Gaming Together: Top 5 Couch Co op Xbox Games
Gaming is a form of entertainment unlike any other. Unlike movies, television, or music, you get to be a part of the action and drama. You embody the character and live the adventures vicariously through your digital self. You can be who you want and do what you want with the game’s design being your only limitation. I believe the only thing that makes it better is playing with others. While not everyone will agree with this, some of my most fun gaming experiences have been with my wife on the couch playing side by side. Couples that game together, stay together.
Not everyone’s significant other has a natural attraction to games so sometimes if you want them to play you have to convince them. To help with this task, I have assembled what I think are the top 5 couch co-op Xbox games to play with your significant other. This list is not in order of best to worst, all of these games are great and will appeal to different people and for different reasons:
Diablo 3 is one of the most beloved PC game franchises of all time and the Xbox adaptation is phenomenal. Many PC games have tried to create a console counterpart and have failed miserably due to control issues, not Diablo 3. The team at Blizzard Entertainment is responsible for many of the top rated games of all time, most of which are all meant to be played with others. So it is no surprise that their Xbox One (and Xbox On X enhanced) adaptation of Diablo 3 is fantastic.
There are hundreds of reasons why this game appeals to “non-gamers”. With my wife, when I initially introduced her to the game she was not into the idea of it, but once we started playing that all changed. You are able to start a new adventure together each creating your own unique character and dive into the story as a team. Because Diablo 3 has a very well tuned difficulty scaling system new players are able to jump right in with not experience and immediately take the fight to the evil hordes of hell with ease.
The button scheme is easy to learn and easy to use. The penalty for death is not nearly as punishing as most games. Add this with the core game play that sends large waves of enemies at you over and over that you are able to (mostly) easily dispatch using a variety of unique and visually spectacular abilities, and it creates an artistic masterpiece of color, sound, and gore that provides the player with the ultimate power fantasy. Oh yea, and then there’s the loot.
Every mob of demons you dispatch leaves a mountain of treasures in its wake. The armor and weapons allow you to customize your characters look and abilities. The more you play, the more treasure you find. Every kill grants you experience points that help boost your level unlocking new potent abilities.
The intense, yet simple, non-stop, visually stimulating game play loop is fun and addicting. The best part is you get to experience it with your significant other right next you.
Halo: Master Chief Collection
If you have heard of Xbox you have no doubt heard of the Halo franchise and seen the Master Chief somewhere. Halo: Master Chief Collection is definitely much more of a “gamer’s game”. By that I mean it is not a pick up and play game for someone with little experience on Xbox. If you can manage to get your significant other to learn the controls you’ll both be in for quite a treat.
The master chief collection gives you access to 4 of the core Halo franchise games (1-4) all on one disc. From the main menu you can seamlessly switch between any of the games campaigns and play them cooperatively via split-screen from start to finish. This is a great way to get the player that hasn’t played before into the game as there are scale-able difficulties that will allow them to get a feel for the controls and learn the game while also being able to enjoy the rich story of the campaigns.
Once you’re comfortable you can enter online play where you can enjoy hundreds of different maps and game modes that offer fun and unique experiences. If you want to play competitively you can or you can join non competitive modes and just enjoy the chaos. Anyone who has played Halo multiplayer has a number of stories about a crazy, epic, cinematic moment from a game. Halo is THE classic Xbox game and is beloved by gamers for a reason. If you haven’t tried it, you should, you’re no doubt in for some awesome times.
Call Of Duty (Zombies)
Call of Duty is one of those games that people that don’t play any video games have heard of. Love it or hate it, it is one of the most popular game franchises today. With yearly iterations created by different development teams, the game constantly has a new form to try. The most recent version Call of Duty:WW2 takes players back to the series roots.
The World War 2 setting offers players a different experience from the futuristic/sci-fi shooters that have been rampant over the past few years. This version got a lot of things right in my opinion, but I am not the biggest fan of the series in general. That being said, I did buy this game, but it was for the nazi zombie mode.
