- The original PlayStation had a rough start and lacked co-op games, but there are underrated titles worth checking out with friends on the system.
- Captain Commando, The Lost Vikings 2, and Herc’s Adventures are examples of co-op games on the PS1 that are often forgotten but provide enjoyable experiences.
- The PlayStation 1 had a diverse library of co-op games, including Diablo, Fighting Force, Future Cop: LAPD, Gauntlet Legends, and Um Jammer Lammy.
The original PlayStation is known for many things. It interrupted the game industry in a big way as a new first-party console. Nintendo broke its deal with Sony for their collaborative console, which seemingly led to Nintendo’s struggles over the next few years. Sony has a lot of franchises that used to be Nintendo exclusives, including Final Fantasy.
The PS1 had a rough start, but the library steadily grew. However, one thing the console is not that well known for is co-op games. There were plenty of versus multiplayer games on the system, but finding co-op experiences was difficult. Some of these titles were bigger then but are more obscure now. Still, they may be worth a look for co-op junkies.
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There are several well-known PS1 games with co-op or split-screen support, but what players aren’t aware of is the vast library of lesser-known games that they could check out with a friend, too! These underrated titles brought something new and special to the table that made them pretty enjoyable, and it’s a shame that not many people know about these hidden gems on the original PlayStation.
Updated on January 28, 2024 by Ritwik: The PS1 is a legendary console that needs no introduction. The allure of this legendary system was clear from the get-go, ushering in a new era for gaming that promoted mature experiences and story-driven titles. The original PlayStation is home to so many games that some of these titles have escaped the attention of most players. It’s a shame, especially since some of these games are a blast to play through and let players enjoy these games with a friend too.
20 The Firemen 2: Pete & Danny
Stop Deadly Fires With A Friend
A sequel to an SNES exclusive, The Firemen 2 lets players control Pete and Daniel, who must go through several levels and take out fires using a combination of teamwork and skill. Danny is invulnerable, making him a perfect pick for a player who may not be too skilled at video games.
Players need to take out fires of varying shapes and sizes, saving civilians along the way to replenish Pete’s health gauge. The game is pretty challenging but worth it for co-op partners who want to experience an underappreciated classic.
19 Panzer Bandit
A Side-Scrolling Beat-Em-Up With Co-op Support
A great action-filled game with a lot of personality, it’s a shame that Panzer Bandit is a forgotten gaming relic at this point. The gameplay is pretty engaging and co-op support elevates the quality of this title even more.
Panzer Bandit‘s stages are brief, well-designed, and pretty satisfying to boot. The chaos that unfolds on screen can be hard to manage at times, but players can beat up most enemies in no time flat after familiarizing themselves with the controls and gameplay loop in no time.
18 Captain Commando
A Fun Beat-Em-Up Game That Can Be Tackled In Co-op
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System , PlayStation Classic , Arcade
- September 28, 1991
- Fighting , Beat ‘Em Up
Capcom was the king of fighting and beat-em-up games at one point, releasing a wealth of titles that did a great job of letting players vent their frustrations by mashing buttons on a controller and whooping enemies to kingdom come without breaking a sweat. Captain Commando is one of the many games released during this period, serving as a fun beat-em-up as players tackled waves of enemies.
Players could team up with their friends to take on the many baddies that came their way, unleashing a wealth of combos to decimate the opposition in no time flat. It’s a shame that Captain Commando has become a forgotten relic of the past since players can very much enjoy this game even now if they get their hands on a copy.
17 The Lost Vikings 2
A Puzzle-Focused 2D Game That Can Be Played In Co-op
The Lost Vikings 2
- February 27, 1997
- Beam Team Games
- Platformer , Strategy
Most people would assume that a game featuring vikings would be focused on action and combat, which is why The Lost Vikings 2 makes for such a unique game to check out. The title is puzzle-focused, with players switching between a wealth of characters and using their unique abilities to solve the many puzzles that come their way.
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In cooperative mode, players control two characters at one time while switching over to other unique personalities whenever the situation calls for it. This makes for a great time as players wrack their brains together to try and figure out a logical solution to the many puzzles that come their way, making for a simple yet fun time with friends. Solving a hard puzzle is always satisfying in any good video game, and The Lost Vikings 2 is no exception to this golden rule.
16 Herc’s Adventures
A Top-Down Beat-Em-Up Game That’s A Blast To Play Through
- PlayStation 5 , PlayStation 4 , PlayStation 3 , PlayStation 2 , Sega Saturn
- July 31, 1997
- Big Ape Productions, Lucasfilm Games LLC, Disney Interactive Studios
- Action-Adventure , Fighting , Shooter
Players who enjoyed the underrated cult classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors will love what Herc’s Adventures brings to the table, serving up the same gameplay loop with a mythological twist. Featuring co-op support, players can control either Hercules, Atlanta, or Jason as they embark on an epic adventure to stop Hades in his track and rescue Persephone in the process.
