Hottest Co-op Games of 2024

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2023 was a monumental year for co-op gaming, with huge releases such as Dead Island 2, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Diablo 4. Fortunately, this year promises an even more explosive repertoire, plump with survival, horror, RPG, and platform titles. This article will explore games that emphasize everything we adore about the co-op experience, from the intimacy of watching a thick plot unfurl with one of your best friends, to the trust-testing missions that will leave your nerves aflutter as your fate is left in the hands of a fellow gamer.

The Elephant in the Room

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The most anticipated co-op release of 2024 was without a doubt Arrowhead Studio’s Helldivers 2, a lore-rich title set on Super Earth, which is under siege by both evil automatons and mutant insects. The game supports squads of one to four players, but you would have to be certifiably mad to go at it alone! Following the superb introduction, broadcast to you via enemy propaganda, you are cast into your first mission with little but the clothes on your back. Early on you and your friends must use wit to evade, disrupt, and eliminate enemy positions. From here, you will begin earning Stratagems, your key to unlocking new skills, weapons, and player upgrades. Playing with a squad allows you to diversify your abilities, and means at least one player should be able to handle whatever situation is thrown your way, and believe me, there will be tons of unique situations. Every mission has a distinct feel to it, given the variety of terrains and climates you will traverse, to the vast array of enemies that you’ll have to deal with. If constant action is your thing, call up some friends and strap in for an exhilarating experience!

Fear and Loathing with a Friend

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The list of co-op titles dropping in 2024 is dominated by horror games, so grab a friend, some holy water, and your most powerful ancient talisman and prepare to face evil foes of all sorts. Topping of this list is Sons of the Forest, exclusive to PC. This game places the protagonist on an island teeming with cannibals, and tasks them with locating a CEO and his family who have gone missing. The game has a very modern feel to it; the addition of a 3D printing mechanic really grounds it in the modern day. It supports 1-8 players, and your group’s decisions will heavily impact how the plot unfurls, similar to Metro: Exodus or Detroit: Become Human. The game is mission-driven, but also gives the players freedom to roam the island, build an outpost, and craft and modify weapons and tools. Overall, it has a great balance of action, RPG, and story elements that will allow for countless unique playthroughs.

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Keeping with the horror theme, last year’s Lethal Company is now a fully refined masterpiece, netting a 10/10 rating on Steam. The game sports an attractive animation style that blends art with realism to create a one-of-a-kind universe. Players are able to explore nine different moons across a futuristic, post-apocalyptic galaxy, but need be wary not to spread themselves too thin, as game chat is proximity based. If you stray too far from a comrade, you won’t be able to hear them and risk catastrophe. Keeping comms hot is especially important in Lethal Company too, as most aspects of the map are randomly generated, meaning even the most veteran player won’t know what lies ahead.

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Console players looking to delve into this year’s cornucopia of horror-themed co-op games need not look further than the third iteration of Little Nightmares, slated to drop later this year. The game plays in a sort of 2.5D style, which gives it the artistic touch of a 3D game, while retaining the timeless feel of an early 2000’s platformer. That said, the storyline is just as deep as any blockbuster title coming out this year. The two protagonists are Low and Alone, each with unique skillsets and weapon loadouts. As the player, you will guide them through a variety of unique settings, from deserts to factory floors, all of which are wrought with villains, jump-scares, and more! The game was developed to be played in a traditional two player, co-op setting, however Bandai Namco Entertainment has developed competent AI models of both Low and Alone that will allow solo players to experience the brilliancy of the story as well.

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Rounding out the list of big-name horror games is Outlast: Trials, slated to drop on March 5th. A series that needs no introduction, newest Outlast release is certain to deliver all of the treacherous angst we all felt when playing the eponymous title years ago. Unlike previous titles mentioned, it is possible to complete this game alone, but with support of up to four players, and four distinct skill trees in the game, it is clear that the developers intended for it to be played with friends. The game blurs the line between reality and psychosis, taking place during a wild Cold War experiment. Players are constantly fighting the effects of hallucinogens, while actively searching for antidotes and the almighty batteries, which are in scarce supply but are able to power the players’ night vision goggles and flashlights. This game is not for the faint of heart, and is certainly the most terrifying on the list. Proceed with caution.

Feeling Frisky?

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Following the nastiest schism since that foul year of our lord, 1054, some of the developers of Payday 2 are set to drop a breakoff title, Den of Wolves this year. Unlike the bunch that went on to produce the clunky, outdated repeat that was Payday 3, Den of Wolves is set in the near-future. It pits a modern gang of Al Capone disciples against the police and politicians of Midway City (totally not Mayor Daley’s Chicago). In-game you will use scientifically plausible gadgets to commit wild heists in the Windy City. The dev team put an emphasis on introducing new settings, you will be operating in far more setting than just banks and jewelry stores. They promise a vast array of “heisting, corporate espionage, sabotage, and assassinations.” And, if all else fails, the game at least boasts a fluid, realistic, animation system that will put Payday 3 to shame.

A Blast from the Past on Gamepass

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For xBox players, a pair of legendary titles are soon to be in their grasp. Both Mario vs. Donkeykong, and A Way Out are hitting Gamepass this year. The timeless Nintendo game needs no introduction, and pits a graphically gorgeous Mario against a wretched Donkey Kong.

On the other hand, A Way Out tells the tale of a duo committed to a Shawshank-esque prison-break scheme. With the 2018 title finally hitting Gamepass, it is definitely worth checking out. It tells a zany tale of two prisoners masterfully plotting their getaway, and then follows the escapees as they try to live off the land without alerting the locals.Players are forced to make heavy moral decisions along the way that will affect the later game. Another fun aspect is that both players view different cutscenes as the story unfolds, leading to a twisted, spectacular finale!

In the Words of Halestorm

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If two is better than one,then three is better than two. Such is definitely the case with Ravenswatch: Nightmare 6, A top-down, co-op game, in which you play as a trio, with the option to assault enemies head-on, or bide your time to evade confrontation and better develop your character. With beautiful animations, there will be a temptation to power through this game, but that would result in you missing out on an immense backlog of lore. The devs worked hard to create a deep story that rewards veterans of the franchise, whilst refining their graphics and gameplay to attract new players. Perhaps a bit gimmicky, it is still a joy to play one of the first titles designed for three, and we hope it can release some tension from your awkward, third-wheeling relationship.

In Summation

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A Way Out

2024 is set to be a year of monumental co-op titles. The platform is heavily dominated by horror titles this year, but there are plenty of adventure and platformer titles to fill the gap. Some other great games not yet mentioned are Nightingale, Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones, and Suicide Squad. These blockbusters are sure to perform well as always, but we hope you enjoy some of the lesser-known games covered in this article too! Whatever your cause, this is a grand year to grab a buddy and pound out some missions together.

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