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The best co-op games on PS5

Games have always been meant to be played with other people. Sure, there are dozens of fantastic single-player experiences out there, and those are some of our favorites, but there’s something different about experiencing a game with one or more real people either sitting next to you or across the world via an online experience. Most of the time, games focus on competition, but many of us would rather team up with our friends than fight against them. Thankfully, games that offer full-on co-op experiences are better than ever on the PlayStation 5.

Right from the console’s launch, the PS5 has offered up ways for friends, family, and everyone in between who enjoys games to come together and experience them. There are amazing co-op experiences to be found in just about every genre out there, meaning you are sure to find at least one that fits your specific tastes. To help you in your search for the best co-op games for you and your partner to try out, here are the best ones we could find on the PS5.

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Returnal
Returnal
86 %
4/5
T
Platforms PlayStation 5
Genre Shooter
Developer Housemarque
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release April 30, 2021
While it didn’t originally launch with any co-op component, a massive free DLC pack for Returnal added a bunch of new content, as well as the main game itself allowing for full co-op play. For a lot of people out there, this addition was just the push they needed to finally enjoy this tough-as-nails roguelike. The gameplay loop (literally) focuses on Seline exploring an alien world full of some of the most aggressive and deadly monsters you could imagine. Despite being a third-person shooter, Returnal clearly is an evolution of the bullet hell-style games the developers were known for prior to this game. Attacks come at you in large, colorful projectiles that you can weave in and out of with enough skill. Your character is fast but fragile, and each run sees you grabbing new weapons with random perks, items, and parasites that give buffs and debuffs in various ways. Having a teammate who can revive you if you fall, plus take some of the heat off you, is great for overcoming the difficulty spikes that can happen in a randomly generated title. If you have two skilled players, then wiping the floor with bosses is an entirely different kind of satisfaction worth experiencing.
Read our full Returnal review
Returnal - Announcement Trailer | PS5
Elden Ring
Elden Ring
96 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Role-playing (RPG)
Developer FromSoftware
Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release February 25, 2022
It’s the biggest game out there, and while it isn’t perfect, we’re still addicted to the co-op functionality given to us in Elden Ring. The latest Souls-style game from the team that created the genre, there’s little to be said about this groundbreaking, genre-defining, and industry-shaking game that hasn’t already been said by others. Every main Souls game, Sekiro excluded, has allowed for multiplayer in a variety of ways, but co-op has always been the most fun. In Elden Ring, you can team up with your friend to go through any dungeon area or explore the open world, though with a few limitations. The best way to play co-op is to link up at the beginning of a dungeon and explore, fight, and conquer it together until you hit the boss. From there, you can, of course, continue working together to beat the boss, but know that each time one of you dies, you will need to spend a resource to summon your companion again. It’s a very simple item to make, unlike Humanity from the Dark Souls series, so it isn’t too bad. With the abundance of two-on-one bosses and all the summoning Spirit Ashes, Elden Ring sometimes feels like it was designed with co-op in mind.
Read our full Elden Ring review
ELDEN RING - E3 Announcement Trailer
It Takes Two
It Takes Two
90 %
4.5/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Hazelight Studios
Publisher Electronic Arts
Release March 25, 2021
It Takes Two took home many game-of-the-year awards when it was released, and speaking from a gameplay perspective, it’s easy to see why. This game, as was the case with developer Hazelight’s previous game, A Way Out, is only playable in co-op. That means this isn’t just some tacked-on afterthought mode, but actually the driving force behind how the entire game works. There’s almost no part of It Takes Two where you can do much of anything on your own, making collaboration king. Speaking of which, the narrative has rubbed some people the wrong way, especially a certain book character, but if that’s the case, you and your partner can easily ignore that aspect and just enjoy the constantly evolving gameplay. It Takes Two is a platformer at its core, but you never go too long without a new twist being put on that, whether it be magnets, one player getting a hammer and the other nails, or any other of the dozens of new ways the game has you interacting. That variety is necessary, too, because It Takes Two has a somewhat surprisingly long runtime, but it never feels that way when you’re always doing something new.
Read our full It Takes Two review
The Return of a Visionary – Josef Fares and Hazelight
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
76 %
3/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Techland Publishing, Techland
Publisher Techland Publishing, Spike ChunSoft
Release February 04, 2022
If there’s one genre of game that seems to always be better with friends, it’s zombie games. This was true for both Left 4 Dead games and dozens more that followed, including Dead Island and Dying Light, which changed things up and focused on first-person melee combat, with the latter taking things a step further (pun intended) by incorporating parkour elements. The sequel, Dying Light 2: Stay Human, takes everything the first game did and improves on it. Movement is fast, fluid, and incredibly satisfying. When you and a friend are running across rooftops, leaping between ledges, and bouncing off the hoods of abandoned cars, you could have enough fun to not even engage with the zombies. Thankfully, fighting the undead is just as enticing. You unlock plenty of moves that combine your movement skills with attacks, like bouncing off enemy heads or the infamous dropkick, to make you feel like an unstoppable machine … until night falls, anyway. With a huge city to explore, tons of quests, and the threat of true, terrifying danger when the sun goes down, this is the latest and greatest zombie game to play with your pal.
Dying Light 2 - E3 2018 Gameplay World Premiere Trailer
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
74 %
E
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Sumo Digital
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release November 12, 2020
