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The 21 best video games for couples to co-op

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Sure, romantic nights out on the town for Valentine’s Day are great and all. But have you tried staying indoors to cuss profusely at video games you’re bad at together?

In all seriousness, the act of play can be essential to maintaining a healthy, loving, long-lasting relationship. The right cooperative video game often helps players strengthen our bonds to one another, test our ability to communicate in high-pressure stressful situations, teach us how to work together to meet challenges, and (best of all) provide hours upon hours of shared laughter. 

I mean, a couple that can survive a zombie apocalypse in Resident Evil or the betrayal of stealing each other’s stars in Mario Party is a couple that’s built to last.

Sadly, local multiplayer (otherwise known as “couch co-op,” where you play in the same IRL space together, often on the same device through split screen) is something of a dying category in modern gaming. Relatedly, online multiplayer games like Fornite simply don’t invest much into designing a good split-screen mode, rendering many a bit glitchy. 

Despite those challenges, we’ve assembled the cream of the crop of couch co-ops, online multiplayer games you can play locally together through split screen, online multiplayers better suited to long-distance couples on virtual dates, and even solo games where it’s fun to watch each other as you take turns playing.

Don’t worry if one partner has less experience playing video games. We’ve included many beginner-friendly titles, along with cooperative campaigns featuring secondary protagonists who play more passive roles, and single player experiences where a partner can just sit back and vicariously take it all in without ever needing to touch a controller themselves. 

If one partner is less into gaming than the other, remember that they’re going outside their comfort zone to participate in something you love. So be grateful for the effort and as welcoming as possible. Avoid all pressure to win or “get good,” encouraging them as they overcome the steeper learning curve. For heterosexual couples especially, be mindful of gatekeeping gender dynamics often embedded into gaming culture. You should always be receptive to feedback about any unconscious behaviors or aspects of gaming that can feel hostile toward non-dominant genders. 

So go on, you crazy kids! Forget the fancy clothes for an overpriced dinner and enjoy a romantic night in pajamas that guarantees you both score 😉

1. It Takes Two


Credit: EA / Hazelight

Together, players embody wife May, a witty engineer, and husband Cody, a warm-hearted gardener. At the start, our couple is raising their daughter Rose in an idyllic countryside home, complete with some amazing toys and a jungle-like greenhouse. But the pair’s impending divorce and a bit of better-left-unspoiled magic soon turn the family’s world upside down and the central quest of It Takes Two begins.

In an instant, May and Cody are just a few inches tall, and made of clay, yarn, and other crafting supplies. They’ve inexplicably transformed into two of Rose’s handmade dolls, and their only hope for getting back to reality depends on the two soon-to-be-ex-spouses working together. … The experience of playing It Takes Two is remarkably varied, equipping you and your partner with new, complementary abilities and tools in each level. Experiencing both sides of gameplay is a great argument for playing twice. You’ll sling, jump, glide, fly, and swim your way through tons of challenging obstacles, some magical and some not, but each creative and rewarding for players to overcome.

[From our It Takes Two review, by Alison Foreman]

Price: $19.99

Is it multiplayer?: Ideal for couch co-op, but playable solo and through online multiplayer.

Platforms: Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox, Windows

2. Spiritfarer

Stella from Spiritfarer video game hugs a spirit she helps cross into the underworld with a hug


Credit: Thunder Lotus

We should never face the grief or dying process alone — and that’s exactly what this acclaimed, self-described “cozy management game” is all about. In Spiritfarer, you play as ferrymaster Stella, who helps spirits cross over into the afterlife by keeping them comfortable and making peace with what they’re leaving behind. Aside from the beautiful art style and story, getting to know each character truly feels like caring for a friend.

With the optional two-player couch co-op, a partner can join as Stella’s adorable cat, Daffodil. While it’s definitely the more passive, supporting role, it’s a big help for the mini-games, and the themes are engaging enough to make for intimate conversations on topics we don’t talk about enough.

Price: $29.99

Is it multiplayer?: There’s optional two-player local co-op where one partner plays as a cat (!)

