Console Games with Good Local Multiplayer

So, my girlfriend and I enjoy playing games together, but very few games I have have decent (if any) local multi. So I’m asking y’all for recommendations.

I’m a much more experienced gamer, so ideally different skill levels should be able to play together somehow.

We’re pretty well stocked-up on racing games. She has no interest in sports games, and isn’t too fond of macho shooters (although a shooter that’s more lighthearted or well-written might work for her). Games with an actual plot are nice, but not strictly required.

We’ve got a Wii, PS3, and a 360, so any platform will work, either disc-based or downloadable. Also, we already have LittleBIgPlanet and New Super Mario Bros, so no suggesting those. :wink:

If you liked LBP and SMB you guys might like Lego Batman. My wife didn’t like games but she really got into LBP and we tried out Lego Batman together and she really liked that.

Bottom line what I found out was that she would play any game where she wasn’t really penalized for dying/losing.

Well, Rock Band 2 is really fun if you’re into rhythm games at all. It looks silly at first but it’s really fun and makes for great local multiplayer. It’s pretty much the only reason I own a console.

Any of the Lego games. They all (I’m pretty sure) have co-op modes. They’re definitely lighthearted. You never die, just shatter into Legos, then reassemble.

We have all the guitar hero games available for the Wii. My wife and I like playing them together. Of course you need two guitars, but you could get one, and see how much you like the series.

Or guitar + drums, guitar + microphone, drums + microphone depending on what you like with the GH:WT or rock band games. FWIW, the Rock Band games are better in pretty much every respect. If you get RB2, you can rent RB1 and import the songs from RB1 (all except 5 for licensing reasons)

Toe Jam and Earl (download it from the wii virtuaconsol for 5 bucks) is a GREAT multiplayer game that’s suitable for two players of vastly different skill levels.

The Marvel Ultimate Alliance games are great if you can find them on sale. I don’t think I’d pay full price, though.

If you have a backwards compatible PS3, the PS2 version of Baldur’s Gate is a blast (the sequal kinda sucked, IMHO). Champions of Norrath was another great PS2 series … both are Diablo-like: go on quests, fight various mythic beings, gather a lot of loot.

My wife and I started playing Sacred 2 on the PS3…similar type game. But its huge. After 20 hours of play we covered maybe 2% of the map. The Burnout (arcade racing) series is pretty fun as well.

I’ve always found this list to be helpful:

Look for some co-op games. That way, you’re working together instead of against each other. Can’t give you too many console game recommendations though.

If you can get it to work on the Wii, the South Park game where they shoot each other is basic and fun. There’s a cow launcher, a zapper that makes you dance, and a chicken shooting eggs out its butt.

Cubsfan nailed it. Any of the Lego games (Star Wars, Indie, Batman…) will probably be a home run. My wife loves collecting the goodies, and you can play cooperative. Also, the penalty for “dying” is minimal.

Consider Viva Pinata: TIP for the 360. It has jump-in/jump-out co-op, though I haven’t tried that part yet. It’s almost totally non-violent and my wife loves it. You might even find you enjoy the “sandbox” aspect yourself. It can be had for not many chocolate coins on Amazon.

Hm, not real surprises so far.

We’ve tried Lego Star Wars. Okay, but kinda kiddy and neither of us really got into 'em. Batman looks more promising for us, though, so I’ll put that on a watch list.

We both burned out on Viva Pinata with the first one (which DOESN’T have coop). Might still check out the sequel, but I’m still miffed they didn’t add a giraffe.

Rock Band and other rhythm games she loves and we own, but I’m personally not that into the genre anymore.

Lego would be the obvious first choice, but any dungeon crawl would be good too. The X-Men franchise is fun. It’s like an advanced lego game for grown-ups. Not that it’s adult or anything, just that it involves more interaction than the extremely basic lego series. I don’t recall dying being a huge issue, but we played it with between 2-4 players who were all capable gamers so it’s possible it would be. (The first two to arrive would start with X-Men while waiting for the 3rd and 4th to show, play for a little longer once all four were there and then switch to Madden or Halo.)

Halo is pretty darn macho, but it’s got a fantastic no-penalty-for-dying coop mode. My buddy and I had a lot of trouble getting into Gears of War and that newest zombie game that just came out recently because as soon as one of us dies we’d have to restart the very long levels. Boooo! Didn’t Halo fix this genre? What’s up with the throwback search-for-healthpack paradigm where effectively when one dies all die?

With Halo, you cross checkpoints every few minutes, and whenever one player dies the second simply has to run to a quiet place and the dead teammate will respawn. You lose your weapons, but you lose your weapons all the time by running out of ammo anyway. Plus if you can get back to where you died your weapons will be lying there waiting for you to pick them back up. And there are no stupid healthpacks to look for. As long as you don’t die, once you stop taking damage for a few seconds you heal automatically.

Once Halo 2 came out my buddy got much better than me at most games, since he plays online while I do not. Halo coop was a perfect solution for us. I could run in guns blazing against a horde of enemies, get killed, respawn, run in again, and keep repeating until all the enemies were dead. He’d hang back in a more reasonable location taking on manageable levels of enemies. What fun is that? heh.

If both players die you restart from the last checkpoint, which is almost never more than a few minutes back in terms of gameplay.

Halo 2’s coop mission kind of sucked. I don’t know if you can physically play it or not, but if you can the original Halo coop is the bee’s knees. Not sure about the newest one. My buddy doesn’t like it because it doesn’t support 16:9.

I only played the demo of Fable 2, but a friend says his girlfriend’s really into it. There was a downloadable patch for Co-op too…