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Best Cooperative Join or Leave Anytime Games

Some multiplayer games need you to team up at the start of the level and don't let you join or leave without a penalty. However, there are a lot of games that offer drop-in / drop-out play.

This means that if you start a level on your own and someone else in your family would like to join in the fun, they can pick-up a controller, press a button and jump into the action.

It's usually for local multiplayer games, but there are some online games that let you do this too. In a family it's great for games with lots of players as kids and join and leave as they want.

DetailsList Details

Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Era: 1986 - 2023
Total Games: 66
Total Likes: 1,350
 

 

Apico

Release Date: 20/05/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Apico is a simulation game where you play a beekeeper and conservationist. You explore environments, breed rare bees and release them into the wild, while growing your business. There are no enemies, time constraints or set objectives so you can focus...

Lego City: Undercover

Release Date: 04/04/2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Lego City Undercover offers an open world to explore. While most Lego games have an open-world element in at least some areas, this one keeps play open throughout so that children can enjoy exploring at their own pace.

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Release Date: 05/04/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the latest in a series of Star Wars themed Lego running, jumping and building games. You work your way through all 9 of the Star Wars films unlocking new locations and characters as you go.

Halo (Series)

Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...

Lego (Series)

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

The combination of Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a...

Affordable Space Adventures

Release Date: 09/04/2015

Platforms: Wii U

Three people work to pilot a diminutive spacecraft through a hostile environment. One player uses the Wii U game tablet to control engines, power and shields. A second player controls lights and weapons. A third player steers the craft through the...

Terraria

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

LittleBigPlanet 3 (Series)

Release Date: 27/10/2008

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3 and PS4

Little Big Planet is a series of games staring the Sackboy character. They offer a multiplayer running and jumping adventure, but also enable to player to substantially edit their character and eventually make their own levels.

Super Mario Galaxy (Series)

Release Date: 12/11/2007

Platforms: Wii

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Mario Galaxy is a different style of running, jumping and exploration game. It takes the Mario character to hundreds of different planet shaped levels adding more realistic physics to the platforming play. Each world, or collection of worlds is...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Ark: Survival Evolved

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and...

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay

Release Date: 06/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay is a running, jumping and exploration game. It expands this platforming action towards a full 3D world, while keeping accessibility focused on younger players.

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Release Date: 24/09/2020

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is a running and jumping game in the world of Trollhunters. You play Jim Lake Jr. and work to stop Porgon the Trickster Troll and his sneaky plans. With the help of other characters and their abilities you solve...

Minecraft Dungeons

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Minecraft universe. You explore various dungeons to complete missions and collect new gear by exploring and finding treasure chests, or by defeating enemies....

Astroneer

Release Date: 16/12/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Astroneer is an open-world space adventure where you colonize planets by creating habitable structures, farming and mining resources. There is no specific story, although the challenges of each planet give rise to struggles of achievement to placate the...

Ben 10: Power Trip

Release Date: 09/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Ben 10: Power Trip is an open-world action game where you run, jump and explore to save the day. It's simple platforming and brawling that you can play alone or in split-screen more with another player as Kevin Levin.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

Moonglow Bay

Release Date: 07/10/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

Human Fall Flat

Release Date: 07/12/2017, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Human: Fall Flat takes the idea of rag-doll characters and movement in the direction of a platform game. You run, jump and solve puzzles with your elastic character, either on your own or with another player. Get it wrong and you fall flat on your face,...

Skylanders (Series)

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Skylanders uses toy figures to unlock characters and save progress. It is no longer manufactured but can be found second-hand quite cheaply and is a lot of fun for young players, particularly when played in cooperative two-player mode.

Totally Reliable Delivery Service

Release Date: 24/06/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Totally Reliable Delivery Service is a package delivery game, where you use different means to get parcels to their rightful owners in the time limit.

Viva Pinata

Release Date: 09/09/2006

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

This game is a fantasy garden-simulation game where your tending and care encourages one of 60 different piñata animals to make it their home. You use gardening tools to plough, sow seeds, create ponds and sculpt the land. Do this well and more animals...

