Co-op games are a rare breed in the current climate. Most thrive on a "You against the world" mentality, and even online team modes feel like a loosely assembled set of individuals rather than a genuine unit. When a great co-op game comes along though, it can leave a profound impact.
Your reliance on another player, plus the awareness that they're relying on you, completely changes the gameplay experience.
Where online team games largely see you heading out on your own (albeit potentially adhering to tactics), co-op titles merge two players into one. Often, you need to be completely aware of what your partner is doing, all while doing your own thing to support them.
Because of this symbiotic nature, a lot of the games featured here are puzzlers. Problem solving and figuring out who needs to do what (and where they need to do it) is a great way to get duos working as a unit. Others are solo-esque games (some are even playable entirely in solo), which ask co-op players to come up with complementary playstyles.
These are the games which can make or break a friendship.
10. Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
2019's Nintendo Switch release of Brothers allowed it to be played in two player mode, qualifying it as an official co-op game.
However, even with its original Xbox 360 and PS3 release, it was something of an honorary co-op. Back then, it was your thumbs co-operating with each other.
The game is a depressingly sad story of two brothers setting off on a journey to fetch medicinal water for their sick father, with the additional detail of their mother having drowned. The game even begins at the mother's tombstone.
There is a bright art style mixed in with this tone, and the obstacles you must overcome range from the ridiculous (an angry dog) to the tragic (talking a man out of suicide).
It's a puzzle platformer, one where the older brother is better at the jobs which require strength, and the younger better at agility and tight spaces. On the Switch version, it's one joycon per brother, meaning each player controls one or the other.
Back in the original though, each thumbstick was a brother, meaning you made to ensure they were co-operating by moving both in tandem.
Either way, it's one hell of a co-operative experience.