The number of local multiplayer games you can play with a group of friends on the couch are waning by the year. This means all those gaming strategies you learned growing up — covering your buddy’s eyes, shaming him for screen cheating, hitting him with a well-timed sack tap — are fading into obscurity alongside the personal touch that only local multiplayer can deliver. To clarify, there are plenty of multiplayer opportunities available through Xbox Live or Playstation Plus, but this article is about games where you gather around the TV, link up four controllers, and pass around a big tub of cheeseballs.
A lot of couch multiplayer fans have opted to jump back a few generations and dig their old N64s out of the closet. But there are still a decent amount of awesome modern releases that support local multiplayer. Here are some of our favorites.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
Beware of flying turtle shells (and subsequent flying controllers).
Rocket League (Xbox One, PS4)
This high-flying, rocket car/soccer hybrid is easy to pick up and play, yet difficult to master.
Castle Crashers (Xbox One)
From the people who brought you the early 2000s flash game, Alien Hominid, comes a four player, side-scrolling, hack and slasher with funky cartoon artwork and light RPG elements.
Minecraft (Wii U, Xbox One, PS4)
You can build some pretty wild shit in Minecraft. And if you’ve got a patient buddy or two to help with the construction, then the possibilities are endless.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)
For whatever reason, the newest Halo, Halo 5, scrapped split-screen multiplayer completely (probably to encourage Xbox Live sales). Luckily, Halo fans can still get their dose of couch multiplayer action with The Master Chief Collection, which bundles Halo 1-4 and gives each title a graphical overhaul.
Push Me Pull You (PS4, PC)
Fans of weird Indie games will get a kick out of this bizarre little arcade game, which pits two teams of two against each other in a battle to keep a ball on their side of the field. Here’s the catch: teammates are connected at the ass like CatDog. Good communication is paramount.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (Xbox One, PS4)
A co-op shooter with RPG elements. If you and a bud want to shoot up some bad guys in the first person without relying on deathmatch, then this is your game.
Mario Party 10 (Wii U)
A countless number of fun (and often infuriating) mini-games to ruin your friendships.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Xbox One, PS4)
A top down hack and slasher like Diablo, but it’s got appearances from all your favorite Marvel characters. Not only can you play as your hero of choice, but you can combine attacks with other heroes to unleash insane combos.
Hilarious, side-scrolling, 8-bit action. It’s similar to Metal Slug, but with a lot less pixels and a lot more MURICA.