Any gamer would remember the days growing up without online gaming. Even during the beginning and as it grew, the limitations were huge, and many had to resort to playing sit screen couch co-op. Whether it was good old Sonic the Hedgehog, Roadrash, or even Halo, we all had a blast at sleepovers and with siblings. Sadly, split-screen gaming has become a dying breed, and maybe franchises are getting rid of the option altogether. However, there are still some great games that require it or thrive off of it that we can enjoy. Here are our top 10 choices for split-screen gaming that everyone can play.
10. It Takes Two
It Takes Two is an incredible coop game meant to be played with a partner either via split-screen or online. You and your player 2 get to play as Cody and May, who have been turned into dolls after telling their daughter that they are divorcing. This broken couple has to work together and try to repair their failing relationship.
The reason this is such a great experience to go through with a significant other is that it forces them to work together by exploring their house in a different light to try and break the curse. You have to overcome obstacles together that require teamwork, timing, and communication. The obstacles can prove difficult without talking to your partner due to the puzzles implemented with platforming. There are so many parts where you have to open blocked passages and help propel your partner upwards, or even just create some kind of pathway. Tools are utilized to help maneuver through mazes like the hammer and nails. In a way, the game feels like a couple’s therapy session. It Takes Two is filled with light-hearted comedy, powerful emotions, and provides an exciting tale for people that want a game to play with their loved ones or even just friends.
9. Divinity 2 Original Sin
This critically acclaimed tactical RPG is great for friends who loved Balders Gate. Lucian has died, leaving the Veil between the Void and Rivellon weakened. Due to the crippled state monsters from the Void have gathered under their deity to invade Rivellon. Due to these creatures being drawn to the source, a group of zealots called the Divine Order starts persecuting source users known as sorcerers.
You can spend hours exploring Rivellon and finding dungeons riddled with monsters and loot. Players can either pick a premade character with specific dialogue for their encounters with NPCs or make their own with custom stats. Skills can be mixed and changed through the skill crafting system via the game. The world is filled with lore and content to fill the plates of new players. This game supports up to four people in co-op and also supplies a well-designed arena for PVP.
I am sure many of you have already dumped countless hours as I have in this game; I mean, it’s easy to lose time in such an addictive experience. It’s a great way to relax and build things you wouldn’t even expect to; for example, many gamers have built replicas of cities, characters, and even massive mazes. For those unsure of what the game is, it is a huge sandbox survival game where you can collect almost any material from any source and build tools, buildings, and more. Each map is randomly generated and can be hosted on a server and is riddled with dungeons and creatures galore. It is the perfect split-screen game to play with friends online or at home.
7. A Way Out
If you want a thrilling and emotional story, A Way Out is one hundred percent for you. This is a game meant to be played with two people who take on the roles of Leo and Vincent. The two meet each other in jail as Vincent just arrives and vows to help each other escape. Both men go through insane obstacles to try and break out, between running through the woods, avoiding police dogs, and hiding out in discreet locations trying to survive. Vincent and Leo end up becoming more than just escapees, but nearly brothers as they work together and discover more about each other in time.
Basically, if you want to break out of jail with a friend in a beautiful bromance, this is a game for you, but with a great story as a bonus. Though the campaign is sure, it’s still a great adventure game. The obstacles are fun between deciding who wants to distract a guard or nurse, and looking for tools to break through doors. There are also a ton of fun mini-games to take part in like arm wrestling and a piano duet. This game must be played with two people, so if you want a single-player experience unfortunately you cannot play this game.
6. Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead has been a classic franchise for the past couple of decades and is a great first-person shooter for those who enjoy zombie survival games. The award-winning sequel is the best entry to kick back with 3 other friends and slay hordes of zombies. Players can choose to play one of the four survivors in this harsh apocalyptic world, spanning over five different campaigns. The zombies are known infected, which are people suffering from psychosis and extreme aggression due to an unknown illness. While the goals are usually the same, escaping, the scenarios require teamwork and strategy if you want to survive the onslaught of infected.
