30 Best Multiplayer Co-Op PS3 Games (Local & Online)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
For a very long time, playing games with friends meant that you were playing against them.
It was only over time that the concept of cooperative multiplayer started taking shape, rising to incredible heights in the previous console generation.
With the advent of the PlayStation 3, plus a wider adoption of broadband Internet connections, the co-op experience took a massive step forward allowing players from all over to engage in jolly cooperation.
No matter if local or online, a co-op mode makes any game so much better.
Even if it just provides someone to blame for utter defeats and complete failures.
30. Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection is a trip down nostalgia lane. And what a trip it is!
While this isn’t the first classic games collection ever released by SEGA, it is hands down, the very best.
The game selection is incredible.
It ranges from all the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games including the excellent Sonic & Knuckles, to the side-scrolling beat’em ups Streets of Rage and Golden Axe, to the puzzle game Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
Not to mention the too often overlooked Bonanza Bros.
Most of these games are great co-op multiplayer games that won’t fail to bring a tear to your eye as you reminisce about CRT televisions and the bygone days of 16-bit consoles.
29. Super Stardust HD
Complex gameplay mechanics make for involving and engaging experience.
But there are games like Super Stardust HD that make simply shooting at anything that moves just as captivating.
In Super Stardust HD, players control a spaceship that has to clear as many asteroids as possible to powerful bosses at the end of each stage.
Asteroids not only explode in multiple pieces once hit, but they also come in different colors that help players pick the right weapon for the job.
All this creates an explosive visual and gameplay mix that will get your adrenaline running.
Co-op makes everything more exciting too, as shared health and score will make players either be quick, or be dead.
28. PixelJunk Monsters 2
Strategy games are not always slow-paced titles that take a while to get going.
PixelJunk Monsters 2 goes full throttle from the very start, and only stops when a game is done.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly into what makes PixelJunk Monsters 2 so addictive.
But if we have to take a shot, it’s definitely the incredibly fast pace which sees players make a lot of strategic decisions on the fly.
You’ll be turning trees into towers to defend the main base, gathering resources, and even getting a bit of action by attacking enemies directly.
Hiding beneath its cutesy graphics is a surprising amount of depth.
PixelJunk Monsters 2 is the game to play when you are truly ready for intense couch (or online) multiplayer sessions.
27. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
You watched Avengers: Endgame. Maybe you shed a tear or two and you wish things could have gone differently.
Well stop that crying and take things into your own hands with the help of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a dream come true for any self-respecting Marvel Comics fan.
It lets players put together a team of four super-heroes ranging from popular heroes like Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thor… all the way to lesser-known but not less-powerful heroes like Penance, and Songbird, all coming with their own special attacks.
The experience may not be particularly deep.
But the top-down camera and flashy special attacks make for great local and online co-op chaotic fun.
26. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is as ludicrous as the original Plants vs. Zombies.
And just as fun.
Despite the colorful locations and cartoonish character design, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. isn’t exactly a kids game.
The action is fast-paced and exciting. And the mix between first-person shooting and tower defense makes sure you always stay on your toes.
As if this wasn’t enough, the multiplayer modes take everything to the next level by spicing the experience up. It includes things like Boss Mode, which gives players the chance to control either Dr. Zomboss or Crazy Dave to support the other players.
Think big or go home, as they say.
25. Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter X Tekken is a game that most fighting games fans want to forget.
That would be a shame, though, as it is one of the very few ones to feature a full-on no holds barred co-op multiplayer mode.
In Street Fighter X Tekken, you can put together a team of two characters choosing from a dream roster including Street Fighter and Tekken characters.
And have each player control one of the characters! Which something that opens up some very interesting multiplayer possibilities.
Online co-op is also an option but don’t expect to find random players, as online play has never been particularly active due to some questionable design choices that give the game a bad reputation still today.
24. Double Dragon Neo
Two dragons are better than one.
Unarguably, two neo dragons are even better. After a long absence, warmly welcome back Billy and Jimmy!
Double Dragon Neo is a great reimagination of the classic side-scrolling beat’em up formula of the series.
While players will still punch through an army of bad guys to save the poor Marian, Billy and Jimmy Lee have a new arsenal of abilities that make the experience incredibly fun. Such as combos, dashes, and a plethora of special attacks.
The silliness of the experience is enhanced by the co-op mode which unlocks unique lines of dialogue and even some high-five moves.
I don’t know about you, but being able to high-five your friend in-game makes defeating a powerful boss that much more satisfying.
23. Ibb & Obb
United we stand, together we fall. This is Ibb & Obb.
