Back in the day split screen or local multiplayer in general, used to be the thing, the default.

These times are over now, have been for years. Thanks, widespread Internet connection. Finding a good video game that lets you play with a bunch of friends on your couch is hard even if you’re a console player. PC is seemingly even less suited for this kind of experience, so what can you do?

Well, reading this list might help. We’ve picked a bunch of cooperative (or otherwise) games that are fine with letting you invite a pal or palette (I don’t think that’s a proper term, but I already wrote it, so it stays) over and having a blast playing together on a one screen. Let’s stop splitting hairs and split some screens instead.

GameGenreTypeReleasePromoPrice
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime lovers in a dangerous spacetime cover Space shooter Shared-screen Sep 9, 2015 -6% Offers
Screencheat Screencheat cover Shooter game Split-screen Oct 21, 2014 -65% Offers
Guacamelee! 2 Guacamelee! 2 box cover Action, Adventure, Indie Shared-screen Aug 21, 2018 -87% Offers
Guacamelee! Guacamelee! box cover Action, Adventure, Indie Shared-screen Aug 8, 2013 -93% Offers
A Way Out (Origin) A Way Out Action adventure Split-screen Mar 23, 2018 -62% Offers
Cuphead Cuphead box cover Run and gun Shared-screen Sep 29, 2017 -41% Offers
Children of Morta Children of Morta box cover Roguelike, Adventure Shared-screen Sep 3, 2019 -89% Offers
Darksiders Genesis Darksiders box cover Hack and slash, role-playing Split-screen Dec 5, 2019 -39% Offers
Forced Forced box cover Action role-playing Shared-screen Oct 24, 2013 -61% Offers
Left 4 Dead 2 Left 4 Dead 2 box cover FPS, survival horror Split-screen (hack) Nov 16, 2009 - Offers
Trine: Ultimate Collection Trine Ultimate Collection box cover Platform, puzzle Shared-screen July 3, 2009 -82% Offers
Stardew Valley Stardew Valley box cover Simulation, RPG Split-screen Feb 26, 2016 -14% Offers
Enter the Gungeon Enter the Gungeon XO box cover Bullet hell, roguelike Shared-screen Apr 5, 2016 -58% Offers
Rivals of Aether Rivals of Aether box cover Fighting Shared-screen Mar 28, 2017 - Offers
Viscera Cleanup Detail viscera clean up detail box cover Simulation Split-screen Oct 23, 2015 -35% Offers
Castle Crashers Castle Crashers box cover Beat'em up, RPG Shared-screen Sep 26, 2012 -70% Offers
Broforce broforce box cover Action, Adventure, Indie Shared-screen Oct 15, 2015 -77% Offers
Overcooked Overcooked box cover Casual simulation Shared-screen Aug 3, 2016 -72% Offers
Overcooked 2 overcooked 2 box Multiplayer, Puzzle-platformer Shared-screen Aug 7, 2018 -59% Offers
Gears of War 4 (Xbox One & Windows 10) gears-of-war-4-box-23-10-2019.jpg Third-person shooter Split-screen Oct 11, 2016 -74% Offers
Gears 5 Gears 5 box cover Third-person shooter Split-screen Sep 10, 2019 -84% Offers
Resident Evil 6 resident evil 6 box cover Survival Horror Split-screen Oct 2, 2012 -79% Offers
Outward Outward box cover Role-playing game Split-screen Mar 26, 2019 - Offers
F1 2020 | Standard Edition F1 2020 | Standard Edition - cover Racing, Simulation, Sports Split-screen Jul 9, 2020 -52% Offers
Mortal Kombat 11 Mortal Kombat 11 box cover Fighting Shared-screen Apr 23, 2019 -87% Offers
Dragon Ball FighterZ Fighting Shared-screen Jan 26, 2018 -85% Offers
Tekken 7 tekken 7 box art Fighting Shared-screen June 2, 2017 -78% Offers
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box Racing Split-screen Jan 22, 2008 -58% Offers
Split/Second split second Racing Split-screen May 18, 2010 -80% Offers
Portal Portal box cover Puzzle, platform Split-screen Oct 10, 2007 - Offers
Portal 2 Portal 2 box cover Puzzle, platform Split-screen Apr 19, 2011 - Offers
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition box cover Role-playing Split-screen Oct 27, 2015 -55% Offers
Divinity: Original Sin II Divinity Original Sin 2 - cover RPG Split-screen Sep 14, 2017 -10% Offers



20. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Release2015
GenreAction, indie, platform, simulation
TypeShared screen

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a delightful, intense, but colourful and upbeat co-op game for up to four players. As a team (or alone, with an AI pet helping you out) you’re going to fly in a spherical spaceship through, indeed, a dangerous space time, running around to shoot enemies with turrets, steer the ship, deploy shields etc. Good cooperation is essential because the space is full of enemies.

