Back in the glory days of gaming before the wide-spread Internet, local multiplayer was the golden standard for any game. Whether split screen, hot-seats, or otherwise, if you wanted toi play with people, you needed enough controllers to go around.

This has changes in the last decade or two, but if you’re looking for video games you could throw on the screen when you invite friends over, then you’re not without options. In fact, the number of games with couch multiplayer seems to gently increase as people realize again that’s incredibly fun to share the biggest successes and harshest failures with someone next to you. Or to throw a controller at them, if they purposefully screw up a perfect play.

If you’d like to figure out your options for the next friendly get-together, we’ve prepared a list of 15 games which at the very least have local multiplayer, and often feature co-operative modes as well. Some PvP-only games have snuck in, yes, but they are in a minority. It’s mostly about learning to work together against dramatically insurmountable odds.

15 Games With Excellent Couch Multiplayer
It Takes Two 2021-03-26 Action-adventure Hazelight Studios 40%
Broforce 2015-10-15 Adventure Free Lives 68%
Divinity: Original Sin 2 | Definitive Edition 2017-09-14 Adventure Larian Studios 42%
Gang Beasts (Xbox One, Windows 10) (EU) 2014-08-29 Adventure Boneloaf 42%
Worms W.M.D 2016-08-23 Strategy Team17 Digital Ltd 85%
Portal 2 2011-04-18 Adventure Valve
Castle Crashers (EU) 2012-09-26 Adventure The Behemoth 4%
Injustice 2 Legendary Edition 2017-11-30 Action NetherRealm Studios 92%
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe Edition 2017-11-14 Action TT Games 90%
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition 2009-09-15 Adventure CAPCOM 75%
Call of Duty: Vanguard (Xbox One) 2021-11-05 First-Person Sledgehammer Games 69%
FIFA 23 2022-09-30 Sports EA Canada 71%
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes 2015-10-08 Indie Steel Crate Games 35%
Gears of War 4 (Xbox One, Windows 10) 2016-10-11 Action & Shooter The Coalition 65%
Diablo 2 2000-06-29 RPG Blizzard Entertainment 53%

It Takes Two

Release date:2021-03-26
Developer:Hazelight Studios

It’s quite possible that there’s no game that is more local-co-op than It Takes Two, not even the studios previous game, A Way Out, can compare. ITT is a game about two spouses learning to communicate again for the sake of their daughter. The trick is that a stray wish turned them into small dolls, and a sentient relationship advice book puts them through a number of tests.

It Takes Two

Each test takes place in a different are of the house or garden, and since the parent are tiny dolls and the book is clearly magical, there’s a deceptively whimsical “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” vibe to it. Each zone has a different gameplay gimmick, and completing the challenges requires communication and coordination. It’s a fantastically designed game, but it does take two, it’s unplayable solo.

Key features
  • Each chapter of the game features new mechanics
  • Each region has minigames, as well as clever and charming environment interactions
  • The story is great, but not nearly as charming as the gameplay and the aesthetic
  • Exclusively two-player co-op, perfect for a gaming couple


Release date:2015-10-15
Developer:Free Lives

For such a simple game, Broforce does have a layered appeal. On the gameplay front, it’s a 2D side-scrolling action game with wonderfully destructible environments and a host of characters with unique special talents. On the style front, however, these characters are all taken from action movies, from Rambo, pardon, Rambro as the starting character, to Bro Lee as the final one.


The scale of destruction is truly impressive, and once upon a time could even slow some PCs down, and it gets multiplied when you play in 4-player co-op. The explosive chaos and people dying left and right is amazing, and thanks to the exaggerated, pixel-art aesthetic of the game it does have the charm of a fond satire, which should appeal to any fan of 80s and 90s action cinema.

