I bet even you have done it in the last couple of years. Sighed at the seeming lack of local co-op games.
It used to be that multi-player games were played side-by-side with a friend, sharing a console and a couch. But in the age of online multi-player, the couch co-op is still thriving, even if under the radar. They usually support one to four players and come in so many genres that there is something for everyone.
We've been screamed at by 10-year-old kids on Call of Duty, we've been sent sarcastic messages on Xbox Live for "being a scrub" in Dark Souls, the scope for trash-talking has widened exponentially with Kinect automatically broadcasting that expletive that you just hurled at the opponent that just killed you as soon as you respawned.
But the physical presence of having someone compete against you is much more tangible and exciting. Plus, you know, you're sharing a screen so it's really hard to not cheat. I mean, it's right there! And if you lose... you already know where they live...
Have a look at what we think are some of the best local multiplayer games.
Note: Some of these games are better played with local multiplayer or designed to be played with at least two players, and we've decided to skip games where there are multiplayer modes such as Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty.
- Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
- Neon Chrome
- Child of Light
- Guns, Gore and Cannoli
- Castle Crashers Remastered Edition
- Rocket League
- Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
Team17 ought to feature more than once on this list, but that's because they make brilliant co-op games! Overcooked is a frantic cooking game, but I hope your wits are sharper than your knives. You (and your buddies) will have to prepare, cook and serve dishes for increasingly irate customers. As a periodical sufferer of "The Hangries" (hungry irritability), there is nothing worse than being kept waiting for food, so limber up and get serving those hungry customers! There are plenty of jobs to do in the kitchen and not nearly enough hands. As the old adage goes, too many cooks spoil the broth, but in Overcook's case too few cooks can't get the job done.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is an action game in which you and your beloved (or your co-gamer) take control of a ship, traversing a neon cosmos and manning all the battle stations yourselves. If there was ever a game that encompassed what being in a relationship is all about, Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime is it. Team work is key, as you protect your tiny Love ship from Anti-Love. Run about the ship, activating shields and turrets as you go, keeping you and your loved one safe. If you honestly don't have anyone to play with, you can play with an AI dog. After all, isn't a dog a man's best and most loyal friend?
Neon Chrome is a roguelike game, where you and a friend can pick a character and battle your way through many floors in order to defeat the Overseer... before doing it all over again, only this time everything is a little bit harder. Not for the faint-hearted, Neon Chrome is already a pretty brutal single player experience, even if you have collected and found some decent power-ups. Taking a buddy with you multiplies your damage output, there are plenty of lives to go round, but you'll have to bicker amongst yourselves about who gets the next upgrade. Blade Runner meets The Matrix as you transfer your consciousness into clones, establish a neural link and control their bodies to take back control of Neon Chrome, the giant man-made city-in-a-building.
The King is dead. In order to be moved to his final resting place, you and a friend can push and pull the King's funeral wagon in a physics-based puzzle platformer. Traversing multiple levels in caves and passages, the large wheels and tethers enable you to perform some cool maneuvers in order to get the King to his burial site. Watch out for looters on your journey, as they will try to pinch all the loot you've prized from the walls on your way.
Child of Light is a side-scrolling, platforming RPG, with gorgeous soft graphics and a gentle soundtrack that will capture anyone's attention. Player one controls Aurora, the feathery haired heroine, taking control of attacking and exploration. Player two controls Igniculus, the support character that can reveal hidden entrances, heal Aurora in battle and stun enemies. With a story of a forgotten kingdom told in the style of a poem, this is one fairytale that shouldn't be lost to the ethers of childhood memory.
Ahh the 1920's, the era of Prohibition, gang warfare and Al Capone. Guns, Gore and Cannoli is a side-scrolling shooter which is incredible fun while playing alone but even better with friends. And we don't mean 'friends' in the Al Capone sense of a dinner party assassination, but your real buddies. Vinnie is an enforcer for the mob, but you won't just be taking on mobsters. Nope, there are zombies too! With a whimsical jazz soundtrack, and more cartoon mobster baddies than you can shake a fur-lined coat at, Guns, Gore and Cannoli is a short yet fun experience that may just have you popping back for more.
Originally on Xbox 360, Castle Crashers was remastered for the Xbox One. Crash castles, save the princess and defend your kingdom. Play with up to four players, and throw yourself into zany co-op adventures. There are over 25 characters and 40 weapons to use, and various modes to test your expert castle smashing mettle. Bludgeon enemies, or set fire to them with magic. There is much more than meets the eye in Castle Crashers, offering a lengthy campaign and RPG elements to continue to level up your heroes.
Who thought that cars and football would ever be a combination that works? Well, apparently, it does, and it's inexcusably huge. Lets face it, Rocket League has been nominated for over 100 Game of the Year awards. If you're still looking at the screen like you think you might need to use the bathroom over this combination, try it for yourself. Rocket League is incredible fun, even if you're not very good at it, and is a game that will undoubtedly have you swearing and shouting at the TV (and each other) like its 1989.
Here we go again, more Minecraft, yes I know. But we can't possibly refute that this is one of the best games to play locally with buddies. If you thought Minecraft was some stupid kids game, you couldn't be more wrong! It's now one of the biggest survival adventure games available. Build anything you can imagine, power it with redstone, create a stronghold and fight the monsters that come out at night. Its accessibility allows for even the youngest of players to take the controls, and players have built everything from basic shelters to massive basic electronics replicas in the Minecraft. The story really is yours to tell.
So those are some of our favorite Xbox One couch co-op games. Let us know in the comments if we've left your favorite out!