Playing games solo is all well and good, but sometimes bringing a buddy along for the ride can make an experience that much better. To that end, these are 10 games that are much better when played with a friend.
Sea of Thieves
Setting out on the high seas to build up your pirate legend in Sea of Thieves is no easy task. Or at least, that’s the case before you decide to bring a friend along for the ride.
With an extra hand on deck, sailing around the dangerous seas of the world become a cakewalk. Enemy ships can be spotted and shot down in quick succession, and one person can focus on patching up damage done by cannon fire while the other continues to barrage hostiles with cannon fire of their own.
Exploring uncharted isles is likewise better with a companion. Sure, legions of skeletons with pension for slicing you into pirate chunks is still intimidating; but with the help of a friend, you can keep those boney bunches distracted while they make off with all the treasure you and your crew could ever need to fund your myriad adventures.
Throw in the general hijinks of shooting each other out of cannons, drinking bucket loads of grog at taverns and otherwise immersing yourselves in the world, and you’ve got a great time just waiting to be had between you and your best mate.
Most people wouldn’t be blamed for associating Metroidvania with single player, but you and a friend might think otherwise after playing some co-op Guacamelee! 2.
As a pair of Mexiverse-traversing luchadors, you’ll both be tasked with saving reality from an evil bid for power enacted by your transdimensionl counterpart.
This is interesting enough on its own, but it becomes that much more fun when you find the advantages of playing together. In addition to taking on puzzles side by side, you’ll also be able to pull off feats that otherwise couldn’t be achieved on one’s own.
Enemies can be juggled by bombardments of combos, tricky platforming segments can be solved by one of you to make it easier for the other, and you can revive one another should you encounter an especially difficult boss or hazard.
It’s all great fun, and before long you’ll be lost in the experience right alongside your best pal.
Resident Evil 5
Though some might still malign how far the game takes the series away from survival horror themes, Resident Evil 5 is a blast to play alongside a good friend thanks to its intuitive co-op design.
In addition to offering distinct paths each player must take at certain points, the game isn’t afraid to throw threats at you which are best dealt with together.
Massive enemies that throttle uncoordinated duos; crafty chainsaw wielders able to pursue players across entire maps; and head-scratchingly good puzzles all serve as experiences that are frustrating to deal with on one’s own, but a blast to get through with a close friend.
There’s also the fact that surviving the sheer absurdity of the game’s set-pieces together provides a great story to recount once it’s over.
Chances are neither of you will forget what it was like to stare in awe at Chris punching boulders, or how dumb it was to see a huckster turn into a Kraken-esque abomination, and you’ll want to tell anyone you can about how great it was to experience it with a friend by your side.
Cuphead is a charming, one of a kind experience when played alone, but it’s elevated to something even better when played with friend.
From the run-and-gun levels to the near-endless barrage of boss fights, every part of the game can be made easier with a second player in the fold.
Much of this is thanks to the fact that you and your friend can revive one another, keeping the game going much longer than if you were alone.
Even should this fail, it’s exhilarating to watch your friend hang on for dear life against a boss after you’ve fallen, or vice-versa; staring at the screen, hoping against hope that the survivor will pull through and bring you both one step closer to completing the game.
And hey, if worst comes to worst, playing co-op gives you someone to blame if the run goes horribly wrong.
Dark Souls 3
Don’t let the “Git Gud” culture surrounding the game fool you; Dark Souls 3 has multiplayer for a reason, and it makes the experience that much more fun with a friend.
Though you both might have to jump through some hoops to get connected, playing through Dark Souls 3 with a friend completely changes the experience. Enemies that once gave you no end of grief become pushovers, helpless to stand against you and your ally’s combined pincer attacks or magic barrages.
Bosses are likewise easier to dismantle, easily drawn away from one of you long enough to stage a counter attack or even a backstab.
This leaves the two of you free to truly explore the Kingdom of Lothric at your leisure, taking in all of the dark and dismal architecture you’d otherwise be too distracted to appreciate while on your own.
This in turn can help you both appreciate the game’s world like never before, and provide a deeper and richer experience than you could have ever hoped for while getting smeared into paste by a solo playthrough.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Believe it or not, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is in fact more fun with a friend.
A shocking revelation for sure, but also one worth mentioning given the multiplayer brawler’s emphasis on its single player story mode.
While the mode is designed to be taken on alone, it becomes much more fun when you bring a friend into the fold, switching off every time you die, at every new stage or whatever other condition you can think of.
Doing so can make the otherwise lengthy story mode fly by as you joke with one another, trash-talking and cheering for one another in equal measure as you grind through level after level to unlock more of the game.
This same mindset can easily be applied to the multiplayer. Sure, it’s plenty of fun to battle against random opponents online, but knowing the person you’re fighting against can elevate the experience that much more. This is true whether they’re sitting right beside you or connected to you online, bringing you both closer all the same.
If someone had said before this generation that a single player horror game would be one of the best titles to play with a friend, they probably would have been laughed off without hesitation.
And yet, thanks to Until Dawn, this is exactly the case gaming finds itself in.
Tasking you with guiding some unlucky teens toward survival, the game is a master class in bringing you and a friend together as well as driving you apart.
Hours can be spent watching the plot unfold, weighing in on which choices you each believe will see certain characters to safety; or, if you both particularly dislikes a character, to their demise.
That’s to say nothing of the different theories you can bounce off of one another, allowing your imaginations to spin as wildly as they can and stir up some laughter over how dumb they were in hindsight.
It’s far from a traditional co-op experience to be sure, but one you won’t regret giving a shot all the same.
Dead by Daylight
Multiplayer and horror don’t always mix well, but when it comes to Dead by Daylight, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to waste an evening with a friend.
Thanks to its asymmetric survival horror design, the game can pit you in one of two scenarios. The first sees both of you on the side of the survivors, desperately laying traps, hiding and running for your lives to avoid the killer just around the corner.
The other sees one of you taking the role of the killer, stalking the environment for your buddy to ensure they meet an untimely end.
Both can lead to nights full of screams and laughter, with the latter almost definitely suitable for some friendly trash-talking between one another. Don’t be surprised if you end up getting dragged into the experience until the wee hours of the morning.
Given that it’s one of the most iconic multiplayer games of this generation, it’s little surprise Fortnite is a title made even better by having a friend along for the ride.
On one hand, having a friend along for the ride can make the standard Battle Royale mode much easier to survive. The two of you can battle side by side, watching each other’s backs long enough to be the last players standing in the frantic free-for-all; and then duke it out to see who takes the crown.
There’s also the game’s Save the World mode, which sees you and your friend team up to make your way through the game’s story mode. Though it may be a bit different from how most people view Fortnite, it’s a fun experience all the same that better utilizes teamwork, building and multiplayer shenanigans.
It’s fairly easy to breeze through too, making for the perfect way to entertain yourselves during a slow day on the weekend.
There’s little doubt Shovel Knight is one of the best indie games of the past generation, but you might still be on the fence about how good its co-op mode really is.
Well, rest assured that it’s fantastic, and it allows for plenty of fun and experiences you wouldn’t get by playing on your lonesome.
In addition to providing someone who can revive you should you screw up, the mode allows you to take on all of the game’s challenges in tandem; bosses, puzzles, platforming segments, you name it.
This can lead to expertly-timed sprints through levels side by side and perfectly synced attacks on otherwise fiendishly tough bosses; or, horribly uncoordinated chaos as you both run around doing your own thing.
Either way, it’s a sight to behold, and one of the best times you’ll have together if you haven’t dived into the experience already.