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The 33 Best Games On Xbox Game Pass Right Now

Xbox Game Pass, the premiere subscription service for Xbox users, continues to grow in terms of accessibility and the strength of its game library, spoiling subscribers for choice when it comes to what they'll play next. And with Microsoft testing out new options and tiers — like a Friends and Family plan — there's never been a better time for Xbox owners to check out what Game Pass has to offer.


Of course, once you sign up for Game Pass, you will immediately be met with a veritable sea of options. It can be difficult to decide what to play first, especially since there are so many great games available through the service. That is why SVG has you covered with a breakdown of the best titles Xbox Games Pass has to offer. From single-player platformers to immersive multiplayer experiences, here are the top titles to fire up through Xbox Game Pass.

Sea of Thieves

Ever wanted to experience an authentic pirate simulator with some of your best friends? Well, charter a ship with your saltiest friends in "Sea of Thieves," a stunning embodiment of seafaring adventure where players' fates rest entirely in their own hands.


Released in 2018, "Sea of Thieves" follows the formula of other sandbox games like "EVE: Online" and "Rust," in which players are given tools to create stories of their own. The game was initially  received with mixed reviews. For instance, Game Informer praised its ability to create emergent gameplay, while Polygon complained about lack of content and misaligned gameplay incentives.

Today, the best part of the game is that anybody can hop into "Sea of Thieves" and compete with the best if they have what it takes. As a constantly updated game — which earned it the BAFTA award for best Evolving Game in 2021 — and with over 30 million lifetime players as of 2022, "Sea of Thieves" thrives as a party game on Xbox Game Pass.

  • Release Date: March 20, 2018
  • Genre: Action adventure
  • Game Modes: Online multiplayer (up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 69 (Xbox One)


As noted by Windows Central, "Minecraft" isn't in competition to be just one of the best games on Xbox Game Pass, it is in competition for being one of the greatest games of all time. It is the best selling game of all time, has the most cumulative time watched on YouTube, and basically set the stage for the open-world, games-as-a-Service storm that came during the 2010s (per Polygon).


Truly, it is hard to understate the impact that "Minecraft" has had on gaming as a whole. While its blocky textures can appear simplistic to some, they enable a brick-by-brick building approach that begs players to unleash their creativity. Also, this modular core of block placement allows for an infinite number of mods to keep the experience fresh for veteran players.

All of the hype for "Minecraft" is deserved and it still has one of the strongest online communities in the gaming space. Plenty of content creators find themselves coming back to "Minecraft" simply for the ability to create endless stories on the game's blank canvas.

  • Release Date: November 18, 2011
  • Genre: Sandbox, Survival
  • Game modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer (up to 8)
  • Metacritic Score: 88 (Xbox One)

Stardew Valley

Warm, cozy, and relaxing are all adjectives worthy of "Stardew Valley's" charm. At the same time, however, "Stardew Valley" can be played competitively in the coziest take on esports ever. Whatever style the player prefers, "Stardew Valley" is there to deliver.


"Stardew Valley" was developed by a single person, ConcernedApe, when he needed to brush up on his coding skills to apply for jobs (per GQ). In lieu of corporate ladder-climbing, "Stardew Valley," instead focuses on a rural life where tending crops making friends in town is an honest day's work.

The artwork, music, and storytelling all blend together brilliantly in a way that could only result from a singular creative mind. There's also plenty to scratch at below the surface, with tons of hidden content in the late-game. ConcernedApe has also updated "Stardew Valley" with additional free content over the years, so there's never been a better time to dive in.

  • Release Date: February 26, 2016
  • Genre: Role-Playing Game, Sandbox
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic score: 89 (Xbox One)

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition

"The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim" is a once-in-a-generation triumph of RPGs whose reputation is flawless and whose reach is almost absolute within the gaming space. Since its release in 2011, fans and critics alike have rightly raved about the game's nearly endless possibilities. Everything a player could want in an RPG is in "Skyrim." A satisfying and highly customizable combat system, deep progression systems across all skill types, and an open-world absolutely begging to be explored is at the heart of "The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim."


