Single player games are fantastic. Pretty sure we can all agree on that. However, co-op games can have the potential to greater even better experiences by sharing them with a friend, or just some stranger you happened to matchmake with.
Whether your idea of co-op games sees you teaming up with just one friend to tackle an arduous campaign, or bringing some more back-up in to survive endless hordes or fight massive bosses, there’s a co-op game for everyone. Here’s 30 of the best ones available right now on the Xbox One.
Just a couple of rules before we begin. As usual, these games are listed in any order, so if you start getting bent out of shape because a certain game isn’t listed as number 1, that’s on you for being a melon. Also, though there are a number of games on this list that have PvP elements, we’ve tried to limit this to games where co-op is more of a focus, hence why games like Call of Duty’s Zombies mode and Rainbow Six: Siege aren’t included.
The Best Xbox One Co-Op Games
1. A Way Out
Developer: Hazelight Studios Publisher: EA
The prison escape co-op adventure brought to you by Josef “Fuck The Oscars” Fares, A Way Out is quite brilliant. Just let our review tell you, if you’re not convinced. With unique co-op gameplay, a decent story and writing that only occasionally falls on the wrong side of weird, A Way Out is a perfect way to spend time with a friend. If that’s not enough for you, only one player needs to purchase the game, and they can send a trial version to their friend for free.
2. Borderlands & Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection
Developer: Gearbox Publisher: 2K Games
We’re lumping these together because ostensibly, they’re the same game, even if the first one was better. Yeah, there’s your hot take for this article. Though you can enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and The Pre-Sequel perfectly well on your own, all three games come into their own during co-op play. The game feels more alive, as you work together to kill bandits while racing towards the treasure chest to nick all the loot before you mate nabs it. With the first game available via backwards compatibility, along with The Handsome Jack Collection, all three games are worthy of your time.
3. Payday 2
Developer: Overkill Publisher: 505 Games
If robbing banks and making that sweet money is more your speed, Payday 2 should be right up your alley. Like Borderlands, Payday can be played solo, but what good is mountains of cash if you don’t have the friends to help you carry it from the vault to the getaway van? With dozens of potential heists, along with a deep and engaging skill progression system, there’s enough content here to keep you and your mates going for a long time. Just don’t get caught. Prison food isn’t great.
We originally included the first Vermintide game on this list, but with the second game launching on Xbox One, offering more of the same co-op action of the first game but with more loot, more levels, more skills and more enemy factions, it’s clear that the sequel is the superior option. For Warhammer fans, Vermintide 2 is possibly the closest they could get to an authentic Warhammer experience without venturing into Games Workshop.
5. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Developer: 343 Industries Publisher: Microsoft
We’re cheating a little bit with this one, as The Master Chief Collection isn’t just one game but four, five if you have the ODST DLC and soon to be six with Halo Reach on the way. With five games worth of excellent campaigns, including the bloody excellent Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. Playing through each game on Legendary is a monumental task alone, and let’s not even talk about the 50 Spartan Ops missions.
6. Halo 5: Guardians
Developer: 343 Industries Publisher: Microsoft
You might be wondering why we’ve separated Halo 5 from The Master Chief Collection, considering we just lumped two Borderlands games together, but there’s one specific reason why Halo 5 is a brilliant co-op game: Warzone Firefight. Fusing together the massive scale of the multiplayer mode Warzone with classic Halo mode Firefight, up to 8 players join together to kill legions of Covenant and Promethean forces.
We were ecstatic during E3 when we found out that Dying Light 2 had been officially confirmed, because the original Dying Light is a real contender for one of the best zombie games ever made. It’s a bold claim, but one you’ll probably agree with once you and some friends are using grappling hooks to traverse buildings and dropkicking zombies 15ft down the street. Just make sure you run for cover once night begins to fall.
8. Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
Developer: Blizzard Publisher: Blizzard
The byword on co-op dungeon crawling, Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, or the Eternal Collection if you want to play as the Necromancer, is a top down RPG at its finest, as you take on a seemingly endless onslaught of demonic entities in an attempt to restore order to a dark world. Though it might not be as jovial as some of the other games on this list, wiping out an entire screen of monsters with up to 4 players never gets old.
9. Overcooked & Overcooked 2
Developer: Ghost Town Publisher: Team17
Not all co-operative games have to necessarily be about “jolly co-operation”. If anything, Overcooked and its sequel, Overcooked 2 is more of a test of patience, demanding an almost perfection level of coordination as you manage a kitchen, prepare specific meals and ensure dishes get cleaned. It sounds simple enough, but as the orders continue to flow, you’ll find those bonds of friendship will begin to strain under intense pressure. Don’t play this game with people you’re not willing to remove from your life, just a heads-up.
10. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
From the culinary to the more tactical, Ghost Recon: Wildlands plonks you and an elite squad in the middle of Bolivia and tasks you with bringing down a nefarious drug cartel. The open world nature allows you to tackle objectives in any way you like, meaning you could methodically move from one district to the next or just shoot, kill and destroy everything in your path from one end of the map to the other. It’s your call.
Despite the fact that The Division 2 has only been out for a few days at this time of writing, it would seem that it is leaps and bounds ahead of the anemic loot shooter RPG that the first game was when it launched. Moving the franchise from New York to Washington D.C. in a move that certainly wasn’t political, The Division 2 offers a lengthy main campaign, a host of endgame content, the intense but rewarding Dark Zone and much more. So long as you have some agents to share the good times with, The Division 2 is worth checking out.
Developer: StudioMDHR Publisher: StudioMDHR
Cuphead is a bloody tough shoot ‘em up, even if there are plenty of videos on the internet of people making it look incredibly easy. However, for the normal amongst us, we need all the help we can get. If you can grab a player two to take the role of Mugman to your Cuphead, you can finally beat the snot out of those beautifully animated. Or, you’ll both just get confused because adding another character to the screen turns the game into more of a clusterfuck. Either way, it’s a fun time.
13. Monster Hunter: World
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Nothing unites friends more than a common enemy, something that Monster Hunter: World knows all too well. Instead of boring you with the details of a looming existential threat or any of that nonsense, you and three friends can simply head out into the wild and hunt big creatures to get better loot. It doesn’t get any simpler, or more enjoyable, than that. Just make sure you choose the right teammates. Woe betide the player that carts three times five minutes into a hunt.
Arguably the pioneer of the whole “always online loot shooter RPG” that’s spawned the likes of The Division and Anthem, Destiny expertly combines enjoyable RPG leveling, powerful loot and tight gunplay for a thrilling overall package. While Destiny 2 might not have learnt from the prequel’s mistakes when it launched, Forsaken does plenty to make up for those mistakes.
Developer: Mojang, 4J Studios Publisher: Microsoft
The block-based survival game/creative tool that took the world by storm and is still being played to this day, Minecraft is at its best when played cooperatively with friends. Like Monster Hunter, Minecraft understands the value of a common goal, whether that’s exploring the environment, gathering resources to take down one of the big bosses or just trying to create the biggest golden penis in the land.