Mascot platformers, outside of Nintendo series, have almost completely vanished. Aside from the big N, it is usually only indie titles that keep this genre alive on other platforms, which is why we were so glad to get Sackboy: A Big Adventure when the PS5 launched. Taking the adorable sack creature from the Little Big Planet games and putting him in a more curated, traditional platforming adventure as opposed to a somewhat intimidating level and creation tool game was a stroke of genius. Not only are the levels fun, bright, and jam-packed with things to collect, but, of course, they’re fully playable in four-player co-op. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a perfect game for families, being completely friendly and appealing to younger audiences, but it also has optional challenges and trials that more experienced gamers can cut their teeth on. This is the full package for a co-op platformer, an unfortunate rarity on the PS5 that is absolutely worth a look if you’re craving that Mario-style experience.
No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky
69 %
3/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, SteamVR, PlayStation VR, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Meta Rift
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Simulator, Adventure, Indie
Developer Hello Games
Publisher Hello Games, 505 Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release August 09, 2016
There was a time this game wouldn’t have made this list, but it’s hard to even recognize the game No Man’s Sky was when it launched with what it has become. If you were one of the people burned at launch by all the broken promises about what this game actually was, it’s time to take another jump in your starship, because No Man’s Sky has gone above and beyond its initial potential. First, co-op has finally been added, of course, but along with so many more new mechanics and ways to play that it feels way more than just like jumping into your friend’s survival game. Exploration, base-building, mechs, quests, mysteries, and so much more fill this nearly endless universe now that No Man’s Sky has essentially become a live service game. Somehow, the team still finds a way to support it with giant updates, all free all these years later, plus new events are regularly swapped in and out to always give you and your friends something new to achieve and earn. No Man’s Sky is finally the space-exploration game you and your friends have always wanted it to be and is more fun than ever as a group.
Read our full No Man's Sky review
No Man's Sky - Paris Games Week 2015 Trailer (Official)
Destiny 2
Destiny 2
74 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Tactical, Adventure
Developer Bungie
Publisher Activision
Release September 06, 2017
In some ways, the story of Destiny 2 is very similar to No Man’s Sky. When it launched, it was seen as a notable step down from where the original ended up but has since worked hard to add years of content and improvements to make it the definitive experience. Unlike the last entry on this list, Destiny 2 always had and always encouraged co-op play. Every main mission could be played in a group, there were world events encouraging anyone in the area to team up, plus strikes, and, of course, the legendary raids. Raids alone are reason enough to get a team of Guardians together for the thrill of solving the cryptic puzzles, discovering new mechanics, and overcoming insane bosses. Yes, you will wipe plenty of times, but Destiny 2 feels so good to play and you’re learning and improving your character at such a well-paced rate that it’s downright addicting. If you don’t have a clan yet, grab some buddies and give Destiny 2 a shot. After all, it’s free.
Destiny 2 - A Long Day Trailer (Official)
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
70 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Gearbox Software
Publisher 2K Games
Release March 25, 2022
Both Destiny games took the ball where the Borderlands games dropped it by making them fully online experiences. If you’re only interested in the co-op aspect but still want that dopamine hit of completing quests, opening chests, and getting showered in brightly colored loot, then the best of the bunch is Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. This spinoff from the main Borderlands games solves a lot of the issues players had with those games, the third one in particular. The writing, while still a matter of taste, is leagues better than whatever they were thinking with 3, which is mostly thanks to the setting. You play a character roleplaying in a Dungeons and Dragons-style game hosted by Tina, who narrates the entire thing as the DM. This framing device allows all that zany, off-the-wall humor to feel more appropriate, as she suddenly decides that skeletons appear and attack out of nowhere, or she completely alters the environment in front of your eyes. It isn’t the deepest RPG system of all time, but it’s still loads of fun to partner up with people running different builds to see how your skills can synergize across this lighthearted campaign.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8
The Jackbox Party Pack 8
T
Platforms Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Indie
Developer Jackbox Games, Inc.
Publisher Jackbox Games, Inc.
Release October 14, 2021
The absolute king of party games can’t be anything else than the Jackbox games. This series has nailed the concept of making games that anyone can play easily, but it also finds creative and fun ways to let everyone playing feel clever and funny at the same time. Jackbox Party Pack 8 is the newest pack in the series, with plenty of the best games the series is known for, but really you could pick any pack to start with. Games range from two to eight players and only require a smartphone to use. You won’t be asked to do anything more complex than drawing on your touchscreen, so even people who typically don’t play games won’t feel excluded. Rounds go fast, there’s no stress or emphasis on winning, and they can be started and stopped in just a few seconds. Jackbox Party Pack 8 is a great game to break out at parties, or it can even be played remotely if your friends and family are long distances away.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8 Official Trailer
Outriders
Outriders
75 %
3.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer People Can Fly
Publisher Square Enix
Release April 01, 2021
If, for some reason, you ever wondered what a game that mixed Gears of War, Borderlands, and a bit of Diablo would look like, well, you’re in luck. Outriders is that very specific blending of ideas. It’s a third-person shooter, but with an emphasis on both loot and distinct classes that each fill a different role on the battlefield. At the top, we’ll just say not to worry about the story. It’s there, but you’re better off making up reasons with your friends as to why you’re mowing down hundreds of enemies with various guns and magic abilities. Because each class is so distinct, with abilities and skills that you can experiment with to see what chains together best, playing in a squad is by far the most fun way to roll. Also, since there’s no PvP, the game doesn’t particularly care if you and your team are way overpowered. On the other hand, if you want to see just how good your team really is, you can keep upping each mission’s difficulty to extreme levels of challenge for the best loot. Outriders isn’t a live service game, either, so you won’t find yourself getting burnt out on a constant treadmill of grinding.
Read our full Outriders review
Outriders - Official Reveal Trailer

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