Playing games is sheer fun, no doubt. But gaming with friends sitting next to you is even better. The competitive aura, friendly banters, and overall pleasant vibe of a couch co-op gaming session is something special. That’s why whether it’s going one-on-one in a virtual contest or teaming up against the CPU, co-op is a thoroughly enjoyable pastime among friends.
Fortunately, the gaming industry understands the appeal of a good local co-op experience. We have dozens of games that support local multiplayer on a variety of platforms. However, for this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 best couch co-op games available on the Xbox Series X/S.
The list features only those titles that have a co-op mode which allows two or more players to play on the same console. Also, the order of the list is random and doesn’t reflect any preference as such.
Must-play offline co-op games for Xbox Series X/S
1. It Takes Two (2021)
Ever wanted to play a game that looked like a Pixar movie? Your wish is granted. Coming from the mind of acclaimed game director Josef Fares, It Takes Two is a multiple “Game Of The Year” award recipient you shouldn’t miss out on. This two-player co-op game by Hazelight Studios is an action-adventure platformer that is chock-full of ticklish humor, tricky puzzles, and a touching story.
Part of the reason it takes the couch co-op genre head-on and smashes it out of the park is that it’s essentially a two-player experience at its core. The gameplay is designed such that you can’t play it alone and would need a partner to go through its many challenges. Even in terms of the story, It Takes Two emphasizes the role of companionship in life, using its peculiar yet meaningful plot.
2. Cuphead (2017)
If It Takes Two‘s art style is comparable to a Pixar movie, then Cuphead is the rejuvenation of the vintage Disney cartoon style. This unique indie game from StudioMDHR is a smash hit that sold more than 5 million copies within two years of launch. Remarkably, the run-and-gun game’s aesthetics and difficulty have been a topic of avid discussion in the community.
While there’s a single-player mode in Cuphead, you can also choose to go down the two-player route and team up with a friend. Playing as Cuphead and Mugman, you embark on a perilous journey where you gain special powers and face various bosses in order to repay the Devil.
3. A Way Out (2018)
A Way Out, another co-op gem from Hazelight Studios, is an action-adventure game with a constant focus on split-screen two-player gameplay. Just like It Takes Two, it is a Josef Fares-directed title exclusively designed for co-op. Although there’s no possible way to play it solo, you can tag along with another player either locally or online. Not to forget, only one of the two players needs to own the game for online co-op sessions.
The story puts you into the shoes of Vincent and Leo, two inmates plotting to break out of the prison and escape law enforcement. During the journey, they must work together to achieve certain common goals. However, the two players have total freedom to go about the game as they wish and at their own pace. As a result, the individual progress of these two characters does not need to synchronize all the time.
4. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (2019)
Taking the onus of remastering the original Crash Team Racing, Beenox has done a commendable job with Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. The game stays true to its old-gen counterpart while adding extra content and delivers in a variety of departments, including gameplay and graphics.
Local multiplayer supports up to a total of four players via splitscreen gameplay. You can choose a racer among 56 possible choices, customize your kart, and fine-tune the rules of the race. The goal is simply to win the race and beat your opponents using the various power-ups available for each track. It’s kind of like Mario Kart but with Crash Bandicoot characters.
5. Don’t Starve Together (2017)
Don’t Starve Together is the sequel to 2013’s well-received indie game Don’t Starve. It takes the original formula and enhances it using the multiplayer approach. Moving on, the game supports up to 6-player local multiplayer, and players can join as either a “friend” or a “stranger.” Either way, the aim is to survive for as many days as you can in an adverse, randomly generated world. All this has to be achieved while keeping the in-game hunger, health, and sanity meters of your character in check.
6. Portal 2 (2011)
A game that embodies the proverb, “old is gold,” Portal 2 is still deserving of attention, especially when we talk of the best couch co-op games. This puzzle-based platformer from Valve is a cult classic and often dubbed “one of the greatest games ever.” It features both single-player and co-op modes.
In Portal 2‘s co-op mode, players assume the role of test chamber robots, Atlas and P-Body. Their aim is to use their portal guns and solve the mind-bending challenges each level brings. For those wanting to extend their Portal experience, there’s “Peer Review” downloadable content that continues after the co-op campaign story.
7. FIFA 23 (2022)
Nothing makes for a good time quite like a competitive and banter-heavy FIFA match with a friend. Carrying on the legacy of the franchise, FIFA 23 improves upon its previous entry with subtle gameplay tweaks and an exciting new “FUT World Cup” mode. You can play a couch co-op match either against a friend or with a friend against the CPU. Plus, the Ultimate Team co-op game mode offers the chance to take it to the pitch with your own custom team.
8. Rocket League (2015)
For friends who are split between playing Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled and FIFA 23, Rocket League is a good midpoint. It brings gasoline-devouring racecars into a hybrid football game, giving birth to a nervy and exciting gaming experience. You can pair up with a friend offline and dive into any of the game modes, thanks to the game’s splitscreen multiplayer support.
9. Overcooked! All You Can Eat (2020)
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a love letter to the fans of the cooking simulation series. It includes remastered versions of both Overcooked and Overcooked 2, along with all the DLC content. Up to 4 players can play couch multiplayer and assist each other in the cooking challenge that the game presents. Each member can contribute to the team’s success by finishing tasks such as chopping vegetables, cleaning dishes, and the like.
10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014)
This game is the ultimate group activity for friends who have grown up playing the Halo series over the years. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a total remastered package that consists of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. Since this entire compilation supports splitscreen gameplay, you can go shoot some aliens alongside up to three other players.
Each of the aforementioned games provides a distinct experience, and you should go with the one that piques your interest the most. Rest assured, all of them are a great way to spend time with your friends and loved ones. In case you have other co-op game suggestions for Xbox, give a shout-out in the comments below.