Best two-player and co-op PlayStation 4 games (multiplayer)

Team up for the take-down with these buddy-focused PS4 games.

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Friends who slay together, stay together. This is gaming's greatest truth, so we've collected a meaty list of some of the best PS4 two-player games to play co-operatively with your friends.

If you're looking for the best PS4 co-op games on a budget, consider trawling through the indie-produced section of the PlayStation Store. A lot of these games capture the spirit of the old days of split-screen co-op.

Darksiders Genesis

Best co-op PS4 games: Darksiders Genesis
  • RELEASE DATE: 5/12/19
  • DEVELOPER: Airship Syndicate
  • PUBLISHER: THQ Nordic
Buy on Amazon

If you're already familiar with the Darksiders franchise, forget what you think you already know about it. Darksiders Genesis is a different beast – the camera has now radically shifted to facilitate a top-down hack 'n' slasher that has you slogging your way through demons and angelic folk alike.

You and a buddy will be catching up with the antics of the avenging Horseman known as War, Death and Fury, That said, the big reveal of this prequel is the ability to bust heads with the most elusive and mysterious member of this quartet, Strife.

Gameplay-wise, two players will need to leverage the very different combat approaches of Strife (a pistoleer) and War (the quintessential "bring a large knife to a gunfight" type). Along with the usual crowd control and general ultra-violence, Genesis folds in some more Action-RPG-like wrinkles. Go in expecting dazzling burst abilities that trigger after a set number of kills, platforming sections, and even the odd bit of environmental puzzling. Nothing too cerebral – it's just enough to break up the slaughter and get you both working towards a common goal and an overall more pleasing co-op experience.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Best co-op games PS4: Crash team racing
  • RELEASE DATE: 21/06/19
  • DEVELOPER: Vicarious Visions
  • PUBLISHER: Actvision
Buy on Amazon

Though many of you will be rusty as hell after a 15-year hiatus, expect to experience euphoria when you find that old familiar groove with Crash Team Racing's powersliding mechanic. It's an artform. Holding down R1 to start that awkward hop and steering hard into the apex of the corner while boosting thrice is what separates the wheat from the chaff in this race.

The only other things that can nudge you ahead? Crafty foreknowledge of shortcuts or just a shrewd killer instinct when it comes to using the randomised weapons you get. Don't let the new lick of paint fool you – this is brutal OG gaming to the max.

Though the kart racing genre has been going the way of the dodo for years, CTR and a few other titles from the days of yore have recently been brought up to modern standards. All of a sudden you're spoiled for choice, and this madcap marsupial marathon ought to be at the top of your "to buy" list. Get some friends around, order a couple of pizzas and I guarantee that you'll be playing this four-player split-screen sensation all night, like it's 1999.

Mortal Kombat 11

Best co-op games PS4: Mortal Kombat 11
  • RELEASE DATE: 17/11/20
  • DEVELOPER: NetherRealm Studios
  • PUBLISHER: Warner Bros.
Buy on Amazon

It's always smart to have a fighting game tucked away in any two-player games / co-operative list. Why? Because after a few hours of playing together, you're invariably going to get on each other's nerves. The best way to alleviate some of that tension is to take a moment to mutilate one another for a bit. This is what Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate does better (and gorier) than anybody else in the genre.

If you haven't played a Mortal Kombat since parachute pants were in fashion, a lot of things are the same, but there's a ton of new mechanics as well. MK11 deals in ye olde brutalities and fatalities, however, you now have Krushing and Fatal Blows that wreak havoc on health bars. Each fighter has roughly half a dozen of these condition-based special moves, and it's a system that rewards the player who can read the go-to habits of their opponent. Satisfying stuff if you're the reader, infuriating if you're the open book.

All that being said, perhaps the most impressive thing about this Ultimate edition is its guest character roster. Tucked away in this stable of 36 kombatants are some absurd fan-service match-ups, like The Terminator, Robocop and John Rambo.

Untitled Goose Game

Best co-op games PS4: Untitled Goose Game
  • RELEASE DATE: 20/9/19
  • DEVELOPER: House House
  • PUBLISHER: House House
Buy on Amazon

It's weird how sometimes the simplest ideas for a game can make for a riotous two-player experience. Here's the basic elevator pitch: you and a mate are going to take control of a goose each, and then you're going to skulk into a nearby village to cause trouble. Lots of it. If that doesn't already sound like a hoot in the making, that's perhaps because it's actually a honk.

