Back in the day, split screen or local multiplayer used to be a must in most video games. But these times are long gone.
You can thank widespread Internet connection for that. Finding a good game to play with a bunch of friends bundled together on a single couch is difficult on consoles. It’s even harder on PCs which seem much less suited for such a form of multiplayer.
So, what can you do? Checking this list out might help. We’ve picked a bunch of games – cooperative and competitive alike – that let you invite a bunch of dudes or dudettes over to have some good old fashioned fun on a shared screen.
|It Takes Two||2021-03-26||Action & Adventure||Hazelight Studios||64%|
|LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga||2022-04-05||Action & Adventure||Traveller's Tales, TT Games||73%|
|X-Morph: Defense||2017-08-30||Indie||Exor Studios||94%|
|Streets of Rage 4||2020-04-30||Action||DotEmu||27%|
|HELLDIVERS Dive Harder Edition||2015-12-07||Action||Arrowhead Game Studios||85%|
|A Way Out||2018-03-23||Adventure||Hazelight Studios||73%|
|Castle Crashers||2012-09-26||Adventure||The Behemoth||33%|
|Children Of Morta||2019-09-01||Adventure||Dead Mage||79%|
|Cuphead||2017-09-29||Indie||StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.||27%|
|Darksiders Genesis||2019-12-05||Adventure||Airship Syndicate||85%|
|Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition||2015-10-27||Adventure||Larian Studios||63%|
|Divinity Original Sin 2||2017-09-14||Adventure||Larian Studios||45%|
|Dragon Ball Fighterz||2018-01-26||Fighting||Arc System Works||88%|
|Enter The Gungeon||2016-04-05||Adventure||Dodge Roll||65%|
|F1 2020 Standard Edition||2020-07-10||Racing||Codemasters||9%|
|Gears 5||2019-09-10||Action||The Coalition / Black Tusk Studios||38%|
|Gears Of War 4||2016-10-11||Action & Shooter||The Coalition / Black Tusk Studios||66%|
|Guacamelee 2||2018-08-21||Adventure||DrinkBox Studios||83%|
|Left 4 Dead 2||2009-11-16||Action & Shooter||Valve|
|Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime||2015-09-09||Indie||Asteroid Base|
|Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition||2020-11-17||Action||NetherRealm Studios||92%|
|Outward||2019-03-26||RPG||Nine Dots Studio||83%|
|Overcooked||2016-08-03||Action & Shooter||Ghost Town Games Ltd.||79%|
|Overcooked 2||2018-08-07||Indie||Ghost Town Games Ltd.||77%|
|Resident Evil 6||2013-03-22||Horror||CAPCOM||83%|
|Rivals Of Aether||2017-03-28||Fighting||Dan Fornace||10%|
|Screencheat||2014-10-21||Action & Shooter||Samurai Punk||56%|
|Split Second||2010-05-18||Action & Shooter||Black Rock Studio||77%|
|Tekken 7||2017-06-01||Fighting||BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.||86%|
|Trine Ultimate Collection||2019-10-08||Action||Frozenbyte||75%|
This one surely is an interesting title. A mixture of a top-down shooter and a tower defense game.
X-Morph lets you invade Earth to harvest its resources and turn the planet into a bizarre, alien monstrosity or something.
As a member of the titular race, your task is to spearhead the invasion and defend the harvester from incoming attacks. There are two general phases. The first one is the Build Mode where you fly around the map and place turrets that’ll handle enemy forces. The other phase is the attack one, obviously – you’re tasked with destroying all invaders (though technically they are the defenders).
There are epic boss battles with powerful war machines, there’s destructible environment, there are upgrades that you can choose between missions and then there’s the split-screen mode where you can fend off the General’s armies with the second player. X-Morph looks great and is really fun to play. If you like interesting mixtures of genres, this should be your jam.
Streets of Rage 4
A timeless classic reborn, Streets of Rage 4 updates on the original trilogy of one of the best beat ’em up games ever in every respect.
Phenomenal gameplay? Check. Fantastic soundtrack that just screams the 90s? Check. Painstakingly crafted handmade visuals? Check.
SoR 4 marks the return of Axel, Adam and Blaze, ready to whoop them butts of a new criminal organization that – of course! – needs to be stopped. You can do that as a team of up to four players (though the single-player mode is also available), which is a first for the series (the limit before this game was two players only). You can even fight against each other in the Battle Mode.
Ultimately, Streets of Rage 4 is a very competent return of a classic game trilogy. If you’re looking for a good beat ’em up, this one seems like a very good pick.
Helldivers: Dive Harder Edition
If you’re looking for hardcore twin stick shooters that you can play with your jolly bunch, Helldivers is one of the best out there.
