Nicholas loves video games, and he loves playing with his friends via split-screen even more.
The Top 15 Split-Screen Xbox 360 Games
This guide includes 15 of the greatest Xbox 360 local split-screen games you can play with your friends on the same console. Each entry includes a brief description to help you pick which ones you'd like to try.
I've also included some bonus games towards the bottom of the article for those that are fun but didn't quite make the cut. I have played all these myself and definitely recommend them!
If you know of any other great split-screen games not featured on this list, please share them in the comment section below!
1. Borderlands 1, 2, & 3
Release Year: 2009 / 2012 / 2019
Publisher: 2K Games
This series is one of my personal favorites. Borderlands combines first-person shooter action with role-playing game character progression. Players can choose between four characters, each with their own skill tree. Players complete quests and missions, leveling up to each game's epic ending. The arsenal includes hundreds of thousands of weapons, and vehicle-to-vehicle combat is intense.
If you're interested, Borderlands Pre-Sequel includes the backstory behind Borderlands 2’s villain, Handsome Jack. So if you plan to check that one out, play the originals first!
2. Gears of War 1, 2, & 3
Release Year: 2006 / 2008 / 2011
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
This is a great third-person shooter series that will bring you hundreds of hours of fun in either campaign, horde, or versus modes. Follow the troops of Delta Squad as they make their last-ditch effort to save the planet Sera from the subterranean Locust Hordes and their mutant counterparts, the Lambent.
For good reason, the Gears of War series is among the most played on Xbox Live. Each game features cover-based combat, so players can hide behind objects to avoid gunfire. Each one also offers several different multiplayer modes, allowing players to compete against one another or team up to battle AI opponents.
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 & 2
Release Year: 2010 / 2012
Set in the year 2025, this is the next installation in the COD series. Black Ops 2 has a lot of changes and improvements that set it above the earlier episodes and make it shine. The Zombies mode can be played split-screen or with up to four players online. In other modes, it is possible for up to eight players to play online.
Zombies mode offers many hours of fun killing. Plus, if you get three other players, you can do some nice multiplayer play. Don't screen-cheat! Working together, you can create a strategy—build "zombie trains," utilize perks, Pack-a-Punch your weapons, and pick them off one by one. Once you've got it down, try searching for the Easter eggs scattered across each map!
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Release Year: 2011
Yet another COD game. Can you blame me? The series just hosts co-op play so well. Needless to say, the Survival or Special Ops modes are a lot of fun to play with a friend. In Survival mode, you and your partner can earn in-game money to purchase new weapons, upgrades, etc. The more enemies you kill, the more XP you'll earn, which then unlocks even more purchasable options. I put in over 60 hours with my friend in the first two weeks I had the game. Yes, I'm a fanboy. Kinda.
This game takes place right after Modern Warfare 2, and similarly follows Task Force 141. They must work together to hunt down the Russian terrorist—and main antagonist of the last game—Vladimir Makarov.
5. Halo: Combat Evolved
Release Year: 2001
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
The introduction of this series definitely boosted Xbox sales. The game has great co-op campaigns, heavily influenced by military and science fiction. An interstellar war has broken out between humanity and the Covenant, a religious alliance of aliens. In the main campaign, it's up to you, Master Chief, to stop them.
Combat Evolved is the first in the series, and it is still one of the best video games of all time. Though it doesn't look as pretty as newer Halo games, creative weapons with unique purposes, dual melee item/weapon functionality, and powerful AI allies (when not playing split-screen) proved that it was way ahead of its time.
6. Halo 3 & 4
Release Year: 2007 / 2012
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
These two games make up the fantastic conclusion to the story set into motion in Combat Evolved. In both titles, you return as Master Chief to thwart the Covenant, an alliance of hostile aliens . . . again. You can play through the regular campaign with a partner via split-screen. Halo 4 also has a four-player, split-screen option for some modes, and it is definitely the best co-op gameplay in the series (in my opinion).
Halo 3 includes new weapons, a variety of vehicles to operate, and a new class of gear called "equipment." Halo 4 upgraded weapons from previous titles, and includes armor abilities that were introduced in Halo: Reach.
