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The Best Co-Op Games Of 2021

While gamers frequently submerge themselves in the deep narratives afforded by single-player campaigns, nothing beats kicking back and playing some fun co-op with friends. You can easily enjoy the same story-driven experiences with a co-pilot by your side.


Whatever kind of multiplayer game you choose, there's one thing you can count on: video games tend to bring people together. Playing games with friends can be a fantastic social experience. Whether you're sitting next to a buddy on the couch, playing video games with your partner, or connecting with friends all over the world through the internet, there is nothing like sharing a great video game with a live human.

If your stash of multiplayer games is starting to grow stale, it might be time to add some new titles to the collection. Well, they don't come any fresher than these; here is a list of the best co-op games of 2021.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

With a memorable cast of characters and vibrant platforming challenges, the Mushroom Kingdom is a perfect place for co-op fun. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury for the Switch brings new features to a modern Mario classic. Super Mario 3D World's new companion game, Bowser's Fury, is a fresh co-op adventure for fans to explore.


Destructoid's Chris Carter loved the original 3D World, and he felt the faster gameplay and online capabilities only made it better. It didn't take him long to beat the new Bowser's Fury, but he was still eager to jump back in after finishing the game. He mentioned that Bowser Jr. serves as an optional second player who can also be AI-controlled.

Over on Kotaku, Ari Notis was more critical of the co-op in Bowser's Fury. While he considered 3D World to be "a phenomenal couch co-op game," he felt the two-player mode in Bowser's Fury is little more than a distraction for a younger family member who eagerly wants to play as well. Even so, he thought it's worth picking up for anyone who missed the original Super Mario 3D World.


Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

What could be better than exploring a fantasy world with friends? Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is just that kind of game. This roguelike dungeon crawler was made for collaboration, supporting both couch and online co-op with up to four players. If you feel like going at it alone, the game can be enjoyed as a solo experience as well.


Kirstie Summers of Pure Nintendo was very fond of Rogue Heroes. She loved the settings, the world-building, the music, and the art style. She also believed that considering the game's price, it packs in a fairly extensive map. Summers found herself deeply invested in the action and felt that the only notable flaw was the way characters swapped their tools.

While Screen Rant's Cody Peterson also enjoyed Rogue Heroes, calling it "an exciting retro inspired video game that is fun to play with friends," he did note some bugs that impacted his overall score. Nevertheless, he was also enthralled by the in-game world, comparing it to Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and Stardew Valley. He noted that anyone familiar with a Legend of Zelda game would feel at home fighting off enemies in Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos.



While you may think of puzzle games as solo ventures, sometimes two — or four — heads are better than one. That is exactly what makes Bonkies stand out as a great puzzle game.

Bonkies features monkeys in space suits, which is enough of a selling point on its own. You are tasked with balancing pieces of debris so that they are framed by the designated on-screen outlines. This allows players to enjoy physics-based puzzles.


Writing for TheGamer, Sam Watanuki started off expressing how he enjoys puzzle games but is not easily impressed. With that said, he had a great time playing Bonkies. While he was deeply disappointed by the lack of online support, he felt the single-player mode was enjoyable enough. From his limited couch co-op experience, he saw the game's multiplayer potential, stating "once [he's] able to have people over to [his] house again, Bonkies will be the first party game of the night that [they] play."

Although Alana Dunitz of GameGrin didn't like Bonkies as much as Watanuki, she still found it to be an enjoyable challenge. She praised the game as a fun co-op experience but felt the single-player was perhaps a bit too frustrating.


Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection

Most old-school gamers understand the punishing challenge of Ghosts 'n Goblins. If you were one of the few who beat the original game, then you were rewarded with one of the most insulting video game endings ever. Well, guess what? Ghosts 'n Goblins has returned to mock you with Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection.


Game Informer's Andrew Reiner was not discouraged by Resurrection's brutal difficulty. He called it "one of the best throwbacks [he'd] ever played." Reiner enjoyed the level variety, the visuals, and the simple-yet-satisfying action. When discussing co-op, he mentioned that player two commands a rotation of three ghosts who assist Arthur in unique ways. He called this "a cool idea," stressing that whoever controls these ghosts can "have a significant role in the outcome" of the game.

Over at Metro, Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection was reviewed less favorably. According to the analysis, Resurrection was too challenging and failed to bring a lot of innovation to the table. Well, aside from one aspect: the co-op mode. The review referred to its two-player option as "unexpectedly imaginative." Cooperative gameplay stood out as one of the best things about the game for the reviewer at Metro.


Sword Of The Necromancer

Do you enjoy roguelikes? Want to share that experience with a friend? Then you might want to check out Sword Of The Necromancer.

The game follows Tama, who is on a mission to revive the priestess Koko using the game's namesake weapon. Throughout the game, players are given snippets of backstory regarding the two characters.


Cosmin Vasile of Softpedia thought that Sword Of The Necromancer's story was especially robust for its genre. He also enjoyed the base mechanics, which allow you to restore fallen enemies into helpful allies. With that said, he felt this feature was not properly utilized. He gave the game's multiplayer a 7 out of 10, though he did not dive into specifics.

Screen Rant's Scott Baird elaborated that the co-op mode allows a second player to control one of the re-animated enemies. This two-player mode also remedied one of his criticisms, which is the poor AI of revived sidekicks.