In the interests of leaving no stone unturned, this endeavor wouldn’t be complete without a list devoted specifically to Xbox. Of all the options, Xbox possibly has the broadest library of good, cooperative games and unbound by Sony’s odd business decisions, a lot of Xbox games can be freely cross-played between Xbox and PC. Not with PS4 though, because… Sony.
So if you want to, you could technically go wild and make a full on LAN party where some of your friends play on PC and some play using the Xbox (and statistically people who own a console also own a PC, so I’ll assume you do as well). Don’t let anybody tell you split-screen is dead.
Top Couch Coop & Shared, Split Screen games
for Xbox One list
|Dragon Ball FighterZ||Fighting||Anime,|
|Child of Light||RPG||Shared Screen Co-Op,|
|Castle Crashers||Beat’em up||Action game,|
|Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2||TPS||Tower Defense,|
|Divinity: Original Sin 2||Adventure||Turn Based,|
|Borderlands: The Handsome Collection||FPS||Split Screen,|
|Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||FPS||Shooter,|
|10. Enter the Gungeon||Roguelike||Local Co-Op,|
|9. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth||Roguelike||Shared Screen,|
|8. Forza Motorsport 7||Racing||Split-Screen, Cars||2017||Buy|
|7. Minecraft||Sandbox||Open World,|
|6. FIFA 19||Sports||Soccer,|
|5. Ark: Survival Evolved|
|4. Cuphead||Run and gun||Indie, Co-Op|
|3. Gears of War 4||Shooter||Split Screen|
|2. A Way Out||Action||Split, Screen,|
|1. Halo: the Master Chief Collection||FPS||Co-op,|
10. Enter the Gungeon
Guns don’t kill people. People kill guns
Starting with an easy one, we have the cute and hilarious Enter the Gungeon, which recently received an update called “Gungeons and Draguns”, which… If the name alone isn’t an endorsement you are an uncultured swine and I don’t want you to talk to me, or my son, ever again. Good. Now that that’s sorted out, let’s talk details.
In Enter the Gungeon you can team up with a friend to take on a randomly generated labyrinth filled with anthropomorphized Bullets and Guns wielding more guns, discover random loot and tackle the bosses. Your screen will be frequently filled with all manners of projectiles, rewarding skillful dodges and maneuvering. The various random bosses are truly imaginative and the combination of cute, funny and tricky can keep the two of you occupied repeatedly.
9. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
|Genre||Bullet Hell, Rogue-Like|
Binding of Isaac is certainly a very odd game, famous for its grim aesthetics filled with monstrosities and scatological references and its weird trailers, Binding of Isaac is something of a Rogue-Like Prime. Its release ushered a wave of titles and today serves 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 a very long poop joke and blasphemy. Video games.
In Afterbirth, you can partner up with a friend to brave Isaac’s basement together, but be warned—in order to initiate the coop, you’ll need to sacrifice one of your lives. You also have to carefully manage drops between the two of you, as the game will get progressively harder and harder (but on the plus side, fewer things you find will get wasted). Having to sacrifice a life turns the coop proposition into an investment, your partner functions like a power-up with downside in a lot of ways. A lot can be said about this game, but certainly not that it isn’t creative.
8. Forza Motorsport 7
I feel the need, the need for…Forza!
In ye olden days, we often played racing games on split screens, haven’t we? Or at least we tried. Some of us didn’t have consoles. Some of us had to try driving with the atrocious numerical console controls. Some of us were the butt of the joke because they always lost. Some of us developed a lingering dislike for racing games from that point on. But no more! Do you know what’s fun about controllers? There’s more than a bloody one, John. Excuse me. So. Forza
The newest 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 7 features a full single-player campaign, so there’s stuff to do 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 behave as they should. If you are a racing games fan you probably know what you want, and this is one of the better ones on the market.
|Genre||Simulator? Survival? (maybe? This one kind of escapes the notion altogether)|
Let that friendship turn into a bond that will never be broken
It’s weird to think, but several years down the line we’ll see Minecraft described as a social phenomenon in textbooks. The possibilities in this one are truly endless, as has been repeatedly proven by the community, recreating such landmarks as The Isle of Manhattan, The entire city of Erebor from the Hobbit, each of the Seven Wonders (to scale).
Thanks to the cooperation with Microsoft, you can cross-play between PC and your Xbox and you can play up to 4 player coop on your console. So you could, if you wanted to, have a whole cabal of you builders working together to create something really big. Now that’s some masonry.
