The Best Xbox Game Pass Games (March 2020)
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
What games should you play on Xbox Game Pass?
Right now, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass library has well over 100 games available for current subscribers. While the service can be seen as something like Netflix for games, Game Pass presents a lot more bang for your buck, allowing you to dive into the latest AAA games or some older, lesser-known titles that may have been overlooked. With so many to pick from, GameSpot is here to help you pick out the absolute best titles included in your subscription.
As we're getting ready for the launch of Microsoft's next-gen console Xbox Series X, now's a great time to get acquainted with the offerings in the Game Pass library. Currently, the service presents a curated list encompassing over a decade's worth of games from the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One libraries. As the selection has grown over the years, the Game Pass service has been an excellent opportunity for fans to discover new games and explore genres that they wouldn't think to try out before. It's also a stellar way to revisit some of the Xbox's previous hits, even dating back to the original Xbox from 2001.
Game Pass has gone further by including new releases on launch day, allowing subscribers to play the newest games right when they come out. Recently, Ori and the Will of the Wisps just launched on the service, following in the footsteps of other big Xbox games like Gears 5 and The Outer Worlds, letting you enjoy full-price games for a low monthly fee. For new members of Game Pass, it can be a bit daunting trying to find a new game to play on the service, whether that's throwback like Fallout: New Vegas, Ninja Gaiden II or even newer games like Untitled Goose Game or Outer Wilds. So with that, here are our top picks for games you can play on Xbox Game Pass right now.
Looking to try out Xbox Game Pass? Game Pass for PC currently costs $5 a month, while Game Pass for console will cost you $10 a month. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which combines Xbox Live Gold with Game Pass for both console and PC, will cost you $15, getting you free monthly games, exclusive discounts, and, of course, access to the ever-rotating library of Game Pass titles. You can get your first month of Game Pass Ultimate for $1.
Ori And The Will Of The Wisps
"The story in Will of the Wisps is often darker, and even its touching moments are more bittersweet. The chief antagonist, an owl named Shriek, is similar to the first game's Kuro in having suffered a tragedy in the past. But how the story addresses that tragedy is significantly sadder, and stands as a moment of haunting animation that will stay with me more than any other single image from the game. Even the moments of finality that end the story, while appropriately heroic and hopeful, are tinged with quiet sadness and inevitability--the sense that everything ends." | Steve Watts
Read Steve's Ori and Will of the Wisps review.
Untitled Goose Game
"The important thing is that Untitled Goose Game is a hoot. It's a comedy game that focuses on making the act of playing it funny, rather than simply being a game that features jokes. Wishing that it was longer speaks to how much fun I had with it. There's nothing else quite like Untitled Goose Game; it's charming and cute despite being mean, and both very silly and very clever. It's also probably the best non-racing game ever to feature a dedicated "honk" button." | James O'Connor
Read James' Untitled Goose Game review.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
"In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the sacred is always at war with the profane, and beauty is always at war with blood. The series has always contrasted its world's physical glamor with its intrinsic violence, but never has that contrast been this uneasy, this convulsive. That The Witcher 3 depicts the immediate brutality of battle in great detail is not a surprise; many games fill the screen with decapitated heads and gory entrails. It's the way this incredible adventure portrays the personal tragedies and underhanded opportunities that such battles provide that makes it so extraordinary." | Kevin VanOrd
Read Kevin's The Witcher 3 review.
"Gears 5 is very much a return of those best elements of Gears of War, but with a focus on making the game feel somewhat more adaptive to your particular ways of playing. Whether you want campaign or co-op, Competitive or Quickplay, there's an option for you in Gears 5, and plenty of stuff to reward you for time spent and skill gained. Gears 5 might suffer from some of the same storytelling missteps as its predecessors, and it might not venture far out of the past, but the new ideas it brings to the series are all good reasons for fans to return." | Phil Hornshaw
Read Phil's Gears 5 review.