The game's success is so widespread that its subsequent re-releases have become memes within the gaming community for the frequency with which it was constantly re-packaged. "The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition" is the ultimate final version for both console and PC players, boasting upgraded graphics and the entire catalogue of DLCs. Most importantly, the "Skyrim Special Edition" allows for console players to enjoy "Skyrim's" infamous and unending list of mods (per PC Gamer).

  • Release Date: October 28, 2016
  • Genre: Role-Playing-Game, Adventure
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 82 (Xbox One)

Hollow Knight

Originally up during the Lumdum Dare indie game jam in 2013, "Hollow Knight" splendidly follows the formula of classic 2D Metroidvanias. However, "formulaic" isn't exactly the right word to describe "Hollow Knight," as its a wholly inventive and nuanced experience. Players of "Hollow Knight" guide the titular character through a grueling gauntlet of subterranean battles across an ever-growing world of deadly characters and even deadlier obstacles. Gameplay consists of a mix of platforming and high-intensity combat, both of which are accomplished through an intuitive set of movement controls.


"Hollow Knight" simply has it all: an entirely unique setting, an iconic main character, supreme progression mechanics, smooth gameplay, plenty of DLC content, and a sequel — "Hollow Knight: Silksong" — on the way. This stellar combination of mechanics and aesthetics led critics and gamers alike to call "Hollow Knight" an instant classic.

  • Release Date: February 24, 2017
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Metroidvania
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 89 (Xbox One)


"Townscaper" isn't as much a game as it is an experimental toy — or at least, that's how it has been described its solo developer, Oskar Stålberg (per CNET). Simplicity is the name of the game in "Townscaper," as there are only a few tools the players are given to use when creating a town.


Gameplay consists of bringing buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures into existence with only the simple choice of a color and the click of a button. If the player right-clicks, then something will be built, while left-clicks will remove something from the same space. Playing is as simple as that — there are no points, no timers, and no real objectives.

The algorithms that create new buildings are brilliant. Once a player spends a few minutes toying around in "Townscaper," they generally get a feel for what adding two buildings of the same color next to each other will do. Similarly, players will quickly pick up that verticality is the other main vector of choice in creating unique constructions. Other than that, "Townscaper" is what players make of it, and no more. This simplicity and escapism has been praised by critics and players, and it's easy to see why.

  • Release Date: August 26, 2021
  • Genre: City-Building
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 86 (PC)

Assassin's Creed Origins

Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed" franchise largely revolves around a shadow war between the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templars, who have secretly manipulated the course of human history for millennia. The early days of this longstanding conflict are explored in the 2017 prequel "Assassin's Creed Origins," set amidst the intrigue between Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. After a man named Bayek embarks on a quest to avenge his young son, he stumbles across a vast conspiracy orchestrated by Cleopatra and Julius Caesar for the fate of the western world.


"Origins" provides a more robust combat system compared to previous titles in the venerable video game series, with Bayek arming himself with a wider variety of weaponry. The naval combat mechanic introduced in "Assassin's Creed III" makes its return here, with Bayek's wife Aya attacking enemy ships. An immersive and ambitious entry in the series, "Assassin's Creed Origins" proves there's still plenty of life in the long-running franchise.

  • Release Date: Oct. 27, 2017
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 85 (Xbox One)

Dead by Daylight

One online survival horror game that has been entertaining players for the past five years is the popular "Dead by Daylight." The asymmetrical game sees four players take on the role of survivors while a fifth player joins the match as a brutal serial killer. The four survivors elude the killer and attempt to repair five generators to open the exit gate while the killer systematically hunts and sacrifices their prey.


Boasting several major horror licensed characters, from Freddy Krueger from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" to Ash Williams from "Evil Dead," "Dead by Daylight" definitely possesses some impressive horror cred. With the game on Xbox Game Pass, now is the perfect time for players to check out the online phenomena and see if they can survive horror's most notorious villains.

