Overcoming the spooky and the unknown is always easier with a friend to guide you (or hold your hand), especially when tackling the best co-op horror games around!
We’ve previously revealed what games give us the heebie-jeebies in our Halloween feature about our favourite spooky games but this time we’re strictly looking at games we can play with a partner.
From arachnids to zombies and from bats to werewolves, video game scares come in all shapes and sizes. Thankfully, having a pal at your side somehow makes these experiences less frightening.
Sometimes, there’s even something lurking in the shadows at Dodo Towers that could be too scary for one person to face alone. Sure, it could be Seb skulking around before he’s had his morning coffee, but it could also be a creature of unimaginable terror… although those things are pretty much one and the same at this point.
Without further ado, it’s time to buddy up, lock the doors, and take on the forces of evil in the best co-op horror games of 2024.
Table of Contents
1. Zombies Ate My Neighbours (1993)
The ghosts have caused a spectacle, the werewolves have howled, and the best co-op horror game to play in 2024 as voted by the undead is Zombies Ate My Neighbours.
Zombies Ate My Neighbours or ‘Zombies’, as it was known in Europe and Australia, is a 2D co-op horror game from LucasArts that saw players rescuing their hapless neighbours from the clutches of evil.
Zombies takes inspiration from classic B-movie horror franchises and pits two teenagers, Zeke and Julie against all manner of nasties creatures including werewolves, aliens, and of course, the titular shuffling undead.
Gameplay sees players exploring over 50 levels in search of their neighbours and saving them from all the ghosts and ghouls. Zeke and Julie can fight back using an array of weapons including water pistols, rockets launchers and exploding soda cans.
Zombies takes the top spot on our list of the best co-op horror game because it’s just so much fun. Each level is full of fun little winks and nods to classic movie monsters; the controls allow anyone to jump into the action and the frantic dash to rescue a civilian and evade a rampaging wolf-man is always hilarious.
Zombies was one of the first co-op games I ever experienced back of the Mega Drive and it still holds up to this day.
If you don’t have your old Mega Drive hooked up but still fancy diving into some B-movie inspired co-op greatness, a port of Zombies was recently released for modern consoles and PC and bundled with its inferior sequel, Ghoul Patrol.
2. The Forest (2018)
The Forest is a horror game set in a deserted, forested island overrun with bizarre mutant cannibals and thankfully, you can bring a friend along for the ride!
What makes The Forest so unnerving and scary is how the enemies interact with the players. Unlike most horror games, the mutants in The Forest don’t immediately attack when players are spotted.
Instead, they may choose to tentatively investigate by observing from a distance or even to communicate in primitive ways. In combat, these spooky natives demonstrate impressive self-preservation skills, often ducking away from battle if they feel scared or threatened and working together to protect their allies.
While The Forest can be suitably horrifying for solo players, duos taking on the mutant cannibals together will have a whole heap of fun.
Working together to build shelters and gather resources by day, you and your co-op buddy will then have to survive the night, knowing that flesh-eating monstrosities are roaming nearby.
I’ve played through The Forest with a friend on several occasions and still find some of the situations we got ourselves into absolutely hilarious. There’s nothing quite like accidentally burning down the home you’ve spent all day crafting when both of you freak out at the sound of an approaching mutant, which ultimately turns out to be a harmless bird…
I bet the real mutants had a good chuckle watching that travesty unfold from afar.
3. Dead Nation (2010)
Finnish developer Housemarque’s top-down zombie shooter has kept us entertained for over a decade with its sublime twin-stick blasting and co-op survival challenges.
Set during a modern-day zombie apocalypse, Dead Nation, lets two players adventure through the infected zone, blasting various undead fiends as they go.
The progression system is what keeps me coming back to Dead Nation and what justifies its inclusion on our list.
As you and your buddy venture through the city streets exterminating mindless zombies, you’ll be able to find loot and money stashed away in the boots of abandoned cars and other hiding spots.
With newly acquired wealth, players can drop by one of the several vendors throughout the game to purchase armour and weapon upgrades, allowing players to customise their builds to tackle the encroaching hordes of enemies.
With Housemarque’s exceptional gunplay, detailed environments and compelling upgrade paths, Dead Nation is a must for anyone wishing to experience the end of days with a friend.
4. House Of The Dead (1996)
A true arcade classic takes the fourth spot on our list of the best co-op horror games to play in 2024. Sega’s House of Dead is the perfect way to blast away zombies with a friend and couple of lightguns (although one player dual wielding both guns is also acceptable and totally awesome).
Taking place in a European mansion with a dark secret, House Of The Dead sees AMS Agents Tomas Rogan and ‘G’ infiltrate the titular abode while trying to prevent a zombie outbreak.
The zombies in House Of The Dead are the creation of mad scientist Dr. Curien who has become obsessed with life after death.
Dr. Curien’s abominations include the stereotypical zombie shuffler that we all know and love, flying menaces swinging axes and even zombies that sprint like I do when the last doughnut is about to be nabbed by somebody else.
There are multiple routes to take through House Of The Dead so each attempt will feel fresher than the rotting flesh of your opponents upon repeated playthrough
Shooting baddies in an arcade is always a guaranteed way to have a great time. If you see House Of The Dead or one of the several other of the best light gun games in your local arcade, be sure to grab a mate, pump some quarters and have a blast.
5. The Dark Pictures Anthology (2019)
From one of the original ways to enjoy co-op games to one of the most modern takes on the medium. We’re switching our light guns for controllers as we delve into The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Supermassive Games landed a knockout with PlayStation 4 exclusive Until Dawn which gave players the opportunity to control the actions and choices of a group of teenagers in a narrative experience inspired by classic horror movies.
