The 28 Best Xbox Game Pass Games

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What games should you play on Xbox Game Pass?

There are over 350 games in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass backlog right now, and with recently launched and highly-praised The Outer Worlds included in that lineup, we thought we’d dive into the mix and help surface some of our favorites. Currently, Game Pass presents a curated list encompassing over a decade’s worth of games from the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One libraries. As the selection has grown over the years, the subscription service has been an excellent opportunity for fans to discover new games and explore genres that they wouldn’t think to try out before.

Recently, Game Pass has gone further by including new releases like Gears 5 and The Outer Worlds for the service at launch. So current subscribers of the service will have access to select new games once they release. For new members of Game Pass, it can be a bit daunting trying to find a new game to play on the service, whether that’s throwback like Fallout: New Vegas, or even newer games like Devil May Cry 5. So with that, here are our top picks for games you can play on Xbox Game Pass right now.

Fallout: New Vegas

The Outer Worlds features some incredibly well-crafted role-playing mechanics that we haven’t seen in some time. Yet, it’s all very much building off of what developer Obsidian Entertainment designed from Fallout: New Vegas, their previous effort exploring the wastelands of post-world war Nevada. Released in 2010, Fallout: New Vegas was the follow up to Bethesda’s Fallout 3, a revival of the post-apocalyptic RPG for the modern era. While that game featured great mechanics that helped revitalize the series, New Vegas would be the one to propel those ideas to new heights. With such a massive open world to explore and a far more involved story that could go in several different directions compared to the previous game, Obsidian’s RPG offered up an incredible amount of choice as the protagonist’s odyssey across an irradiated landscape. Ten years later, Fallout: New Vegas still stands as one of the finest games in the series and has only gotten better with age. | Alessandro Fillari

What Remains Of Edith Finch

Coming from Giant Sparrow, What Remains of Edith Finch is an incredibly profound look at the decay of a family over a century. While exploring the household, you’ll discover hidden clues about particular members of the family, offering you a view of their final moments of life. The term “walking simulator” has become something of a pejorative to describe games of a particular pace and scope. However, Giant Sparrow’s narrative-driven adventure takes that basic conceit and runs with it. It offers a sobering yet life-affirming look at the state of a family, and what you leave behind for your loved ones. | Alessandro Fillari

Devil May Cry 5

While Ninja Theory’s attempted reboot for Devil May Cry was a solid action game in its own right, there is something uniquely gratifying about returning to the original series with Devil May Cry 5. Reveling in that familiar stylish action that Capcom has refined since the original’s debut, the latest entry features some of the most jaw-dropping and over-the-top action-sequences that I’ve ever seen in an action game. Getting a feel of the incredibly intricate and varied play styles is what makes Devil May Cry 5 so satisfying to dive into, especially with its three playable characters. When it all clicks, and you manage to nail a super stylish combo that finishes with Nero surfacing on top of a rocket propelled robotic arm, this stellar action game offers up some of the finest moments of action that the franchise has seen yet. | Alessandro Fillari

The Outer Worlds

First of all, The Outer Worlds just launched. It’s hard to beat playing a totally new game at no extra cost, right? Outer Worlds itself is all about value too: the space-faring RPG is set in a hyper-capitalist universe dominated by monolith corporations. If you’ve played the recent Fallout games, you’ll feel right at home here–New Vegas developer Obsidian is behind this game, after all. That means you’ve got engaging quests to complete, heavy dialogue choices to make, fun weapons to wield, and lively planets to explore. And it’s all topped off with clever writing and complicated characters. | Tony Wilson

The Banner Saga 1-3

I won’t beat around the bush: the Banner Saga games are hard. Their brand of tactical turn-based battles requires you to make smart use of every unit’s movement, attacks, and special skills. The games aren’t forgiving outside of battle either: in each of the three adventures, you’ll have to make tough choices for your caravan, choosing when to charge into battle, rest and heal up, and distribute resources. On top of that, each decision you make can change the outcome of the story. Endure all of this, and you’ll be rewarded with an engaging saga rooted in Norse mythology, complemented by a gorgeous art style. | Tony Wilson

Panzer Dragoon Orta

In many ways the original Xbox was a safety net for post-Dreamcast Sega, evident by the fact that the publisher brought many of its most popular and important franchises exclusively to Microsoft’s beefy console, offering up sequels to games like Jet Set Radio, Out Run, The House of The Dead, and many more. For many die-hard Sega fans, at the time, there was no more important Sega Xbox game than Panzer Dragoon Orta. It’s an on-rails shooter that offers a decent challenge, especially if you want to earn high ranks, but the true draw of Orta, like its predecessors, is the fascinating world in which it’s set. The leap from Saturn to Xbox gave Sega a chance to flesh out the look and feel of the Dragon-fueled fantasy more than ever before, and now, on Xbox One X, you can enjoy Orta in 4K. It’s an excellent inclusion in the Game Pass catalog, and with remakes of the first two games on the way (as revealed during a previous Nintendo Direct) now is a great time to give Orta a try. | Peter Brown

