Despite the rise of online gaming, local multiplayer games are still incredibly popular, and on PS4 there are some particularly excellent co-op and split-screen games available.
While split-screen games aren't as popular as they once were, you'll still find great modern split-screen PS4 games like A Way Out and It Takes Two, and in addition to split-screen specifically, many of the best PS4 games have multiplayer. local in case the player doesn't want to play online.
With that in mind, we've rounded up the best PS4 split-screen games to play in 2021. Of course, all of these games are playable on PS5 as well. Our list also includes multiplayer PS4 games that aren't technically split-screen, but can be played locally with friends and family on one screen.
The following choices are arranged alphabetically, not sorted, with split-screen games listed first.
The best split-screen PS4 games
A Way Out
Hazelight Studios' Way Out is designed to be played cooperatively. In fact, you can only play cooperatively, and it's most enjoyable when you're sitting on the couch next to a friend or loved one. A Way Out stars Leo and Vincent, two inmates who work together to escape prison and elude the authorities.
Way Out takes a really interesting approach to both the gameplay and the story. You and your partner are often separated and do different tasks to help each other progress. The mix of puzzle-based gameplay, stealth and action delivers a constantly dynamic experience that melds into a well-written story that has a surprising amount of emotion.
While you're working together, you'll also find fun competitive mini-games throughout the adventure.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
The Borderlands franchise has rare first-person shooters that still offer split-screen co-op. While all games in the series have co-op on one screen, we recommend Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, which contains Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, two amazing games with lengthy campaigns. Both games offer a split-screen multiplayer mode for up to four players.
While the loot-focused shooter can be played solo, Borderlands really hits its stride when you team up with friends, especially as you progress and the action becomes more chaotic.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the latest entry in the long-running first-person shooter franchise, offers a split-screen multiplayer game mode for your zombies and competitive modes.
We're mainly recommending it here for Zombies, which was created specifically with co-op in mind. Black Ops Cold War's Zombies mode currently has three maps, although it will evolve over time as new seasons arrive.
Teaming up with a friend to face off against waves of flesh-hungry undead enemies is a lot of fun.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the best RPGs you can play on PS4, whether you're alone or with a friend. It's an old school RPG with a layered turn-based combat system and a captivating open world.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 features two-player split-screen co-op, which lets you explore the massive world and make critical decisions on how to tackle combat alongside a friend. It should be noted that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a lengthy experience that can take well over 50 hours to complete, so it's a huge investment of time. We recommend it for those who have experience with tactical RPGs.
Don't Starve Together
Klei Entertainment's survival game, Don't Starve, always felt like a game that would be great to play with friends, but it took a few years for that feeling to take hold. The indie multiplayer expansion Don't Starve Together was released in 2016 and remains one of the best survival games to play split-screen with a friend today.
It has three game modes, each of which offers a different kind of survival experience. The main Survival mode really emphasizes working together, while Wilderness and Endless modes let you enjoy the scenery a little more and provide more forgiving experiences. Don't Starve Together has a fun and challenging combat system and beautiful art style.
It Takes Two
In the tradition of A Way Out, Hazelight Studios' second game, It Takes Two, is also co-op-only. When Rose finds out that her parents are getting divorced, she consults a book on love and ends up transporting her parents' minds to the dolls she made with them.
The premise is humorous and somewhat sad, and It Takes Two manages to tread that line carefully to deliver a charming tale. It Takes Two is also significantly more involved than its predecessor when it comes to gameplay. Playing as the little dolls, you and your partner work together to traverse the larger-than-life environments around the house.
It Takes Two has some truly wonderful platforming sequences that require teamwork and creativity to complete. It's one of the best games of 2021 so far and shouldn't be missed by platform fans.
Lego Marvel Collection
Traveller's Tales Lego games have always been great choices for families to play together on the couch, especially those with young children. The Lego Marvel Collection compiles three fun Lego games in one package: Lego Marvel Superheroes, Lego Marvel's Avengers and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
These lighthearted adventures let you and another player team up to defeat supervillains while playing as well-known Marvel heroes like the Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America. All three games have easy-to-learn and forgiving mechanics, which make them excellent co-op titles to play with your kids or those who don't play a lot.
Not much needs to be said about Minecraft, which holds the best-selling video game title of all time. On PS4, split-screen multiplayer supports up to four users who work together to create their own Minecraft worlds. If you are looking for games to play with your kids, Minecraft is an excellent choice as it lets your imagination run wild.