The humorous nature of this title, coupled with the many creative ways players could battle their foes, made this title a blast to play through, and it’s a shame that more people don’t talk about this unique PS1 action-adventure game. People who have this console lying about and somehow manage to snag a copy of the game will have a great time roaming around various iconic landscapes from Greek mythology in this wildly entertaining adventure that becomes even more entertaining to play with a friend.
15 Micro Machines V3
A Simple, Engaging Racing Game That Can Be Enjoyed By Many Players
Micro Machines V3 is a racing game developed by Codemasters, a name many racing game veterans will be quite familiar with. The game features miniature toy cars that race around household environments such as kitchens, gardens, and workshops. The game supports up to four players and has split-screen gameplay, making it a popular choice for local co-op play.
Micro Machines V3 offers a variety of game modes, including Head-to-Head and Party Play, where players can race and use power-ups to battle against the opposition. The game is known for its fast-paced gameplay, challenging courses, and creative level design, and it’s a shame that many people don’t remember this title nowadays.
14 Vigilante 8
A Vehicular Combat Game Where Players Can Compete Against Each Other In Four-Player Split-Screen Mode
- November 5, 2008
- Isopod Labs
Vigilante 8 is a vehicular combat game that was released for the PlayStation 1 in 1998. The game is set in an alternate version of the 1970s, where the United States is in turmoil because of the Coyotes, who are trying to destroy all oil companies so that their recruiter, OMAR, can become the richest company in the country. To combat this terror, the Vigilantes are formed to save the world from this terror.
The game features a cast of unique characters, each with their vehicles and weapons. The game supports up to four players and has split-screen gameplay, allowing players to compete against each other in various game modes. Just like Twisted Metal, the game features a unique ending for each character, which more than makes it worth the price of admission.
13 Bishi Bashi Special
A Weird, Endearing Collection Of Minigames Where Players Can Get Competitive
Bishi Bashi Special is a collection of unique and bizarre mini-games that perfectly encompasses just how weird the PlayStation could get at times. The game features over 80 mini-games, each with its unique gameplay mechanics and challenges. The game supports multiple players and is a great party game to whip out.
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The mini-games are diverse, ranging from rhythm-based challenges to puzzle games, and each game has a unique and colorful art style. Bishi Bashi Special is known for its addictive gameplay, fun mini-games, and quirky humor. Fans who want to experience the weirder side of the PlayStation 1’s library with their friends should check this game out.
12 Rampage World Tour
A Game Focused On Destroying Huge Cities With Kaijus That Can Be Enjoyed In Co-op
Rampage World Tour
- Microsoft Windows , Nintendo 64 , PlayStation 3
- January 1, 1997
- Game Refuge, Midway Games, Point of View
Those who enjoy the Godzilla series should find a lot to love about the Rampage franchise. Although this collection did see its fair share of success through the 90s and early 2000s, it lost a bit of steam entering the modern age. The original releases were pushed by Midway, but Warner Bros. took over the helm in 2009. The cult classic saw a bit of a revival thanks to the release of a 2018 live-action film starring Dwayne Johnson.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a new at-home release since 2006’s Rampage: Total Destruction (although there was a 2018 arcade-based release that coincided with the film). Those looking to get their Kaiju-filled city-destroying side-scrolling action fill can relive the memories in co-op fashion on the PS1.
11 Warriors Of Fate
An Engaging Beat-Em-Up Where Players Can Team Up To Defeat Their Opponents
Warriors of Fate
- January 1, 1992
- Beat ‘Em Up
Beat ’em ups featured heavily in arcades and at-home consoles during the 90s and early 2000s gaming booms. Titles like Double Dragon, River City Ransom, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time stand as some of the most iconic and enjoyable side-scrolling beat ’em up experiences ever made. Arguably, the genre isn’t as prevalent as it was during gaming’s infancy, but there have still been some great additions over the years.
Warriors of Fate saw a fantastic arcade run in both Japan and North America, with many touting it as one of the best arcade beat ’em ups ever released. It was packaged on the PS1 in 1996 and features two-player action that is heavily rooted in Japanese culture and imagery (thanks to its Dynasty Warriors influence).
A Fun Game Where Players Control RC Vehicles With Split-Screen Racing Support
- January 1, 1999
- Acclaim Studios London, Acclaim Studios Teesside
The PS1 saw the release of many racing games, with iconic franchises like Gran Turismo and Need for Speed helping to solidify their long-running franchises on the system. Unfortunately, some pretty spectacular (and unique) racing releases dropped into obscurity thanks to the mass of high-speed offerings that graced the console.
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One in particular, Re-Volt, was an imaginative and entertaining RC-style racing game in which players choose from a variety of toy cars and sped through real-world-inspired levels like suburban streets and museums. It was a blast to play with friends and even had a Mario Kart-esque power-up system.
9 Chocobo’s Dungeon 2
A Dungeon-Crawling Spinoff Of Final Fantasy With Co-op Elements
Chocobo’s Dungeon 2
- December 23, 1998
Roguelikes are one of the biggest genres now. Back in the 90s and 2000s, however, it was still an obscure concept even though some of the biggest franchises touched the genre. Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 is one example that branched off from Final Fantasy.