Oxenfree

A beach party in which a group of teens deal with old relationships, hangups, and traumas quickly careens into spooky territory in Oxenfree. Developer Night School Studios tells a ghost story steeped in history, while putting a big focus on interpersonal interactions as you make decisions about how things develop between protagonist Alex and her friends. It’s the writing that makes Oxenfree a great experience; it’s full of conversation decisions as you work through its story. There’s also no shortage of spookiness to be had as you capture radio signals from the great beyond and try to figure out what’s haunting the island on which you’re stuck overnight. | Phil Hornshaw

Alien: Isolation

There might not be any better realization of a movie franchise in the form of a video game than Alien: Isolation. Acting as a sequel to director Ridley Scott’s famous sci-fi horror film, Alien, developer Creative Assembly perfectly captures the look and feel of the movie’s environments, as well as the ingeniously deadly creature at its center. Alien: Isolation feels like Alien in a way that no other game has managed, and the monster haunting the halls of Sevastopol, its space station setting, is frighteningly realistic and incredibly deadly. Isolation is a tough game, but for fans of the Alien franchise, it’s one you shouldn’t miss. | Phil Hornshaw

Mass Effect

At the height of BioWare’s powers came Mass Effect, its expansive space opera action-RPG that created a massive futuristic world, full of ancient evil, interstellar intrigue, and phenomenal characters. There’s a reason the franchise still has so many fans today–more than anything else, Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard and their host of alien companions have engrained themselves in the gaming landscape. Though the first Mass Effect in the franchise is the most deliberate and plodding (there are so many planets to drive around on, and not much to find on them), it also sets up a fascinating world that’s still among the best sci-fi franchises in gaming. | Phil Hornshaw

Into The Breach

The great thing about Into the Breach is how much it does with simplicity. The creators of FTL: Faster Than Light adapt their small-scale approach to turn-based strategy, and it uses a chest-like approach that balances straight combat with spatial awareness to make for some fun, intense battles. You’re not just protecting cities from the invading insect-like Vek by shooting them, you’re stepping between the creatures and their prey, using explosions to knock Vek away from buildings, or using your weapons to turn the Vek against one another. Into the Breach is a brilliant, tough strategy game that’s easy to get lost in as you fight to save humanity from its insectile enemies. | Phli Hornshaw

Battle Chef Brigade

In Battle Chef Brigade, you play as Mina, a young woman who sneaks into an academy that trains the kingdom’s knights in both the arts of battle and cooking. Gameplay wise, this translates into competitions where you must hunt down specific monsters and then cook together the right ingredients by completing Puyo Puyo-style puzzles. It’s a frantic race against your opponents that tests your abilities in hack-and-slash combat, puzzle-solving, and time management–and there’s a wonderfully realized story tying the whole experience together. The game’s music and characters are excellent too. | Jordan Ramée

Rocket League

Rocket League is, without reservation, the most creative sports games of this generation. The concept of cars playing soccer on a course built for daring wall rides and airborne antics is only as good as the execution. Without doubt, Rocket League’s developer, Psyonix, proved that it knows not only how to make an unconventional idea work, but that it can deliver a solid amount of extra content, along with competitive trappings, to maintain the relevance of its flagship game years after its debut. Rocket League is one of those games that just gets better with age, and it, like many of the titles on this list, is one of the many great reasons to consider singing up for Xbox Game Pass. | Peter Brown

Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise

Rare has been known to bring its own unique twist to games, so when it announced Viva Piñata, a farming sim of sorts, we should have known it would be anything but predictable. The game focuses on cultivating and breeding piñatas–live animals with deliciously punny names like Chewnicorn and Sherbat. You will attract new species of piñatas based on the conditions of your garden and the other piñatas living there, making you the caretaker of a flourishing candy ecosystem. It’s a singularly relaxing, friendly experience. While both Viva Piñata and its sequel are on Game Pass, Trouble in Paradise is virtually an expansion to the original, improving on it in almost every way. If you want to get your first sweet taste of candy critters, it’s the one to play. | Steve Watts