Rocket League has been one of the most popular online multiplayer games for years, but you can also play offline with up to four players on one screen. Rocket League is a ridiculously fun sports game that is essentially football with a giant ball that is thrown at vehicles. Rocket League is also the only free game on this list, so you should check it out for your next game night.
Sega celebrated the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog in style with the release of Sonic Mania, an adventure that fondly harkens back to the iconic mascot's heyday. Sonic Mania feels like a Sega Genesis game, and even remixes some of the best levels in the franchise's history.
As with the early games, you can play two-player split-screen co-op, with one player controlling Sonic and the other playing as Tails. Sonic Mania also has a competition mode reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which lets you compete with your friends in a variety of levels. For those looking for a nostalgic co-op game, Sonic Mania is an excellent choice.
Omega Wipeout Collection
The Omega Wipeout Collection compiles three great anti-grav racing experiences into one package: Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury, and Wipeout 2048, which was previously exclusive to PlayStation Vita. All three games work flawlessly on the PS4 and each brings something different to the table.
Wipeout Fury focuses on combat, Wipeout HD offers a solid representation of the series' fast-paced gameplay, and Wipeout 2048 shows a different side to the series with normal natural environments serving as clues. With a variety of game modes, tracks and unique ships, Wipeout Omega Collection offers one of the most robust racing experiences on PS4. It's also a joy to play with friends, thanks to its casual arcade format that oozes with style.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
The rest of the games on this list have local multiplayer, but are not split-screen. We're kicking things off with an action RPG that has remained relevant for nearly nine years.
Although Diablo 3 has been available on consoles for many years, it's still surprising how well it translates to being played with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard. Diablo 3 is a modern classic with a loop that remains fun even after you've completed the campaign dozens of times.
Up to four players can participate in the action on one screen. With an emphasis on acquiring better and better gear and an accessible battle system for beginners, Diablo 3 is easily one of the most fun action RPGs you can play via local co-op.
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Almost all popular fighting games support local multiplayer, and there's no shortage of great options on the PS4. We're going to pick Dragon Ball Fighter Z as our top recommendation, thanks to its stylish visuals, fast-paced battle system, and dedication to being approachable and layered in its combat.
Of course, Dragon Ball fans will be much more interested in this one than those who don't care about the anime. That said, it's such a well-crafted fighting game that it wouldn't be surprising if you convinced those who know nothing about the franchise to join you.
It's chaotic and over-the-top and features a wealth of unique playable characters, including a bevy of DLC fighters worth paying for.
Helldivers is another game that was specifically designed with a cooperative approach. You can play with up to four players on one screen. Helldivers has an arcade vibe like a top-down shooter. The story sees you and your teammates exploring alien planets and taking down villains to save Super Earth.
While combat is fast-paced and can get quite hectic, Helldivers has a tactical bent for it, as you and your teammates must make critical decisions about how to approach each encounter. You also have to be on the same page as the rest of your squad, as Helldivers doesn't protect you from friendly fire.
The world is procedurally generated, so Helldivers remains interesting even after you think you've mastered the loop.
Jackbox Party Trilogy
You can't go wrong with any of the Jackbox Party Pack games for your next game night with friends. We're highlighting the Jackbox Party trilogy here, as it comes with the first three party packs, each containing five exclusive games.
Jackbox Party Trilogy includes a wide variety of party games including Trivia Murder Party, various versions of the witty Quiplash and Fibbage, a game that forces you to lie to friends and loved ones.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
As members of the League of Very Empathetic Rescue Spacenauts, you and your partner must stop Anti-Love while saving rabbits. It sounds like a silly casual game, but Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is pretty intense. Your team controls a ship, applying offensive and defensive tactics to stay alive.
One of the best aspects of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is how it really emphasizes solid communication. You and your teammate must act as a cohesive unit to keep love alive and save the bunnies.
An ode to two-controller arcade shooters, Nex Machina is a fast-paced and stylish shooter that excels in local multiplayer. In each level, you and a friend work together to defeat a series of enemy waves, each more challenging than the last.
Nex Machina demands your constant attention, as it's easy to get knocked down by obstacles and formidable enemies. While it can also be played solo, Nex Machina really shines in co-op, especially when you get to the really punishing stages or are trying to complete secondary objectives and unlock secrets.
