Head to Head: Co-Op or Versus

I think one of the most interesting discussions in gaming right now is the idea of what’s more essential in terms of a multiplayer experience.

For years, co-op was the name of the game, with game studios offering chances for us to play through things with two players on our old school consoles. However, that eventually gave way to the rise of the versus mode through PC gaming, which then bled almost a decade later to the consoles. Now, we’re seeing a renaissance of sorts, with co-operative play coming back to the forefront of many AAA games. In fact, if there’s a multiplayer component, co-operative play is almost expected these days, where it wasn’t before.

For me, I think co-op is the more essential experience, but I know that others feel differently. Over this weekend, in fact, I’ve played several bouts of co-op in both Uncharted 2 and Bad Company 2, and had much more fun than I have in deathmatch modes for most games.

So I’ve put together a poll for you guys. Let the answers do battle!

What is the better multiplayer experience?

View Results

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

11 thoughts on “Head to Head: Co-Op or Versus”

  1. Playing co op with random people is terrible. If you have friends then co op is better but if you are just going random then versus I guess.

  2. @James Freeman: Not necessarily. You just have to do a little searching first to find a game with decent players. Trust me, I did this in Left 4 Dead 1 to get the ‘beat all campaigns on Expert’ achievement, and with some pretty good people to boot. That isn’t to say playing with friends isn’t better, because it IS better, but playing with random people can be a grand ol’ time if you don’t settle for the crap.

  3. I refuse to vote as I feel both are integral to different games. FPS’s such as CoD or BFBC have superior versus IMO, but games like the Conflict series have excellent co-op modes and wouldn’t really work in a competitive style of gameplay. Uncharted is a rare example where both co-op and versus are on par.
    I know my on-the-fence stance kinda defeats the purpose of a head-to-head but I’m awkward like that.

  4. As fun as Versus can be, I love being able to play through campaigns and certain other things with friends, ranging from the classics during Sega times to the games of now-a-days. For example, I can go from playing Bubble-Bobble with my friend how hardly ever plays games, to owning on Nazi Zombie or Splinter Cell campaigns with others. Co-op offers a sort of middle ground between the extreme gamers and the players that just play to play.

  5. Wow, Coop raped Versus. lol
    Since Coop is people working together to defeat the AI, it’s better than trying to round up a bunch of misfits and getting them to out-teamwork the opposing team. Skill and weapon preferences can’t be as controlled as with Coop experiences, and skill in Coop is much more of a boon than an issue that has to be considered in matchmaking or whathaveyou. Sure, Coop is best with people of similar skill, but it’s really not necessary, unless the best player can’t stand lower skill players in which he’s either justified or an asshole.

  6. Wow I can’t believe how badly co-op won.

    I think it depends on the game, and more importantly who you’re playing with. I’m not interested in dragging along some kid with 300 ping who can’t even use a mouse. However, with a good friend who I know is competent, then co-op can be fun. I say Co-Op on console (when your buddy is beside you) and versus on PC (when you’re playing CS)

    It’s really a shame that BFBC2 didn’t add Co-Op to the PC version though, that was a / real / missed opportunity.

  7. Dang, I wasn’t expecting these results at all! I think Julez raises some good points about how it all depends on the people, for sure.

  8. Wow, these are surprising results. Especially since the most successful and fun multiplayer games combine the two.

    Team deathmatch anybody?

    Team Fortress 2, undoubtedly the greatest multiplayer game ever made, got it exactly right. Pit two cooperative teams against each other.

  9. Wow, Im surprised at the results to this. Honestly I am. I voted Vs.

    I play more of versus than I do Co-op, probably because no one has the same games as I do and most of the ones I buy are either single player or multiplayer is the bigger bout. I am surprised that there is 3x as many votes for Co-op. I enjoy co-op, but I have yet to find a game on xbox live where co-op was just unreal fun. Sure the Halo series was good, and Spec Ops is nice in MW2, but nothing has really stood out to me as phenomenal or so much fun I would take it over multiplayer any day.

    Now my question is does this co-op include playing versus WITH friends? Thats what I try and do most of the time.

    Good poll

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