  • Release Date: June 20, 2017
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • Game Modes: Online multiplayer (up to 5)
  • Metacritic Score: 58 (Xbox One)

Dead Space 2

One of the greatest science fiction horror game franchises of all time has got to be "Dead Space," which blends supernatural survival horror with an interplanetary scale. The series follows protagonist Isaac Clarke, who learns that a strange virus causes the infected to mutate into violent, undead monsters. 2011's "Dead Space 2" sees Isaac emerge from a space station asylum after temporarily losing his sanity from his experiences in the first game, only to find that the undead Necromorphs have overrun the station.


As noted by Bloody Disgusting, "Dead Space 2" is arguably the pinnacle of the franchise and a standout in the horror genre in general, effectively balancing the survival horror elements with action-oriented gameplay mechanics in a mix that has yet to be matched. The developers provided a more accessible experience with "Dead Space 2" than its predecessor, featuring more intuitive controls and polished level design. More cinematic and ambitious than the first game, "Dead Space 2" embraces the possibilities of its blend in genres without compromising on the scares.

  • Release Date: Jan. 25, 2011
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 90 (Xbox 360)

Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare has had an extensive history crafting widely acclaimed RPG titles. One of its most successful series is the high fantasy franchise "Dragon Age," which started with 2009's "Dragon Age: Origins." The game takes place in the medieval kingdom of Ferelden, where players traverse the realm to recruit an alliance of humans, elves, and dwarves to take on a monstrous horde of creatures known as the darkspawn. Players can choose from a variety of protagonists, with each of their respective backstories integral to the overarching "Dragon Age" mythology.


"Dragon Age: Origins" perfects the RPG gameplay mechanics from BioWare's past efforts, allowing characters to move around the battlefield while selecting their actions. Intuitively mapped for home console gameplay, "Origins" also allows players to hotkey their favorite actions and pause in the midst of battle to better formulate their strategy. With its immersive world, epic stakes, and extensive cast of fan-favorite party members, "Dragon Age: Origins" set a high bar for console-based RPGs that very few subsequent titles have yet to exceed.

  • Release Date: Nov. 3, 2009
  • Genre: RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 86 (Xbox 360)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles side-scrolling beat-em-ups developed and published by Konami in the late '80s and early '90s helped define and popularize the genre. Developer Tribute Games actively sought to recapture what made those classic games so great while refining the presentation and gameplay for more modern sensibilities with the new title "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge." A top-to-bottom love letter to Konami's celebrated Ninja Turtles games, "Shredder's Revenge" is simply one of the best old school side-scrolling action games in years, as noted by PCWorld.


As Shredder launches a renewed campaign to conquer New York City, the Turtles and their friends band together to battle through waves of enemies. Allowing for up to six players to join together online, "Shredder's Revenge" gives each of its playable characters their own distinct styles for kicking butt. Both a blast from the past for longtime fans and perfectly accessible for new players, "Shredder's Revenge" is a nostalgic revival done right.

  • Release Date: June 16, 2022
  • Genre: Action
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local multiplayer (up to 4), Online multiplayer (up to 6)
  • Metacritic Score: 87 (Xbox One)

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

BioWare thrilled gamers with the "Mass Effect" trilogy, released from 2007 to 2012, blending dense RPG storytelling with third-person shooter action. The "Mass Effect" trilogy's timeline chronicles the adventures of Commander Shepard, a spacefaring soldier who leads his crew to stop a sentient race of machines from purging all organic life in the galaxy. All three games have been bundled together in the "Mass Effect Legendary Edition," which boasts sharper visuals and a number of quality of life changes for modern audiences.


For this remastered compilation, BioWare focused on optimizing the single-player experience, omitting the online multiplayer component present in the original version of "Mass Effect 3." Proving that the franchise's bones are still as effective as ever, "Mass Effect Legendary Edition" retains what made the trilogy so popular while adding a fresh coat of paint.

  • Release Date: May 14, 2021
  • Genre: Third-person shooter, Action RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 90 (Xbox One)

The Yakuza Remastered Collection

Sega has been immersing gamers in the Japanese criminal underworld with its "Yakuza" franchise since 2005, mixing open-world exploration with hard-hitting action in an addictive series. The third, fourth, and fifth main installments of "Yakuza" series are compiled in the "Yakuza Remastered Collection," all enhanced for modern consoles. Restoring much of the content cut from their initial North American releases, the compilation provides the definitive English-language versions of the three games.