The ships are upgradable with gems unlocking new abilities and options, letting you adjust your spacecraft’s functionality on the fly. The maps you traverse are randomised, so your team also has to be quick to respond to unexpected enemies and make quick manoeuvres. On top of it all, the worlds are filled with vibrant neon colours, particles, and often a flurry of missiles and lasers. A lot to look at.

Key features
  • Local multiplayer for up to four players, but you can play solo too
  • You’re piloting a spaceship together, it’s a good idea to cooperate
  • Vibrant, creative maps and monsters
  • Customisable ship

19. Screencheat

Release2014
GenreFirst-person shooter
TypeShared screen

Screencheat’s big selling point is that it encourages players to do what used to be a faux-pas in the old days of playing split-screen PvP shooters. The game forces you to peek at your opponents’ slice of the shared screen, because you can see them in your own, since they are invisible! You have to deduce their position based on what THEIR cameras show. It’s hectic, chaotic, and delightfully confusing.

It’s not really a game one plays to score headhsots and own noobs. Instead, it’s great for one or five quick rounds as you hang out with friends or want to warm up before jumping into a more demanding FPS. Maps are designed to have distinctive locations which makes it a bit easier to keep track of your opponents and shoot them with weird one-hit-kill…implements, including a exploding teddy bear.

Key features
  • Each weapon encourages a different playstyle and tactics
  • Several game modes, including the evergreen Deathmatch, of course
  • Maps designed to help you recognise locations quickly
  • Customisable rules

18. Guacamelee! 2

Release2018
GenreMetroidvania, platformer
TypeShared screen

Extraordinary luchador Juan Aguacate returns from brief retirement, armed with new bone-crushing moves and an improved chicken transformation. Now you can not only run as a chicken, you can also fight as a chicken. And it’s more effective than you’d think. There are also new bosses and new challenges in front of Juan, so it’s a good thing you can play this game with up to three friends.

Guacamelee! 2 is a metroidvania set in the “Mexiverse”, a world inspired by Mexican legends and customs, and it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. It’s bright, filled with great, evocative designs of locations and creatures, and it works really well in co-op. Each of the players (up to four) can pick a different character/skin, some of which need to be unlocked in various ways.

Key features
  • Great platforming on carefully designed maps
  • Drop-in/drop-out local co-op
  • You have a powerful chicken form
  • Juan got new abilities

17. A Way Out

Release2018
GenreAction-adventure
TypeSplit screen

A Way Out is an ambitious, cinematic co-op game for two players. It’s so much of a co-op game that it can’t be played solo at all. The game follows the story of Vincent Moretti and Leonard Caruso, both incarcerated and agreeing to help each other escape. What follows is a tightly woven story that wouldn’t look out of place in a TV show, except here you make the decisions.

A Way Out makes excellent use of split-screen and shared screen to create dramatic situations. Sometimes one character may be trying to distract somebody while the other completes some sabotage or steals something. Deciding which character goes to do which task can change the outcome in meaningful ways, so playing together on a couch makes the necessary communication much easier.

Key features
  • Dramatic storytelling
  • Only playable by two people
  • Solid script and acting
  • Can be played via the Remote Play Together functionality on Steam

16. Cuphead

Release2017
GenreRun and gun
TypeShared screen

Cuphead is easily identified by its art style, very unique as far as video games are concerned. The game is explicitly inspired by the “rubber hose” animation created at the beginning of the 20th century, and the player characters are two lads with cups for heads. The story involves losing a game with the devil and doing his dark bidding to erase their debt. What follows is a lot of shooting and jumping.

Unlike several games on the lsit, Cuphead isn’t going to be walk in the park. The bosses tend to be tough as nails, and the road to them is always filled with enemies and obstacles which can eliminate you quickly. When you play with a friend at least there’s a small window of time to grab a ghost of a fallen companion and bring them back to life, and additional firepower is always welcome.

Key features
  • Fully embraces the aesthetic of old cartoons, except in full colour
  • Quite challenging, rushing in won’t do you much good
  • Two endings
  • Two-player co-op, either local or online

15. Children of Morta

Release2019
GenreRogue-like, Adventure
TypeShared screen

Children of Morta is a family story at heart. You play as one of the Bergsons, a family of heroes and adventurers, who made monster hunting and exploring dark dungeons their family business. Before each dungeon run you get to pick a character to tackle the challenge. Dungeon delving is a mix between roguelites and hack’n’slash games, with fast-paced combat and run-specific buffs.