North America never received the original, but both play primarily the same. The extra feature to enjoy in this Chocobo-themed dungeon spinoff is the co-op action. Multiplayer can make a lot of roguelikes more tolerable.
A Legendary Hack-And-Slash Game That Can Be Enjoyed With A Friend
- November 30, 1996
- Blizzard North, Climax Group
- Action RPG
Diablo 3 was big on PC, but it didn’t become a global phenomenon until it hit consoles. That wasn’t the first time the series hit consoles, although most will not remember the first game’s PS1 port as it didn’t have as robust of a multiplayer setup as the PC version.
Players could only team up in pairs, and there was missing content, too. Still, for a PS1 port of a huge game like Diablo, it was an impressive thing to see, missing content or not. It’s too bad Diablo 2 didn’t get a PS2 port back in the day, but at least the remaster made it to consoles.
7 Fighting Force
A Brawler With A Fun Two-Players Co-op Mode
- September 1, 1997
- Core Design
- Fighting , Beat ‘Em Up
Fighting Force was a short-lived series on the PS1; there were two games, with the sequel taking a drastic swing for the fences. The original featured a two-player co-op mode and was a modern 3D brawler. The sequel was single-player only and was more of a third-person shooter with melee combat.
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Is either game worth remembering in 2022? Probably not, but the original did make great waves in its time as a brawler. It can still be fun today, provided players have a decent co-op partner and turn their brains off for some mindless action.
6 Future Cop: LAPD
A Great Action Game Where Players Control Mechs To Battle Against Tough Foes
Future Cop: LAPD
- August 31, 1998
- Third-Person Shooter
Mechs are one of the coolest things to witness in any medium, be it a movie, anime, or video game. Future Cop: LAPD imagines a future where the police are given mechs to punish lawbreakers with equally powerful arsenals.
It’s a top-down shooter at its core and is a simple game to understand at that. Find the bad guys, destroy their gear, and move on. Plus, it has a two-player co-op mode to make the fun last longer. The mechs look a lot like the AT-ST units from Star Wars, which probably wasn’t an accident.
5 Gauntlet Legends
A Fun Hack-And-Slash Game That Supported Four-Player Co-op
- October 1, 1998
- Midway Games , Midway Home Entertainment , Atari
- Hack and Slash , RPG , Adventure , Fighting , Shooter
Gauntlet Legends reimagined what the original arcade title brought forth. It was not quite a looter RPG like Diablo, but the camera angle and the action gameplay were similar. Unlike Diablo on PS1, though, Gauntlet Legends could support up to four players, which did require an extra accessory that looked like a boomerang.
This accessory, the multitap, may have looked odd and was more expensive than it needed to be, but it was a godsend among multiplayer fans. This was a great game to get for it.
3 Legend Of Mana
A Legendary RPG That Adopted Real-Time Action Gameplay And Supported Co-op Play
Legend of Mana
- PlayStation 4 , Nintendo Switch , iOS , Android , PC , Microsoft Windows
- July 15, 1999
- Action RPG , Adventure
The Mana series has supported multiplayer in one form or another in most of its installments. Secret of Mana on the SNES, for example, offered co-op for three players. Legend of Mana was a downgrade to two players only, but that was still better than just having a single-player campaign. This game was recently brought back to the limelight thanks to the remaster in 2021.
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Even though it got a shiny remaster, it still didn’t make big waves, which is why it deserves to be praised on this list of forgotten gems. Next to Square Enix’s other tentpole franchises like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, the Mana series often gets overshadowed.
2 Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles
A Great Beat-Em-Up Game Set In The Star Wars Universe With Co-op Support
Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles
- March 21, 2000
- Lucasfilm Games
- Platformer , Beat ‘Em Up
It may have divided the franchise, but Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace still performed strongly at the box office. It was popular enough to get tons of video game adaptations on the PS1, including Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles. Of the many games from this period based on the first prequel, it’s one of the better titles.
The game was a co-op brawler that allowed players to take on the roles of five classic Jedi, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Adi Gallia, and Plo Koon. It’s not phenomenal, but playing a Jedi in a video game always feels like a special treat.
1 Um Jammer Lammy
Dance And Sing With Other Friends in Co-op Play That’s Deceptively Hard
Um Jammer Lammy
- PS1 , PlayStation 3 , PSP , Arcade
- August 17, 1999
Um Jammer Lammy is a good pick to end on because, stylistically, it is different from everything else in almost every way. It was the sequel to PaRappa the Rapper that most forget about as it was a one-and-done spinoff.
Instead of rap, most of the songs were based on rock and pop numbers. Players could tag in a friend for co-op, and they would have to sync their rhythmic beats together. The idea of co-op was like a double-edged sword. It made things a lot harder at first, but with a bit of practice, it could also make the game a lot more fun.
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