When conversations about the best cooperative games come up, a lot of people tend to forget about the handheld consoles. Nintendo’s list of iconic handheld consoles has been home to countless gems of every genre, and that extends to co-op experiences. Two of the best systems for co-op are the always legendary Nintendo DS and the 3DS.
Some have argued that handheld consoles simply offer watered-down gaming experiences of fuller games, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some of the best platformers and adventure game experiences that can be had with one or more friends were some of the most unique games put on the DS and 3DS.
10 Metroid Prime: Federation Force
While there was a lot of backlash upon the release of Metroid Prime: Federation Force, the game was a fairly fun multiplayer experience. The issue most people had was the way the game departed from the style of the rest of the series, but when played with a group of friends, it's a fun, action-packed experience.
The entry in the series does seem intended for younger gamers, but that shouldn’t be a reason to not give it a shot. Being able to play a Metroid game with four other players at the same time is something that many people have been waiting quite a while for.
9 New Super Mario Bros. 2 – 3DS
It’s hard to go wrong when you pick up any Mario game. Whether played on your own or with a friend, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is always going to be a fun experience. It’s Mario at his simplest, classic 2D side-scrolling.
The real beauty of the game is being able to experience all the fun gameplay along with a friend. Some of the levels can be challenging, but taking them on with a Luigi by your side is likely to give you the drive you need to make it to the very end.
8 Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes Of Time – DS
While Echoes of Time isn’t a traditional Final Fantasy experience, that doesn’t hinder the gameplay at all. In fact, there are plenty of people who are happy to call this game their favorite handheld Final Fantasy game.
Rather than standard turn-based combat, you can play alongside a few friends in active combat. It’s not the most complex RPG around, but many people were just happy to be able to play a fun Final Fantasy game with a group of friends by their side. The game even features some basic character creation tools, too.
7 Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – 3DS
The Scarescraper multiplayer mode in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a mode that can be infinitely replayable with the right group of friends. The randomly generated cooperative experience can go on endlessly for those seeking a serious challenge.
Basically, players work together to complete given missions on each floor. Once you and your friends succeed, you continue your climb. It’s a mode filled with chaos and plenty of laughs as you do what you can to work together to keep on climbing. Even better, the mode can be played locally or online, depending on the player's needs.
6 Kirby Super Star Ultra – DS
Anyone looking for a classic Kirby experience to enjoy with a friend will love playing through Kirby Super Star Ultra. Rather than one single experience to be played with a friend, there are tons of different games to play through.
One of the most famous games is the Gourmet Race, something that can be taken on with two players. While the game itself isn’t all that difficult, it’s still an experience that is a ton of fun for two friends to take on together; just make sure you both have a copy of the game to play.
5 Mario Party DS – DS
There isn’t much explanation needed when it comes to Mario Party DS. It’s Mario Party on the DS. You and some friends can pick your favorite character and laugh your way through a bunch of fun mini-games. Rather than remastering classic games, Mario Party DS did something unique.
Many of the mini-games actually utilize the unique DS features, creating plenty of new and exciting mini-games to try out. You’ll know exactly what you’re in for if you played a Mario Party game before, but this entry being handheld makes it one that everyone should give a try at least once.
4 Kirby: Planet Robobot – 3DS
While Kirby: Planet Robobot is already a ton of fun on your own, the game features one of the best mini-games in the franchise that can be played with a group of friends. The chaotic mode lets you and a group of friends take on a wave of Kirby bosses.
That may sound like it would make an already easy game a whole lot easier, but the chaos created on screen can make playing quite tough. You’ll be laughing out loud while you work with your friends to combat the baddest bosses Kirby can throw at you. It’s a simple mode, but a fantastic one.
3 The Legend Of Zelda: Triforce Heroes – 3DS
There is a lot of fun to be had with Triforce Heroes. The surprising and unique multiplayer experience for the 3DS offers you and some friends the opportunity to save the day together. You get all the classic triumphs of the Zelda series, but with two friends by your side rather than playing alone.
While combat is always important, the game really shines when it comes to its puzzles. Working with your two others links is a must if you hope to make it to the end of the game. To make things a bit tougher, you and your friends share a health bar, something that means everyone needs to be on top of their game.
2 Resident Evil: Revelations – 3DS
While people were shocked by how good this handheld Resident Evil was when it was originally released, there seemingly wasn’t enough love given to the game's fantastic multiplayer mode. While you couldn’t play through the campaign with a friend, you could do something similar.
In Raid Mode, you and a friend can work together to fight through horrific scenarios filled with equally horrific enemies. The mode is much more action-packed than the main campaign, but that's probably for the best. Anyone who missed out on the handheld version owes it to themselves to seek it out.
1 Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – 3DS
Another game that needs little explanation is the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate port that was put on the 3DS. You and some friends can get out into the wild and hunt some monsters. It is a bit more simplistic and less pretty than its console counterparts, but it’s a marvel that it even got a handheld port.
The excellent game is definitely best experienced with other players, as it makes taking down a huge monster really feel like an ordeal. For some, this game was their introduction to the series as a whole, and many of those people still love and play it, which just goes to show how fun an experience it is.
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