Tekken pro Kana 'Tanukana' Tani at Evo 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas. We present the best co-op games for couples.
© Marv Watson / Red Bull Content Pool
Games

The best couch co-op games for partners to play together!

Gaming and chill? No such thing when couch co-op is introduced and the competitive and backseat gamer juices start flowing! Still, here's the best couch co-op games for you and your partner to play...
By Philipp Briel with updates from Stephen Farrelly
15 min readUpdated on
Couples who play together stay together or, maybe not?! Who knows what level of 'co-op realness' exists between you and your would-be sidekick? And let's not even get into backseat gamers. That said, throw yourself on the sofa, fire up your console of choice, and start playing this list of the best couch co-op games for partners.
Better still, we got Australian gamer and Red Bull player Iamfallfromgrace to weigh in and tell us about some of her favourites and why you should be playing them now!
01

Super Mario Bros Wonder

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
A lovingly designed adventure: Super Mario Bros. Wonder

A lovingly designed adventure: Super Mario Bros. Wonder

© Nintendo

In the latest Mario adventure, the popular plumber returns to the 2D world. However, while Super Mario returns to his old strengths, visually 'Wonder' is an absolute feast for the eyes, while the experience steps up in gameplay over Mario's myriad other jaunts sharing countless fresh and innovative ideas.
These range from new transformations to moving tubes, music-based levels and much more. Great fun for up to four people in local co-op.
02

Untitled Goose Game

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
The classic remains a classic, to this day

The classic remains a classic, to this day

© House House

The Aussie-made Untitled Goose Game from developer House House might have released as far back as 2019, but its charm, wit and co-operative goodness hasn't waned one bit in that time, and it's still as devilish and diabolical as ever. In that way, it makes for a perfect game with a partner in (Goose) crime because what can be better than messing around with the lives of the game's unsuspecting denizens?
What's best about the game's longevity is that, while announcing it is working on a new title, it's come to light that House House's next project won't be Untitled Goose Game 2, but rather something you "would definitely not expect from the team", according to publisher Panic. If it's another co-op affair, sign us and our partners up immediately!
03

Diablo IV

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Screenshot from Diablo IV

Hardcore action and plenty of loot: Diablo IV is a co-op hit.

© Blizzard Entertainment

In June 2023, the legions of hell rose up once again as Diablo IV, one of the most legendary co-op games of all time, returned to platforms everywhere for a new instalment. And more recently in 2024, the game arrives on Xbox Game Pass making it even easier for willing adventurers to step into the now open-world expanse of Sanctuary.
As mentioned, Diablo IV this time around is a full open-world and features a number of new classes to explore and play around with in the game's in-depth character-creation setup. These include the Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Hunter and Necromancer. All-new world bosses and, of course, tons of the finest loot round out the experience alongside seasonal content, events and more.
04

Baldur's Gate III

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Baldur's Gate 3 is the role-playing highlight of the year

Baldur's Gate 3 is the role-playing highlight of the year

© Larian Studios

Fans with a soft spot for high and dark fantasy worlds and role-playing games can look forward to a very special treat with Baldur' s Gate III. After all, the mammoth RPG from Larian Studios as not only one of the gaming highlights of 2023, but is now lauded as one of the best games of all time.
The third instalment of the series combines classic RPG gameplay with a high degree of playful freedom and a gigantic scope that will easily keep you glued to the screen for hundreds of hours. Choices with genuine consequence and a game that keeps you guessing around tilts and leans and just how it'll all unfold leave this latest in the long-running series as one of the most ambitious games of the last decade, maybe longer.
05

Luigi's Mansion 3

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
It's getting spooky again in Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch. This time even with co-op and multiplayer mode

Has no fear of ghosts: The green m... Luigi!

