Xbox 360: The Best Local Multiplayer & Couch Co-Op Games (Ranked)

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The seventh generation of consoles brought a revolution to the world of console gaming – and the Xbox 360 was leading the charge since 2005.

It ushered in a new age of gaming where the usual split-screen couch multiplayer was slowly displaced by online experiences like Halo and Gears of War.

Still, there are some fantastic local multiplayer and couch co-op adventures on this revolutionary machine – and many AA batteries were consumed in weekend-long video game binges with friends.

Let’s take a look at some of the best local multiplayer titles that remain just as fun today.


20. Rayman Legends (2013)

Rayman Legends Multiplayer Xbox360 gameplay

Not every game on the Xbox 360 is hyper-violent and testosterone-packed.

One of the best wholesome Xbox 360 games to share with the family is Rayman Legends, an exciting action-platformer where up to four players traverse the campaign as a team.

The 2D artwork is gorgeous and vivid, the controls are tight, and the game plays like a dream from beginning to end.


19. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction (2010)

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction / Multiplayer screenshot

I’ve always looked at Splinter Cell as a Metal Gear Solid wannabe, but Sam Fisher beats Snake by a wide margin when it comes to multiplayer.

While the Spies vs. Mercs mode is always a blast, the multiplayer experience I’m looking for when I boot up Conviction is the co-op campaign.

Instead of just adding a companion to the main campaign, the game offers a specially-made gauntlet of levels where teamwork is not an option but a necessity.


18. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game on Xbox 360

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World came out simultaneously as a film and a video game.

And to be quite honest, I don’t know which one is better.

The movie was a cultural turning point for a generation – but very few people around me knew about the game.

I’ve always loved beat-em-ups. So I gave it a try.

And soon enough, I was begging my peeps to play so I could have a complete squad to beat up Ramona’s seven evil exes.

There’s a fair variety of playable characters, so everyone should find one they like. The soundtrack by Anamanaguchi is also a highlight, and it makes pouring hours into this beat-em-up a total pleasure.


17. Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (2008)

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 / Xbox 360 gameplay

There’s nothing like carrying out complex military operations together to forge a friendship, and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 offers the best co-op gameplay in the genre.

While mowing down waves of terrorists with a friend in Terrorist Hunt is fun, what puts this game on the ranking is the co-op campaign.

Playing with a friend makes the whole experience much better than just barking commands at the AI.

The game also shines for letting you and your 2P customize your characters to your heart’s content before heading out on dangerous missions.


16. Dungeon Defenders (2011)

Dungeon Defenders Xbox360 game screenshot

If you enjoy wave survival-type games, you’ll love Dungeon Defenders – a unique blend of action RPG and tower defense that’ll test your brain more than your brawn.

You and up to three friends will choose from a knight, a magician, a huntress, or a monk, and use their unique abilities to keep waves of fiends from destroying your Eternia Crystal.

Each character has some active skills along with towers they can place to help defend a corridor – be it by dealing damage, making enemies slower, or otherwise impairing their progress.

Developing complex strategies with your companions and seeing them through with grit and clenched teeth is lots of fun.


15. Trials Evolution (2012)

Trials Evolution / Multiplayer Xbox 360 gameplay

Going out with your friends on motocross bikes is always a great way to spend the afternoon.

But for those of us who can’t afford the bike or the medical bills, there’s Trials Evolution.

This beautiful blend of racing and 2D platforming puts you and up to three friends through intense supercross courses where you’ll fight for speed without falling off your bike.

It features creative and challenging maps to hone your skills, and also a robust level editor.

It’s not the most ambitious or visually striking game. But you’ll have a blast competing and laughing whenever someone’s face hits the ground before their wheels.


14. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition (2014)

Diablo III / Xbox 360 Multiplayer screenshot

One of the quintessential co-op games available on any platform is Blizzard’s Diablo III.

The Ultimate Evil Edition features content from the Reaper of Souls expansion along with other add-ons.

