Consoles have always been pretty good about letting people play games while sharing a couch, bowl of snacks, and refrigerated drinks. Local multiplayer is a dying art, but there are still plenty of games with shared- and split-screen options for those who prefer their multiplayer locally-sourced.

Xbox One’s catalog of games has plenty of titles you could enjoy this way, and below you’ll find a few of our picks, with older and never games alike, across several genres, to make it easier for you to find something that ignites your interest.

List of Top Split Screen games for Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S
GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Minecraft 2011-11-18 Action Mojang Studios
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 2022-04-05 Action-adventure Traveller's Tales
Contra: Operation Galuga 2024-03-12 Arcade WayForward
Diablo IV 2023-06-06 RPG Blizzard Entertainment
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Next Level Edition 2022-03-25 Action role-playing Gearbox Software
It Takes Two 2021-03-26 Platform Hazelight Studios
A Way Out 2019-03-23 Adventure Hazelight Studios
Ark Survival Evolved 2015-06-02 Adventure Studio Wildcard
The Ascent (Xbox Series X/S, Windows 10) 2021-07-29 Cyberpunk Neon Giant
EA SPORTS FC 24 2023-09-29 Sports EA Sports
Samurai Warriors 5 2021-07-27 Action KOEI TECMO GAMES CO. LTD.
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse 2021-03-16 Action Wideload Games, Aspyr, THQ Nordic
The Binding Of Isaac Rebirth 2014-11-04 Action & Shooter Nicalis, Inc.
Crimsonland 2014-06-11 Adventure 10tons
Cuphead 2017-09-29 Indie Studio MDHR
Diablo 3 Eternal Collection 2012-05-12 Hack & Slash Blizzard Entertainment
Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition 2017-09-14 Adventure Larian Studios
FIFA 22 2021-09-26 Sports EA Sports
Enter The Gungeon 2016-04-05 Adventure Dodge Roll
Forza Motorsport 7 2017-10-03 Racing Turn 10 Studios
Gears Of War 4 2016-10-11 Adventure The Coalition
Halo The Master Chief Collection 2020-11-17 Action & Shooter 343 Industries
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 2017-11-14 Action TT Games
Minecraft 2011-11-18 Action Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition 2020-11-17 Action NetherRealm Studios
Overcooked 2016-08-03 Action & Shooter Ghost Town Games
Overcooked 2 2018-08-07 Indie Team17, Ghost Town Games
Rayman Legends 2013-08-29 Adventure Ubisoft Montpellier

Minecraft

Release date:2011-11-18
Genre:Action
Developer:Mojang Studios

Minecraft is one of the most important games out there, its influence is undeniable. But underneath all that technical and design brilliance, Minecraft is also just plain fun to play, and, if your platform of choice is Xbox, you can even enjoy it side by side in split-screen multiplayer. Up to four people can play together, and all you need is four controllers and a TV big enough for everybody to get a good view.

What you do later is up to you. You could hop into a Survival mode and try to make a living together, or individually, building a safe home base, figuring out how to gather resources, and all that good survival genre stuff. Or you could go fully Creative mode, working together with infinite materials to build something cool and impressive or very silly. It’s always more fun with friends.

Key features
  • Incredible creative, terramorphing freedom
  • Up to four players can enjoy the game in splitscreen
  • Two core modes: Survival and Creative
  • Many different biomes, materials, and interesting interactions

ARK Survival Evolved

Release date:2017-08-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Studio Wildcard

Another notorious survival game, ARK is the one with all the dinosaurs. The game dumps you in a large, dangerous world with a few rags to covers your bits with and tells you to do your best to keep being alive. Tall task, but eventually the progression system will allow you to build impressive strongholds, make complex weaponry, and find interesting uses for all the dinosaurs you tamed.

Some of them you can use as mounts, or hungry, hungry guards for your slice of land, but you might even be able big a small base on a certain dino’s back. Legends say it still only counts as one if somebody kills the dino. ARK can only handle two people in local multiplayer, but you can combo it with two more people online. Since the world is not particularly forgiving, there is strength in numbers.