The game supports couch co-op for two players, each controlling a different member of the family. From the father, an archetypal sword-and-board fighter, to a Pyromancer younger daughter, each of the six playable characters plays differently. Curiously, over time you won’t only upgrade individual family members, but also the family as a whole.

Key features
  • Procedurally generated dungeons
  • A family story
  • Handles a 2-player couch co-op
  • Pixel-art. aesthetic

14. Darksiders Genesis

Release2019
GenreHack and slash, role-playing
TypeSplit screen

A spin-off from the main Darksiders series, Darksiders Genesis is at its best when it’s a 2-player adventure, with both sword-swinging War and gun-toting Strife are player controlled. You can play alone without much issue at all, but it’s definitely more thematic when the two brothers fight back to back just as you cooperate with your fellow partner in exacting the Charred Council’s justice.

Although Darksiders Genesis pulls the camera way further than any of the previous games in the series did, it retains the core of the DS spirit: exploration, solving puzzles, and fighting anyone silly enough to stand in your way. You’ll also collect new tools, new augments for your abilities, and prove why standing against any number of Horsemen is unwise in general.

Key features
  • Excellent game for two players
  • A prequel which shows why the seven seals were forged in the first place
  • An arena mode letting you master your combat skills and find new demon cores
  • Strife’s first time as a playable character

13. Forced

Release2013
GenreAction role-playing
TypeShared screen

Gather up to three friends, and go explore the world, avoid deadly traps laid by your foes, defeat powerful bosses and their hordes of minions. Forced is a game quite simple in concept and great in execution. Looking on the map from high above, the (up to) four of you will control unwilling participants of the world’s deadliest gladiatorial arena, with an almost useful spirit mentor.

Upon entering the game you have a pick of four classes: a ranged Storm Bow, defensive Frost Shield, Volcanic Hammer cleaving through groups of enemy up close, and the most single target-focused Spirit Blades. As each class performs regular attacks, the enemies gain marks, opening them up to special abilities. FORCED is an excellent co-op hack’n’slash, despite aging graphics.

Key features
  • Playable solo, truly shines when you have a full squad
  • Not be best-looking game on this list of co-op games, but makes up for it with gameplay
  • You uncover a bit of the backstory of the locations you fight through
  • Four classes with distinct roles on the battlefield

12. Left 4 Dead 2

Release2009
GenreFirst-person shooter, survival horror
TypeSplit screen

Left 4 Dead 2 improved massively on the first game , with a better AI Director making sure you’re always pushed just enough for victory to be satisfying. L4D2 more than most other games on the list requires really solid teamwork from everyone, lest the mission is failed and everybody is dead. But this is what makes the game so good and a well-run mission so rewarding.

What is Left 4 Dead 2 in the first place? Put it simply, a cooperative first-person shooter putting a group of four survivors with different weapon preferences, against rampaging zombies both of the regular shambling variety and powerful specialised ones, like the infamous Witch. It’s tense, it’s fast, and even though it has a singleplayer mode, it’s best played with friends.

Key features
  • AI Director 2.0 makes sure you have a challenge adequate to your performance
  • Several varieties of zombies to contend with
  • Each survivor is good with a different array weapons
  • There’s even some story

11. Trine: Ultimate Collection

Release2009, 2011 (Trine 2), 2015 (T3), 2019 (T4)
GenrePlatform/puzzle, Action role-playing game
TypeShared screen

Trine is lovely series of puzzle platformers sending three characters on a journey. There’s a Thief called Zoya, Amadeus the Wizard, and a Knight, Pontius. Together they brave the threats to a troubled kingdom. Like Darksiders Genesis earlier on this list, Trine CAN be played solo, but it’s more fun with two friends, with each of you playing a different character.

A measure of cooperation will be helpful, because each character has a set of abilities which are going to be useful while solving puzzles. The wizard, for example, can manipulate objects from afar, while the Thief has a grappling hook. Working together, they’ll be able to deal with every obstacle the series’ many levels throw at them.

Key features
  • The Ultimate Collection includes all four instalments of the series
  • Each character has a different set of abilities useful for solving puzzles
  • Co-op for up to three players
  • Upgradeable abilities

10. Stardew Valley

GenreSimulation, role-playing
Release2016
TypeSplit screen

Since its release in 2016 Stardew Valley grew to be one of the highest rated games on Steam and one of the go-to titles for everyone who seeks a friendly, relaxing game about creating something, instead of wreaking havoc. It started off as a singleplayer experience, but over time the developer, ConcernedApe, added multiplayer features, including a split-screen mode letting you play with friends locally.

