Xbox Game Pass has truly revolutionized the way we consume video games, removing the need to spend our hard-earned cash on certain individual releases. Microsoft’s service compiles hundreds of Xbox games in one place, offering variety and convenience to all subscribers. But it’s not just restricted to Xbox consoles, as the service is available on PC and even via the cloud. But with so many options available on Game Pass, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choice. With that in mind, these are the 19 best games available on Xbox Game Pass.
Harkening back to the old-school Resident Evil games from the late 90s, Signalis plays just like those PlayStation classic horror adventures, but with a modern touch. Its 2.5D presentation helps set it apart, while throwing mindboggling extraterrestrial horrors your way. If you like horror games with a Metroidvania twist, you have to play this one.
18. Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins takes players to ancient Egypt, offering compelling RPG gameplay that redefined the series.
The Assassin’s Creed series has oversaturated the market, but there’s no denying just how incredible the 2017 RPG installment is. Assassin’s Creed Origins stands out for many reasons, mainly being the first entry in the series to completely double down on RPG mechanics. But of course, the star of the show is the impressive, expansive setting of ancient Egypt, which offers detailed pyramids and other famous landmarks.
There isn’t anything quite like Immortality, an interactive narrative-driven game with standout performances. It comes from Sam Barlow, the mastermind behind Her Story, and is regarded as one of the best games of 2022. In it, players must sift through footage across three films to uncover the mysteries of actress Marissa Marcel. The story that unfolds is wild and unexpected, to say the least.
16. Vampire Survivors
Out of all the games on this list, Vampire Survivors might be the one that’s hardest to put down. This top-down roguelike shooter sends players to various stages to defeat waves and waves of monsters to chase a high score. With it being a roguelike, no two runs are the same, offering lots of variety each time you play. It epitomizes “one more” run, making it an easy choice for this list.
Pentiment was one of 2022 biggest surprise hits.
Serving as a narrative adventure game from Obsidian Entertainment, Pentiment took many of us by surprise when it launched in 2022. In it, you must investigate a series of murders set in the 16th century town of Tassing. All the decisions you make impact the overall story, encouraging multiple playthroughs, as well. It’s got a beautiful art style and a rich story that will surely sink its hooks in you.
14. Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise follows in the footsteps of Monster Hunter World, offering more streamlined gameplay mechanics that make the game more approachable to a wider group of players. In Rise, players are still tasked with taking down giant monsters, with the goal of acquiring new gear. This entry is notable for its inclusion of the Palamute, a dog companion used for getting around each zone quickly.
13. Return to Monkey Island
This point-and-click adventure game continues the story of LeChuck's Revenge.
When it comes to point-and-click adventures, few are on the same level as the Monkey Island series. In Return to Monkey Island, players take on the role of Guybrush Threepwood, and are tasked with solving puzzles to advance the plot. It’s simultaneously a callback to earlier games – as Guybrush revisits older areas – while also driving the story forward in a satisfying way.
12. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
It’s virtually impossible to talk about Xbox games without mentioning Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Serving as one of the best compilations of all time, this package contains remasters of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, along with Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. It’s a great way to play arguably the best sci-fi shooters ever made—either solo, online with friends, or against random players in competitive modes.
11. Hi-Fi Rush
Hi-Fi Rush is a sleeper hit in 2023.
Hi-Fi Rush is easily the most stylish game in recent memory, with a vibrant comic book aesthetic, and equally as memorable gameplay. This action rhythm game pulls from games like Devil May Cry and even Rock Band to bring a unique mashup that surprised many players upon release. It comes from Tango GameWorks, the studio behind The Evil Within series, though you shouldn’t expect to battle against scary monsters in Hi-Fi Rush.
10. PowerWash Simulator
Not every game needs to be about defeating enemies. Sometimes, you just need to kick back and relax, and that’s exactly what you get in PowerWash Simulator. This game might not sound like it’s worth your time, but there’s something truly cathartic about power washing until your heart’s content. Turn your brain off and clean playgrounds, houses, cars, and even the Seventh Heaven bar from Final Fantasy VII.
