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Best co-op games 2020: top games you can share with friends on console and PC

Best co-op games 2020
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Take your pick of the best co-op games on offer for PC and console. They’re proof that there are few gaming experiences quite as exciting as playing alongside a friend. 

Whether you want to team up with some horror fans  to take down hordes of zombies, pull your brain power together to solve puzzles or square up to another team of real-life gamers, playing together pulls the game out of the screen and brings it into reality as you laugh, scream and bicker together.

The great thing about co-op games these days is that you can frequently choose between local and online play. That means if you have a partner or friends gathered around your one TV at your place, then great. But if that’s not possible for whatever reason, it’s easy to round up friends - or strangers - online. 

Whether you’ve got a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or PC, there should be something for you here in our list of best co-op games.

Rocket League

Rocket League

(Image credit: Psyonix, Panic Button Games)

The mass hysteria and weekly highlight reels on gaming sites may have died down, but the incomparable physics-based rocket-car footy game remains one of the most popular online games – not to mention among the best co-op games right now.

Matches range from 1-v-1 to 4-v-4, so there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to gathering your friends for co-op play. It’s a game that requires ceaseless communication, as you try to coordinate your team into a speeding carousel of goalkeeping, defending and attacking. There’s a league-based system online, so you get a nice sense of progression as your team grows from a fumbling mess into a well-oiled machine.

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Rare)

A stirring example of a game that hit the ground stumbling but really caught the wind in its sails over the last two years. Sea of Thieves tasks up to four players with manning a ship, and sailing around a vibrant, cartoon Caribbean-style set of islands in search of plunder, adventure and notoriety.

Where the game used to feel loose and a little purposeless, it’s filled out to become an ever-evolving world of possibilities. You follow maps to skeleton-infested coves, fight mythical sea creatures, and take on other player-controlled ships and crews. There's even a story mode to get stuck into in the form of Tall Tales. 

Sea of Thieves is the ultimate freewheeling pirate fantasy, designed purposely to be played alongside a motley crew of scurvy-infested sea rats you call your friends. 

Platforms available: Xbox One and PC.

Online or couch co-op? Online.

Diablo 3

Diablo 3

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 3 is an action-packed role-playing game (RPG), allowing players to choose from six different classes – the Witch Doctor, the Barbarian, the Wizard, the Monk, the Demon Hunter and the newly-added Crusader – and embark on an adventure spanning five Acts to defeat both Diablo (Acts I to IV) and Malthael (Act V), the Angel of Death.

The game includes an adventure mode outside the main campaign that allows players to roam through every available region in the game to collect loot. On consoles, Diablo III is playable with friends both online and offline, whereas the PC version is online only (a sore spot with many PC gamers).

Oh, and you can kill armed, sentient cows in the game – 'nuff said.

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Online or couch co-op? Both, but local co-op is only available on console.

A Way Out

A Way Out

(Image credit: Hazelight Studios)

The high-risk decision to make this prison-break adventure an exclusively co-op game paid off for developer Hazelight. And as soon as you start playing, you’ll see that this was really the only way this game would ever have worked.

You can play this theatrical adventure split-screen or online, with you and a friend controlling two prisoners who slowly form a bond and plot their freedom. 

From playing Connect-4 to working out, all the way through to covering each other in life-and-death skirmishes, A Way Out is one of the weirdest, most endearing co-op games out there.

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

Overcooked 2

Overcooked 2

(Image credit: Ghost Town Games)

Overcooked is back, with all new challenges, recipes, and characters. In a bid to defeat the 'Un-bread' (zombie baked goods), you and up to three other players must prepare a variety of recipes including sushi, pizza, and burgers while working in increasingly chaotic restaurants. To add to the frantic fun, you must battle obstacles including random fires, collapsing floors, and interfering passers by, all while getting your orders out to the pass in time. 

Things get complicated incredibly quickly, and relationships, friendships, and family bonds will be tested as you work together to complete your recipes on time, making it a fun and challenging couch co-op game that will make you truly understand the meaning of "too many cooks spoil the broth."

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

GTA Online

GTA Online

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

What began as a barebones online mode some seven years ago has grown into one of the best co-op games of 2020 or any year. While playing with strangers tends to be shambolic, gather a crew of friends and you’ll have all the madness of San Andreas at your fingertips.

You can run around the world freely causing general mayhem or take on competing crews in dedicated missions. The best co-op experiences, however, are in the game's multi-part heists. There’s nothing like robbing a bank and running out to an alley where your driver screeches up right on cue, then fleeing for the hills with police klaxons in your rear-view mirror.

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Online.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Whether you're fighting off Brutes with a shotgun or cruising around in a Warthog running over Grunts, the Halo series is undeniably leagues more enjoyable with friends. 

You can experience co-op both locally and over internet in the Halo archives, lovingly packaged as The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One. It compiles Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, along with all of their respective DLC on a single disc or download. Now PC players are getting in on the fun, but sadly without local co-op. They can still play online, though. 

Platforms available: Xbox One and PC.

Online or couch co-op? Both on Xbox, online-only on PC.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divnity: Original Sin 2

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Everyone who’s invested hundreds of hours into RPGs has at some point fantasized about playing through an entire campaign with a friend. Divinity: Original Sin 2 goes one better, and makes co-op arguably the best way to play the campaign.

