The Xbox One may have started out life as a platform geared towards mature gamers, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of 2 player Xbox games available for teams of two to co-op through and enjoy together. The following games proves exactly why seeking out a second Xbox controller is well worthwhile, especially since all of the following 2 player titles work on both Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X. If you’re craving some side-by-side fun on Xbox with a friend, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you want to captain your own pirate ship with a crew of three others or like the idea of planning your own prison break attempt alongside a friend in glorious split-screen multiplayer, there’s plenty of co-operative games on Microsoft’s platform that will cater to both tastes. So, without further ado, these are the best 2 player Xbox games you can currently find.
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Aside from being one of the best value propositions in all of gaming, the Call of Duty franchise is also an ideal choice for two-player pairs. The same can be said for the latest entry, Black Ops Cold War, which might not feature a co-operative campaign this time around but is a guaranteed good time for two thanks to split-screen play in both Zombies and Online Multiplayer. In either mode you can link up two Xbox controllers and shoot locally with a buddy, making Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War just make our list of the 10 best 2 player Xbox One games.
The multiplayer portion has been expertly refined by Treyarch this time around, with a new health bar system creating fairer TTK ratios and a new way to upgrade your preferred weapon options. Zombies, similarly, is just as thrilling as ever to play with another in local split-screen or with three other online, remastering and expanding the original World at War map to make taking on hordes of the undead fast-paced and strategic. Teams of two will find a great FPS experience in Black Ops Cold War.
Simultaneously a punishing 2D side-scroller and unabashed love letter to the cartoon serials of yesteryear, Cuphead is the ultimate boss rush game that isn’t afraid to kill you with charm… literally. One player takes on the role of the eponymous Cuphead while the other can jump in alongside as Mugman. Together you must learn the patterns of the various enemies you come across, running and gunning to see how far you can get.
What makes Cuphead stand out as one of the best 2 player Xbox One games is its inherently beautiful art style, which faithfully recreates the 1930s cartoon art style thanks to some meticulous work by developer StudioMDHR. This gorgeous aesthetic just so happens to be backed up by gameplay that is equally challenging and rewarding, never failing to put a smile on your face even as you’re forced to take on bosses over and over again.
8. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
There were countless LEGO game candidates we could have picked for this list, but we settled on one of the most recent, greatly ambitious entries in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. As a follow-up to the 2013 original, it’s bigger and better in every way, further delving into Marvel’s back catalogue of obscure comic book heroes who comfortably sit alongside popular favourites like Spider-Man, Daredevil and the X-Men.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 tells an entirely original storyline free of the MCU’s usual constraints, challenging you and a co-op partner to do battle with Kang the conquerer across a split reality of iconic locations. You’ll bash, smash and puzzle-solve your way through each of them, honing the unique abilities of the 100s of superheroes featured here while having a blast doing it. When it comes to the best 2 player Xbox One games suited to all family members, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an excellent choice!
7. Warhammer: Vermintide 2
When it comes to cult classic co-op games, the Xbox brand is most synonymous to the anarchic action of the Left 4 Dead series. Sadly, Valve refuses to treat us to a third entry, but luckily one of the best 2 player Xbox One games is a game that riffs of this same idea of first-person co-op and sets it within an incredibly deep fantasy universe. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 sees you and three others fend off endless hordes across 13 intense missions.
No co-operative play session in Warhammer: Vermintide 2 ever needs to be the same thanks to the wide suite of classes and weapon types available to you. Sure, you can choose to pick up a sword and start hacking rats in the hopes of making an impact, but why not pick up an Elven Spear or a longbow to better keep your distance? This variety is what’ll keep you coming back to Warhammer: Vermintide 2 for more, meaning it easily makes our list on the best 2 player Xbox One games.
6. Gears 5
The Gears of War franchise returned with a bang in 2019, charging the story ever-forward by this time focussing on new series protagonist Kait Diaz. Her journey of self-discovering is entirely playable in 2 player co-op, acting as the perfect foundation for you and a friend to wreak havoc amongst hordes of the Locust. This is the original cover shooting series and it doesn’t get better than this native Xbox series that continues to bring vast amounts of action.