This game mode is a ton of fun for couch co-op split screen action. The Xbox One X enhancements present brilliant 4K HDR visuals that bring the details zombie hordes to life. In my opinion, the developer tried to bring the zombie mode back into the horror realm, which I am a huge fan of. There is a story line that you and your friends can work your way through with different objectives, or you can opt to just try to survive as long as you can as the zombies get tougher and come in larger numbers as the waves progress.
There is some FPS skill required but the mode can still be enjoyed by players with little experience. If you are looking for a easy going, pick up and play experience, Call of Duty:WW2 Zombies might be for you!
Dragonball Fighter Z
Who doesn’t love mono e mono, fight to the finish, 2 walk in one walks out? If you and your significant other enjoy competing against each other, the fighting game genre is for you. I chose to highlight Dragonball FighterZ in this section because it is a new game with fantastic Xbox One X enhanced visuals that is easy ot pick up and play.
The fast paced action packed fighting game has controls that are very easy to pick up and play, that also allow players to pull of some awesome cinematic combos and abilities with very simple button combinations. The button mashability makes this game perfect for a new comer to gaming.
The visuals are colorful and vibrant and the gameplay offers a simple pick up and play feeling while also providing deeper fighting game mechanics for the seasoned player. I highly recommend this game for any couples that like to compete with each other. As I said earlier, I chose to highlight this game because it’s new and fresh and all around great, but there are other great fighting game options too. Injustice 2 is a visually stunning Xbox One X enhanced fighter set in the DC comic universe. Killer Instinct is a great Xbox exclusive that is free to download. You also have Mortal Kombat X which is a great arcade fighter as well. Any of the choices above will do a great job at scratching that fighting game itch.
For the final spot I had to turn it into a category. There are so many great indie games available, often times at much lower prices that their AAA brethren. Couch co-op used to be a part of lots of games across every genre. Today couch co-op is very rare outside of first person shooters. Even in that space some games are single player only. That being said there are a bunch of great indie games to supplement the AAA drought.
Think 3v3 soccer accept instead of people you use rocket powered hot wheels cars. Rocket League is fast paced, competitive, pick up and play fun. If you only have 10 or 15 minutes to play, you can still get in a game or two and then log off. Customize your vehicle from the ground up and go head to head against your partner on the couch or play against others online with them cooperatively.
A game where you and up to 3 other players cooperate to prep, cook, and assemble meals and running the food inside a restaurant may not sound like something for you, but I beg you, don’t pass on this game so easily.
Overcooked is a fantastic puzzle-like experience that requires precision teamwork and time management in order to meet the required goals within the time limit. As you progress through the levels the environments change offering up unique challenges while also changing up the required meals that must be prepared, each requiring different and unique ingredients and preparations.
Initially I was very skeptical when someone recommended this game to me, but I am glad I decided to give it a shot. My wife and I were guaranteed many laughs every time we played together. At a current price of $16.99 it is an absolute bargain.
A 2 player cooperative game that is one of the most unique, creative, and challenging games you will play; but it is as fun to play as it is challenging. Press A to jump, X to shoot and RT to dash. Controls don’t get much simpler.
The basic control scheme makes Cuphead an easy game for new players to pick up and play. You can start and complete the entire game as a team of two while sharing the same screen in an old school 2-D side scrolling adventure.
Arguably the greatest thing about Cuphead is its artistry. The game is made to look like a 1930’s cartoon and it is marvelous. There is a reason that Cuphead won multiple awards at the 2017 Game Awards. For only $19.99 you can have a ton of fun with your significant other playing this highly addictive game.
This list could go on and on. The bottom line is, there are a ton of great indie games out there that offer fun, easy to pick up cooperative experiences for you and a loved one to play together. The ones I have listed are just some of my favorites, I recommend browsing the games store and watching some trailers, you might stumble upon a hidden gem. If you have a loved one that you want to get into gaming, see what they like and give some of these games a try. You won’t be disappointed!
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