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10 Local Multiplayer Games/Updates Released in Q1 2021 for PlayStation 4/5

Introduction

With so many games releasing nowadays, I think it's easy for the good ones to get lost in the shuffle. I'm going to list 10 local multiplayer games released on PS4/PS5 in Q1 2021 – this includes updates and ports from other platforms. This is just a tiny fraction of the games that have released this quarter – the PS4/PS5 receive about 50-60 new local multiplayer games a quarter – not counting existing games that are updated with local multiplayer support. For this list, I’m going to order the games by Metacritic Critic Ratings.

Notes About the List

Both Sony and Nintendo recently changed their stores around and made it so you can’t sort by release date – you can only see the games released in the past two weeks or so. This made it difficult to make the list, as I wasn’t aware of every local multiplayer game released on PS4/PS5 in Q1 2021 but did my best to find the information elsewhere. I also check the “New” section of the PlayStation Store pretty frequently so I remembered a lot of the games here. That said, it’s possible I missed a great game as a result.

This list isn’t meant to be a top 10 for the quarter, just 10 I wanted to present to people. Shoot 1Up DX got better reviews than Can’t Drive This, for example, but I preferred to present the latter as it is a more unique game, while Shoot 1Up DX is a shoot ‘em up in a sea of shoot ‘em ups, and I already put Project Starship X (another shoot ‘em up) on the list. I should mention that I haven’t had a chance to play all these games, but all of them have intrigued me for one reason or another and have received generally good reviews.


Games Omitted from the 10

A. Outbuddies DX

  • Why It’s Omitted from the List: There is a local co-op, but the other player can only join as a “helper,” similar to how it is in Timespinner and Blaster Master Zero 1 & 2. It is not full fledged local co-op seen in other Metroidvanias like Salt and Sanctuary and Guacamelee 1 & 2.

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Metacritic: 70% from 7 Critic Reviews, 75% from 38 User Ratings

  • Price: $17.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Genre: Metroidvania

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: N/A from 0 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Outbuddies DX was developed by one guy by the name of Julian Laufer. Outbuddies DX has players exploring an underground city, blending run & gun gameplay with exploration. Outbuddies DX features two player local co-op, with the second player controlling a helper buddy in a more limited role.

B. Balan Wonderworld

  • Why It’s Omitted from the List: Unfortunately this game received poor reviews, and having played the demo I can see why. That said, this is a bigger AA title with more mass market appeal, and I’m sure a lot of people don’t even realize it has local co-op. It isn’t completely devoid of appeal, and the one button control scheme is approachable for kids.

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $59.99

  • PlayStation Store Page Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 26, 2021

  • Genre: 3D Platformer

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: 57% from 17 Critic Reviews, 69% from 180 User Ratings

  • Description: This comes from the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and Nights into Dreams. It's a 3D platformer with a dreamlike carnival theme. You wear a number of different costumes (80+ according to the game description) that grant different abilities. The game also has a Chao Garden-like feature for Sonic Adventure fans. The adorable little creatures in this game are called “Tims.”

C. Golden Force

  • Why It’s Omitted from the List: Unfortunately while it’s a decent game, the local co-op apparently doesn’t work that well. This reviewer discusses her issues with it (timestamped at 3:05) if you’re looking for more detail. The gist of it is the camera only follows the first player and doesn’t teleport the second player when they go off screen.

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $19.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Genre: 2D Action Platformer

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: N/A from 0 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Golden Force features a choice of four characters, with one of them being Shantae. The game is reported to be pretty difficult.


The 10

1. It Takes Two

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $39.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 25, 2021

  • Genre: Co-op-focused 3D Platformer

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local & Online Co-op

  • Metacritic: 89% from 39 Critic Reviews, 91% from 202 User Ratings

  • Description: It Takes Two follows a clashing couple who have been turned into dolls. This is the second game to come from Hazelight Studios, creators of A Way Out. Like that game, this one is built around the co-op experience and is both online and local co-op. If you play online, only the host needs to own a copy of the game.

2. Stardew Valley

  • Picture: Link

  • Gameplay Demonstration:

  • Price: $14.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: February 12, 2021

  • Genre: Simulator

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local & 4 Player Online Co-op

  • Metacritic: 86% from 11 Critic Reviews, 79% from 226 User Ratings

  • Description: Stardew Valley first released five years ago and has seen a number of updates over the years. Although the PC version of the game first saw the split-screen update in December, consoles didn’t get it until February of this year.

3. Project Starship X

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $9.99 – Currently on sale for $6.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: January 26, 2021

  • Genre: Roguelite/Shoot ‘em Up

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: 80% from 3 Critic Reviews, 100% from 1 User Rating

  • Description: Reportedly a parody of Lovecraftion cosmic horror, with characters like Swagthulu and bosses like Zombie Hitler, Project Starship X features a colorful cast of characters and modernized 16-bit graphics. In addition, the game features 14 levels, multiple difficulty options, and a boss rush mode.

