Enjoy playing games with a friend or family member sat by your side? This is the list for you.
Couch co-op gaming might not be as popular as it once was, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great split screen and local multiplayer games out there. Sure, it had its heyday in the 90s on the likes of the SEGA Mega Drive and SNES, but the Xbox Series X/S is home to some of the best couch co-op games of modern times.
No matter what type of games you’re looking for, we’ll have something for you on this list. From all-out action shooters to adventure games that can only be played in co-op, we’ve tried to cover a wide range of genres. So: whether you’re looking for something to play as friends, family, or lovers, read on to see our picks of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S.
Want more couch co-op? Check out our list of best co-op games on Xbox One that you can also play on Xbox Series X/S.
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1. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
If you’re a Borderlands fan, you’re going to absolutely love Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Even if you’re not, we think you should give it a go. Especially if you get a kick out of tabletop RPGs. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is set in the world of Borderlands, but you play as a character engaging in a Dungeons & Dragons-style game with Tiny Tina.
As you can imagine, it’s packed with humour and madness. There are plenty of guns and ‘splosions galore, and with lots of missions to work through – each one as engaging as the last – there’s a great time to be had. It’s an even better time if you have a couch co-op compadre to join you. Or three: up to four players can play Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands in local co-op on Xbox Series X/S.
Read our review of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
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2. Ship of Fools
If you’re a fan of roguelikes, then Ship of Fools should be right up your street. This adventure game sees you manning a pirate ship as it makes its way through increasingly dangerous waters. Equipped with a melee attack and a cannon, you’ll have to protect yourself from a range of water-based monsters trying to attack you and damage your ship.
It’s easier said than done – Ship of Fools is designed to be difficult, but that just adds to the fun. Especially when you’re playing in couch co-op. You can play this by yourself, but it’s clear developer Fika Productions has designed it with two players in mind. Work together, watch each other’s backs, co-ordinate on tackling different sides of the screen – you’ll be winning in no time.
Read our review of Ship of Fools
3. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
You just can’t have a list of best local co-op games without including a LEGO game. And finally, after more than two years of waiting, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is here. Is it the best LEGO platformer-adventure game ever made? It might be. But it’s certainly the biggest, packing in the stories of all nine mainline Star Wars movies.
LEGO games have always offered an excellent way to play locally with friends. A second player can drop in and out at any time, joining in the action. And what action it is! Developer Traveller’s Tales has refined the gameplay for The Skywalker Saga, honing in third-person action and better shooting mechanics to make it more enjoyable than ever. Of course, the usual fun of smashing up thousands of LEGO pieces still remains.
Read our review of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
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4. It Takes Two
It Takes Two, the latest game from the creators of A Way Out, is magical. No really – it’s literally magical; you play as a married couple who inadvertently get turned into dolls by their daughter. You see, they’re on the brink of divorce, and she wishes for a way to keep them together. And now, as a pair of tiny, handmade dolls who can walk, talk and run, they’ve got a huge world of adventures ahead of them. Working together might be the way to help them through their marital problems…
This really is one of the best couch co-op experiences on Xbox Series X/S, not least because co-op is the only way you can play it. That’s right; there’s no single-player option, so everything has been designed with co-operative play in mind. That allows for some really clever gameplay sections and, with a friend or partner by your side you’ll enjoy every moment of it. From combat, to aerial action, to running, jumping, solving puzzles and exploring all manner of environments, every moment is simply joyful.
Read our review of It Takes Two
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Cuphead isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you and a friend are up for a challenge, you absolutely should take it on. This gorgeous animated game is all about taking down a series of bosses, all fiercely difficult and all designed to push you to your absolute limits. But keep your wits about you, master your dodging and attacking abilities and work together, and you’ll master it in no time.
The joy of Cuphead is in its challenge: few games are as rewarding to complete as this is. And few games look as absolutely divine as Cuphead does. It’s designed to look like a 1930s cartoon and it’s packed with so much personality. In fact, it’s gone full circle and there’s even a Netflix series based on it now. If you’re a glutton for punishment, it’s one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S, hands down.
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6. Gears 5
We couldn’t have a list of best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S without including a Gears of War game. And although Gears 5 first released on Xbox One, it’s since received an update for Series X/S, optimising it for the newest consoles. With up to 4K resolution, improved textures and framerates, it simply looks and plays better than ever.
In Gears 5, players take control of Kait Diaz, JD Fenix, and Del Walker, who together form the ‘Delta Squad’. Loaded with weapons and various abilities, it’s up to Kait and co. to take down the threat of the Locusts. There’s a gripping story to follow, tonnes of enemies to take down and some sumptuous visuals to take in – and with a local co-op buddy by your side, it’s even more enjoyable.