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of the classic Tomb Raider franchise has been lauded, but its second game is where the studio hit its peak. In it we saw Lara Croft as an experienced adventurer and survivalist, but short of the confident superheroine she had become in the classic games. Everything from the gunplay to the puzzle-solving had clockwork efficiency, never overstaying its welcome or feeling too easy. Optional missions and tombs made the world feel as vast as the wilderness, and it was and remains a visual showpiece. The entire rebooted series is worth your time to varying degrees, but if you only play one, make it Rise of the Tomb Raider. | Steve Watts

Valkyria Chronicles

Sega’s strategy RPG series has seen a parade of uneven sequels, but the original is still the best. Putting a fantastical spin on the broad strokes of World War 2, Valkyria Chronicles stands out most for how it places its attention on a cast of colorful characters. The squad is a rogue’s gallery of infighting oddballs, and there’s real joy in watching them grow as a unit and even learn more about their inherent prejudices. This is all wrapped in a 3D strategy game that emphasizes sightlines and ally coverage, making for something truly unique. | Steve Watts

Ori And The Blind Forest

Even in a crowded field of modern Metroidvanias, Ori and the Blind Forest stands out. The debut game from Moon Studios combines intuitive exploration tools with Meatboy-like precision platforming. The story is told partly through narration, but primarily through small wordless vignettes complemented by gorgeously fluid animation. You’ll be left with platforming challenges, and a bittersweet story, that each take your breath away. | Steve Watts

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Bloodstained is a rare Kickstarter success. Director Koji Igarashi, most known for his influential work on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, set out to make an independent project that would echo the classic. The result is an obvious homage, but not one that’s content to rest on its laurels. Bloodstained introduces a versatile new Shards system that gives even more flexibility than the variety of equipment, quality-of-life improvements help modernize the familiar formula, and it balances its sense of gothic horror with light, humorous touches. Best of all the castle design reveals itself with meticulous precision, inviting the player to always explore one more corner or hidden nook. | Steve Watts

Moonlighter

If Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac had a baby, its name would be Moonlighter. When the sun is up, you play as a shopkeeper, pricing and selling your wares to the townsfolk. After dark, you become an adventurer, exploring forbidden dungeons in search of items to restock your shelves. Then you can use the cash earned from your business to expand your shop, purchase weapons and helpful items, and bring new shops to town. The two divergent styles sublimely feed into one another, creating a thoroughly enriching loop. Moonlighter was one of my absolute favorite games of 2018, because it cleverly juggles two really interesting genres. | Steven Petite

Yoku’s Island Express

One of the most novel indie games in recent memory, Yoku’s Island Express wonderfully marries the nonlinear platforming of Metroidvanias with pinball. It sounds strange for sure, but it truly works. As an undersized beetle postmaster, Yoku’s job is to deliver mail to the residents of Mokumana Island. The cute little guy rolls a ball at all times that frequently comes into play. Pinball boards, chutes, and ricochet platforms are sandwiched throughout the world, making exploration a constantly engaging and joyous experience. Filled with charming characters and bursting with collectibles and secrets to uncover, Yoku’s Island Express is a colorful platformer that offers something different than the average Metroidvania. | Steven Petite

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 marked a profound departure for Capcom’s renowned survival horror series. Originally a GameCube game (weird, right?), RE4 dropped the tank controls in favor of more traditional third-person action. More firefights, less jump scares–that’s essentially the mantra here. Starring Resident Evil 2’s Leon Kennedy, RE4 takes the Raccoon City cop to rural Spain to rescue the President’s daughter. While the story is mostly forgettable, the open, haunting environments, grisly bosses, and fine-tuned over-the-shoulder shooting still impress nearly 15 years after its release. Resident Evil 4 remains one of my favorite action games of all time. | Steven Petite

Monster Hunter: World

Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has always been huge in Japan, but it only recently went from niche to mainstream in the US. Monster Hunter World has, well, been a monster success for Capcom, standing tall as the best-selling game in studio history. World brings the addictive and challenging hunting loop to new heights. The series has always strived to make each monster feel like a true test–like you are actually squaring off against an insurmountable foe. World refines that feeling, introducing more accessible combat mechanics to utilize while hunting down some of the coolest monsters in franchise history. It’s still a complex action-RPG with many layers that don’t reveal themselves for dozens of hours, but strong systems and an emphasis on hunting with friends keeps you invested for the long haul. After making your way through World’s lengthy story, you’ll probably want to pick up Iceborne, the massive and excellent expansion. | Steven Petite