Set in the future, the game pits you against all that threatens Super Earth. You know, there’s intense intergalactic stuff going on and you need to vanquish all enemies of humanity.
It is possible to play solo here, but the fun begins when you get up to four players together and start blasting them bugs and other aliens in the co-op mode. Make no mistake: it’s a tough, difficult game that requires not just precise gunmanship, but also tactical planning and avoiding shooting your teammates in the back. Yup, friendly fire’s not a bug, it’s a feature here and it’s super easy for you to accidentally gun down one of your buddies.
Helldivers is full of content. Official estimates say that there’s enough for over one hundred hours of gameplay, so if you’re looking for a fun, but also brutally difficult game to play with your friends, you should at least consider this one.
It Takes Two
Much like Hazelight Studios’ previous outing, A Way Out, It Takes Two doesn’t even bother trying to have anything short of a single-player mode, period. It takes two to tango and that’s final.
Speaking of which, the duo we play as in the game is a married couple, Cody and May, who are planning on getting a divorce. Once they share the ill news with their daughter, Rose, she makes two dolls that represent her old folks in order to help them make amends. Guess what happens next: the actual parents get trapped inside these dolls and need to embark on a true adventure towards healing and repairing their strained marriage.
It Takes Two is a mixture of various gameplay mechanics and tons of mini-games that shake things up a lot from level to level. Both characters have their unique abilities and both are required to move further, so good cooperation is a must. Ultimately, It Takes Two works well as a metaphor of marriage therapy, is full of fun ideas and delivers a heartwarming message. Definitely a good game to put on this list.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
We’ve written about Traveller’s Tales’ most ambitious project to date a couple times already, so here we’ll focus on the split-screen mode in the game.
As you know, it takes two to have fun in them LEGO games and this one is probably no exception. Solving puzzles and taking on enemies together was always more fun with a friend playing with you.
Just like LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Skywalker Saga’s split-screen mode allows each player to sort of go their separate ways and explore various corners of a particular level. It’s a drop-in drop-out system, meaning a companion can join or leave anytime they wish.
Aside from that, the game is obviously a familiar experience, although there are some changes and new ideas that make things here feel fresh. All in all, there hasn’t been a better video game adaptation of the entire saga yet. Pick it up if you love Star Wars, you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
It’s a delightfully intense and upbeat co-op game for up to four players (though solo play is still possible, with AI helping you out).
Your task is to fly a spherical spaceship through an indeed dangerous space-time continuum and run from one place on the vessel to another to shoot turrets, pilot the ship, deploy shields, etc. Good cooperation is a must here.
You can upgrade your ship with gems that unlock new abilities and options. The maps you traverse are randomized, so your team needs to respond to unexpected enemy attacks and make quick decisions.
As a side note, the visuals are strikingly vibrant and with so much going on, there’s lots of stuff to look at.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Looking at other players’ screens used to be a huge no-no. However, Screencheat makes this dishonorable practice the defining feature of its gameplay!
All combatants are invisible. This means that if you want to deduce their location, you need to look at their screens. All this makes the game hectic and delightfully chaotic.
Obviously, this one isn’t exactly a hardcore FPS, it’s more of a fun warmup before you jump into a more demanding game. The maps in Screencheat are designed to feature distinctive locations which makes it a bit easier to track down your opponents and take them out with one the weird one-hit kill weapons included here, including an exploding teddy bear.
Juan Aguacate, an extraordinary luchador, returns from a brief retirement, equipped with new bone-crushing moves. Oh, and the transformation into a chicken – you can now fight in this form and it’s way more effective than you think.
There’s also plenty of new bosses and challenges to overcome, so it’s good that you can play Guacamelee 2! with up to three friends.
The game is a metroidvania set in the Mexiverse, a world inspired by Mexican legends and traditions. And no, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all, so it’s very cartoony and full of bright colors. Plus it works really well in the co-op mode. Each player (up to four are supported) can pick a different character, some of which need to be unlocked first.
A Way Out
This one’s an ambitious, cinematic experience that you need to play in a duo. Yup, you can’t go solo here.
A Way Out puts both players in the shoes of Vincent Moretti and Leonard Caruso, two inmates who want to help each other escape. What results from that is a story that would be perfect for a TV show. The only exception here is that you get to make the decisions.
A Way Out puts both split and shared screen mechanics to an excellent use in creating dramatic tension. Sometimes, one character has to distract someone while the other sabotages or steals stuff. Sitting on the same couch really helps here when it comes to communication and deciding who does what.
