With PCs now more commonplace in the living room, using them for some couch co-op gaming action makes sense.
It goes without saying then, that local co-op gaming on PC is bigger than it has ever been. There are hundreds upon hundreds of games on services like Steam that allow you to team up with a friend while sat on the couch or even on separate chairs in an office and work together as a team. Finding the best ones can be a bit of a challenge though, which is why we’ve decided to help you.
We’ve put together a list of the best couch co-op games available on PC. Having played all of these and had loads of fun doing so, they get our seal of approval. And so, if you’re interested in playing a game locally with a friend or family member, these are the ones you should be looking out for.
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1. It Takes Two
From Hazelight Studios, the same team that brought us A Way Out (which you’ll find further down this list), It Takes Two stands out because co-op isn’t an optional mode; it’s the only mode. You simply cannot play this game by yourself; you need to either play locally with a friend, or get a friend join you online.
You and your co-op player will join forces as May and Cody, a husband and wife on the brink of divorce. Through some sort of inadvertent voodoo magic, their daughter unwittingly turns them into a pair of dolls. And so they must overcome their differences, working together to try and turn back into humans – and maybe, just maybe, they’ll save their marriage along the way.
Like an interactive Disney film, It Takes Two is filled with heart, humour, and a host of beautiful locations. If you’re looking for a game you can play with just one other person, this really is one of the best couch co-op games on PC.
2. Streets of Rage 4
After 26 years, the Streets of Rage series is back.
Streets of Rage 4 features sumptuous graphics, a killer soundtrack and addictive brawler gameplay. It’s got plenty of content, too, with 12 stages in which to pummel enemies and a whopping 17 playable characters if you include the 12 unlockable retro fighters. You can even play along to music from the original Streets of Rage and its sequel if you remember it fondly.
Immensely enjoyable in single-player, Streets of Rage 4 is somehow even better in co-op. Up for four players can work together locally, though watch out if friendly fire is turned on as you’ll no doubt end up hurting each other. It’s a good job there’s a versus battle mode to settle any grudges. In any case, if you’re after the best couch-co-op games on PC, this needs to be added to your library ASAP.
3. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
There have been LEGO Star Wars games before, but not on the scale of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This is the ultimate LEGO game for Star Wars fans, covering all nine of the mainline movies. And it has some nods to other Star Wars films and TV series as well, of course.
The action here will be fairly familiar to anyone that has played a LEGO Star Wars game before, but numerous things have been enhanced and refined to step thing up a gear. The combat is deeper, for example, and the camera is positioned a little closer to make thing more cinematic. It’s the sheer size of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga that really impresses though, with many iconic planets to visit, each teeming with things to see and do. You can even fly through space.
Like all LEGO games, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga particularly shines when played in local co-op. There are some hiccups here thanks to some of the changes made to the formula, but ultimately it’s still a hell of a lot of fun when you’re playing it with a friend or family member by your side.
4. The Quarry
The Quarry may essentially be an interactive move, but like most titles by Supermassive Games now, it includes a great local co-op play options that allows you to enjoy it with friends and family.
Putting players in control of a group of summer camp counselors stranded in Hackett’s quarry, chances are not all of them will survive the ordeal. As night falls, strange creatures make their presence known, and with each player being in control of one or more counselors, their choices and actions will determine their fate.
With an ensemble cast including David Arquette and stunning visuals, The Quarry is a cinematic treat. Its story will keep you guessing what’s happening, while tense scenes will keep you on your toes and perhaps shock you when things go wrong. As couch co-op games go on PC, they don’t get much better than this.
5. Moving Out
Moving house in real-life is stressful, but Moving Out tries to make light of the whole affair and succeeds.
Designed to be played in co-op, Moving Out asks you and up to three others to take items out of various properties and load them up into a van, ready to move out. Though there are, of course, various complications. Some items require multiple people to carry, for example, and some properties are haunted. You’ll need to act fast, too, if you want to get the best ratings. And you can return to jobs to complete bonus objectives.
The best thing about Moving Out is how reckless you can be. Why carefully carry a bed through a house when you can just lob it out of a window? It’s simply silly, stupid, fun. Needless to say, if you’re after the best couch co-op games on PC, this is a must-have.
6. Darksiders Genesis
It may look like Diablo, but Darksiders Genesis is actually a Darksiders game through and through, albeit one you can play in local or online co-op.
Mission-based, you can set up a local co-op game via the game’s hub, in which you can also chat with series stalwart Vulgrim and purchase upgrades. When playing in local co-op, one player takes control of War and the other Strife – you can argue who takes control of who. In any case, you’ll have to work together, making efficient use of each character’s unique skills if you wish to proceed.
