not as renowned as the infamous battle royal mode.
5. The Divison 2
- Stunning combat arena, environment, and world design
- Regular, exciting rewards to captivate players
- A strong plot is missing
- Enemies spawn very quickly in the open world
The Division by Ubisoft was deemed to be a success by most but people started opting out of the game, believing that the endgame content was missing and the game felt somehow incomplete. This is where The Division 2 came into the picture and rocked the gaming community. Based in Washington, this post-apocalyptic shooter game caught the eyes of gamers who love a bit of co-op action.
One can call it one of the best couch co-op games, seeing that both its offline and online mode can be played alongside your friends.
The offline mode allows users to take out gangsters and pyromaniacs, along with their friends, to gather loot and weapons. The online mode, called the ‘Dark Zone’, is more of a classic team PvP action where players butt head against other players for better loot. The game also allows for users to choose their own destiny in-game, i.e., being the good guy saving people, or the bad guy unleashing his blood-lust. The game concept paired with the art design of the games makes it enter our top 5 games.
6. GTA V Online
- Attractive, detailed work
- Heist missions are fun to plan and execute
- Interesting missions
- Slow interface
Grand Theft Auto is a name that resonates with every player in the gaming community. Rockstar Games’ GTA series has been one of the finest game series to have ever graced the world. Be it GTA San Andreas, GTA Vice City or GTA IV, Rockstar has never disappointed. Yes, we know you must be wondering what a game launched in 2013 is doing in a list of top co-op games going into 2021. GTA V, even though 6 years old by now, has one of the largest active playing communities present today.
The world-renowned third-person open-world game allows players to play as 3 conmen, who do missions together to make bank. Players can play as either of 3 characters at any point in the game, making the possibilities all the more. Also, GTA comes with an online mode wherein a player can design their character and take to the streets of Los Santos.
Players can team up with other players to take part in multiple in-game events like street wars, car races, heists, etc. Also, with GTA V, Rockstar introduced the first-person mode which gave the GTA series something it never had, an all-new perspective. GTA is one of the best co-op games for PS4 and Xbox One.
7. Rainbow Six Siege
- Tactical gameplay
- Necessary teamwork
- Regular additions and updates
- Slow grind-based progression
- Lack of single-player campaign drives an incomplete experience
In at number 7 is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. The latest game in the Rainbow Six game franchise has taken the world by storm. It’s a classic first-person shooter game that keeps your heart racing and your mind focused on completing your mission.
Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most underrated games of 2019, but in reality, it is one of the top co-op games. It has two game modes wherein you can get a superb co-op gaming experience. The first is the classic multiplayer game mode where two teams log heads until one team wins. Online game modes include “Secure Area,” “Bomb,” and “Hostage.”
What makes Rainbow Six Siege different is their co-op PvE game mode – Terrorist Hunt. Unlike the fast-paced multiplayer game mode, this game mode calls for patience. Teams are spawned on a map that has a hockey-mask-wearing terrorists hidden all over it. Teams must hunt and eliminate these terrorists. Not only are Six Siege’s game modes encapsulating but they are also very beautifully designed, making it one of the best co-op games for PC and other consoles.
8. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
- Can be played solo or co-op
- A wide variety of massive maps to choose from
- Realistic game mechanics
- Waiting time in the lobby can be annoying
We believe PUBG is a game that does not tell too much. A product of Bluehole Developers, PUBG has been one of the most well-received games to have ever graced the online gaming scene. Battle royale games always existed but PUBG brought it to the players in an all-new way.
100 players are thrown out of a plane hovering over an island that is full of guns and armor. Players must eliminate their nemesis until there’s only one man/team left standing. Sounds typical, right? What made PUBG unique was its concept of shrinking the map as time ticked, for players to come closer and closer and eventually engage in the crossfire.
PUBG is a complete multiplayer game. It has 6 game modes viz. BR (battle royale) Solos, BR Duos, BR Squads, Zombies, War and Conquest. The game has 4 maps viz. Erangel, Miramar (Desert Island), Sanhok (Tropical Island) and Vikendi (Snowy Island), which allows users to have a number of different experiences. Players can choose to play as FPP (First Person Perspective) or TPP (Third Person Perspective).
