2020 saw the release of Microsoft's next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. This jump on to these higher performing consoles means that users can now get an even more immersive gaming experience, but why not share that experience with a friend? The Xbox One had many of the best 2 player games on Xbox available for teams of two to co-op through and enjoy together. The good news? All of these games are cross-platform compatible!
The following games prove precisely why seeking out a second Xbox controller is well worthwhile, with 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 your Xbox console with a friend, we have compiled the perfect list.
Whether you want to test the bonds of marriage as a minuscule husband and wife couple or want to hack and slash through hell as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, there’s plenty of co-operative multiplayer games on Microsoft’s platform that will cater to both tastes. So, without further ado, these are the best 2 player games on Xbox you can currently find.
If ever there was any doubt that 2 player Xbox games weren’t really a thing in 2021, It Takes Two from Hazelight Studio staunchly proved the naysayers wrong. This is a fully co-operative larger-than-life adventure, where you and a friend take on the roles of a divorced couple who have been shrunken into dolls and must puzzle and platform their way back to their daughter. It’s one of the best 2 player games on Xbox because it’s chock full of inventive ideas, only getting more surprising as you progress from shed to garden to house.
Cody and May are constantly forced into scenarios when they must work together to reach the next area. Keeping you company along the way, though, are a swathe of charming characters. Many are your daughter’s toys who help provide further insight into how you can help. It Takes Two’s whimsical story is backed up by a gamut of mechanics that constantly shake things up – hence why it’s one of the best 2 player games on Xbox. You can’t go wrong!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most recent game on this list is also one of the best 2 player games on Xbox. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is a fantasy-based spin-off of the Borderlands series, giving a much-needed shakeup of the trusted formula. Partake in a whacky adventure led by your Dungeons and Dragons DM Tiny Tina voiced of course by the incredibly talented Ashley Burch. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands has really let Gearbox's artists go wild with their new environments as a result of this new fantasy setting, and it really is a breath of fresh air from the relatively bland environments you come to expect from Borderlands. The writing here is on point as well with the usual zany humour you'd come to expect from this studio's games; however it feels far more at home than it did in Borderlands 3.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is still at heart a Borderlands game meaning looter shooter action with up to 4 player co-op. Go from mission to mission gunning down as many enemies as you can as they satisfyingly explode into pools of loot! With more customisation than ever as a result of 6 classes and the addition of multi-classing, forge your role in your team as you enjoy one of the best 2 player games on Xbox.
2D side-scrolling platformers rarely get any more fun or creative than Rayman Legends. Originally released on the Xbox 360 before making the jump to next-gen platforms, you and up to three friends can enjoy colour must dash, bash and crash your way across a range of levels that will have you hopping to the beat, searching for collectibles and much more. It’s the perfection of the chaotic formula first laid out in Rayman Origins, bringing all of that game’s levels into this one (alongside loads more) to make for one of the best 2 player Xbox games out there.
The side-scrolling beat-em-up action of Streets of Rage hadn’t been seen for decades until this fourth official entry came along. Luckily, the long wait was worth it. Streets of Rage 4 is an unabashed love letter to the original games that once again challenges you and a partner to bash your way through bad guys across a 2D plane. The pixel-perfect art style may have been replaced by a new comic book aesthetic, but Streets of Rage 4 should still pack a punch for 2 player Xbox enthusiasts everywhere.
Looking for a more palatable version of Diablo’s dungeon crawling that you can share with all members of the family. Minecraft Dungeons is a colourful option that easily fills that slot, presenting the popular franchise from a whole new top-down view and having you and friends adventure through it. Up to four players can slay through creepers together either online or locally on one console, trying to find new loot that improves your character’s stats. Minecraft Dungeons is breezy fun, hence why it narrowly misses out on a spot on our list of best 2 player Xbox games.
The first Unravel was a charming puzzle-platformer that focussed on a woolly teddy trying to survive in a dangerous and hostile world. They did this by swinging over obstacles, hopping over platforms and flicking the odd switch. But if you found this adventure too much of a challenge the first time around fear not, as now the red Yarny is accompanied by a blue one. This brings an all-new dynamic to the 2D puzzles laying before you in Unravel Two
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.
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