- PlayStation 3 had a variety of local cooperative games that provided exciting childhood moments for many players.
- Games like Resident Evil 6, Spelunky, Call of Duty: World at War, Diablo 3, Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Rayman Legends, Uncharted 3, Portal 2, and LittleBigPlanet were some of the best local coop games on PS3.
- These games offered different styles of gameplay, from action-based to platforming and puzzle-solving titles, and provided hours of fun for players, especially when played with friends.
For many players who grew up playing the PlayStation 3 in particular, having games around for that console that could be played locally with friends and engaging in cooperative or competitive styles across a variety of games made for some of the most exciting childhood moments available.
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There were all kinds of games being released at the time that either provided a great battling or party atmosphere for players getting together on the same sofa with their friends. From famous franchise entries to forgotten one-offs, the best local coop and split-screen games of the PlayStation 3 will be remembered fondly by many gamers today.
Updated January 8, 2023, by Chris Harkin: The history of games released for the PlayStation 3 is long and filled with great co-op titles that can be played locally via split screen. As a result, more entries can always be added, helping remind players of all the fantastic games that were released during this exceptional era of gaming. From the biggest franchises, featuring games that are due for a remaster, to games that are still waiting for a sequel that is well-earned, the PlayStation 3 featured many fantastic titles. Those revisiting the PS3 console for a co-op experience have plenty of options to choose from.
10 Resident Evil 6
Metacritic Score: 74
This long-running gaming franchise has seen a recent resurgence in popularity due to the success of the Resident Evil 2 & 3 remakes as well as the release of Resident Evil Village. However, during the PS3 era, Resident Evil 6 changed the game by taking the Resident Evil franchise slightly away from its roots.
While the more action-based style was divisive among many players, there was no doubt that Resident Evil 6 made for some great gameplay, particularly when it came to local co-op, as more players could get involved in a split-screen style than ever before in the franchise.
Metacritic Score: 83
- October 21, 2008
The first game in the Spelunky franchise provided a wonderful local cooperative experience, which worked similarly to some of the 2D Mario games for systems like the Nintendo Wii. Spelunky allowed up to four players to explore the randomized level system that the game offered.
While some players were frustrated by the lack of split-screen, Spelunky’s system worked well, allowing players to survive as long as they stayed close enough to the number one player who held the white flag. Spelunky provided a very different style of cooperative local play that not many PS3 games managed as successfully.
8 Call Of Duty: World At War
Metacritic Score: 85
The Call of Duty franchise provided an endless number of games for the PS3; however, one of the prime candidates that made great strides in local co-op was World At War. This early entry in the franchise added the zombies mode, which could be played across four different maps online or locally, and the campaign could mostly be played in that fashion, too.
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The split-screen options worked particularly well, showcasing what the franchise could achieve, and the zombies mode, in particular, became an infamous couch-play mode for players alongside their friends. World At War is filled with an endless number of hours that can be spent alone, online, or locally with friends.
7 Diablo 3
Metacritic Score: 86
Diablo 3 remains one of the greatest RPGs for cooperative local play. Normally, large RPGs such as this will only feature cooperation through online multiplayer, but Diablo 3 changed things dramatically by allowing up to four players to play on one PS3 system together.
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While the style of an RPG of this length and scale is already difficult to create, the makers of Diablo 3 weren’t scared to attempt the creation of a local cooperative style that could have changed the game for what constituted a great party game. However, with online multiplayer continuing to drive the idea of players playing together, not many RPGs have attempted to add these kinds of features since. Though it lacks a split-screen feature, fans of Diablo are sure to enjoy the co-op experience being offered through this title.
6 Far Cry 3
Metacritic Score: 90
Games like Far Cry have always been popular for players working together or against each other. The level of destruction available and the mayhem that can be created, particularly in Far Cry 3, made for a beautifully open-ended game to join in on together when playing in the split-screen cooperative mode, as well as making it slightly easier with friends.
Players could join together locally to engage in a variety of missions that were designed for cooperative play in a separate mode from the regular single-player campaign. Far Cry 3 was one of the last large-scale games to feature such a format, but it remains a great one that gamers love to revisit even today, with characters like Pagan Min even making a recent return to the franchise.
5 Borderlands 2
Metacritic Score: 91
A game that came with a lot of options, Borderlands 2 was the massive hit sequel that expanded upon the world of Pandora, turning up the comic book-style visuals and hilarious scripting and letting up to two players roam across a vibrant world, completing missions and collecting as much loot as possible.
The entire Borderlands franchise represents the perfect blending of casual gameplay and high-octane action. Though they are FPS games, the accessibility, especially in the split-screen co-op department, makes the Borderlands games feel even more playable for those who are not too keen on the genre. Because of the expansive effort put into furthering the world of the first game and upgrading the mechanics, Borderlands 2 has often been called one of the best games of all time, and being able to experience it in a couch co-op setting is just another reason to give it a try.
4 Rayman Legends
Metacritic Score: 91
- August 30, 2013
- Ubisoft Montpellier
Probably the best platform game for local co-op play ever to exist, Rayman Legends was severely underrated on release but still garnered a great deal of love from fans and critics for the easy jumping in and out of cooperative local games. Players can get involved in mini-games, challenges, and a huge variety of levels, including bonus levels from Rayman Origins.
All of this made for a wonderful experience that worked really well across the board for either single-player or local cooperative styles. With a great mixture of levels, some beautiful sound design, and a frantic pace at times, Rayman Legends was a favorite for many PS3 players to get involved with alongside their friends.
3 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Metacritic Score: 92
The Uncharted franchise has always had some sort of multiplayer capability in addition to the excellent single-player campaigns. However, Uncharted 3 provided the ability to play together locally with friends. This allowed players through the LAN system to join in the action together.
The variety of ways to play made Uncharted 3 a hugely popular game for split-screen lovers, helping to lift the franchise to new heights by making the multiplayer mode hugely replayable in nature. The multiplayer aspects of the franchise have never been more successful than they were with this third entry on the PS3, which could yet get a modern remake.
2 Portal 2
Metacritic Score: 95
Portal 2 is one of the stranger games to ever be released. Featuring both a complete single-player campaign and a totally different cooperative 2-player campaign that challenges gamers and their friendships through either online or local play, this puzzling platformer made for one of the best games in history.
Portal 2 is filled with a variety of increasingly difficult challenges that players have to engage in, and gamers won’t always be able to solve a puzzle without working together and finding the solution. The challenge and length of the cooperative campaign were some of the major selling points of this game, even though some still frustrate players to this day.
Metacritic Score: 95
- October 27, 2008
One of the best games of all time and a PlayStation-exclusive franchise starter, LittleBigPlanet is one of the best examples of a game that thrived on community interaction, even allowing players to make their own custom levels to enjoy with friends.
The level editor became the main focus of LittleBigPlanet and the subsequent sequels. It has become a major aspect in many other games due to the success of this title, becoming something of a genre known as “create, share, play.” Players can join together locally with up to four players, enjoying all manner of levels in the story mode as well as the custom-made levels, both of which provide endless hours of fun.
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