Taking down big bosses in games solo is fun, but overcoming the odds with friends in online co-op is even better. With the advent of the internet, we can enjoy co-operative gaming with friends worldwide, no matter where they are. So, we have put together a list of some online co-op games that represent the genre in our best Xbox One games and best Xbox Series X, Series S games roundups. Indeed, note that all Xbox One games can work for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S via backwards compatibility, save for Kinect-only titles.
Following up on Capcom's Action RPG juggernaut, Monster Hunter World, comes Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. The Research Commission has tasked you to journey to the Hinterlands region to investigate what has caused the New World's ecosystem to be thrown into chaos. This massive expansion has new areas to explore, new gear to grab, and new monsters to hunt alone or in 4-player hunting parties online.
Join the fight
The Halo series revolutionized First-Person shooters when it first debuted in 2001, and now you can re-live the UNSC's fight against the fanatical Covenant, parasitic Flood, and otherworldly Prometheans in Halo: Master Chief Collection. This compilation includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo ODST, Halo Reach, and Halo 4. All of these games have at least split-screen 2-player online and local co-op and occasionally 4-player online co-op.
Pocket-sized survival test
Grounded is a survival game where you wake up to discover you have been shrunk down to microscopic size. You must discover how you got small in the first place and find a way to get back to normal — all while fending off the hostile wildlife of the Backyard. You can go it alone or band together with friends in 4-player online co-op to have a much better chance of not getting eaten by giant spiders.
A pirate's life for me
In the world of Sea of Thieves, piracy is your one true calling. Form a crew of up to four players online and sail the tumultuous seas to become the most legendary pirates in the world. Search for long lost treasure on deserted islands, hunt down undead pirates plaguing the oceans, and amass hordes of gold and infamy to cement your legacy in this ever-evolving, action-adventure extravaganza.
To the mines we go
There's something for everyone when it comes to Minecraft. Do you want to chill out and build extravagant kingdoms or go full-on survival mode as you journey to slay the Ender Dragon? You can even make up your own games within the game. Not even the sky is the limit in Minecraft. Whatever you choose is up to you and your party of up to 10 friends per server.
Take to the streets
After decades of silence, the classic 90's, side-scrolling, Beat'em Up series Streets of Rage finally gets a new entry with Streets of Rage 4. Wood Oak City has once again been taken over by a new wave of criminal violence and corruption. It's now up to series veterans Axel, Blaze, and Adam aided by newcomers Cherry and Floyd, to save the day. Team up with three buddies locally or one buddy online to take back the city, risking your lives on the Streets of Rage.
Shoot to loot
There's never a dull moment in the First-Person, looter shooter series, Borderlands. Borderlands 3's brand of crazy comes in the form of the Calypso Twins, Troy and Tyreen. Leaders of the 'Children of the Vault' cult, looking to exploit the power of the Vaults while shooting and looting any hapless soul that gets in their way. So, you and your fellow Vault Hunters are going to have to shoot and loot them right back. You can go it alone or team up in split-screen, two-player local co-op, and four-player online co-op.
Embrace the light
Destiny 2 is a free-to-play, online multiplayer, First-Person shooter where you play as a Guardian. Super soldiers armed with the power of Light, tasked with retaking the last bastion of humanity from the warmongering Red Legion. Travel across the stars to obtain powerful gear, augment your powers of Light, and form parties of three in Story missions or parties of six to take on gigantic bosses in Raid missions.
Grind the horde
Gears 5 is the latest in the Gears of War series, a third-person, cover-based shooter set in a world where humanity is engaged in a never-ending war against subterranean monsters known as the 'Locust Horde.' In Gears 5, there are various game modes where you and your friends can band together against the Locust Horde in online co-op. There's the main story campaign with three-player co-op, Escape Mode, where you escape from a Locust Hive in three-player co-op, and Horde Mode, where you fight wave after wave of enemies in five-player co-op.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a third-person shooter that places in an alternate universe where Adolf Hitler, in a last-ditch effort to win World War 2, used occult necromancy to raise an undead army to destroy the world. As a member of the Survivor Brigade, your mission is to save Europe from the Zombie Army by purging them with holy fire and lots of bullets in 1-4 player co-op.
Fight back the horrors
Remnant: From the Ashes is an Action RPG reminiscent of Souls-like games but emphasizes third-person gunplay and three-player online co-op. The world has been destroyed by eldritch monstrosities known as 'The Root,' whose sole goal is to slaughter and consume all life. You are tasked by the last remnants of humanity to find out where the Root came from, exterminate them, and help rebuild humanity from the ground up.
Ascend to godhood
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a turn-based CRPG where you set out to save the world of Rivellon from the terrors of the Void by becoming the next 'Divine.' You can play the role of pre-made characters with their own backstories and quests or create your own hero to explore Rivellon. Uncover its secrets to master the combat system, which relies on creativity and strategy in overcoming foes. The game can be played alone, split-screen local co-op, or four-player online co-op.
Sci-Fi meets Fantasy
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free to play, Action MMORPG created by Sega. You play as an Ark Operative, space warriors tasked with exploring uncharted planets and protecting the universe from the interdimensional horrors known as the 'Falspawn.' Like any MMO, there is a ton of content to indulge in. Multiple classes and races to play as with an insanely robust character creator, take part in tons of mini-games, and fight gigantic bosses with multiple parties of four.
Why you can trust Windows Central
There are so many games out there to enjoy with friends and family via the internet. Here are some of our top picks.
Monster Hunter World was already an amazing game, jam-packed with seemingly bottomless amounts of content. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne somehow manages to improve everything the previous game did. A wider variety of new, challenging monsters to hunt, new moves for your weapon classes to pull off stunts previously thought only possible through cinematic cutscenes, and a metric ton of cool looking armor and weapons to grind for and show off to your friends. There is a good reason why this became Capcom's best-selling game of all time.
Streets of Rage 4's announcement stirred the hearts of those who grew up on the Sega Genesis, thinking this was too good to be true. Thankfully with its tight combat system, quality of life improvements, gorgeous hand-drawn visuals, and addictive soundtrack. Not only did it live up to the original Streets of Rage trilogy, but it also excelled, bringing in a new generation of fans itching to beat up bad guys.
Remnant: From the Ashes is an under-appreciated gem that captures the essence of Souls-like games while being accessible enough to attract newcomers to the challenging sub-genre. It has a massive, desolate world to explore, terrifying monsters to slay, and immensely fun weapons to craft from their remains or find in the world.
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Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!