What do you actually DO in Stardew Valley? You start by cleaning up a dilapidated farm your character inherited, then you begin setting up plots for vegetables, plant fruit trees, and sell produce in a nearby town, forming lifelong friendships with NPCs in the process. If you share the game with your friends they can help you on your farm: water the plants, or help you change the layout to make the fam look cooler.

Key features
  • Looks nice and friendly
  • Complex without being overwhelming
  • Can handle up to 4 players in multiplayer
  • There’s even a cave complex for you to explore, full of treasures and resources

9. Enter the Gungeon

Release2016
GenreRogue-like bullet hell
TypeShared screen

Enter the Gungeon is one of the increasingly popular rogue-lite genre coupled with a charming pixelated aesthetic that became almost obligatory for the genre. Become one of the Gungeoneers, each with a unique loadout of starting guns and items, and do what you must to survive and reach your goal: a past-killing gun. Which means rolling, dodging, shooting bullet-like enemies in the primer.

There are dozens and scores of cool guns and other stuff to unlock and discover, an endless supply of challenging rooms, and a great local co-op experience for you and one pardner to help you have a glorious shootout at a More Than OK Corral. Enter the Gungeon supports a local co-op for two players, and it is fully drop-in/drop-out, which is always a great idea.

Key features
  • A great roguelike mixes with bullet hell
  • Tonnes of cool weapons used by odd characters
  • Features a 2-player local co-op
  • Spawned a singleplayer game Exit the Gungeon

8. Rivals of Aether

Release2013
GenreFighting
TypeShared screen

Rivals of Aether is clearly not the first and I promise you it’s not the last pixelated game here, but it’s perhaps the only fighting game here, for those of you who need the satisfaction of stomping your play buddy into the dark crevices of your shared couch. RoE has the expected local multiplayer, with 1v1, 2v2 and free for all fights, and if needed the game is perfectly happy to let you take your fights online.

The premise is that there’s a war between nations characterised by their control over the classical elements of Air, Water, Earth and Fire and the fact that they are animals. That’s more or less what you need to know right now, and the game has a story mode, so you can dig into the lore of individual fighters at your leisure, learning their movesets in the process. Win-win.

Key features
  • Creative roster of animalistic fighters
  • Easy to learn fighting mechanics
  • Cameos from other games
  • Elemental powers

7. Viscera Cleanup Detail

Release2015
GenreIndie, Simulation
TypeSplit screen

This game has you and you co-op buddies play the roles of the poor folk who need to clean up a space station after a brave protagonist of a shooter game killed all the pesky invading aliens, leaving a quite literal trail of blood and destruction in their wake. Imagine having to clean up the UAC facilities after Doomguy was done. Thankfully you have your trusty, exquisitely floppy mop to help.

Viscera Cleanup Detail is a remarkable game, not only for the mop physics. It’s a very fun, out-there idea perfectly suited for a cooperative play, especially in local multiplayer. Up to three friends can join you for a local split-screen, and up 32 online. The game even provides handy stats to shove in your incompetent co-op buddies’ faces to prove you did most of the heavy lifting.

Key features
  • 4-player split screen
  • You clean up after a messy fight against aliens
  • The mop physics are endlessly funny
  • Sandbox mode

6. Castle Crashers

Release2012
GenreAction, Adventure
TypeShared screen

Team up with up to three friends, pick a colour-coded grim-helmed knight and go save a princess. Your journey will take you through villages, scenic natural vistas, enemy castles and more, and your weapons will sow chaos among enemy ranks. All of it comes with a colourful, cartoon style which makes the carnage unleashed by your knights a lot less gruesome and a lot more amusing.

There are 25 characters, dozens of different weapons, and an accessible combo system which will let you fire off powerful attacks with ease. You even get to improve your character’s stats and have a cute companion, so the game isn’t JUST crashing castles and taking names. And if you get tired of co-operating with up to three friends on your couch, you can fight them in an arena!

Key features
  • Plenty of weapons and playable characters
  • With a 4-player co-op it’s a great warm-up game
  • A sense of progression
  • There’s a PvP arena if you’re tired of co-op

5. Broforce

Release2015
GenreAction platformer
TypeShared screen

Broforce is one hell of a silly and thoroughly enjoyable game. Its story is pure gung-ho, square-jawed nonsense we’ve seen in countless action movies from the 80s and 90s. The player characters are all caricatures of famous characters, such as Rambro, Brobocop, or Bronan the Brobarian. Every character’s name is twisted to have “bro” in it. There’s even Ellen Ripbro, because broness transcends gender.