The gameplay is all about teamwork with great gunplay. There are so many weapons to utilize such as a pump-action shotgun for the one-hit kills or even just your silences SMG to spray an array of bullets into hordes of infected. You also of course can utilize backup weapons anywhere from a pistol to a katana for the edginess. Bombs are always a good fail-safe or even your basic Molotov can come in handy. Basically, you have to just use whatever you have at your disposal to get out alive.
5. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Many players have all spent endless hours knees deep in hack and slash strategy games like Dynasty Warriors and even Samurai Warriors. All of us remember the terrifying Lu Bu and trying to gain the achievements for taking him down…or being demolished by him. Now, we get to partake in the same experience in a Nintendo kind of light thanks to the beautiful masterpiece of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
A guardian has escaped the Great Calamity via a time portal but is followed by Calamity Ganon’s malice. He ends up in an alternate timeline and is reactivated by Link and Impa. After being taken to Purah and Robbie, they discover a future where Ganon is reawakened and destroys Hyrule. Link is charged to obtain the Master Sword from Korok forest by King Rhoam, and assembles the four pilots for the Divine Beasts to aid him.
4. Diablo 3
Diablo 3 is one of the best split-screen coop games in existence. Many people may be put off due to the Blizzard dilemma, but despite that, it is a fantastic game. This one is the perfect choice for players who love dungeon crawlers and action RPGs. 20 years have passed since Diablo 2, and Leah and Deckard are trying to find ancient texts to figure out a prophecy in Sanctuary.
There are various classes to choose from, such as Barbarian, Demon Hunter, and Necromancer. Each class has great gameplay with different builds to specialize in. Whether you want to run a Wrath of the Berserker build and utilize whirlwind to decimate your enemies or mow them down with a Vengeance build Demon hunter there are so many top-tier builds to choose from for this season.
3. Gears of War 3
While this is probably the second, if not the best Gears of War entry, holy crap it is traumatic. I mean, without providing too many spoilers, you will probably cry. WHY DOM???? 18 years have passed since the sinking of Jacinto, and the COG has fallen. The remaining survivors have retreated to Port Farrall to seek refuge. However, the surviving lambent have reemerged and began invading the surface, splitting up the surviving groups. Raven’s nest was one of the settlements attacked by the invasion and was the previous home of our ragtag team Marcus, Baird, Dom, and Anya.
Aside from the depressing tale of brave men led by Papa Marcus fighting the lambent, this game is filled with great combat in all of its third-person shooter glory with great execution animations as the cherry on top. The missions are fun to play solo or with a friend if you want to relive the glory days of split-screen again. Not to mention, you get to try and kill massive amounts of lambent on suicide missions in order to throw down with Queen Myrrah.
2. Borderlands 3
Borderlands will always hold a special place in our messed-up hearts. I mean, who doesn’t love these chaotically hilarious adventures of playing vault hunters with sociopathic tendencies? Borderlands 3, while lacking in the closure part of the story, has the best gameplay of the 3 and exploration.
Players can choose from 4 different vault hunters acting as new recruits for the Crimson Raiders. These hunters are Moze, Zane, Amara, and FL4K. The mission is to investigate this crazy cult known as the Children of the Vault, who may have the long-lost vault map. The game feels like a comical satire with great gunplay and endless content to play through. The split-screen option is amazing for roommates and couples!
1. Halo: Master Chief Collection
Halo: Master Chief Collection feels like a godsend to all of us. Players can live through every classic Halo game up to Halo 4 in a new remastered light playing as good old Master Chief. These six games are: Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4. While some kinks could be worked out, it generally runs flawlessly for every game, and of course, every game features a split-screen coop mode. The games are constantly updated with patches, meaning any issues that are reported generally are fixed with decent updates. This is a great way for new players to start the series and play with anyone at home or online. It is also great for fans to relive the glory days.
These are Vibe’s top picks for split-screen games. We highly recommend it to those who miss the old-school split-screen experience, since the option is becoming a dying breed. While some games stay true to the past like Borderlands, others seem to be killing it off. Hopefully, we can enjoy more of it again in the future.
Veteran gamer, tech nerd, comic addict, anime lover, and just your average introverted weeb.