With its enjoyable combat and plenty of replayability, Darksiders Genesis is definitely one of the best couch co-op games available on PC right now.
7. Unravel Two
Gorgeous, that’s what Unravel Two is.
Sequel to the excellent Unravel, couch co-op play is integral to Unravel Two. You can play it in single player, but Unravel Two was meant to be enjoyed with a friend, with many of its puzzles emphasising teamwork.
Unravel Two is rather laid back for the most part, allowing you to take things at your own pace. There are moments where you’ll be running for your life though, and you’ll be glad that you’ve got another player by your side to help you negotiate obstacles.
Honestly, if you love couch co-op games, you need Unravel Two in your life. If you’ve got a decent PC, it looks absolutely stunning too.
8. A Way Out
A Way Out is very much a rarity. It’s a game that can only be played in co-op, either with two people sat side-by-side, or across the internet.
With no single player option whatsoever, working with another player is absolutely integral to the A Way Out experience. After breaking out of prison you’ll be glad for the change of scenery. But on the run, you’ll rely on the co-operation of your buddy to escape your pursuers, emerge from firefights unscathed, and ultimately get your revenge. And of course, there are plenty of fun mini-games to engage in along the way.
It won’t take you long to complete, but A Way Out‘s story will stick with you long after the credits have rolled.
Cuphead‘s a gorgeous-looking game, inspired by 1930s cartoons. Don’t let its exterior fool you though: this is a rock-solid shooter that’ll test your mettle in just about every way. Every level is playable in couch co-op though, with player two taking on the role of Cuphead’s sidekick, Mugman.
Playing together doesn’t make it any easier though: you’ll do less damage, and trying to keep track of your character amid a screen of multicoloured bullets is enough to send anyone reeling. It’s an exhilarating challenge, but one that requires a lot of patience.
If you’ve got a PC and like couch co-op games, you really need Cuphead in your life.
10. Nex Machina
If it has got Housemarque’s name attached to it, chances are it’s going to be bloody good. Nex Machina certainly is that. It’s playable in single player or local co-op, and either way you play it’s fast, frenetic and absolutely brilliant.
It’s a fairly short campaign, but you’ll not be able to put down your pad from start to finish as you battle through waves of deadly enemies, save captured humans from impending doom and generally shoot everything like a boss. Once you’ve finished, you’ll just want to jump in and do it all over again.
Couch co-op games don’t come much better than Nex Machina.
11. LEGO City Undercover
The GTA of the LEGO game world if you will, LEGO City Undercover is much more open world than most other games of its ilk, and because of that, it’s one of the best. In our opinion, anyway.
There are so many side quests, races and collectibles to find, and, like any LEGO game, being able to play the entire game in local co-op makes everything much more fun. Grab a friend and run around like lunatics smashing everything in sight. What else would you do in a LEGO game after all?
Okay, so we could have put practically any LEGO game on our list of best couch co-op games on PC. They’re all great. If you fancy running around with dinosaurs, go for LEGO Jurassic World. If Star Wars is more your thing, LEGO Star Wars. But we have a soft spot for the original story told by LEGO City Undercover, and its world is one of the biggest and most varied there is in a LEGO game. Whichever one you choose though, you’re sure to have a blast playing in co-op.
12. Cat Quest II
We really enjoyed the original Cat Quest, but Cat Quest II is undeniably better. Why? Because it supports couch co-op play.
Honestly, Cat Quest II isn’t all that different from its predecessor. It’s still a simple action RPG with colourful visuals and cuteness levels that are off the chart. But being able to play through the whole game with a friend by your side is just grand.
It may be called Cat Quest II, but that doesn’t stop canines from getting in on the act. With a party consisting of both a dog and a cat, in couch co-op a player can take control of each, using their skills to back up their buddy. It’s the best way to play the game. And it really is unadulterated fun.
13. Blazing Chrome
Blazing Chrome is the best run ‘n’ gun shooter released in years, and it also supports couch co-op play for two players.
Working as a team, you’ll obliterate a wide range of robots and alien life as you blast your way through level after level. Chances are you’ll die a lot initially, but as you begin to learn enemy attacks patterns and level layouts you’ll find that everything gets much easier. And once you’ve completed the game, you’ll obtain new characters to play as and unlock some additional modes.
Blazing Chrome is a brilliant game to play in couch co-op on PC. The only thing that lets it down a little is that it’s not drop in, drop out.