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Mac, Windows, Google Stadia

3. Heave-Ho!

Four players struggle to stay upright on a ball in a screenshot from Heave-Ho video game


Credit: Devolver Digital / Le Cartel Studio

Hold hands and launch each other into space in this couch co-op designed to make your hands hurt. With adorable animations and standout humor, Heave Ho! harnesses simulated physics to create a surprisingly endearing journey full of teamwork, betrayal, and costume changes. Hurl yourself onto ledges, make human chains, and cling to whatever you can grab. There’s only one goal: Don’t fall before you reach that flag.

[From our Best Cozy Games to Play with Your Loved Ones roundup]

Price: $9.99

Is it multiplayer?: Playing this one as a two to four-player couch co-op is essential.

Platforms:  Windows, Mac, Nintendo Switch

4. Mario Party Superstars

Peach celebrates getting a str in Mario Party Superstars


Credit: Nintendo

It’s Mario Party. Need we say more? While this classic Nintendo franchise has a very hit-or-miss Switch-exclusive Super Mario Party, stick with Superstars. The return to classic boards and minigames from the N64 and GameCube eras cuts some fluff added to the original format that still reigns supreme as one of the best local multiplayer games. Both this one and Mario Kart would make for great double-date nights, too.

Price: $59.99

Is it multiplayer?: It’s one of the last remaining great couch co-op franchises left, playable by 1-4 people.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

5. Overcooked 1 & 2

Two chefs rush to work together and finish all their restaurant orders in Overcooked


Credit: Team 17 / Nintendo

There are too many cooks in this kitchen, but that’s the appeal of Overcooked! Pick your chef and step up to the counter as you fulfill customer orders in this culinary setup from hell. The more happy guests you can feed, the higher your ranking and the faster the game’s narrative will progress. The name of the game is teamwork, so talk often and stay alert.

For more fun, check out Overcooked! 2. It’s just as enjoyable, but with even more chefs and themes.” But couples be warned: The stress of this game can be a real test on how your relationship holds up under pressure.

[From our Best Video Games to Play with the Family roundup]

Price: $24.99

Is it multiplayer?: Couch co-op and online multiplayer for 1-4 players.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows, Mac

6. Wattam

Anthropomorphized cartoon poo runs away playfully from a sentient toilet in Wattam


Credit: Funomena

Wattam is a heart-warming game unlike any other. You bring the world back from apocalyptic nothingness by helping a growing cast of anthropomorphized inanimate objects work together to fix each other’s problems. It’s odd and delightfully surprising at every turn.

When you play couch co-op, you and your partner can jump into the various delightful weirdo characters — from a piece of poo to a square with a mayor’s hat. As a playful game that’s all about healing through friendship and love, it’s sure to bring out the best in both of you. You can check out our full review of Wattam if you’re still not sold.

Is it multiplayer?: Playable solo, but also an organic local co-op (with split-screen) experience.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows

7. Until Dawn

A couple in the Untl Dawn video game enjoy a flirty hug in the snoow


Credit: Supermassive Games / Sony Entertainment

2015’s Until Dawn is a natural matchmaker, especially for the horror-movie lovers looking to be eased into the world of video game horror. It’s less difficult to play, but just as stimulating.

In the game, a terrifying playground of scary movie tropes and archetypes, you play as eight different teens. Their secluded cabin getaway quickly turns into a game of don’t-get-fucking-murdered, and you’re tasked with keeping them all alive. Every choice you make — even a seemingly irrelevant one like shooting a squirrel — has a butterfly effect on both your #RelationshipStatus with the rest of the group, and also your #MortalityStatus.

If you mess up a button prompt, fail to evade an enemy, or make a bad decision, it can lead to any one of your characters dying and permanently altering the story. So, like, basically a very accurate exercise to determine whether or not your partner would be a good protector in a crisis situation.

