During Monday's stream, we were playing The Last Stand, which is a wave-based arena survival mode in Dawn of War 2: Retribution. None of us had played it in years, yet we were able to jump in and it felt like being reacquainted with an old friend. We all had a blast, and it got me thinking. We've all got a stable of reliable co-op games that we return to long after the gamers have moved on.
Since I had an editorial coming due, I figured I'd catalog a few of my personal favorite co-op games that never get old. I toyed with calling them "comfort" games, but I think I'm going to go with "endlessly replayable". Whether you have a boatload of free time or only a few minutes, there's something here for everybody.
If you've followed the pattern of games I end up reviewing around these parts, it should surprise nobody that the king daddy of Action RPGs is on this list. During college, I literally spent thousands of hours playing on our campus LAN with buddies, doing loot runs and seeing how far we could make our characters last in hardcore mode. Combined with the Lord of Destruction expansion and ladder seasons, I'm almost scared to think about how much time this game took from me. I've since "moved on" to Diablo 3, but I go back to its ancestor quite often.
World of Warcraft
While I had dabbled in MMOs before WoW, about four years of my life were lost to its incredibly addictive raiding endgame, with its large-scale co-op and shiny, shiny loot. While it's actually impossible to return to the game I fell in love with back in 2004 (aside from dabbling in private servers, anyway), every so often I dive back in and absorb the new content and see how many former guildmates I can still find playing. Exploring Azeroth for the first time with many of my good friends in tow is something I'll never forget.