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The 10 best co-op games on Xbox Series X

Though the Xbox Series X/S is still young, there are plenty of fun experiences to be had on Microsoft’s newest line of consoles. The system is home to superb games that we’ll no doubt be talking about for years to come. The system features RPGs, shooters, puzzle games, survival games, and even competitive experiences that throw you against other players to be the last person standing. Better yet are games you can enjoy with friends, either from the couch or online. Something about working together with a friend to defeat bosses or tackle objectives is widely appealing, making it easy to see why co-op games are so popular. The lineup of co-op games is still growing on Xbox Series X, but even now, there are several you absolutely need to play.

These are the best co-op games on Xbox Series X.

Further reading:

It Takes Two

It Takes Two
90 %
4.5/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Hazelight Studios
Publisher Electronic Arts
Release March 25, 2021
It Takes Two is the most unique game on this list because it can only be played cooperatively. That’s right, there is no single-player option, meaning you have to play through this one with a friend. While that might sound like it adds an unnecessary barrier to entry, working together is integral to the overall message and story. In this game, you play as a couple going through a divorce while trying to care for the child they have together. In the process, you’ll encounter an absurd amount of gameplay variety that changes things up every 10 minutes or so. It Takes Two has the luxury of throwing realism out the window, allowing for some wildly interesting and unique gameplay moments. This was easily among the best games of 2021 for a reason, and we can’t wait to see what Hazelight Studios does next.
Read our full It Takes Two review

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
68 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Simulator, Adventure
Developer Rare
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release March 20, 2018
Arguably the greatest action pirate game of all time, Sea of Thieves sends you and your fellow booty hunters on a neverending quest for loot, all while taking on deadly skeletons and other formidable creatures. The thing Sea of Thieves gets right is that it allows for many different types of playstyles. For instance, if you’re someone who prefers an action-oriented approach, you can prioritize quests that feature lots of combat, while those who’d rather sail the seas and take it easy can do so as well. There’s also a plethora of quest types and gear to unlock, giving you plenty of agency over how you build your pirate.
Read our full Sea of Thieves review

Elden Ring

Elden Ring
94 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Role-playing (RPG)
Developer FromSoftware
Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release February 25, 2022
Many of us expected Elden Ring to be a hit, but few could have anticipated just how popular it would become. This is arguably developer FromSoftware’s best game, as the studio has honed in on what it does best, refining many gameplay components from the beloved Souls formula. In this case, Elden Ring features a massive, sprawling open world, with a non-linear structure that allows players to tackle objectives in any order. When it comes to cooperative play, the non-linear design is a major aspect, as players will often bring something different to the table depending on their build and experience. Since the game is so brutally difficult, you’ll often find yourself needing to summon help, leading to some memorable co-op moments. Part of the fun is seeing what kind of gear or abilities your co-op partner will have. Will they hurl lightning bolts at the boss or will they use a massive sword to deal lots of damage all at once? Tackling Elden Ring with a friend is an absolute blast, especially after overcoming a powerful, and menacing boss.
Read our full Elden Ring review

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection
86 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter
Developer 343 Industries
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 11, 2014
Halo is a franchise that needs no introduction, so being able to play most of the series in one convenient package is an absolute treat. Sure, Halo is often remembered for its fast-paced competitive multiplayer suite, but The Master Chief Collection also features the campaigns for Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Reach, and Halo 4, all of which can be played cooperatively locally or online. These are games that many of us grew up with, bringing back fond memories of playing through the campaigns with friends on a Friday night after school. There’s so much to do in this collection, even if you only stick to the campaign modes across all games.

