The Best 2-Player Games for PC: Co-Op and Competitive

June 11, 2024 • April Miller


With more games than any other option, PC is undoubtedly the best platform for single-player games. You’ll also find more massive multiplayer and battle royale games here than on console. But what about two-player games on PC?

Maybe you want to play something cooperative with your friend or significant other. Maybe you want to duke it out one-on-one to see who’s really the best. In either case, here’s a look at the best two-player PC games.

The Best Co-Op 2-Player Games for PC

First, let’s look at co-op games. The absolute best cooperative experience depends on your specific likes and dislikes, so here are five beloved co-op titles across multiple genres.

1. Baldur’s Gate 3

It’s hard to talk about co-op PC games today and not mention Baldur’s Gate 3. BG3 is our pick for the best overall multiplayer PC game, and many would consider it the best PC game of 2023 period.

The Baldur’s Gate series is essentially a video game version of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. You’ll know that means hours upon hours of fun if you’ve ever played a tabletop D&D session. Even better, you don’t necessarily need two copies of the game. You can play BG3 in split-screen on PC if you both use controllers. 

2. Stardew Valley

As fun as Baldur’s Gate is, it can be a lot to dive into. Stardew Valley is another incredibly popular option if you’d rather play something more relaxed.

Stardew Valley wasn’t the first cozy farming sim, but it perfected the genre. Despite coming out in 2016, it still sees regular updates introducing new content — all at no extra cost, too. Considering the game itself costs just $15, you won’t find a better deal in gaming. Like BG3, you can play Stardew Valley online or locally through split-screen.

3. Minecraft

Minecraft is another one of the best two-player games for PC for those who want even more mining and crafting than what Stardew Valley offers. You’re likely already familiar with Minecraft at this point, but if you haven’t played it yet, a co-op world is the perfect way to get into it.

There are three ways to play Minecraft with friends on PC — public servers, private servers and through a LAN connection. While Minecraft is also available on consoles, PC and consoles run different versions of the game, so you can’t crossplay. Both parties must play on the same platform for co-op fun.

4. It Takes Two

Unlike most of the games on this list, which have a single-player option, It Takes Two stays true to its name. It’s co-op-only. As you’d hope from a game so dedicated to the two-player experience, it offers one of the most fun co-op campaigns around.

It Takes Two is a platformer where you’ll play as an arguing couple who’ve found themselves magically turned into dolls. You’ll solve puzzles, battle enemies and — most importantly — work together as your characters try to return to normal and repair their relationship. It’s as moving as it is fun, and you only need one copy of the game to play.

5. Helldivers 2

A more recent entry on this list is Helldivers 2 — a Starship Troopers-inspired shooter that came out in early 2024. You can play with up to four players, but you can have just as much fun playing it as a two-player game.

In Helldivers 2, you’ll defend against waves of alien invaders or go on the offensive to take back captured planets. It’s fast-paced, chaotic and challenging, and the more you play, the more guns and mechanics you’ll unlock. Helldivers 2 also supports cross-play between Windows and Xbox, so you can play with a friend who owns the console version.

The Best Competitive 2-Player Games for PC

While some of the best two-player PC games are cooperative, sometimes you don’t want to work together. Try out these five titles if you’d rather go head-to-head against your friend.

1. Rocket League

Rocket League could’ve easily made it on the list of co-op games, but it’s arguably more fun when you’re playing one-on-one. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s essentially giant soccer with rocket-propelled cars. It’s every bit as whacky and thrilling as that sounds.

At one point, Rocket League had as many as 146,000 people playing at once, and that was years after its launch. While it may not be as popular now, you don’t need a bunch of concurrent players for a one-on-one match.

2. StarCraft II

Real-time strategy (RTS) fans should look no further than StarCraft II for a great two-player experience. Blizzard is the biggest name in top-down RTS games, and the second StarCraft installation may be their best effort in the genre.

SC2 is fast-paced and possibly the most challenging title on this list. That makes it an excellent title to sink countless hours of competitive play into as you and your friend slowly master the complex strategy the game requires. It’s also free-to-play now, which sweetens the deal.

3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Most first-person shooter multiplayer experiences are big team matches or battle royales. That said, you can still play one-on-one in a private match in many games. The Halo series is one of the best places to do so, and the Master Chief Collection offers six of them in one place.

Many of the titles in the Master Chief Collection also have great co-op campaigns, but competitive matches are where you’ll really see who’s best. Getting all these games in one collection also means you don’t have to argue over which Halo game is best. You can play them all.

4. Tekken 7

Fighting games offer a more straightforward but equally challenging take on the one-on-one competitive experience. If that’s more your speed, give Tekken 7 a try.

The Tekken series is one of the best arcade-style fighting games there is, and the seventh installation offers the most variety. Work your way around the roster to find a character that suits your playstyle or matches your opponents’ for hours of fun.

5. Super Smash Bros. Melee

Speaking of fighting games, it’s hard to talk about them and not mention Super Smash Bros. Melee. Yes, Melee is a GameCube title. However, you can make it a two-player PC game by running it on an emulator, which you can also do on the Steam Deck if you prefer.

Install an emulator like Dolphin, download a Melee ROM, grab two controllers, and you’ll be good to go. Just make sure you download everything from a safe, reliable website.

These 2-Player PC Games Offer Hours of Fun

There’s no shortage of two-player games on PC to choose from. Whether you want to play together or against each other, this list is just a sampling of what’s available. Get one or more of these titles, grab a friend, and start playing today.