14. Knights and Bikes
If you want a couch co-op experience like no other, you really ought to check out Knights and Bikes.
In Knights and Bikes players take control of Demelza and Nessa, two girls each possessing unique abilities. They’re out to save the island of Penzfury from a terrible curse, although there’s a twist; their adventure is powered by their imaginations. That probably explains why you’re also accompanied by a goose called Honkers and the head of an undead knight.
With its mix of gameplay styles, Knights and Bikes stands out from the crowd. There’s action, there’s adventure, there are puzzles; working together, you’ll need to overcome them all. And with a friend in tow, Knights and Bikes is elevated into being a pretty special experience. Do yourself a favour and get it bought if you’re after a couch co-op game to play on PC.
15. Heave Ho
Heave Ho is very simple in its premise, but absolutely hilarious to play – especially with a friend or two playing with you. Essentially, the goal is to move from one side of the screen to another. But being nothing but a head with arms, that’s easier said than done.
Your arms and hands are controlled independently with their own buttons on your controller, allowing you to flail them around and grab on to stuff. When playing in co-op, you’ll need to grab onto your partner’s character and fling each other around accordingly. Communication is absolutely key in Heave Ho if you want to be successful. But even if you aren’t successful, you will have a hell of a lot of fun playing.
Heave Ho is easily one of the best couch co-op games on PC, so get it bought.
16. Team Sonic Racing
If you love kart racers, you should definitely pick up Team Sonic Racing.
Unlike previous Sonic kart racing games, Team Sonic Racing demands that you work together with two teammates to race to victory. And those can be sat beside you on the couch if you wish as the game supports local multiplayer for up to four players.
Featuring 21 tracks and 15 racers each with their own customisable vehicle, Team Sonic Racing has a fair bit to offer kart racing fans. And its co-op racing mechanics genuinely add to its gameplay.
17. Guacamelee! 2
Guacamelee! 2 is very much like its predecessor, only better in every way.
Compared to the original Guacamelee, it not only looks a hell of a lot nicer, but its plays better, too. And it ramps up the humour. This game will have all players chuckling at the screen from time to time.
Four player local co-op makes a return, allowing you to play Guacamelee! 2 with friends or family for the most riotous Metroidvania experience you can have. Honestly, get this game added to your PC library pronto if you like hilarious co-op adventures.
18. Enter the Gungeon
A word that combines both ‘dungeon’ and ‘gun’ has to be great right? Enter Enter the Gungeon.
It’s a dungeon crawler-meets-bullet hell game designed to be fiendish. Imagine bullets flying in every which way while you dodge around obstacles and try to take down enemies before their bullets reach you. It’s crazy, but it’s great fun. Add local co-op into the mix, and you’ve got twice the amount of bullets and twice the amount of mayhem. Expect a lot of shouting to ensue, but by god, we love it.
Every PC gamer should own Enter the Gungeon, whether they like local co-op play or not.
19. Degrees of Separation
If you like puzzle games, Degrees of Separation will be right up your street.
Designed to be played in co-op, Degrees of Separation has you working with another player to solve platforming and physics-based puzzles in order to collect scarves and progress your adventure.
Taking control of either Rime or Ember, each player will have to position themselves effectively to make use of their unique powers. Rime’s chilling aura, for example, allows him to walk on water at is freezes when he approaches. Ember, on the other hand, can cause geysers to erupt with the heat she emanates.
Providing a great challenge, Degrees of Separation is a lengthy adventure that is sure to please PC gamers who like playing in co-op.
20. Overcooked 2
Bigger and better than its predecessor, Overcooked 2 might just be the best couch co-op game available right now.
Working as a team, you’ll need to cook dishes on demand as efficiently as you possibly can. It’s not always easy when the kitchens you’re working in appear to have lives of their own though.
Bright, colourful, and so much fun, if you like couch co-op games you simply must own Overcooked 2. Really, it’s so good.
21. Manual Samuel
Chances are you’ve never played anything quite like Manual Samuel.
Putting you in control of the titular Samuel who’s made a deal with Death for another chance at life after meeting an unfortunate demise, it challenges you to manually take control of his bodily functions for a day with hilarious results. You’ll need to make him blink, breathe, straighten his back; you’ll even have to make sure he takes a pee successfully.
Rest assured, what’s a uniquely stimulating experience when played in single player becomes even more outlandish when played in co-op with a friend sat by your side on the couch, each taking control of half of Samuel’s body. Trust us, Manual Samuel will make you work like a team like no other game will, and that’s a good thing in our book.