7. Halo: Reach
Release Year: 2014
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Here's another first-person shooter game, similar to Combat Evolved, since it is the direct prequel to the game. Instead of Master Chief, you play as Noble Six, an elite supersoldier. Six's must fight against an alien invasion of the human colony, Reach.
Aside from a fresh plot, his game has a great new addition: Firefight. In this mode, players take on waves of enemies, and you can customize the waves to your liking. There is also Firefight Versus, in which your Elite team works together to score points against a Spartan team.
8. Left 4 Dead 1 & 2
Release Year: 2008 / 2009
Genre: Multiplayer Survival Horror
These games feature great zombie-killing fun. There are six campaigns, and the modes available are:
When playing split-screen, two players can work together. In versus mode, four people can play at the same time. This is a must-have for all zombie fans. Join your friends to play as survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. Fights hordes of those infected by the "Green Flu." As each player progresses, they will find new and more powerful weapons, and will be given the option to choose between a submachine and a pump-action shotgun before each campaign.
Left 4 Dead 2 is a sequel that includes a bonus mode (scavenge) and five new campaigns. Each campaign includes three to five separate levels, all revolving around survivors trying to get to safe zones and away from the diseased. Each player can carry one each of five types of equipment: primary weapons, secondary weapons, throwable weapons, major medical supplies, and minor medical supplies.
9. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
Release Year: 2011
Publisher: D3 Publisher
This is a lower-budget series made by a Japanese company, but it is still a lot of fun. The series revolves around the Earth Defense Force who protects the planet from potentially hostile alien beings. In this title, your task is to take the role of The Earth Defense Force and protect Detroit with help from bio-engineered terrestrial insects. Your player goes by "Lightning Alpha," and they must lead an elite team of fighters, known as "Strike Force Lightning."
Insect Armageddon is the fourth game in the Earth Defense Force series, and the first one to enable online co-op play. It includes a six-player survival mode where you and a squad of EDF soldiers must hold off waves of murderous insects.
10. Dungeon Defenders
Release Year: 2011
Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
Dungeon Defenders is a very fun strategy Xbox Live Arcade series. The games combine tower defense, role-play, and action/fantasy. With help from a band of wizards and warriors, you control a hero that fights to protect crystals from waves of enemies (goblins, orcs, kobolds, ogres, and wyverns). Each level consists of five waves, followed by a final wave with a boss battle. To protect your crystals, you must create, maintain, and upgrade your defenses. Up to four players can play split-screen, and the difficulty and specifications are decided by the hosting player.
11. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
Release Year: 2006
Genre: Tactical Shooter
Tom Clancy's series of Ghost Recon games feature shooting as part of a U.S. Special Forces unit. The games begin in Russia, but Advanced Warfighter takes place in Mexico City and features next-generation weapons, graphics, and combat mechanics. Advanced Warfighter is the third title of the Ghost Recon series. Players work as tactical shooters, taking cover and thinking strategically to stay alive. In the Xbox 360 version, you are given a choice to use third-person or first-person perspective during the campaign.
12. Resident Evil 5 & 6
Release Year: 2009 / 2012
Resident Evil 6 is one of my favorite TPS games, but Resident Evil 5 shares a similar split-screen mode. The shooting mechanic isn't the best, but the split-screen co-op stresses teamwork and can enhance the campaign experience. Adding a partner will cause the game to reload at the last checkpoint, and they will have to wait until you reach the next one, or restart the previous one. Only you can heal your partner, and vice versa.
The Resident Evil series revolves around a revolving cast of characters trying to save the world from biological-related doom. Resident Evil 5 features Chris Redfield (a RE mainstay) and his partner, Sheva Alomar, who must investigate the illegal dealings of bio-organic weapons in Africa. Resident Evil 6, however, takes place four years after RE 5 with seven different playable characters—most of whom are from previous games—that must fight a worldwide battle against the emerging C-Virus.
13. Fable III
Release Year: 2010
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Genre: Open World RPG
Fable III takes place 50 years after the second title on the fictional continent of Albion. You play as an exiled prince or princess who can be anything you want to be—the sky is the limit. But once you claim your rightful throne, the twist is that the consequences of your choices up to that point come crashing down on you. In co-op mode, your partner can bring their own character, items, etc. into your world. Having a partner makes combat a breeze, and every item you pick up between battles will show up in their inventory as well. A role-playing, hack-slash type game that is really fun for many hours.
