The 29 best games on Game Pass
Here’s what you should be playing on Xbox and PC
Xbox’s Game Pass program has had another successful year. It’s still the simplest way to stay up with gaming without breaking the bank, from new releases like Nobody Saves the World to legendary juggernauts like Halo: The Master Chief Collection. And the program is always developing, with new games added each month, and many of the titles are available on several Xbox systems and PC via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, excellent titles such as Skyrim and Fallout 3 were added to Game Pass. With Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard still churning in the background, many predict similar movements for titles like Overwatch 2, Diablo 3, and maybe even World of Warcraft.
Aside from first-party day-and-date releases and Xbox Studios games, Game Pass includes some of the greatest third-party and independent games available, such as Tinykin and Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
Game Pass might be difficult to grasp due to its sheer size and abundance of options. But we’re here to assist. Here are the 29 PC and Xbox Game Pass titles you should try if you have a subscription to Microsoft’s flagship program.
[Ed. This list was last updated on October 1, 2022. It will be updated as new games are released on the service.]
Tinykin is one of the finest collect-a-thon platformers since the Nintendo 64’s heyday.
You take on the role of a teenage astronaut stuck inside a typical human dwelling. The drawback is that you’re only about the size of an ant, and you rely on even tiny animals known as Tinykin to move around.
As you explore the house, you’ll instruct your Tinykin to assist you in completing various chores, such as throwing a disco bathtub dance for some resident bugs, rescuing a little animal from within a piano, or preparing a tasty delicacy using a slew of difficult-to-find materials. Each Tinykin has a distinct role, and it is your task to use their various abilities to solve problems.
If this seems familiar to fans of Nintendo’s Pikmin series, it is. Tinykin, unlike Pikmin, lacks fighting, allowing you to focus solely on exploration and treasures.
It’s one of the most serene games available on Game Pass, as well as one of the greatest games of 2022.
Tinykin is accessible through Game Pass on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Immortality is writer and director Sam Barlow’s third full-motion video game. It is based on the disappearance of fictitious actress Marissa Marcel, who appeared in a number of films between the late 1960s and the late 1990s, none of which were ever released.
You’ll examine films from Marcel’s movies, interviews, and even behind-the-scenes material and clapperboard shots in the game, which is drenched in antique technology and film. You’ll need to use these old footage, similar to Her Story before it, to solve the riddle of what happened to Marcel during the course of her career.
Immortality is an unexpected adventure, with twists and turns best found on your own. If you enjoy mysteries, vintage movies, horror, and the production process, then Game Pass is the place to see Immortality.
Immortality is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
The second of Playdead’s minimalist side-scrollers may be found herein. Whereas the studio’s earlier game, Limbo, focused on the hazards of nature, Inside focuses on the horrors that humans may inflict on one another.
Inside casts you as a tiny child in a red shirt discovering a massive factory/secret facility. You’ll explore, platform, and solve puzzles your way through various places, and you’ll almost certainly meet a quick and unexpected death a few times along the way. The inside is bleak and dismal. It’s terrifying but beautiful, like an angler’s bait. It piques your interest enough that you’ll keep moving through, through the horrors, until you reach the credits.
Inside is all about the eerie tone and imagery, creating an experience that is difficult to describe without giving too much away. So use your Game Pass membership to go into Inside fresh and unspoiled.
Inside is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
PowerWash Simulator is the ideal game for zoning out on your sofa. You’re a professional power washer, as the name implies, and your duty is to utilize your cleaning equipment to remove oil, dirt, and goop off automobiles, buildings, and even whole playgrounds.
There are some modest upgrade and money systems, but PowerWash Simulator primarily sticks to the basics – you power wash items, nothing more, nothing less. Sure, you can get exceptional duties like washing a Mars rover, but it’s really all about keeping things clean. And, while it may appear to be tedious yard labor, it is actually incredibly meditative.
Blasting the black film off of a bright slide gave me one of the most powerful serotonin rushes I’ve had from any piece of media in years. It’s a nice, tranquil game that always helps me unwind after a hard week.
PowerWash Simulator is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
WATCH DOGS 2
Watch Dogs 2 is not just the greatest sequel in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs trilogy, but it’s also one of the best open-world games released by the company in years.
