While there aren’t exactly roaring house gatherings or overnight LAN parties these days with the alluring lockdown, there are still a few good couch co-op games that are capable of soaking up the hours of isolation. Obviously, you’re going to need a house buddy to join you for the ride — but that’s pretty much all you’ll need. You don’t even have to own Xbox Live or PSN for couch co-op, and that truly is a beautiful thing. So beautiful — that we forget the reasons why we started ostracising split-screen games altogether.
Dig deep enough and you’ll uncover a nice selection of games that can be enjoyed with a partner, housemate or sibling. Some games can draw you away from the reality of the world for a few minutes, and others often possess the ability to withdraw you for weeks. And, as lockdown is a touchy subject at present around the world, we think it’s only fair that we bring up the meatier games. After all — we’ve got enough time on our hands.
Couch co-op not your thing? You could always take a look at these five city-building games?
5. Borderlands: Legendary Collection
Kicking off the list with a widely-loved looter shooter game is, of course, Borderlands. Now, it’s difficult when trying to select a specific entry in the series, and therefore I’m left with the decision of either offending a GearBox fan, or just plastering the entire collection in one paragraph. Of course, under the global circumstances in regards to time; the latter feels like the better choice overall.
Bringing endless barrels of smash and grab action and dark comedy comes Borderlands, the ultimate first-person shooter extravaganza. Set in the iconic world of Pandora, various vault hunters branch out in search of hidden delicacies that lurk behind the renowned chamber. However, along the way, there are psychotic characters, unfavourable outcomes and enough diversions to keep two players satisfied for weeks on end. With enough laughs, loot and lore to keep you smiling from beginning to end; Borderlands packs the mightiest punch in one chunky collection.
4. Gears of War
Again, using the entire collection as a point of reference; Gears of War is a perfect second choice for any player with enough time to settle in for a major session. With five main entries to the timeline (all of which are available on Xbox Game Pass, actually), players can soak up the post-apocalyptic ambience of the Gears universe like never before.
Facing against the invading Locust army, you are tasked with diving deep into enemy territory and reclaiming the upper hand on human survival. Over the course of five mighty chapters, mankind faces the brink of extinction, and it is up to the few remaining squads to return hope to the decaying world. Only, protecting the few remaining souls can be a lot easier said than done when facing impeccable enemy numbers. I mean, it’s a good thing you can tackle the war with two players, right?
3. Resident Evil 6
Although Resident Evil 5 turned out to be somewhat impressive in regards to co-op play — it didn’t quite match the meatiness of the sixth instalment. Of course, you are more than welcome to dig into the fifth chapter, seeing as it is also couch co-op ready, but if you’re looking for a heavier package with more range — then stick with this one. I’m really only saying this due to the rather ambitious amount of content Capcom went with for Resident Evil 6. With four unique campaigns to shovel through, players can experience an entire zombie uprise from all angles. And, you know — that’s good for what it’s worth.
Following on from the fallout of Raccoon City, a new virus begins to sweep the world and infect the human species. With zombies flooding from the suburbs of a new city and armies of infected creatures evolving on the outskirts, it is up to a fragile collective to uncover the truth behind the massacre and bring justice to the crumbling world. With a neat selection of gripping cinematics and thought-provoking gameplay, Resident Evil 6 aims to please with a powerful split-screen experience unlike any other.
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
As one of the most loved Xbox franchises ever produced, it would be an insult not to spread the love based on its incredible split-screen modes. Thanks to Bungie and their ability to capture the audience with the things that really matter, Halo proved to be a perfect weekend killer with friends. With addictive action and fast-paced storytelling, Halo becomes the ultimate blockbuster series; one of which you and a partner can enjoy over a few solid sittings together.
Floating around the impending war between humans and advanced alien civilization, you are instructed with diving deep into the frontline of outer space warfare. As Master Chief and a friendly roster of teammates, it is up to you to reclaim the upper hand and devastate the enemy forces. Over a series of enticing tales, both you and a friend can experience the entire story and power through some award-winning narrative like never before.
1. A Way Out
Breaking out of the bullet storms and looter shooters is A Way Out, with its refreshing take on local co-op play. As one of the more strategic types of games, players are made to think on their toes as they plan an escape from prison. However, to pull off such a death-defying stunt, players must work together in order to plan, escape and survive on the other side of the bars.
Stripping away all of the fast-paced elements that you’d see in most triple-A titles; A Way Out tends to focus a lot more on deep storytelling and character development. Thankfully, as it’s a co-op game, it is up to you on how you proceed and how you evolve your character and relationships. With a few twists and turns keeping you on your toes for the duration of the plot, you can guarantee a few worthy hours of jaw-dropping gameplay. Just remember to keep your friends close — and your enemies closer. Will you survive the prison break?