Key features
  • Massive expansions adding more worlds and creatures
  • Tons of crafting recipes
  • Lots of prehistoric beasts and creatures from myths and legends alike
  • Two-player local split-screen support

LEGO Star Wars: the Skywalker Saga

Release date:2022-04-05
Genre:Action-adventure
Developer:Traveller's Tales

The LEGO games have a long and glorious tradition of being excellent co-op split screen experience and it will be a cold day in hell before it changes. The Skywalker Saga, a LEGO version of all nine core Star Wars movies (or three trilogies, if you want to count this way) certainly don’t buck the trend and your adventures in the galaxy far away can be accompanied by another person sharing the couch.

The game is a grand tour of the most iconic locations from the movies, with a large selection of familiar characters to play as, and a surprisingly well-developed melee combat system. It’s a real treat for Star Wars fans, especially those who like poking good-natured fun at the franchise. The Skywalker Saga even lets you switch between normal dialogues and mumbled lines from earlier LEGO games.

Key features
  • Large, explorable hub locations
  • Almost 400 playable characters
  • Great combat system, worthy of the lightsaber
  • Retains a lot of the sense of humor typical for LEGO games

Contra: Operation Galuga

Release date:2024-03-12
Genre:Arcade
Developer:WayForward

Contra is an absolute classic. The series dates back to the late 80s, and the original game is many people’s formative gaming memory. Now a new instalment came out, Contra: Operation Galuga, and it has captured the side-scrolling running and gunning of the original, with a modern graphics that manage to still feel nostalgically old-school.

Operation Galuga’s local co-op can handle up to four players at once, and while it’s more of a shared screen than split screen, the game is easily fun enough to overlook this minor detail. Between gloriously old-school character, level, and boss designs, fast-paced action, and guns spilling streams of improssible projectiles and beams, being able to tackles the game’s challenges with friends is a blast.

Key features
  • A new instalment of a legendary series which feel authentic to the original
  • Four-player local co-op
  • Multiple playable characters
  • Plenty of power-ups and upgrades

Diablo IV

Release date:2023-06-06
Genre:RPG
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo has always been a multiplayer-friendly adventure, and the latest entry in the hack’n’slash series isn’t any different. In fact, if you play on Xbox (or PlayStation, but ignore that for a moment) you can play locally with one other person, as long as they log into their own Battle.net account. Once that step is complete, you can both grab the controllers, sit back and go slay some monsters.

As for the game itself, it’s Diablo going back to form. The series is fully back in the gritty, dark fantasy aesthetic. The plot revolves around Lilith, freshly returned from the void and enacting her ambitious plans for Sanctuary, by any means necessary. Which, of course, leaves a lot of room for a bunch of violent vagabonds known as player characters to slice and dice hordes of enemies.

Key features
  • Five distinct classes with customizable appearance
  • Several large regions to explore and murder your way through
  • Looting new pieces of gear never gets old
  • Great dark fantasy story

EA Sports FC 24

Release date:2023-09-29
Genre:Sports
Developer:EA Romania

The latest instalment of EA Sport’s long-running football simulator might have a different title than most of the series, but despite missing the FIFA license it has all the technical polish and quality achieved by the franchise over the decades of its existence. At this point it’s hard to imagine what further improvements could be brought to the table outside of updated teams.

And yet, improvement were made, via a new edition of the HyperMotion system, which ensures that digital players move and behave as realistically and true to the real players as possible. The similarities are uncanny, and at times the game looks barely different from a broadcast from a real match. But of course, it’s unlikely the biggest clubs in the world would play against your favorite local team.