Along with ability to loudly "honk!" and scare the crap out of unsuspecting humans, your average goose is quite adept at thievery, problem solving and swimming away from any disaster area it creates. That's pretty much your entire, limited skill-set here – leveraging it to tick off an increasingly complex laundry list of pranks isn't going to be easy.

Honestly, half the fun is the trail and error of it all. As a charming, dynamic piano track tinkles in the background, your main m.o. will be to stalk and observe the townsfolk. What are their patrol paths? What are their relationships? Who has perhaps seen Alfred Hitchock's The Birds one too many times and can be terrified into doing your will? You're going to love finding out!

Red Dead Online

Best co-op games PS4: Red Dead online
  • RELEASE DATE: 27/11/19
  • DEVELOPER: Rockstar North
  • PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games
Buy on Amazon

Ever since Red Dead Online launched, I've been home, home on the range. Where my dudes and the angry dopes play. Where seldom is slurred an encouraging word. And the teabags are delivered all day.

Honestly, it still blows my mind that Red Dead Online, a fully fledged online world, has been provided to players free of charge as a companion piece to a whopping 60-hour solo experience. What we have here represents triple digit hours of cowboying.

For starters, you and a posse of (presumably magnificent) seven friends can follow a narrative that's apart from the solo side of RDR2. It forks with morality, too. Straight-shooters who have played honourably will find themselves deputised into helping Marshall Tom Davies root out a gang of Valentine-based varmints.

Players who opted for a more Billy the Kid route will find themselves shooting down lawdogs as they assist Samson Finch in a series of crimes that culminate in a daring Saint Denis Bank heist.

Whatever your moral preference, both paths lead back to further revelations in John Marston's old stomping ground of Blackwater. This plot, along with a bunch of structured team-based PVP modes, is just the beginning.

RDO offers a huge world filled with procedural shenanigans that jump out at you, not to mention a server chock full of human varmints who want to help, hinder or hogtie you and plop you in front of a train. Why? Because it's a Wild West out there...

Streets of Rage 4

Best co-op PS4 games: Streets of Rage 4
  • RELEASE DATE: 30/4/20
  • DEVELOPER: DotEmu
  • PUBLISHER: DotEmu
Buy on Amazon

Arguably one of the finest examples of the Beat 'Em Up genre, Streets of Rage has finally been given a fourth entry after only, oh, a 26-year hiatus. Ace of Base may be out of style now, but some of the other beats of 1994 have remained timeless here – the ones involving you, a lead pipe and some punk's face.

Streets of Rage 4 builds upon the classic trilogy's gameplay with new mechanics, beautiful hand-drawn visuals and a toe-tapping 90's dance music soundtrack. Veteran attitude-adjusters Alex, Blaze and Adam return. They're flanked by newcomers Cherry (think: a novelty fighter who uses a guitar) and Floyd (molasses speed wrestler on horse steroids). OG fans will delight over a ton of unlockable legacy characters as well.

So, what's the gameplay hook here? The simple pleasure of walking ever rightward to beat six shades of shinola out of mobs of enemies. All of them come in specialised AI archetypes that require varying levels of tact and respect, and every stage is ruled by an impossibly tall / healthy boss character. The only way to get through is to put your heads together, and coordinate who "deserves" to eat the big roast chicken you just found in a bin. Team building disguised as food poisoning.

Trine Ultimate Collection

Best co-op PS4 games: Trine Ultimate Collection
  • RELEASE DATE: 8/10/19
  • DEVELOPER: Frozenbyte
  • PUBLISHER: Frozenbyte
Buy on Amazon

Too often in co-op experiences everybody on the one team is essentially the same cog in the machine, just a different colour. Not so with the Trine series, a 2.5D puzzler that hands every single player a unique role and vastly different capabilities. No one hero can solve the conundrums presented to your group – only the most communicative and patient band of heroes shall win this day.

The bulk of this quadrilogy centres on Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief as they journey across a forsaken and ruined kingdom. Choose Amadeus, and you'll be a wiz at seizing large blocks to radically reshape the environment. Pontius can hurl heavy objects (typically onto enemies) and can also thwart projectile traps with his shield. Lastly, Zoya can snipe fools with her bow and Tarzan up to high platforms with her grapple hook.

Couple that asymmetric multiplayer with intuitive puzzles – mostly centred on harnessing the elements themselves – and Trine quickly becomes a unique and satisfying experience. What lays ahead of you is an engaging, four game fantasy epic that's one of the best co-op rides you can ever hope to take.