The trilogy follows longtime series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, a mobster who seeks to leave his violent life behind. However, Kazuma's past proves impossible to completely escape, leading to grueling battles against unsavory crime figures who threaten those around the reluctant former gangster. With each game boasting a bevy of minigames and fast-paced street brawls, "The Yakuza Remastered Collection" delivers plenty of wacky open-world thrills.

  • Release Date: Jan. 28, 2021
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 81 (Xbox One)

Slay the Spire

You can trace the proliferation of deck-building roguelike games on Steam back to a handful of titles, but "Slay the Spire" arguably kicked off the trend in earnest when it debuted in early access in 2018. A hit from the start (via Destructoid), this indie card battler charges you with picking a starting class before embarking on a randomized run through a map full of enemies and loot. As you progress through the titular Spire, you will need to make decisions about which cards to add and remove from your deck. 


A blast to get your head around, "Slay the Spire" provides hours of depth and strategies to learn. The game's structure forged the path for future iterations like "Monster Train" to tweak and improve upon and for games like "Inscryption" to subvert and surprise, but the core gameplay loop of "Slay the Spire" is still so satisfying. Sometimes the original is still where it's at. If you have Game Pass and have never explored the genre, it's a great place to start.

  • Release Date: August 14, 2019
  • Genre: Rogue-like, Card Game, Indie
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: N/A

Hitman Trilogy

What's better than one of IO's excellent new "Hitman" games? Well, the whole trilogy of course — and that's what Xbox Game Pass has to offer! One of the absolute best deals on the service is this wealth of new "Hitman" levels and targets. The episode "Hitman" reboot, was a much needed refresh for the series, kicking off a new era of critical success for the "Hitman" franchise.. Bringing the best elements of its "Hitman" series forward, IO crafted a series of sandboxes filled with hilarious tools and ways to take out targets of high importance.


As Agent 47, you can either follow a series of increasingly elaborate story missions throughout each level or you can obsessively try every unique way of assassinating your targets before moving on. Each map offers hours of gameplay that allows players to flex their creativity and improvisational skills. These "Hitman" games are all dark slapstick comedies, but you're in strict control of the hijinks.

  • Release Date: January 20, 2022
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Stealth, Immersive Sim
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 85 ("Hitman," Xbox One), 87 ("Hitman 3," Series X), 84 ("Hitman 2," Xbox One)

Overcooked 2

One of the great couch co-op series of the past decade has got to be "Overcooked," and the sequel ups the ante. "Overcooked 2," a "Diner Dash"-style game that forces you to continuously communicate with your teammate(s) to get the best scores. This is the perfect example of a co-op game that will make you want to strangle your partner. But you will need them to progress through the Onion Kingdom as you take on increasingly wacky and challenging levels. 


"Overcooked 2" offers a wide variety of playable characters, maps, and recipes to try across the game and its DLC. There are also plenty of accessibility options that make "Overcooked" a fun experience even for those who don't play a ton of video games. From its presentation to gameplay, "Overcooked 2" is inviting to players of all ages. Easy to learn, but hard to master — harder still to put down once you've begun — "Overcooked 2" is as rewarding as it is chaotic.

  • Release Date: August 7, 2018
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer (up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 83 (Xbox)

Deep Rock Galactic

If you and your friends are looking for a novel take on co-op shooters on Game Pass, look no further than "Deep Rock Galactic." You take on the roles of a variety of dwarves as you mine your way through rock and stone to find treasure and enemies to take down. As you level up, you gain access to cooler weaponry and innovative tools. This combination of mining and resource hunting with a side of wave-based shooting is a winning one, and it gives "Deep Rock" its own identity in a crowded market.


Adding to the fun is Bosco, an adorable robot companion who is given to solo players to balance out the difficulty. Still, "Deep Rock Galactic" is best enjoyed as a co-op experience with up to four players. There are hundreds of hours' worth of bug-infested caverns to fight through (via HowLongtoBeat), so strap in and get your crew together. 