14. Rainbow Six: Vegas
Release Year: 2006
Rainbow Six: Vegas is the sixth game of the first-person shooter series, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. This time, the Rainbox team must go toe to toe with the Mexican terrorist, Irena Morales, who is smuggling criminals into the States. It features a new health system in which the player can regenerate when resting. But if the player is unable to heal and continue taking damage, the screen will begin to blur. In terms of combat, the A.I. enemies are more aggressive and intelligent than they were in past titles. The game also includes network and Xbox Live multiplayer options.
15. Unreal Tournament 3
Release Year: 2007
Publisher: Midway Games
Just like previous titles in the series, Unreal Tournament 3 has various vehicles and game modes. It has a great FPS campaign that comes in eight different modes:
- Team Deathmatch
- Capture the Flag
- Vehicle CTF
The single-player campaign revolves around a Necris attack on an unknown space colony using an army of Krall. Overall, it's a fun campaign and the split-screen gameplay is fun to play with a friend who enjoys the chaos.
More Co-Op Games to Play
Here are some bonus games that didn't quite make the top 15. They are not listed in any particular order.
- All Zombies Must Die: An Xbox Live arcade game that is really fun for the price. Totally worth the download.
- Army of Two: Another shooter that's decent co-op fun. Either you like it or you don't.
- Castle Crashers: An Xbox Live arcade featuring four-player split-screen with a lot of (immature) fun.
- Dungeon Siege 3: An RPG that is pretty fun if you're into RPGs; if not, don't try it.
- Dynasty Warriors 6: A JRPG hack and slash game. Fun for those who like arcade fighters.
- The Expendables 2: Great XBL Arcade game features a four-player split-screen co-op.
- Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse: Has pretty fun split-screen co-op, but it is very short, and you'll finish within five to six hours and never play again. So this game would be great to rent or borrow, but definitely not buy.
- Kane & Lynch: A pretty horrible game, but the co-op features are a lot of fun.
- Lost Planet 2: Third-person shooter game that is kind of annoying, but the co-op is pretty good.
- Mortal Kombat: Arcade fighting game with pretty good co-op gameplay in ladders and even online matches.
- Outfit: A very cheap game that is actually very fun. Give this one a try for sure.
- Rage: FPS co-op Missions are really fun, but it'll only take a few hours to beat it.
- Splinter Cell: Conviction: Great stealth, third-person shooter action. Really addictive and fun.
- Tekken 6: An arcade fighting game to show your friends how great you are.
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2: A fun, arcade fighting game that you and a friend can dominate and work together to defeat other teams around the world for great competition.
Co-Op Game Poll
Xbox 360 Model Comparison
|Xbox 360||Xbox 360 S||Xbox 360 E|
Compatible with Arcade, Core Premium, and Elite configurations
No AV port (HDMI only)
No HDMI output
4 or 250 GB of storage
Runs more quietly
Arcade model does not include a hard drive
Visually similar to the Xbox One
Any Split Screen Game You Don't See Here?
xBoi on July 29, 2020:
I think you missed Call of Duty World at War. The game supports coop split screen campaign and zombies mode. Also in campaign coop the players does not automatically die instead you get an option to revive him. The only COD with this feature.
grapiling hook on May 13, 2020:
hi people im special
noob on March 28, 2020:
Kang Liu on February 29, 2020:
yeet on October 22, 2019:
left 4 dead 1 and 2
Rebecca on May 16, 2019:
Log123 on November 22, 2018:
Paula on November 08, 2018:
Why is it always advertised on a game that it is split screen co op, then you get the game and you cant play campaign unless its online against others but not split screen.
Gamer on July 15, 2018:
I also like split screen so when a friend come over, we can team up and play,
Lady Rascal on February 07, 2018:
My husband and I love to play borderlands together with the split screen. wish they had more games with this option!
