If you’ve just picked up an Xbox Series X|S, you’re probably wondering what games to pick up first. But instead of splashing the cash on all the latest triple-A games, you should think about subscribing to the Xbox Game Pass – Microsoft’s Netflix-inspired games service.
While the pass, which you can purchase from $9.99/£7.99 a month right here, offers something for everyone, it can be quite overwhelming for first-time users. The pass offers everything from classic games like Halo and Witcher 3 to more modern triple-A games like Control and Forza Horizon 4. Ultimate users also have the entire EA Play library at their fingertips too.
If all that sounds too much for you, then don’t worry, we’re going to break down the best games on the Xbox Game Pass right here for you. All you need to do is pick one or two of these absolute bangers to download on your shiny new console and you’re good to go.
The best games on Xbox Game Pass
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
If you’ve got an Xbox but you’ve not played Halo, then what are you waiting for? The Master Chief Collection includes six games, starting with Reach and ending with Halo 3: ODST, allowing you to dive into the Halo story from the very beginning.
Since some of the games are pretty old now, you’ll be happy to hear that they’ve been graphically enhanced for this collection, meaning your playthroughs should be buttery smooth.
Add in Halo multiplayer and you’ve got everything you need to become a die hard fan.
Recently remastered for the Xbox X|S, Gears 5 is third-person shooter that directly follows on from the end of Gears of War 4. While the single-player story line is pretty complex, the game’s tutorial is good at bringing you up to speed quickly. In the single-player, you’re tasked with helping Kait learn more about her family background while trying to hold back the horde.
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If a compelling single-player isn’t enough to convince you to download, maybe Gears 5’s cracking multiplayer mode will. With several online modes and a split-screen option, Gears 5 is great to play with friends.
What’s that noise? Did something just move? You’ll be asking yourself those questions and more in Alien: Isolation as you try and escape a decommissioned trading post. But in order to stay alive, you’ll need to do much more than ask questions – you’ll need to plan ahead. That’s because the Alien stalking the long, dark corridors of the post learns from every move you make, mimicking your behavior.
Whether you’re a fan of the films or you’re simply intrigued by the new and improved AI, Alien: Isolation is a game you won’t forget in a hurry.
Forza Horizon 4
Set in the idyllic British countryside, Forza Horizon 4 is a classic open world arcade racing game that quickly became an Xbox fan-favourite.
With complex missions and races, and a dynamic weather system that’ll drastically alter how cars handle the roads, Forza Horizon 4 will really put your driving skills to the test.
Rainbow Six Siege
If you’re a lover of tactical shooters, Rainbow Six Siege is absolutely the game for you. With more than 60 operators to choose from and a constantly evolving meta, Rainbow Six Siege’s gameplay will constantly keep you on your toes.
If you’re feeling particularly competitive, Rainbow Six Siege ranked mode will provide you with the necessary challenge online.
Sea of Thieves
If you’re ready to do your best Jack Sparrow impression, the shores of Sea of Thieves are waiting for you. Rare’s impressive live-service game has changed a fair bit over the last couple of years, granting swashbuckling pirates like you the chance to prove you’ve got the sea legs to survive.
Sea of Thieves is best enjoyed with friends, but it can be played alone too. Just try and stay out of the water.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Think you’ve mastered Tetris? Wrong.
Tetris Effect: Connected will put your tetrominoes placing skills to the test. Whether you decide to go it alone in the breathless single-player or online through the fast-paced cooperative online multiplayer, this is Tetris at its best.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
After all these years, The Witcher 3 is still one of the best RPG games out there. With a powerful story and meaningful side quests, The Witcher 3 will consume you time and time again.
Like the recent Netflix series, The Witcher 3 is full of action, so if you’re looking for a time sink in which you get to battle all sorts of monstrosities, toss a coin to your Witcher and hit download.
The Outer Worlds
If you’ve not played The Outer Worlds before, it’s essentially a Fallout game set in space. That’s because it’s developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the same studio behind Fallout: New Vegas.
With witty one-liners, quests that’ll push your exploration skills to the limit, and factions that’ll test your patience, The Outer Worlds is an exceptional RPG that doesn’t demand as much time as some of its brothers and sisters of the same genre.
Desperate for a new multiplayer game that you can play with friends and family? Overcooked 2 is the answer to your prayers. This cooperative cooking game puts you and your friends at the center of a busy kitchen and whacks up the heat.
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You’ll need to work together to fulfill orders, otherwise you’ll find yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire.
No Man’s Sky
If you’re looking to explore the world at your own pace, No Man’s Sky is for you. Here you can hop in a ship and explore the ever-growing world around you, while battling and interacting with its many players.
You might recall No Man’s Sky received quite a lot of flak when it launched in 2016, but it’s quite a different game now. Thanks to Sean Murray and Hello Games’ efforts to consistently improve the game with updates, this space exploration survival game keeps its passionate community guessing what’s coming next.