Key features
  • Incredibly realistic representations of real players
  • Crossplay and local multiplayer
  • Several game modes
  • Many licensed players teams, and leagues

It Takes Two

Release date:2021-03-26
Genre:action-adventure
Developer:Hazelight Studios

It Takes Two is quite deceptive. It looks cute, but gets unreasonably, almost comically dark at many points. At first glance it looks like a run-of-the-mill platform game with a co-op gimmick, but no individual screen can show you the incredible diversity of experiences offered by this game. In some ways every region is like a separate game in its own right as far as gameplay and style goes.

It Takes Two is exclusively co-operative. Just like the Hazelight Studios’ previous game, A Way Out it requires two players, no more, no less. The game’s theme is working together and communicating, and, by Dr. Hakim’s bodacious pages, the gameplay does enforce it. The protagonists, Cody and May, aren’t fully symmetrical either: each gets different tools to play with every stage.

Key features
  • Mind-blowingly creative levels
  • One of the best 2 player Xbox One games
  • You play as two (incompetent) parents who got turned into tiny handmade dolls
  • Each level is rich in minigames, interactions, and charming (or disturbing) moments

The Ascent

Release date:2021-07-29
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Neon Giant

The Ascent is a game in a genre which has always been great at split-screen co-op: a twin-stick shooter. It has all the hallmarks: an isometric view, tons of enemies trying to kill you every waking second of your life, and many ways to dispose of them. Better yet, it welcomes up to four players even in local co-op, so you know that things can get quite flashy here.

The game is cyberpunk to the max, with corporate overlords, alien planets, cybernetic augmentations, and inevitable street-level strife between gangs and factions. The story serves as a perfect excuse to go around the metropolis, shooting people who try to take control of your home district for their own greedy ambitions.

Key features
  • 4-player co-op
  • Cool futuristic, cyberpunk setting
  • Satisfying degree of character customization
  • Also available on Xbox Series X/S

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Release date:2022-03-25
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Gearbox Software

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a full-blown, stand-alone sequel to a Borderlands 2 DLC Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. The original DLC was a riff on Dungeons & Dragons, and it’s popularity was enough to have the idea spun off into a separate game. And wouldn’t you know, it turns out that it’s awesome too! It’s also split-screen and local co-op friendly, because it IS Borderlands, after all.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands mixes Borderlands’ love for guns and wacky humor with fantasy stylings to create an explosively fun game. The map is 50% appropriate minis and terrain and 50% whatever junk Tiny Tina had lying around, something any Game Master will understand. The game can handle two players locally on Xbox One, but Xbox Series manages a full party of 4 players.

Key features
  • A great sequel to a fantastic DLC
  • Funny, evocative, and entertaining
  • 2-player local co-op on XO, with online combo possible for up to 4 players
  • Cross-platform for all

Samurai Warriors 5

Release date:2021-07-27
Genre:Action
Developer:KOEI TECMO GAMES CO. LTD.

The musou games are a very mixed bag of gameplay. They are both over-the-top slashers featuring vibrant characters, AND often rather tactically-minded because completing all the objectives requires paying attention to the battlefield. Samurai Warriors 5 is a worthy successor to this tradition, and as the title suggest it puts you in control of a whole host of historical figures of the Sengoku period.

Of course, they are suitably redesigned and turned into one-person armies, but that’s just the style of the Warriors games. Samurai Warriors 5 features a 2-player local co-op, which might make it less stressful to complete the missions. Don’t worry about the other person stealing your kills, because like always they go into hundreds and don’t matter all that much anyway.

Key features
  • A mix of hack & slash and tactical action
  • A sizeable roster of characters based on historical figures of the period
  • Spectacular special attacks
  • Unreasonably high killcounts

Stubbs the Zombie Remaster

Release date:2005-11-15
Genre:Comedy, Reverse Horror
Developer:Wideload Games

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is a rare opportunity to play as a zombie. Better yet: the game is mostly comedic in nature, so while you’re shambling around doing undead things, most of them is played for laughs. You can eat people’s brains, use your body parts as weapons, and command your own undead hordes for revenge. That’s right, you have a grudge to settle.