Gears 5 features the same great mix of single-player campaign and competitive multiplayer, but also making a return is the series’ infamous horde mode. Here, you and a team of three others face off against endless waves of Locust seeing for how long you can last. Then new for Gears 5 is the Escape mode, which equally centres around quick reflexes and co-operation but challenges you to escape while doing it. Gears 5 is one of the best Xbox One games and one of the best 2 player Xbox One games, too.
5. Darksiders Genesis
While it initially seemed strange for Darksiders to go top-down for this co-operative spin-off, it only takes a few moments before you and a friend are ripping and tearing your way through hordes of angels and demons with ease. One person takes up the reigns of War while the other plays as Strife, Darksiders Genesis is one of the best 2 player Xbox One games because both play entirely uniquely, seeing pairs of gamers cause rampant destruction through multiple realms of the underworld.
Strife boasts two powerful pistols to keep enemies at bay from afar. War, meanwhile, wields his iconic Chaoseater sword to hack and slash his way up close. Darksiders Genesis might not be a traditional entry, but all the franchise’s hallmarks – like exploration, light puzzle-solving and satisfying combat – are successfully kept intact. Because of that, it serves as a bite-sized take on the series and one of the best 2 player Xbox One games out there.
4. A Way Out
Few 2 player Xbox One games are as inventive as 2018’s A Way Out, a third-person adventure that takes heavy inspiration from Prison Break fiction to set two players on the ultimate co-op adventure where the TV remains in split-screen mode the entire time. One of you will take on the role of Vincent, while the other steps into the shoes of Leo, and from here the unlawful pair undertake a cinematic adventure where you remain on the run and are required to work together to escape successfully.
One of the perks of A Way Out is that only one copy of the game is needed for two players to play together. Simply have your intended partner download the Xbox One demo, and both of you will be able to play through the entirety of the story without fear. It’s simply one of the most creative 2 player games on Xbox One, not least because co-op is the only way it can be experienced, preferably in one sitting where you and a friend will be invested from beginning to end.
3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an absolute must for any die-hard fan of this always great Xbox series, bringing together every single one of the mainline entries and sprinkling in various new features that helps bring them up to date. The first three Halo game fully supports 2 player split-screen play, which makes taking the fight to the Flood and Covenant in an effort to save the world all the more fun.
For as good as all the more recent Halo games are, the second entry is the unabashed centrepiece of this selection. The full game has been completely redeveloped from the ground up with new gameplay elements and graphics so that it looks just like it released now rather than 10 years ago. The cutscenes have also been redone by the I world-renowned Blur studio, making it an essential play for co-operative buddies and one of the best 2 player Xbox One games.
2. Overcooked 2
If you’re an Xbox player who likes food and getting into arguments,
both those ingredients come together in the inventive – yet highly volatile –
Overcooked 2. Team17’s chaotic sequel makes several improvements to the
culinary antics asked of two-player chef duos, as you must serve even more
recipes to hungry clientele while dodging all manner of crazy obstacles. One
minute you might be cooking on a hot air balloon, the next you may find
yourself on a different planet. Either way Overcooked 2 is one of the best 2
player Xbox One games primed to challenge every gamer relationship.
In Overcooked 2 the onion kingdom once again finds itself in peril at the hands of the fabled Necronominomicon, who has cooked up a dastardly plan to threaten chefs everywhere. Your only option is to cook your way through a new gamut of crazy kitchen layouts, slicing, cleaning and serving while keeping up communication with your co-op friend. Overcooked 2 supports up to four players locally, meaning that there’s never a dull moment for all split-screen preferring party game fans. Overcooked 2 might cause friction but is an appropriate culinary challenge.
1. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
What’s better than one Borderlands game? Two of course. That’s why it’s 2015’s Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and not Borderlands 3 that makes our list. The visuals mightn’t be anywhere near as flashy, but the excellent package deal that is Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel still look great – especially when experienced with Xbox One X’s 4K and HDR improvements. Looting and shooting your way across planets with a friend has never played better.
Running at an impressive 60fps at 1080p resolution, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection represents one of the smoothest co-operative First-person shooters on Xbox One. Whether playing through Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel, you and up to three others will be able to build up their own vault hunter class and hone their abilities to be highly effective. These combine with the thousands of procedurally generated weapons to not make The Handsome Collection one of the best 2 player Xbox One games, but one of the most creative shooters on the platform.