There’s plenty of reasons why you’d want to whip out four controllers, some friends (or family) and plop down on the couch for some games. Whether its the holidays, a get together or a weekend with terrible weather, local multiplayer games are one of the best ways to have fun with friends in the same room.
We’ve compiled a list of games for players looking to use teamwork to win and a handful for those who want victory all for themselves.
Couch co-op games
If you’re in the spirit to cooperate with your fellow players and want to work toward a common goal, here are a few games you can play that require teamwork to win.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (PC, Mac, PlayStation VR, Android)
If you’ve ever seen a team of specialists defuse a bomb in a movie and thought, “Hey, I’d love to do that in front of my friends and family”, then Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the game for you.
One player takes the role of the bomb defuser and can only keep their eyes on the screen (or better yet, inside their VR goggles). Their teammates cannot look at the screen and the only thing they can do is talk directly to the player who is defusing the bomb. The teammates are equipped with an actual bomb defusal manual, which they can view online or print out. As you play, the actions you need to perform in order to defuse bombs not only randomly change but get more complex over time. It’s a heart-racing but absolutely fantastic experience.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
While you can play this game alone, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime really opens up when you and three other players control the various weapons and gadgets aboard your spaceship.
Cooperation is key in this game since each player has an important role to play, whether that’s controlling the thrusters, swinging around your ship’s shield or blasting away at the galaxy’s various enemies. While the game is an adventure and has a very light story, you can jump into any stage and be treated with a randomly generated level, giving this game endless replayability.
Overcooked (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
I’m sure plenty of us have had our share of arguments and mishaps trying to cook with friends and family. The good news is, you can relive all those fun memories with Overcooked.
Up to four players can run around an evolving series of bizarrely designed kitchens as you all try your best to cooperatively prepare, cook and serve meals under strict deadlines. The ballet of self-assigning roles throughout the kitchen and then carrying out tasks are only amplified in absurdity in later levels as the kitchens themselves move and morph to sabotage your teamwork. I swear this game is more fun than it sounds, that is, if yelling at your friends and family is your type of fun. We love it and you can watch us being our most polite selves in the video above.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
This is definitely an absurd recommendation, but one worth checking out.
In Octodad, players must run through the daily routines of a cephalopod trying to get through his day to day as an average human being. Making matters worse is that if four players team up, each one takes control of one of Octodad’s limbs. Even as a single player, the limb-based control scheme is difficult enough. Having four players independently controlling each appendage only makes this game goofier.
Maybe you’re the type that wants to experience the fun of crushing your enemies face to face. If that’s the case, here’s a handful of games that allow you to talk smack and ruin friendships in person.
GANG BEASTS (PC, Mac, PlayStation 4)
Four-player fighting games are a blast but are often not as fun for players who aren’t skilled at fighting games. Thankfully, Gang Beasts is the farthest thing from a traditional fighting game. Its quirky charm makes it as fun to play as it is to watch.
At its core, Gang Beasts is a four-player punch-fest featuring pudgy, soft combatants. There aren’t combos or special moves to master, just basic controls that allow your fighter to punch, grab and jump. Despite the simple controls, the appeal of Gang Beasts stems from how wildly your characters move about. They wobble as they run, their punches land with an odd mixture of adorableness and sheer violence and the simple act of jumping seems to make their bodies flail about in the most unpredictable ways. You can watch us playing the game above.
Crawl (PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
If you’re a fan of dungeon crawling games but want a twist on the genre, then check out Crawl. At first glance, Crawl looks like your average dungeon crawler where a single player must fight their way through a series of rooms, defeating a horde of enemies on their way to a final boss.
While that is exactly what one player will be doing while playing this game, the other three players are actually controlling the enemies and the final boss. When you fire the game up, all four players start in a room in their human forms and must immediately fight to the death. The winner gets to begin the dungeon crawl, while the defeated enemies become ghosts who can summon enemies. As the game progresses, the human player must stay alive long enough to make it to the final boss. If the human player dies, the player who defeated them becomes the human. This cycle continues until a human makes their way to the boss, which is simultaneously controlled by the three enemy players. Crawl is a wild tug-of-war worth struggling through in the hopes that you might end up being the player who gets to slay the boss.
Move or Die (PC, Mac)
It’s always good when a game describes how to play it right there in the title. Move or Die takes the simple premise its name serves up and allows players to add a huge list of modifiers that act as unique game modes to make this game fresh and frantic as hell.
In Move or Die, players must survive through a host of different game modes until one player is left alive. The main way to win is to keep moving because if you stand still, your life quickly drains. So you must constantly be mobile or it’s game over for you. To keep things extra spicy, the game adds bizarre game modes like giving players a gun, but they can only shoot while spinning in midair or a game type where you need to dodge a massive spike ball. Add in modifiers like turning invisible and you can imagine how all these permutations make for a wild time.
The Jackbox Party Pack (PC, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
The Jackbox series is fantastic for a host of reasons, but three of the biggest are the fact that the party game series exists on just about every platform; you can have up to eight players in most games; and there’s no need for controllers — all you need is your smartphone.
Whether you’re buying the newly released fourth version of the Party Pack or any of the others, each edition of the series is filled with a handful of party games that don’t require anything from players other than a sense of humor. Some games will have you crafting the best lie. Some might have you doodling crude pictures on your smart phone or thinking of the most creative ways to embarrass your friends, family or coworkers. The Jackbox series easily fulfills your dreams of embarrassing your loved ones on a weird game show.