Xbox Game Pass Ultimate continues to be one of the best values in gaming. The $15-per-month subscription grants you access to more than 350 games on Xbox Series X and Xbox One as well as 200-plus titles on PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also comes with Xbox Live Gold, so you can play online multiplayer with friends and get even more free games each month; plus, EA Play and xCloud game streaming are also included with the service. If you also consider that every first-party Microsoft game is added to Game Pass on launch day, subscribing to the service makes a ton of sense if you game on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, or PC. But with so many Xbox Game Pass titles to choose from and a limited number of hours in the day, it can be challenging to choose what to play on the service. To help you navigate the crowded library, we've rounded up the 30 best Xbox Game Pass games you can play right now.
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To be clear, there are plenty more excellent games on Xbox Game Pass than the ones we’ve listed below--the service is loaded with worthy games. These are just the games we think every Xbox owner should play. Since Microsoft routinely adds and removes games from the service, this list will be updated regularly. We arranged the following picks in alphabetical order and tried to highlight games from a wide variety of genres.
A Plague Tale: Innocence features one of the most affecting narratives we’ve experienced in a game in quite some time. Taking place during the Hundred Years’ War, A Plague Tale stars Amicia and her younger brother Hugo as they try to outrun and outsmart the Inquisition soldiers who have destroyed their home. At the center of the story is the burgeoning bond between the siblings--one that we watch grow over the course of the haunting, atmospheric adventure. A Plague Tale’s stealth gameplay hinges on clever puzzles that keep the experience of playing the game as riveting as the act of watching the story unfold. It’s simply a wonderful, underrated gem that all Xbox Game Pass subscribers should check out.
See our A Plague Tale: Innocence review.
Rocksteady had redefined the idea of what a superhero game could be with the Arkham series, and the studio's third game starring the caped crusader dialled up the action to 11 to create the ultimate Batman experience. Hard-hitting heroics, nail-biting chase sequences in the Batmobile, and a storyline focused on ghosts from the past made for a fitting finale in Rocksteady's epic trilogy.
Nintendo may have Paper Mario, but over on the Xbox there's the delightful Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling that features a trio of heroes on a quest to find fame, fortune, and immortality. Colorful, charming, and an absolute delight to play, Bug Fables is a superb mix of RPG turn-based strategy with whimsical storytelling.
Fans of platformers should play Celeste purely for the fact that it contains some of the best side-scrolling platforming sequences in recent memory. The bite-sized levels start off simple and gradually build, but they always rely on well-timed jumps and thinking ahead. In addition to being a brilliant platformer, Celeste also tells a bold story about a young woman facing her demons. Celeste offers one of the best depictions of mental health we’ve seen in a game, which makes it a must-play for more than one reason.
See our Celeste review.
Remedy at its best is a studio that mixes atmospheric level design and storytelling with tight action-heavy gameplay, and Control is a prime example of that. The game looks better than ever thanks to a current-gen upgrade, oozing creepy charisma through the walls of the ancient structure that you'll explore while also dealing with fourth-wall breaking elements that seek to control the narrative.
Destiny 2 is an intriguing option for Game Pass subscribers, even if you used to play it and fell off. The entire Destiny 2 experience is available on the service, including the most recent expansion, Beyond Light. Since Bungie plans on supporting Destiny 2 through 2022, it’s certainly not too late to jump (or jump back) on the Destiny 2 wagon. The sci-fi epic MMO has been solid since it launched in 2017, and it has only continued to evolve and improve thanks to numerous expansions. We especially recommend Destiny 2 for those looking for co-op games to play online with friends and family.
See our Destiny 2 Beyond Light review.
Bigger, bolder, and more brutal than ever, Id Software unleashed hell on Earth with Doom Eternal, much to the delight of everyone who played this sequel. Pure action from start to finish and unrelenting when the armies of the damned were thrown at you, Doom Eternal is a metal journey through the apocalypse that takes no prisoners.
Dragon Quest 11 is one of the best entries in the long-running Square Enix series. It’s a traditional JRPG through and through, with turn-based battles and an epic save-the-world story starring an unlikely hero. While Dragon Quest 11 doesn’t necessarily take any big risks, it’s a masterpiece within a genre that isn’t nearly as prevalent as it once was. That alone makes Dragon Quest 11 a wonderful game for those who yearn for JRPGs similar to those from the late '90s and early 2000s. With a colorful art design, brilliant turn-based gameplay, and a large world inhabited by interesting characters, Dragon Quest 11 is immensely satisfying and dutifully scratches the JRPG itch.
See our Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age review.
One of Microsoft’s newest exclusives, Gears Tactics cleverly applies the aesthetic and atmosphere of the franchise to a tactics game. Despite being a totally different genre, Gears Tactics still feels like a natural addition to the iconic franchise thanks to sound mechanics and great level design. Many of the notable Gears of War gameplay systems and quirks are adapted into the top-down tactical spin on the genre. With a meaningful progression system, deep but approachable tactical encounters, and a number of great boss battles, Gears Tactics is a can’t-miss experience for Gears aficionados and strategy game fans alike.
