The best Xbox multiplayer games

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.

The best xbox multiplayer shooter

The best Xbox multiplayer games you can buy today

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Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite screenshot

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

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

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0

Call of Duty Warzone

(Image credit: Activision)

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



(Image credit: StudioMDHR)

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

Elden Ring

Best open world games: Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)

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

Divinity: Original Sin 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Larian Studios NV)

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

Forza Horizon 5

Forza horizon 5 screen shot

(Image credit: Playground Games)

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 5

gears 5

(Image credit: Microsoft)

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 reach

(Image credit: Microsoft)

“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.



(Image credit: Mojang)

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

Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Microsoft)

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. 

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.