© Nintendo

The third instalment of the dark adventure with Mario's little brother takes you to a ghost hotel where various haunted creatures are up to mischief.
For the co-op mode in Luigi's Mansion 3 , one person slips into the skin of the glib Fluigi to solve puzzles, hunt ghosts and uncover secrets together. It's less a one-to-one co-op in the sense of each player has total agency over their avatars, but is rather a 'shared co-op experience'. The fighting for who'll control the titular lead should be fun enough, but the setup works great as the game is also a joy to experience in passive beats for its charm alone.
06

Sons of the Forest

  • Platform: PC (for now)
This 'forest' is more scary than lush - beware!

This 'forest' is more scary than lush - beware!

© Endnight Games Limited

As with a number of titles on this list, Sons of the Forest isn't for the faint of heart, but we also know that often it's in games where your backs are against an horrific blood-stained wall (or in this case, tree trunk) where cooperative play shines most, like a much-needed torch in the dark of eerie night. And sure, it's not 'strictly' couch co-op, though you could both play from laptops or any of the recent spate of PC-powered and Steam-capable handhelds now out in the wild.
Sons of the Forest is best described as a survival sim survival horror where you and a comrade in arms have crashed on an island inhabited by mutant cannibals, among other dangers, where you must gather resources, build, survive and uncover the island's mystery. Sons of the Forest is a sequel to 2014's The Forest which, if you ever played, should give you an indication of the sort tension you're set to face. It's also a stunning game which brings its horrors alive even more!
07

A Way Out

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, PC
A Way Out requires co-operation.

A Way Out requires co-operation.

© Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts

Two incarcerated brothers, Leo and Vincent, are fed up with life in prison, natch. And obviously they want to break out of their confines leading to a simple yet great premise for a co-operative experience because, you see, they can only escape together - so teamwork is required.
You and your game partner each take on one of the two protagonists and together escape from prison and the police search teams. This starts with a simple ladder challenge and goes all the way to surviving prison yard brawls together. Then it's a case of skilfully keeping a lookout or distracting guards while your partner clears the way to escape. The game makes marvelous use of the opportunities for joint interaction in the setting of the story. The gameplay is fuelled by mini-puzzles and quick-time events.
Nothing can prepare you for the highs and lows of A Way Out. I was nearly driven to tears towards the end of the game. It’s a title I wish I could play again for the first time.
Iamfallfromgrace
The special feature: A Way Out can only be played in co-op and cannot be mastered alone. Great fun and a gripping adventure to boot.
08

Minecraft Legends

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
The phenom takes on a new guise as a co-op RTS

The phenom takes on a new guise as a co-op RTS

© Microsoft

When Mojang and Microsoft initially announced that Minecraft -- a creative and open game with little-to-no actual structure would have a spin-off full of traditional gaming beats in the form of a real-time strategy, people were right to wonder "why?". However, upon release the game proved a hugely fun experience that genuinely pushed the co-op side of things in a new Diablo-like style without compromising what makes Minecraft so popular in the first place.
Full of colour and adventure and an ever-procedurally-generated overworld, much like OG Minecraft, Minecraft Legends is never quite the same romp twice which makes it great for you and yours, as well as your little ones or any other kids in and around your lives as it absolutely caters to all. An excellent romp with co-op for days!
09

It Takes Two

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC
It Takes Two is all over the place. In a good way.

It Takes Two is all over the place. In a good way.

© Electronic Arts

From the same developers as A Way Out mentioned earlier, It Takes Two is a poignant experience where teamwork means more than your basic freedom and is instead used to fuel a deeper connection with both your in-game avatars and the actual players behind the controllers (or keyboards and mice).
Instead of a gritty prison break, the story here revolves around a pair of parents who have to rekindle their lost love. May and Cody are a quarrelling couple whose marriage is going down the drain. The tears of their daughter Rosie turn the parents into dolls who, under the guidance of the book character Dr Hakim, try to get their relationship back on track and return to the real world in the course of the game.
The charming story combines It Takes Two with varied gameplay and extremely creative ideas, thanks to which the game constantly reinvents itself over the course of around 15 hours of gameplay. A wonderful and gripping experience, especially for partners on that big old love train.
10

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Screenshot from the PS5 game Sackboy: A Big Adventure shows two players in co-op mode during a jump passage.