Ibb & Obb is among the best co-op games that can be played on PlayStation 3, despite an experience that can grow a little frustrating over time.
Beneath the cute exterior and the soothing soundtrack is a challenging puzzle game governed by gravity where Ibb and Obb, controlled by two players, must coordinate properly to reach the exit of each level.
All stages are cleverly divided into different gravity zones, and one mistep from either player will be fatal for both. Fun!
This makes co-op sessions very tense, considering both main stages and hidden ones are difficult to the point of cruelty.
And if you’re not ready to bear the consequences of your actions you’d be better off play something else a little more… easy.
22. Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 brings everybody back together. But it is not a happy reunion.
How could it be, when danger lurks behind every corner?
Having relegated horror and puzzles to the backseat, Resident Evil 6 is often seen as the black sheep of the series.
But as a multiplayer game, it is a solid experience.
The different scenarios are all playable together with a friend, both locally and online. And they feature a nice dose of undead and monster shooting, and light puzzles that require coordinated team work.
Given this co-op oriented design, playing with a friend is actually highly recommended: who would trust his own life to a volatile AI?
21. Trine 2
What do a powerful wizard, a righteous knight, and a sneaky thief have in common?
Duty to their kingdom.
Trine 2 enhanced the physics-based puzzle solving focused adventure of the original by expanding the unique special abilities of the main trio and by making the local and online co-op multiplayer a fully integrated part of the adventure.
Unlimited Mode further enhances the experience by removing restrictions on character use, allowing players to use the same character and give a new meaning to the “playing with yourself” concept.
20. The House of the Dead 4
An army of the undead, powerful weapons, and a challenging experience.
These are the ingredients of a perfect multiplayer game. Stir the pot a bit, add in some Chemical X and you get The House of the Dead 4.
The House of the Dead 4 is an almost perfect conversion of the arcade experience.
It sees players shoot down an army of zombies, throw grenades, and generally try to keep themselves and their local co-op partners alive while having tons of fun.
The PlayStation Move controls are not as precise as the arcade’s versions lightguns. But don’t let this stop you!
The House of the Dead 4 on PS3 fully captures the exciting experience of the arcade release, making it perfect for quick and fun couch multiplayer sessions.
Exporting democracy to alien worlds has never been as fun as in Helldivers.
Like any self-respecting twin stick shooter game, Helldiver comes with everything players needs to have fun: big powerful weapons, devastating airstrikes, abundant loot, procedurally generated stages every time, and great extraction mechanics that make cooperation essential.
The inclusion of friendly fire, while unusual in this type of game, is an excellent way to keep players on their toes. Lest they want their venture to turn into a bloody mess.
You wanted co-op, but you have to show that you indeed deserve it.
18. Child of Light
Child of Light is a children’s book in video game form and a great combination between a 2D side-scrolling game and a role-playing game that also makes for a nice multiplayer experience.
Controlling the Austrian princess Aurora, players guide her back home traversing beautiful fantasy locations, befriending a colorful cast of allies, and defeating enemies right out of nightmares in a turn based combat system.
In co-op mode the second player controls the mysterious Ignicolous. This provides support while on the field, searching for secrets, and in battles.
However since the second player can’t control any of the characters in battle, it feels like a missed opportunity here.
Still the game’s high quality design and mechanics makes Child of Light a remarkable co-op experience if you’re looking for something a little more involving.
17. Castle Crashers
Which game represents the natural evolution of those hectic side-scrolling beat’em ups we loved playing in the arcade?
Castle Crashers, no doubt about it.
In Castle Crashers up to four players can join up both locally and online to traverse a variety of stages, collect weapons and animal companions, all to defeat hordes of enemies.
All this just to save four lovely princesses that have been kidnapped. Where have I heard that before…
With levels featuring a lot of fun gimmicks, like surreal volleyball matches, and role-playing game elements giving ample customization options, Castle Crashers is a great experience for both casual and hardcore players.
Casual players will be happy to just take down enemy after enemy.
Hardcore players will do that in style with their shiny new sword and the help of the mighty Meowburt.
But if you’re gonna get competitive here make sure you pick your character wisely.
16. Tales of Graces F
Most co-op experiences are meant to be short and to the point.
But a few games actually make it as involving as saving an entire world together with your friends. No pressure here, folks.
Tales of Graces F is not the latest entry in the popular RPG series. But it’s definitely among the best of them in regards to combat.
While adventuring around the world of Ephinea to defeat a great and ancient evil, battles are a full-on action affair where up to four players can join in to unleash destruction with a lot of rather flashy special attacks.
