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by Dan MartinFebruary 4, 2015

What’s better than playing games? Playing games with friends of course! Whether you’re playing an old school arcade machine or playing on a high tech PC, there’s nothing more fun in the gaming world than playing against your friends and thanks to accessible internet, playing co-operative games has never been so good.

So we’ve decided to take a look at what we think are some of the best cooperative games launched within the last 15 years.  We’ve decided to focus on fun rather than competitiveness and influence in videogames. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the games you love to play with friends, so feel free to leave us a comment below!

Left 4 dead 2 (2009)

This game turns six this year and has kept gamers enthralled since its arrival. The premise is simple. Four players must try to survive and escape an onslaught of zombies. What’s not to like? Valve’s game expanded on the original by adding new characters, new campaigns and different zombie types.  The real strength however lies in the modding community on PC where anything is possible. Want to fight storm troopers with a light saber from Star Wars? You can do that. Want to know what it’s like taking on zombies on the Titanic? By all means go ahead! Have a lifelong dream of playing as a velociraptor? Sure…they have that too…

With its tongue in cheek attitude, great character voiceovers and satisfying gameplay brands, Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the top co-op games around!

Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock (2007)

There are plenty of great music games out there – from Rockband to Singstar, but at Esport Source our top choice is The Third Entry. It’s a genuine crowd pleaser spanning a wide range of artists and musical genres including glam rockers KISS, alternative rockers Muse, hip hop collective Beastie Boys and punk band Sex Pistols. You’ll definitely find a song to strum to and with your friend on bass you can crank it to 11 and rock out your anthems with style in the living room!

Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)

This game is a just shy of 10 years old but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best co-op games around! This was the game that defined split-screen in the bedroom. Why? Because you had to play all the iconic locations in all trilogies old and new from Hoth to Endor. As Star Wars games go, it was one of the best. It allows you to become not only storm troopers and rebels, but also siths and jedis. Sadly they’ve shut down most of the PC servers now, but there’s a new hope (excuse the pun!) as a new entry in the Battlefront series comes out later this year. Whether it will outshine the previous entries is yet to be seen, but in the meantime dust off the PS2 and play this old classic.

Borderlands 2 (2012)

The emphasis of this game is guns, guns and more guns! So much in fact it boasts carrying a whopping 17.75 million of them! The world of Pandora is also grand from hot lava environments to cold arctic regions. With so many firearms and different character classes, it begs other players to play along.  One of the best things is players can drop in and drop out at any time – a convenience for those who have plans for the day and want to pick up where they left off later on. Additionally, it is one of the best written and funniest games around with  its memorable storyline. Without giving too much away there’s a quest that heavily references the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! It’s cheap to buy and with a fully-fledged sequel in development this should keep you and your friends occupied until then!

DAY Z (2013: alpha stage)

Imagine yourself as a survivor, scavenging a 225km² wide country for food, water, weaponry and medical items. Couple this with killing zombies and killing or collaborating with other survivors in a zombie apocalypse and you’ve got yourself in the midst of a pretty terrifying game right? Although this is still in its development stages on PC, this game is still fantastic to play with a few friends! Based on the engine from the ARMA series, which supports dozens of players simultaneously, you and an unlimited number of friends can play at the same time! It’s great to play solo but the game really outshines  when playing with others. If you were shot by a bandit, it’s nice to know that your friend will always protect you by providing medical assistance or supplying you with a can of beans. Be careful though –  your so called friends might literally stab you in the back and take your loot!

Metal Slug 3 (2000: 2014)
This simple 2D run & gun action shooting game is 15 years old but it’s been updated and released on Steam for less than a tenner! With its outdated pixelated art, it still manages to captivate millions around the world with its great gameplay, inventive bosses and levels that surprise you every second. If you ever wanted to fight giant robot crabs, huge robots of death, wild animals with mounted guns, zombies, aliens, killer plants, even killer monkeys this is the perfect game for you and your friends!With up to 4 players it will certainly make you feel epic!
Portal 2 (2011)
Another game from Valve that is still one of the best critically acclaimed cooperative games is Portal 2.  You and a friend play as two testing robots, P-Body and Atlas, who solve puzzle after puzzle with portals. What makes this game so fantastic is its ability to completely dumbfound you and your friends with the complexity of the puzzles! It’s so rewarding when both of you finally manage to solve one together! Valve also has a huge community following with tonnes of player created content that often rivals the complexity of the original puzzles.

Total War: Rome II (2013)

The Total War series has always boasted great campaigns – from feudal Japan to the Napoleonic wars. One of the best features of the Total War series is its in depth knowledge of the past, making it educational as well as fun! Its newest one, Rome II, is just as good. If you prefer strategizing  with a friend then this is the game for you! You can spend hundreds of hours securing different parts of the Roman Empire, from the homeland to the British Isles, and Northern Africa. It’s fantastic when you order your fleet to save your friend while he is outnumbered by many. Friendship is built on these games.

Torchlight 2 (2012)
While Diablo 3 is a great game it has a maximum of four players. Torchlight 2 however has up to six players, creating one of the best action RPG games out there! Hacking and slashing through dungeons that get progressively harder with your friends has never been so much fun! More importantly, the price of this game is ridiculously cheap for under £15! So buy the game, get your friends together and click like your life depends on it!

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Dan Martin

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