Key features
  • A few dozen characters to unlock, each with unique special skills
  • A loving, if mocking, tribute to classic action movies
  • Co-op for up to four players
  • A 2023 update adding extra flair to the game

Divinity Original Sin II

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

No matter how you like your co-ops and local multiplayers, Larian Studios’ Divinity: Original Sin 2 can probably deliver. It only allows for two people to play locally, but they can be joined online by another two people playing locally at their own place. It can be played cooperatively, but the nature of the story means that a certain degree of PvP is possible, and even encouraged.

Divinity Original Sin II

DOS2 is a party-based roleplaying game with a stunning level of interactivity between your characters’ abilities and the world, which allows for some truly creative solutions to emerge organically. Teleporting, effect sequences, and more are possible…and when you play with others, each can be turned against you with the ingenuity only humans are capable of.

Key features
  • Fantastic party-based, tactical turn-based RPG with lots of room for roleplaying
  • No hard-coded classes, you can build your own character as you please
  • 2-player local co-op, with option to link two local games online
  • You’re not forced to cooperate; you can get in each other’s way too

Gang Beasts

Release date:2014-08-29

If you’ve heard about Human Fall Flat before, now imagine that character in a fighting game. Yeah. In GB you control of a clumsy, floppy, humanoid bag of jelly, waddling endearingly towards enemies and latching desperately onto the environment. The game’s core mode focuses on trying to push other players out of the arena, or into deadly contraptions featured on most of the maps.

Gang Beasts

While the main mode is PvP, there’s also a wave survival co-op mode having you and friends fight against hordes of jelly foes. It’s an exquisitely goofy game, and a guaranteed good time when your friends come over. This is the kind of game where losing is fun, because of how silly it looks and how fast the matches are.

Key features
  • Your little gang beast can be customized with hats, costumes etc.
  • Mostly focused on PvP, but also features a wave survival co-op
  • Very silly
  • Local multiplayer for up to 4 people

Worms (series)

Release date:2016-08-23
Developer:Team17 Digital Ltd

The Worms franchise has been with us for over 20 years, and it had just as many incarnations. The games are typically PvP, set on a destructible arena. The players control a team of cartoonish, customizable Worms taking turns trying to eliminate the other teams with weapons such as bazookas, miniguns, Holy Hand grenades and concrete statues of donkeys.

Worms (series)

That’s about it. A very simple idea, some basic physics (like gravity and wind which affect trajectories), and tons of good fun. Within a few turns alliances and rivalries between players emerge, and if you’re anything like this writer, you’ll have everyone allied against you before you even make one move. Oh, and Worms WMD adds vehicles and bunkers to the arsenal!

Key features
  • Roaring good turn-based fun for up to six players, up to eight Worms each
  • A creative arsenal of weapons, including some truly silly ones
  • Worms WMD features drivable vehicles and buildings you can hide in
  • Not co-op by default, but alliances tend to form anyway

Portal 2

Release date:2011-04-18

After the success of the original Portal, the sequel was just a matter of time. Portal 2 moved Chell’s story forward, although the once pristine Aperture Science facility was now derelict and clearly neglected. The single player campaign was plenty of fun and offered some insights into the lore in addition to perfected portal-platforming, but it’s not why Portal 2 made this list.

Portal 2

The cooperative mode switched Chell for two bumbling robots P-Body (looking like a robo-pea) and Sherman (not looking like a tank) going through a custom set of challenges. They can only be solved if both you and your co-op buddy work together, but shenanigans are very much allowed! Thanks to the fast and forgiving respawn system death is little more than a slap on the wrist!

Key features
  • Instead of silently confident Chell, the co-op features two silly robots
  • A new set of creatively designed spatial puzzles
  • Sequel to one of the best games ever made
  • Excellent singleplayer campaign

Castle Crashers

Release date:2012-09-26
Developer:The Behemoth

When Castle Crashers launched in 2008 for Xbox 360 it didn’t take long before it became a hit, which later was sustained by a 2015 Remastered edition. The game found just the right balance between being simple enough for the players to get the grasp of its mechanics fast, and complex enough not to become boring after three missions. Kind of like cooperative Super Smash Bros.

