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The Best Xbox 360 Co-Op Offline Split-Screen Games

Nicholas loves video games, and he loves playing with his friends via split-screen even more.

This list includes the top 15 Xbox 360 games, plus some bonus titles that didn't quite make the cut.

This list includes the top 15 Xbox 360 games, plus some bonus titles that didn't quite make the cut.

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

Genre: FPS

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!

Borderlands Triple Pack

Damon Baird, the snarky lieutenant from "Gears of War 1."

Damon Baird, the snarky lieutenant from "Gears of War 1."

2. Gears of War 1, 2, & 3

Release Year: 2006 / 2008 / 2011

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Genre: TPS

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.

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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.

Harper, comrade-in-arms to operative David Mason in "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

Harper, comrade-in-arms to operative David Mason in "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 & 2

Release Year: 2010 / 2012

Publisher: Activision

Genre: FPS

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

Publisher: Activision

Genre: FPS

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

Genre: FPS

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

Genre: FPS

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

Genre: FPS

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.

Work together to defeat the horde of infected in the "Left 4 Dead" series.

Work together to defeat the horde of infected in the "Left 4 Dead" series.

8. Left 4 Dead 1 & 2

Release Year: 2008 / 2009

Publisher: Valve

Genre: Multiplayer Survival Horror

These games feature great zombie-killing fun. There are six campaigns, and the modes available are:

  • Campaign
  • Versus
  • Survival
  • Single-Player

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.

"Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon" is a spinoff of the original series.

"Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon" is a spinoff of the original series.

9. Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Release Year: 2011

Publisher: D3 Publisher

Genre: TPS

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

Genre: Action-RPG

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.

Think strategically and use your resources to stay alive in "Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter."

Think strategically and use your resources to stay alive in "Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter."

11. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter

Release Year: 2006

Publisher: Ubisoft

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

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: TPS

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

Publisher: Ubisoft

Genre: FPS

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

Genre: FPS

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:

  • Deathmatch
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Capture the Flag
  • Duel
  • Warfare
  • Betrayal
  • Greed
  • 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.