Super Mario Party was a big surprise when it released. Very few people expected it to be this good, given its recent history, but the latest entry in the multiplayer party franchise turned out to be a hit. The latest entry also offers the best co-op multiplayer yet, thanks to River Survival Mode. This sees you and up to three friends rowing down a treacherous river before a timer ticks down. You'll avoid obstacles and try and collect balloons that initiate a minigame. Beat the minigame and you'll add more time to the clock. It's an absolute ton of fun that's well worth checking out.
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While you could argue that the humble side-scrolling fighter is an endangered species for a reason – they do get awfully repetitive after a while – Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle illustrates perfectly why this particular genre was the toast of video gaming in the late '80s and early '90s. Addictive, enjoyable and – perhaps most important of all – bloody good fun when played co-operatively with friends, all of the titles in this seven-strong compendium are worth your time, and by adding robust local and online multiplayer support, Capcom has done its utmost to ensure they find favour with a whole new generation of gamers. If you're not a fan of the genre then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but for everyone else, this is a must-have download.
Yoshi’s Crafted World has colour and charm to spare, even if its inventiveness is largely limited to its looks. It’s delightfully presented and makes for another very solid entry in Nintendo’s ever-growing pantheon of material-based platformers – it takes extreme discipline to not overuse that word ‘charm’ while discussing it. A breezy drop-in/out two-player co-op mode is available, with one player able to literally carry the other, making the combined pair more powerful. It’s a fun way to pass the time with a second player, especially with kids or inexperienced gamers. So, if you’re looking to share a light-hearted platformer with the family, or simply relax in a big chair with a cup of something warm and a comfy pair of socks, be sure to have a spare pair ready – Yoshi's Crafted World will charm the ones you’re wearing right off.
As poignant, heartbreaking and memorable as it was back in 2013, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons hasn’t lost any of its emotional impact in those intervening years. With a captivating soundtrack, an aesthetic design evocative of Fable and a genuinely clever take on co-op, you can really see why it’s held in such high regard. The new traditional co-op mode does offer a new way to play, although bear in mind that it also robs the game of one of its most challenging and rewarding features and perhaps makes things a little too easy, but it's still a charming two-player experience.
Not only is Snipperclips a Nintendo Switch exclusive, but it remains one of the finest couch co-op experience on the platform. It challenges you to navigate around a variety of creative levels, cutting your paper characters into different shapes to help you sole puzzles. There's a massive single player story to work through, which supports two player co-op, then a bunch more puzzles you can figure out with up to four players. While you don’t strictly need a second player, we wouldn’t play Snipperclips without a friend, relative or significant other – when solutions elude you or an attempt goes sideways, exorcising frustration by snipping (and, indeed, clipping) your partner is always cathartic and hilarious.
Overcooked 2 is a time management simulator, in which you and up to three friends must work together to prepare a variety of orders before your grumpy customers storm out of the restaurant impatiently.
Meanwhile, your restaurant is actively fighting against you. You might have to contend with gusts of wind while preparing food on top of a hot air balloon, or have to navigate a spinning kitchen. It's frantic stuff, and the craziness only ramps up the more players you play with. No matter how you play it though, you'll have a crazy amount of fun cooking up the various dishes. A smattering of free updates and paid DLC make this something of a neverending meal, and that's fine by us - keep it coming!
Overall, Overcooked 2 pretty much builds on its predecessor to completely refine the experience, providing more polish, new mechanics (throwing stuff at each other!), and souped-up visuals, although Overcooked: Special Edition is still definitely worth a look if you're after a more contained co-op experience.
What's your favourite local co-op game on this list? Did it even make the cut? Let us know in the comments below.