Grounded

Grounded
70 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Adventure
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release July 28, 2020

Ever want to be shrunken down to the size of an ant to explore your backyard? This might sound ridiculous, but as a kid, it was a thought that only existed in our imaginations. In Grounded, Obsidian Entertainment made that idea a reality. It’s an interesting survival game that places you in the shoes of a tiny character who must use leaves, blades of grass, and other objects in the backyard to defend against deadly ants and spiders. Grounded can be difficult, but if you play with a friend, collecting resources and braving against powerful enemies is far more manageable. It’s a refreshing take on the survival formula, offering lots of deep gameplay systems that feel satisfying — with a sprinkle of comedy throughout.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2
74 %
4/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Tactical, Adventure
Developer Bungie
Publisher Activision
Release September 06, 2017
When Destiny 2 launched in 2017, it was a fine game, but it didn’t necessarily come out of the gate swinging. Thankfully, after years of updates and the split between Activision and Bungie, Destiny 2 has become one of the best FPS games on the market. Better yet is that it’s now free-to-play, making it even easier to dive in and enjoy. Of course, Destiny 2 can be played solo and is even enjoyable in that regard but is primarily designed with cooperative play in mind. This means you and your squadmates will need to team up to progress through story missions, strikes, or even raids, which are at the heart of the endgame experience. With so much content — both free and paid — it’s easy to get lost in the world of Destiny 2.
Read our full Destiny 2 review

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood
80 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter
Developer Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release October 12, 2021
There’s a running joke in the video game industry that developer Valve doesn’t know how to count to three — in other words, it doesn’t like to make third installments of its beloved series, as evidenced by Half-Life 2, Portal 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. With Left 4 Dead specifically, developer Turtle Rock Studios got tired of waiting and decided to make its own spiritual successor known as Back 4 Blood. This FPS zombie-slaying adventure features many of the familiar tropes from Left 4 Dead, such as the short campaigns and the slew of zombies that appear in random locations each time you play. What’s cool about Back 4 Blood is its deck-building mechanic that rewards your player with various perks and abilities, allowing you to mix things up frequently. We’d love it if Valve would make Left 4 Dead 3, but in the meantime, Back 4 Blood is the next best thing.
Read our full Back 4 Blood review

Gears 5

Gears 5
81 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer The Coalition
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release September 10, 2019
Gears 5 is an underrated entry in the acclaimed shooter series, offering memorable characters and a fantastic campaign, all while taking risks — most of which pay off. For instance, the campaign features a small-scale open world, with light RPG mechanics and even side-quests for you to complete. Old school Gears fans might not totally be into the new changes, but for the most part, many of the new features are welcome ones. Gears 5 features fully cooperative campaign and horde modes with split-screen and online functionality, perfect for players looking to work as a team. Horde mode is as robust as ever in Gears 5, with a class-based system that allows you to play how you want, along with wave after wave of Locusts to eliminate. 
Read our full Gears 5 review

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
86 %
4/5
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Racing, Sport
Developer Playground Games
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 09, 2021
The Forza series is known for being at the top of its class, and no entry makes that clearer than Forza Horizon 5. This game sends players to a massive representation of Mexico, with multiple unique biomes to explore and drive through. There are lots of different mission types that are designed in such a way that break up the monotony of a driving game. Sure, the primary goal with most objectives is to reach your destination as quickly as possible, but there are lots of other mission types — such as the hysterical Piñata pop mode, which requires you to pop as many Piñatas as possible — that offer an excellent change of pace from simply driving from point A to B. And of course, you can complete races and missions with, or against your buddies, serving as a massively social experience.
Read our full Forza Horizon 5 review

Tetris Effect: Connected

Tetris Effect: Connected
90 %
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Meta Quest, Meta Quest 2
Genre Music, Puzzle, Indie, Arcade
Developer Monstars, Resonair
Publisher Enhance
Release May 14, 2020
Somehow, after decades of iteration, Tetris has managed to remain fresh, offering arguably “perfect” gameplay that still holds up. This is clearly evident with Tetris Effect: Connected, a game about unity and togetherness (as its name suggests). Each stage has different music and visuals, featuring various types of tetrominoes that change depending on the theme. Beyond that, there are numerous multiplayer modes that change up the Tetris formula, making it the best entry for those wanting to play with friends. There’s even a mode that requires you and other players to take down bosses together. How cool is that?!

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