The 10 best co-op games for Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Left 4 Dead
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Turtle Rock | Players: 1-4
Evolve might be out right now, but we still look into Turtle Rock Studio’s back catalogue for the ultimate Xbox co-op experience. 2008’s Left 4 Dead charged you and three friends with surviving the zombie apocalypse, and there’s not quite been anything like it. The game offered five well-crafted campaigns that pushed your motley group to use teamwork, communication, and firearms to make it between safe rooms and eventually escape alive. The dynamic AI system, great mission pacing, and emergent chaos Left 4 Dead effortlessly breeds makes it fantastic to this day.
Gears Of War 3
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Epic Games | Players: 1-4
What’s better than violently sawing a Locust in half with a Lancer? Sawing it in half with your buddy holding a second Lancer, obviously! While all of the Gears Of War games have had co-op support, it was the third and final game in the Epic trilogy that felt specifically designed to be played with your sadistic buddies in tow. Gears Of War 3 presented plenty of opportunities to take advantage of branching paths, alternative vantage points and co-operative butchery. The bromantic story and ultra-gore mean this isn’t one for everybody, but action buffs will love it.
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Valve | Players: 1-2
When The Orange Box released in 2007, nobody expected quirky puzzle game Portal to take the gaming world by storm. But it did, and spawned a hugely successful sequel. While the single-player is brilliant, it also happens to feature a fantastic two-player cooperative mode. Taking on the role of two silly robots, Atlas and P-Body, caught in the gruelling Aperture Science test chambers, you’ll need to use all of your problem-solving skills and logic to make it through this challenging campaign. Portal 2 is unlike anything else, requiring intense patience – but the result is immensely rewarding.
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Gearbox | Players: 1-4
The original Borderlands was pretty awesome, but it made us hungry for more. Thankfully, the sequel ramped up the chaos, ironed out the bugs and made us hopeless loot addicts. Sharing this particular crutch with friends proved to be a wonderful laugh, as every aspect of Borderlands 2 was built with co-op play in mind. Combat scales with additional players, ensuring a constant challenge throughout the world of Pandora. With four unique characters to choose between, co-op groups work in any combination to conquer Borderlands’ horde of outrageous enemies and bosses.
LEGO Marvel Superheroes
Console: Xbox One | Developer: TT Games | Players: 1-4
Traveller’s Tales has, for the last decade, consistently delivered some of the best all-ages co-op fun to be had on the Xbox platform. For kids and adults alike, the Lego games have proven to be a huge success thanks to the easy-to-grasp mechanics, entertaining objectives and ridiculous humour. The recent Lego Marvel Super Heroes is one of the most polished games in the franchise, not to mention a gigantic roster of characters to choose from. It’s the ultimate celebration of the Marvel Universe.
Rock Band 3
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Harmonix | Players: 1-4
The thought of digging those dusty old peripherals out from under the bed is a terrifying concept, but it’s still worth it – there’s simply no beating the rowdy excitement that Rock Band can generate. The third instalment is the king daddy of party games – offering mountains of fun whether you’re on a mission to party or devoting yourself to the ideals of Minor Threat for the evening. Multiple difficulty levels across all instruments mean everyone can play, and the song library is so vast that you won’t struggle to find a belting track to butcher at 3am with your buddies.
Console: Xbox One | Developer: EA Sports | Players: 1-11
You want the ultimate co-op experience? Get a copy of FIFA 15, rustle up 10 of your bezzies and prepare for the greatest game of interactive football of your life. Be A Pro mode returns, and it’s bloody good fun on Xbox One. This mode lets you create a custom player, define their role in a team and then join a squad. Working in tandem as a team – with no AI to pick up the slack – is tough, but too much fun to ignore. Communication is key – especially if you go up against another full squad of 11 real players. Just don’t get stuck as the goalkeeper. It isn’t fun in real life, and it isn’t fun here.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: Ubisoft | Players: 1-2
Splinter Cell: Conviction may have catalysed the series’ awkward transition from hardcore stealth game to stealth-action hybrid, but the co-op is pretty sensational. Not only does it feature the ever-wonderful Spies Vs. Mercs co-op multiplayer mode, but it also contains a focused two-player co-op experience that acts as a prologue to the main campaign. At heart, it’s a great demonstration of Conviction’s often-overlooked stealth system, forcing you and your partner to combine abilities and tactics.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Console: Xbox One | Developer: 343 Industries | Players: 1-4
We are making great use of the space here, folks. We could have quite easily listed Halo Combat Evolved: Anniversary through Halo 4 here, but The Master Chief Collection bundles all four games together into one hella awesome package for a pretty much unbeatable co-op experience. Whether you’re taking down towering Scarabs, battling back the Flood, or racing Warthogs off of exploding Forerunner technology, the Halo campaign is certainly bettered by the addition of other friendly Spartans.
Console: Xbox 360 | Developer: The Behemoth | Players: 1-4
If you’re after a fantastic co-op experience on a tight budget, Castle Crashers is the way to go. It’s nearing its seventh birthday now, but it’s a game we still consistently return to when three friends are sat on the couch. Castle Crashers has barely aged; thanks in part to its insanely vivid world and design, its unique blend of genres, and its too-fun-to-ignore side-scrolling, beat-’em-up action. You can play this solo or with another friend if you want/need to, but it’s at its best when the screen is filled with little warriors.