The success of Until Dawn and its many branching paths has now given Supermassive Games the confidence to produce a whole series of similar titles in the Dark Picture Anthology series, and thankfully, they all feature dedicated co-op modes.
Starting with 2019’s The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, the anthology will eventually encompass eight titles.
Man of Medan joins Little Hope, House of Ashes and The Devil in Me in the first series of The Dark Pictures Anthology, with a second series of games currently in development.
Each game follows a group characters who players can share control over as they encounter spooky and supernatural horrors including serial killers, vampires, ghosts and monsters.
The Dark Pictures Anthology is like taking control of all your favourite horror movie characters at once, and with multiple players able to influence the story, there’s always new scenarios to discover.
6. Back 4 Blood (2021)
Plenty of horror games plonk us in the shoes of characters ill-equipped to deal with their situation and we often can feel we’ve been throw into the fray with nothing more than a paperclip to defend ourselves.
That’s where Back 4 Blood differs. You and up to three of your friends can become crack monster assassins, dealing huge damage to even bigger hordes of ghastly and gruesome creatures known as The Ridden.
Or you can play like me and my friends do and spend all of our ammo or poorly judged long-range shots before arguing about who needs a health pack the most.
Either situation is still great fun when Back 4 Blood’s core gameplay is so wonderfully tight, a feat that’s unsurprising considering the game comes from the team behind the original Left 4 Dead.
Each player tailors their loadout to reflect their playstyle using collectible cards found in the game. I typically like to provide cover fire with a sniper rifle from distance and am absolutely not afraid to get into the thick of it, no siree.
Back 4 Blood features multiple difficulty levels and an enhanced AI system called the ‘Game Director’ that modifies scenarios on the fly to keep gameplay spicy.
7. Dead By Daylight (2016)
Of course, this list is focused on cooperation. We’re working together with our friends to achieve a goal, survive a nightmare, or nail the high score. And while all of that can also be said for Dead By Daylight, there’s always that one friend that likes to play ‘lone wolf’.
Fortunately, that lone wolf can take on the role of a masked murderer in Dead By Daylight while you and your buddies work together to try and incapacitate them and make good your escape in this asymmetrical horror game.
The group of four survivors must work together to power up generators found in each map. These generators power the exit gates that will lead the way to freedom.
Sounds simple enough, right? But there’s always a catch and in Dead By Daylight, the catch is a masked killer impaling you with a hook.
With a variety of different killers to choose from, no two games every play out in exactly the same way. There’s a whole raft of recognisable characters to play as from popular franchises including Laurie Strode from Halloween and the Xenomorph from Alien.
Things even got a little meta with real-world Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage becoming a playable survivor last summer and poster-boy for modern horror games Alan Wake set to arrive in the game with his trusty flashlight later this month.
8. Resident Evil 5 (2009)
Resident Evil 5 introduced co-op to the long-running survival horror franchise and paired series stalwart Chris Redfield with newcomer Sheva Alomar.
The action of Resident Evil 5 takes place in a fictional village in West Africa. Redfield and Sheva must work together to suppress the efforts of persistent villain and sunglasses model Albert Wesker.
Players can enjoy co-op in Resident Evil 5, either in split screen or online, with each player either controlling Chris or Sheva. Partners must work together tackling the main story mode by busting caps in a variety of monsters and terrors.
A neat little touch is how players can share their inventory, making the game feel like a true co-operative experience rather than a classic Resident Evil scenario with some bozo missing headshots constantly on the other side of the room…
With the recent success of Capcom’s Resident Evil remakes including the stellar Resident Evil 2 and terrific Resident Evil 4, it could be time for Resident Evil 5 to be revamped for a whole new generation of players.
We hope Resident Evil 5’s co-op mode remains for the inevitable glow-up.
9. Night Slashers (1993)
1993 was a great year for co-op horror games with Zombies and Night Slashers launching to give players a jolly good time with a scare or two.
Night Slashers will feel immediately familiar with players who grew up with Streets of Rage or Final Fight but this beat ’em up has an eerie premise.
Instead of fisticuffs with hoodlums and gangsters, Night Slashers pits up to three players against the forces of evil, with zombies, mutants, vampires and mummies all attempting to stop you from moving to the right…
Unlike Streets of Rage or Final Fight however, Data East’s brawler features plenty of gore with enemies spraying blood whenever they receive damage and zombies susceptible to their brains being punched out of their skulls.
Night Slashers’ protagonists include the cybernetically enhanced Jake Hunter, martial artist Christopher Smith and mystical ninja Hong Hua Zhao. Each character has a brilliantly over-the-top design with chunky sprites that look brilliant in motion.
Night Slashers is essential for gamers that want their scary co-op games with big dollops of silliness and brutality.
10. Meet Your Maker (2023)
Meet Your Maker is the most recent title to feature on our list of the best co-op horror games and it’s also one of the most moreish.
Developers Behaviour Interactive have crafted a compelling gameplay loop that sees pairs of ‘custodians’ infiltrating labyrinthian death traps in search for precious resources.
Those resources are used to level up each players character, unlock new skills and purchase death dealing snares of their own.
For you see, every map in Meet Your Maker is crafted by the community of players. Experienced players have already curated elaborate dungeons, full of moaning monsters, laser turrets and traps that will kill careless intruders in a single hit.
Exploring these mazes is great fun with a friend with both players cautiously inching their way towards the GenMet hidden within.
Securing the GenMat deploys deadly new weapons to keep custodians on their toes. With new challenges to experience every time, Meet Your Maker is full of genetic horrors, jump scares and last minute dodges that will leave you and your co-op partner begging for more.
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.