Ah, the good old days of couch co-op nights. Just you, 3 of your closest friends, an ample supply of junk food, a beat-up couch, and a stack of video games that everyone could play together on the same console. Friendships were made and broken over the likes of Mario Kart, Mario Party (volumes 1-10), Goldeneye, and Super Smash Brothers. Alas, the internet came along and ruined it all with the development of online co-op.
Or did it? While it may seem like couch co-op has gone away in favor of online, there is hope for those looking to relive their glory days. Here is a list of five games on the next-gen consoles that all feature four-person in-person multiplayer (Couch and pizza not included).
1) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) This Nintendo staple is getting overhauled for the new Switch console. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe originally came out for the Nintendo Wii U a couple of years ago and featured a whole host of downloadable content available for purchase. Now all that bonus content has been added into the base game for the Switch. As with every new Mario Kart version, there’s also new tracks, new items, and new characters. Take advantage of the Switch’s ability to handle multiple Joy-Cons and race into the four-player split-screen fun anywhere today.
2) Overcooked (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) If you long for the days of losing friends and family members over a game of Monopoly, Overcooked is the game you’ve been waiting for. Set in a fast-paced kitchen environment, you and up to three friends play as chefs trying to keep up with the dinner rush. Obstacles and challenges lie in your way, and the kitchen itself changes every level. Be prepared to yell commands you never imagined saying, and learn which of your friends can take the heat. The game is currently available for the PS4 and the Xbox One, and will be joining the Switch line-up later this Spring.
3) Deformers (PS4, Xbox One, PC) Gamers looking to recreate the “beat the snot out of your friends” experience that Super Smash Brothers and Mortal Kombat offered should look no further than Deformers. Up to four players play as Forms, ball-like creatures who live and die at the hands of gravity and inertia. Each level features a tilting platform where every move has its consequences. Bounce, fly, and ram into your friends to knock them off the platform and be the last Form standing- er, rolling. When you get tired of doing that, there’s a super-fun mode called Form-Ball, which is pretty much arena soccer but where everyone is the ball. The game was initially delayed, but is now available on both PS4 and the Xbox One.
4) Rocket League (PS4, Xbox One, PC) For those looking for a more full-fledged soccer experience, there’s Rocket League. Originally launching in 2015 as a digital-download game for PS4 and PC, the “soccer, but with rocket-powered cars” game has shot straight into the hearts of gamers on all consoles. The gameplay is simple- use your team of rocket-powered cars to get the giant ball into the other team’s net before they get it into yours. The actual experience is anything but simple. There’s tons of options for modification, from the cars to the levels to the rules of the game themselves. This translates into hours and hours of replayability for you and your team, as you choose to play two-on-two or gang up together to take on the computer.
5) Little Big Planet 3 (PS4) The last game on our list is for those who are looking for a more level video game experience. Little Big Planet 3 offers the chance for up to four players to work together to solve puzzles and defeat enemies through an endless variety of included and downloadable levels. Players will choose from one of five characters, including series-regulars Sackboy and Sackgirl, and use their unique abilities to ensure victory for their team. If you and your team find the levels included in the base game too easy for your skills, there’s good news. The Level Builder is back, and it’s better than ever. Your team can work together to design and create their own levels and post them online for players all over the world. You can also choose to play one of those millions (yes, millions) of user-created levels yourselves. There’s no shortage of new content to discover here, but you’ll have to have a PS4 to enjoy it. Just like Little Big Planet 1 & 2, LBP3 is a Playstation Exclusive.
And that’s it for our list. All five of these games are out now at all major retailers, which means the only thing between you and a weekend of old-school fun with your friends is how fast the pizza delivery person can get to your house. Let us know in the comments below which games are your favorites, or if we missed anything.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.