The Left 4 Dead games are horde survival at its finest, and arguably they haven’t been topped in the 9 and a half years since Left 4 Dead 2. Side note: has it really been that long since L4D2? C’mon Valve, just make the third one already. Though Left 4 Dead is also available on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility, the sequel adds plenty to an already winning formula, such as new infected and melee weapons, making it a more essential purchase.
17. Sea of Thieves
Developer: Rare Publisher: Microsoft
Y’arrrrrrrr, and all that. By its very definition, Sea of Thieves is a cooperative game. A pirate is nothing without a loyal crew, after all. Together with up to three friends, you can try and conquer the high seas, plunder some gold and maybe even scupper fellow pirates along the way. Like The Division, Sea of Thieves suffered a controversial launch due to a lack of significant content, but Rare are committed to ensuring there will be more to do, and the sheer amount of updates that have been released in the year since is proof of that.
Developer: The Fun Pimps Publisher: Telltale Publishing
Similar to Minecraft, if Minecraft was drained of all colour and focused entirely on zombies, 7 Days To Die is a more hardcore survival game where you have to manage things like heat, thirst and starvation, along with the pressure of building shelter so you don’t get mauled by zombies during the night. You’ll have to work together if you want to live to see the end of the week, never mind a Fortnite.
Geddit? Because Fortnite was originally a zombie survival game? I’m hilarious.
19. Human: Fall Flat
Developer: No Brakes Games Publisher: Curve Digital
The physics based platformer from Playground Games, Human: Fall Flat exists in the same category as Gang Beasts, known as “Games Guaranteed To Do Big Numbers On YouTube”. Though Xbox players will have to wait for another month before they can solve physics puzzles online with their buddies, the game does support split-screen co-op. And by co-op, yes, we do mean trying to actively grief your partner.
20. Gears of War 3
Developer: Epic Games Publisher: Microsoft
Though the entire Gears series is available to play on Xbox One, we’re double dipping here because Gears 3 and Gears 4 offer two completely different co-op experiences. With Gears 3, you get a 4 player campaign that’s arguably the best one in the series, along with the ever present Horde Mode and the one time only inclusion of Beast Mode. Turns out destroying the COG as the Locust is more fun than doing it the other way around, and we hope it makes a comeback in Gears 5
21. Gears of War 4
Developer: The Coalition Publisher: Microsoft
As for Gears of War 4, we’re throwing this one in for how it revitalises the Horde Mode gameplay. With five distinctive classes that can be upgraded, along with multiple new difficulty levels and the ability to defend whether you want on a map, not just key locations. The Horde Frenzy mode, which was added last year, also boils the game down from 50 waves to 25, making the action faster and more intense. Shame about the loot boxes like, but it’s still really enjoyable.
Not every President can be as badass as the one in Saints Row 4, but sometimes you just need that little bit of extra help from a second-in-command, and I don’t just mean Keith David. Though the regular game is still fantastic, regardless of whether or not you call in backup, there’s something to be said about teaming up with someone to use your superpowers to cause untold mischief. Or just to kick people in the dick.
23. Zombie Army Trilogy
Developer: Rebellion Publisher: Rebellion
You wouldn’t think that Nazi Zombies would have gotten as much play as they have in mainstream culture, but here we are. They’re like the third most common enemy behind “foreign terrorists” and “RPG skeletons”. Still, they’ve never been more satisfying to murder than in Zombie Army Trilogy. Utilising the Sniper Elite engine, you must survive endless hordes of the undead Third Reich, headshotting zombies all the way across Germany.
24. State of Decay 2
Developer: Undead Labs Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Look, more zombies. We’d like to promise that’s the last you’ll see of them, but it’s not. At least this one requires a little bit more brains. Building on the original game, State of Decay 2 sees you building a settlement of survivors in an America ravaged by a zombie plague. Though there’s plenty of depth that comes with recruiting survivors and building/maintaining facilities, you can just call in 3 other players and go for a joyride in a van.
Developer: Re-Logic Publisher: 505 Games
Often considered the 2D Minecraft, except with a lot more ridiculousness to discover, Terraria gives you as much as you put in. If you’re willing to put in the effort to see what this game has to offer, your determination will be rewarded. It just takes a while to get there. And yes, this game also has zombies, but at least you can have up to seven friends join your game and act as human shields.