Better yet: as the developer Free Lives proudly states in its description the game has Fully Destroyable Everything, and this is accurate. Almost immediately the map gets ripped apart by guns, artillery, and explosive barrels someone decided to place in the most precarious places. The game has a four-player split screen PC co-op and you can even buy the full 4-pack of it if you want to share it with your bros.

Key features
  • Extremely destructible levels
  • Plenty of loving homages to classic action cinema
  • Four-player co-op, or PvP deathmatch, whichever sounds more fun to you
  • There’s a level editor if you want even more than the game already offers

4. Overcooked (2)

Release2016 (Overcooked), 2018 (Overcooked 2)
GenreAction platformer
TypeShared screen

Overcooked a game with adorable exterior which will make you want to strangle your friends and family after playing it for fifteen minutes. The core is simple: you have up to four cooks in the kitchen, a recipe, ingredients to prepare, and a bunch of kitchen utensils. Then it gets complicated. Things have to be done in order, the kitchen’s layout changes regularly, plates have to be cleaned… you get the idea.

Every delay means you can squeeze in fewer order deliveries, which means you don’t get as many points as you might have wanted. It’s a study in chaos, especially when someone tries to establish order without others’ cooperation, but also immensely fun. Overcooked is shared screen, local multiplayer only, but the sequel adds online functionality, so there’s some flexibility, if you need it.

Key features
  • A perfect simulation of working at a kitchen
  • Cute aesthetic
  • Up to four players locally
  • One controller is enough for two players

3. Rocket League

Release2015
GenreSports
TypeSplit screen

Rocket League is a successor to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, a game whose title, in addition to being just perfect, could also be a tagline for Rocket League itself, because it’s basically that, but better. Rocket League is like football, but teams are way smaller, and also populated by cars which can jump, fly, and ride up the walls to chase a huge ball and score goals with it.

Rocket League has a very high skill ceiling, and the best players can do things that are almost too precise and graceful. RL took gamers by storm, and it has a local split screen multiplayer for up to four players that works really well even through the game requires great spatial awareness. Important note: Rocket League really benefits from a gamepad, playing on keyboard is much harder.

Key features
  • Cars are customisable, including their exhaust fumes and ornaments
  • Top-tier play requires a lot of skill
  • Four-player split-screen
  • Gamepad strongly recommended

Rocket League is free to play game.

2. Gears of War 4

Release2016
GenreThird-person shooter
TypeSplit screen

Gears of War is a franchise with a pedigree, over the course of its existence spawning a few games, a few novels, and a few visual novels. It’s latest incarnation, GoW4 takes place over two decades after the conclusion of the original trilogy, and introduces a new protagonist, Marcus Fenix’s son JD. Of course, JD isn’t alone and has his own group of friends, COG soldiers like himself.

Gears of War 4 keeps the series tradition of letting you enjoy a split-screen cooperative experience in multiple modes. You can play through the campaign together, or team-up and have a go at the inevitable Horde mode, deploying defences, sticking to chest-high walls and pouring hot lead from any of your brutally efficient guns. It’s Gears of War, so a solid split-screen is a given.

Key features
  • New story in a familiar setting
  • You play as Marcus Fenix’s son, JD
  • New, better, improved Horde mode
  • A great sequel, Gears 5

1. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Release2017
GenreRPG
TypeSplit screen

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a really, really good game when you play it alone, and rises to a fantastic status if you can get your pals to play it with you. Much like its immediate predecessor, the original Original Sin , OS2 allows you to play the entire story with up to three friends. You can play in split-screen with one friend, and have two more (possibly also playing in split-screen) join online.

And then there’s the DM Mode. If playing pre-packaged stories isn’t for you, find four more people (for a total of five), decide between yourselves who’s the storyteller, and go on a custom-made adventure created using DOS2’s fantastic creator, letting you string together locations, adjust their ambience, pick music, add texts… It’s basically what crafting a tabletop RPG game session is like, only in digital format.

Key features
  • Two players can play on one computer, two more can join online
  • Several pre-made character to choose from if you don’t feel like making your own
  • Full mod support, including Steam Workshop
  • Elaborate mechanics enabling creative

Put down your controllers

That concludes our subjective list of subjectively greatest split screen on PC. You’re likely to disagree with it, because we didn’t include a game you consider the best for local multiplayer. Let us know in the comments what you pick would have been.

If you found this article informative, we’re also going to feature some tailored specifically for XO and PS4, listing some of the best local co-op and competitive games for these platforms as well. Some might even feature cross-platform multiplayer! You won’t know until you check them out.

And in case you’re missing any title from the list and seek to expand your library in case you need to entertain a nephew or a party of blood hungry friends, head over through our marketplace and grab some.