When you think about the best Xbox multiplayer games, you probably picture Spartans popping off headshots in tight deathmatches in Halo Infinite, right? And hey, a lot of the best titles you can play on Team Green’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S do involve blasting virtual dudes away. Yet other fine multiplayer titles are far less violent, ditching direct competition for tight teamwork.
Whether it's taking down brutal bosses in the colorful Cuphead with an online chum in tow or summoning a fellow player to help you out in Elden Ring, some of the most satisfying Xbox multiplayer moments you can have is when you're working with other players, not against them. With that said, here are our picks for the best Xbox multiplayer games you can play right now.
The quick list
Short on time? Here's a quick breakdown of the best Xbox multiplayer games you can enjoy on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or even Xbox One featured in an at a glance list below; along with quick links that let you jump to a fuller breakdown of whichever multiplayer title that may spark your interest.
Best multiplayer shooter
The best multiplayer shooter
Though the open-world direction the campaign goes in may not be to everyone's tastes, Infinite has gone from strength to strength as the Xbox team deathmatch shooter since its release.
Best battle royale
The best battle royale
The colossally popular CoD spin-off has elegantly evolved since launch, shifting between sprawling new maps to keep players engaged. The tense last-player-standing formula remains tensely brilliant.
Best multiplayer platformer
The best multiplayer platformer
A fiendishly punishing platformer that serves up incredibly tough boss battles that are a tad easier to digest if you're playing with a friend online. It’s challenging, but also hard to put down.
Best open-world multiplayer
The best open-world multiplayer
Describing Elden Ring as a 'multiplayer' game may be a bit of a stretch, but you can tackle its brutal bosses with an online chum in tow. In fact, you'll probably need said pal if you're to stand any chance against its hardest foes.
Best multiplayer RPG
The best multiplayer RPG
An ace party-based RPG that takes place from an isometric perspective. The more recent Definitive Edition gives this role-playing multiplayer classic a welcome fresh coat of paint that is much appreciated.
The best xbox multiplayer shooter
The best Xbox multiplayer games you can buy today
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Halo Infinite has a great multiplayer mode that builds upon the established multiplayer of previous Halo games. Tight 4v4 matches are contrasted against the more chaotic 12v12 games, all punctuated by satisfying weapons that can fit a playstyle that suits you or changes on the fly.
Other modes like Oddball, Capture the Flag and Strongholds are present. And new seasons have added more maps and features since Halo Infinite's launch in 2021.
Player counts have dwindled in the traditional multiplayer mode, however, but the introduction of a co-op campaign mode means you can play through the excellent missions of Infinite's single-player mode with a friend. Like previous Halo games, this can be one of the best ways to experience one of Master Chief's run 'n' gun adventures.
The best xbox battle royale
The behemoth of a battle royale game that is Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 is pretty much a staple for any multiplayer games list. It takes the amped-up military action of the standard Call of Duty multiplayer mode and lets up to 150 players battle it out on a large map with all manner of interesting zones.
While far from the first battle royale game, like Apex Legends, Warzone has arguably perfected the formula. The combination of guns, unique features like the gulag system, and the ability to customize your character with perks and cosmetics, makes this spin-off an enduring multiplayer game any Call of Duty fan must try.
The best xbox multiplayer platformer
It's not the first game that you'll think of when considering a multiplayer experience, but Cuphead's co-op mode is well worth a look. It could also be the difference between failure and success, as Cuphead is a seriously challenging game.
The multiplayer aspect means one player takes on the role of the titular Cuphead, while the other fills the form of Mugman. From there the two beverage-centric receptacle-shaped characters need to battle through a series of retro and stylistic 2D platform levels, then take on a mix of bosses, dodging all manner of projectiles, attacks and battle phrases. The cartoon-like aesthetic hides the challenge well, so expect to die and retry a lot. Just bear in mind you'll need a person to be literally alongside you as the multiplayer is for couch co-op, with no online option.