But seriously — you really do get to know who someone is through the snap-judgment moral decisions they make under dire circumstances. Maybe you never had the occasion to know whether or not your boyfriend would shoot you in the face if he thought you were infected by a monster… What makes Until Dawn the most ideal game for couples though is how you can share the story, choosing who gets to control each character and switching off between their sections.”

[From our Best Horror Video Games to Play on Valentine’s Day roundup]

Price: $19.99

Is it multiplayer?: Single-player, but a great spectator game and amenable to co-op if you just pass the controller to one another.

Platforms: Playstation 4

8. The Dark Pictures Anthology 

Rachel (Ashley Tisdale) and Eric share a romantic moment in House of Ashes video game


Credit: Supermassive Games / Sony Entertainment

This follow-up anthology series to Until Dawn formally adds the multiplayer functionality that players inserted in the earlier game by just passing the controller around. Launching in 2019 with Man of Medan (its weakest title so far), the season will soon finish in 2022 with four unique storylines that last about 4-6 hours each.

Be warned: playing together through online multiplayer is a bit wonky, since you only experience about half the story. But the Movie Night couch co-op mode is perfect for a romantic night in for horror-lovers, as you and a partner (and up to three other players) can take turns controlling the handful of characters. We highly recommend the most recent release, House of Ashes, which takes some pretty big narrative swings that impressed us.

Price: $19.99 for each title

Is it multiplayer?: You can play solo and online multiplayer, but Movie Night local co-op mode feels tailor-made for couples.

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

9. Minecraft

Pixelated Baby Yoda and a Minion share a moment of friendship in Minecraft


Credit: Mojang

Minecraft is the game that needs no explanation, not only because of its popularity but because its premise is truly whatever you want to make of it. Building a world together with a partner or a friend group over time can become a deeply intimate experience.

While getting into Minecraft can be a little daunting and maintaining everything is certainly a project, there’s piles of information online to help you along and even just the act of learning together makes it ideal for even long-distance relationships. Somewhere along the way, it stops being about the world itself and becomes much more about the hours you spend talking, vibing, cutting down trees, and making villagers procreate.

Price: $26.95

Is it multiplayer?: Yes, very much! You can build a server together — which, take note, carries some extra costs — while playing at the same time or solo, too. So, even when you’re not technically playing co-currently, it’s still a form of multiplayer.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

While you will need two Switches for this to be multiplayer, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is ideal for long-distance couples. There’s something so incredibly sweet, vulnerable, and revealing about sharing your island with your significant other, especially if you create specific date areas or even recreate IRL places you’ve gone on dates before. Heck, some folks were even getting married in the game at the beginning of the pandemic!

Price: $59.99

Is it multiplayer?: Unlimited players of any age, connecting locally or online, all with their own copy of the game. Note: Only 8 players can meet up on an island at any given time — but you can have any number of friends!

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

11. Snipperclips

Four Snipperclips work together to solve a puzzle in a co-op video game


Credit: Nintendo

Known best for its mobility, this co-op game makes you work together to figure out a series of logic and physics puzzles. Each solution is delightfully surprising, requiring genuine ingenuity and creativity.

[From our Best Video Games to Play with the Family roundup]

Price: $19.99

Is it multiplayer?: It’s a 2-4 person co-op puzzle game, so great for double date nights too.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

12. Fortnite

A display of Fornite Valentines Day theme skins and characters


Credit: Epic Games

Battle royale games dominate online multiplayer these days, and Fortnite is the king of them all. While initially panned by older players as a stupid thing for kids and teens who love TikTok dances, the game’s demographic has matured a lot overall. The cross-play online multiplayer lets you team up with up to three other players across whatever platforms they have on hand (though we do suggest using Discord over the in-game voice chat).

While the split-screen used for couch co-op is a little glitchy, there is nothing more exhilarating than working alongside your partner to be crowned the last duo standing. Player progression in Fortnite is tied entirely to cosmetic items that don’t affect how you play and each new season rewrites or introduces all kinds of different gameplay ideas, ensuring that new players aren’t too intimidated or overwhelmed by catching up on all the updates. There are also some themed Valentine’s Day skins and accessories you can buy for each other.

