PS3's top five co-op games

Why doubling-up on bag head, curving attacking runs and cannon dancing is better with a friend

These days, a game without co-operative play is like a car without wheels; a vital addition to the core experience, as recently reflected in Resistance 2's story-branching two-player mode, or Resident Evil 5's co-op skewed bosses and item juggling. But which co-op games are best? If you've got a few PS3-owning friends handy, you'd do a lot worse than picking up a few of these...

Resident Evil 5
"Where's mental-axe-man... Too late"

The inventory frustrations just become part of the tactical discussion when a friend's involved. Is there anything better than injecting a mate in the chest a split second before they collapse? Only popping the head of an infected that's about to devour your partners face. And then you've got the moorish score-attacking of Mercenaries when the campaign's complete.

Pro Evolution Soccer
"You cover the centre, I'll tackle the winger... Noel Redmonds? F*CK OFF, ref"

As much as we love single player PES, there's a reason we've played four-player PES every lunch time for the past eight years. Whereas AI players are restricted by scripting, add another human into the equation and Pro Evo becomes a game about intuitive runs, creating space and tactics - in short, the true essence of football. Off-the-ball run curving, diversionary player switching, near-telepathic passing... it's all there. Two-on-two co-op is the reason we CORRECTLY think PES is still better than FIFA 09, despite mild, to overwhelming, pressure to the contrary.

Pixeljunk Monsters
"You dance on the cannon, I'll prep for the bees"

A bit more family friendly than Resi but just as tense, at least by the time you hear the boss tune on the final wave. Allocating collection/construction roles, doing a simultaneous dance on a last-ditch arrow tower, going rogue when you can't agree on the best tactics - it's one of PSN's true bonding experiences. Pity there's no online play though.

COD: WAW's Nazi Zombies
"I'm saving to unblock the stairs"

Although initially locked until you completed the single player campaign, Treyarch released a patch after release which unlocked it from the start. If we were mean we'd take this as an admittance that it was actually better than the campaign itself.

But we're not, instead we'll mention the satisfaction of managing supplies, keeping your back to the wall and holding off until you can see the glow of their eyes.

Little Big Planet
"That one wasn't quite as good as it sounded"

Four-player camera issues aside, occasionally dropping into LBP with a friend is an innocent joy. Emoting which level you'd like to play next, co-operatively decorating a friends pod, and of course, slapping a friend into a burning pit is PS3 entertainment of the purest form. It's quick and easy to get together with a few online sackboys too.

So which ones did we miss out? What are your favourite co-operative experiences on PS3? As always, set us straight in the comments. (And, please, somebody prove Owen's theory that 'all games are better in co-op' wrong, as one chap already attempted in the forums - Ta, Dan)

Owen H