Most importantly, it includes the Crusader and Necromancer classes, and the ability to transmogrify your clothes.

If you and up to three friends are ready and willing to embark on a long journey toward higher levels, better equipment, and hours of mindless bloodlust, this hack-and-slash RPG is the way to go.


13. ‘Splosion Man (2009)

Splosion Man / Xbox 360 gameplay screenshot

If you’re tired of Assassin’s Creed and Apex Legends overwhelming you with commands and stat micro-managing, take a break with ‘Splosion Man.

This 2.5D action platformer follows an escaped science specimen with the ability to blow themselves up without receiving damage.

This is their only ability – and the only command in the game.

You’ll move, jump high into the air, bring down walls, and defeat enemies by ‘sploding – and nothing else.

It’s a surreal concept that translates into a chaotic multiplayer experience, where up to four players can tackle 50 exclusive co-op levels.


12. Halo 3 (2007)

Halo 3 on Xbox 360

Halo 3’s epic campaign is amazing by yourself.

But it rises to another level of excitement in co-op.

One player plays as Master Chief while the other plays as The Arbiter. Driving back the flood as two of the biggest bad-asses in the universe is an unforgettable experience.

Regrettably, the game doesn’t let you play competitive multiplayer modes in local split screen – one of the first devastating signs I saw of companies abandoning couch multiplayer for the online realm.


11. Minecraft (2012)

Minecraft Xbox 360 game screenshot

Back when Mojang’s Minecraft first came out in its purest form in 2009, I used to share a save file with a friend to contribute to the same world.

While online multiplayer was already a thing by 2012, I didn’t really try to play with others again until Minecraft’s console editions came out.

Playing with up to four friends in split-screen is a fantastic experience where chaos and creativity come together.

Whether you work unitedly to collapse a mine for materials, try to build a tower up to the game’s “ceiling”, or spend your time attacking each other with arrows, it’s guaranteed fun.


10. Shoot Many Robots (2012)

Shoot Many Robots on Xbox 360

One of the most famous Xbox Live Arcade titles back in the day was Shoot Many Robots, an exciting run-and-gun where a bunch of hillbillies wage war against robots with shotguns, explosives, and everything they can get their hands on.

There are two types of levels in SMR:

The typical side-scrolling run-and-gun scenario, and robot survival.

In both cases, cooperation is key to staying alive and defeating the game’s prodigious robot variety.

It’s addictive and undeniably fun with friends.

But only two players can play on the same console – so the rest must join up online.


9. Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine (2013)

Monaco: What's Yours is Mine / Xbox 360 gameplay

Fans of games like Payday and GTAV’s heists will love Monaco, a beautiful top-down co-op heist game where you’ll put together a team of specialists to steal large amounts of money.

Of course, the specialists are your friends – each of which will pick a character that complements their playstyle and fits into whatever strategy you’ve cooked up.

These include a locksmith who opens doors fast, a lookout who sees enemies from farther away, and six more.

If you manage to get your four-man bank-robbing machine going, you’ll discover a game with surprising depth that you won’t get tired of easily.


8. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

Call of Duty: Black Ops / Xbox 360 screenshot

I’ve already lost count of how many Black Ops sequels Treyarch has released by now, but if you ask me, it doesn’t get any better than the 2010 original.

This game was the bomb.

The campaign was a total psychedelic trip with a lot of style, and the competitive multiplayer was fast-paced and noob tube-free (I’m looking at you, M203 Grenade Launcher).

Plus it supports four-player split-screen multiplayer.

Even though the local competitive multiplayer was terrific, what kept me hooked to BlOps for so long was the two-player split-screen Zombie Mode.

If you get all the DLC, you’ve got months of Friday night fun with the squad ahead of you.


7. Army of Two (2008)

Army of Two Xbox 360 gameplay screenshot

Army of Two is a legendary third-person shooter built from the ground up with the co-op experience in mind.

The game pits two bad-ass mercs against an entire Private Military Company to uncover their corruption.