Fallout: New Vegas
The Outer Worlds features some incredibly well-crafted role-playing mechanics that we haven't seen in some time. Yet, it's all very much building off of what developer Obsidian Entertainment designed from Fallout: New Vegas, their previous effort exploring the wastelands of post-world war Nevada. Released in 2010, Fallout: New Vegas was the follow up to Bethesda's Fallout 3, a revival of the post-apocalyptic RPG for the modern era. While that game featured great mechanics that helped revitalize the series, New Vegas would be the one to propel those ideas to new heights. With such a massive open world to explore and a far more involved story that could go in several different directions compared to the previous game, Obsidian's RPG offered up an incredible amount of choice as the protagonist's odyssey across an irradiated landscape. Ten years later, Fallout: New Vegas still stands as one of the finest games in the series and has only gotten better with age. | Alessandro Fillari
What Remains Of Edith Finch
Coming from Giant Sparrow, What Remains of Edith Finch is an incredibly profound look at the decay of a family over a century. While exploring the household, you'll discover hidden clues about particular members of the family, offering you a view of their final moments of life. The term "walking simulator" has become something of a pejorative to describe games of a particular pace and scope. However, Giant Sparrow's narrative-driven adventure takes that basic conceit and runs with it. It offers a sobering yet life-affirming look at the state of a family, and what you leave behind for your loved ones. | Alessandro Fillari
Devil May Cry 5
While Ninja Theory's attempted reboot for Devil May Cry was a solid action game in its own right, there is something uniquely gratifying about returning to the original series with Devil May Cry 5. Reveling in that familiar stylish action that Capcom has refined since the original's debut, the latest entry features some of the most jaw-dropping and over-the-top action-sequences that I've ever seen in an action game. Getting a feel of the incredibly intricate and varied play styles is what makes Devil May Cry 5 so satisfying to dive into, especially with its three playable characters. When it all clicks, and you manage to nail a super stylish combo that finishes with Nero surfacing on top of a rocket propelled robotic arm, this stellar action game offers up some of the finest moments of action that the franchise has seen yet. | Alessandro Fillari
The Outer Worlds
First of all, The Outer Worlds just launched. It's hard to beat playing a totally new game at no extra cost, right? Outer Worlds itself is all about value too: the space-faring RPG is set in a hyper-capitalist universe dominated by monolith corporations. If you've played the recent Fallout games, you'll feel right at home here--New Vegas developer Obsidian is behind this game, after all. That means you've got engaging quests to complete, heavy dialogue choices to make, fun weapons to wield, and lively planets to explore. And it's all topped off with clever writing and complicated characters. | Tony Wilson
The Banner Saga 1-3
I won't beat around the bush: the Banner Saga games are hard. Their brand of tactical turn-based battles requires you to make smart use of every unit's movement, attacks, and special skills. The games aren't forgiving outside of battle either: in each of the three adventures, you'll have to make tough choices for your caravan, choosing when to charge into battle, rest and heal up, and distribute resources. On top of that, each decision you make can change the outcome of the story. Endure all of this, and you'll be rewarded with an engaging saga rooted in Norse mythology, complemented by a gorgeous art style. | Tony Wilson
Panzer Dragoon Orta
In many ways the original Xbox was a safety net for post-Dreamcast Sega, evident by the fact that the publisher brought many of its most popular and important franchises exclusively to Microsoft's beefy console, offering up sequels to games like Jet Set Radio, Out Run, The House of The Dead, and many more. For many die-hard Sega fans, at the time, there was no more important Sega Xbox game than Panzer Dragoon Orta. It's an on-rails shooter that offers a decent challenge, especially if you want to earn high ranks, but the true draw of Orta, like its predecessors, is the fascinating world in which it's set. The leap from Saturn to Xbox gave Sega a chance to flesh out the look and feel of the Dragon-fueled fantasy more than ever before, and now, on Xbox One X, you can enjoy Orta in 4K. It's an excellent inclusion in the Game Pass catalog, and with remakes of the first two games on the way (as revealed during a previous Nintendo Direct) now is a great time to give Orta a try. | Peter Brown