Overcooked: All You Can Eat
Team17's Overcooked series offers frenetic, hilarious co-op and competitive multiplayer that's wrapped up in a cute little package with plenty of charm. You can get both games and all parts of the DLC in Overcooked: All You Can Eat.
Each level tasks your cartoon chefs with meal prep by gathering ingredients, cooking them properly, and then serving them onto plates. It's a simple premise that requires few buttons.
That said, time constraints and crazy kitchen projects lead to some hilarious (and sometimes stressful) situations in the kitchen. Both Overcooked games are well worth playing, but Overcooked 2 also adds the ability to throw items, which is a game changer. This mechanic blends in with wild and dynamic kitchens in a way that forces constant teamwork and communication.
Rayman might not have the same love as some other video game mascots, but the guy with floating body parts just happens to lead one of the best modern side-scrolling platformers: Rayman Legends.
As a direct sequel to Rayman Origins (also good), Rayman Legends is the biggest game in the series, with over 120 beautifully designed levels with different styles and objectives. Rayman Legends can be played with up to four players on one console.
Sackboy: The Big Adventure
In Sackboy: A Big Adventure, the latest entry in the LittleBigPlanet series, you and three other friends work to defeat an evil jester puppet and save the Craftverse. Sackboy is the closest thing to a modern Super Mario game you'll find on PS4.
Well-designed levels offer incredible variety to keep platforming fun throughout. The game's whimsical tone, catchy soundtrack, and bevy of cute outfits make it a great choice for families. While Sackboy doesn't do anything we haven't seen before in the platformer genre, it has an extremely solid foundation that makes it easy to recommend.
Spelunky 1 + 2
If you and your friends are up for a challenge, Spelunky and Spelunky 2 are both excellent side-scrolling roguelikes that work great as co-op adventures. Both games feature randomly generated levels filled with dangerous obstacles and enemies that can kill you in the blink of an eye.
Spelunky's loop constantly surprises you, as even when you start to get the hang of navigating its dangerous traps, you never know what kind of layout you'll see next. Playing the games cooperatively has its benefits: you can bring your teammates back to life and work together to discover treasures and defeat enemies.
Both games also feature a competitive mode that pits you and up to three friends in an arena to fight to the death. Although both entries can be frustrating due to the high degree of difficulty.
While it's primarily thought of as a single-player game, Stardew Valley also has an excellent multiplayer mode. The massive 1.5 update added the ability to play in split-screen co-op, which allows you and up to three friends to hang out together in the country life simulator.
Stardew Valley's multiplayer is very similar to the traditional single-player campaign, so you and your friends can tend the land, talk to NPCs, and explore the mines as you would in a single-player game. As an endless experience, you can get many miles outside of Stardew Valley.
This is definitely a great choice for those who want to relax in the evening on a co-op sofa. Stardew Valley is also a good choice to play with someone who may not have a lot of gaming experience, as it is not mechanically challenging.
Streets of Rage 4
Side-scrolling beat-'em-ups were a pioneer of arcade and early console games, and Streets of Rage was one of the best of the genre. After a long hiatus, Streets of Rage 4 arrives in 2020, marking the first entry in the series in over 25 years. Streets of Rage 4 may have modern visuals, but it's an old-school beat-'em-up through and through.
You can make your way through the 12 challenging levels with up to four players, and there are even some retro secret levels to discover. Streets of Rage 4 is a hit because it sticks to its roots to deliver a nostalgic and fully immersive couch co-op adventure.
TowerFall Ascension is a fast paced, humorous action game that's simple to get the hang of. Up to four players can play locally on one console, with each taking the role of an archer and trying to be the last player standing.
Small arena-style maps make each match go faster, and a wide variety of power-ups help keep the game fresh. TowerFall Ascension is amazing on the go and remains one of the coolest Party Games on PS4 more than seven years after its release.
While it's primarily a competitive multiplayer game, there's a co-op quest mode that lets you and a friend take on AI-controlled archers and monsters.
Unravel was a fun platformer, but poor Yarny felt lonely at times. Unravel 2 doubles the fun, allowing you and a partner to create your own Yarny characters and embark on a platforming adventure together.
Just like the first game, Unravel 2 has a colorful world that is pleasant to explore as a creature made of wool. It makes great use of its two-player premise, requiring you and your partner to work together to solve puzzles.
The strands at the end of the yarn are tied together, forcing you to work as one. Unravel 2 is packed with clever puzzles that really emphasize solid planning and execution. It's a pleasant experience that we recommend especially for couples.