Now for something just that little bit more charming. Okay, a lot more charming. Yarny is just so cute. His first adventure was such a beautiful surprise that caught everyone off guard, but Unravel Two added co-op play, allowing you to share the adventure with friend or partner. If this list has taught you anything, it’s that an experience shared is an experience made more better.
Yeah, that saying needs some work.
27. Watch Dogs 2
Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
One of Ubisoft’s many open world games, Watch Dogs 2 puts you in control of a skilled hacker in San Francisco, determined to take down corrupt tech companies and vapid celebrities. That’s the main purpose anyway, along with a number of co-op activities, but the world of San Fran provides ample opportunity for some shenanigans. You’ll never have more fun than when you challenge your friend to an impromptu scissor lift destruction derby.
28. Portal 2
Developer: Valve Publisher: Valve
Regarded as one of the best instances of co-op in any game, Portal 2’s co-op mode exists separately from the main game’s story mode, with you and a friend controlling two robots tasked with running a series of Aperture Science experiments. The co-op campaign retains all the mechanics and elements from the normal game, but also demands an added level of teamwork and communication for success.
29. Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Ha! You thought we were done with the zombies, but no. Zombies in games are like morons on Twitter: they’re everywhere. Though every Dead Rising game after the second one, none have really been able to compete with Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. You can play through the entire story with a co-op partner in a retelling on Dead Rising 2 starring Frank West, but the game comes into its element with the Sandbox Mode. No time limits, no objectives, just you and a friend causing carnage in Fortune City.
Horde co-op shooters are some of the most fun you can have with your friends when playing games, and Strange Brigade is an exemplary example of that. There’s something thrilling about being able to hold back legions of Ancient Egyptian minions with your comrades, using powerful weapons and whatever traps you can find lying around to gain the upper hand. So long as you’ve got some friends to join you, Strange Brigade is a brilliant co-op experience.
31. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Developer: Larian Studios Publisher: Bandai Namco
If you, like me, struggle to properly maintain a regular D&D group, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is more than a worthwhile substitute. A turn-based RPG that can be enjoyed by up to 4 players, Original Sin 2’s main appeal is that it emphasises player choice in how you complete your quests. With each character in the party having their own agenda and quests, games of Divinity: Original Sin 2 are never boring.
32. The Crackdown Series
Developer: Cloudgine, Sumo Digital, Certain Affinity, Ruffian Games, Realtime Worlds, Reagent Games Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Despite being a bit mindless and repetitive, the Crackdown series is the perfect co-op experience. Giving players a physics-dictated sandbox and all the tools they need to make it their own personal playground is an experience better shared with a friend. It’s basically an experiment, wrapped up in the guise of a third person shooter. You could take down those pesky gangs, or you could just see if you can roundhouse kick a car your mate throws at you. Personally? I’d go for the latter, every time.
33. Resident Evil 5
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Also known as “Chris Redfield’s Boulder Punching Extravaganza“, Resident Evil 5 is a very well designed co-op horror experience. It’s a flawed single player title, what with the friendly AI’s proclivity for dumb mistakes, but it’s a brilliant co-op title. Though it might not live up to the heights of Resident Evil 4 (and let’s be honest, what could?), Resident Evil 5 is still an excellent adventure and a worthwhile entry into the long-running franchise. Hey, it’s better than Resident Evil 6 at least.
34. Castle Crashers
Developer: The Behemoth Publisher: The Behemoth
It wouldn’t be a list of the best Xbox One co-op games without a good old fashioned beat ’em up, and Castle Crashers might just be the best of the bunch. A 4 player side scrolling scrapper with RPG elements, Castle Crashers combines fast, responsive combos with plenty of immature humour. Let’s hope you and your friends aren’t allergic to some good old fashioned poop jokes.
35. Every LEGO Game
Developer: TT Games Publisher: TT Games
A bit of a catch-all entry to finish things off, but one that we think is worth of mention. Every LEGO game, from Marvel to Star Wars to Indiana Jones to The LEGO Movie Game features couch co-op in some capacity. The LEGO factor means that these games won’t exactly tax your brain in the same way as Portal 2, but they’re perfect for entertaining the tykes. That’s if you can drag them away from Fortnite anyway.