Cuphead’s most defining characteristic is its art style that harkens back to the good old days of rubber hose animation, popular in the 1920s.
There’s also the facts that you play as two lads with cups for heads that lost a game with the devil and need to erase their debt somehow. A lot of jumping and shooting ensues as a result.
Unlike most other games on this list, Cuphead is difficult and unforgiving. The bosses are super tough to beat and you’ll need to dispose of tons of enemies and avoid plenty of obstacles before you reach them, which is a demanding task.
Playing with a friend at least lets you bring back your companion back to life if they happen to perish. Plus, additional firepower is always good.
Children of Morta
At its heart Children of Morta is a family story. You play as one of the Bergsons who made monster hunting and dungeon exploration their family business.
You pick a character to best tackle a particular dungeon run and the game itself is a mixture of roguelite and hack and slash, featuring fast-paced combat and run-specific buffs.
Children of Morta supports couch co-op for two players who can choose one of the six playable characters, each with different skills and playstyle. Over time, however, you’ll get to upgrade the whole family and not just its individual members.
You can totally play this game solo, but cooperating as two brothers – sword-wielding War and gun-toting Strife – who seek to dispense some indiscriminate justice is where it’s at!
While the perspective in Genesis is far different from the series’ usual deal, the core action-adventure gameplay, consisting of exploration, puzzle solving and fighting anyone dumb enough to stand in our way, has been retained. You’ll also get to grab new gear and upgrade your abilities to boost your message that messing with the Horsemen is generally a very bad idea.
Gather up to three friends and join the fight for your life in the world’s deadliest gladiatorial arena!
Explore it, avoid deadly traps, vanquish your foes and follow the guidance of your almost useful spirit mentor. Forced is a simple concept that has been greatly executed.
Once you start the game, you can pick one of the four weapons that kind of work as character classes: ranged Storm Bow, defensive Frost Shield, Volcanic Hammer that deals cleaving Area-of-Effect damage, and Spirit Blades focusing on a single target.
There’s also the Mark Combat System where enemies gain the so-called marks upon being hit. Thanks to this your abilities have more powerful effects, which encourages saving them for the right moment instead of using them at the start of a battle.
Its graphics may have aged, but Forced is still an excellent action RPG that really shines in multiplayer.
Left 4 Dead 2
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Left 4 Dead 2 is a major improvement over its predecessor in pretty much every aspect and the infamous AI Director is probably at its most diabolical here.
That’s right: victory won’t come easy. You need to master the art of teamwork in order to complete a mission successfully and move on to the next one in one piece. But that’s what makes this game so rewarding!
The game itself is a co-operative first-person shooter where a team of four survivors with various weapon preferences needs to mow down rampaging zombie hordes and complete certain objectives along the way.
There are also special undead, like the infamous Witch who wreaks real havoc if startled. Left 4 Dead 2 is fast, tense and best played with friends (though there’s a single-player mode here as well).
Trine: Ultimate Collection
This one is a lovely series of co-op puzzle platformers where three characters – Zoya the Thief, Amadeus the Wizard, and Pontius the Knight – embark on various epic adventures to put an end to threats to a troubled kingdom.
It can be played solo, of course, but it’s way more fun if two other peeps join you to control the remaining characters.
You’ll need to work together, of course, as each character has skills that complement each other. For example, the wizard can manipulate objects from a distance, while the thief uses a grappling hook to reach various areas. A combination of all these skills will help your happy posse brave all the obstacles each level throws at you.
And it’s no wonder: it’s a refreshing change of pace from intense action games to a relaxing thing about building your own farm. And now it’s playable in co-op as well.
Stardew Valley is about restoring a dilapidating farm you inherited to its former glory. You set up vegetable plots, plant fruit trees and sell produce in a nearby town where you also get to befriend various NPCs for life.
Sharing the game with your friends lets them help you out with your farm duties, such as watering plants. There’s even a split-screen mode so that you can play with others locally.
Enter the Gungeon
|Genre:||Rogue-like bullet hell|
This one’s an example of the rogue-lite genre that’s been very popular some time ago, as well as the pixelated art style that’s become sort of a must for such games.
In Enter the Gungeon you become one of the Gungeoneers, each equipped with different weapons and items. Your task is to survive a real bullet hell to reach the ultimate goal: the past-killing gun.
The co-op mode in the game supports two players and is fully drop-in, drop-out, which means you can be joined by someone at any given point and then continue alone if your partner needs to leave.
With tons of guns to explore and an endless supply of challenges, this is a perfect title if you want to experience some fun shootouts.
Rivals of Aether
OK, there’s been a bunch of pixelated games on this list already, but what about a fighting game?