Super Mario 3D World

Release Date: 21/11/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this co-operative and competitive play makes it great...

Pile Up

Release Date: 18/03/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Pile Up is a running and jumping game where up to four of your play as boxes. You run (slide) and jump around the level and need to jump gaps, open doors and solve puzzles to progress. You need to coordinate with each other to progress through the...

Lego Dimensions

Release Date: 27/11/2015

Platforms: PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Lego Dimensions is like other Lego games but uses real Lego sets to unlock content like Skylanders. Although it’s not being updated any longer, its interactive cooperative brick format offers a novel way to play...

Otterman Empire

Release Date: 02/07/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Otterman Empire is a fun shooting game where you battle anthropomorphic characters in Splatoon-like arena encounters.

Rayman Legends

Release Date: 29/07/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Rayman Legends is a platform game, the sequel to Rayman Origins, where you get sucked into a painting that takes you to a fantasy world with all sorts of creative running and jumping challenges.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Release Date: 16/10/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Starlink is a space exploration and battle game. But unlike Elite, or No Man's Sky the focus is on arcade fun and quirky characters and Pixar-style storytelling for younger players.

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf

Release Date: 26/10/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

The Smurfs Mission Vileaf is an exploration running, jumping and shooting game. You battle the wizard Gargamel to free imprisoned Smurfs and return the sarsaparilla fields to health. to do this you must track down the ingredients for the antidote.

Arctico

Release Date: 15/02/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Arctico is a meditative, exploration and base-building game where you play a lone scientist on a quest to continue your mentor's legacy and grow food in the arctic. You explore the vast frigid wilds of the island of Arctico with your sledge dogs, create...

Core Keeper

Release Date: 08/03/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Core Keeper is a life-simulation strategy game set in a vast cave system where you construct a sprawling base. It crosses the exploration and discovery of Stardew Valley with the camaraderie and adventure of [link to...

Bubble Bobble

Release Date: 01/10/1986, updated in 2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Bubble Bobble is a running and jumping game where you control a small dragon that can blow and jump on bubbles. It rose to popularity in the arcades when released in 1986. In each of the 100 levels you and another player defeat each enemy by trapping...

Dance Central 3 (Series)

Release Date: 04/11/2010

Platforms: Oculus, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Dance Central is a dancing rhythm game you play by moving your body in front of the Xbox Kinect camera. The focus on full body movement celebrates accurate, well-timed and energetic moves. As opposed to Just Dance's rough choreography, Dance Central...

Gears 5 (Series)

Release Date: 07/11/2006, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Gears of War is a series of shooting game about a conflict between humanity, the subterranean reptilian hominids known as the Locust Horde, and their mutated counterparts, the Lambent. It's a big brash game franchise with six games, a comic book series...

Sea of Stars

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Sea of Stars is a role play game about two Children of the Solstice. It combines turn-based combat, storytelling, exploration and interactions with the environment all in a pixel art style. Unusual for a role play game, Sea of Stars also offers platform...

Rhythm Doctor

Release Date: 26/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Rhythm Doctor is a rhythm game about shocking patients' hearts back in sync with their heartbeats to save their lives. You press a single button on the 7th beat to defibrillate each patient. It sounds simple but each level has a unique illnesses based...

Riverbond

Release Date: 10/06/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Riverbond is a frantic adventure in a blocky world. With four people on one system you take on an adventure to defeat evil and free the charming citizens. It's a brawling game with the emphasis on fun and over the top cartoon combat.

Sniper Elite 5 (Series)

Release Date: 26/05/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Sniper Elite 5 is the latest game in the shooting simulation series that focuses on tactical third-person combat, advanced gun physics, traversal and an enhanced slow motion kill camera. With realistic environments and real-world locations, customise...

The Binding of Isaac (Series)

Release Date: 28/09/2011, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

The Binding of Isaac is a series of adventure games where you progress through randomly generated rooms, collecting items and fighting off monsters. It's a twist on the simple Zelda dungeon, with hundreds of enemies, room variations and upgrades. The...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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