Castle Crashers

It doesn’t hurt that it has endearing, cartoonish aesthetic, a snazzy four-player local co-op, and enough content to last you for a quite a while. The fact that it’s still selling well after more than a decade is a testament to its quality as a party game. If you’re looking for something that’s not as explosively violent as Broforce, but just as cheerfully mindless, Castle Crashers are the thing.

Key features
  • Simple, but satisfying gameplay
  • 4-player co-op
  • There’s even a plot
  • Cartoonish aesthetic

Injustice 2

Release date:2017-11-30
Developer:NetherRealm Studios

Like is usually the case with fighting games, it’s always fun to play them on a couch. You can’t side-eye anyone for button mashing when you play online! Injustice 2 is a pretty great game, an excellent sequel to a fantastic elseworld take on the DC universe where Superman went mad with grief and established a tyrannical rule alongside a few other heroes and villains.

Injustice league 2

The biggest change relative to the first game introduced in Injustice 2 is the gear system, which, depending on your preferences, provides only visual changes to the characters, or gives actual stat bonuses, because, sure, why the hell not. Either way you’re going to finally be able to let Robin slap Batman back, and help Harley tell the Joker where he can shove his grin. Good times.

Key features
  • Large roster of more than 30 characters from DC comics…and some guests
  • Fantastic fighting system derived from Mortal Kombat
  • Gear system allowing you to customize your fighters
  • Like most fighting games, it’s fantastic in local multi

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

Release date:2017-11-14
Developer:TT Games

If you’re jazzed about Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and you want to get some more Kang in your life, Traveller’s Tales jumped headfirst into this topic with their patented LEGO games. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is focused primarily on the chaos unleashed by the intertemporal conqueror. Admittedly, this one is more comics-based than MCU-based, but the point stands.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

MSH2 has dozens almost 200 characters, including variants, and a bunch of popular locations such as K’un Lun, Xandar or, of course, New York. Kang’s time shenanigans blended them all into the grand city of Chronopolis. Like all LEGO games it has a spectacular dynamic split-screen, Marvel-themed humor, and more variety in the character design department than you’d expect.

Key features
  • A real trip around the Marvel comics universe
  • Fantastic in 2-player split-screen co-op
  • Purposefully very silly
  • A silly number of characters, many with unique gameplay gimmicks attached

Resident Evil 5

Release date:2009-09-15

Resident Evil is a series that has a history that’s as long in real world as it is convoluted in-universe. You’d need to play all the games starting with 1996’s original to fully get the tangled mess of its story and themes. But it turns out RE is also no stranger to local co-op, not just spooky mansions. One of the games still very warmly received for that purpose is Resident Evil 5.

Resident Evil 5

It lets you play the game with a single partner, and you take control of the series mainstay Chris Redfield and a relative newcomer called Sheva Alomar. Even if you play alone, Alomar is still with you, watching, judging, and theoretically helping thanks to the game’s AI. Unfortunately, local co-op isn’t available on the PC version, but works fine on PlayStations 3 & 4 and Xbox 360/One.

Key features
  • Two playable characters, even in the solo game
  • More action-oriented than other installments
  • Set half a decade after the event of RE4
  • Local multiplayer only available on consoles

Call of Duty (series)

Release date:2021-11-05
Developer:Sledgehammer Games

The Call of Duty games certainly aren’t strangers to local split-screen co-op, especially on consoles. The latest game to keep the trend is Call of Duty: Vanguard, with a local co-op for two players, an a general co-op for up to four, which mean two copies of the game, two couches, four controllers, and this is about the last time you’ll need to worry about math with this game.

Call of Duty (series)

The standout co-op mode is, of course, Zombies, a delightfully tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to the gung-ho mood of the single player campaign. How can you dislike a mode that puts your and your friends through the gauntlet of zombie-ridden missions with a plot that riffs cheerfully on the campiest, cheesiest, pulpiest science fiction/horror tropes ever put to script?