Watch Dogs 2 transports you to San Francisco and places you in the shoes of Marcus Holloway, a hacker of the hacktivist group DedSec. You’ll use your drone and remote control vehicle to hack things from afar, or you’ll sneak around and remote hack stuff with your phone. When things become too risky, you can use your stun gun or eight-ball-on-a-rope to inflict terrible harm.
When it attempts to go serious or make a statement about the dystopian police-state future its people were dreading living in, Watch Dogs 2’s narrative doesn’t always do it any favors, but its heroes lend enough character to the game that even the moron in the emoji-eyes helmet is likeable.
Watch Dogs 2 is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHREDDER’S REVENGE
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has already established itself as a classic Turtles fight. If you overheard a bunch of kids chatting about their fantasy TMNT game while playing the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet at a neighborhood pizza bar in 1989, or Turtles in Time in 1991, this is the Turtles game they’d be thinking about.
Shredder’s Revenge, however, integrates key aspects that set it apart from the days of the coin-operated arcade. There’s a world map, side missions, new heroes, experience points, and online matching to help bring the nostalgic trappings up to date. Shredder’s Revenge strikes a wonderful mix between the worlds of vintage and modern.
With only 16 “episodes,” it’s the ideal Game Pass game to play with friends during a sleepover – provided there’s pizza, of course.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS
Assassin’s Creed Origins has always been good, but it wasn’t until three years after its debut that I began to think of it as exceptional.
It’s a fantastic mash-up of historical tourism, science fiction storytelling, and open-ended warfare. It also demonstrates a level of assurance that the more recent Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla can only equal in part. Whereas the two most recent installments embrace the shaky mentality of “content” that has characterized the previous decade of open-world games, Origins is willing to leave enormous sections of its world barren and let things burn slowly, in narrative and exploratory ways.Its geography spans deserts, mountains, oasis, and sun-kissed cities that are slowly being buried in sand, all while its two key characters (Bayek and Aya) negotiate one of video games’ most intriguing relationships. It isn’t entirely opposed to daily challenges and cosmetic DLC packs. But it’s a rare open-world game that has my whole attention. It recognizes that pastoral beauty and sad storytelling, when skillfully intertwined, are worth more than any diversions its successors can throw at me. —Mike Mahardy
Assassin’s Creed Origins is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Citizen Sleeper is a hyper-stylized tabletop-style role-playing game set in space. You’re stranded on a space station in a capitalist society. To survive the corporatocracy’s collapse and the ensuing chaos, you’ll need to manage your time, energy, and relationships. You’ll roll the dice and make judgments in order to be rewarded and assist others around you.
Aside from its intriguing background, Citizen Sleeper boasts a rich cast of unique people, ensuring that each interaction is memorable. It continues a wonderful pattern of table-top inspired games that empower you to set your own goals and relish in the tale when things go wrong. It’s full with tough decisions, terrific narrative, and eye-catching images.
Citizen Sleeper is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Umurangi Generation is a photography game set in the “shitty future,” in which players may go around the city capturing images of the environment and picking up on story beats by analyzing their surroundings.
Photographing the game’s strange but unique graphic style keeps the game entertaining, but it’s the story and location that make Umurangi Generation unforgettable. It takes place in a city occupied by militaristic mechs deployed by the government. As a photographer, you’re shooting images with your pals, but you’re also capturing a horrific future filled with resistance, oppression, and an epidemic.
It’s masterfully done, and its harsh societal critique hits close to home.
Umurangi Generation is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
“Become the bullet hell,” says Vampire Survivors.
The only things you can change about the game are which character you choose, which equipment you use throughout your run, and where your character advances. Knives, whips, fires, magic bolts, bibles, or holy water spray out of your character in all directions, decimating hordes or pixelated movie creatures and earning you cash for your next journey.
Vampire Survivors, despite its seeming simplicity, is one of the finest games of 2022. It flawlessly walks the line between serene and intense, demanding just the right amount of focus to succeed. It also promotes skill development and roguelite evolution, ensuring that each run is unique from the previous.
Vampire Survivors is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
Without the Halo series, the first-person shooters that helped popularize local competitive multiplayer on consoles before moving the party online with the debut of Xbox Live, the Xbox brand would never have taken off. The Master Chief Collection comprises several Halo titles, all of which have been modified to make them appealing to current audiences.