9. Dead Space
But maybe survival horror is more your thing. If so, you absolutely need to play the original Dead Space, which, in many ways, revolutionized the genre in 2008. Sure, the outstanding 2023 remake is available on modern platforms now, but the 2008 original still holds up surprisingly well. This game is not for players with a weak stomach, but if you’re into hacking away at undead aliens, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
8. It Takes Two
It Takes Two is developed by Hazelight Studios, and is directed by the eclectic Josef Fares.
There isn’t anything quite like It Takes Two. This cooperative platformer places you in the shoes of a married couple—Cody and May—as they tackle what it means to be parents. The thing is, this game is only playable with a friend, much like Hazelight’s previous game, A Way Out. It Takes Two is mostly lighthearted, but there are certainly some gutwrenching moments that will surely stick with you.
7. Persona 5 Royal
While the Persona series has been around for years, it truly exploded into the mainstream with Persona 5. This stylish turn-based RPG sends players to an incredibly beautiful version of Tokyo, with the goal of taking down the city’s worst criminals. In it, you enter supernatural realms and use Personas to take down your foes, while also developing relationships with friends. Persona 5 Royal is the definitive version, with even more content than the 100-hour original.
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This quintessential RPG feels like comfort food at this point, and is always fun to go back to, even if you’ve played through it numerous times. Maybe this time you’ll play as an archer? Or perhaps a powerful magician? Either way, Skyrim absolutely rules, and it’s easy to pick up and play thanks to Xbox Game Pass.
5. Gears Tactics
Gears Tactics is the XCOM mashup we didn’t know we needed.
One game you might not have played—or even heard of—is Gears Tactics. This takes place in the Gears of War universe, but throws third-person shooting mechanics out the window. Instead, this is a turn-based tactics game, as its name suggests, feeling like a mix between Gears and XCOM in the best ways possible.
4. Hitman World of Assassination
What developer IO Interactive has done with the recent Hitman entries is nothing short of incredible. Hitman World of Assassination combines all three of the most recent entries into one package, featuring all levels, stories, and missions. Tackle objectives however you want, either by sneaking around as a flamingo mascot, or by simply sniping your target’s head off. Choice is at the forefront in Hitman.
3. Stardew Valley
While Animal Crossing: New Horizons captivated the world in 2020, Nintendo hasn’t done the best job of supporting it since then. If you’re carving a regularly updated farming sim, look no further than Stardew Valley. In it, you start from zero and work to build your farm, while developing relationships with the townsfolk. And thanks to its gorgeous sprite art that resembles a Super Nintendo game, Stardew Valley is easy on the eyes.
2. Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best-reviewed games of 2021.
Farming sims might not be for you, but perhaps fast cars are more up your alley. Forza Horizon 5 is arguably the best of its kind, offering incredibly satisfying gameplay, stunning visuals, and the best rendition of Mexico in a video game to date. Unlike the Motorsport series, Horizon focuses less on realism and more on fun, making it easy to get into.
1. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an off-the-wall turn-based RPG with plenty of style, as well as a heartfelt story full of wonderful characters.
What unfolds over the course of Yakuza: Like a Dragon is remarkable, featuring some of the most lovable characters the medium has ever seen. This turn-based RPG ditches the old beat ‘em up action from previous Yakuza games, turning up the ridiculousness to 11.
In this love letter to (Square) Enix’s Dragon Quest series, you’ll recruit goofy party members and cast wild magic spells that blur the lines of reality. (Champagne and adult massagers as weapons, anyone?) Even if turn-based RPGs aren’t your thing, Like a Dragon is worth the cost of admission to experience Ichiban Kasuga’s antics alone.
more like this
This article was originally published on March 11, 2023