If you haven’t signed up for Xbox Game Pass, then you’re truly missing out. It’s a tremendous service with a lot of value, offering subscribers access to a library of 100+ downloadable games for just 5 USD on console and 10 USD on PC. This is a great way to save money while still playing the best games of this generation. 

Of course, services like Game Pass and PS Now rely entirely on the quality of games offered. Included are a wide selection of major releases, indie gems, classic Xbox 360 titles, and first-party Xbox exclusives. What’s more, the library is constantly expanding as new games are added each month. 

Here, we’ll be recommending the best Xbox Game Pass titles that are worth checking out.  Make sure to check back as we’ll updating this list in the future. And lastly, if you’re interested in receiving more gaming recommendations, consider reading through our other curated lists:

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    The Outer Worlds

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    The Outer Worlds is a testament to Obsidian’s passion for crafting immersive, high-quality single-player experiences. Take on the role of The Stranger, an unknown variable assigned to determine the fate of the Halcyon Space Colony and its starving citizens.

    During your adventure, you’ll travel to different planets within the Halcyon system and meet diverse characters with interesting stories (and usually a few quests) to share. A first-person perspective makes combat come to life as you master powerful melee and long-range weapons which can be upgraded to offer special bonuses and unlock unique traits. 

    Gears 5

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    The latest entry in Xbox’s third-person shooter franchise introduces a new protagonist, Kait Diaz, and sees the return of fan favorites such as JD, Del, and Marcus. In addition to a completely new story focused on the origins of the Locust and Kait’s family, Gears 5 introduces a variety of new modes that support both local and online multiplayer.

    Aside from the main campaign, Horde mode returns accompanied by a brand-new Escape mode which sees players attempting to destroy and escape a Swarm nest after being captured. As one of the few games still offering traditional couch co-op, Gears 5 is a worthy addition to any library and just as enjoyable online. 

    Bad North

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Bad North is a challenging, real-time strategy rogue-lite with tower defense elements. The game tasks you with commanding different units as they wage war against Viking invaders. As you progress and win battles, more commanders will join you in battle, allowing you to diversify your units and devise new strategies.

    While its charming, minimalist presentation may lead you to believe otherwise, Bad North is surprisingly difficult, as even the smallest slip-up can see your entire army six feet under. Thankfully, the game gives you the option to adjust the difficulty and replay levels if you fail. 

    Enter the Gungeon

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Enter the Gungeon is a bullet-hell rogue-lite which sees descending into “The Gungeon,” a sprawling procedurally-generated labyrinth brimming with bullet-shaped enemies to kill and unique weapons to collect. The game gets increasingly difficult the further you make it into the Gungeon, with each section culminating in a challenging boss fight.

    At the heart of ETG is an exciting and flexible twin-stick shooter. Each of the game’s four classes has an exclusive skill which can prove useful while exploring the Gungeon, such as gaining the ability to lock-pick treasure chests, drastically reduced reload time and extended invulnerability while dodging.

    World War Z

    Platform: Xbox One

    World War Z is an intense, zombie third-person shooter in which four-player squads attempt to navigate story-based levels brimming with hordes of the undead. Although gameplay and structure are both largely inspired by Left 4 Dead, there are a few unique elements that set WWZ apart from other zombie shooters.

    The most easily recognizable feature is the massive size of zombie hordes, which are rendered in real-time and powered by the Swarm Engine, a proprietary tool created by the game’s developer, Saber Interactive. Technicals aside, WWZ is a thrilling co-op experience that manages to strike a good balance between mindless action and team-based strategy. 

    Lonely Mountains: Downhill

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Although it’s technically classified as an action racing game, LM: Downhill offers a relaxing, “go at your own pace” downhill biking simulation. While you’ll find plenty of time-based challenges, the game gives you the option to freely explore its dense environments, soaking up the calming sounds of nature as you traverse narrow trails.

    Controls are precise and make full use of the game’s realistic physics, allowing you to pull off high-speed jumps and skid your way past tight corners. This is all complemented by a vibrant low-poly art style which adds to Downhill‘s laidback vibe. It’s the kind of low stakes game that’s perfect for zoning out while listening to some music or a podcast. 

    Thimbleweed Park

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure game inspired by classics like Maniac Mansion. Played from the perspective of two FBI agents, the game tasks you with investigating a murder in a small town. Things expand as several persons of interest are revealed and become playable, providing more insight on each character’s personality and motives.

