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Five Reasons To Check Out Xbox Game Pass In January 2021

Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's subscription-based library of games playable on the Xbox family of consoles, Windows, and the xCloud streaming service, is adding some new titles to its repertoire. Five triple-A games arrive in the second half of January, including Game of the Year nominee Control, Bloober Team's new horror-thriller The Medium, and the Yakuza Remastered Collection, playable on Xbox consoles for the first time.

The addition of Sega's Yakuza Remastered Collection to the Xbox Game Pass is exciting not only because it includes three award-winning games, Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5, but because it opens up an entire franchise to new audiences. The Yakuza series was mostly unknown in North America and Europe due to a decade of strict PlayStation exclusivity and advertising catered to primarily Asian markets. While not many gamers in the West may have encountered the Yakuza series, the games have always garnered positive responses from critics, including the most recent entry, Yakuza: Like A Dragon.

With these games now available on Xbox consoles and Windows, alongside previous remakesĀ Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2, gamers without a PlayStation finally have a chance to play through nearly the entirety of the Yakuza narrative. The Yakuza Remastered Collection will be available for Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Jan. 28.

The next big attraction for gamers looking for something new from the Xbox Game Pass is The Medium's arrival. One of the first games that will fulfill Microsoft's commitment to offering Series X|S titles through the service on launch day, The Medium will be available for no additional fees for subscribers on the same day it is available for purchase, Jan. 28. This psychological thriller uses unique split-screen segments to simultaneously explore the game's physical world and spirit world and is heavily influenced by the Silent Hill series.

Before any of those titles are available, however, gamers will have a chance to experience Remedy Entertainment's critical darling Control, which arrives on Jan. 21. This mysterious action-adventure game, which exists in Remedy Entertainment's extended universe that includes Alan Wake, was nominated in 2019 at The Game Awards for Game of the Year. Xbox Game Pass subscribers have had Control's arrival teased since 2019, so anyone who's been holding out for its appearance on the service should be excited.

These new announcements only sweeten the Game Pass Ultimate deal that Microsoft is running right now, which charges just $1 for the first three months of Xbox Game Pass services. That deal runs until Jan. 25, so any gamers who are interested should dive in.