One of the best things Microsoft has ever created is the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. You can enjoy Game Pass via console, PC, and Android devices (currently in beta), with several subscription options available.
With hundreds of games to choose from and new ones added all the time, you may be a bit stuck on where to start. So let’s take a look at some of the best games to play on Xbox Game Pass right now.
You can sign up to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which covers both console and PC, has a range of benefits, and includes an Xbox Live Gold subscription, too. This costs $14.99/month, but there will normally be some sort of introductory subscription offer available to new sign-ups.
The other two options are Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass for Console. As you can probably tell, these are platform exclusive, so you can’t use the PC Game Pass on your console, and vice versa. The regular price for both of these services is $9.99/month.
If these gaming subscription services are your prime reason for buying a particular console, check out our article pitting PlayStation Now vs. Xbox Game Pass.
And now, the games…
The Xbox Game Pass features a number of fighters for those who enjoy a good beat ’em up. There are few big titles available to play, too. Here’s a couple of the best brawlers on Xbox Game Pass.
Two universes collide as heroes and villains from both Marvel and Capcom go fist to fist in the ultimate fight to defeat a new threat to their existence; Ultron Sigma.
Players take control of two characters for 2v2 tag action, with continuous cross-character combos made possible by this newly introduced tagging mechanic.
Set pieces are pretty epic, as you will have come to expect if you’ve played any of the Marvel vs. Capcom games before. The game’s cinematic story mode makes for a nice addition to the game.
If you are a sucker for nostalgia, then Streets of Rage 4 should be on your list of games to play. The graphics have been updated yet retain a certain old-school charm.
Streets of Rage 4 is a side-scrolling beat ’em up and, while it is a fairly short title, it is a great party game as up to four people can take part at any one time.
Fans of the original games may not favor the cartoonified graphics but they now have a certain charm about them that is reminiscent of SNK’s Metal Slug games. A great update to a classic.
Platformers are some of the best-loved of all video games. Without platformers, we wouldn’t have the likes of Mario or Sonic! Here are some of the best platformers to get to grips with on Xbox Game Pass.
The Touhou franchise takes a rest from bullet hell shmups to concentrate on a more story-driven slant with Touhou Luna Nights.
Fans of Castlevania and Metroid will love this title—it’s a Metroidvania-style game, after all. The game takes place across six levels filled with action, gorgeously animated sprites, and plenty of puzzling platform play.
If you like a challenging platformer then the brilliant 2D scroller, GoNNER – BLüEBERRY EDiTION, should tick a number of boxes. Are roguelike elements combined with frantic gameplay your bag? Then you’ll love this.
You take control of Ikk as he traverses an almost impossible procedurally generated landscape on the hunt for lost treasure to bring to his whale friend, Sally.
Be prepared to die. A lot. Don’t play this if you’re the type to throw a tantrum every time you lose a life.
Given that not all games with cars involve racing, we have opted to go with a more generalized driving genre. Get behind the virtual wheel and sate your inner speed demon with these two rubber burners.
Arcade action abounds in this awesome racing game from Curve Digital. There is a great selection of retro racing cars to choose from as you drift around the beautifully rendered polygonal tracks.
You get 16 speedways to race around, with plenty of bright, arcadey colors to take in. Between one and eight players can enjoy each game mode and you can choose from Grand Prix, Time Trial, Cops and Robbers, and the amusing Drive or Explode.
Those of you who have played the old Colin McRae Rally games (which is what the DiRT series was formerly known as) will love this 2019 title from the brilliant Codemasters.
This excursion takes you to various famous rally locations across the globe and features some of the most realistic driving physics seenin the series yet. The tracks even degrade as racers tear around them, making for new challenges on each lap of your race.
Horror games are some of the most thrilling titles around. There’s nothing quite like a jump scare while you direct your character down a lonely corridor. These two squirmers should give you the creeps.
Take control of Ethan Winters in America’s Deep South as you battle the crazed Baker family and try to find your missing wife.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard opts for a first-person perspective, with players largely exploring the Baker family mansion, pursued at all times by nefarious foes, and with a constant threat of running out of weaponry.
Dead by Daylight offers a spin on the survival horror genre in that players can control both the protagonists (up to four players) and the antagonist (just one player).
Those seeking to survive in the game (protagonists) are dropped into a shapeshifting Killing Ground and the aim is to avoid the lone killer and prevent your character from being captured, tortured, and slain.
The game mechanics are great too, with survivors playing from a third-person view and the killer playing from a first-person perspective.
Want to really immerse yourself in a game world? Then strategy and RPG games are the genre for you. There are plenty of these available on the Xbox Game Pass, but here’s a couple of great games to start you off.
Adventuring needn’t be a hectic affair and Astroneer proves that. It is a laidback sandbox adventure game that is suitable for all ages.
The game takes place on a multitude of different planets, with the player aiming to colonize each one as they hurtle around the cosmos. Kind of like Minecraft meets Fallout 4… in space.
Wizard of Legend is a glorious little roguelike with procedurally generated dungeon crawling at its heart. All rendered in delightful 16-bit, 2D graphics.
Loot tons of magical artifacts to change the gameplay as you control a wizard in this title, which is more fast-paced than your average RPG. The game features over 100 spells to enhance the experience and give you the edge over your enemies.
Finally, we’re going to take a look at a couple of bullet-blazers to give your thumbs a workout, with these awesome shoot ’em ups on Game Pass.
Do you remember those top-down shooters on consoles such as Smash TV and Total Carnage? If you do, you’ll love Xeno Crisis from indie devs Bitmap Bureau.
The game follows the form of an arena shooter, with players joining forces to defeat waves of alien attackers with a huge arsenal of ridiculous firepower at their disposal.
Get ready for fast and furious gameplay as you try to defeat hordes of Xeno threats with a limited amount of ammo.
Have you ever been ordered to kill by a banana with a brain? Us neither, but you will if you decide to pick up platform shooter, My Friend Pedro.
Blaze through levels in a flurry of bullets as you race to the end and try not to get taken out in the process. Pull off stylish set-pieces and soak in the annihilation.
The game is violent and has elements of other game genres in there too, like racing and puzzling. This is great fun for a more mature audience.
As you can see, the Xbox Game Pass has plenty of games to get stuck into. A quick trawl through the available titles will reveal even more gems and triple-AAA titles. And you can even enjoy these games across multiple platforms.
Do you own a PlayStation 4 rather than an Xbox One? Don’t worry, as there are some great games to play on PlayStation Now too.