As you might have gathered by now, Stubbs the Zombie features a co-op mode, which gives the second player a once in an unlife-time opportunity to play Scrubbs’ buddy: Grubbs. Together you’ll be able to wreak chaos you wouldn’t be able to on your own. The 1950s town of Punchbowl has no chance to survive against the combined might of two zombies.

Key features
  • Use your body parts as weapons, and you hand to mind control NPCs
  • 2-player local co-op
  • Inspired by the aesthetics of the 1950s
  • Received a remaster in 2021

Rocket League

Release date:2015-07-07
Genre:Indie
Developer:Psyonix

Rocket League is an excellent game in many different ways. The premise, rocket-powered cars playing football, is very fun and unique. The matches are fast-paced and never take more than a few minutes. There’s a lot of customization. But, for the purposes of this list, the key feature is that it allows a 4-player local split-screen multiplayer, either together against another team, or in local 2v2.

Another notable aspect of Rocket League is that its skill ceiling is very high, and it will take some determination to reach it. There are also ice hockey and basketball-inspired variants, as well as custom modes with player-defined parameters if football (wheelball?) doesn’t appeal to you. It’s an amazing game if you have a few spare controllers and like games about cars and sports.

Key features
  • Perfectly suited for local multiplayer, both in co-op and PvP
  • Fast, dynamic, physics-defying matches
  • You can make your car look unique with cool ornaments, exhaust fumes, and more
  • Features crossplay between consoles and PC

Gang Beasts

Release date:2014-08-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Boneloaf

Although the original launch of Gang Beasts happened in 2017, the game wouldn’t come to Xbox (One) until 2019, which makes it a bit fresher on that platform. What is Gang Beasts? It’s possibly the least malicious, and one of the funniest, fighting games in modern memory. The fighters are very clumsy, floppy, humanoid blobs who can not only throw a punch, but also grab enemies or environment.

The ability to grab onto stuff is crucial, because it allows you to grab into an enemy and throw them out of the arena, or, in fact, resist being thrown out. Whoever is the last fighter standing wins the match. The jelly people are customizable, their animations are delightfully and purposefully uncoordinated, and the game is too funny to make anyone mad over losing a match. Perfect.

Key features
  • Local multiplayer for up to 4 players total
  • The clumsiest fighting game
  • Customizable fighters
  • Creative, often dynamic maps

Crimsonland

Release date:2014-06-11
Genre:Adventure
Developer:10tons

Crimsonland is a very simple game, and in this simplicity lies its strength. You are a space-age soldier plopped onto an area swarming with hostile and deadly aliens. Thankfully, you get new weapons, including fancy energy-shooters, and some perks which can substantially change how you complete each map. As you progress, the aliens get more dangerous, so it’s nice that friends can help you.

You can shoot aliens to death with up to three people joining, which means four times as many bullets and bolts of plasma, and a slightly higher chance of surviving against the more advanced swarms. Crimsonland doesn’t look like much, it’s graphics are very functional, but even solo it’s a great game to launch for a few quick runs. Played with friends, it becomes even better.

Key features
  • Many different weapons
  • Plenty of perks which can create interesting synergies with your guns
  • Every level throws tons of various aliens at you
  • 4-player can blast aliens locally

Rayman Legends

Release date:2013-08-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Ubisoft Montpellier

Rayman is a series that’s been running around for decades at this point. Even though the disjointed protagonist isn’t as much of an icon as he used to be, his games are still great, and Rayman Legends is one of the coolest. It also has a solid local multiplayer in which each player controls a different character. It works even on Legends’ concept-levels.

There’s a few levels which synchronize music (such as a custom version of Eye of the Tiger) and level layout, so that you jump, slide, and smash to the music. It’s a great, family-friendly game, and running side by side, conquering levels together is very fun. There’s also a minigame, Kung Foot, which is another football-related option on this list: attack the ball to score goals. Simple, right?

