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    The best local and split-screen co-op games on Xbox Game Pass

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    Carlos Laforet Coll

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    For those looking for co-op fun while exploring the Xbox Game Pass library, here are some of the best split-screen games available.

    Purchasing Xbox Game Pass isn't just about solo play time. Fun experiences are reserved for duos with access to the console's best gaming service. A fair amount of titles available on Xbox Game Pass (and EA Play) allow for local co-op enjoyment. And as any self-respecting gamer knows, playing a game with a friend using the good old-fashioned couch co-op is one of the best joys there is.

    Whether the action takes place on a single screen or double the participation requires split-screen, these games are guaranteed to keep your friends entertained. From sci-fi shooters to physics-based playgrounds, Xbox owners can't go wrong with these fun local co-op titles.

    Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition

    The Gears series is truly at its best when played with a friend. The usable campaign becomes absolutely phenomenal if played using local co-op, and thanks to Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, players can experience the first entry in this now-iconic franchise with updated graphics and gameplay improvements. Playing as Marcus Fenix ​​and Dom, two players can make their way to a courageous victory against the Locust. The game features fantastic cover-based shooting mechanics, outrageous action setpieces, and chaotic vehicle sequences that should be played by two. If you're looking for an exhilarating couch co-op experience to spend a night (or several in a row), you certainly can't go wrong here.

    Golf with your friends

    Team17's approach to digital golf is less PGA and more casual, but therein lies its intrinsic charm. Golf With Your Friends is a party game at its core, with easy-to-learn controls and mechanics. That said, the skill ceiling is impressively high, the courses themselves are fantastically designed and can become incredibly difficult, with hazards ranging from conventional sand traps to gravity-distorting black holes as you tee off on an orbiting space station. . Sure, it's technically a competitive experience, but the game quickly devolves into more of a “how are we going to get through this” mentality as we navigate increasingly complex courses. Note that local multiplayer implements a “hot” style of play, requiring only a single controller to enjoy.

    The Ascent

    The Ascent mixes the straightforward RPG progression elements and shenanigans of a Diablo clone with the frenetic, action-packed styles of a double-shooter to great effect, then wraps it all in the neon glow of its cyberpunk setting. While it's a fully competent single-player game, playing it alongside a few friends is where it's at its best. Cooperatively venturing into its vibrant, gritty, high-tech locations with a hail of bullets is truly delightful. Players working together can build their characters using various boosts and skill points to better support each other during intense firefights in the urban landscapes of Veles.

    Human Fall Flat

    Goofy physics in a puzzle platformer should be an absolute must. Human Fall Flat achieves this perfectly and allows up to four players to join in the hilarity. Navigating these abstract yet familiar landscapes is a riot, especially considering that climbing over ledges is connected to controls for looking up and down.

    These camera angles make the weakness of player characters even more laugh-provoking. Co-op play is enhanced with the need to lean on buttons, move crates, swing on ropes, and adjust catapults to get partners across a level. Human Fall Flat definitely doesn't fail when it comes to providing good old-fashioned couch co-op fun.

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection

    If you're looking for a bombastic first-person shooter experience to enjoy alongside a friend, it's impossible to go wrong with the John-117 saga. Comprising the entirety of four mainline Halo titles, as well as Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach spin-offs, The Master Chief Collection delivers true mileage with its total of six iconic campaigns, as well as the associated multiplayer offerings. And, of course, there's the real cherry on top: each of the titles in this collection is perfectly capable of co-op.
    So if you're looking for an extended co-op experience to build a weekend couch friendly ritual with one of your friends, the Master Chief Collection is essentially the equivalent of crushing a Grunt with a Gravity Hammer. It's an exaggeration in the most satisfying way possible.

    The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan

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    Supermassive Games brings the ghosts of Until Dawn into a co-op experience, allowing two players, online or locally, to navigate a seemingly haunted ship stranded in the middle of the ocean. With plenty of jump scares, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan utilizes quick-time events, dialogue options, and exploration to create a gruesome tale that allows for multiple playthroughs. While the fate of characters can seemingly be determined by an inopportune press of a button, Man of Medan is nonetheless an enjoyable and terrifying experience, and with co-op horror titles being a rarity, it's definitely a must-play for friends.

    Overcooked 2

    Overcooked 2 is made up of three main ingredients: cooking, mayhem, and co-op. Assuming the roles of heroic chefs in the faraway fantasy setting of the Onion Kingdom, up to four players will chop, bake and braise their way through a myriad of creatively ridiculous kitchens in a desperate attempt to fend off the antagonistic Unbread. Fulfilling orders can be a demanding cavalcade of coordination, as the various environments impose themed obstacles in front of the gentlemanly chefs, but the chaos is intrinsic to the title's charm.


    The perennial joys of Minecraft never stop offering the fun factor, and that factor increases exponentially when enjoyed with friends. Most, if not virtually all, Minecraft players are keenly aware of its multiplayer capabilities, but its local co-op functionality is often overlooked on the platforms that offer it.

    And that's a shame, because whether you're pushing the limits of your imagination in Creative Mode or tackling the Creeper-laden night in Survival Mode, there's something very special about soaking up the classic charms of Minecraft with someone sitting next to you. If you have a Game Pass membership and a partner available, you can dive right in to see what we're talking about.

    A Way Out

    Way Out offers just about everything you could want in a co-op title with the explosive aplomb of a deliciously flamboyant action movie. The narrative can be over-the-top and a little silly at times, but really, that's almost exactly what it needs to be. Put in the shoes of the unlikely duo Vincent and Leo, players will cooperatively plot, race, and occasionally fight their way out of the confines of prison and into the world beyond to embark on a quest for revenge that's filled with charming competitive mini-games to break the comrade vibe.

    Totally Reliable Delivery Service

    The only reliable thing about this delivery service is the amount of entertainment you get in the process of playing it. Up to four players can take on the role of Totally Reliable Delivery Service employees. Thanks to the power of clumsy controls and bombastic movements, the game becomes an exercise in holding back laughter. Delivery assignments call for a variety of vehicles such as hot air balloons and karts, but no matter what mode of transport you use, hilarious co-op antics are guaranteed.

    Goat Simulator

    What's better than the chaotic madness of a goat? Goat chaotic madness with a friend. Goat Simulator allows for local co-op hilarity as players wreak havoc on a town and a town with unhinged goats. The physics madness ensues as players accumulate arbitrary points for destroying property, jumping into the air, and other normal goat activities. The lack of structure in Goat Simulator is actually one of the game's strengths. Two players can easily spend an entire day exploring the environment, discovering secrets and unlocking new types of goats.

    Unravel Two

    Unravel Two's silent co-op provides a multitude of pleasant moments between friends. Two thread creatures must traverse a gigantic world using nothing but the threads of their bodies and the intelligence of the players behind them to survive. Unravel Two's light puzzle solving can make even the most difficult of challenges easily overcome. The game's design lends itself well to an enjoyable co-op experience that never feels frantic or rushed. Found on EA Play, Unravel Two is not to be ignored by those looking for comfortable time with friends.

    Minecraft Dungeons

    If the laid-back nature of Minecraft is too laid-back, then Minecraft Dungeons is the perfect co-op title for those browsing Xbox Game Pass in search of something to play. This action-packed game is derived from the Minecraft universe, but its gameplay is clearly inspired by classic dungeon crawlers. Up to four friends can play local co-op, blasting your way through various areas in search of the best loot to make the next race easier.

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