Co-op: What Are the Best "Single-Player" Games to Play Cooperatively?

Games that work great when passing the controller back and forth or just working together.

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Graphic: Joe Tilleli

Okay, so this title might require some additional explaining ...

“Joe, they’re single-player games. They can only be played one player at a time.”

Oh, how foolish you are. You should know that certain games designed with one player in mind make for remarkable adventures to be shared between two or more people. Usually, they are in the form of a puzzle game or a walking simulator in my experience, but most any single-player game has the potential to be split between multiple gamers.

An example if you will ... Return of the Obra Dinn. Now I played through this one alone, but it quickly became one of my favorite games of all time. I have been chasing the high of this game for years, hoping to one day scratch that itch once more. In the meantime, I’ve just been recommending it to anyone and everyone. On more than one occasion, someone I’ve passed it along to has thanked me not only for it becoming a new favorite of theirs as well, but because it became an incredible experience they shared with their partner, roommate, or what-have-you.

What is the game? Well, it is an adventure puzzle game set in 1807. A ship by the name of the Obra Dinn—missing for five years—has mysteriously arrived back onshore with no one on it alive. You take on the role of an insurance inspector investigating what exactly happened. You’re tasked with uncovering the fates of the 60-member crew with the help of a magic pocket watch that takes you back to the moment of a corpse’s death. The game is an elaborate, murder-mystery sudoku puzzle of learning each crew member’s identity and cause of death.


So how do you play this two-player? Well, by talking to each other of course. Turning this mystery into a group experience creates an experience not unlike an escape room—discovering clues together and sharing in those high-inducing ah-ha moments. You can take turns with the controller or just have one person operating the game the whole time. It doesn’t matter because the real game is the logical deduction you go through to arrive at the truth.

With that said, have you ever had an experience like this—turning a single-player game into multiplayer? If so, what game was it and why did it work out nicely with the switch?


Some quick rules for your nominations:

1) Your nomination should contain the name of a specific single-player game, why it works well as multiplayer, a link where it can be purchased, and an image.

2) You can nominate multiple games, but please put each one in a separate comment or reply on Twitter.

3) Vote by starring someone else’s comment or liking someone else’s Twitter reply.