Helldivers

Best co-op PS4 games: Helldivers
  • RELEASE DATE: 03/03/15
  • DEVELOPER: Arrowhead Studios
  • PUBLISHER: Sony
Buy on Amazon

Helldivers is a hardcore, collaborative, twin-stick shooter that stands head, shoulders and metal pauldrons above all others in this oversaturated genre. As part of the elite titular unit, you'll need to work together in an intense intergalactic war to protect "Super Earth" from AI aliens and invading human players alike.

Even in solo play you'll find yourself hooked on the grind in this game. To succeed in Helldivers is to doggedly survive and unlock increasingly better perks, armor, grenades, boomsticks and stratagems. The latter are particularly cool as they include a wide variety of powerful ordnance and war matériel that may only be called down from HQ if you quickly tap in an OG unlock code on your dpad (think: Konami codes that wipe out entire screens' worth of baddies). Having three co-op pals coordinating and covering one another to do this is, well, sublime multiplayer gaming.

Unravel Two

Best co-op PS4 games: Unravel Two
  • RELEASE DATE: 22/03/19
  • DEVELOPER: Coldwood Interactive
  • PUBLISHER: Electronic Arts
Buy on Amazon

For games that spin virtually no dialogue, the original Unravel and its sequel sure do tell interesting little yarns. They're what I like to call new age platformers – stylish indie games woven together with waterlogged physics, detailed 2.5D worlds and a dash of charming weirdness. Yarny, the wool-doll protagonist of the first game, has been shipwrecked and he/she (it?) is now umbilically connected to a second yarn person.

The gameplay that follows is essentially Super Conjoined Twin Bros. All of the old mechanics from Unravel return – abseiling using your own thread, tying of a thread to use it as a mini-trampoline, etc – but now you have to do it all in tandem while maintaining a set distance apart (and working with limited screen real estate). The best new addition is a creature comfort mechanic for parents that should be in every platformer: at any time, you can make one Yarny merge into the other. Control is then relinquished to one player and this allows you to literally carry the other gamer to success. Trust me, it beats the heck out of playing your own patience Olympics as your eight-year-old buddy screws up a jump... for five minutes.

Outriders

Best co-op PS4 games: Outriders
  • RELEASE DATE: 1/4/21
  • DEVELOPER: People Can Fly
  • PUBLISHER: Square Enix
Buy on Amazon

Initial teething issues with servers aside, Outriders has become something of a sleeper hit. Those of you who have spent way too many hours shooting Dregs for glimmer in Destiny will be right at home with what's on offer here. Outriders is a 1-3 player co-op RPG experience that boasts all the intensity of a shooter and the XP chasing depth and addiction of an RPG. It'll make you a junkie for it in no time.

Admittedly, the gunplay isn't quite as kinetic or interesting as Bungie's offerings – but hey, the fact that it's within striking distance at all is impressive for a fledgling franchise. When blasting heads is this good, grinding the same firefights to raise your power is somehow still a pleasure.

Basically, this genre hybrid has you and your fireteam making a dark and desperate journey across the face of an incredibly hostile planet. If you have any sense at all, you qill have all sat down beforehand and deliberately picked different, complementary roles from the four on offer. There's no one "Space John Wick" solution here – everybody will need to work together to shore up one another's weaknesses. It's the essence of all great co-op (and friend ruining arguments).

Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Best co-op games PS4: Overcooked! All You Can Eat
  • RELEASE DATE: 23/03/21
  • DEVELOPER: Ghost Town Games
  • PUBLISHER: Ghost Town Games
Buy on Amazon

Excuse the pun, but if you're into simple, pick-up-play 4P madness, All You Can Eat is well worth consuming. What we have here could technically be considered reheated leftovers for some of you, but for newbies this package is an easy, well-priced pairing of 2016's Overcooked!, 2018's Overcooked 2, plus all their delectable DLC side dishes.

To the uninitiated, that represents hundreds of levels of absolute culinary chaos. The basic gist being: you're given food orders to fill, ingredients strewn across a large kitchenette and a strict time limit. Worse, there are three other chefs who all have their own (family friendly) swear button and they all think they know food prep better than you. Whether you'll work as a cohesive unit or devolve into slapstick shenanigans all depends on your crew...

