This list of the 10 best co-op video games ever may make you punch a friend in the face, or embrace them warmly over the corpses of your fallen enemies.

Video games can be a solitary pursuit, but often it is much more fun with someone by your side (in either analog or digital form). Most online interactions between gamers result in the hurling of vulgarities and occasional invocation of Hitler. But, once in a blue harvest moon, gamers will join forces to defeat the likes of giant monsters and marauding hellbeasts. It’s a fleeting union that must be cherished, for, in an instant, it can disintegrate into a Cheetos war with one of you using the back as a shield.

Below is our list of the best co-op video games ever:

10. House of the Dead: Overkill

A zombie outbreak beings out the best in humanity. None know this better than gamers who have honed their skills at the local arcade. House of the Dead is a legendary arcade staple, and when Overkill debuted on the Wii, it had many of us calling up friends and reaching for our Wii remotes. At its heart it’s a buddy-cop-zombie-grindhouse-comedy and that’s what makes it so fun. The only thing you’ll end up fighting with your friend is over who can play Detective Washington because he has all the best one-liners.

9. Little Big Planet 2

The very best co-op games build a community around themselves that fosters sharing, exploration, and enjoyment. The Little Big Plane 2 community is one of the most creative and ingenious you’ll find. New and wonderous levels spring up every day and you get to explore them with up to three other people. You can complete challenges or race around in stitch-punk fashion in the effort to nab the high score.

8. Castle Crashers

It takes teamwork to save the princesses from the clutches of evil. Castle Crashers slashes its way onto our list of the best co-op video games ever for its old fashioned style and insanely fun gameplay. There is nothing more satisfying than defeating a boss with three of your friends. That way you can argue later about who landed the killing blow.

7. Journey

You don’t always need to speak to play a co-op game. Journey only allows you to be randomly paired up with an unknown player and communicate through a single audible note you trigger with a button. That’s it. This ingenious way of communication makes you think more about what the other person is trying to convey and how you’re interacting with them and the environment. Plus, a Journey alone isn’t a journey at all.

6. Rock Band 3

You and your friends get to be in the band you’ve always dreamed of. End of set list.

5. Halo Reach

Halo was the grandest of space adventures and what made it even better was sharing all the epic battles with one of your friends. Together in Reach you could fight right down to the last man and be a part of one of the most talked about battles in the Halo universe. It was almost too much for one person to handle and it helped to have someone there with you to the bitter end.

4. Gears of War 2

Even though your characters are the size of pickup trucks and have more armor than a tank, the camaraderie of someone playing by your side was enough to keep you plowing, chainsaw outstretched, through the hordes of aliens. Together with a friend you could enjoy the ups and downs of this ragtag team of soldiers fighting to save the world. You can also make it a contest on who can get the most kills with the chainsaw.

3. Portal 2

If the single player Portal 2 wasn’t enough, Valve chose to include a robust co-op portion with its own mechanics and idiosyncrasies. As one of the two loveable robots, you get to explore the depths of Aperture Science and deal with GLaDOS’s more searing remarks. It helps to have someone to comfort you when she calls you an overweight monster. For taking co-op portal puzzle solving to the next level, Portal 2 makes it to the number 3 spot on our list of the best co-op video games ever.

2. Left 4 Dead 2

Zombies make us cling to what little humanity we have left and put aside our differences in order to smash some skulls. No other games do this better than Left 4 Dead 2. With online and local co-op play, it has the ability for you and your friends to enjoy the camaraderie that fighting for survival creates. Smashing zombie skulls forges a bond stronger than super glue.

1. Borderlands 2

Sitting pretty at the top of the best co-op video games ever is Borderlands 2. With the unending supply of enemies and guns, this game was made with one thing in mind: co-op perfection. The enemies are intelligent and take coordination for you to take down effectively. You work out plans of attack and run in guns blazing and make Jason Vorhees wish he had never left earth. It is one of those games where after playing, you all can sit back and reminisce of your adventures on Pandora. That sort of bond is better than anything else.

There you have our list of the best co-op video games ever. Did we miss one? Let us know down there in the comments. The internet is co-op too you know.

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