Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Xbox Series X|S)

Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Xbox Series X|S)Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Team17 / Developer: Ghost Town Games
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to four players online or offline.
  • Is it on Game Pass? No.

Why have one course when you and your pals can absolutely stuff yourself with two and some sides? Overcooked! All You Can Eat contains both main games in the series and all previously released DLC in one absolutely delicious package.

Combining simple, easy to learn controls with hilariously chaotic gameplay, the Overcooked series challenges you and your friends to cook up a storm for your ever-hungry patrons whilst under pressure from all sides and dealing with whatever your mischievous kitchen decides to throw at you next. If you’re looking for a couple of games to really get the party started, if you like to sweat like a maniac as you try to work together with your friends to overcome some hilarious food-based challenges, Overcooked: All You Can Eat’s madcap cooking sim action really is Michelin grade stuff!

Rocket League (Xbox One)

Rocket League (Xbox One)Rocket League (Xbox One)
Publisher: Psyonix Studios / Developer: Psyonix Studios
Release Date: 17th Feb 2016 (USA) / 17th Feb 2016 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to eight players online or four players locally.
  • Is it on Game Pass? No.

What is it about Rocket League that’s so unbelievably addictive? When we first heard about this left-field future sports effort we weren’t entirely convinced, but as soon as we actually sat down to have a game we were absolutely sold.

It’s such a stupidly simple concept, blasting around a football stadium in tiny cars, so easy to get to grips with but also wonderfully tough to master. You can really tell the newcomers from the pros here, such as the level of skill on display when you take to the field against seasoned vets.

Rocket League has enjoyed sustained success because it nails its raucous arcade-action with sublime controls and matches that last for just the right amount of time. With a couple of friends in tow, this is just about as much fun as you can have with a colourful, ridiculous OTT arcade sport’s game and it’s completely free to play so you’ve got absolutely no excuse not to go get addicted to this one right now.

Sea Of Thieves (Xbox One)

Sea Of Thieves (Xbox One)Sea Of Thieves (Xbox One)
Publisher: Microsoft / Developer: Rare
Release Date: 20th Mar 2018 (USA) / 20th Mar 2018 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Four players online.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

Rare’s high seas hijinks have come a long, long way since they first arrived on the scene back in 2018. What was once a rather threadbare and often aimless pirate experience has now been utterly transformed into a rich and vibrant world full of adventure, intrigue and activities for teams of up to four players.

Yes, getting into great big sea battles against other teams of players, fighting all manner of fantastical creatures and searching for treasure may be the main draw here, but even the simple act of just working together to successfully manoeuvre your ship is a joy, such is the craftsmanship with which Rare has put this world together. With the best water we’ve ever seen in a video game - the sea here really is a character in and of itself - Sea of Thieves is a highly atmospheric adventure playground that provides an endless time sink for groups of friends who love to roleplay the pirate lifestyle.

Now is also a great time to jump into this one as the recent Pirates of the Caribbean themed expansion, A Pirate’s Life, adds a ton of fun to proceedings with new story content, weapons and locations to visit!

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Stardew Valley (Xbox One)

Stardew Valley (Xbox One)Stardew Valley (Xbox One)
Publisher: ConcernedApe / Developer: ConcernedApe
Release Date: 2016 (USA) / 2016 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to four players online or locally.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Soon (TBD).

One of the more relaxing games on this list, Stardew Valley is a smash hit farming sim that’s a real pleasure just to spend time unwinding with, and now you can tend to your crops, explore and build relationships in the company of friends in either split-screen or online co-op modes.

There’s no set to-do list with this one, you and your pals are free to breeze about, collecting, crafting, chopping and chatting as you take a rundown farm and make it into your very own countryside paradise whilst getting to know the local townsfolk. This is one of the most chilled games we’ve played and having friends along for the ride really adds to the fun on offer here.

State of Decay 2 (Xbox One)

State of Decay 2 (Xbox One)State of Decay 2 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 22nd May 2018 (USA) / 22nd May 2018 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to four players online.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

State of Decay 2 was a real evolution over the first game when it arrived in 2018, and it has since received excellent support including a totally free 'Juggernaut Edition' add-on for Xbox Game Pass. The idea is to simply attempt to survive in a post-apocalyptic world by gathering survivors, scavenging for resources and building a community, or you can try something else such as the four-player zombie-slaughtering "siege defense" mode.

