Because Two Are Better Than One
Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th, we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that as we move into our individual game lists, we’ve limited each game to one list to help spread the word about more great titles released in 2021. So if a game you love shows up on a genre list but not on one for a system, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love it. It just means that let us showcase more great titles.
Today we’re looking at the top games this year for playing together. Whether you’re facing off or teaming up, these are titles that are at their best when you have someone to enjoy them with. If you have a partner to play with, then read on.
It Takes Two
Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S
A few years ago, players got pretty excited about A Way Out, a game designed entirely around the co-op experience, to the point that you couldn’t play it alone. For many, that excitement ended as soon as they got to play it. Many studios would have given up after their concept didn’t quite work out. Thankfully the team behind It Takes Two pressed on and gave us this co-op gem.
You play as a husband and wife whose marriage is on the rocks before their daughter’s wish turns them into a pair of dolls. If they’re going to get back to normal, they’ll need to work together. That’s not as easy as it could be for a pair who are used to being at each other’s throats. At times charming, funny, sad, be ready to run the gamut of emotions with It Takes Two. You should also be ready for a truly unique co-op experience that requires you and a partner of your own work together at every turn.
Monster Hunter Rise
Platforms: Switch (Our Review)
Switch fans earlier this year finally got their own unique Monster Hunter title when Rise hit the system. Unafraid to take risks, Monster Hunter Rise shook the series up and provided potentially hundreds of hours of exciting monster-slaying fun. Like most games in this series, though, the experience is really made when you have friends to hunt those monsters with. Capcom were paying attention to that experience. Our own Kenny McKee said:
“While creating groups is probably still the way to go if you’re looking for something reliable, players are now able to search for and hop into ongoing quests (provided the host allows it), which is perfect for those who want something specific or don’t have the time to set up or look for groups. Additionally, there’s a feature called Hunter Connect sort of works as a guild in that it can help bring players together, regardless of whether or not they’re on each others’ Friends List. Monster Hunter‘s online features were already great, and these new additions feel like the perfect finishing touches.”
Platforms: PC (Our Review)
It isn’t every day, or even every year for that matter, that a new MMORPG really takes the world by storm. That was the case for New World this year, a game that explores the theme of discovering a new world with a supernatural twist. You’ll outright have to play with others, this is an online RPG, after all. Things really are best when you have actual friends to check things out with.
If you’re put off by the idea of paying a monthly fee, you’re in luck too. Unlike most of its genre, there’s no monthly subscription fee to play New World. That price to buy the game gets you in, with microtransactions for cosmetics giving the developers a way to make more over time. Those are entirely optional, however. How that impacts the game’s long-term viability remains to be seen, but in the short term, it’s always nice to see a game where once you buy it, you’re good.
Platforms: PC (Our Review)
A stunningly animated cinematic adventure title, Voyage is a game built around exploration as two survivors, you can certainly play alone, but this is a game really meant to be played with someone else. Our own Heather Johnson Yu checked this one out earlier this year and loved the idea of playing together.
“I finished Voyage (twice) with more questions than answers, but it was a captivating, gorgeous adventure of which I enjoyed every second. Although I had a lot of fun playing on my own, I think playing with a friend would enhance the experience immensely, as there’s a lot to discuss immediately after the game ends. If you’re ready to be absolutely mesmerized and have about 2 – 4 hours to spare, there’s really no reason not to pick up Voyage. “
WarioWare: Get It Together!
Platforms: Switch (Our Review)
For years the WarioWare series has delighted fans with wacky hijinks from everyone’s favorite antihero video game developer. For most of the series though, it’s been a game best played alone. That’s no longer the case with Get It Together! Nintendo made a point of designing this one around multiplayer, making it a perfect Switch title. I checked it out earlier this year and said:
“[T]he latest from Wario’s video game company is still a delight. With tons of variety, this is the sort of game I can see myself popping into for a quick session regularly for years to come. If you have friends to play with, this is an easy recommendation. Even without those, there’s plenty of variety to keep players coming back until Wario’s next creation is ready to go.”