    Colorful 2D pixel art and an interesting narrative full of unexpected twists and weird turns reminiscent of detective shows like Twin Peaks keep the player engaged from start to finish. If you’re a fan of traditional adventure games or simply love a great story, Thimbleweed Park is might be right up your alley.

    Dishonored 2

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Set after the events of the first game, Dishonored 2 sees the return of fan-favorite protagonist Corvo accompanied by his daughter Emily. Both characters are playable and come equipped with slightly different supernatural abilities. Corvo retains his arcane powers from the original Dishonored while Emily has a kit all her own.  

    The series is known for giving players a lot of freedom in how they choose to play the game, with every challenge supporting both lethal and non-lethal playstyles. However, in a clever design choice, how you approach the game will affect the outcome of the story and determine whether you receive a “good” or “bad” ending. 

    Doom

    Platform: Xbox One

    There are certain things you can expect to find in a Doom game, such as ultra-violent action, overpowered weapons, and a generic story that serves as an excuse to rip demons in half. While id Software’s 2016 Doom reboot still checks all those boxes, it manages to do so in an updated setting while also bringing some new ideas.

    This includes a more fleshed out upgrade system compared to previous games, giving the player the option to invest in their favorite weapons. As if Doom weren’t flashy enough, the game also introduces Glory Kills which trigger gruesome, over-the-top finishing blows. 

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    Platform: Xbox One

    The Witcher 3 delivers on everything it sets out to achieve, presenting players with a massive open-world that feels authentic and truly lived in. This is further enhanced by a multi-layered combat system and a gripping narrative that allows you to shape the course of the game. 

    You play as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher, on an adventure to find your adopted daughter who’s being pursued by an evil force known as the Wild Hunt. If you’re a fan of the books or just RPGs in general, The Witcher 3 will no doubt peak your interest as it’s one of the most exciting action RPGs of this generation.

    Devil May Cry 5

    Platform: Xbox One

    Devil May Cry 5 stays true to the series’ core while offering a streamlined scoring system designed for newcomers. The hack n’ slash action game is set five years after DMC 4 and sees players controlling three demonic-powered protagonists: Dante, Nero, and V, as they try to prevent the Demon King Urizen from destroying the mortal realm.

    While veteran players will enjoy the return of Dante and Nero’s stylish playstyles, V offers a unique alternative, with his arsenal consisting of creature-summoning spells. If you enjoy chaining together flashy combos and watching your score meter rise, DMC 5 may be the perfect game for you. 

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a story-driven action RPG set in a medieval open-world. You take on the role of Henry, the son of a blacksmith who decides to join a resistance combating invading raiders after his parents and village are slaughtered. More broadly, the game is set during the Holy Roman Empire following the death of Emperor Charles IV which causes two heirs to wage war over the throne. 

    Presented as a realistic medieval sim, Deliverance emphasizes classic survival mechanics such as hunger, thirst, sleep, and hygiene. While you won’t find any dragons or magic, a complex medieval-based combat system can be immensely rewarding for players who take time to learn its many nuances. 

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    When the Master Chief Collection first launched back in 2014, it was littered with several game-breaking bugs. For the past five years, 343 Industries has been working hard to make the collection run more smoothly. With some updates that address matchmaking and gameplay issues, as well as some quality of life improvements to the classic games, the MCC is in a much better state in 2019.

    The collection includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4. In addition to matchmaking improvements, each title now offers local offline LAN multiplayer as well as support for 4K and HDR displays. These changes make MCC the definitive way to experience the original saga.

    Forza Horizon 4

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Forza Horizon is regarded as a much more forgiving alternative to the Motorsport series without sacrificing too much of the racing sim charm the series is known for. The most recent entry presents players with a massive open-world comprised of unique locations where they can participate with others in an array of racing challenges with over 450 vehicles.

     Forza Horizon 4‘s environments are brought to life by dynamic weather tech that allows for rotating seasons that dramatically affect driving conditions, unlock new activities, and open up new paths. Additionally, the game includes the highly-requested Route Creator tool, allowing players to design and share their custom racetracks online with other players.