A beach party in which a group of teens deal with old relationships, hangups, and traumas quickly careens into spooky territory in Oxenfree. Developer Night School Studios tells a ghost story steeped in history, while putting a big focus on interpersonal interactions as you make decisions about how things develop between protagonist Alex and her friends. It's the writing that makes Oxenfree a great experience; it's full of conversation decisions as you work through its story. There's also no shortage of spookiness to be had as you capture radio signals from the great beyond and try to figure out what's haunting the island on which you're stuck overnight. | Phil Hornshaw
There might not be any better realization of a movie franchise in the form of a video game than Alien: Isolation. Acting as a sequel to director Ridley Scott's famous sci-fi horror film, Alien, developer Creative Assembly perfectly captures the look and feel of the movie's environments, as well as the ingeniously deadly creature at its center. Alien: Isolation feels like Alien in a way that no other game has managed, and the monster haunting the halls of Sevastopol, its space station setting, is frighteningly realistic and incredibly deadly. Isolation is a tough game, but for fans of the Alien franchise, it's one you shouldn't miss. | Phil Hornshaw
At the height of BioWare's powers came Mass Effect, its expansive space opera action-RPG that created a massive futuristic world, full of ancient evil, interstellar intrigue, and phenomenal characters. There's a reason the franchise still has so many fans today--more than anything else, Mass Effect's Commander Shepard and their host of alien companions have engrained themselves in the gaming landscape. Though the first Mass Effect in the franchise is the most deliberate and plodding (there are so many planets to drive around on, and not much to find on them), it also sets up a fascinating world that's still among the best sci-fi franchises in gaming. | Phil Hornshaw
Into The Breach
The great thing about Into the Breach is how much it does with simplicity. The creators of FTL: Faster Than Light adapt their small-scale approach to turn-based strategy, and it uses a chest-like approach that balances straight combat with spatial awareness to make for some fun, intense battles. You're not just protecting cities from the invading insect-like Vek by shooting them, you're stepping between the creatures and their prey, using explosions to knock Vek away from buildings, or using your weapons to turn the Vek against one another. Into the Breach is a brilliant, tough strategy game that's easy to get lost in as you fight to save humanity from its insectile enemies. | Phli Hornshaw
Battle Chef Brigade
In Battle Chef Brigade, you play as Mina, a young woman who sneaks into an academy that trains the kingdom's knights in both the arts of battle and cooking. Gameplay wise, this translates into competitions where you must hunt down specific monsters and then cook together the right ingredients by completing Puyo Puyo-style puzzles. It's a frantic race against your opponents that tests your abilities in hack-and-slash combat, puzzle-solving, and time management--and there's a wonderfully realized story tying the whole experience together. The game's music and characters are excellent too. | Jordan Ramée
Rocket League is, without reservation, the most creative sports games of this generation. The concept of cars playing soccer on a course built for daring wall rides and airborne antics is only as good as the execution. Without doubt, Rocket League's developer, Psyonix, proved that it knows not only how to make an unconventional idea work, but that it can deliver a solid amount of extra content, along with competitive trappings, to maintain the relevance of its flagship game years after its debut. Rocket League is one of those games that just gets better with age, and it, like many of the titles on this list, is one of the many great reasons to consider singing up for Xbox Game Pass. | Peter Brown
Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
Rare has been known to bring its own unique twist to games, so when it announced Viva Piñata, a farming sim of sorts, we should have known it would be anything but predictable. The game focuses on cultivating and breeding piñatas--live animals with deliciously punny names like Chewnicorn and Sherbat. You will attract new species of piñatas based on the conditions of your garden and the other piñatas living there, making you the caretaker of a flourishing candy ecosystem. It’s a singularly relaxing, friendly experience. While both Viva Piñata and its sequel are on Game Pass, Trouble in Paradise is virtually an expansion to the original, improving on it in almost every way. If you want to get your first sweet taste of candy critters, it’s the one to play. | Steve Watts
Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of the classic Tomb Raider franchise has been lauded, but its second game is where the studio hit its peak. In it we saw Lara Croft as an experienced adventurer and survivalist, but short of the confident superheroine she had become in the classic games. Everything from the gunplay to the puzzle-solving had clockwork efficiency, never overstaying its welcome or feeling too easy. Optional missions and tombs made the world feel as vast as the wilderness, and it was and remains a visual showpiece. The entire rebooted series is worth your time to varying degrees, but if you only play one, make it Rise of the Tomb Raider. | Steve Watts
Sega’s strategy RPG series has seen a parade of uneven sequels, but the original is still the best. Putting a fantastical spin on the broad strokes of World War 2, Valkyria Chronicles stands out most for how it places its attention on a cast of colorful characters. The squad is a rogue’s gallery of infighting oddballs, and there’s real joy in watching them grow as a unit and even learn more about their inherent prejudices. This is all wrapped in a 3D strategy game that emphasizes sightlines and ally coverage, making for something truly unique. | Steve Watts
Ori And The Blind Forest
Even in a crowded field of modern Metroidvanias, Ori and the Blind Forest stands out. The debut game from Moon Studios combines intuitive exploration tools with Meatboy-like precision platforming. The story is told partly through narration, but primarily through small wordless vignettes complemented by gorgeously fluid animation. You’ll be left with platforming challenges, and a bittersweet story, that each take your breath away. | Steve Watts
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained is a rare Kickstarter success. Director Koji Igarashi, most known for his influential work on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, set out to make an independent project that would echo the classic. The result is an obvious homage, but not one that’s content to rest on its laurels. Bloodstained introduces a versatile new Shards system that gives even more flexibility than the variety of equipment, quality-of-life improvements help modernize the familiar formula, and it balances its sense of gothic horror with light, humorous touches. Best of all the castle design reveals itself with meticulous precision, inviting the player to always explore one more corner or hidden nook. | Steve Watts
If Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac had a baby, its name would be Moonlighter. When the sun is up, you play as a shopkeeper, pricing and selling your wares to the townsfolk. After dark, you become an adventurer, exploring forbidden dungeons in search of items to restock your shelves. Then you can use the cash earned from your business to expand your shop, purchase weapons and helpful items, and bring new shops to town. The two divergent styles sublimely feed into one another, creating a thoroughly enriching loop. Moonlighter was one of my absolute favorite games of 2018, because it cleverly juggles two really interesting genres. | Steven Petite
Yoku’s Island Express
One of the most novel indie games in recent memory, Yoku’s Island Express wonderfully marries the nonlinear platforming of Metroidvanias with pinball. It sounds strange for sure, but it truly works. As an undersized beetle postmaster, Yoku’s job is to deliver mail to the residents of Mokumana Island. The cute little guy rolls a ball at all times that frequently comes into play. Pinball boards, chutes, and ricochet platforms are sandwiched throughout the world, making exploration a constantly engaging and joyous experience. Filled with charming characters and bursting with collectibles and secrets to uncover, Yoku’s Island Express is a colorful platformer that offers something different than the average Metroidvania. | Steven Petite
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 marked a profound departure for Capcom’s renowned survival horror series. Originally a GameCube game (weird, right?), RE4 dropped the tank controls in favor of more traditional third-person action. More firefights, less jump scares--that’s essentially the mantra here. Starring Resident Evil 2’s Leon Kennedy, RE4 takes the Raccoon City cop to rural Spain to rescue the President’s daughter. While the story is mostly forgettable, the open, haunting environments, grisly bosses, and fine-tuned over-the-shoulder shooting still impress nearly 15 years after its release. Resident Evil 4 remains one of my favorite action games of all time. | Steven Petite
Monster Hunter: World
Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has always been huge in Japan, but it only recently went from niche to mainstream in the US. Monster Hunter World has, well, been a monster success for Capcom, standing tall as the best-selling game in studio history. World brings the addictive and challenging hunting loop to new heights. The series has always strived to make each monster feel like a true test--like you are actually squaring off against an insurmountable foe. World refines that feeling, introducing more accessible combat mechanics to utilize while hunting down some of the coolest monsters in franchise history. It’s still a complex action-RPG with many layers that don’t reveal themselves for dozens of hours, but strong systems and an emphasis on hunting with friends keeps you invested for the long haul. After making your way through World’s lengthy story, you’ll probably want to pick up Iceborne, the massive and excellent expansion. | Steven Petite
