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Probably the best co-op games over a local network or the Internet (2023 update)

Original article: Co-op games have always had their appeal and have made a resurgence not only on PC, but also as a board game. It’s just (more) fun when the two of you cooperatively roam pixel landscapes and defend yourself against invading hordes of enemies, fight your way through a zombie-infested city center or build the USS Enterprise together in Minecraft’s building blocks. What’s unique about this gaming experience is that the group has to complete specific tasks in order to win the game or achieve the goals that you set yourself. Even games with poor story or content can lay some ground with a co-op mode and become a real highlight with friends.

The classic couch potato: the couch potato

Today, access to the Internet is provided for every aspect of life or it only works through the cloud. In the past, when the World Wide Web was still restricted to universities and maximum data transfer was only a fraction of the bandwidth available today, a split screen, a blank modem cable, or a LAN party was the social event in a gamer’s life. The technical limitations of the time forced people to lock themselves into a single room or even on the couch if they wanted to enjoy a computer game with friends or against each other. Couch co-op on console allows for challenging classics like Contra (called Probotector in Germany) or Battletoads to be played together. But of course, PC gamers are used to getting their money’s worth with many sleepless nights at a LAN party, after all the conflicting rules in Age of Empires 2 or Command and Conquer didn’t self-destruct. So it’s even nicer to watch when developers implement a split-screen co-op mode in their games despite the expansion of the Internet and data transfer speeds and, so to speak, curl up on the couch.

In our gallery: Probably the best and most popular co-op game to date

Cooperative Games: Communication is everything

Close observation, tactical conventions and then pulling the trigger at the right moment: this is what makes many Tom Clancy co-op games so engaging. Whether it’s Rainbow Six Vegas, The Division 2, or Ghost Recon Wildlands – here decisions must be carefully planned and tailored to the behavior of opponents before you can take out a group of opponents at the same time or gain access. The resulting satisfying experience can only be achieved through well-rehearsed teamwork, as whoever attempts with drums and trumpets to thunderstorm in CS:GO like a suburban Rambo usually fails. Tactics, a collaborative approach, and communication are important in such situations. Anyone who goes on a fearless hunt as a lone wolf will rarely achieve his goal, because the opponent’s superiority can only be countered by joint tactical maneuvers.

Supreme Co-op: Platforms

Platform games definitely belong to the old iron of PC games, as Donkey Kong has been level-jumping as is typical of the genre since 1981. You can cycle through levels in Armalyte, Double Dragon or Metal Slug in cooperative play, which is typical of the genre, for a long time almost. Even today, the skill-demanding genre with simple game mechanics is still relevant, be it in co-op or single-player. The successful titles of the past few years, such as Ibb & Obb or Shift Happens, show that the era of platform games is far from over. Titles like Super Meat Boy also show that platformers still have a reason to exist.