If you've got an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, you're in for an even better time, as the game was optimised for the two consoles at their launch last year. State of Decay 2 runs fantastically on next-gen systems, and we can't wait to see what State of Decay 3 has in store for us on Xbox Game Pass in a few years' time.

Streets Of Rage 4 (Xbox One)

Streets Of Rage 4 (Xbox One)Streets Of Rage 4 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Dotemu / Developer: Guard Crush Games
Release Date: 29th Apr 2020 (USA)
  • How many players: Up to four players online or two players locally.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

Dotemu’s glorious fourth entry in the Streets of Rage series is one of the very best side-scrolling beat-‘em-ups currently doing the rounds and an absolute blast to play through with friends.

We were blown away by this one when it was released back in 2020, it’s a slick and stylish homage to its classic forebearers that sticks to the established formula but does so with bags of panache - it also features one of our favourite video game soundtracks of recent times. Whether you’ve got mad nostalgia for the original games or are coming to the Streets of Rage series fresh, this is one of the finest examples of its genre, an endlessly replayable beat-‘em up belter.

The Ascent (Xbox Series X|S)

The Ascent (Xbox Series X|S)The Ascent (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Curve Digital / Developer: Neon Giant
Release Date: 29th Jul 2021 (USA) / 29th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to four players online and locally.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

A very recent addition to Game Pass, Neon Giant’s rather stunning cyberpunk action RPG is a real looker and features some proper hardcore shooting action. As well as providing a solid challenge for solo players, this futuristic top-down twin-stick spectacular also allows for both four-player local and online co-operative play.

While we thoroughly enjoyed running The Ascent’s violent gauntlet in solo mode, getting a few friends together here really does see this one at its best as you work together to blast your way through Veles and uncover the mystery behind the demise of The Ascent Group.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Xbox One)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Xbox One)Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (Xbox One)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 1st Dec 2015 (USA) / 1st Dec 2015 (UK/EU)
  • How many players: Up to five players online.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

It’s been almost six years since Ubisoft’s online tactical shooter first launched and we still jump into this one regularly for our fix of top-notch co-operative action.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege serves up some of the very best co-op on consoles with tense, tight matches requiring teams of players to communicate effectively at all times, utilising each and every one of their skills, gadgets and weapons to survive.

The game’s PvE Terrorist Hunt mode, where teams hunt down enemies whilst completing objectives is a perfect playground for players wishing to hone their skills and engage in tactical action with a group of friends. With the Ultimate Edition available to play via Game Pass, there’s never been a better time to jump into this ever-evolving tactical treat.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (Xbox One)

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (Xbox One)Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Massive
Release Date: 15th Mar 2019 (USA)
  • How many players: Up to four players online.
  • Is it on Game Pass? No.

With an epic main campaign that supports four players working together, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a strong shout for gamers who want to party up and get down to some cover-shooting action in an eerily prescient rendition of Washington DC.

The post-pandemic setting here is rather unsettling given recent real-world events but, if you can look past that, you’ll find a properly rock-solid, feature-rich looter shooter that’s got a ton of content packed in and presents a real challenge once you hit the tough as nails endgame. If the sci-fi space setting of Destiny 2 doesn’t quite do it for you, The Division 2’s gritty urban shooter action may well be exactly what you’re looking for.

Unravel Two (Xbox One)

Unravel Two (Xbox One)Unravel Two (Xbox One)
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Release Date: 9th Jun 2018 (USA)
  • How many players: Two-player local co-op.
  • Is it on Game Pass? Yes.

An absolutely absorbing yarn about...well...yarn, Unravel Two sees two players work together in order to solve a gauntlet of wonderfully intricate little puzzles and challenges that hinge entirely on teamwork.

Working out the solutions to the various barriers that impede your journey here is super satisfying stuff that’s made all the more appealing by the game’s exquisite art style and the soothing, serene tone of its wonderfully woolly little world. This is one chilled out, family-friendly co-op experience that’s well worth your time.