Key features
  • The Zombies mode never fails to blend great co-op with silly story
  • To get the full scale of the Zombies plot, you’d need to go way back
  • Tight shooting mechanics
  • One of the most popular video game series of all time


Release date:2022-09-30
Developer:EA Canada

FIFA has a long as glorious history of being one of the best football simulators you could hope for. Over the years the series has evolved its mechanics to an inspiring complexity, but it remains easy to pick up and play, especially if you don’t want to mess with career modes and stick with quickplay. It also shouldn’t be surprising, that the series has always been a great local multiplayer option.


All you need is an additional controller and you’re good to go. Truly, this is the football of the 21st century! It even supports up to four players, if you’ve got more people over. Set up a tournament and spend the evening virtually kicking the ball with your friends and the pros from all of your favorite teams.

Key features
  • Hundreds of real players and teams
  • Realistic motion capture
  • Local multiplayer for up to 4 people
  • Engaging Career mode for people who like football management

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Release date:2015-10-08
Developer:Steel Crate Games

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game which requires good communication skills and being good at quickly referring to manuals. The idea is simple: one person is at the computer screen, watching as a procedurally generated bomb is ticking the time down to zero. The other player (or players) has a defusal manual with lots of different variables and trick options.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Neither side sees the other’s stuff, so they need to exchange information quickly and effectively in order to stop the clock before the KABOOM. It’s a simple idea, but an effective one, and can be a highlight of nerdy get-togethers with your buddies for quite some time. Pro tip: figure out a sensible way to divide the manual’s sections between several people to speed things up.

Key features
  • A great party game
  • More technical than you’d expect
  • Teaches great communication
  • Theoretically good for unlimited number of players, but there are diminishing returns

Gears of War 4

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

Gears of War 4’s main feature is Marcus Phoenix’s magnificent grizzly old-man beard, but there’s also thrilling gameplay there as well, led by Marcus’ son, J.D. In keeping with the series’ traditions, GoW4 features local co-op, so you can invite a friend over and stick to walls together to push against the tide of Not-Locust like the back-to-back badasses you are.

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 also got a follow up, led by Kait Diaz, which, appropriately, also featured rock-solid co-op experience. It also delved deeper into the origins of the Not-Locust emergence, and how exactly Kait is connected to all of this. If you’re in dire need of burly soldiers blasting and tearing invaders with chainsaw bayonets, the gears of War series is perfect for that.

Key features
  • An excellent third-person shooter series
  • Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 are a “next generation” style story
  • Legendary-grade Horde mode
  • Windows and Xbox-only

Diablo (series)

Release date:2000-06-29
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

The Diablo series has seen its ups and downs over the years, and in many people’s mind the series peaked in Diablo 2 (and the Lord of Destruction expansion). The gritty, dark fantasy world endured even past the spiffy sequel, and the D2 remaster was quite a hit as well, setting the stage for Diablo IV, which aims to go back to the washed-out, grim-looking world.

Diablo (series)

Of course, as a proper dungeon-crawling hack’n’slash about murdering swathes of enemies, Diablo games tend to feature solid co-op options for party-based monster mashing. On the field of local co-op, however, you should go to Diablo 3 on consoles as, sadly, the PC version doesn’t support it. Which is a shame, but thankfully, consoles can handle even up to 4 players at once.

Key features
  • A legendary series of isometric hack’n’slash games
  • Diablo 3 has solid local co-op on consoles
  • Great and evocative class design
  • Dark fantasy world torn between angels and demons

Make sure you’ve got enough controllers

This concludes out short list of games you definitely should look at if you’re planning to invite friends for some social gaming with snacks and cold drinks. Many of them will be perfectly find on PC, others might requires a console, so make sure you have the necessary hardware, but if you do, and if you match the tastes of your guests, you’re in for an excellent time.