    Sea Of Thieves

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Sea of Thieves is an action-adventure title where up to 4-players can come together online and live out their wildest swash-buckling pirate dreams. And we recommend getting as many of your friends as you can because a majority of the ships you’ll want to use are fairly complex, requiring multiple players to man different stations to steer, hoist sails, navigate, and fire cannons.

    Players embark on quests that see them searching for buried treasure underwater or on islands filled with undead enemies and possibly other human players. And by possibly, we mean you should be prepared for battle at all times since Sea of Thieves features a shared universe. 

    Guacamelee! 2

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Following the success of the popular 2D Metroidvania centered on powerful luchadors, Guacamelee! 2 remains loyal to the original while featuring some refinements. The sequel takes place seven years after the events of the first game and sees a much older and out of shape luchador Juan called back into action when a new enemy threatens to destroy the entire Mexiverse.

    Although a majority of the mechanics will feel familiar to anyone who’s played the first, minor changes to progression and an expanded move set for chicken transformations make the experience feel fresh. Additionally, the game introduces new enemy types, abilities, and colorful hand-crafted environments.

    Battle Chef Brigade

    Platform: PC

    Battle Chef Brigade combines the action of side-scrolling brawlers with the strategy of tile-matching puzzle games to create a thrilling and addictive experience. The game has you racing against the clock to create delicious meals as you compete with another chef to win over the hearts of up to three judges.

    Battles see you traveling back and forth between a kitchen and outdoor environments, where an array of unique and challenging monsters provide an opportunity to gather exotic and flavorful ingredients for your dishes. Picking the right combination and tailoring your dishes to each judge’s palette is a sure-fire recipe for success.

    Slay the Spire

    Platform: PC

    Slay the Spire is a rogue-lite card-strategy game developed by MegaCrit and published by Humble Bundle. At the beginning of each playthrough, you’re asked to select from one of three characters with different starting conditions which affect the amount of health, gold, and cards you have at the start.

    The goal of the game is to make your way through several levels of a spire which contain a set number of enemy encounters as well as random loot. At the end of a run, you’ll have to use any cards and items you’ve acquired to craft a deck powerful enough to defeat one of the spire’s final bosses.

    Monster Hunter: World

    Platform: Xbox One

    Monster Hunter: World streamlines many of the creature slaying franchise’s features to appeal to a larger audience. While it may not always deliver on this promise when it comes to its antiquated online matchmaking systems, once you and your friends assemble, everything else is smooth sailing.

    Take on hunts solo or with a squad, as difficulty scales based on the number of players in your group. With 14 different weapons to choose from and an exhaustive list of challenging monsters to capture and hunt, World is by far the best entry to date, offering satisfying gameplay and in-depth character build customization. 

    Outer Wilds 

    Platform: Xbox One

    Outer Wilds is a narrative-driven mystery game in which players control a character trapped in a perpetual 22-minute time-loop a la Groundhog Day. As the newest recruit of Outer Wilds Ventures, an up-and-coming space program looking to expand its knowledge of space and its many secrets, you’re tasked with exploring nearby planets within your solar system.

    Your journey sees you traveling to lore-rich planets with distinct weather conditions and hidden locations to discover. However, unraveling the mysteries of your alien ancestors won’t be so easy, with black holes, oxygen deprivation, and other extreme environmental hazards constantly get in your way.

    Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS), as its name implies, is a game where you simulate battles using weapons from different historical periods (including some made-up ones). As its name suggests, the game isn’t as hardcore as something like Civilization, instead opting for a less serious strategy game experience centered around wonky physics.

    An in-game tutorial/campaign mode does a great job at bringing you up to speed on how each unit functions and teaches you how to come up with clever solutions to challenging unit combinations. However, the real joy to be had is in the game’s sandbox mode where you’re free to mix and match units to stage ridiculous battles against AI or online with other players. 

    Hollow Knight

    Platform: Xbox One / PC

    By this point, Hollow Knight has pretty much solidified its place in Metroidvania hall of fame. The game is centered on its title protagonist, a silent sword-wielding knight on a quest to unlock the mysteries of Hallownest, a dark and dangerous kingdom that offers great rewards to any brave enough to explore its treacherous environments.

    The 2D action-platformer does an excellent job at finding new ways to use its Metroidvania format to encourage exploration by providing the player with massive environments littered with collectibles and rewards. Additionally, experimenting with different load-outs opens up new opportunities to min/max and reach hidden areas.

     

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