6. FIFA 19
You may want to wait a bit, because the new one is coming soon enough. This month in fact. And I hear it has some fancy new Leagues inherited from PES. But as of writing this, FIFA 19 is still the freshest iteration of one of the (if not THE) most intricate and popular soccer game on the market.
The Legends feature has been rebranded as Ultimate Team Icons and improved upon, making it one of the most popular features of the game to date. Other than that, 18 is a step-up above the previous iteration, without drastically changing the formula. Up to 4 players can enjoy the game at the same time, making for some exciting 2v2s set up. If you like sports and have friends (which goes hand in hand, I found), this one is for you.
5. Ark: Survival Evolved
Anybody feel Jurassic Park vibes?
I may not be a great fan of survival games, but I can certainly appreciate the emergent narrative that comes out when two people faff about in an intricate environment (for examples, look no further than acclaimed Polygon series Car Boys). That’s what Ark offers: a big, open world to explore, a place to build your base in and a lot of high jinks on that way facilitated by the presence of dinosaurs. Yes, you can pet and domesticate them, that’s the whole point
On Xbox, you can team up with a friend for a two-player local coop (shared screen) and you can combine that with up to two more players through online play. Which could be people playing on their laptops or on your PC, so technically all four of you can play at the same time, occupying the same space. That’s probably the most advisable way to tackle this game, you know what they say: the more the merrier. Nowhere is this statement truer than in a game involving dinos
|Genre||Platformer, Bullet Hell|
It’s just like Dark Souls
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. Innovations to the platformer formula? Check. Local coop? 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 it. In coop, 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. This one is one of 2017’s most acclaimed for very solid reasons
3. Gears of War 4
Gear up for the fight of your life
Not for the faint of heart, the Gears series is very much a power fantasy about very burly men (although they actually do get a semi-burly woman in this one, so hey, progress) with very big guns shooting at very scary aliens and occasionally cutting said aliens open with very angry and very loud chainsaws. Everything is ‘very’ in this game. Subdued it’s certainly not.
You can play the entire game in a local two-player coop in split-screen and there’s a surprising amount of plot and honest-to-god tension here (Player 2 takes control of the aforementioned burly lady). You can also play the new and improved horde mode with many new features, like character classes and special abilities only available in this mode. 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.
2. A Way Out
Most exciting prison break since…Prison Break
You will see a lot of this game on these ‘ere lists and it would be strange if you didn’t. With some exceptions (like an important exclusive), this game would easily occupy the top spot on every one of these lists. The reasons for this are fairly simple: 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 take my advice and play it with a friend, that’s the best way to do it).
A Way Out is, in more ways than one, a game about trust. It takes the idea of a cooperative game to the next level with its various mechanics and then throws a curve ball with the immersive story sowing seeds of conflict between the players. You need to work together to escape the prison, but the game seems hell bent on making you question whether that’s even the priority, in the end. A fantastic title, 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 into a cohesive whole and it would not do the game justice to put it anywhere but near the absolute top of any list such as this.
1. Halo: the Master Chief Collection
~Baby, I can feel your halooooo~
As the name implies, this one is a real deal, as you’re technically getting a total of 4 exclusive titles for the price of one game. The Master Chief Collection includes Halo 3, 4 and anniversary editions of Evolved Combat and Halo 2, all of which have received major content updates to bring them up to modern standards.
Each of the games in this fun-bundle can be played in multiplayer and each features a two player, split-screen coop and there’s even LAN support if you want to go wild. The Halo series is legendary for its tight gameplay, with each new iteration improving on the former.
This purchase could seriously serve for more than a year of friendly gatherings and you won’t get it anywhere else so it’s one of the best reasons to own the console in the first place. It’s seriously tough to pass on for anybody owning Xbox One.
Find more games
for Xbox One
Let’s come together in sweet harmony
That concludes the list of objectively best coop split and shared screen games for Xbox One. You may disagree with the picks, but you are objectively wrong, because like I said, this list is completely objective. I should know, I subjectively picked these titles myself.
If you’re interested there’s also a list of subjectively best co-op and split-screen games for PC. It’s worse because it’s not as objective as this one, but I will let you make your subjective opinion about that on your own. There’s also one for PS4, but you have some questions to answer if you own an Xbox, a PC AND a PS4. Like what else do you have there, a jet fighter?
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 THIS LINK and grab some.