The unique Weakness mechanics, which increase damage dealt by hitting the enemy with the right attacks, makes co-op a great way to optimize battles without having to deal with AI controlled characters.
And the fact that other players can join a game at any time gives Tales of Graces F the unusual honor of being a co-op game suited for both short and long multiplayer sessions.
15. Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Officers, stand ready.
Sam Fisher is ready to move out, and he needs all the help he can get.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist continues the great series’ tradition of tight stealth focused gameplay, enhanced by a slightly more action-oriented experience that gives players better fighting chances.
This approach translates to a very good co-op experience that includes specifically designed side-missions that require constant communication and perfect coordination.
Local split-screen co-op can be a little hard to follow at times. But Splinter Cell: Blacklist always manages to be an involving multiplayer experience, no matter your preference between stealth or full-on shooter action.
14. Shovel Knight
If you thought a practitioner of the ancient code of Shoverly was a silly idea, wait until you see two of them in action at the same time.
Shovel Knight is rightly considered to be one of the best indie games released in recent years.
Mostly thanks to its beautiful pixel-art graphics, great character design, and an experience inspired by games old and new.
The Treasure Trove update adds a co-op campaign with altered level design and stronger enemies that makes an already excellent experience even better.
Just be careful where you swing that shovel, you may be sending your partner to an early death.
13. Just Dance 4
Love to dance but hate the whole dance floor’s eyes on you? Just Dance.
This isn’t a suggestion, but the name of a game you have to get.
Just Dance 4 isn’t a particularly deep co-op experience, but it is tons of fun.
The routines to replicate are a bit ludicrous, and they become even more so as the number of players increases.
Even without them, Just Dance 4 would not fail to bring a smile to any players with its colorful interface and eclectic pop soundtrack that just begs people to shake their money maker.
The progression system is a little limited, to be honest. And once you have unlocked all the playlists, there isn’t much else to do other than dancing. At this point, just dance.
And yes, it is a suggestion this time.
If you were to experience everything that happens in Catherine in the real world, you would be in some serious trouble. Really serious trouble.
This game is like very few others. A remarkable combination between dating simulation and puzzle games that makes for an incredibly fun and immersive experience.
Taking control of Vincent, a young man with some clear commitment issues, players have to live their normal life by day interacting with a colorful cast of characters.
You’ll be making decisions that will influence Vincent’s relationship with Katherine, his fiancée, and Catherine, a sultry temptress that shook his entire life.
The local co-op multiplayer sadly does away with the dating simulation mechanics.
But it allows two players to ascend together any of the main campaign’s towers. Towers that do feel a lot like any romantic relationship: one wrong step, and you’re back to square one. Or worse.
11. Dead Space 3
Great dangers lurk in the darkness of the vast outer space. But they become less scary when you have a friend by your side to deal with them.
Dead Space 3 tones down the survival horror elements of the series in favor of a more action-oriented experience.
Issac Clarke’s new expedition against the Necromorph menace is made better than ever by the addition of John Carver, a reliable companion that can be controlled by another player.
This title also offers some nice puzzles designed with co-op in mind, and shooting sequences that become superb when you have someone that can watch your back.
What Dead Space 3 may lack in atmosphere, it makes up for with a fun co-op experience that is among the PlayStation 3’s best.
10. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception truly shines in its single player campaign.
But the local and online co-op modes make it a great choice for any multiplayer session.
If you’re looking for something with a little more meat on its bones, Co-Op Adventure will provide with a dedicated campaign full of enemies to take down and a story to follow.
If you’re into something a little less involving, you can hop into Co-Op Arena and enjoy a dynamic multiplayer experience with revolving objectives.
Local co-op is not perfect due to the interface design, but it’s easy to look past these issues. Just like an adventurer looks past the danger thinking about the riches ahead.
9. Lost Planet 2
Some games are just meant to be played together with other players.
What can be frustrating solo, can become great with friends.
In Lost Planet 2, players have to explore planets all across the E.D.N III system in search of Thermal Energy that can only be extracted from the deadly Akrids.
This means you’ll collect a lot of weapons and control huge mechs that rival the massive alien creatures you’ll be taking down.
Some design choices, like controls and mission structures, make Lost Planet 2 a little frustrating in single player mode. But the shared life pool and the great role variety make it a great co-op experience.
This is not Monster Hunter mind you, but it will do.
8. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Lara Croft’s triumphant return to the scene didn’t happen with 2013’s Tomb Raider, but with a great multiplayer-focused spin-off game.