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7. Overcooked! All You Can Eat
You might have already played either of Overcooked! or Overcooked! 2, but now the series has got bigger and better. Overcooked! All You Can Eat bundles both games together along with all their DLC. And since this collection was originally made for Xbox Series X/S, it looks and plays better than ever, too, thanks to enhanced visuals and native 4K.
If you’re new to the Overcooked! series, you’re in for a treat. A manic, crazy treat, but a treat all the same. Playable with up to four players, you take on the role of chefs working together in a kitchen, trying to fulfil as many orders as possible. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it would be, if your kitchen wasn’t split into two across a main road. Or built on the top of an erupting volcano. Or on the back of a sinking ship. You get the picture. Succeeding at Overcooked! means working together quickly and effectively, and navigating all kinds of crazy obstacles.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a lot of fun, and that’s why it’s one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S. It also might cause arguments to break out between you and your friends… but that’s all part of the experience.
Read our review of Overcooked! All You Can Eat
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8. Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition
If you and your local co-op buddies enjoy hacking, slashing, shooting and looting, then Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition is undoubtedly the game for you. A souped-up version of 2019’s Warhammer: Chaosbane, the Slayer Edition has been specifically upgraded for Xbox Series X/S. Not only does it boast better visuals and a 4K resolution, it also bundles in all DLC and additional content. It’s the ultimate version of the game.
You’ll play as one of several character classes, each with their own abilities and skills. The Slayer, for example, dual-wields two axes for up-close-and-personal damage. And the Witch Hunter can switch between melee weapons and guns for truly varied combat. Whichever character you choose though, you’ll have a lot of fun in this dungeon crawler, making your way through various environments and killing hordes of enemies. And of course, finding plenty of loot. Up to four players can play together, making this one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S.
Read our review of Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition
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9. DIRT 5
A racing game as one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S? Yes – hear us out! DIRT 5, Codemasters’ latest rally game, brings back the classic split screen mode that many modern racing games have left behind. But rather than being a separate mode, DIRT 5 allows you and a friend to play through the entire campaign together in split screen. Now that’s a real treat.
If you’re a racing game fan, they don’t come much better than DIRT 5. With events spread across multiple locations from all around the world, you’ll be in Norway one minute and China the next. Each location looks fantastic, too, thanks to Xbox Series X optimisations including better textures and 4K resolutions. And if your TV supports it, you can even play DIRT 5 at a blistering 120fps. Phew. Even without the bells and whistles though, this is an excellent racing game, and one that’s made even better by being able to play with a friend.
10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
While it launched with a number of issues, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now essential for all Xbox owners. It bundles together all numbered iterations of the Halo series, remastering them to look better than ever. While it’s an Xbox One game, if you’re playing on Xbox Series X, you’ll benefit from the extra power of the console, too.
While Halo and Halo 2 only allow for two local players, Halo 3 and Halo 4 allow up to four players to get in on the action on the same screen. The more the merrier!
If you love first-person shooters Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a must-have. Bundling several games into one, it’s one of the best value games available, and it’s also one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S.
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11. Streets of Rage 4
After 26 years, the Streets of Rage series is back, and it’s just as good as it ever was. Streets of Rage 4 features sumptuous graphics, a killer soundtrack and addictive brawler gameplay. It’s got plenty of content, too, with 12 stages in which to pummel enemies and a whopping 17 playable characters if you include the 12 unlockable retro fighters. You can even play along to music from the original Streets of Rage and its sequel if you remember it fondly.
While it’s already immensely enjoyable in single-player, Streets of Rage 4 is even better when enjoyed in local co-op. Up for four players can work together locally – though watch out if friendly fire is turned on as you’ll no doubt end up injuring each other. It’s a good job there’s a versus battle mode to settle any grudges!
In any case, if you like some brawling action, Streets of Rage 4 is undoubtedly one of the best couch co-op games on Xbox Series X/S.
Read our review of Streets of Rage 4
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12. The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me
If you and your local co-op friends love horror, then The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me is for you. The game’s ‘movie night’ mode allows up to five people to play together locally, passing the controller around as they take control of different characters.
This is the fourth game in the Dark Pictures Anthology, and in our opinion the best so far. It tells the story of a group of documentary filmmakers working on a production about H.H. Holmes – America’s first serial killer. As luck would have it, they’ve been invited to a very special hotel modelled on Holmes’ alleged ‘Murder Castle’. And, well, if the name ‘Murder Castle’ doesn’t ring any alarm bells, it’s rather obvious things aren’t going to go to plan.
It’s essentially an interactive horror movie that lets you make choices as you play. The paths you take and the decisions you make will shape everyone’s fate – and so who lives and who dies is literally in your hands.
Read our review of The Devil in Me
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