I want to play console games with my friends

I am a huge fan of cooperative game modes. I tend to enjoy working with people to achieve a goal more than working against them. Co-op games are great for when you have a friend over and want to play something. I also do not like 1v1 duels very much. (Local games of console FPS games often end up like this)

This overlaps into plain multiplayer games as well, but I always seem to have trouble finding games to play with people.

Here is an example one of a typical one-friend-over game session:
“So, what should we play?”
“Game A is pretty cool.”
“Yeah, but it’s only single player.”
“Oh yeah, well, how about Game B?”
“That only has online multiplayer. We can’t do split-screen.”
“Oh, that sucks. Oh, hey, you just got Game C, and that does split-screen, right?”
“Yeah, but it would have to be 1v1, since there are no bots.”
“What about Game D?”
“We just played that 10 minutes ago. Let’s play something else.”
“Well, if you want to play a single player game, I could just watch or something.”

Sometimes this problem is compounded if more people are added:
“Let’s play Game C! We have enough people now, right?”
“Well, the game only supports 2-player local split-screen, so we can’t.”

I loved playing through Halo and Lego Star Wars co-op, but those only have local co-op modes. I enjoyed playing Chrome Hounds online (when the bizarre connection issues actually let us see each other in the lobby, but that’s another thing entirely) but that only has online multiplayer.

Now, I’m fully aware that some issues are insurmountable. It’s pretty tough to make split-screen poker work, for example, and some games are designed as single-player only.

I am noticing that more and more games are supporting online or co-op play of some sort. Gears of War is awesome just because it has online and local co-op modes, and there are a number of 360 Live arcade games that have both as well. This is encouraging, and I hope to see more games that support both local and online co-op modes.

Additionally, my console gaming is almost exclusively on my 360 now. I also own a Gamecube, but my brother is borrowing it now. I have some excellent (and just decent) local multiplayer games for the Gamecube, but of course, its online game selection is slightly limited. PC Gaming has much more in the way of online multiplayer, but the nature of PCs makes it tough to have local multiplayer with one machine.

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