See our Gears Tactics review.
Supergiant's masterpiece of intense action, exquisite storytelling, and innovative design finally made the leap to Xbox this year, and if you have a Game Pass subscription, this is one game that's both recommended and required on any console. A roguelite that delights in sending you back to the lowest levels of the underworld when you fail, Hades is a glorious journey across the afterlife that always feels rewarding with each and every single run of its hellish gauntlet that you participate in.
If you’ve never played the Halo franchise before, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the perfect place to start. The Master Chief Collection comes with six Halo games, including remastered versions of the first two original Xbox entries. Halo features some of the very best single-player campaigns in the genre as well as extremely solid online multiplayer, at least after years of fixes and improvements. Back when the collection was originally released, the online multiplayer was spotty to say the least, but it has come a long way. Halo: The Master Chief Collection offers the best way to play some of the most heralded first-person shooters ever created.
See our Halo: The Master Chief Collection review.
Enchanting and utterly engrossing, Hollow Knight is one of the best metroidvanias ever made. Team Cherry’s adventure stars a nameless knight armed with a nail who explores a labyrinthine world known as Hallownest. With a gorgeous art style and an incredible amount of variation in the environments, Hollow Knight’s expansive world is a constant joy to explore. Challenging combat rewards those with patience and perseverance. Hollow Knight truly stands out in a fairly crowded genre. If you haven’t waded through Hallownest yet, now’s a great time to slay some insect ahead of the sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong.
See our Hollow Knight review.
Knockout City delights in teaching you the five Ds of dodgeball, and once you become an expert in dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging some more, it's a blast to the face with a high-powered rubber ball. It's also a game where every encounter can lead to a tense stand-off to see who has the quicker reflexes, as intercepting a ball and returning it to the sender makes for an exhilarating and tense gameplay mechanic across this game's varied levels, roster, and unlockable extras.
Baseball doesn't get any better than this, and after spending a few years in Sony's trenches, MLB The Show finally came home to Xbox. Everything that you could possibly want from the Major League is available here, from the updated roster of athletes to the refined simulation of the sport and finally hitting that perfect homerun.
Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise had a niche market in North America before Monster Hunter World became a massive mainstream hit. While Monster Hunter World still follows the series’ signature loop--track and eventually slay larger-than-life monsters--it makes great strides in terms of map design and combat. The vast majority of your quests could be considered boss battles, and due to the dynamic nature of the foes you encounter, World always manages to remain fresh. It’s a deeply rewarding game filled with a plethora of customization options and playstyles. It’s definitely better when playing with friends, but you can still complete the lengthy adventure solo. Though it’s not on Game Pass, the Iceborne expansion is well worth diving into after the credits roll on World.
See our Monster Hunter World review.
Yoko Taro’s mind-bending storytelling joining forces with Platinum Games’ brilliant action combat turned out to be a recipe for success in Nier: Automata. While its predecessor offered a compelling story, the combat was awkward and clunky. Automata cleans it up, offering thrilling action combat that is fluid and oozing with style. Even though the combat mechanics are top notch, the star of the show is the narrative, which has an unconventional structure with plenty of surprises. With Nier Replicant--a remastered version of the original--releasing in April, you may want to hold off on playing Automata right away, but you shouldn’t miss out on this engrossing sci-fi adventure.
See our Nier: Automata review.
We’d be remiss not to include both games in Moon Studios’ incredible Ori series. Ori and the Blind Forest and its 2020 sequel Ori and the Will of the Wisps are two of the best platformers available on Xbox. Both have stunning visuals and tell emotionally gripping stories that feed off of the atmosphere and well-drawn characters. While they are similar in terms of aesthetic and feel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is more action-oriented, whereas the Blind Forest largely focuses on platforming and exploration. The Will of the Wisps gives Ori new abilities that help them square off against daunting bosses. Both games are brilliant in their own right, and are must-play platformers on Xbox. You should play them in order to get the full emotional weight of the story.
See our Ori and the Blind Forest review and Ori and the Will of the Wisps review.
If you’re willing to test your communication skills with loved ones and friends, Overcooked 2 is a frantic and fun cooking sim with a pick-up-and-play design that makes it great for those who may only casually play games. In Overcooked 2, the goal is to prepare a variety of dishes with your teammates in a short time window. Due to dynamic kitchen layouts and a clever design that promotes teamwork, Overcooked 2 relies on constant communication with your fellow chefs. Even though racing against the clock can get stressful at times, the cartoonish graphics and breezy mechanics make it a lighthearted party game that’s great whether you’re playing local or online multiplayer.
See our Overcooked 2 review.
The first Pillars of Eternity was a thrilling study in old school RPG gameplay with a modern makeover, but its sequel outdoes the original in almost every way possible. A more confident follow-up that doubles down on its strengths while further refining its formula, Obsidian Entertainment's sophomore effort is an entertaining game filled with rich writing and easily-accessible gameplay for newcomers to the genre.