Years before Insomniac Games wowed audiences with the exceptional traversal system in Marvel's Spider-Man, the studio amazed fans with the enjoyable navigational mechanics in Sunset Overdrive. Bouncing off cars, grinding on rails, and wall-running along buildings while demolishing mutant zombie-like creatures with a variety of wacky firearms and melee weapons is deeply satisfying--Sunset Overdrive was my go-to example of a video game that seamlessly mixed together combat and city traversal before Spider-Man's release. But I still love Sunset Overdrive, largely because of how ridiculous it's willing to go when it comes to its story and humor. If you haven't played as the female protagonist in the game yet, you have to try it. Stephanie Lemelin voices her (she's also Screwball in Spider-Man and Artemis in Young Justice) and her performance is so good. | Jordan Ramée
In Everspace, you journey out into the unknown reaches of space and attempt to make it across the galaxy to uncover the answers to a strange mystery. Your efforts are constantly impeded by enemy spacecraft, asteroids, or lack of fuel so you need to fight and scavenge to ensure your survival. When your ship is destroyed, you take control of a new pilot and ship back at the start with all your in-game currency intact, buy what upgrades you can, and repeat. It's a cycle most rogue-like fans will probably recognize but Everspace manages to add its own spin to the formula by putting its battles into space where both you and your enemies can travel in any direction--it makes for some pulse-pounding but enjoyable fights. Plus, with Everspace 2 officially announced, it's a great time to see why fans of the first game are so excited. | Jordan Ramée
There are a lot of games that take inspiration from From Software's Soulsborne formula of challenging stamina-focused combat, unique bosses, depressing lore, in-game currency recovery upon death, and interconnected locations. But Ashen is one of my favorites, largely because it adds a unique progression tracker to the mix. As you journey further in Ashen's gorgeous world and accomplish tasks for the personable characters you encounter, your settlement will grow. So what begins as an abandoned bandit camp slowly transforms into a bustling town--a thriving and loving community forged through your efforts. It's such a satisfying feeling to see your fight against Ashen's formidable dungeons and bosses rewarded with proof that you're making the world a better place. | Jordan Ramée
In keeping with the Arkane Studios immersive sim theme, its reimagination of Prey in 2017 went for much different atmosphere. Stranded on the Talos I space station, you play as Morgan Yu, who uncovers the mystery behind the tragedy that struck the station while fending off the terrifying and tricky mimics that occupy the premises. There is so much to poke and prod, so many solutions to create for yourself, and all sorts of small stories around every corner that feed into what Prey’s world is. Prey tests your creativity with the given toolset and by making the most of expertly designed environments. Sure, Talos I might not be the most spectacular set piece, but it sure serves its purpose. Prey is reminiscent of Bioshock, System Shock, Deus Ex and the like, but you don’t need to be familiar with any of those games to appreciate it. | Michael Higham
What the team at Arkane Studios has done to keep pushing the immersive sim genre has been nothing short of impressive; Dishonored 2 being a prime example. While it’s a direct sequel, you can still jump into Dishonored 2 and enjoy the harrowing campaign without having played the first. Most of the game takes place in Karnaca, a seaside town inspired by Southern Europe--and as either Emily or Corvo, you’ll swoop across the city either taking out or sneaking past threats with a roster of wild abilities. This first-person action-stealth hybrid asks you to reclaim your throne from a corrupt ruler, who’s also your evil aunt, but the way in which you do it is entirely up to you, with consequences that play out accordingly. There are some incredibly well-designed and unforgettable levels in Dishonored 2 as well, like The Clockwork Mansion and A Crack In The Slab. That's all to say that Dishonored 2 is well worth a shot, Game Pass or not. | Michael Higham
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo: The Master Chief Collection isn't the only Halo game on Xbox Game Pass. 2015's Halo 5: Guardians is also in the catalogue, and it's well worth a look for those in search of a new shooter to play. The campaign mode tells an enthralling story and features a more open-ended level design structure. The multiplayer mode is top-notch, featuring the new MOBA-style Warzone mode that is the biggest and most exciting new addition to the Halo formula in years. On top of that, Halo 5's multiplayer mode is still updated, years after release, with new community-made maps, while the Forge editor lets you play beer pong or go pod-racing inside of Halo. What more do I need to say? | Eddie Makuch