  • Release Date: May 13, 2020
  • Genre: Shooter, Action
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online co-op (up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 85 (PC), 83 (Xbox)

Tetris Effect: Connected

It's pretty much an undisputed fact that "Tetris" is one of the best video games of all time. The puzzle title is one of gaming's founding fathers and has spawned dozens of sequels and likely hundreds of imitators. Perhaps the best of all "Tetris" sequels is the trippy, Tetsuya Mizuguchi-directed "Tetris Effect," later released with additional modes on Xbox and Game Pass as "Tetris Effect: Connected." This fully featured version of "Tetris Effect" is one to keep installed on your hard drive at all times. 


The visually stunning story mode takes you through numerous stages set to a variety of absolutely banging tracks across all musical genres. These stages range from pretty neat to transcendentally entertaining. Yes, we are all connected in this life — and isn't that a beautiful thing? 

The breadth of additional single-player and multiplayer modes give "Tetris Effect" nearly endless replay value. The 4v1 Connected mode allows for you and your friends to experience co-op "Tetris" on a scale never before seen. Plus, if you have a Virtual Reality headset and PC Game Pass you can even play the game as intended — in glorious VR (via VR Upload).

  • Release Date: November 10, 2020
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer
  • Metacritic Score: 80 (Xbox One), 88 (Xbox Series X|S)

Fallout 3

"Fallout 3" falls in the middle of the long-running series' bizarre story, but in many ways it signified a shift in the franchise's trajectory. "Fallout 3" turnedt he franchise into an open world RPG full of chaos, dark humor, and downright weird scenarios, and its quirkiness made it stick out. The game follows the Vault Dweller, a nameless survivor of the nuclear apocalypse. After living underground for years in Vault 101, the Dweller sets out to find their long lost father, who may yet be alive (and voiced by Liam Neeson).


Like Bethesda's "Elder Scrolls" series, "Fallout 3" allows players to make choices that impact the narrative itself. Under the guidance of gamers, the Vault Dweller can be as evil or kind as they please, wreaking terror throughout the Wasteland or making it a decidedly better place. The many choices allow for a varied experience and offers tons of replay value. IGN's review of the game specifically noted how well it's written, and that kind of creativity never really goes out of style.

  • Release Date: Oct. 28, 2008
  • Genre: FPS, RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 93 (Xbox 360)

No Man's Sky

"No Man's Sky" is a rousing success story of a game that blew up years after it originally released. While the original package might not have offered everything gamer's wanted in a space exploration game, consistent updates from developer Hello Games have crafted the title into a finely tuned and immersive experience. Xbox Game Pass subscribers can take advantage of all those updates by picking up "No Man's Sky" as part of their subscription.


"No Man's Sky" encourages exploration, and players are mostly left up to their own devices in terms of plot. Gamers can work to get the fanciest ship in the sky, uncover alien civilizations, or hop from planet to planet and just take in the sights. It's up to players what they want to do with their time, and the game itself offers little direction. With that much freedom and the vastness of space at your fingertips, what is stopping you from hopping on a ship and setting sail amongst the stars?

  • Release Date: July 24, 2018
  • Genre: Open-world, action adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer
  • Metacritic Score: 77 (Xbox One)


"Tunic" is an action-RPG that looks an awful lot like a "Zelda" game, and in some ways they do share similarities. The game follows a cute fox armed only with a sword and vague instructions on where to go. From there, "Tunic" encourages players to explore and experience the world for themselves, with minimal guidance from supporting characters or signposts. The journey is full of puzzles and adorable enemies, but that doesn't mean that things will be easy.


In its review of "Tunic," PC Gamer noted that the game actually has more in common with FromSoftware's "Souls" series than any "Zelda" game. Upon death, players lose much of their loot and must track down their hovering spirit in order to regain their treasure. Without that treasure, buying powerful items and maneuvering through the increasingly difficult world is nearly impossible.