Sunset Overdrive

Years before Insomniac Games wowed audiences with the exceptional traversal system in Marvel’s Spider-Man, the studio amazed fans with the enjoyable navigational mechanics in Sunset Overdrive. Bouncing off cars, grinding on rails, and wall-running along buildings while demolishing mutant zombie-like creatures with a variety of wacky firearms and melee weapons is deeply satisfying–Sunset Overdrive was my go-to example of a video game that seamlessly mixed together combat and city traversal before Spider-Man’s release. But I still love Sunset Overdrive, largely because of how ridiculous it’s willing to go when it comes to its story and humor. If you haven’t played as the female protagonist in the game yet, you have to try it. Stephanie Lemelin voices her (she’s also Screwball in Spider-Man and Artemis in Young Justice) and her performance is so good. | Jordan Ramée

Everspace

In Everspace, you journey out into the unknown reaches of space and attempt to make it across the galaxy to uncover the answers to a strange mystery. Your efforts are constantly impeded by enemy spacecraft, asteroids, or lack of fuel so you need to fight and scavenge to ensure your survival. When your ship is destroyed, you take control of a new pilot and ship back at the start with all your in-game currency intact, buy what upgrades you can, and repeat. It’s a cycle most rogue-like fans will probably recognize but Everspace manages to add its own spin to the formula by putting its battles into space where both you and your enemies can travel in any direction–it makes for some pulse-pounding but enjoyable fights. Plus, with Everspace 2 officially announced, it’s a great time to see why fans of the first game are so excited. | Jordan Ramée

Ashen

There are a lot of games that take inspiration from From Software’s Soulsborne formula of challenging stamina-focused combat, unique bosses, depressing lore, in-game currency recovery upon death, and interconnected locations. But Ashen is one of my favorites, largely because it adds a unique progression tracker to the mix. As you journey further in Ashen’s gorgeous world and accomplish tasks for the personable characters you encounter, your settlement will grow. So what begins as an abandoned bandit camp slowly transforms into a bustling town–a thriving and loving community forged through your efforts. It’s such a satisfying feeling to see your fight against Ashen’s formidable dungeons and bosses rewarded with proof that you’re making the world a better place. | Jordan Ramée

Prey

In keeping with the Arkane Studios immersive sim theme, its reimagination of Prey in 2017 went for much different atmosphere. Stranded on the Talos I space station, you play as Morgan Yu, who uncovers the mystery behind the tragedy that struck the station while fending off the terrifying and tricky mimics that occupy the premises. There is so much to poke and prod, so many solutions to create for yourself, and all sorts of small stories around every corner that feed into what Prey’s world is. Prey tests your creativity with the given toolset and by making the most of expertly designed environments. Sure, Talos I might not be the most spectacular set piece, but it sure serves its purpose. Prey is reminiscent of Bioshock, System Shock, Deus Ex and the like, but you don’t need to be familiar with any of those games to appreciate it. | Michael Higham

Dishonored 2

What the team at Arkane Studios has done to keep pushing the immersive sim genre has been nothing short of impressive; Dishonored 2 being a prime example. While it’s a direct sequel, you can still jump into Dishonored 2 and enjoy the harrowing campaign without having played the first. Most of the game takes place in Karnaca, a seaside town inspired by Southern Europe–and as either Emily or Corvo, you’ll swoop across the city either taking out or sneaking past threats with a roster of wild abilities. This first-person action-stealth hybrid asks you to reclaim your throne from a corrupt ruler, who’s also your evil aunt, but the way in which you do it is entirely up to you, with consequences that play out accordingly. There are some incredibly well-designed and unforgettable levels in Dishonored 2 as well, like The Clockwork Mansion and A Crack In The Slab. That’s all to say that Dishonored 2 is well worth a shot, Game Pass or not. | Michael Higham

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo: The Master Chief Collection isn’t the only Halo game on Xbox Game Pass. 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians is also in the catalogue, and it’s well worth a look for those in search of a new shooter to play. The campaign mode tells an enthralling story and features a more open-ended level design structure. The multiplayer mode is top-notch, featuring the new MOBA-style Warzone mode that is the biggest and most exciting new addition to the Halo formula in years. On top of that, Halo 5’s multiplayer mode is still updated, years after release, with new community-made maps, while the Forge editor lets you play beer pong or go pod-racing inside of Halo. What more do I need to say? | Eddie Makuch

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection may have had a rocky start at launch in November 2014, but it’s a must-have for Halo fans now. The package includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4. In addition to the campaigns, nearly all of the multiplayer modes and maps are included with full matchmaking support and an improved 60FPS frame rate, which really makes a difference. Microsoft continues to support MCC with new updates regularly, while the package overall is still growing, with Halo: Reach being added later this year. MCC is an essential Xbox Game Pass title. | Eddie Makuch

Source: Game Spot Mashup