PUBG served as an inspiration for many battle royale games that followed suit. PUBG’s mobile version is the most download shooter game in the history of mobile gaming.
9. Far Cry 5
- Beautiful graphics
- The world feels alive
- Interesting followers
- The follower control system is excellent
- Difficulty level is too low
- Throwables are complex
- Weapons are easily accessible
Far Cry 5 is the fifth installment in the Far Cry series by Ubisoft. Based in the fictitious Hope County in Montana, United States, the game puts the users against the infamous cult leader Joseph Seed. Seed has captured control over Hope County by ill means and players must stop him in this first-person shooter game.
Far Cry 5 is based in an open world that can be explored on foot or by using vehicles. The game has a very good arsenal of weapons for users to experiment with. The game allows users to play both single-player as well as cooperative multiplayer to take down the cult leader Seed.
Unfortunately, the game does not allow for local cooperative gameplay so it is definitely not one of the best couch co-op games. But, players can play online together! It is one of the best co-op Xbox and PS4 games out there.
10. FIFA 21
In a world dominated by shooting games, FIFA 21 is among games that stand out in the world of sports gaming. FIFA 21 is famous for its highly realistic take on real-world football, including the world’s biggest nation football teams and also some of the biggest football clubs in the world.
Players often play FIFA for its Career Mode, Online Leagues and it’s especially famous game mode viz. FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) wherein players build their own squads using player cards that can be bought or earned by participating in in-game competitions. All of the above mentioned is mainly solo PvP, but what people often aren’t aware of is the fact that these game modes can also be enjoyed while playing co-op.
Players can play co-op FIFA wherein both players control one player at a time each, out of the available 11 players on the field. Up to 4 players can play as a part of the same team. FIFA also allows users to play co-op with their friends online against other real-world players well. FIFA is regarded as one of the best co-op PS4 games as well as one of the best co-op Xbox games, besides being regarded as one of the best games for PS4 and Xbox even without the co-op mode.
Frequently Asked Questions About Co-Op Games
Co-op games are games played by friends on a gaming console or a PC. Depending on game-to-game or even game-mode-to-game-mode, players may indulge in PvP (Player vs. Player) or PvE (Player vs. Environment). PvP refers to those games or game modes wherein you are matched up against other real-world players. PvE refers to those games or game modes where you do not have to play against other real world players but with the in-game AI.
Co-op games on PC can be played either online or offline. When playing co-op online, players are connected to the game’s servers via the internet wherein they can join the same teams. Players may interact via in-game chat options or by using third-party apps for communicating via voice chats. Some examples of such apps are Discord, Whatsapp, Skype, etc. If playing co-op offline on the same PC, players may do so by using alternate buttons on the same keyboard to play a game. Players can also connect joystick or remote controllers to their PCs to enjoy offline co-op gaming.
As discussed above, people often use the terms ‘co-op’ and ‘multiplayer’ interchangeably, whereas they are different. One may say that co-op gaming is a subset of multiplayer gaming. Multiplayer gaming, as the name suggests, means multiple players gaming, i.e. multiple players playing a game together. This can be in the form of a team game (Co-op) or PvP (Player vs. Player). Whereas co-op gaming stands for cooperative gaming, wherein two players play together as a part of the same team and not against one another. Therefore, multiplayer gaming includes co-op gaming but vice versa doesn’t stand true in this case.
There is no doubt that solo games give you a heightened feeling of success when you win a game but there’s nothing like winning a game with your friends. As much fun as it may be to roam around in the streets of an open world game, what makes it more fun is racing around those streets with your friends. No doubt that solo gaming, both online and offline have a charm of their own, but co-op games give you the true sense of gaming.
We’ve presented our list of top 10 best co-op games available on the market right now. So, let the gamer inside you go wild and try out these games right now! If you have any questions, queries or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments below!