Key features
  • Local 4-player, drop-in/drop-out co-op
  • Several playable characters
  • Rayman in top form
  • Music levels are excellent

Diablo 3

Release date:2017-06-27
Genre:Action RPG
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

The Diablo series is a timeless classic, And for good reasons. Carving the way through dusty dungeons and ruined villages, wading through legions of demons and undead is a time-honored tradition. While you’re perfectly capable of saving the world alone, masterfully wielding magic and weapons, there’s a unique appeal to doing it as an adventuring party of, for instance, 4 people.

Diablo 3 on Xbox allows 4 players to play together, occupying the same couch and sharing the same bunch of snacks. There are 7 classes, tons of loot, and seemingly endless supply of monsters to deal with. Although Diablo IV already exists, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to check out D3, it’s still a solid game with a lot to like about it and a lot of room for very specific class builds.

Key features
  • Several distinct classes
  • Killing monsters is never not fun
  • Up to four players can play locally
  • Plenty of possible builds

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2

Release date:2017-11-14
Genre:Action
Developer:Traveller's Tale

LEGO titles from Traveller’s Tales are always a reliable choice. Marvel Superheroes, but there are also LEGO games for fans of DC comics, Star Wars (like the Skywalker Saga described earlier), or Jurassic Park… In the case of Marvel Superheroes 2 the game gives you a rare chance to play characters absent from the movies, or wearing a cool costume from the old days.

If you want to play as an Old West version of Tony Stark alongside Agent Venom, you can! The game features a split-screen perfected over numerous LEGO game made by Traveller’s Tales. The world is filled with secrets, many of which only specific characters can discover thanks to their powers, and, like all LEGO games, Marvel Super Heroes 2 has a good, family-friendly sense of humor.

Key features
  • Dozens of playable characters with their iconic abilities
  • Story involves Kang the Conqueror messing with time and space
  • 2-player split-screen
  • If you don’t like Marvel, there are other franchises with a LEGO adaptation

Borderlands 3

Release date:2019-09-13
Genre:Shooter
Developer:Gearbox Software

The Borderlands series has always been at the height of its entertainment potential when you play with friends. It’s been true of the first game in the series, and it’s still true for the third. Borderlands 3 has the expected 4-player online co-op, but if you have an extra controller for your Xbox One, a friend can join you on the couch, and the other two players, perhaps also sharing a couch, can join online.

BL3 divides the action, and the story, between three very different planets, one of which is, of course, Pandora. There’s also a new group of cool Vault Hunters ready to do whatever job is paying best, and to loot tons of procedurally generated guns. All character have their own skills, which include commanding beasts (FL4K) and manifesting astral arms to pummel enemies (Amara).

Key features
  • Four distinct playable characters
  • Three planets, between which you travel via your own spaceship, Sanctuary III
  • An absurd number of possible procedurally generated guns
  • 2-player local co-op, 4-player local online co-op

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Release date:2017-09-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Larian Studios

Divinity: Original Sin 2 got a lot of publicity since release for many reasons, but one of them was the great way it does multiplayer. First of all, DOS2 offers two-player split screen, while two (or, in one case: three) more players can join online. Each player can create their own, unique character, or pick one of the pre-generated, Origin characters with their own stories and motivations.

Aside from featuring potentially deadly combat encounters, the game doesn’t prevent you at all from exploring the map on your own. Pursue your own goals, and occasionally rush to help your co-players with a difficult battle, or break them out of jail even as they try to find their own way out. Or you could poison a health potion and give it to another player, nobody will say you can’t do it.

Key features
  • In addition to the co-op campaign there is also a PvP arena mode for spectacular fights
  • In the GM mode the fifth player can join in and run a custom adventure for you
  • Freeform progression: no set-in-stone classes
  • Turn-based combat with rules flexible enough to allow a lot creativity

Overcooked! (2)

Release date:2018-08-07
Genre:Indie
Developer:Ghost Town Games

Overcooked is a game which does local multiplayer right. So much so, that it has an option for two players to use one gamepad, because controls are very simple. What is Overcooked! About, though? It’s about managing chaos inevitably consuming any kitchen with too many cooks. It doesn’t help that the kitchen can drastically change its layout without warning.