  • Release Date: March 16, 2022
  • Genre: Zelda-like, Platformer
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 85 (Xbox One)

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

"Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion" delivers what it promises in the title, but there's more to this game than a silly name. Players are the titular Turnip Boy, who wants nothing more than to avoid paying his taxes. Of course, the long arm of the law is always close behind, and Turnip Boy must work hard to stay out of trouble by solving puzzles, exploring, and even growing crops in order to pay back his massive debt to Mayor Onion.


In its review, The Xbox Hub noted that "Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion" runs somewhat like a clunkier "Legend of Zelda," but that its comedic timing and fun perspective still make it worth picking up – especially as part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription. After all, who doesn't want to be a mischievous turnip and terrorize cute vegetable townspeople?

  • Release Date: April 19, 2022
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Game modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: N/A

Umurangi Generation

"Umurangi Generation," one of the most unique indie titles available on Xbox Game Pass, is a photography simulator full of atmosphere. Players take up a camera and set out to complete increasingly difficult photo challenges. Finding the perfect angle takes finesse – and a lot of exploration – so players get a chance to soak in all the sights and sounds of a world in the throes of revolution.


As Eurogamer's review of "Umurangi Generation" explains, the game uses science fiction elements to explore a story that is very much relevant to contemporary gamers. The story unfolds from the perspective not just of the artist protagonist, but also their friends, a group of colorful punks who are always hanging around each level. Pair an engaging, subtle storyline with the ability to endlessly customize photographs with trippy lenses and effects, and "Umurangi Generation" becomes a must for Game Pass subscribers.

  • Release Date: May 17, 2022
  • Genre: Simulation
  • Game Modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: N/A


"Unpacking" might have made young fans hilariously misunderstand a piece of gaming history due to its inclusion of a GameCube in one level, but it's much more than a meme. In fact, "Unpacking" subtly tells the story of what it means to fit in and find a place for yourself as well as your things. The premise of "Unpacking" is simple enough: Players are an unnamed protagonist who must unpack their things in a series of homes over the years – from their childhood bedroom to a nursery for their new baby. The game doesn't offer much text to guide players through these life changes, but the items the protagonist must place offer insight into their life.


While "Unpacking" is a relatively short experience, it's a perfect relaxing afternoon play. IGN's review of the game specifically notes how well the game's sound design complements each aspect of unpacking. Clicks and clacks, paired with all the shuffling and soft thuds of the unpacking process, work together to bring the world to life, nicely adding an element of immersion to the whole experience.

  • Release Date: Nov. 2, 2021
  • Genre: Simulation, puzzle
  • Game modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: 81 (Xbox One)

A Way Out

Josef Fares is an infamous figure in the gaming world, but "A Way Out" showcases what he does best: co-op game experiences. He'd later go on to make the beloved "It Takes Two," but Fares' fascination with co-op games is readily apparent in "A Way Out." The game is exclusively co-op and follows Leo and Vincent, two criminals who attempt to break out of prison and find a way out, so to speak. Players take on the role of Vincent or Leo, who ultimately they must work together in order to orchestrate a successful escape.


While the story itself is an engaging way to spend time with a friend or loved one, "A Way Out" is also important for revolutionizing the way co-op games work. Its Friends Pass system allows gamers to connect online with only one copy of the game. Of course, good old fashioned couch co-op will work just fine as well.

  • Release Date: March 23, 2018
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Game Modes: Two-Player
  • Metacritic Score: 79 (Xbox One)

Persona 5 Royal

Part turn-based RPG, part high school simulator with a strong anime influence, Atlus' "Persona" series has grown to become one of the best JRPG franchises currently on the market. 2016's "Persona 5" received an enhanced version with additional content in 2019, titled "Persona 5 Royal," marking the definitive version of the game. The game follows a group of Tokyo high schoolers who awaken their latent abilities and venture into the otherworldly Metaverse to battle shadows fueled by malevolence in the main world.


