There’s no denying that there are a ton of multiplayer games active on the market. However, the most popular options tend to involve single matches, non-story missions, or gameplay that discourages replays. Finding recent games with long, story-filled campaigns or replayable stories can be a bit challenging.
Fortunately, these releases accommodate players who want a good long-term campaign with friends or enjoyable replays with something new to unlock with each run. Almost all entries allow for cross-play, meaning players aren’t restricted to one platform for their game of choice. Some even allow players to carry over their co-op progress to solo play and vice versa.12 cassette crossbows Release date: April 26, 2023 (Windows), May 25, 2023 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, and Nintendo Switch) How many players: Up to 2 players
With a little progress in the single game mode, players can play the rest of the campaign in co-op mode. After unlocking co-op mode, players can explore the world together and help each other in co-op battles. Co-op partners have full control of their beasts in any given fight and can even switch them out like in the solo game.
Cassette Beast’s co-op mode is, by default and on Xbox and Switch, local only. However, Steam’s Remote Play option and desktop capture app Parsec allow for online play.11 Dead Island 2 Release date: April 21, 2023 Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S How many players: Up to 3 players
The return of the silly zombie action RPG brings with it a co-op campaign that can free up to three players at any given time. Campaign and Quick Play modes are available from the start to open up the world for private sessions with friends and public rooms for strangers.
Story-focused players are assured that they won’t be spoiled if they join a friend or stranger’s session. Players cannot join hosts who have progressed further through history than they have. All the EXP and gear they earn in co-op can also carry over to solo play.10 Bread and Fred Release date: May 23, 2023 (PC), TBA (Nintendo Switch) How many players: Up to 2 players
Bread & Fred puts players in the flippers of the titular penguins as they leap, grapple and climb a mountain peak. Communication is key to the game, as evidenced by the game having a timing system for players to notify each other when a jump or throw is imminent.
Patience is also almost a requirement, as players often need to swing their companion onto another ledge, provide momentum for a long swing, or catch them in an abrupt drop, so they can get their bearings.9 Deity: Original Sin 2 Release Date: September 14, 2017 (PC), August 31, 2018 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One), January 31, 2019 (macOS), September 4, 2019 (Nintendo Switch), May 18, 2021 (iPadOS) How many players : Up to 4 players
Divinity is almost always on co-op lists. The game features an immersive co-op experience that feels like a high production tabletop campaign. Players are naturally trained to work together to coordinate their builds, trade items and weapons, and undertake missions as a team. Companion stories further invest players in their characters. They also encourage replays, so parties can play with the characters they skipped in previous plays.
Divinity’s GM mode adds another layer to its multiplayer functionality. As the name implies, GM Mode allows players to create custom campaigns from pre-existing assets. The mode extends the lifespan of the infinitely replayable game for invested players.8 Borders 3 Release date: September 13, 2019 Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows How many players: Up to 4 players
The Borderlands series, much like Divinity, is a co-op staple. Combat is frenetic and opens players up to many threats, which makes having backup great. Having multiple partners also makes weapon farming and experience easier, if not enjoyable.
Coordinating builds and action skills adds an extra layer of cooperation. The synergy group spawns clean mobs faster and makes tough bosses less difficult to deal with. Playing the game in a different way, or with other characters, also offers a refreshing new take on familiar experiences.7 strangers from paradise Release date: March 18, 2022 Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S How many players: Up to 3 players
Stranger of Paradise allows up to three players to team up once the host has finished the prologue. The parties take charge of Jack and his fellow “Warriors of Light” Ash, Jed, Neon, and Sophia. Though defined in their background and templates, groups can modify their appearance with powerful loot that is distributed evenly to all members.
While players cannot trade loot, they can make up for each other’s weaknesses. SoP’s 28 job classes have different synergies, and players can switch to any of them whenever they want, as long as they’re already unlocked.6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Release date: June 16, 2022 (Windows, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), November 15, 2022 (PlayStation 5), January 10, 2023 (iOS and Android) How many players: Up to 6 players
There are plenty of reasons to root for this arcade throwback, aside from its awesome retro art style. Its expansive gameplay, plus having a six-player cap and crossplay options, makes it easily accessible for a large party looking forward to good ol’ co-op online or on the couch.
It’s also an easy game to get into, as its classic brawl mechanics are simple but have a high ceiling on efficiency. Each character has unique attributes that suit various playstyles and unique moves they can perform together with other characters.5 River City Girls 2 Release Date: December 15, 2022 Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S How many players: Up to 4 players
River City Girls 2 continues the story of Misako and Kyoko as they work together to save the city from organized crime. Up to four players can choose from the girls and returning cast members Kunio, Riki, Provie, and Marian to blast their way through the streets.
The deeper players get into the game, the more combos they unlock. These combos are where the game really shines, as these entries define each character’s archetypes and build depth into the initially basic combat system.4 Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Release date: March 3, 2023 Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S How many players: Up to 3 players
While it shares Team Ninja’s pedigree with Stranger of Paradise and Nioh 2, Wo Long’s three-person multiplayer mode has a distinct character. While SoP and Nioh 2 only have pre-made characters for co-op partners, Wo Long allows players to create their own characters in solo games before teaming up with their friends.
The game’s Co-Op mode allows players to create a safe lobby and specify missions they’d like to play together. Players can remain in a session even after being defeated and can move on to another mission with their party in this mode.3 The Inner Past Release date: November 2, 2022 Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac How many players: Up to 2 players
Unique in its premise, The Past Within is a suspenseful, point-and-click co-op adventure. One player works in the past while the other works in the future to uncover the late Albert Vanderboom’s plans.
Players work in sync to solve puzzles together through two very different perspectives. And while developer Rusty Lake prescribes an average playtime of two hours, players can exchange perspectives and solve puzzles on the other side of the timeline. They can also use the game’s replay feature to update the solutions to all their puzzles.2 Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef Release date: October 20, 2022 Platforms: Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch How many players: Up to 4 players
Regardless of the platform they choose, players will run, shoot and run through an ocean of mobs through this side-scroller. While the campaign might be considered short to some, its smooth combat mechanics lend themselves to multiple playthroughs, especially for players looking to try out all four character types.
There’s also the matter of unlocking all the weapons and hats the game has for your orc squad. With enough replays, players may also want to challenge the campaign on Hard or clear all possible achievements.1 Diablo IV Release date: June 6, 2023 Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S How many players: Up to 4 players
The anticipated sequel to the nearly 30-year-old series allows players to co-op or form multiplayer groups by inviting friends through their BattleTag. Cross-play and cross-progression are fully supported in all versions of the game, meaning players can use their trained character in a friend’s session.
Newcomers or players with limited time may appreciate this feature as their experienced friends can help them catch up more easily. They might also appreciate the ability to raid Capstone Dungeons with their friends. Clearing Capstone Dungeons is required to unlock higher world levels and better endgame loot.