Don’t go in alone! Always have a buddy who’s got your back!
If you spend a lot of your free time gaming, you’re a lot like me. I mean, how can you not – they’re awesome! My wife and I are always on the hunt for our next great gaming adventure. For us, that next great hidden gem of a co-op experience is harder than trying to find Will in Stranger Things. It’s frustrating that a key feature that shaped many childhoods, mine included, is being forgotten. I miss the good old days where all you needed was a few good snacks, a great game, and a second controller. Here’s a walk down memory lane with my list of awesome co-op games you need to play with a buddy.
Couple playing video games together on a couch

I have so many great memories of me and my brother playing all these amazing co-op games, beating hard bosses, facing increasing challenges, and having a good laugh when something didn’t go quite right. Sure online games are great, but nothing will ever compare to duking it out on Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 on the same couch and the trash talking that ensues.

Our journey begins in 1983. This was a magical year for a lot of reasons. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi hit theaters, The A-Team premiered on TV, McDonald’s introduced the McNugget to the world… Most importantly, to me anyway, Nintendo released the NES, though technically the NES wouldn’t release in the US until 1985 and in the UK in 1986. It trounced other consoles of the 1980s and went on to sell a staggering 61 million units worldwide. It’s clear to see what made it such a dominating force in its day. The games it had were instant classics and gave birth to many beloved franchises that make up modern-day Nintendo. 
Put down those McNuggets, plug in that second controller, and read up on the best co-op games for your money, no matter which system you prefer.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Secret of Mana
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Street Fighter II
  • Goof Troop
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors
  • Battletoads & Double Dragon
  • NBA Jam Tournament Edition
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers


  • Mario Kart 64
  • Super Smash Bros
  • GoldenEye 007
  • Bomberman 64
  • StarCraft 64
  • Hexen
  • Gauntlet Legends
  • Duke Nukem 64
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Pokémon Stadium 2
  • Conker’s Bad Fur Day
  • Worms Armageddon
  • Rampage: World Tour
  • Perfect Dark
  • War Gods


  • Jet Moto 3
  • Soul Blade
  • Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3
  • Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
  • Metal Slug X
  • Tekken 3
  • Twisted Metal 2
  • Gran Turismo
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Crash Bash
  • Crash Team Racing


  • Super Smash
  • Mario Kart
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
  • Pikmin2
  • SoulCalibur2
  • F-Zero GX
  • Star Fox Assult
  • Mario Party 4
  • Monkey Ball2
  • Lego Star Wars
  • Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventure
  • TimeSplitters 2


  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance
  • Rock Band 2
  • Twisted Metal  Black
  • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
  • Half-Life
  • Star Wars BattleFront
  • Tekken Tag team
  • Guitar hero 3
  • We Love Katamari


  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
  • SSX 3
  • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Halo 2


  • Fat Princess
  • Portal 2
  • LittleBigPlanet 1&2
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Resistance 2&3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 1&2
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
  • Castle Crashers
  • Diablo 3
  • Killzone 3


  • Mario Kart
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl
  • Wii Sports
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • house of the dead: overkill
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • Kirby’s return to dreamland
  • Trauma Center: New Blood
  • Sin & Punishment 2
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles

XBox 360

  • Dynasty Warriors 8
  • F.E.A.R. 3
  • Gears of War 1,2&3
  • Halo 3
  • Left 4 Dead 1&2
  • Plants Vs. Zombies
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Far Cry 3
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom 3


  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • LittleBigPlanet 3
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
  • Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  • Viking Squad
  • Alienation
  • Street Fighter 5
  • Injustice 2

Xbox One

  • Cuphead
  • Full Metal Furies
  • Gears of War 4
  • Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 1&2
  • Rayman Legends
  • Overcooked
  • Rocket League
  • SpeedRunners
  • Shift Happens

Wii U

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Pokemon Rumble U
  • Pikmin 3
  • The Cave
  • Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
  • Game & Wario

Nintendo Switch

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Sonic Mania
  • 1,2 Switch!
  • Fire Emblem Warriors
  • Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition

You’ve made it to the end! I’m so proud! If I had a way to give you a gold star through the screen I totally would. I know the list was long but hopefully, it gave you some good suggestions of what games to play next time you have a buddy or a special someone over.
Trying to find some of the gems on this list? Head over to your local Bookmans. We always have a variety of games, consoles, handles, and accessories in stock to make your next co-op gaming experience a great one!