Price: Free to download, though you’ll undoubtedly want to spend some cash on all the skins, emotes, and other customization options.

Is it multiplayer?: It’s great for cross-platform online multiplayer, and a fun (if less optimized) experience as a split-screen couch co-op.

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Android,  Mac, Windows

13. Portal 2

The two Portal 2 robots stand together with their portal guns


Credit: Valve

Two heads are always better than one in a puzzle game like Portal — and two sets of portals makes for doubly mind-bending solutions. While it’s one of the oldest titles on our list (with no modern remaster version), the brilliance of the Portal games remains ageless. The hijinks you can get into as the two robots who star in this beloved sequel to the iconic original cannot be beat by any other more modern couch co-op puzzler. 

Price: $19.99

Is it multiplayer?: While playable solo, Portal 2 is the kind of cake that really should be shared with a partner-in-crime.

Platforms: Xbox, Windows, Mac, Linux

14. Stardew Valley

A couple in Stardew Valley gets married in front of all Pelican Town


Credit: Stardew Valley

Pelican Town is a lovely place to live on your own — and, thanks to a 2019 update, just as delightful with friends. Farm, mine, fish, fight, and socialize together in Stardew Valley multiplayer. Grandpa’s farm can support multiple cabins, allowing you and your fellow farmers to grow and harvest crops at a much faster rate. Of course, cooperation presents new challenges…but you’ll always have a date to the Flower Dance! 

Just be careful of making your partner jealous by romancing every single datable NPC in Pelican Town (unless you’re into that kinda thing).

Price: $14.99

Is it multiplayer?: One to four players can build a farm together with their own copy of the game, but the co-op is online only. 

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

15. The Sims 4

So the Sims isn’t a multiplayer game, but there’s still a lot a couple can enjoy by playing the OG life simulator together. Some might even enjoy taking my neurotic approach of recreating your relationship (along with any children, pets, and cohabitation space) in the Sims — you know, for the sheer chaos of it all. However, be prepared to withstand inevitable betrayals from the Sims version of your partner (after I lit the kitchen on fire, mine grabbed the pets so the whole family could watch me burn alive from a safe distance outside. No, I’m not still holding a grudge about it…)

There’s sure to be some expansion packs out there to help customize the experience to suit your specific relationship’s vibe, too. Are you the Get Famous power couple, the fur parents who can’t live without their Cats and Dogs, or cottagecore queers who just want to play out the Cottage Living fantasy? The possibilities are endless! But we all know the night is ending in at least one WooHoo.

Price: $39.99  

Is it multiplayer?: Not necessarily, but you can share the same Sim or household you can then play simultaneously together, or at different times with separate characters who live in the same neighborhood (or shared household).

Platforms: Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

16. Push Me Pull You

Two Push Me Pull You human worm creatures give some love while fighting over a ball


Credit: House House / Sony Entertainment

The odd wholesomeness of the award-winning Push Me Pull You is unparalleled. Yet as whacky as the core idea sounds — of two-headed mutants wrestling and playing soccer — you stop asking any questions after you actually start playing. Teams of two players share a controller (which is part of the fun), each operating one end of the adorably awkward worm person to bring down the other team. It’s a game that wears its heart on its sleeve, with buttons specifically dedicated to expressions of love.

[From our Best Video Games to Play with the Family roundup]

Price: $14.99

Is it multiplayer?: This two to four-player cooperative game only requires one controller per couple, which encourages a delightful amount of physical proximity and intimacy.

Platforms: Playstation 4, Mac, Windows

17. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi and Gooigi work together to vacuum up some ghosts in Luigi's Mansion 3


Credit: Nintendo

Another Nintendo classic, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a bit more fun and interesting to watch even if you’re not playing. Like Super Mario Odyssey, there’s a co-op mode, but this time the second player gets to play as a true star: Gooigi (yes, that’s just a goo version of Luigi).

Since Gooigi has his own special skills, this co-op adventure feels more equal than other two-player adventure games on this list.