With plenty of additional material, including a new party member and areas to explore, many critics hailed "Persona 5 Royal" as being an all-around improvement over the original version of the game. IGN's review of "Royal" observed that the enhanced version is more than just a polished iteration of "Persona 5," but a master class in how to elevate an existing game to an impressive next level. Luckily for fans, the Xbox port stacks up nicely to the PlayStation exclusive release from 2019. A modern RPG with an immersive world, memorable characters, and depth of gameplay, "Persona 5 Royal" is a delight for longtime and new "Persona" players alike.

  • Release Date: Oct. 21, 2022
  • Genre: RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Xbox Series X)


Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, 2022's "Pentiment" leans heavy into its medieval period piece setting and atmosphere while placing players in the middle of a murder mystery. Set in 16th century Bavaria, the narrative spans 25 years and is presented within the visual style of a medieval illustrated manuscript. The game follows protagonist Andreas Maler, who investigates a murder his friend has been implicated for, discovering the town's dark secret along the way.


With player actions directly affecting how the larger story unfolds, including multiple potential endings, "Pentiment" is a game that demands replays to get the full experience. In GamesRadar+'s review, "Pentiment" was praised for its unique art style and compelling mystery drawing in players. An imaginative adventure that stands as a must-play for classic art and history aficionados, "Pentiment" is triumph that players will want to play through again and again.

  • Release Date: Nov. 15, 2022

  • Genre: Action adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 86 (Xbox Series X)

Vampire Survivors

Presented in an unabashedly retro style, the 2022 indie darling "Vampire Survivors" sees players blasting through waves of monsters across the Italian countryside. Played from a top-down perspective, players earn points for annihilating enemies which can be used to unlock additional weapons, upgrades, and playable characters. Despite its relatively simple premise, "Vampire Survivors" offers a surprising amount of depth and replayability through its addicting gameplay.


Polygon's review of "Vampire Survivors" praised the game's chaotic simplicity and surprising amount of variance based on player strategy and gameplay style. With its pick-up-and-play quality coupled with its old school vibes, "Vampire Survivors" stands at the intersection of throwback presentation and modern sensibilities. A game that can enjoyed for hours or in bite-sized doses, "Vampire Survivors" is a prime example of the beauty and fun that can be found in deceptive simplicity.

  • Release Date: Nov. 10, 2022

  • Genre: Action, Rougelike

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Xbox Series X)

Cities: Skylines

"Cities: Skylines" is arguably the most generically capable city-builder in the gaming industry, in a good way. Nearly every aspect of urban planning — from zoning ordinances, traffic loops, and all the way to tax policies — is in the player's hands. For those needing to scratch their spreadsheet hyper-optimization itch, "Cities: Skylines" hits just the right spot.


Published by the grand strategy giant Paradox Interactive, "Cities: Skylines" takes city-building simulation to new levels of granularity. City development starts as a blank slate. Then, piece by piece, new elements come to fruition through a layered zoning system. Before the player knows it, they've already created housing districts with optimized traffic routes to commercial and industrial zones of their city. The game's sandbox style, combined with its array of layering options, produces an addictive game that is hard to put down.

Over time, "Cities: Skylines" grew into something even bigger. With thousands of PC-based mods that change raw gameplay mechanics, some of which have over 2 million active subscribers on Steam Workshop, "Cities: Skylines" is moldable like warm clay. The Xbox version of the game, however, only allows access to non-gameplay-changing modded assets. In any case, there are few achievements in gaming that are more satisfying than looking back on hours and hours of hard work on a glorious construction. "Cities: Skylines" is ready to deliver that for any ambitious builders.

  • Release Date: March 10, 2015
  • Genre: City-Building, Simulation
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 81 (Xbox One)

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

"Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is the latest Soulslike adventure game from developer Team Ninja, the studio behind the "Nioh" series. With that much experience, combined with new ideas, "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" delivers a fun and unique approach.


"Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" tasks the player with stamping out the Yellow Turban peasant revolt from 184 AD within Han Dynasty China. The game doesn't have the player slicing through just any mindless peasants, though. Rather, a mystical drug called Elixir poisons the land and turns its consumers into animalistic zombies. The player then tours the basics of Soulslike adventure games: exploring every nook and cranny of an unfolding world and dying many times over to challenging bosses.

