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Xbox Free Play Days brings fighting game heat this week

The latest line-up of Xbox Free Play Days games boasts a fighting game trifecta from recent years, while sliding in an anarchical racer for you and your pals.

Xbox Free Play Days fighting games: two UFC fighters, one wearing gloves and a red outfit

Xbox Free Play Days is back again with a fearsome foursome this week. From now until Sunday, January 21, Game Pass enjoyers will be treated to a trio of top fighting games, as well as a chaotic party racer that will have you and your friends fighting for your lives on the track.

Spin-kicking off the line-up we have UFC 5 – EA’s latest addition to the long-running MMA series. Though it garnered generally positive reviews among critics, the removal of certain moves and customization features left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.

Nonetheless, it remains one of the best fighting games on Xbox, and one that you should definitely make your own mind up about while it’s free. You can take a sneak peek at UFC 5’s gameplay in the deep dive below.

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Next up we’re moving from the octagon to the squared circle with AEW Fight Forever. For those who love the feel of classic wrestling games like WWF No Mercy and early entries into the Smackdown! series, this is one for you. Featuring hardcore match types such as Lights Out and Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.

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While many wrestling fans may sleep on AEW compared to WWE, there are plenty of familiar names like Christian Cage, Chris Jericho, and Jeff Hardy on the active roster. Edge – sorry, Adam Copeland – recently joined AEW’s superstar line-up, and that means there’s a very good chance the Rated R Superstar will eventually be playable in-game.

For the weebs among us – this writer included – who love the flurry of a good Musou game, there’s One Piece Pirate Warriors 4. The game follows Luffy and Co. through six major story arcs – Alabasta, Enies Lobby; Summit War; Dressrosa; Whole Cake Island; and an original version of Wano (the game launched in 2020, long before the arc’s conclusion).

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Sporting a ‘Generally Favorable’ 75 on Metacritic, it’s a solid entry into the genre and one that even non-anime fans can enjoy. You won’t be able to enjoy the full One Piece story here, but the arc selection is enough to take you through some of the iconic series’ most pivotal moments.

Finally, there’s the odd inclusion of Make Way – an explosive, top-down multiplayer racing game that has you progressively build up your course over multiple rounds. It’s a little bit of Hot Wheels spliced with blow-’em-up racers like Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing, making for a frenetic multiplayer experience to enjoy with pals.

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As last week’s Free Play Days line-up treated us to some of the best sports games, it’s great to see that the more… physical games on our list haven’t been missed out. You won’t find any of the best games ever in your store this week, but this selection features potential gems worth unearthing.

Jumping in on the Free Play Days is also a great way to rack up those gaming hours, especially now there’s a brand new weekly Microsoft Rewards objective for Xbox players to rack up points with. Remember: points mean prizes, and there are plenty of goodies to be had.