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May 2020 Free Games with Gold

So let's say, hypothetically, you have a lot more time to play video games these days. How do you fill up all those extra hours? You could keep an eye out for sales. You could tackle your ever expanding backlog — though let's be honest, you probably won't. Or you could download some free games from Microsoft, courtesy of Xbox Live Games With Gold.

We're now racing toward the end of April, and right on cue, Microsoft has unveiled its May lineup for Games With Gold. As is custom, the list includes two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games that are also playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility. Two titles come at the beginning of the month, and two become available in the middle.

And what are those free downloads, you ask? Well, we hope you like gritty, dark action. And we hope you like sports.

V-Rally 4 leads the pack when it comes to Xbox Live Games With Gold on May 1. This racer originally dropped on Sept. 11, 2018, and, unfortunately, didn't leave many critics impressed. Its Metacritic score of 67 doesn't do much to tout its proficiency as a racing game, but if you've explored every nook and cranny of Forza Horizon 4 and are thirsty for any kind of new racer, regardless of how good it is, V-Rally 4 could be worth a look.

Sensible World of Soccer also arrives on May 1, and again, this is a game that doesn't come anywhere near the top of its genre. FIFA this is not. That said, Sensible World of Soccer gets a little bit of a pass for being a '90s PC title that was ported over to the Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade release. And though it's a 2D game, it actually manages to offer up a fairly entertaining experience. With a Metacritic score of 81, this could be the hidden gem in this month's Games With Gold lineup. Consider giving it a shot.

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor — Martyr is next up on May 16, and is another entry that may not drum up a lot of excitement. Aside from having a name that's annoying to both read and write — seriously, a colon and an em dash? — it's also a Diablo-like that can't quite hold a candle to Blizzard's classic series. IGN stamped a score of "6" on this one when it released in mid-2018, stating it "drops the ball where it matters most for an action RPG." If you find yourself craving something from that genre when the middle of the May rolls around, though, why not?

And finally, Overlord 2 also goes free on May 16. This Xbox 360 fantasy title made its debut back in 2009, pulling in a fairly decent Metacritic score of 79. It's fair to say the reviews were fairly divisive across the board, however. The now-defunct 1UP gave the game a 91, praising its multitude of customization options. IGN, on the other hand, wasn't so kind. The reviewer there slammed it with a 61, writing, "No amount of British wit could bring a smile to my face as I treaded through the tedium that is Overlord II." Cover yourself in cinnamon and call yourself an almond, Overlord 2, 'cause you just got roasted.

This may be one of the weaker months for Games With Gold in terms of both quality and diversity. None of the games mentioned blew critics away. If you don't care for sports, or if you'd rather avoid grimdark fantasy settings, there's admittedly not much here for you.

That said, the Games With Gold program has been running for quite a while now, and there's a good chance the well is running dry in terms of well-received titles. It's always a letdown to see a less-than-stellar month, especially when the folks over in PlayStation land get a good lineup. But who knows — maybe one of these games will surprise you. The critics don't speak to all tastes, after all.