Co-op is one of the many subgenres of video games that doesn’t get much attention these days. These titles are often tailored for cooperation rather than competition, a much-needed breath of fresh air in a scene dominated by online multiplayer/PvP games.
While 2022 hasn’t been a particularly memorable year for games, there have been a few well-received releases, with a decent portion being collaborative titles. Hopefully this is a sign that the industry is finally returning to the glory days of mainstream co-op games involving friends and family.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the best co-op games released in 2022.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the author
Ranking V Rising, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course (DLC) and other great co-op games released in 2022 so far
10) Warhammer 40K: Darktide
A spiritual successor to the Vermintide series, Warhammer 40K: Darktide transports players to the gritty sci-fi setting of Atoma Prime.
As a first-person hack & slash shooter, the game pits up to four players against relentless hordes of monsters. However, unlike Vermintide 2, players are given the freedom of character customization, although specific classes are retained.
Those who fell in love with Vermintide 2’s carnage will consider Darktide an easy pickup, thanks to the varied enemy types and fun powers it offers.
Newcomers may tire of Darktide’s monotony of objective-driven set pieces. However, they will still find an enjoyable co-op game that is all about mayhem and gore.
9) Sniper Elite 5
Protagonist Karl Fairburne returns for more third-person sniper action in Rebellion’s iconic series.
Sniper Elite 5 is set in 1944 France. As players attempt to take down the secret Nazi project, Operation Kraken, they will once again explore sandbox environments ripe with opportunities to expand their sniper skills.
New traversal mechanics, larger environments and dozens of patrolling soldiers waiting to be taken down make for varied play sessions. When combined with co-op, the simple Sniper Elite 5 campaign turns into a fun game with friendly competition.
8) V Rising
Arguably the least popular entry on this list, V Rising is an MMO survival game from Stunlock Studios. Players must take on the role of a newly resurrected vampire and complete challenges or quests to create their own magnificent castle. They have to fight different enemies and gather resources to progress.
Given the somewhat gritty nature of the game, players can rely on co-op. From the flashy hack-and-slash battle against the dangerous denizens of the spooky forest to creating a majestic castle together, help is always appreciated.
7) Wicked West
Recently released for console and PC, Flying Wild Hog’s latest game combines the familiar Wild West setting with its own flavor of supernatural bloodsuckers.
Thanks to its brutal melee and ranged combat, Evil West is a wild ride from start to finish. The over-the-top action provides plenty of ways to destroy the villains in a spectacular climax rarely seen these days.
While the gameplay threatens to become repetitive, Evil West can be alleviated with a buddy by your side.
6) Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Techland’s sequel to the acclaimed 2015 zombie game was released in February 2022. Set in the brand new setting of Villedor, Dying Light 2 sees players parkour through a larger post-apocalyptic city than ever before.
First-person melee is once again a highlight, with a greater focus on RPG mechanics. Those frightened by the terrors of the night can have up to three people join them. Players can experience a choice-driven narrative and avoid dangerous zombies through adrenaline-filled parkour in co-op.
5) Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
The sequel to the acclaimed Borderlands 2 DLC, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands brings the beloved Bunkers and Badasses fantasy setting to a new audience. With new features such as multi-classing, dedicated melee equipment and an explorable overworld map, the game is also a tribute to the table-top RPGs of the good old days.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands features the familiar Borderlands 3-inspired FPS combat and the Diablo-esque colored thief system that friends can choose to battle cooperatively.
4) LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The biggest LEGO game to date, The Skywalker Saga is a celebration of all things Star Wars. Taking place across nine films based on the popular sci-fi media series, players will return to familiar locations such as Tatooine and Hoth.
Although the title features the familiar LEGO game of collecting pillars and smashing bricks, it has also reworked a few things. With dozens of iconic Star Wars characters to use, expect to spend hours exploring every plastic nook.
Unfortunately, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has no online co-op. This means that players can only play locally on the same system.
3) Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course (DLC)
After the huge success of the run-and-gun 2D side-scroller Cuphead, Studio MDHR released the long-awaited DLC earlier this year. The Delicious Last Course features the same 1920s/1930s animated art style as the base game. However, key additions include the new Miss Chalice character, a challenging new campaign to fight through, and new powerups to unlock.
One can explore Inkwell Isle and take down fearsome bosses in this DLC. While players will have to contend with local co-op play, it’s too good an experience to pass up.
2) Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (DLC)
The latest Sunbreak expansion for Monster Hunter Rise is nothing short of a treat for fans. Developer Capcom introduces players to the brand new kingdom of Elgado, a far cry from the Japanese setting of the base game.
As expected, players will have to deal with more monster threats. They can ride through the premises and take on new towering creatures to gain monster parts that can be used to upgrade equipment and armor. As usual, monster killing is best done with friends, and you can participate in a four-player co-op.
1) The Fire Ring
FromSoftware blew everyone away with Elden Ring. Clearly inspired by their work in the Soulsborne series, the title takes players to The Lands Between.
With world-building handled by George RR Martin, this imaginative action RPG is not for the faint of heart. Powerful bosses, surprising finds and countless treasures await discovery. On top of it all, exploration is organic, with no handles to speak of. The game also features character creation and RPG elements.
As with the Souls titles, Elden Ring players can also choose co-op. This makes the unforgiving runs through many of the game’s challenging areas somewhat manageable. It also highlights the sense of exploration and wonder that permeates every corner of The Lands Between.