4. A Hat in Time

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $29.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 31, 2021

  • Genre: 3D Platformer

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: 79% from 17 Critic Reviews, 81% from 97 User Ratings

  • Description: A Hat in Time released on PS4, XBO, and PC back in October 2017. The PC version of the game got a number of updates over the past few years that were added in the Switch port from 2019. Although the PC version received local co-op support three years ago, PS4 and XBO did not receive the patch for this until last week. In addition, two new DLCs have released for the game that are $4.99 each – these are not required to access local co-op. See here for the patch notes.

5. Bonkies

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $14.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: January 28, 2021

  • Genre: Co-op Focused Physics-based Puzzle Game

  • Multiplayer: 4 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: 76% from 7 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Featuring monkeys with jetpacks, Bonkies’ gameplay revolves around coordinating with your friends to construct buildings. The game works whether with two or four players (and technically one), so it’s a solid choice no matter the number of players.

6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Complete Edition

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $14.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: January 13, 2021

  • Genre: Beat ‘em Up

  • Multiplayer: 4 Player Local & Online Co-op

  • Metacritic: 75% from 26 Critic Reviews, 62% from 18 User Ratings

  • Description: Originally released back in 2010 for seventh generation systems, Scott Pilgrim was delisted from digital storefronts on December 30, 2014, likely due to licenses expiring. After all these years, the game is finally back on eighth and ninth generation consoles, with DLC from the original game included.

7. Beach Buggy Racing 2: Island Adventure

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $19.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 16, 2021

  • Genre: Racing

  • Multiplayer: 4 Player Local PvP

  • Metacritic: 74% from 2 Critic Reviews, 100% from 1 User Rating

  • Description: This comes from developer Vector Unit, the same team behind Riptide GP: Renegade – a fun, inexpensive, nine course racing game with four player split-screen that I’d recommend. Something to note: this game allows up to 8 player split-screen on other platforms – PS4 is the only eighth generation console to not allow 8 controllers to connect at once, so it’s limited to 4 on PS4.

8. Mighty Fight Federation

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $29.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: February 24, 2021

  • Genre: 3D Arena Fighter

  • Multiplayer: 4 Player Local & Online PvP

  • Metacritic: 70% from 1 Critic Review, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Arena Fighters are plentiful, but one in the 3D space is a bit rarer. This has been described as a modern Power Stone, and features 13 characters, including guest stars ToeJam & Earl, and Yooka & Laylee.

9. Explosionade DX

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $5.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 17, 2021

  • Genre: Run & Gun

  • Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op

  • Metacritic: 70% from 1 Critic Review, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Originally released in 2010 for Xbox 360, Explosionade has finally made its way to PS4/PS5 and other modern consoles in the form of this “DX” version, which according to the description, features 60 total levels, a remastering of the original levels, new challenges, and online leaderboards. Explosionade bears the resemblance of a 1990s arcade game, with a gross space vibe and screen-filling bosses. The game also features twin stick controls (use the left analog stick to move and the right analog stick to shoot).

10. Can’t Drive This

Note About This Game: There is a separate PS4 and PS5 version of this game. The PS4 version retails for $19.99 while the PS5 version retails for $24.99. The PS5 version has controller vibration and adaptive trigger support built for the Dual Sense. The online component is cross-play between the PS4 and PS5.

  • Picture: Link

  • Trailer:

  • Price: $24.99

  • PlayStation Store Page: Link

  • Release Date: March 19, 2021

  • Genre: Co-op-focused Creation/Racing Hybrid

  • Multiplayer: 4 Player Local & Online Co-op/PvP

  • Metacritic: 67% from 5 Critic Reviews, N/A from 0 User Ratings

  • Description: Can’t Drive This has a unique gameplay hook – your friend builds the road in front of you as you drive. In addition, the game features a level editor, customizable vehicles and race tracks, and single player capabilities for those who prefer to go at it solo. There are different modes available for 4 players, 2 players, and 1 player.

Closing

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there were likely 50-60 local multiplayer games released on the PS4/PS5 in Q1 2021 – this list documents most of the better ones released this quarter, but there are still plenty of good ones not listed here as well. Q4 2020 was probably better with games like Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Dirt 5, Haven, PHOGS!, Wildfire, etc., but there’s been plenty of great games this quarter as well, and It Takes Two probably made more noise than any other local multiplayer game from the past year.


Related Posts

If you’re looking for more local multiplayer games to play now, or just games in general, see my posts below.

  • 250 Local Multiplayer Games from 50 Different Genres for PlayStation 4/5

  • 10 Upcoming Local Multiplayer Games for PlayStation 4/5

  • 5 Single Player Indie Ports Coming to PlayStation 4/5

  • 20 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games for PlayStation 4/5

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