It used to be that multiplayer 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.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we've rounded up some of our favorite couch co-op games for couples. Forget the flowers and chocolates – just pick up one of these Xbox One games this February.
Cuphead emerged as one of 2017's top titles, through its challenging side-scrolling gameplay and endearing 1930-era art style. Pitting players against an onslaught of enemies and unforgiving platforming puzzles, the game has earned a reputation for the brutal nature of its gameplay.
The game is also built with local cooperative play in mind, allowing two friends to commandeer "Cuphead" and "Mugman" on tag team adventures through its fantasy world. Even with double the firepower, two players makes for a challenging, but equally rewarding way to experience the game. Just don't expect to talk to your significant other after defeating your first boss. Cuphead is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $19.99.
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. Overcooked is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $16.99.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is an action game in which you and your beloved 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? Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $14.99.
Neon Chrome is a roguelike game, where you and a partner 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. Neon Chrome is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $14.99.
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. Child of Light is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $14.99.
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. Castle Crashers is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $14.99.
Who thought that cars and football would ever be a combination that works? Well, apparently, it does, and it's inexcusably huge. 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. Rocket League is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $19.99.
Split-screen multiplayer is becoming a rarity for multiplayer shooters, following an industry-wide shift to high-framerate online play. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is one of the latest games to go against this trend, with support for two local players on console versions of the game.
Split-screen support is currently limited to the game's "Arcade" mode, meaning you won't be getting the full Battlefront 2 experience. But with unrestricted access to classes, heroes, and factions, the mode is still fun for any Star Wars fanatics. Battlefront 2 is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $59.99.
More Minecraft, yes I know. But we can't possibly refute that this is one of the best games to play locally with buddies. 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. Minecraft is available from the Microsoft Store, priced at $19.99.
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!
Updated February 12, 2017: Updated with the latest co-op games available today, marking Valentine's Day 2018.
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