Up to four players (two in split-screen) can freely roam around Divinity’s rich, story-filled game world. You can stick together as a unit, maximizing your chances during the deep turn-based combat, or split up to try to find your own ways of solving a given quest. In addition, there are in-game conversations between player-characters that shape their personality and ultimately how you play through the game.

Original Sin 2 isn’t just a well-crafted co-op RPG, but downright one of the deepest RPGs ever made.

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World

(Image credit: Capcom)

The long-running oddball series finally grabbed the attention of the whole world with its latest instalment, refining many of the more awkward bits while doubling-down on making its primordial Jurassic world a hostile joy to explore and one of the best co-op games in 2020.

Although perhaps a little fiddlier to set up than would be ideal, you can group up with your friends and hunt scaled-up versions of formidable dinosaur-like beasts together. The sheer variety of weapons offers many tactical opportunities; for instance, assign someone to buff the squad while one player shoots from afar and the others get stuck into the melee with their swords and spears.

Monster Hunter: World's dynamic world means that the unexpected can always happen; another monster may join the fray or the ground may collapse beneath your feet. It means that even with friends, it’s a world that never stops feeling wild and dangerous.

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Online.

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Borderlands 3 may not be our favorite Borderlands game overall, but we think it's the best for co-op play. 

At its heart, Borderlands 3 is a shooter, but it offers RPG elements such as gaining experience and leveling up your character. Developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, players set out on a quest to take down a pair of cult-leading twins who are trying to harness the power Pandora's Vaults to wreak havoc.

Borderlands 3 is great fun alone but better with others. You have a choice of four characters and can play either split-screen with up to three others or online with friends.

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

Minecraft

Minecraft

(Image credit: Microsoft/Mojang)

You knew this would make the list, right? It's the ultimate co-op experience, allowing players to grab blocks and build worlds together that are only limited by imagination. The beauty of Minecraft is that it can be played co-operatively across different platforms, such as the main world residing on Windows 10 and others jumping in using an Android or iOS device.

Of course, you can go hardcore and join the numerous PC-based Minecraft servers seeded on the Internet using the original Java-based version of the game. And the creations you can find are simply mind-boggling, ranging from the reconstructing of actual cities to a full-scale Starship Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If you don't know what Minecraft is all about, then get out from under that rock. However, in its simplest terms, Minecraft is a block-building simulator that seemingly has no limits. 

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Both, but split-screen is a console-exclusive feature only available for certain editions of the game. 

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite has had a meteoric rise since its release in 2017, and it's not hard to see why. The free-to-play battle royale game offers players an energetic and enjoyable online multiplayer experience, either competing alone or co-op, and throwing in some building mechanics to set it aside from its competitors.

Fortnite has become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon, and it's not hard to see why: it's fun, fast-paced and everyone seems to be playing it. More importantly, it has a concept that almost anyone can get to grips with: just be the last person standing. 

Platforms available: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Online.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Apex Legends is another contender vying for the battle royale crown. Developed by Respawn Entertainment and set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends is a squad-based battle royale shooter where teams of three go up against 57 other players to try to gather loot and be the last person (or squad) standing.

However, unlike Fortnite and PUBG, Apex Legends sees players take on a class, each represented by a unique character (imagine Fortnite mixed with Overwatch and you’ll be on the right track.)  

Apex Legends is the perfect battle royale game for those who enjoy the genre's premise but can't get onboard with Fortnite's building or PUBG's competitiveness - and it's free. Plus, different classes, abilities and limited-time events make for a more dynamic experience overall. 

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Online.

Gears 5

Gears 5

(Image credit: The Coalition)

Gears 5 is fantastic, and it's made even better if you take advantage of its co-op. If you haven't played any entries in the Gears series, all you need to know is that it's a third-person shooter that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Players step into the shoes of Kait Diaz for the first time who, following the events of Gears of War 4, is trying to come to terms with the death of her mother, unravel the twisted roots of her family tree and deal with her own personal baggage. Meanwhile, humanity is being threatened once more - this time by the Swarm, the successor to the Locust horde.

Not only can you play through the game's campaign with a friend, you can team up with others in multiplayer horde mode, escape mode or in versus matches. 

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Both.

Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Even if you're not the type to rack up headshots every evening after work in Call of Duty, don't be so quick to write off Rainbow Six Siege as "just another competitive first-person shooter." It's not. Ubisoft has come a long way in realizing the Rainbow Six series' potential. With the advent of online gaming, the publisher was able to take teamwork to an entirely new level with Siege.

While the game is mostly about cultivating brief yet unforgettable relationships with other players in fully destructible environments, it also requires a fair share of planning. Because of the limited resources you're given in each mission, it's essential to keep communication purely tactical in order to take down the opposing side.

Unfortunately there's no real story or local co-op element to speak of here, but if you're interested in joining up with a few buddies online for countless hours' worth of strategy-focused competitive gaming, Rainbow Six Siege is a safe bet.

Platforms available: PS4, PC and Xbox One.

Online or couch co-op? Online.