When we think of multiplayer games, we tend to think about shooters like Halo or Call of Duty. But let’s face it: Those aren’t exactly the most romantic games for couples to play together. This Valentine’s Day, why not try one of these excellent multiplayer experiences? They all offer cooperative experiences, and every one can be played with your loved one right by your side.
Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
What’s more romantic than building an entire world for your Valentine? With split-screen support, Minecraft lets both of you not only adventure but also create, in the same near-limitless space. Why bother with roses and chocolates when you can present your loved one with redstone and a diamond pickaxe?
The Jackbox Party Pack
If you prefer something a bit more… adversarial, Jackbox will pit you and your loved one against each other in a variety of absurd, competitive party games. Though one of the five included games requires three players or more, the others are just fine for two. For example, You Don’t Know Jack is a deliciously irreverent game of trivia; Word Spud is a free-form complete-the-phrase game; and Fibbage is a game all about lying. Be careful with that last one.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Think LEGO games are just for kids? Then you probably haven’t spent much time playing LEGO games: The no-pressure, pick-up-and-play experience of pretty much any recent LEGO title is perfect for couples, and the frequent need to work together will force you to rely on each other in a way that is, yes, kind of romantic. Plus, just about everything is destructible, which is just plain stupidly fun.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition
If you’ve never known the joy of dungeon-crawling with a loved one, you’ve been missing out. There’s nothing quite like teaming up to take down evil denizens of the underworld. As in the LEGO games, player two can jump in or drop out at will, making the whole experience very casual. And let’s face it, wandering Diablo III’s darkest depths really brings couples together… though, fighting over loot might not.
Part platformer, part fighting game, and part crazy party game, #IDARB has no shortage of strange-but-awesome head-to-head multiplayer activities. This one is a little tough to describe without actually showing it to you, but trust us: It’s well worth playing, especially alongside your beloved bestie. Plus, it’s free via our Games with Gold program for the month of February – so if you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you definitely can’t beat the price tag. Bonus!
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
If you prefer your zombies a little more cuddly, you can’t go wrong with this one. Split-screen play allows each of you to take on the role of a plant or a zombie in a lighthearted third-person-shooter contest. You can even team up together and play against the computer in a variety of different modes. But don’t assume the cute exterior means that the game is overly simple; there’s a surprising amount of depth here, which rewards extended play.
Dance Central Spotlight
Look, we know that not everyone is into shaking booty on the dance floor. That’s why Dance Central Spotlight is perfect: You can shake your booty in the comfort of your own home and, best of all, it’s only $9.99 to get your groove on. Trust us, your Valentine will appreciate you letting your guard down and waving your hands in the air as though you, in fact, just don’t care.
Child of Light
It’s beautiful, it’s touching, it’s challenging – it’s the perfect game for couples seeking something slightly off-the-beaten-path. This hybrid role-playing game/platformer has a unique co-op mode where each player controls a completely different character; player one is main character Aurora, while player two controls a glowing orb named Igniculus, who serves a variety of support functions. Learning how best to work together offers a surprising level of strategy, one that proves especially rewarding given the game’s gorgeous presentation.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
Mowing through hordes of enemies is fun. Mowing through hordes of enemies with your life partner is an absolute blast. There’s nothing quite like taking on seemingly insurmountable odds together, and this latest Tomb Raider hack-and-slash-and-shoot-and-platform spinoff offers up that experience in spades, pumping out lots of baddies for you and your loved one to demolish.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a serious co-op challenge, it’s hard to beat Rayman Legends. Drawing inspiration from old-school platformers, this one will force you and your Valentine to try, try, try again… together. It may not be for short-tempered couples, but if your relationship is the sort that thrives on adversity, you’ll find lots to like here. Plus, it’s darn pretty.
This is just a small selection of the same-screen co-op games available for Xbox One. For a more complete list, check out the excellent, multiplayer-focused site co-optimus.com. You’re virtually guaranteed to find the perfect experience for you and your Valentine.