Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara

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Co-Op Classics: Welcome to the Year of the Dragon
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Co-Op Classics: Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

The all time top five co-op games featuring dragons

This past week marked the beginning of a new lunar year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2012 is the year of the dragon. The sign of the dragon comes along but once every twelve years, and is said to be the luckiest year of the entire cycle. Across all cultures, dragons have always been popular, and it's not hard to see why. They are symbolic of tremendous strength and fierce power, and have captured the fancy of many throughout history.

Is it any surprise, then, that dragons are featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of video games? From the earliest Multi user Dungeons to the latest MMOs, and every genre in between, dragons have appeared in all sorts of titles. Today, we'll take a look at five great game series featuring dragons. Each of these games have been quite popular, and of course, each of them include the co-op gameplay that we all enjoy.

The Double Dragon series

We begin our little countdown with one of the most influential games of all time. Yes, I suppose it's cheating to use Double Dragon on this list; after all, apart from the title screen, pictured above, there aren't any dragons to speak of. So why the title? All the martial arts moves that partners Billy and Jimmy learned gave them the right to earn the nickname "Double Dragons", according to the more detailed story tied to the Japanese version of the game.

Real reptilian creatures aside, Double Dragon is without a doubt the most influential game on this entire list. It was the first successful side-scrolling brawler that allowed two gamers to play at the same time. No taking turns here, unless you played the lame NES adaptation, at least. Double Dragon was followed by several official sequels, but even more co-op games followed its innovative gameplay patterns, including modern titles like Castle Crashers.

Bubble Bobble

Back in the mid 1980s, there was one debate on everyone's mind, something everyone you talked to had an opinion on. New Coke vs. Old Coke? No, friends, it was about the identity of Bubble Bobble's adorable protagonists. Were they dinosaurs, or dragons? Even today, some sources claim they are dragons, while others hold to the dinosaur theory. Personally, I'm coming down on the dragon side; we all know dragons breathe fire, and these little cuties breathe bubbles, which is pretty close, right?

Bubble Bobble has been an enduring series, with a large number of entries, the most recent of which was released in 2009. The appealing characters, addictive gameplay, and stellar music have struck a chord with gamers for decades. Bub and Bob teamed up for a spinoff series, Puzzle Bobble (aka Bust-a-Move), with similar success. Dragons, or dinosaurs? Who cares, when the games are so good!