The best xbox open-world multiplayer
You'd be forgiven for wondering why Elden Ring is on this list, as the game is most a rather lonely experience against powerful enemies in a decaying world. But there's an asymmetric multiplayer element in the form of being able to summon real people into your game to take on difficult challenges, mostly bosses. This can lead to the thrill of defeating a boss with your buddy in an epic battle.
Equally, people more content on causing havoc can use this mechanic in reverse to invade the worlds of other players in order to take them out in duels that can feel truly tense. It's one of the most interesting multiplayer elements to gaming around.
The best xbox multiplayer RPG
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Turn-based RPGs don’t often offer co-op play, which makes Divinity: Original Sin 2 something special. This long, involved game lets you create your own character and journey through the fantasy realm of Rivellon, fighting off a variety of foes both mundane and magical. What’s interesting is that up to three other players can do exactly the same thing, making Divinity: Original Sin 2 arguably the next-best thing to playing through a tabletop RPG with your friends. Granted, the game is long — at least 50 hours — so you’re all in for a long haul. But it beats sitting around and arguing over who should run the next D&D game.
The best xbox multiplayer racer
No list of the best Xbox multiplayer games would be complete without a racing game, and Forza Horizon 5 is the best on Xbox. This expansive racing game takes place across a good chunk of Mexico. You can compete in races, build up your stash of cars, customize your avatar’s clothing and accessories or simply drive from place to place, taking in the huge open world. If you play online, each server supports up to 72 players. There’s no local multiplayer, though, so if you want to play with your friends, they’ll need their own copies of the game.
Gears of War is one of the most recognizable multiplayer shooters on Xbox, and Gears 5 is where you’ll find most of the player base these days. Gears 5 has ongoing Operations, which let players compete in various multiplayer scenarios and maps. There are plenty of challenges to undertake, from cooperative Horde modes to competitive Team Deathmatch modes. You can even play the story campaign cooperatively, either locally or online. At its core, Gears 5 is a fairly simple third-person shooter, but it’s also a refined third-person shooter with a lot of potential strategies to employ. Give it a try, if you haven’t.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
“Halo” is nearly synonymous with “Xbox multiplayer,” and you can play every Halo game on modern Xbox consoles. Halo 5 has a bigger competitive multiplayer scene, but Halo: The Master Chief Collection is where you’ll want to go for cooperative multiplayer. That’s because The Master Chief Collection gathers the first six games in the Halo series, complete with cooperative campaign gameplay, either online or locally. Halo veterans know that campaign co-op is one of the most memorable aspects of the series, combining challenging combat, impressive set pieces, and a surprisingly decent ongoing story.
Multiplayer games don’t have to be all about combat. Minecraft isn’t. At this point, you’ve almost certainly heard of Minecraft, the creative sandbox that’s the digital equivalent of playing with an instruction-less Lego set. You explore a randomly generated environment (rendered in a signature blocky, pixelated art style), collecting resources as you go. You can then use these resources to craft whatever you desire, from enchanted swords to towering castles. You can play with up to four players locally, or up to 10 players online. You can also save your favorite randomly generated worlds and share them with friends.
Sea of Thieves
When you’ve had your fill of competitive shooters, you can always try being a pirate instead. In Sea of Thieves, you and up to three partners take command of your very own pirate ship. From there, you prowl the high seas for treasure to hoard, adventures to discover and enemies to fight — both computer-controlled monsters and other players. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock cosmetic items, but the only way to build your skills is to play the game and learn its ins and outs. Sea of Thieves strikes a beautiful balance between directed and emergent gameplay, encouraging players to pursue their own goals, and cooperate with whoever’s available.
How to choose the best xbox multiplayer game for you
How to choose the best Xbox multiplayer game for you
There’s no special trick to selecting the best multiplayer games on Microsoft's various Xbox consoles. It all comes down to which genres you're most into, and whether you value a competitive experience over a collaborative one. Want to prove you're the sharpest shooting Spartan around? Halo Infinite has your six. But if you want to revel in the pleasures of a truly shared victory, downing a titanic foe in Elden Ring is one of the most rewarding experiences you can with a friend on Xbox.