Memory T cells are composed of effector, central, and memory stem cells. Previous studies have implicated that both T-bet and Eomes are involved in the generation of effector and central memory CD8 T cells. The exact role of these transcription factors in shaping the memory T cell pool is not well understood, particularly with memory stem T cells. Here, we demonstrate that both T-bet or Eomes are required for elimination of established tumors by adoptively transferred CD8 T cells. We also examined the role of T-bet and Eomes in the generation of tumor-specific memory T cell subsets upon adoptive transfer. We showed that combined T-bet and Eomes deficiency resulted in a severe reduction in the number of effector/central memory T cells but an increase in the percentage of CD62L(high)CD44(low) Sca-1(+) T cells which were similar to the phenotype of memory stem T cells. Despite preserving large numbers of phenotypic memory stem T cells, the lack of both of T-bet and Eomes resulted in a profound defect in antitumor memory responses, suggesting T-bet and Eomes are crucial for the antitumor function of these memory T cells. Our study establishes that T-bet and Eomes cooperate to promote the phenotype of effector/central memory CD8 T cell versus that of memory stem like T cells.