The 11 Best PC Co-Op Games to Play With Your Friends

Sure, you can play these games alone, but they're way better with a buddy.

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It's dangerous to go alone!

It's good to have friends. That goes doubly so when you're facing down a zombie horde or sneaking into a hostile spy base.

Here we've rounded up twelve games that are better in every way to play with friends. Yeah, you could play some of them alone. Sure, you could (if you're insane) play some of them with random Internet strangers who love to use profanity. But if you pair up with a partner or three you'll have a much more rewarding experience.

Unless one of you is bad at games, in which case you'll never speak to that person again. Thanks, Chris.

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Dota 2 and League of Legends

Sure, you could play either of these MOBAs with a group of random strangers. You also could tie raw steak to your body and run through a grizzly bear's cage. In a world full of toxic video game communities and "haha your mom" teenagers, Dota 2 and League of Legends are somehow notorious for being even worse. (Though still a blast to play.)

Both games have done their best to clean up their act in recent years, but if you're the worst team member in a game that relies on precise teamwork to win, you're going to have a bad time. Better bring a few friends along for the ride so they can tease you mercilessly when you lose.

goat simulator otterly expectations steam

Goat Simulator

Goat Simulator is real dumb. Goat Simulator with a friend is real dumber.

Drag people around with your super-strong tongues! Do backflips into the pool together! Become King Goat! Start a war over who's the "real" King Goat! Wage a war that will never be forgotten! Never speak to each other again!

And you said it was just a goat in a physics sandbox. I guess you didn't see the game's true potential.

Image credit: OtterlyExpectations on Steam

left 4 dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Valve's classic Left 4 Dead 2 revolves around four survivors trying to find refuge in world overrun with zombies—healing each other, communicating with each other, and providing complementary firepower coverage. The whole thing was built for fragging with your friends.

Bonus: You'll find out exactly how useful your friends will be during the apocalypse.

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Portal 2

Valve really knows how to do co-op, eh? Let's add another Valve entry to the list: Portal 2. Not only did Valve put co-op into Portal 2, but it's entirely separate from the singleplayer campaign. You and a friend (or enemy) each control a robot, for a total of four portals at a time. Puzzles often require strategic use of all four portals, adding a layer of complexity to the proceedings as you try to coordinate with each other.

It's fun, though it'll also leave you screaming, "No, PUT THE DAMN PORTAL OVER THERE," and gritting your teeth at regular intervals.

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Rayman Legends

Okay, so the best Rayman Legends co-op experience is on the Wii U using the weird touchpad thingy. Still, hook four controllers up to your PC and you'll have a ton of fun regardless. Legends is one of the tightest, most frenetic 2D platformers in recent memory, and adding in the chaos of four-player co-op makes it an absolute nightmare—in a good way.

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Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin is a fantastic CRPG played by yourself, but it reaches a new level when played cooperatively. Both players take control of a character, and conversations actually allow you to roleplay against each other instead of just being warmongering subordinates.

It's maybe the closest a video game RPG has ever gotten to tabletop roleplaying and shows how much can still be done to reinvent a once-dead genre.

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Borderlands 2

Borderlands is not very fun when played alone. How do I know? I've played both games alone.

But when played alongside a friend or three, Borderlands 2 is one of the best co-op experiences around. It's like you're a posse of future-cowboys, traveling the land to bring the righteous hammer of justice down on thousands of bizarre outlaws. And then guns pop out of their corpses.

splinter cell blacklist

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Hey look! It's international spy extraordinaire Sam Fisher! And his friend...Ram Grisher?

Unfortunately you can't do local (splitscreen) co-op with the PC version of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, but you can still team up with a friend over the Interwebs to complete 16 different missions. Practice enough to become a formidable team and you might even survive a round of the game's Spies versus Mercs multiplayer.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a few years old at this point, but its Spec Ops missions are still some of the best co-op gaming ever put to disc. After failing to put co-op into the main campaign, Infinity Ward decided to instead design a series of standalone missions—23, in fact, covering everything from the famed Favela level to multiple dual-sniper operations.

And good luck with those juggernauts.

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Space Engineers

Space Engineers is this weird Early Access (read: not quite finished) game where you basically hang out with your friends in space and weld things together until you've built a spaceship. Then you crash your spaceship into things and watch it crumble. Then you go back to welding.

I don't know why, but it's extremely addictive.

payday 2

Payday 2

People love heists. Oh, we pretend like if we saw a heist in real life we'd be that brave person who stands up and stops the whole thing. In reality, though, we'd probably cower, then stand up and applaud at the sheer audacity afterward.

So what better game to play with friends than a game about pulling off heists? From corner store stick-'em-ups to kidnappings to bank heists and cybercrime, Payday 2 is all about scratching your Ocean's 11-inspired itch. And to be honest, this is another game that's better with friends because nobody will yell at you when you mess up. Or at least they'll buy you a beer afterward.