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: The Master Chief Collection may have had a rocky start at launch in November 2014, but it's a must-have for Halo fans now. The package includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4. In addition to the campaigns, nearly all of the multiplayer modes and maps are included with full matchmaking support and an improved 60FPS frame rate, which really makes a difference. Microsoft continues to support MCC with new updates regularly, while the package overall is still growing, with Halo: Reach being added later this year. MCC is an essential Xbox Game Pass title. | Eddie Makuch
The Surge 2
Deck13's The Surge 2 proved to a worthy sequel that realized the potential of the original's attempts to show off a grim and incredibly grotesque side of cyberpunk fiction. Essentially a sci-fi take on the formula of laid out by Dark Souls, The Surge 2 places you in control of a character in an exosuit who explores a ruined city and faces off against countless technological horrors that push the envelope on bio-mechanical terror. Getting into the game's systems will allow you to get suited to the game's complex combat and rewarding combat mechanics, with each fight giving you access to more sophisticated tools for your protagonist. If you're looking to dive into a game that scratches that souls-style itch, then you can't go wrong with The Surge 2. | Alessandro Fillari
"Despite the Yakuza series' cult status, mainstream success has eluded it in the west. If you've never played a Yakuza game before, however, Yakuza Zero is a logical place to test the waters for yourself. It's the series' debut on PlayStation 4, and as a prequel to the first Yakuza game, it doesn't rely on preexisting knowledge of its principal characters. More importantly, you should play Zero because it's a fascinating game that combines equal parts drama and comedy, and is unlike anything else out there at the moment." | Peter Brown
Read Peter's Yakuza 0 review.
"There's nothing quite like the bright, beautiful, and sometimes distraught world of Indivisible. It's one that wears its Southeast/South Asian influences on its sleeve, and pulls you into places you want to be in with characters you want to be around. Developer Lab Zero blends several genre elements to create a system of combat and platforming that flows seamlessly between Indivisible's seemingly disparate parts. It has so much going for it that it's disappointing when heartfelt exchanges and pivotal moments lack the gravitas they deserve or are simply glossed over. While Indivisible has trouble following through narratively, I can't shake its enjoyable moments and the sense of cultural visibility it gives a region I'm connected to." | Michael Higham
Read Michael's Indivisible review.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
"Good aerial combat is important for a game involving jet fighters, but it's a given quality for Ace Combat. Skies Unknown boasts a beautiful photorealistic world, entertaining mission variety, and a reason to get excited about clouds. But most importantly, it carries renewed devotion to the history and stories of its fictional universe, and with that, it brings back the human, emotional center that makes it remarkable. Ace Combat 7 is a fantastic return for a series that is at its best when it wears its heart on its wings." | Edmond Tran
Read Edmond's Ace Combat 7 review.
"In Wolfenstein's alternate 1980s, Nazis remain a tyrannical force of evil and oppression across Europe, even after Hitler was killed by series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz. Thus, the Nazi killing continues as the Blazkowicz twins, Jess and Soph, pick up where their parents left off for a spin-off in Wolfenstein: Youngblood--a relentless co-op shooter driven by an unapologetic, youthful attitude. It may not reach the same narrative heights of its predecessors or land every idea borne out in its new approach, but Youngblood hits where it counts." | Michael Higham
Read Michael's Wolfenstein: Youngblood review.
Kingdom Hearts III
"The story of Keyblade wars, time-travelling villains, body-hopping also-rans, and world-ending darkness isn't what I'll remember about Kingdom Hearts 3 or the series as a whole. What sticks with me is the exciting battle against elemental titans with Hercules, taking Rapunzel out into the unfamiliar wide world for the first time, snapping selfies with Winnie the Pooh, and going toe to toe with Davy Jones. In 2002, as Sora, I left Destiny Islands to travel across the universe and make new friends. In 2019 I brought old ones home, and I had so much fun doing it." | Tamoor Hussain
Read Tamoor's Kingdom Hearts III review.
Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition
"One of the first things you see when you boot up the game is this claim "A Final Fantasy for fans and first-timers." It's a strange statement; fans can't agree on what makes a good Final Fantasy game, and who knows why newcomers shied away from the series in the past. It's been a long ten years since Final Fantasy XV was first revealed, and tastes have changed in the meantime. While it's safe to assume fans and outsiders will find some aspect of Final Fantasy XV disappointing--be it the shallow story or finnicky Astrals--it would be hard for anyone to deny that Final Fantasy XV is a fascinating game after giving it a chance. Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy XV's beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day." | Peter Brown
Read Peter's Final Fantasy XV review.
Ninja Gaiden II
The sequel to Team Ninja's incredibly challenging and gory 2004 reboot not only continued on with the story of the super-ninja Ryu Hayabusa, but also pushed the challenge and violence even further. Ninja Gaiden II was a leaner and meaner sequel, streamlining the adventure elements to focus more on the core action, and it turned out to be a great move. The sequel was infamous for its difficulty--which was toned down for its re-releases on PS3--but getting accustomed to its challenge offered up some satisfying moments of action that still stands up today. | Alessandro Fillari
"Jump Force is a worthy celebration of the legacy of Shonen Jump manga, but it honors its source material a little too well with how filler-heavy the middle of its story arc is. However, even if the game rarely provides a clear motivation for stopping evil other than good must always oppose it, the act of stomping out villains in Jump Force's frantic bouts of tag-team arena combat is an enjoyable test of strategy. And with over 40 characters to master, there's ample opportunity to develop new strategies and reach greater feats of combat prowess in online multiplayer." | Jordan Ramée
Read Jordan's Jump Force review.
"PUBG's technical shortcomings can undermine its broader achievements on rare occasions, but they don't override your desire to continue playing. Each phase of a match presents a different type of tension that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, driven by the insatiable desire to be the last person (or squad) standing. Whether you play solo or in a group, successfully executing adaptive tactics to win intense, high-stakes firefights makes for an incredibly rewarding experience. Every player has unique stories of their most memorable matches, and even after hundreds of hours, PUBG continues to inspire rousing tales of victory and defeat." | Michael
Read Michael's PUBG review.
"Gris understands intrinsically how magical video games can be and continually pushes your imagination until you’re almost bursting with joy. The ways in which it reinvents itself as you gain powers and dive ever deeper into this world is truly special, and just as it knows exactly when to pull back the camera or introduce a new song, it’s keenly aware of when it's time to say goodbye. Like a comet streaking across the sky, Gris is full of wonder and beauty and leaves you with a warm glow in your heart." | Tom McShea
Read Tom's Gris review.
"Dead Cells is a fascinating amalgam of several of today's most popular indie genres. It juggles elements of tough-as-nails action games and Metroid-inspired exploration platformers, with the procedurally generated levels and random item allotments found in roguelikes. It's impressive how it all comes together without a hitch, especially given that the persistent character growth found in games like Dark Souls or Metroid squarely conflicts with the randomized resets emblematic of Rogue-inspired games." | Daniel Starkey
Read Daniel's Dead Cells review.
"For a game about interplanetary exploration, Outer Wilds can often feel incredibly small. Flying from one planet to the next takes a matter of seconds, making it easy to ping pong around the game's singular solar system. The brevity of traveling through this handcrafted collection of areas to explore might seem strange at first--especially when the opening minutes of Outer Wilds place such a heavy emphasis on the importance of your mission to document the unknown. However, it doesn't take long for your expectations of Outer Wilds to be completely flipped on their head, giving way to captivating mysteries to solve and difficult questions surrounding mortality to confront. These questions lead you on unforgettable adventures in which each piece of the story you unearth feels as rewarding as the last." | Alessandro Barbosa
Read Alessandro's Outer Wilds review.