Controlling Lara and Totec, two players have to make use of the two characters unique abilities to explore dangerous tombs, complete puzzles, take down enemies, and stay alive as long as possible.
Level design is incredible. It features multiple paths and secrets to collect. And the puzzle designs highlight the game’s excellent balancing with a challenging difficulty level that never gets too frustrating.
Not bad at all, for a mere spin-off.
7. Rayman Origins
Rayman Origins not only marked the triumphant return of the character. But also the start of a renaissance for 2D platform games.
The gorgeous cartoonish graphics seen in the game frame a challenging platforming experience featuring excellent level design, slick controls, and multiplayer mechanics that make the game suited for all players. Even newcomers!
Its sequel Rayman Legends does provide a more accessible and well-rounded experience. But if you and your friends are looking for a challenge, Origins is your game.
6. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
What does Sonic the Hedgehog do with a racing car?
He takes part in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, of course.
Despite appearances, the game is not a shameless Mario Kart rip-off.
The racing game stars Sonic, his friends, and a lot of other characters taken from other SEGA series. It’s an excellent game that can stand on its own two feet thanks to the amazing track design and slick gameplay mechanics.
That all becomes even better in the local multiplayer modes, which allow multiple players to enjoy Career Mode together stress-free. This is because only one player has to meet the clear requirements to move on.
This may not be great teamwork, sure. But does it matter when everybody is having fun?
5. Far Cry 3
Modern day pirates are a scourge. But we wouldn’t have gotten Far Cry 3 if they weren’t.
Far Cry 3 is, still today, considered one of the best open-world games of all times. Thanks to its luscious locations and sandbox experience that gives players ample freedom in tackling the game’s many challenges.
The experience becomes even better when shared with friends in the six-mission co-op campaign, which sees players coordinating in battle, picking load-outs that complement each other well, and unlocking content for the game’s other modes.
Don’t ever say that hard work is never rewarded properly.
4. Rock Band 3
Rock Band 2 and 3 are on the exact opposite of the spectrum.
If Rock Band 2 lacked ambition, Rock Band 3 overflows with it. If Rock Band 2 was disappointingly repetitive, Rock Band 3 is innovative beyond expectation.
With the addition of Pro instruments Rock Band 3 is no longer just a game. It’s a truly fun way to learn how to play guitar, bass, drum and keyboards… well, “learn”.
And if you’re not up to it you can plug your old plastic instruments in and rock out together with up to seven friends, both locally and online, to over 80 songs from the get-go.
If quickplay doesn’t satisfy your rocking needs then you can hop over to the amazing Career Mode or any of the other multiplayer modes to get your fill.
Rock Band 3 is the pinnacle of the rhythm games genre on any console. And this makes it easly one of the best multiplayer experiences of the PS3’s lifecycle.
3. LittleBigPlanet 2
There are some great platform games on PlayStation 3.
And then there is LittleBigPlanet 2, a game in a league of its own.
This 2.5D platform game has everything that makes for a great co-op experience.
A main story mode featuring locations that would look great in a Tim Burton movie, excellent puzzles made with co-op in mind, and great varied level design that prepares players for what is the best feature of the game: Creation Mode.
With so many tools available, Creation Mode is a game within a game. It lets multiple players not only create stages and even entire games together, but also play other players’ creations. Think Super Mario Maker, but with an even bigger game wrapped around it.
This mode makes LittleBigPlanet2 a game of endless possibilities.
And of endless multiplayer fun.
2. Borderlands 2
What’s better than exploring a big barren wasteland, shooting down enemies, and collecting weapons to assert your dominance over the world?
Doing it with friends!
Borderlands 2 is an excellent first-person role-playing game in its own right, featuring a number of varied and crazy weapons.
Plus it’s got a great setting rendered in a comic-book artstyle and more monsters than you can shake your weapon at. And tons of loot to collect. It’s a lot!
Add a few friends, and everything becomes explosive. Especially when you have to divide the loot amongst yourselves. Always watch your back.
1. Portal 2
Fans of the original Portal had to wait a long time for its sequel.
But the long wait was totally worth it.
Portal 2 is truly an experience like no other.
The single player campaign is filled with mind-bending puzzles that will force you to think outside the box to solve them, and the local co-op campaign Cooperative Testing Initiative is possibly even better.
This campaign features new puzzles created with two players in mind, and they are all mastefully designed, testing not only your problem-solving skills, but also your coordination and teamwork.
Portal 2 is not a game that you whip out for a quick fun-filled multiplayer session. But if you and a friend are ready to show off your mental prowess, there’s nothing better on PlayStation 3.
Not to mention it’s got some sweet music too.