Great co-op fun: the jump-n-run Sackboy: A Big Adventure

© Sony Interactive Entertainment

In the 3D platformer Sackboy : A Big Adventure for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, the iconic Little Big Planet mascot finally gets his own game. Unlike in the original, you don't create your own levels here, but instead jump and climb through varied worlds crafted by the actual devs in a heavily-crafted experience that picks and pulls from the best of yesteryear in the platforming space while also delivering plenty of its own innovation.
The charming jump-and-run is a lot of fun on its own, but the fight against the villain Vex really comes into its own in couch co-op. Because even if you are supposed to work together and sometimes have to in order to complete all the side tasks, it can be great fun to push your partner off a cliff or prevent them from progressing as you pass by.
If you own either of Sony's consoles you should definitely check out Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Especially on PS5, though, as the game makes extensive use of the innovative features of the DualSense controller.
11

Rayman Legends

  • Platform: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC
A lovingly-designed game-world with an incredibly catchy soundtrack - all are elements that even today make this 2020 joint something of a cutting-edge game. Especially as the music levels are still some of the best the genre has ever produced.
The story of Rayman Legends is quickly told: Rayman, Globox and co. wander through the enchanted forest. In the process, they discover a tent crammed full of fascinating paintings. In the best Super Mario 64 style, they jump through the frames into worlds dominated by nightmarish creatures. There they make a real mess until even the last horror is defeated.
Running, jumping and boxing, you and your game partner fight your way through medieval battles, trap-filled dungeons and eerily beautiful graveyards. And show the gnarled knights and slavering goblins who has the stronger punch.
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12

Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Mac OS, Xbox One
Love has been lost from the galaxy and can only be restored if all the scattered space bunnies are freed from their dungeons. The rescue mission is up to you, of course, and so you set off with your partner in a spaceship.
Attacked by all kinds of intergalactic worms and space invaders, the aim of Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime is to track down and free the space bunnies hidden among colourful asteroids or exotic space biotopes. It's not easy to keep track of all the enemies buzzing around, the space debris and enemy projectiles.
The highlight: the spaceship is quite complex and cannot be controlled by one person alone. At least two players are needed to take turns at the propulsion, primary and secondary weapons or the protective shields which make this one a true co-op game in every sense of the... err, sentiment.
13

Haven

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox One
Screenshot from the game Haven shows the two main characters resting while lying down.

Haven tells an emotional sci-fi story

© The Game Bakers

Haven is a unique gem given it centres around a sci-fi love story which, for any of the lovey-dovey partners enjoying our list, means it might speak to you on a slightly different plane.
Yu and Kay have fled to a forgotten planet and left everything they knew behind. The lovers have to start a new life on an unknown world by working together. In doing so, the duo often take innovative paths.
To do this, they scour the planet for materials and parts to gradually transform the damaged spaceship into a cosy home. An emotional and gripping story awaits you here, with well-written dialogue and a driving synth soundtrack truly driving home 'the feels'.
A large part of the fascination of Haven is the fact that the game constantly presents you with new challenges that you have to master together using innovative ideas or techniques.
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14

Portal 2

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
Portal 2 is the oldest game on our list, as the puzzle shooter was released over 10 years ago, in 2011. However, the concept and gameplay are still unrivalled today, which is why the dynamic robot duo of Atlas and P-Body have truly earned their place.
Centuries have passed since the storyline of the first instalment. The gigantic research facility Aperture Science, where you had to pass various tests back then, is rapidly decaying. In this dystopian atmosphere, you awaken in Portal 2 with your partner as the aforementioned droid duo in Atlas and P-Buddy.
Hands down one of THE best puzzle games to exist and it’s aging like a fine wine. The satisfaction from beating the puzzles in Portal 2 is hard to match.
Iamfallfromgrace
Together you must escape from the many now dilapidated and therefore even trickier test rooms, and the clutches of the sadistic artificial intelligence GLaDOS. The antagonist from the previous game will also make life difficult for you again with its cynical and weird chatter. Your only tools are a portal gun and the wormholes it shoots. You combine devices, aids or laser beams in such a way that you safely reach the exit of each level - and find your way from room to room all the way to freedom.
15

Unravel 2

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
Screenshot shows the co-op mode from Unravel 2 for Nintendo Switch.

Exciting co-op adventure for two people: Unravel 2.

© Electronic Arts

As with the first adventure, in Unravel 2 you again play the fluffy knitted character Yarny, with the addition of his blue twin. Together, the two mute woolly creatures travel through a wonderfully softly drawn world. The lovingly designed levels are extremely detailed and very naturalistically animated despite the fantastic setting.
With the help of your woollen threads, you will work your way through a number of puzzles and parkours. In contrast to the first instalment, you can now play in co-op mode with your partner, who remains inseparably linked to you by a thread of wool. The sometimes acrobatic, sometimes tactical tasks are pleasantly challenging and if a rare moment of frustration does occur, tips can be optimally switched on.
Don’t underestimate this charming little game, you WILL be tested. If the main game is too easy for you and your gaming partner, find the challenge levels… sorry not sorry.
Iamfallfromgrace
16

Cuphead

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Cuphead: Don't Deal with the Devil

Cuphead: Don't Deal with the Devil

© Studio MDHR

Cuphead and his mate Mugman are enjoying their time on the island of Inkwell. However, when they discover a casino, their tranquil existence is thrown out of kilter as Cuphead puts all his eggs in one basket in a dice game and bets his and Mugman's souls to the devil. The inevitable happens: the reckless cupheads lose. No amount of begging or pleading will help, either, and the two will only get their souls back if they collect the debts that have not yet been repaid to the devil from other so-called 'mugs'.
With the droll coffee cups on two legs, you fight your way through the island of Inkwell in bullet-hell... hell, in the purest co-op going around for this type of game. The focus is less on extensive jump and run courses and more on the original boss levels. These are as varied as they are challenging and you will often have to revive each other to get through a round. Definitely not a game for newcomers, but an exciting experience.
Cuphead is the game that will test your relationship, so be warned. You might need a safe word to use when things are getting too frustrating to handle. The aesthetic of this game makes it more infuriating and you’ll probably find yourself screaming obscenities at waffles and cupcakes.
Iamfallfromgrace
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17

Overcooked 2

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Cover art from Overcooked 2.

Overcooked 2 is doubling down on how crazy kitchen life can be

© Ghost Town Games

Anyone who has ever cooked for several people together in a cramped kitchen will know that this can demand communication at the very highest level. If this kind of thrill appeals to you, Overcooked 2 is just the dish you need to order for you and your partner. But be warned of the dreaded old saying: "too many cooks in the kitchen", because this tightly-designed game can quickly divide people, and then some!
You have to keep the kitchen of a restaurant running together, you see - and that's easier said than done. Cutting the ingredients for the dishes that have been ordered, keeping an eye on the recipes and timings, cooking everything correctly and then collecting dirty dishes and even washing them can be exhausting. Working together as a team is essential, as it's impossible to keep an eye on all the pots and pans simmering away on your own.
Whoever designed this game is a straight up masochist and I love them for it. Get ready for a lot of stress and probably a lot of yelling. Overcooked 2 will probably make you want to order take out for a few days.
Iamfallfromgrace

/End (for now)

With the above list you and your significant co-op person should be able to find something that gets your co-operative juices flowing, or maybe even the competitive ones. Gaming is also so ubiquitous and mobile now, the term 'couch co-op' is more or less a loving one with an intimate sentiment, but you can play with or against each other from anywhere, really. Check back periodically, too, as we'll add to the list as more great games that tick the co-op experience box come to pass worth mentioning.
For more gaming and gaming culture coverage, follow @redbullgaming on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and like us on Facebook.

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