The final grade for a level depends on the number of orders you complete before it ends, and that involves good management. One person may be tasked with cutting ingredients, while another makes sure there’s always a clean plate ready, and yet another works the stove. You must also coordinate, so that no snarls appear in the workflow. They are inevitable, but planning makes things better.

Key features
  • Family-friendly aesthetic
  • Local co-op for up to four players, and you only need two controllers
  • Requires good coordination, better than many other co-op games
  • Got re-released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, bundled with the sequel

Mortal Kombat 11

Release date:2019-04-23
Genre:Action
Developer:NetherRealm Studios

Fighting games are some of the best games to play if you have a friend over, two controllers, and a thirst for digital blood. Especially the last part is going to be thoroughly quenched if you launch Mortal Kombat 11, one of the juiciest MK games to date. Of course, blood flowing freely isn’t the only reason MK11 is an excellent fighting game in its own right, benefitting from over two decades of devs’ experience.

There are almost 40 playable characters (25 without DLC), familiar and new, and they can be customized to a degree. The story is pleasantly convoluted, complete with time travel shenanigans, magic, gods, and Johnny Cage wincing at how awful he used to be as a younger man. All in all Mortal Kombat is a fantastic, if brutal and rather complex, fighting game, solo, online, and locally.

Key features
  • Almost 40 characters (with all the DLC)
  • Complex, but not prohibitively
  • Local multiplayer as fine as ever
  • Entertainingly convoluted story

Enter the Gungeon

Release date:2016-04-05
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Dodge Roll

That’s an easy choice to make: we have the cute and hilarious Enter the Gungeon, which also received an exquisitely named update called “Gungeons and Draguns”. If the name alone isn’t an endorsement you may not enjoy much of the game’s tone. EtG doesn’t take itself seriously at all, at least as far as the story is concerned, because the gameplay is polished, tight, and exciting. What is the game like, then?

In Enter the Gungeon you can team up with a friend to take on a randomly generated labyrinth filled with humanoid Bullets and Guns wielding more guns, discover random loot and tackle the dungeon’s imaginative and vicious bosses. Your screen will be frequently filled with all manners of projectiles, which require skillful dodges and maneuvering if you want to stay alive.

Key features
  • Rogue-like bullet hell
  • Several playable characters
  • 2-player local shared screen
  • Tons of gun and other loot

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Release date:2014-11-04
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Nicalis, Inc.

The Binding of Isaac is certainly a very odd game. Famous for its grim, yet cartoonish aesthetic filled with monstrosities, and its weird trailers, Binding of Isaac is something of a Rogue-Like Prime. It can still serve as something of a blueprint on how to make it right and how important it is to inject something of your own into the game. Even if that something amounts to an extended poop joke and mild blasphemy.

In the Afterbirth DLC, you can partner up with a friend to brave Isaac’s basement together, but be warned—in order to initiate the co-op, you’ll need to sacrifice one of your lives. You also have to carefully manage drops between the two of you. On the plus side, fewer things will be wasted. Sacrificing a life turns the co-op into an investment, as your partner functions like a power-up with a drawback.

Key features
  • Not for the faint of heart
  • Many playable characters
  • Drop-in/drop=out 2-player local at a cost of one life
  • Simple, but evocative graphics

Forza Motorsport 7

Release date:2017-10-03
Genre:Racing
Developer:Turn 10 Studios

The latest Xbox One-friendly title in the long-standing series of fantastic racing games lives up to its status with the huge variety of locations, cars and game modes it offers. Forza Motorsport 7 features a full single-player campaign, so there’s stuff to do even when you’re not racing with friends and adds new vehicles and tracks on top of ones returning from Horizon 3.

The controls are great, the tracks are imaginative and varied, and cars have detailed, believable physics. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Motorsport 7 is gorgeous either, with dynamic weather which looks as lifelike as one could have hoped for in a racing game. If you are a fan of the genre, you shouldn’t sleep on Motorsport 7, because it is one of the better racing games on the platform.

