Our favourite games to play with your mates in couch co-op on the PS4
© Asteroid Base
Play with your friends, not against them, with this selection of great multiplayer games for Sony's mega-selling console.
In the era of online matchmaking, MMOs and always online, it can seem a little old-fashioned to get your mates around one console, shoulder to shoulder as you seek to achieve a common goal.
But it's worth it, and there's no better feeling than taking down a tough boss, solving a tricky puzzle or serving up the perfect burger with a friend in tow. If you play it right, you can even convince your friends to bring snacks for your marathon gaming sessions — you can't do that with online multiplayer.
However, getting people together can be hard, so to make sure that you're spending your time properly, here's a list of the best cooperative games you can play locally.
1. Overcooked 2
Everyone has heard of Overcooked, the high-stress cook 'em up that forces you and up to three other players to try and serve an increasingly complicated series of meals while overcoming restaurant challenges like conveyor belts, rats and… serving food while your kitchen is on two different boats, bombing it down some rapids.
Overcooked 2 is a refinement of everything that made the first game so great, and also adds in the ability to toss ingredients around the kitchen, making your superstar cooks equal parts chef and quarterback. Add this to the game's tight controls, and a great sense of humour, and it's a must-play. Be warned, this is one of the only games on the list that could ensure you and the people you play it with refuse to talk to each other ever again.
2. A Way Out
A Way Out isn't good for a quick bash, but rather offers an entire campaign that's predicated on two players coming together for an action-adventure spectacle that sees the pair of you breaking out of prison and getting revenge on a criminal that has wronged you both.
Unlike the other games on the list, you can't play this game at all by yourself, so you'll need someone to play it with, and you really want the buzz of another person next to you as you go through the game's tight narrative. It's an enjoyable romp, even if the game is largely made up of a bunch of the sort of co-op interactions that grated on players so hard in last-gen co-op shooters. Still, you won't mind as it's such an engaging experience, at least for the first playthrough.
When evil threatens the world, it's time for the Broforce to spring into action. A side-scrolling shoot 'em up, Broforce mixes the chaotic carnage of Metal Slug with high-octane action movies and comes up with something unique. Want to plow through enemies while playing as Rambro or Brobocop? This is the game for you.
With a wide range of weaponry, special weapons and levels and characters based on your favourite action heroes (Neo, Ripley, several Arnie characters, Robocop, Blade, Timecop and others all feature) it's a feast of content and it's perfect for an after-pub shootout. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll mostly laugh, and it's the best game for killing your friends characters in semi-accidental ways.
4. Lego DC Super-Villains
Every Lego game has some similarities in so far as you're playing as a sentient bundle of bricks, collecting some other special bricks, and jumping and bashing your way around a map full of bad piles of bricks that are trying to do you harm.
In short, the Lego games are games for people who love Lego, and they offer a compelling local multiplayer experience for you to play with just about anyone that wanders by. Mechanically, the games are quite simple, meaning that most can enjoy them, but they're still engrossing, and remain that way for a while.
5. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Ever wanted to grab a couple of friends and pilot a huge pink spaceship around the galaxy? Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is the game for you. However, you likely won't get time to appreciate it, because you'll be too busy charging between different areas of the ship trying to use the thrusters, guns, shields and even the… piloting apparatus, trying to make the ship obey your whims as you dash around its innards.
Sometimes this can feel like an impossible task, but most of the time, like plucky space-operas like Farscape and Firefly, things just come together, and the sense of elation when everything does is overwhelming. Co-op gaming at its finest, and if anyone ever mentions the way you scraped the spaceship against the wall of a planet until it exploded, you can just ignore them.
6. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Knees weak, palms are sweaty, but there's a bomb you need to defuse in front of you, and the only way you're going to get it done is with the help of the people gathered around you, yelling semi-helpful advice.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a VR game that uses the PSVR headset to put you in the room with a live bomb. The players outside of the game have a manual on bomb defusal which you can't see, and with as many players as you want on the "helping" team, this can get frantic, but it's really a test of good communication while a bomb in the VR players hand ticks down incessantly.