Co-op Games for the Holidays

As the holiday season quickly approaches, families and friends are getting together to celebrate the year. But it seems now, more than ever, people are getting bored of Christmas. And why not? The Christmas music started playing in November. We’ve been listening to it for over a month, and looking at the lights that have been left up year round so that we don’t even really recognize them as festive anymore.

When Christmas day comes, how long is it gonna take before everyone at your dinner gets bored of the stockings and the egg nog and the presents. What can you do that will keep everyone entertained. Well play Xbox of course! Here’s some games you can pull out to distract the folks this holiday season.


Call of Duty Advanced Warfare / Black Ops 3
How many players: 1-4
What you need: Controllers for everyone

While Halo decided this year to turn their backs on the couch co-op fans that have followed that franchise since the first game, Call of Duty decided to double down on that direction, crafting their campaign around 4 people and working backwards from there. The zombie mode is fantastic. The online allows for easy split screen. And if you can’t afford Black Ops, Advanced Warfare wasn’t so bad. It introduced one of my girlfriends favourite modes, Uplink, which is basically an online football with guns.


Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition
How many players: 1-4
What you need: Controllers and profiles for everyone

This game is a frenetic good time for up to four players. The co-op is super easy to jump in and out, and the game scales expertly behind the scenes. When things get crazy, and monsters fill the screen with like a dozen different special abilities all going on at once surrounding you with walls and lasers and treasure goblins, and you have a couch full of back up all covering each other’s backs, you’ll come to appreciate how amazing this game is.


Halo The Master Chief Collection
How many players: 1-4
What you need: Controllers and profiles for everyone

If you bought the new Halo, you might have been surprised and very disappointed to learn that it doesn’t have any splitscreen. No more playing with your buddies. Unless you go back to Master Chief Collection, with over a hundred maps from four games and a crazy slew of multiplayer options, it could give you and your buddies hours and hours of fun. Big Team Battles, Team Slayers, Campaign Co-op, even Forge. You’ll never be bored. When it works.

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NHL 16
How many players: 1-6
What you need: Controllers for everyone

Like many sports games, NHL 16 is a great choice for getting people competing together and against one another. It’s also festive. What with being so cold. And icy. Okay that was a stretch, but your family won’t care as they’re flicking the stick and slapping shots into the net like it’s no big thing. Or you can start a season as the Leafs with your friends and watch as you lose again and again for 87 games!


How Many Players: 1-5
What you need: Just one controller!

PGA Golf Tour had a very bad reception upon release. It came out with what many complained to be a dirge of content and game modes for the full priced sports game. They released some extra courts, but value isn’t why we ended up here. It allows for multiplayer with up to 5 people, all on one controller. With the simplified stick controls, the game has never been more approachable for casual golf fans. I just advise setting your game to front 9 and then back 9 instead of tackling all 18 holes at once. Basically the hardest challenge you’ll get is goin 18 holes without getting bored. But in short bursts it can remind even someone who hates golf why not everyone hates golf.


A lot of you might have to visit someone else for the holidays, and you don’t want to be rude and bring your own Xbox. But every Microsoft fan knows the fun still continues if you have a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. And if not, some of these will even work on your phone. Here’s some games that work great on the go in small and large groups.


Civilization V
How many players: 1-12
What you need: A laptop or Surface Pro Tablet.

What a great game. This game will take over your life if you’ll let it. Turn you into an anti-social sunlight hating pale beast of a man. But that’s only one way to play the game. There’s also a far more social way. The game plays a lot like a board game as it is. You take turns moving units across squares on a board. Now with Hotseat (A not at all new mode to this franchise) you can play with your roommate an epic game of politics and war that lasts over a month with you each playing turns whenever you get the chance. Or you could set up a quick game on a small map with five of your friends and family around the Christmas tree taking turns conquering each other while your father burns the turkey in the kitchen!


Keep Talking and No One Explodes
How Many Players: 2-10
What you need: A Laptop, Tablet, or iPhone/Android device

I haven’t actually played this game myself, but I’ve heard amazing things about it. Maybe if I had more friends, it’s the same reason I’ve never successfully done a D&D tabletop campaign. One day I’ll make some friends. Till then I’ll just listen to other people about how great this game is. See one person alone is the “Player” holding the device staring at a bomb that is slowly ticking down to 0. Everyone else has the hundred page manual (Maybe not actually 100 pages) and furiously flips pages as the player describes to them what the bomb looks like and they try to explain back how to disarm it. It’s super frenetic and you can get as many people in on it as you want. Print out some copies of the manual to hand around, have the rest of the people bring up the pdf on their phone. Try not to blow your fingers off.

Andrew Geczy
Gamertag: WingcommanderIV

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