Online gaming is fun but there’s a lot to be said for indulging in some couch-based split-screen fun. And while fewer and fewer games support it, there are still plenty of Xbox Game Pass titles with split-screen.
That means if you’ve got an active Xbox Game Pass subscription you can sit on your sofa, hand someone a joypad and go. And if you’re playing a co-op game, there’s no need to fumble with a headset, just talk. Or you can glare at them for letting the side down, it’s entirely up to you.
If you do have a disagreement, you can just wander off in game, you’re not tethered to the other player. Sure, you might get picked off when you’re on your own but that’s a risk you’ll have to take.
So if you’re ready for some split-screen shenanigans, we’ve rounded up the best split-screen multiplayer games on Xbox Game Pass. Just remember to be slightly less sweary than you are online.
More Multiplayer Game Pass Goodness:
- The Best Couch Co-op Games on Xbox Game Pass
- The Best Four-Player Multiplayer Games on Xbox Game Pass
- The Best Online Multiplayer Games on Xbox Game Pass
1. Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead has your survivors fleeing a zombie apocalypse, blasting your way through regular undead and special infected. What’s especially great about this game is the AI director will give you time to pause and collect your thoughts. And just when you least expect it, it’ll unleash hell.
It supports up to 2 players locally, with two bots filling out the remaining two slots. But the bots won’t shout in your ear when a Smoker’s grabbed them, unlike the person sitting next to you. Left 4 Dead is a lot of fun solo but when there’s two of you taking on the living dead, this zombie co-op shooter becomes a riot.
Minecraft’s zombies aren’t quite as vicious as Left 4 Dead’s, but they’ll still take a bite out of you given half a chance. And, thanks to this sandbox construction game’s split-screen co-op feature, you can have a total of four players all working together, building away while fending off the occasional mob.
The one snag is that you might not agree on what you’re building but since this is split-screen you can always build your own house, thumbing your nose at your neighbouring player. It’s not just for kids either – it’s really, really easy to get invested in building a blocky work of art.
3. Goldeneye 007
After years as a Nintendo 64-only game, Goldeneye 007 is finally on Xbox. Microsoft purchased Rare but it’s taken 25 years for this spectacular shooter to hit the console.
A Game Pass exclusive, you can have up to four players participating in split-screen death matches, as one of several classic James Bond characters. Sure, this isn’t the remaster that leaked a few years ago but it’s still a classic.
4. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo’s deathmatch was and still is a real time-sink, but for us it’s the game’s co-op mode that offers the most entertainment.This sci-fi shooter supports 2 player split-screen and driving around in a Warthog while your friend mans the rear turret never gets old. That’s assuming you’re playing properly – just flying around in a Ghost, buzzing your fellow player, is its own special fun.
5. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Video
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the finest Lego Star Wars game out there and probably the last one we’re going to get for quite some time. It’s also brilliant fun in split-screen mode, with another player helping or hindering you. The Skywalker Saga is silly at the best of times and when you’ve got two players punching or blasting things to Lego pieces you’ll have a riot.
6. Stardew Valley
This Harvest Moon-inspired farming simulator has sold an astonishing 20 million copies and while ConcernedApe’s sort-of follow-up Haunted Chocolatier is in development, Stardew Valley is still getting updates.
One of those earlier updates added a split-screen co-op mode to the game, letting you share the crop-watering and weed-annihilating with another player. Sure, you’ll have to find someone who appreciates the joys of digital farming but this is about as relaxing as split-screen games get.
7. Hot Wheels Unleashed
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 has yet to land on Game Pass but the original micro-car race-em-up is still there and it supports two player split-screen on Xbox. And racing side-by-side, around one of the impressive room-spanning toy tracks, is an absolute blast.
The bad news is that when you’re behind you can see just how much better your opponent is doing, shaking your fist as they pull off a ridiculous short-cut. It’d be a shame if they just happened to get nudged on the next lap.