Xbox Game Pass has established itself as the gold standard of subscription services in the world of gaming. But with over 250 games to choose from, settling on which game to invest your time into can be a daunting task. Thankfully, our Top 10 Game Pass lists are here to help you find the perfect game for any situation.
Updated April 14, 2020
10. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
When gamers think of first-person-shooters, hardcore online firefights often come to mind. Wolfenstein II bucks that trend with an entirely single-player campaign that should be on everyone’s radar. Set in an alternate history, the action takes place in 1961 following the Nazi victory in the Second World War. The 10-hour campaign is packed full of crazy characters, even crazier guns, and plenty of Nazis to shoot. The story successfully walks the tight line of revisionist absurdity and powerful character moments, making it one of the definitive FPS campaigns of the generation.
9. Quantum Break
The talented team at Remedy Entertainment are known for compelling single-player experiences, and Quantum Break is no exception. Known for its controversial use of FMV between chapters, the weight of the player’s decisions are lived out in live-action. The blurring between gaming and TV was hit-or-miss for many, but the standout performances from Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X-Men movie series) and Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger from Game of Thrones) are undeniable. Pair that with an array of time-manipulation superpowers and you will be hooked throughout the 10-hour campaign.
8. The Outer Worlds
At first glance, The Outer Worlds can easily be mistaken for a game from the Fallout series (scroll down for more on that). The same team that brought us Fallout: New Vegas shows off what they learned in this brand new IP. You can expect many of the same qualities that made its inspiration so iconic: intense action RPG combat, weighty choices, and dark humor that is actually funny. The space setting separates it from its contemporaries, allowing the team at Obsidian to flex its creative muscles through insane alien species and technologies. The 12-hour campaign is more digestible than what you might expect from a Fallout game, but there is plenty of extra content for those who want to explore every nook and cranny.
7. Batman: Arkham Knight
The finale of the critically acclaimed series that revived that superhero video game genre, Batman: Arkham Knight ends the trilogy in style. The emphasis on Batmobile combat and the lack of traditional boss-fights have soured some fans from this installment of the Arkham series. But it is undeniable that it captures the essence of becoming the Caped Crusade in a open-world with no shortage of things to do. Helping keep the combat and stealth loop fresh is a wide array of gadgets and combos that make Arkham Knight anything but a button-masher. The story is fantastic, and any Batman fan worth their salt will want to see it to its epic conclusion.
6. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Looks might be deceiving when it comes to this hardcore platformer. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a Metroidvania developed by Moon Studies that should be on the radar of all Xbox owners. Stunning visuals paired with a emotional soundtrack make the 12-hour campaign a joy to experience. With a larger focus on NPCs to guide you through the open world and a deeper combat system than its predecessor, this sequel expands 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest (also on Game Pass) into a more complete experience.
5. Fallout 4
The gold-standard in open world action RPGs, the Fallout series has always been about choice. In Fallout 4, players can explore the post-apocalyptic Boston area however they please thanks to impressive character customization options. Focus on charisma and you can simply talk your way out of many sticky situations; pour your resources into science, and use technology and radiation to gain the upper hand. Or simply use the iconic VATS system to maximize your limited ammo you scavenge and shoot your way to victory. With side quests as engaging as the main story, it is easy to lose yourself in the engrossing wasteland. Though some criticized it for not innovating enough on the previous installments, Fallout 4 delivers more of what series fans fell in love (including hilarious technical bugs).
4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Despite a tumultuous development that has put the series future into jeopardy, the likely final game in the mainline Metal Gear Solid franchise did not suffer for it. Metal Gear Solid V layers interconnected systems and mechanics to give the player the freedom to tackle missions as they see fit. When you want it to be, The Phantom Pain is one of the greatest stealth games of all-time, but if you rather it be a chaotic run-and-gun shooter it can be that too. Throw in the ability to extract enemy soldiers, vehicles and even animals into the sky with the “Fulton” device, and you get the ultimate sandbox that blends realistic military strategy with the pure nonsense creator Hideo Kojima is known for. Die-hard fans might not have got the conclusion to the story they were looking for, but at least they got one of the most critically acclaimed games of the generation.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The hit Netflix show of the same name has made The Witcher series a household name, but it was 2015’s game by CD Projekt RED that demonstrated the depth of world building created by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowsk. The Witcher 3 tells its story so effortlessly that previous knowledge of the source material or previous games is not needed to appreciate the journey (though it can enhance it). From the very beginning of the 50+ hour campaign, Wild Hunt makes every enemy encounter feel like a significant challenge with a combat system akin to Dark Souls (albeit without the same stakes). Taking advantage of the many deep RPG systems can make preparing for a big fight as fun as the fight itself, while also giving the player the choice on how to tackle each obstacle.
2. Sunset Overdrive
Before Insomniac Games was releasing Marvel’s Spider-Man exclusively for Playstation 4, they were behind another incredible console exclusive for Microsoft. Sunset Overdrive is a perfect blend of the developer’s other works; combing the insane arsenal of the Ratchet and Clank series with the sheer joy of movement found in Spider-Man creates a must-play experience. The game oozes personality with an art-style to match and is genuinely funny (a rarity in gaming). Xbox fans may never get the sequel they clamored for, but that shouldn’t detract Game Pass subscribers from experiencing one the system’s best kept secrets.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
One of only two games to ever sell more than 100 million copies, there is a good chance you might have already experienced Grand Theft Auto V. If you are one of those few who have yet to dive in, or if you only ever played when it was first released on last-gen consoles, there is no excuse not to give Rockstar Games’ masterpiece a try. Recent updates to the robust online mode have kept GTA V relevant years after its release, but the engrossing single-player content should not be forgotten. The satirical take on Hollywood life is genuinely funny, and the cast of three protagonists you can seamlessly switch between keeps the narrative and gameplay fresh throughout the 30+ hour campaign.
You can catch Mark Staniusz on Twitter at the aptly branded @MarkStaniusz handle. Be sure to tell him about how cool games are or maybe talk about sports. Whatever floats your boat, really.