Critical reception for "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" has proven positive. Kotaku's Levi Winslow reports that "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is, "the most accessible Soulslike I've ever played." In a genre dominated by obtuse storytelling and grueling mechanical challenges, "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is a breath of fresh air. Xbox Game Pass provided access to this gem of a game on the same day as its market release, so don't miss the opportunity to get in on "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty!"

  • Release Date: March 3, 2023
  • Genre: Adventure RPG, Fighting Game
  • Game modes: Single-player, Online Co-op
  • Metacritic Score: 79 (Xbox Series X)

Atomic Heart

What would happen if the Soviet Union became the world hegemon on the back of AI robotics after WWII? Further, what would an AI revolution in that world look like? Well, "Atomic Heart" is here to answer that question. Developed by Mundfish and published by Focus Entertainment, "Atomic Heart" gives a Soviet spin on similar utopian themes to "BioShock."


Visually, "Atomic Heart" stands out with reimagined, retro-futurist brutalism. The game is full of imaginative musings on art, architecture, and technology. In terms of the story, "Atomic Heart" keeps the player guessing. Uncovering Facility 3826's many secrets is as easy as turning an unexplored corner, the draw of finding the unexpected is oftentimes "Atomic Heart's" greatest narrative strength. Gameplay-wise, "Atomic Heart" offers wide combat customization options, as well as a plethora of easily-solved puzzles. Fights can get repetitive, but "Atomic Heart" offers several different ways to bring the pain to enemies, which keeps things mostly fresh.

Overall, "Atomic Heart" is, if nothing else, a unique experience. With stunning visuals and an unorthodox plot, "Atomic Heart" offers a distinctive play. Its campaign only runs roughly 15+ hours, so it's worth a shot on Xbox Game Pass.

  • Release Date: February 21, 2023
  • Genre: First Person Shooter, Action RPG
  • Game modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 73 (Xbox Series X)

Ghostwire: Tokyo

"Ghostwire: Tokyo" features a dark side of the bustling Japanese city, full of yokai and other supernatural creatures. In fact, the protagonist himself is supernatural, kept alive by a mysterious entity that guides him through the world. Players must face the ghosts of Tokyo with various elemental powers, all the while pursuing an unpredictable occultist who wants to doom the world. After spending a year as a PlayStation exclusive, "Ghostwire: Tokyo" finally made its way to the Xbox — and Game Pass. 


While critics had mixed reactions to "Ghostwire Tokyo," its inclusion on Game Pass makes the decision to play much more simple. While it does have some bugs, it presents a view of Japanese folklore unlike any other AAA title, focusing specifically on the country's rich tradition of haunting tales and demons. With an unsettling atmosphere and expansive world full of side quests (including some featuring adorable tanuki), there's no reason not to give "Ghostwire: Tokyo" a try on Game Pass.

  • Release Date: March 25, 2022
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, First Person
  • Game Modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: 77 (PC), 83 (Series X)

Loop Hero

Time is really confusing once it gets knocked off its linear path, and "Loop Hero" takes full advantage of its wibbly-wobbly nature. In "Loop Hero," gamers are plunged into a world stuck in an endless time loop. To escape, players must use all of their strategic prowess and planning abilities to construct the perfect dungeon, or loop, for a hero to move through. Each loop is different, and players accumulate new cards — which represent obstacles or enemies — to place on their path. The roguelike strategy of earning new cards and using them to create new dungeons keeps "Loop Hero" fresh, even for those that have spent a lot of time with the game. 


The nostalgic retro graphics add another layer of enjoyment to "Loop Hero," making it stand out against the many other offerings on Game Pass. Jon Bolding at IGN pointed out that "Loop Hero" offers atmospheric world-building on the same level as "Dark Soul." As the hero earns new items to place in the loop, they gradually remember the cursed world they're in, allowing players to further calculate stats and make adjustments to dungeons along the way. It all amounts to a system of progression that becomes deliciously addictive.

  • Release Date: March 4, 2021
  • Genre: Roguelike, Strategy, RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: 82 (PC)