The collection’s most remarkable feature is the sheer number of ways to play. You can browse the campaigns on your own. If you want to play with a buddy but don’t want to compete, there’s co-op, which allows you to enjoy the storylines of the games with a partner, either online or via split-screen play. If you wish to compete, you may do so against up to three other players on the same TV, or you can go online and challenge the entire community.
These are some of the finest first-person shooters ever made, and they’re worth revisiting and appreciating regardless of how you choose to play them. Sharing these games with my children through local co-op has been an incredible trip, and this bundle has so many games, each with its own set of settings and choices. It’s difficult to envision being bored with or removing the collection once it’s on your hard disk.
This is a piece of gaming history that still seems current and vibrant. Ben Kuchera’s
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Among Us was released in 2018, but it wasn’t until the events of 2020 that it became a craze. You can play with up to ten other people, going around each level completing chores while an impostor (or multiple) tries to kill everyone else without being discovered. It’s essentially a wacky version of The Thing weaponized as a social game with various layers of strategy. Half the fun is seeing the impostor try to get away with it and talk their way out of it when emergency meetings are called.
There’s something incredible about the concept that there are so many games available, so many titles on so many platforms, that the near-perfect game for every occasion appears to already exist… somewhere. It was discovered and rescued from relative obscurity in this case, and there’s even a free-to-play iOS and Android version that can link with PC players if you want to form a crew.
The concept of all those hidden diamonds simply waiting to be given a second opportunity is reassuring in a time when so many people are struggling to be creative or to have any hope at all.
Among Us demonstrated that comfort may come from unexpected sources, and the game has kept gamers entertained and smiling since its release in the summer of 2020. Ben Kuchera’s
Among Us is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
TETRIS EFFECT: CONNECTED
Tetris Effect: Connected is another game with several methods to play, and it’s also simple to match with those who might be frightened by other games.
The fundamental game is traditional Tetris: flip the pieces, form strong horizontal lines across the board, and watch them vanish as you strive to avoid falling shapes before your tower reaches the top. However, the campaign incorporates lovely music and pulsating, moving visual elements that combine to elevate the experience to new levels of relaxation and enjoyment. Tetris has a heartbeat, both literally and metaphorically.
This version of the game includes a variety of online modes that allow you to play with or against other players to test your skills or refine your basics. If you like, you may play just for the relaxation of the music and images, or you can tweak the game’s settings until the experience is down to pure ability and response time. It is entirely up to you how you play and what you get out of it. Tetris Effect: Connected is a platform as well as a single game, allowing you to experience one of the finest puzzle games ever made in a variety of ways.
Tetris Effect: Connected can demonstrate what your home theater’s visual quality and sound system can achieve, but it also demonstrates that really brilliant game design has no expiration date. There may be better Tetris variants published in the future, but it will be difficult to surpass this one. Ben Kuchera’s
Tetris Effect: Connected is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Minecraft is a game in which everything appears to be constructed of giant, square blocks, and you may gather resources and use them to construct anything you want out of those bricks.
There isn’t much more to say about Minecraft that hasn’t already been said, but the game continues to be popular online, and it has the potential to keep my children interested in a way that no other game, in my experience, can. They skip the survival phase and go straight for creative, treating it like a split-screen universe where they can create anything they want without worrying about running out of Lego bricks.
It’s a game that can be both contemplative when played alone and sociable when played with others, and there’s a ton of user-created content to dig through and discover. Minecraft, like the other games on this list, is incredibly easy to get into, but it may be difficult to quit. Ben Kuchera’s
Minecraft is accessible on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
Stardew Valley is charming in the greatest conceivable manner.
You begin the game by inheriting a farm from your grandpa, after which you relocate to a tranquil town to take over the shrinking acres. You work for the next 10, 20, 50, or 100 hours to transform that farm into a contemporary utopia.
This is without a doubt the most relaxed game on Game Pass. All you have to do is grow seeds, care for animals, mine rocks, and make friends with the people. There’s plenty of drama to be had, with the Wal-Mart-like JojaMart and an army of slimes attempting to prevent you from mining, but at the end of the day, you’ll pass asleep in your farmhouse and prepare to plant more strawberries the next morning.