It's safe to say that there's no game like Psychonauts 2 on the market, as Double Fine's return to the cult-classic world of Razputin Aquato and the titular psychic peacekeeping agency is an absolute mind-blast of imaginative design. Fun to play and packing an emotional wallop with its exploration of several characters and a deep dive into their respective psyches, Psychonauts 2 is both a hilarious and heartfelt effort.
A complete tonal shift for the franchise, Resident Evil 7 is an incredibly creepy and thrilling return to its survival horror roots. Stuck in a decrepit mansion with an almost unkillable family of monsters, Ethan Winters had his work cut out for him in this first-person thriller. Somehow blending traditional Resident Evil themes with more modern ideas, Resident Evil 7 is one game that you're going to want to grab a few extra pairs of clean clothing for before you explore its grim and disturbing content.
Slay the Spire marries deck-building with roguelike systems to create one of the best indies in recent years. Throughout your journey up the Spire, you square off against monsters, uncover treasures, and expand your deck of cards. Slay the Spire's card-based combat is easy to get the hang of but requires trial and error to find success. While you have to start back at the beginning each time you die, you gradually earn new cards, which help you advance further the next time. It’s an intoxicating loop that makes it easy to want to try “one more time” before putting down the controller. Each of Slay the Spire’s four playable characters have unique decks, adding a ton of incentive to brave the Spire for subsequent runs after the credits roll.
See our Slay the Spire review.
One of our favorite games of 2020, Spiritfarer is a lovingly crafted resource management sim and platformer with a powerful story and charming loop. You play as Stella, a woman who becomes the Spiritfarer, the person responsible for accompanying spirits to the afterlife. Throughout Spiritfarer’s lengthy campaign, you manage and expand the ferry to help those who have departed become comfortable with their new reality. Spiritfarer is a heartfelt game filled with interesting characters, and it movingly focuses on the importance of caring for others. It has a gorgeous art style, solid platforming mechanics, and enjoyable resource management that directly ties into the narrative’s themes.
See our Spiritfarer review.
Before Insomniac Games was making a name for itself as a reliable producer of Spider-Man games for Sony, it was grabbing headlines for the wildly imaginative Sunset Overdrive. Pure attitude, unbridled creativity, and fun, the zombie apocalypse brought on by a virulent energy drink was far more enjoyable than it had any right to be. An absolute blast of punk rock energy and deadly firepower, Sunset Overdrive is still the perfect game for anyone who's sick of taking cover behind some nearby crates.
Tetris really doesn’t need an introduction. It’s arguably the greatest game of all time, but not every spin on Tetris has been great. Tetris Effect Connected, however, takes classic Tetris and makes it bright and lively again. Tetris Effect beautifully incorporates music and special effects to the Tetris formula. The hypnotic soundtrack includes jazz, electronic, and piano tracks that change the color of the tetrominoes as well as react to your movements. The audio experience blends well with the mesmerizing particle effects that surround the grid while clearing lines. It’s still Tetris, but it’s a genuinely captivating iteration of the all-time classic. The newer “Connected” edition adds new co-op and competitive modes, which rounds out an already fantastic puzzle game package.
See our Tetris Effect Connected review.
Respawn Entertainment's first Titanfall game set the stage for a massively enjoyable multiplayer game about man versus massive mechanized warsuits, but its first--and sadly only--sequel polished those ideas to a mirror finish. Every nut and bolt had been tightened, gameplay was further refined, and online multiplayer is still a blast to play, but the real triumph of Titanfall 2 is a single-player campaign that still stands as one of the very best stories in all of gaming.
It's difficult to explain Undertale without giving the entire plot away, but at its very core, this 2D RPG from 2015 is still an indie game masterpiece. As a child who has a fallen into a world of monsters who hunger for your soul, it's up to you to find a way back home and preserve your very being in the process. Described as a game where no one has to die, Undertale is bizarre, memorable, and haunting stuff, but it's also a superb title to grab through Game Pass.
Imagine if the best Legend of Zelda and Metroidvanias were merged into one title, and you'd have a good idea of what to expect from Unsighted. Developer Studio Pixel Punk's love letter to the past is an absolute blast to play, but it also has several original ideas of its own to add to the mix, a staggering amount of content, and a soundtrack that's a certified banger.
While most video games are entertaining distractions from life, What Remains of Edith Finch is a departure from the norm with its focus on loss, grief, and sadness. An emotionally profound game, developer Giant Sparrow's poignant tale will stay with you long after the end credits have rolled, thanks to a melancholic journey that reminds everyone who plays it that life may be a tragedy, but moving on and into the unknown is the only way forward.
After years of busting heads with the Dragon of Dojima, Yakuza: Like a Dragon came along to chart a new course for the long-running Sega franchise. Replacing Kiryu Kazama was the newly-paroled Ichiban Kasuga, a thug with a heart of gold who soon found himself caught in the middle of a vast conspiracy in the Japanese underworld. One other big change that Yakuza: Like a Dragon made was to its combat, as the game pulled heavily from classic Dragon Quest adventures to create a fresh spin on the RPG genre. Heavy on story and action, the latest Yakuza is a stunning new chapter for the series.
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