Ponynut on November 30, 2017:
I have enjoyed Splinter Cell: Blacklist, HALO 3 ODST, and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2. It seems as if splitscreen co-op is becoming obselete, sadly. I guess it probably requires more hours of additional coding and testing that don’t really pay off in terms of game sales? It’s too bad because enjoying a game when you’re really with someone is unique.
kumail on August 08, 2017:
minecraft is on xbox live
Rio on August 06, 2017:
Army or Two Devils Cartel
Mandy on March 30, 2017:
Hi. This is a great list. I have been looking for another game to play with my son, similar to halo. Which I know is hard to find. But this list gives a lot. But looking up ghost recon advanced warfighter on our Xbox and it says mutiplayer-online. It doesn't say local. Does this mean we can't play split screen!?
Darryl Maxwell on December 26, 2016:
Their is a newer EDF game called Earth Defence Force 2025. I think there is another one but I'm not sure.
Gabba on November 21, 2016:
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory has harder split screen stealth than conviction, but it's still fun. The only problem I have is that when you botch the job, you can't just gun everyone down like conviction. This is a pretty big problem I have, since my two sisters love to play games with me
Joe on February 06, 2016:
Age Of Booty is a very fun pirates RTS Xbox 360 Marketplace game with online multiplayer for 8 players and 4 player splitscreen multiplayer. Its only £3.40 and is compatible with Xbox One consoles.
Metacritic rating: 73/100
Tronix on November 24, 2015:
Perfect Dark Zero?
Lula fink on August 21, 2015:
Serious Sam 3 excellent splitscreen co-op game.
dtru d1rtym3x on June 01, 2015:
I would pay big money to have state of decay a two player. It's a great game, challenging and nerve racking. It trips me out when a zombie jumps on me from behind lol its crazy.
TechnoDork437 on February 15, 2015:
I would have liked to have seen Mercenaries 2 a split screen co op as well as Too Human.
SOMI4GAMES on January 22, 2015:
Titanfall Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 Part 2
F34R Arch Angel on December 24, 2014:
107 in moon is my highest round :D ill have to check my stats for the others lol
Annonymous on December 12, 2014:
No Far Cry 3?
pauloa-pedroso on December 22, 2013:
bomberman? just dance?
anonymous on July 20, 2013:
@ImmatureEntrepr: you cute
anonymous on June 18, 2013:
@shoefiend: 59 , not to brag
marvmac on June 14, 2013:
The best game i played so far on the list would be the Left 4 Dead series.
Nicholas Weller (author) on June 08, 2013:
@RainDefence LM: It doesn't have split screen capabilities. :(
RainDefence LM on May 08, 2013:
Dead Space 3 is another that should be added to this list. Admittedly I've not played it yet, but if it's like the previous 2 and I'm sure it will be then it's got to be worth a look.
Takkhis on December 31, 2012:
It is great to see your game list.
anonymous on December 23, 2012:
@anonymous: Wooooow 56 here
anonymous on October 11, 2012:
In my opion is better than fable 3 in the co-op perspective
anonymous on September 24, 2012:
@anonymous: upcoming indie games lens: http://www.squidoo.com/top-10-indie-games-countdow...
(guess it didn't come through the first time.)
anonymous on September 24, 2012:
Well done and useful. Great Lens. You've got a little minecraft mixed in there. If you're into indies, check my
jaclocla3 on September 01, 2012:
Thanks so much for this great info! My son and I love to play XBox together. Our favorite is actually Star Wars Battlefront 2. I sure am sad they never made another game like that.
Nicholas Weller (author) on March 26, 2012:
gbugmenot on March 25, 2012:
rauntyan on March 13, 2012:
JCSmandy on February 02, 2012:
nice lens... perfect
Nicholas Weller (author) on January 22, 2012:
@jupiter justice: Thank you!
Asher Socrates from Los Angeles, CA on January 21, 2012:
Great work on this Lens!
fitnessdad70 on January 18, 2012:
Fruit ninja on kinect is fun and a good workout
Nicholas Weller (author) on January 14, 2012:
@shoefiend: Thanks, and yeah that game is addicting.
shoefiend on January 14, 2012:
Those are all sick split screen game I play zombies way too much level 57 is my highest
fugeecat lm on January 08, 2012:
great lens all of the games are great.
ImmatureEntrepr on January 04, 2012:
Very cool idea for a lens! Some great games here too.