After 11 years of service, Microsoft is retiring the Xbox Live Gold subscription service and replacing it with a new tier suited to its extremely popular Game Pass service. No longer will Games with Gold disappoint you, but instead, you’ll have a range of Xbox Game Pass Core games to enjoy as part of your ongoing subscription.
From indie delights to some of the best Xbox Game Pass games available, the selection that Xbox has curated for the Game Pass Core tier is pretty excellent, even if it’s just a smaller pool of games from the higher tiers. But, it’s an excellent gateway into experiencing the full Xbox Game Pass games library, with some of the best Xbox Series X games on offer.
All 19 Xbox Game Pass Core games
Here’s the full list of Xbox Game Pass Core games available right now:
- Fallout 4
- Fallout 76
- Among Us
- Dishonored 2
- Fable Anniversary
- Doom Eternal
- Gears 5
- Elder Scrolls Online
- Forza Horizon 4
- Halo 5 Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Human Fall Flat
- Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Psychonauts 2
- State of Decay 2
Before we go into detail on some of the titles above, we’re only going to focus on some of the biggest inclusions into Game Pass Core. However, all of the above games are excellent to play.
Fallout 4 is typically argued as one of the best RPG games, and it’s not hard to see why. The latest single-player entry into the long-running series, Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic RPG that offers a huge world to explore, choices to make, and both creatures or survivors to defeat as you try to deal with the consequences of a newly destroyed world.
If the vanilla game gets too boring for you, there’s also a range of mods to make it even more interesting. Just make sure you don’t install a whole bunch of mods and crash your game.
Fallout 76 is a prequel to the series, and instead of being a single-player game like the rest of the series, it’s a multiplayer version. This means that, since launch, it has had a range of events and new content added to it to make it a pretty expansive game, and you don’t need to play with friends to enjoy it.
Look, we know you’ve heard about all the problems this game had. But, Bethesda has put in the work to try and make amends to the Fallout fanbase, and while it isn’t your standard adventure that you may expect from the series, Fallout 76 is a lot better now than it was at launch.
What could we possibly say about the viral hit Among Us that no one else has said? This social deception game tasks you with either being a crewmate or an impostor, with the former trying to save the ship and the impostor trying to kill everyone and cause chaos.
It spawned plenty of memes that you’ve likely seen, but regardless, Among Us is a simple and fun title that you can play with friends. In fact, we’d say it’s one of the best co-op games right now and will be for quite some time.
One of Arkane’s best games, Dishonored 2 is an action-adventure game with a focus on stealth and quick-thinking. While it’s a sequel to the beloved Dishonored game, it isn’t required to play the first before diving into this one. In Dishonored 2, you’ll need to take on a variety of missions using your own set of powers and weapons, with numerous ways of handling each and every quest.
You can play as either Corvo, the assassin from the first game, or Emily, the kidnapped pseudo-daughter of Corvo from the first game. But, since Corvo was the hero in its predecessor, we recommend going with Emily for the sequel. At least, for your first run.
A remaster of the first game from the incredible Fable series, Fable Anniversary is one of the best Xbox RPG games, and if you have yet to play an entry in the series, then it’s a great time ahead of the new Fable release date coming up.
In Fable Anniversary, you are a hero of your own creation, asked to help characters around the world in a variety of quests. However, if you prefer to take things a bit too far, you can choose to align with the good or evil within yourself. The power is in your hands.
A game so good that it finds itself on our best games of all time list, Doom Eternal is the culmination of everything that the long-running franchise stands for. Becoming the Doom Guy once again, you’ll rip and tear through all of the demons you possibly can in an attempt to stop the Icon of Sin from destroying mankind.
Armed with a variety of exciting and dangerous weapons, a bunch of great abilities, and one of the best videogame soundtracks out there, Doom Eternal is easily one of the greatest FPS games available right now. And we’d argue that you should put it at the top of your ‘play next’ list.
With Gears 5 being the fifth mainline installment in the series, it’s hard to summarize the events of five games, so we’ll summarize this entry in the Game Pass Core games list by giving you a rundown on why you need to play Gears 5.
Offering a story with some very emotional beats, the biggest strength Gears 5 has is its excellent third-person shooter gameplay with some killer boss fights. Gears 5 may leave you confused if you haven’t played any of the other games, but the gameplay makes the ride worth taking.
Elder Scrolls Online
One of the best MMORPGs in the Xbox lineup, and a great title to spend time with ahead of the Elder Scrolls 6 release date, Elder Scrolls Online has a lot of content after almost 10 years of existence, and you can play most of it with your Game Pass Core subscription.
With an open world to explore, and complete freedom to become the worthy adventurer you want to be, Elder Scrolls Online offers you a new way into the long-running Elder Scrolls series, allowing you to finally play with friends in the world of Tamriel. And unlike how it was at launch, Elder Scrolls Online no longer requires a subscription to the game.
Easily one of the best Xbox survival games, and one of Obsidian’s most interesting additions to its portfolio of games, Grounded takes you into the big world of the little creatures, offering a ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’-like experience with the survival genre.
You’ll need to survive against ants, mites, and worst of all, spiders, who are now much bigger than you experience them in your day-to-day life, all while following the story, eating and drinking, and more.
Forza Horizon 4
While it isn’t the best Xbox racing game anymore, thanks to its successor taking the top spot, Forza Horizon 4 is still an excellent open world racing game offering some of the best-in-class driving, gameplay, and more.
Taking you to the not-so-sunny environments of Great Britain, Forza Horizon 4 offers a wide range of content for you to experience. And since you’re hitting the finish line later than most, you’ll have all of the updates and changes on offer.
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
One of the most unique action-adventure games in recent memory, Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice tasks players with becoming the titular Senua, a Pict warrior, who wants to save the soul of her dead lover, Dillion, from the goddess Hela.
It’s an uncomfortable experience, offering little-to-no HUD, methodical combat, and a look into the mind of someone suffering from psychosis. It’s dark, grim, and a piece of art worth experiencing. It’s also a great time to give it a try, with the Hellblade 2 release date coming up.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
With universal critical acclaim and one of the most interesting games in Xbox’s portfolio, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a 2D metroidvania with equal heart and passion poured into it, offering one of the most beautiful games available out there.
Similar to most Metroidvania games, you’ll play through a portion of the world, upgrade, and return back to enter previously inaccessible areas. So, if you like going back to an earlier part of a game to see how you’ve improved, you’ll love Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
The sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts, and one that improves on its predecessor in almost every way, Psychonauts 2 is the best example of how to make an exciting successor to a highly-acclaimed first game.
In Psychonauts 2, you play as Raz, a young acrobat who is training alongside the Psychonauts, a group of individuals with psychic powers to stop others who want to use their powers for nefarious purposes. It offers excellent platforming, levels, visuals, and more to top off some great gameplay.
Is Xbox Game Pass Core worth getting?
With Xbox Game Pass Core replacing Xbox Live Gold, you’ll need it to play online in most games. However, as a standard subscription, Game Pass Core offers many exciting games that showcase the best of the best of the Game Pass library, and as such, is definitely worth getting on its own merits.
That being said, if you can spring a bit extra for Game Pass Ultimate, it’s definitely worth being able to play the existing Game Pass games, as well as any additional games that will come to the service.
That’s the full lineup of Xbox Game Pass Core games available right now. We’ll be sure to update this article when any games leave or join the Core library, but for now, you can also check out the best free Xbox games if you want something else to play with your Xbox Series X|S console.