It's also worth noting that All You Can Eat does in fact come with some exclusive new content all its own. You'll find there are some new levels, greatly touched up visuals and the original Overcooked content can now be taken on in online play. Oh, and there's even a new assist mode to make this a bit less hair-pulling for the younger chefs in your troupe.

Far Cry 5

Best co-op Ps4 games: Far Cry 5
  • RELEASE DATE: 27/03/18
  • DEVELOPER: Ubisoft
  • PUBLISHER: Ubisoft
Buy on Amazon

Cult smashin' with a fellow good ol' boy (or girl) is what's on offer in Far Cry 5. Due to a mixed means of religious fervor and hallucinogenic plant life, Hope County, Montana has been brought under control by one Joseph Seed. The only remedy is for you and a pal to dispense some bullet-based freedom as you rip around an expansive open-world sandbox to nail a plethora of main and side mission content.

Sparking the fires of resistance (and the odd unintentional blaze lit by too much C4 strapped to a quad bike) is darn good fun with a friend. Far Cry 5 offers a ton of guns to unlock and upgrade, not to mention you can unlock different perks to self improve yourselves in tactical ways. For example, a good way to dovetail together is to spec one of you as a gung-ho base stormer, while player two provides operational support from a far with a sniper rifle that installs blowholes in even the most armed opponent.

Borderlands 3

Best co-op Ps4 games: Borderlands 3
  • RELEASE DATE: 13/11/19
  • DEVELOPER: Gearbox Software
  • PUBLISHER: 2K Games
Buy on Amazon

It makes me immeasurably sad to inform you of this, but four-player split-screen shooters are few and far between these days. Mercifully, the current-gen versions of Borderlands 3 buck the heck out of this trend by offering some of the best couch co-op lootin' shootin' imaginable. You can obviously achieve the a similar squad aesthetic via online play -- but hey, where's the fun in not being within punching distance of a person you steal guns from?

And it's not like you even need to be swiping from your mates in the first place. Once again, Borderlands provides you with you gazillions of procedurally generated guns to pick up. You honestly never know what your next gat is going to do next. It might be a fan firing pistol, an acid spitting hyper blaster or a shotgun that has a lewd conversation with you after every kill.

If a near bottomless armoury isn't variety enough for you, then focus instead on the ludicrously deep skill trees, abilities and customisation options of four incredibly distinct heroes. We're talking a sassy mech summoner, an ethereal fist conjuring sorceress, a hellhound packing beastmaster or a near-invisible gadget ninja.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

Best co-op PS4 games: Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition
  • RELEASE DATE: 19/08/14
  • DEVELOPER: Blizzard Entertainment
  • PUBLISHER: Blizzard Entertainment
Buy on Amazon

Decent four-person local play on a single TV is a rare commodity in the eighth generation of console gaming. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition flies the banner proud, and Blizzard's custom interface lets you and your buddies do some serious grinding without treading on each other's toes. Your only major concern will be who gets to pick which class: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Crusader or Necromancer.

PC folk will hunt me down for saying this, but this feels like the best version of the game one can spend their gold coins on. There's hours of dungeon-crawling and loot-coveting to be had, thanks to gift sending, kill-streak rewards, Nephalem "loot run" rifts and nemesis demons (demons that have murdered somebody on your friends list and now want to drop in to say "hi" and claim your skull, too). Don't let the age of this 2014-reissue of a 2012 game fool you. Mowing through hellspawn is a timeless and heavenly experience with the right party of miscreants.

Grand Theft Auto V

Best co-op PS4 games: GTA V
  • RELEASE DATE: 18/11/14
  • DEVELOPER: Rockstar North
  • PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games
Buy on Amazon

Nobody skewers the American zeitgeist or sculpts living, breathing open worlds like Rockstar Games. Played from either a first or third-person perspective, GTA V's online offerings will deliver you free-wheeling fun or some of the best scripted co-op missions in video gaming. Known as Heists, the latter are complex shenanigans – multi-part plots that can go sideways as much as they prove successful. They're basically miniature Michael Mann movies that are best attempted with a team of hardened killers with pro gamer hand-eye coordination.

Conversely, if these jobs keep going wrong and you want to mete out some punishment amongst your Reservoir Dogs, you can always drop everybody into PVP mode and sort out your differences in a number of adversarial modes. Failing that, you can all just hook up, hop into an A-Team-like van and let off some steam in one of the most detailed and realistically rendered Los Angeles sandboxes imaginable. Don't let its aged release date fool you – GTA V has been upgraded up the wazoo since its launch. It's still money.

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