Stardew Valley is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
AGE OF EMPIRES 4
Age of Empires 4 serves as a reminder of previous games. It’s a classic PC real-time strategy game that sets historical empires against one other. It contains multiple campaigns that are narrated like historical documentaries, as well as online battles where you may combat pals.
However, there are plenty more classic RTS games available. Age of Empires 4 is notable for its release date of 2021. It’s a game meant to remind gamers of everything they enjoyed about RTS games a decade ago, but it swaps out outdated graphics for stunning aesthetics and seamless performance.
Age of Empires 4 is available for Windows PC through Game Pass.
NOBODY SAVES THE WORLD
Nobody Saves the World is a charming RPG by DrinkBox Studios, the independent studio behind the Guacamelee series. You take on the role of a strange, white husk with the capacity to shift into a variety of species. You may upgrade your current forms and unlock new ones by completing tasks.
Nobody Saves the World is both strange and amusing. It’s amusing and vibrant. It also has an amazing gaming loop. Each form has a unique gameplay style, and you may combine skills and benefits from multiple forms to fully tailor your playstyle. To destroy adversaries or overcome riddles, you’ll need to experiment with strange ability combinations.
Nobody Saves the World is a very unique game from DrinkBox, and it’s the ideal Game Pass game to pick up for the weekend.
Nobody Saves the World is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Unpacking is a straightforward game in which you unpack your stuff and arrange them in a room. Each object has a number of placement options, and it is up to you to arrange your area appropriately. It’s peaceful and therapeutic, helping you to turn chaos into order.
Where Unpacking really shines is in its environmental storytelling. In a single character’s life, you’ll unpack several rooms and apartments, witnessing them grow from a youngster to a college student to a struggling young adult with a partner who won’t offer them any apartment space.You only interact with the individual through their possessions, which allows you to witness how things change in their life through aged plush animals or a toothbrush cup they drag from house to house.
It’s short and powerful, the ideal Game Pass game to pick up and play one area at a time.
Unpacking is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Doom, released in 2016, adds speed, acrobatics, and an absolutely fantastic soundtrack to one of gaming’s oldest titles. Doomguy moves rapidly, switching between firearms, grenades, melee assaults, and a massive chainsaw to blow out monsters on Mars.
The game is gory, brutal, and unexpectedly humorous. Doom makes you feel like a god, capable of overcoming whatever obstacle the game throws at you, and its extensive campaign contains no uninteresting levels.
Doom (2016) is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
MASS EFFECT LEGENDARY EDITION
The Mass Effect franchise was massive during the Xbox 360 period, but it didn’t translate well to succeeding platforms – purchasing and downloading the complete tale became complex and expensive when the Xbox One and Xbox Series X were released. However, the Legendary Edition of 2021 made the complete Mass Effect trilogy available in a single box.
The plot revolves around Commander Shepard, a futuristic military hero entrusted with assembling a group of alien misfits for a variety of tasks. Each game is superbly constructed, with stand-alone plots and stand-out characters that do not rely on the series’ overarching plot. As a trilogy, the games build on one another with important choices that carry over to the next installment, giving your decisions weight.
The Legendary Edition is the way to play Mass Effect, and it’s a must-have whether you’re on your first or fifth mission to rescue the galaxy.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
Spelunky 2 is the sequel to one of the most popular roguelikes of all time. The sequel is still a treasure-hunting, ultra-difficult adventure, but it takes place on the moon rather than on Earth. You’ll be running across various biomes collecting riches, whipping foes, and avoiding various traps.
Spelunky is difficult, and its extremely delicate controls can be difficult to master. However, these two components of the game combine to create a pleasant cycle that punishes the player as frequently as it rewards them. Those moments of achievement make you feel like you’re getting away with something, like Indiana Jones slipping under a door just in time but still grabbing his hat.
Spelunky 2 is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 3
It would be an understatement to say that Total War: Warhammer 3 is ambitious: It’s not just the most ambitious game in the strategic trilogy, but also the most daring. Its first campaign challenges you to conquer two distinct realms, employing ethereal bear monsters and pestilent nurgling armies as you attack the Realms Of Chaos before defending your holdings back on solid ground.