Rivals of Aether lets you duke it out with a bunch of friends locally in 1v1, 2v2 and free-for-all modes. You can also take the fight online if you are so inclined.
As far as the plot and the setting are concerned, the game takes place in a world where various nations control the classical elements – Air, Water, Fire, and Earth – and wage a destructive war.
Your fighters are animalistic representations of these elements. That’s probably all you need to know at the moment. If you want to learn more about the lore here, there’s a story mode that’ll also teach you some new moves along the way.
Viscera Cleanup Detail
Doomguy and other shooter heroes are known to leave a trail of gore and destruction once they’re done with ripping and tearing. Who will clean up all this mess? Viscera Cleanup Detail answers this question.
As part of a special team tasked with mopping up whatever’s left of the enemies that once occupied space stations and the like, you get to wield your weapon of choice – your trusty mop – with pride.
Viscera Cleanup Detail is a remarkable game not only because of its mop physics. It’s simply a fun idea that’s been competently executed.
Up to four players can join you locally and up to thirty two players can play together online. The game even provides stats that you can shove in the faces of your incompetent buddies to prove that you’ve been the one to do all the heavy lifting.
Team up with up to three friends, pick the color of your knight and embark on a quest to save a princess.
Thanks to cartoonish visuals all the on-screen carnage looks a lot less gruesome and a lot more amusing.
You have twenty five characters to choose from, dozens of different weapons and an accessible combo system which lets you unleash powerful attacks with ease.
You can even improve your character’s stats and be joined by a cute companion pet, so the game isn’t just besieging castles and slaughtering enemies. By the way, if you’re tired of working together, you can totally duke it out on the arena and see who’s boss!
This one’s a fantastic tribute to Contra and the classic action movies and heroes of the 80s and the 90s.
Broforce is literally littered with references and hilarious parodies of the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone, Robocop and so on. Heck, there are even she-bros (such as Ellen Ripbro), because why not?
The game boasts that it has Fully Destroyable Everything, so you’re free to unleash carnage and wreck everything in your path, including obliterating entire levels with guns, artillery strikes and explosive barrels in the most convenient places.
Up to four players can play on a single PC in the split-screen mode and you can even buy a four-pack for your bros if you want some online play instead.
4. Overcooked 1 & 2
It seems adorable on the outside, but it will quickly make you want to strangle your family and friends to death.
Overcooked’s premise is rather simple: up to four cooks have to prepare a meal. But things get complicated. Stuff must be done in order, utensils and plates must be cleaned, etc. You get the idea.
Every second of delay means you won’t serve as many meals, meaning less points. Overcooked is chaos unleashed, especially if someone wants to establish order without others cooperating, but this makes the game so fun.
Overcooked 1 offers only local-based shared screen multiplayer, but the sequel has online capabilities, which offers new opportunities.
Rocket League does everything its predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, did, but it does all that so much better.
It’s like football, but the teams are way smaller and consist of cars whose task is to send a huge ball flying into the opponents’ goalpost.
We have to admit: this game is really tough to master. Still, the best players can pull of some really amazing tricks that seem almost unreal and impossible to perform. Rocket League took the gaming world by storm. It even features a split-screen mode for up to four players. It works really well despite the fact that the game requires great amounts of spatial awareness.
One more thing: you better grab a gamepad for this game, playing Rocket League using a keyboard is much more difficult.
Rocket League is free to play game on Epic Games.
Gears of War 4
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Gears of War is one of the most beloved franchises out there. The fourth installment in the series takes place over two decades after the conclusion of the original trilogy.
You get to play as Marcus Fenix’ son, JD, assisted by his soldier friends in his fight against new threats that have recently emerged on planet Sera.
Gears of War 4 sticks to the series’ tradition and features split-screen multiplayer in various modes. You can complete the campaign with a buddy or test your mettle in the Horde mode where you set up defenses and shower enemies with lead. It’s a classic GoW game, so expect lots of fun and lots of tactical gunplay.
Divinity: Original Sin II
This one is amazing when you play it alone, but it’s all the more incredible if you get someone to play it with you.
Up to four friends can join you online, but there’s also a split-screen mode for two people.
But the most impressive feature here is pretty much the Game Master Mode, hands down. Find up to five people in total, decide who’s the storyteller and who are the participants and unleash your creativity in a fantastic editor that lets you build new adventures from scratch.
It’s basically a tabletop RPG experience, but in a video game.
So, this concludes our list of the best split-screen games available on the market. There’s plenty more, of course, so we’ll keep expanding the list with new stuff that we deem worthy of a recognition here.
In the meantime, head over to G2A Marketplace to grab some sweet deals on the titles above and more!