While online multiplayer lets you enjoy games with people from other places, local split-screen multiplayer is still very enjoyable and lets you bond with people nearby. Not only do you see what they do on your screen, but you also see their funny reactions to whatever you are doing in a game.
Here are some of the best split-screen games you can play with a friend on your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Known as one of the best FPS games for beginners, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the perfect choice for those who want to introduce someone to the genre. What’s more, you and a friend get to enjoy the entire Halo storyline with new features and improved visuals.
Besides, The Master Chief Collection offers great split-screen gameplay, whether you enjoy blasting enemies together or prefer to shoot at one another. The game boasts an engaging story and equally engaging gunplay. You’ll be sure to come back to this over and over.
A Way Out
Hazelight Studios’ masterpiece of a couch co-op, A Way Out, is made for multiplayer and there’s no other way to play it. The game’s key mechanic is trust — two players will need to work together to get out of prison and stay out of prison.
While the premise sounds serious, the game is actually very fun and enjoyable. You can play a lot of mini-games and even start a band with your companion. Just stay on your toes, though, as the police will still try to catch you.
It Takes Two
Hazelight Studios’ second couch co-op masterpiece comes in the form of a couple on the brink of divorce. As grim as the summary sounds, the couple, Cody and May, go on a fun adventure to return to normal after being mysteriously transformed into small toys.
Much like A Way Out, It Takes Two’s theme is centered on trust and teamwork. Cody and May offer differing mechanics, meaning there’s so much you can do with them. You’ll enjoy the game’s lengthy narrative, cute worlds, and a plethora of mini-games.
If you like cars and sports, then Rocket League will be your cup of tea. Up to four players can get into a fun, fast-paced match of car football either in local 2v2, or online against another team.
Plus, Rocket League offers a lot of customization, making it more enjoyable. The skill ceiling is very high as well, which means you’ll need to put in a lot of practice to get better at the game. There are basketball- and ice hockey-inspired variants for you to try out with friends as well.
Overcooked 2 is the kind of game that will test your friendships in the kitchen. You and other players need to work together to prepare a ton of dishes ranging from simple to complicated in a limited amount of time. You’ll need to divide tasks, such as chopping ingredients, preparing dishes, and manning the stove.
Adding to the mayhem are the creatively designed levels and respective challenges. Some, like earthquakes or passing Chinese dragon puppets, force you to get separated from other players leaving you to figure out how to work under pressure. It’s chaotic, but it’s absolutely fun.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Offering tons of customization and a deep, intriguing narrative, DOS2 is perfect for those who are looking for an immersive RPG experience. You and a friend can control pre-generated characters with unique goals and motivations, or create a totally unique character from scratch.
Players can go different ways, only joining one another in battle when someone needs help. There are a lot of things to do, enemies to defeat, and quests to accomplish here, making this one of the most satisfying multiplayer RPGs on the platform.
The first Portal was critically acclaimed as one of the best puzzlers out there. But Portal 2 takes all of the good stuff from its predecessor and adds a co-op mode that lets you and another player solve tricky and clever puzzles throughout the game’s levels.
Players controlling testing robots Atlas and P-Body need to work together to get through the challenges inside the co-op chambers. The game will provide you with hours upon hours of entertainment.
The Borderlands series is great to play solo, but it’s even better when played with a friend in split-screen mode. Borderlands 3 brings more fun compared to earlier installments, offering players tons of activities to do in the game.
In Borderlands 3, you and a friend will find yourselves shooting and looting from enemies on three different planets. Each character boasts unique skills, and with the ridiculous amount of guns you can collect, you’ll keep coming back to try out things you’ve never done before.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
If you’re looking for something like Borderlands but want fantasy rather than the usual firearms, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands might be what you need. This game, which is a sequel to a Borderlands 2 DLC, takes what’s great about Borderlands and turns it into a standalone game complete with references to Dungeons & Dragons.
Tiny Tina’s offers a magical adventure filled with quests. Up to two players on local couch co-op can collect interesting weapons, abilities, magical spells, and more—then use them throughout the game. It’s a real Borderlands experience.
Gears of War Series
The Gears of Wars series is one of the best collections of games for the Xbox. While it’s not for the faint of heart, those who enjoyed Halo are definitely going to love this fast-paced and gory shooter filled with an impressive plot.
Gears of War games let you share the fun with a friend in couch co-op. There are lots of weapons to acquire and even more enemies to shoot down or slay using a chainsaw bayonet. Other modes like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, as well as the Horde mode from Gears of War 2, add to the fun as well.
If you’re looking for a game that offers a unique art style, tight gameplay mechanics, and great in-game music, then Cuphead might be your cup of tea. This game offers all of that plus more if you consider other things like the satisfaction of being able to finish it.
Cuphead is tough (but in a good way) thanks to its difficulty setting and will require players to develop the skills needed to survive. These include mastering reviving a companion in the event that they fail. Overall, it’s a great game that everyone should play.
This highly-influential game is even more enjoyable when played with friends via split-screen mode. While there are a lot of things you can do alone, it’s simply more rewarding — and less demanding — when you do them with the help of someone else.
You and your friends will enjoy crafting and building things together in Creative mode, or fighting against creepers and other creatures in Survival mode. Whatever you choose, you’re bound to have fun.
These are but some of the best split-screen games on the Xbox Series X/S consoles. There are more to choose from, but we recommend these for those who are looking for ideas on what to play with friends.