Playing solo games can be fun at times, but nowadays, when socializing is done mostly from behind a computer’s screen, gaming has become a medium for keeping tabs on friends. It’s not an exaggeration when stating that gaming has driven the computing industry to the level that it is at today, and this will probably be the case for the years to come. Downloading and playing free games is just the first step for new gamers, the hard part is finding a game that they can enjoy with their friends, and co-op games are the obvious solution.

For those of you who haven’t heard of co-op games until now (although I don’t think that is possible), you should be aware that this type of game requires more than one player to take part in the action and sometimes an Internet connection is required. Co-op games (or cooperative, multiplayer games) can be played either over the Internet, or on a local network (LAN), depending on your situation, or the type of game you have.

15 Best Co-Op Games

If we would list all the co-op games out there, this list would continue for miles and miles, however, we’re just going to keep to a few of them that we think are the best. An important thing to keep in mind is that any list like this will not be able to satisfy everyone, but do feel free to leave us your suggestions in the comment section below.

Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2

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Zombies! Who in their right mind doesn’t like zombies? Or rather, chopping the head off a zombie with a chainsaw or an axe. Both Left s4 Dead games give players the opportunity to storm through endless hordes of mindless zombies that want to eat their brain, and when the ammo runs low, the fun part begins, as players pick up a baseball bat or other blunt objects and start hitting left and right like crazy people. The only thing better than playing such a game is playing such a game in co-op mode and sharing the fun with friends.

Trine 2

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Trine 2 is a side-scrolling fantasy game that puts the player in difficult scenarios where he has to solve puzzles, battle enemies or manipulate the environment that has realistic physics.

So far so good, right? Well, in order to complete each level, the player will have to choose between the three different characters who have specific strong points. This is where the concept of co-op comes into play. Get two of your mates to come over and you’ve got yourself a team that can withstand anything that this fairytale world can throw at them.

Gears of War Series

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The original Xbox 360 Gears of War game was awesome, but the PC version is even better, in the sense that it offers players more backstory and levels, and it looks better. However, Gears of War is a game that has to be played in multiplayer mode, and that is where all the fun lies. Killing monsters with the chainsaw bayonet is the pinnacle of weaponry in gaming, so the Gears of War Series is a definite recommendation for gamers that are looking for good co-op games. Just pick your game and let the fun begin!

Lord of the Rings Online

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As a big Tolkien fan (for those who don’t know this, Tolkien is the chap that wrote Lord of The Rings), I found that all the LoTR games are more than awesome, but from the lot, Lord of the Rings Online (LoTRO) has to be the best so far. Not only does it have a map that is beyond huge, it follows many aspects of the story from different perspectives. Being a MMORPG, the game has lots of group activities, such as raids, skirmishes or just simple, honest to god PvPs (player versus player).

SimCity

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Fancy running a city and being The Man for a change? Look no further than SimCity, the game that allows users to create their own city and run it as they seem fit. Of course, things go a lot smoother when there are some nice neighbours around that want to trade with you and lend a hand when things start hitting the fan (wink!). Even though SimCity is a well respected game, it still appeals to a smaller audience than other, more mainstream games. Not many people are in to tycoon-style games any more, but they still rock, and the co-op gaming is awesome.

World of Warcraft

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As far as MMORPGs go, WoW has one of the (if not)  biggest player bases of all, and if you are interested in joining an online community where you can socialize and have fun, your best chances are on similar games. WoW players often get together and do raids, PvPs, arenas or skirmishes. Also, there are LOTS of other things to do in the world of Azeroth, from farming to taking long walks on the seaside and everything in between. There are lots to tell about WoW that will fill pages upon pages, but the best way to experience it is to try it out and see what it has to offer.

Halo Series

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Another one in the list of games that seem to have no age: Halo. If you haven’t heard of Halo until now, then stop reading and go and play it! It has guns, space ships, drones and pretty much everything boys like. Killing the other team first should be your biggest concern when playing Halo, but more often then not, you’ll be screaming for your life and trying to find a safe place where you have a clear view of the battlefield, in order to drop the other players.

Counter Strike Series

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To some extent, Counter Strike has been the definition of co-op gaming for many years. Split a group of people into two factions, give them almost any weapon they could think about and pin them against each other in a shootout to the last man and see how strategies appear and how teamwork makes the game. The game has evolved massively with the last releases, but the flavour of the original games is still present, making Counter Strike one of the best co-op games of all time.

Half Life 2

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Half Life and a few other games deserve their very own category. Mainly because they have raised generations of young gamers who now remember them with joy (myself included). Nevertheless, Half Life 2 is still one heck of a multiplayer game, and until HL3 hits the market (soon, we hope), you still get into shape by playing some old school shooters.

Diablo 2 /Diablo 3

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I’m not trying to pick a fight here. I know many Diablo 2 fans hate the new game, but fact of the matter is that Diablo is still a great co-op game. Spending month after month killing evil things and helping your mates is without a doubt entertaining, and to some extent, Blizzard made the new co-op pretty good (as far as I’m concerned, it’s good), allowing players to team up and use combos to make short work of Diablo. Also, we’re anxiously waiting for the expansion, which will hope will improve the game even further.

Portal 2

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The latest iteration of the original Portal game had many fans of the game thrilled about the multiplayer and the revamped graphics, but also for the new features. Since its release, Portal 2 has seen great success and as far co-op games go, it is a great experience to play. Zapping through portals and solving puzzles is good and all, but when you introduce the concept of teamwork in this equation, it instantly becomes a pleasure to play.

Team Fortress 2

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Shooter games are entertaining, and if Counter Strike isn’t your cup of tea, then Team Fortress 2 is a good example of how a rigid game style like shooters can become fun. Make it cartoon-ish, add Serious Sam-style weapons and make different characters, each with its own special abilities and you’ve got yourself Team Fortress 2. The game has nice graphics, awesome audio and the gameplay is engaged and entertaining at the same time. It brings a smile to my face every time I remember those nights playing TF2 with the guys.

Minecraft

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Surprised? I think not. Minecraft has gathered a huge fan base in a very short time. I used to hate the game until I picked up the axe and started crafting stuff. Of course, first and foremost, Minecraft is a survival game, and surviving in groups is always better. There is the disadvantage that other players might kill you, but still, all the mind-blowing creations that Minecraft users have created were made by teams working together.

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I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.