Price: $59.99 

Is it multiplayer?: You can play with one to eight players, on both local and online multiplayer (though Nintendo still struggles with online functionality). But it’s ideal for couples as a rare modern title specifically designed for a two-player couch co-op.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

18. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 

Claire and Moira walk through a dark hallways in Resident Evil: Revelations 22


Credit: Capcom / Bandai Namco

Not to be confused with the more recent Resident Evil 2 remake released in 2019, this 2015 title is an objectively worse game in almost every way. Part of a series within the franchise, it’s a follow-up to Resident Evil Revelations and Resident Evil 5 – but the story is really just background noise you can jump into at any point.

That said, it does offer local couch co-op, by letting a second player tag along as a more passive sidekick (Moira) to the main protagonist’s (Claire) dominant role. In general, Resident Evil is such a fun series to watch other people play, if only to see them in their most vulnerable moments of total terror and panic.

Price: $5.99  

Is it multiplayer?: While it’s a great couch co-op game, one player needs to be cool with having a lot less to do.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows

19. BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!

A screenshot of BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! Nintendo video game


Credit: Nintendo

Spare and charming, BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! expands the BoxBoy universe into the world of co-operative puzzle madness. Playing as cubes Qbby and Qucy while they shepherd around their tiny Qbabies, adventure through levels and battle against that mysterious mist. With limited moves and over 270 puzzles, this is the perfect pick for twiddling away time. Plus, box costumes!

[From our Best Cozy Games to Play with Your Loved Ones roundup]

Price: $9.99

Is it multiplayer?: This version is all about couch co-op for 1-2 players.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

20. A Way Out

Two inmates from A Way Out video game attempt their escape from prison.


Credit: EA / Hazelight Studios

As we’ve mentioned, finding a great modern split-screen couch co-op game is increasingly difficult. But A Way Out is a singular exception. In this two-player game about two men breaking out of prison, you and a partner-in-crime play as inmates playing on parallel tracks to accomplish the same goal of escaping together. As one of the most cinematic uses of split-screen we’ve ever seen, it plays with aspect ratio to artfully redirect players’ attention to the character’s narrative they should be paying attention to during scenes.

While the game does rely heavily on rote, bland quick-time events, the collaborative stealth puzzles are nothing short of thrilling. It’s a forgiving game. too, with lots of save points and leeway for mess ups — making it ideal for beginners. The writing can be quite cheesy (and outdated). But you have to respect A Way Out for putting its whole heart into trying something different and ambitious.

Price: $29.99

Is it multiplayer?: It’s designed top to bottom as a couch co-op narrative, with split-screen adding some wonderful dramatic tension.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

21. We Were Here series

Two people stare up at a flare over a snowy mountain on Walkie Talkies in the game We Were Here Together


Credit: Total Mayhem Games

Puzzle-loving couples rejoice (especially if you’re long-distance)! This online co-op series is about working together to unlock the secrets of various mysterious environments like castles and caves. But the catch is that you’re almost always separated in different locations, able only to communicate via Walkie-Talkie.

While the first title, We Were Here, is the leanest in the series (and free-to-play on PC), the more expansive follow-ups We Were Here Too and We Were Here Together provide more dynamic environments and gameplay. We don’t know much about the upcoming We Were Here Forever, set to release in 2022, but it’s sure to build on this solid foundation.

Hey, you may even learn a thing or two about how to best communicate with your partner to reach a common goal. Since there’s no local co-op option whatsoever, though, you’ll need to be on two separate computers or consoles to play with your significant other. The game also doesn’t support crossplay, either, so they’ll need two systems of the same platform. One last tip: Some stores sell co-op packs, so you can buy two copies of the game at a cheaper price.

Price: $4.99-$12.99 (depending on the game)

Is it multiplayer?: Since it’s an exclusively online co-op with no local multiplayer mode, this one works best for long-distance couples (or couples experienced at setting up a LAN).

Platforms: Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, Linux, Mac

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