12 of the Best Couch Co-op Games to Play With Real Live Friends

12 of the Best Couch Co-op Games to Play With Real Live Friends

Online multiplayer is great, but sometimes you want to plop down on the sofa next to your friend or spouse and play a game on the same screen. These 12 split-screen games were all released within the last five years, and any would make an excellent choice on your next couch co-op game night.

A Way Out (2018)

A Way Out is a rarity: A top-tier, AAA game that can only be played in split-screen with another player, ensuring “player 2” isn’t just an afterthought to a single-player campaign. The narrative is smart and novel — you are convicts helping each other escape from a maximum security prison — and every aspect of A Way Out was designed for cooperation, from the levels, to the puzzles, to the mini games. If you play no other game on this list, play A Way Out.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows

Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together (2017)

In this friendly puzzle-solving game, you and your partner control Snip and Clip, two paper characters who cut each other up into different shapes to solve puzzles. By offering multiple solutions to each level, Snipperclips rewards creativity and brains over gamer-reflexes, so everyone, from hardcore gamers to brand noobs, is on a level playing field.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Phogs! (2020)

In this cartoonish cooperative puzzle platformer, each player controls half of a double-doggo — a cute little pup with two heads and one stretchy belly. Working together, you and your pal solve puzzles by stretching, barking, and biting as you traverse worlds themed around everything dogs love best: Food, sleep, and playing. In a word: Delightful.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, Xbox One

Untitled Goose Game (2019)

I thought Untitled Goose Game couldn’t possibly be any better; then they added a second goose. Another malevolent waterfowl opens up new possibilities for bedeviling the put-upon townspeople, and now there’s twice as much honking. (So much sweet, sweet honking.)

Available on: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, macOS, Macintosh operating systems, Classic Mac OS

Unravel 2 (2018)

In this lush, beautiful platformer, you and your pal are Yarnies, little creatures made of yarn. To solve puzzles and beat levels, you unravel yourselves and work together to swing across gaps, rappel down cliffs, tie things up, and dream of becoming sweaters one day, I assume.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

Mario Kart 8 (2014), Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (2017)

I know I said I would only include cooperative games released in the last five years and Mario Kart 8 technically fits neither criteria — unless, ahhh, you’re playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch, which dropped in 2017. If that offends you, well, I just couldn’t handle making a list of split-screen games and without including the latest entry in the greatest couch co-op franchise of all time. Please do not call the police on me.

Available on: Wii U, Nintendo Switch

Human: Fall Flat (2016)

Up to eight people can play Human: Fall Flat together online, and only two can play it locally, but it’s better to play it locally anyway. The intentionally kludgy controls for the Schmoo-like main dude, and the constant obstacles he faces, create slapstick humour better enjoyed with a friend. Also: You might need a second brain to solve the harder puzzles.

Available on: Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5

It Takes Two (2021)

From Hazelight Studios, the same developer as A Way Out, It Takes Two tells the story of a couple on the verge of divorce. Rather than seek a qualified marriage counselor, they are transformed into doll versions of themselves and must learn to work together through solving platforming puzzles. It’s a head-scratching premise, but the gameplay really explores the possibilities of cooperation within a game, and it looks amazing.

Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

Call of Duty: WWII (2017)

It’s a shame the main campaign of Call of Duty: WWII isn’t co-op, but I’ll take what I can get: Zombies mode, where you and up to three friends face off against hordes of undead Nazis. The ridiculous comedy premises of more recent COD zombie modes have been axed in favour of a deeper, more story-driven, and definitely darker experience. The see-how-long-you-can-survive gameplay that makes Zombie mode so fun was left intact, thankfully.

Available on: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (2018)

Luigi’s Mansion 3 offers an unbelievable level of couch co-op. A friend can drop in at any time during the story and play as “Gooigi,” Luigi’s twin made of goo. Luigi’s gooey doppelganger has special powers to enter new parts of maps. There’s also ScareScraper Mode, a mini-campaign where up to four Switches can be connected either locally or online, and each can host two players. That’s eight Luigis and Gooigis running around collecting coins and being scared by ghosts! That might even be too many Luigis, if such a thing is even possible.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Cuphead (2017)

I can’t decide if Cuphead is more adorable than it is difficult, or more difficult than it is adorable. Either way, this platformer with visuals based on cartoons from the 1930s is like no other game ever made. It draws you in with its amazing look, and then keeps you hooked with incredibly challenging and addictive gameplay. You might think having another player to help would make Cuphead easier, but it does not. It only gives you someone else to blame for your many failures.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Macintosh operating systems

Overcooked 2 (2018)

Imagine an enjoyable version of the busiest back-of-house restaurant job you have ever held. That’s Overcooked 2. While it is possible to play Overcooked 2 online, it’s much more fun to have someone next to you to yell at. And there will be so much yelling as you and your partner frantically try to complete meals to send out of your kitchen to defeat the evil unbread [sic] horde.

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Macintosh operating systems

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