At every turn, they’ll have to work together like a well-oiled machine if they’re to survive against the small army that’s out to get them.

And when the going gets rough – it’s time for an epic back-to-back shooting scene.

Sure, you could play with an AI-controlled partner. But that would be wasting the campaign – so grab a friend before you tackle this fantastic title.


6. Portal 2 (2011)

Portal 2 / Xbox 360 gameplay

There’s hardly a soul out there who’s played the original Portal and not loved it.

And Valve hit it out of the park by introducing a co-op campaign for the sequel.

The co-op component follows goofy robots Atlas and P-Body – Aperture’s innovative solution to the shortage of human test subjects in the post-apocalypse.

These puzzles require teamwork and even more outside-of-the-box thinking than single-player puzzles.

Communication is vital to success, as is trying out every single idea – no matter how silly. You might just find your solution in the weirdest of places!


5. Castle Crashers (2008)

Castle Crashers Xbox 360 screenshot

I’m always talking about The Behemoth’s amazing run-and-gun Alien Hominid – but that’s not the only Newgrounds-like title the company brought to the mainstream gaming industry.

I say Newgrounds-like because, unlike Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers was explicitly developed for consoles from the get-go.

Still, it retains the same art style and feel that you’d expect from a Flash game.

This exhilarating indie love letter to classic beat-em-ups was designed to be played by an entire squad.

Good luck fighting over who gets what color knight!


4. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010)

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition / Xbox 360 gameplay

Resident Evil 5 is my personal favorite on the entire list.

I don’t necessarily think it’s the best, but I spent countless hours killing Majini with my closest friends back when it came out.

The game builds on the action-oriented changes introduced by Resident Evil 4 and takes it to the next level by introducing Sheva – a skilled partner for Chris who brought co-op to the series.

While long-time fans took to the internet to criticize the Hollywood-esque storytelling and camerawork, I only cared about getting the higher scores in the Mercenaries with my 2P.

The Gold Edition includes tons of DLC, including new Mercenaries maps, costumes for each character, and two new story episodes.


3. Gears of War 2 (2008)

Gears of War 2 / Xbox 360 game screenshot

Every one of the four Gears of War games on the Xbox 360 offers a solid co-op experience with tons of testosterone and flying lead – but Gears of War 2 takes the cake thanks to its fantastic storytelling.

The story is intensely emotional, and even the most rugged manly men feel a knot in their throat at least a couple of times as Marcus and Dom explore Locust territory.

It was also the first Gears of War entry to feature the iconic Horde mode, where two players make their stand against 50 increasingly powerful waves of Locust.


2. Borderlands 2 (2012)

Borderlands 2 Multiplayer gameplay

I love playing Borderlands by myself.

But this shooter RPG really shines when you jump into it with friends.

Whereas the bigger shootouts and more brutal boss fights become a slow and strategic endeavor by yourself, playing with a team keeps them action-packed and engaging.

Shooting and looting with friends is, in my honest opinion, the improved version of Diablo’s “smash buttons and loot” gameplay.

It’s more engaging, and more people are drawn in by FPS than classic hack-and-slash.

Gearbox Software did an incredible job with both games, but Borderlands 2 offers a much more vibrant world to explore – and the script is nine times as long. It’s clearly the way to go.


1. Left 4 Dead 2 (2009)

Left 4 Dead 2 Xbox 360 gameplay

Anyone who hasn’t played Left 4 Dead or its sequel needs to close down this page and go straight to Steam to get themselves a copy.

I know, it’s over 10 years old. So what? You can still have a blast playing The House of the Dead nowadays, and L4D2 is miles better than that.

Sure, you won’t have any fancy graphics – but that’s not what Left 4 Dead is about.

It’s a game that shines for its excellent co-op gameplay, which pits four players against swarms of zombies and other mutated monsters like Tanks, Jockeys, and Witches.

When there’s no option but to cooperate to survive, co-op is given a chance to shine.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.