Key features
  • Local multiplayer for two people
  • A huge number of cars
  • Dynamic weather system
  • 200 tracks

Cuphead

Release date:2017-09-29
Genre:Indie
Developer:Studio MDHR

Cuphead has a whole lot going for it. Great art style? Check. Satisfying and tight mechanics? Check. Great music? Check. Imaginative and unique designs? Check. Local co-op? Check, check, check! Made with fantastic care and attention to details, Cuphead is brimming with style, but at no point does that style overshadow the substance.

It’s a difficult game, but it fills the player with immense satisfaction after beating every level. In co-op, the second player controls the Luigi to Cuphead’s Mario—Mugman, and both players get the ability to revive each other in a short window of opportunity if one of them falls. Cuphead was one of 2017’s most acclaimed releases for very good reasons: the style and gameplay worked together perfectly well.

Key features
  • Tight run’n’gun gameplay
  • 2-player local co-op
  • Unique aesthetic inspired the cartoon of the 1930s
  • The difficulty level is quite high

Gears of War 4

Release date:2016-10-11
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:The Coalition

Not for the faint of heart, the Gears series is very much a power fantasy about burly soldiers with very big guns shooting at very scary aliens and occasionally cutting said aliens open with chainsaw bayonets. Subtlety isn’t a trait the Gears of War series cared about in the original trilogy, and doesn’t seem to care for in the new generation story that is Gears of War 4 and its direct sequel, Gears 5.

You can play the entire game in a local two-player coop in split-screen and there’s a surprising amount of plot and good dramatic tension, as Player 2 takes control of either Kait or Del. You can also play the improved horde mode with many new features, like classes and special abilities. Gears of War 4 is like a nice, full course meal—it will leave you with a sense of fulfillment every time you dig in.

Key features
  • Award-winning sequel following Kait Diaz’s story
  • 2-player local split-screen co-op
  • Cover-based shooting as good as ever
  • Awesome sequel: Gears 5

A Way Out

Release date:2018-03-18
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Hazelight Studios

A Way Out was designed from the ground up to be a cooperative experience. The game is automatically two-player split-screen, although there’s an option to play it with online multiplayer (but playing it with a friend locally is the best way to do it). There’s no way to play it alone. Whether online or locally, you won’t go anywhere without the second player. It’s quite unique that way (or was, until It Takes Two).

A Way Out is a game about trust. Its mechanics take the idea of a cooperative game to the next level and require conflict resolution skills from players. You need to work together to escape the prison, but that’s just the beginning of the journey. Made by the creator of Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, A Way Out is a masterpiece of combining all elements that make a video game a cohesive whole.

Key features
  • Exclusively co-op experience, no single player version
  • Best in local co-op, but can be played online
  • Dramatic, tightly directed story
  • Takes good communication skills

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Release date:2020-11-17
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:343 Industries

You’re technically getting a total of 4 exclusive titles for the price of one game. The Master Chief Collection includes anniversary editions of Combat Evolved and Halo 2, as well as Halo 3 and 4. All of them received major content updates to bring them up to modern standards. Each of the games in can be played in two player, split-screen co-op, with two more players able to connect online.

The Halo series is legendary for its tight gunplay, with each new iteration improving on the previous one. This purchase could easily serve for more than a year of friendly gatherings, and even if you’re on your own, the Halo series has a famously dramatic and engaging story. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is seriously tough to pass on for anybody owning Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S.

Key features
  • Four Halo games adjusted for modern systems
  • 2-player local split-screen
  • Top-notch gunplay
  • Master Chief is a pretty cool guy, and he came back in 2021 with Halo Infinite!

Let’s play

That concludes the list of the best split- and shared-screen games for Xbox One. Hopefully you’ve found some titles which fits your and your friends’ gaming preferences and you’re going to have a lovely time arguing over who messed up and blaming the controllers!