And it’s not even done yet: if Total War: Warhammer 2’s magnificent DLC roadmap is any indicator, the latest edition will be maintained for years to come, with new factions, improvements, and, of course, “Immortal Empires,” the expansion to end all expansions. It will merge all three global maps as well as every group from each game into a big, scary campaign of world dominance. No, Total War: Warhammer isn’t just ambitious; it’s one of the medium’s most ambitious inventions. —Michael Mahardy
Total War: Warhammer 3 is available for Windows PC through Game Pass.
The Outer Wilds is a huge mystery, and the less revealed about it, the better.
The basic idea is that your little solar system shuts down and restarts every 22 minutes. Your mission is to figure out why this is occurring and piece together the facts so you can try to stop it.
Outer Wilds is a game about obtaining information. There are no experience or fight points, only knowledge. But that information will take you to strange and fascinating places. When you’re through, you’ll wish you could delete everything from your memory and start over.
Outer Wilds is a Game Pass title available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
THE ELDER SCROLLS 5: SKYRIM SPECIAL EDITION
The Elder Scrolls 5, often known as Skyrim, is a timeless masterpiece. And, while you can play it on nearly any platform or gadget known to man at this time, it’s still worth playing on Game Pass if you’ve never tried it or are simply looking for another adventure in its vast universe.
Skyrim, like other Bethesda RPGs, is a first-person game with a massive, living environment. There are dungeons to explore, stories to discover, and guilds to join. However, you may deviate from the road and have your own fun in Skyrim – it rewards you for being interested. It’s the type of Game Pass game that you could play for hundreds of hours without getting bored.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
FORZA HORIZON 5
Forza Horizon 5 is the most recent racing game to be released on Xbox and Game Pass. It’s a visual feast full with some of the most lifelike-looking vehicles you’ve ever seen. However, anyone who has played any of these Forza games will tell you that the Horizon series is much more than its aesthetics.
Horizon 5 is set in a fictionalized Mexico and allows you to travel across a huge territory in whichever automobile you like. Off-roading allows you to drive a fine sports vehicle or a Hummer off a large ramp.
Forza Horizon 5 allows you to drive how and where you want within a plethora of fantastic automobiles.
Forza Horizon 5 is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
Some of the finest sandbox puzzle games ever developed include Hitman, Hitman 2, and Hitman 3. As Agent 47, you’ll climb buildings, snoop around gatherings, and use various gadgets to assassinate spies and debutantes. The trilogy on Game Pass features all three campaigns from IO Interactive’s current World of Assassination trilogy, offering you over a dozen maps to play on.
The Hitman franchise may be about violence and murder, but its insane mechanics and wacky settings keep it lighthearted and entertaining. If you want to be covert or just watch what happens when you drop a gigantic chandelier on a bunch of snobbish jerks, this is the series for you.
Hitman Trilogy is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X with Game Pass.
Death’s Door is a charming little Souls-style game. You play as a raven who works as a grim reaper for the afterlife’s bureaucratic arm. It’s your mission to travel the world and take the lives of a few employers. Death’s Door’s environment and characters are lovely, with wonderful dungeons to explore and puzzles to solve. There are also huge adversaries who will put your abilities and patience to the test.
Death’s Door, on the other hand, has a pleasant aura about it. It wants you to succeed and does a good job at easing you in with simple opponent and boss routines. It’s a terrific, demanding Game Pass game to start with before moving on to more difficult titles.
Death’s Door is available on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X through Game Pass.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Guardians of the Galaxy is a game that should never have been made. However, in a world overloaded with Marvel content and already popular versions of these characters, Guardians of the Galaxy manages to present a poignant narrative that allows each Guardian to breathe.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun action game that lets you fly through the air on Star Lord’s jet boots and discharge your legendary twin pistols. However, the game, like the tale, shines most when the entire squad works together. As Star Lord, you can direct Drax to stun an opponent or Rocket to destroy an entire group.
Guardians of the Galaxy outperforms previous group-based Marvel games because it provides a single-player experience while still focusing on pals. Every member of the Guardians has a role to perform in fighting and discussion, making this one of the most memorable comic book games available.