Cooperative multiplayer video games pit gamers against forces outside their 2-4 character crews, and a wide variety of console video games offer this feature. Rather than going head-to-head with your friends, consider teaming up against a common enemy or opposing force in any of these great multiplayer video games. Each of the titles promotes a sense of unity and teamwork between players to accomplish goals-including surviving hordes of zombies and fighting over power-ups!

Left 4 Dead

The Left 4 Dead series is a highly popular hybrid of First-Person Shooter (FPS) mechanics and a Third-person view of your character. Available on PC and Xbox 360, Left 4 Dead I and II feature a cast of characters determined to survive a zombie apocalypse. The voice-over dialog is hilarious, and the ability to either help or hinder your teammates provides both shared triumphs and frustrations. Like many FPS titles Left 4 Dead has a high amount of violence and suspense, but the cooperative multiplayer aspect decreases the serious tone. Nothing says “one for all and all for one” like defending yourself and your gamer friends from hordes of zombies.

LEGO Star Wars

Although LucasArts has released a variety of LEGO cooperative multiplayer video games, the Star Wars collection has received the most hype from gamers. Now available in a bundle, which includes both the prequel trilogy and sequel trilogy in the LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Players gradually unlock the Star Wars characters fans have come to know and love, and must work together to complete mission objectives. Rated “E” for everyone by the ESRB, LEGO Star Wars is family friendly in addition to offering fun, cooperative multiplayer gaming. This video game title is available on the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles.

Resident Evil 5

The first cooperative multiplayer sequel in the Resident Evil series, RE5 takes players into Africa to combat the ever-mutating virus which was introduced in RE1. Once again, fan-favorite Chris Redfield has the male role and Capcom introduced new heroine Sheva Alomar as his partner. RE5 slips further out of the realm of “survival horror” and into the “action” genre, with adaptations to the original formula and game mechanics. While limited to only two players, RE5 has a wonderful amount of cooperative multiplayer elements, including Chris and Sheva’s ability to tag-team enemies in combat maneuvers. RE5 is available on both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Guitar Hero

The Guitar Hero franchise spans several console platforms, namely the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, with mobile phone versions and over a dozen separate video games in the franchise. Players take the roles of band mates, making Guitar Hero an ingenious blend of cooperative multiplayer antics and musical fun. With two guitar roles, drums and vocal accompaniment Guitar Hero allows for 1-4 players. The collection of song tracks blends many genres of music, and several additional Guitar Hero titles have featured a collection of material from a specific band, such as Aerosmith and Metallica.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

While not quite a remake of the legendary Super Mario Bros. video games which helped launch the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) into epic popularity, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has enough of those original elements to be both good, nostalgic fun and great cooperative multiplayer interaction. Up to four players can team up in the familiar world, and the side-scrolling 2D gameplay is a throw-back to vintage gaming. The whimsical world and surprisingly challenging levels are entirely addictive, and the capacity to completely sabotage your teammates-whether accidentally or deliberately-makes this video game a hilarious romp on the Wii.

Army of Two

Both the original Army of Two and the 2010 sequel Army of Two: The 40th Day provide a great opportunity for cooperative multiplayer gaming. Up to two players take on the roles of Salem and Rios, a pair of mercenaries who team up against a variety of opponents. With special combat maneuvers and an extensive amount of cooperative tactics, Army of Two is a strong case for the popularity of cooperative video games. With emphasis on military-style tactics and a FPS-like shooter system, Army of Two is great for anyone looking to cause chaos with a partner. This cooperative multiplayer video game is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP.