Even though online multiplayer gaming is on an insane rise these days, there are still gamers who like playing local multiplayer games with their friends or family. And while split-screen and couch co-op games are becoming a dying breed, there are still some excellent games that anyone interested in local multiplayer games should try out. If you are also looking for such games, you have come to the right place. Here are the 10 best split-screen and couch co-op games for PC that you can play in 2023.
Last updated on January 9, 2024, to include new games like Baldur’s Gate 3, It Takes Two, and more. Have any more suggestions? Tell us in the comments section.
1. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
LEGO games are a great example of split-screen co-op titles on PC. And that continues with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, the latest entry by developer Double T, or Travelers Tale.
A compilation of every single mainline Star Wars movie, players get to experience the epic sci-fi space opera story with a lot of LEGO humor put into it. The game runs well in split-screen or as a couch co-op title as soon as you plug in a second controller. Hence, this is the best pick if you and your favorite second player want the perfect split-screen gaming experience.
2. Overcooked! 2
One of the greatest couch co-op titles to grace the PC platform, Overcooked 2 is a team-based game where you and a group of your friends band together to finish a set of cooking tasks. You have to communicate and navigate various chaotic levels while fulfilling various orders.
While Overcooked 2 does not have split-screen support, it does have a well-received local couch co-op. And because of the camera orientation, you barely need a split-screen. Give this a try if you and your friends are coming over for a house party and need a perfect party title.
3. A Way Out
Some split-screen co-op games have to be on this list as they are essential games you need to play. A Way Out, made by Hazelight, is one such experience where the whole game is tailored around split-screen co-op.
You and your friend play as two American felons with their motivations, teaming up to break out of prison to meet their loved ones. You cannot play this game solo. You will need a friend to try it out. Hence, if you want a real split-screen experience, A Way Out is one of the many games on this list that best fits the criteria.
4. It Takes Two
Another Hazelight gaming experience that is solely created around split-screen experience, It Takes Two is an adventure game where you play as a pair of estranged partners who get transformed into little dolls. After their kid gets kidnapped, they set aside their differences to team up and save their kid. The game is known for its fun co-op puzzles and emphasis on teamwork. This is a must-pick if you want something more challenging than our previous recommendation.
5. Portal 2
Portal 2 is all about solving puzzles and going through different dimensions to solve each part of the puzzle. You can play a completely different co-op experience by trying out the multiplayer mode. You and a friend work together in the co-op mode to solve the puzzles and overcome obstacles. This game is a must-try for puzzle enthusiasts.
Even though the multiplayer mode in Portal 2 is not as intriguing and exciting as the single-player campaign. Furthermore, you jump through some hoops to get the local co-op working. But, if you are willing to put up with everything, then this game is the perfect one for you and a friend.
6. Road Redemption
Remember Road Rash released by EA Games years ago? While we never got a remaster or a sequel to that game, indie developers took it upon themselves to launch a spiritual successor. Enter Road Redemption, a bike racing game where you punch, kick, and beat your opponents all to get that first place.
While Road Redemption is a simple title, as you participate in racing, it has one of the essentials on this list. Yes, you can locally split-screen co-op in this game. Road Redemption allows for up to four-player split-screen co-op, which is rare in recent years. True, the game needs some more polish and content. But it is a fun little game you and your friends can try out if the genre fits your needs.
7. Castle Crashers
Castle Crashers is a four-player brawler where you compete through multiple levels and take out enemies in search of your queen. Offering beautiful cartoony visuals and a cheesy background soundtrack, Castle Crashers makes the entire gameplay experience more immersive.
You can play this game online or in local co-op mode. This is an amazing game if you are looking for a hack-and-slash adventure with your friends.
Cuphead is a run-and-gun shooting game in which you control the animated Cuphead and his brother Mugman after a deal with the devil goes awry. They now have a debt on their head and have to take out multiple souls for the devil. While doing their bidding, they venture out to various levels, donning painstakingly recreated retro cartoon visuals.
Cuphead is fun to pick up and extremely difficult to master, making it a must-have for any of you looking for a fun local co-op game on your PC. And, with the release of the Delicious Last Course DLC, you can now play as a new character in place of Cuphead or Mugman.
9. Baldur’s Gate 3
We’ve spoken at length about Baldur’s Gate 3, and so has the whole gaming community. Winner of multiple Game of the Year awards in 2023, the sequel to classic DnD CRPG takes you through the journey of Faerun after Mind Flayers kidnap you and others to create a Thrall.
While the Mind Flayer plan turns to folly, you and a group of eccentric individuals journey through the lands to remove the tadpole while getting entangled in fights that can change Baldur’s Gate forever.
The game offers replayability and freedom of choice and respects player agency. However, if you have two separate controllers, you can play this game in split-screen co-op mode. However, in my testing, I found that you need two controllers for this to work, which means you cannot do one keyboard and mouse and one controller.
This makes sense since controller orientation is vastly different than the other option. However, we couldn’t help but recommend this title.
10. Left 4 Dead 2
The original Left 4 Dead game introduced a zombie-killing adventure that two players can enjoy together. Nothing beats the fun and excitement of bashing zombie skulls with different weapons while working with a friend in split-screen mode. You can even play with four players in the “Versus” mode.
Join forces with your friend in the post-apocalyptic world and start bashing some zombie skulls to survive in this world. The game also offers exciting new campaigns and modes to expand the story further and more zombies to kill. It is a must-have for all zombie-killing fans out there.
- Darksiders Genesis ($29.99)
- Risk of Rain Returns ($14.99)
- Bread and Fred ($14.99)
- Untitled Goose Game ($19.99)
These are our picks for the best split-screen and couch co-op games you can try on PC. We covered some of the essentials that are worth your time and attention. However, If you think there are some other amazing split-screen games, feel free to mention them in the comments below.
Yes, you can play compatible split-screen games from Steam. Moreover, you can play local co-op and split-screen games online with Remote Play Together.