Playing games with friends brings out some of the most magical moments in all of video games. From the thrill of competition to the joys of besting your opponent, video games, like sports, can sometimes bring the – and worst – out in the human spirit.
That’s why when it came to classic co-op games, many publishers and devs were still getting everything just right. What we mean by that is that some cooperative modes in classic 8-bit games can either have a mode select in which the other player is or is not capable of doing harm to the other player. Imagine this mechanic in today’s first-person shooters and the like.

But such was the case with classic beat ‘em up Double Dragon from developers Technos and publisher Taito who released the game to arcades and other formats beginning in 1987.
As Billy or Jimmy Lee, players make their way through side-scrolling stages filled with bad guys hellbent on doing you harm. Chains, bats, and pipes – all of it makes an appearance in this game that later inspired titles such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage, two co-op classics. What makes Double Dragon so unique among beat ‘em up side-scrolling games is that it is a pioneer, in so many ways, of the many mechanics we take for granted in games today.
A steep, uphill challenge in single-player mode, the co-op, two-player mode found in Double Dragon often makes or breaks friendships. After all, if you forget to turn on the correct mode, you and your friend could end up beating each other up more than anything in the game.

This cooperative tradition continued throughout the series and is present in the sequels to the game. Though primitive by today’s standards, the very basic Double Dragon gameplay coupled with the very addictive