The Xbox Live Gold subscription brings a great service. Sure, Live itself has its outages from time to time, but for the most part it enables us to play our games online against others from around the world, talk to our friends whilst doing so, and of course it gives us a bunch of new games every month to play and keep at no extra cost. One thing players often make their opinions known about however, is the quality of the games given away with the Xbox Games With Gold scheme; whilst each year may bring us one or two of the best blockbusters, a vast amount of what is offered leads to disappointment from the community.
Regardless of whether you’re of the opinion that we should all welcome the free gesture (and they are free) whatever they may be, or that the quality of the games should be much better, here is our list of nine games we’d love to see given away for Games With Gold.
Geometry Wars used to be a rather unique series. Players would take on the role of a ship kitted out with explosive and rapid firing weaponry, taking on endless hordes of enemies. Geometry Wars 3:DE was the first in the series to change from the usual 2D shapes and arenas, and instead switching to spheres and multiple other 3D playing fields.
The goal in Geometry Wars 3 is fairly straight forward; rack up scores by destroying the enemies on screen, whilst avoiding taking any damage. Scores can be multiplied by bonuses picked up and weapons can be changed by various pick-ups as you go along your merry way. This is certainly no easy task and the game does have a reputation of bringing bullet-hell situations – damn enjoyable ones at that.
Whilst there may be many other games on the market now that try to offer the same thing, there is no denying that giving fans the opportunity to experience this cracking series from its original source would go down well.
8) Zombie Army Trilogy
With Sniper Elite 4 just over the horizon, would there be a better time to throw the nazi zombies at us once more?
Zombie Army Trilogy (ZAT) is the spinoff creation of the team behind the successful Sniper Elite series, and was spawned from the popular creation of PC mods. Whilst the game can be played either solo or co-op with up to four players able to play throughout the campaign, the best fun is to be had with friends.
ZAT takes a slightly darker path than the usual Sniper Elite fashion, with players set on the path of the recently resurrected führer in an effort to take him down and end his world destruction via a controlled nazi zombie army. Any Sniper Elite choice may well have gone down well in this spot, but with enemies so different to everything else in the series, we feel this is what we want to see given to the masses in the coming months.
Shadow Warrior brought me one thing in gaming, Lo Wang. This guy may just be my favourite protagonist in any game ever. With plenty of wit and humour and that lovable wisecracking attitude on show throughout, anyone who has experienced the adventure of Lo Wang will look back on this one fondly.
But it’s not just the protagonist that makes for an enjoyable ride. Shadow Warrior may be one of the most criminally underrated games ever. This first-person masterpiece is a reboot of the original that hit arcades back in gaming’s golden era and even though there have been many changes to the series, the fantastic gameplay is one thing that hasn’t changed at all.
It comes with fast paced combat, plenty of enemies and a satisfying story that sees players hunt down an infamous ancient katana, after a deal to purchase the blade for two million dollars goes wrong. With a release coming so soon into the Xbox One’s life cycle, it would be great to see this great gem given out to a larger crown before Lo Wang arrives later this year for the highly-anticipated sequel.
6) Ryse: Son of Rome
Ahhh, Marius.. Son of Rome. It’s been a while since I took to your story of redemption at the helm of one of Rome’s bravest Centurion soldiers. I fully expect it’s a while since anyone else has heard of the tales of Rome either, especially with Ryse being one of the Xbox One launch titles back in November 2013. But despite releasing more than three years ago, there is no taking away just how much quality is in this title.
From the outstanding graphics, courtesy of the beautiful CryEngine, to the amazing storyline and satisfying combat, Ryse has it all. Some will complain at the repetitive nature of the game’s combat, but there is no title that has yet to come close to such great realism and provide an believable outlook on one of history’s greatest eras.
With no sequel expected any time soon, if ever, what could be better than one of the best Xbox One titles going free with our monthly subscription?
5) The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Indie games may have blown up in the last few years, but one title that certainly grabbed my attention the quickest was The Binding of Isaac.
Taking on the role of Isaac, players must descend through the many treacherous and deadly floors of his mother’s basement to avoid becoming a victim of her devotion to God. After hearing a voice from God ordering her to kill her son for being corrupt, Isaac escapes into the never-ending randomly generated rooms of the basement of his family home, coming face to face with unspeakable beasts in the process, before the ultimate showdown with his mother.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the complete version of the game and packs the fantastic randomly generated, RPG roguelike with tons of new levels and items to really bring the ultimate challenge to players. Gameplay is tough, and the slightest mistake can lead to a restart for anyone not paying close attention, but releasing as an offering in Games With Gold would put the deserved spotlight on this incredible indie title.
4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Abe is a character that’s definitely lived long in my memory. The whole Oddworld universe is something that has always amazed me, from the early days with the PlayStation 1 all the way to Munch’s outing on the original Xbox console, and back to Rupture Farms with the beautiful remaster.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is the fantastic remake of the popular Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee from PS1, in which players take on the role of Abe, a factory slave worker inside Rupture Farms, the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld. After listening in on his bosses’ and their new plans to use his own Mudokon race as the latest meat product, Abe sets out as the Mudokon chosen by fate, on a path to escape the deadly Rupture Farms plant – taking as many Mudokon slaves with him as possible.
As the player controlling him, you’ll need to avoid mines, Sligs, Slogs and much more in order to ensure the hero can make it out alive. Whilst many may not have heard of Abe’s previous adventures, older gamers will certainly have an appreciation for the enthralling challenge. Some truly unique artwork brings the beautifully dark journey alive and Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a game we’d love to see come to the scheme, right next to our wish for the remake of the sequel too.
3) Rare Replay
Do Rare really need an introduction?
After 30 years of fantastic service to the gaming industry, with some of the finest games to grace consoles, such as the hardcore Battletoads and the comical Conkers Bad Fur Day to the loveable Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Piñata, Rare came out with another incredible gift to the world. A near complete collection of everything the studio has produced in one neat package, with thirty great titles all playable on the Xbox One. But with time shifting by and new titles just around the corner that look to take our minds back to the glory days of gaming, what could be better than the chance to jump into these incredible games in one go – all with a swift reminder of the studio that brought so much joy to our homes.
It’s probably a big ask to see this included in the monthly offerings, but it would be a nice addition that I’d take hands down.
Diablo is a bit of a tricky one really – it’s a lot like the Souls series in a way, after all you either love it or you hate it. But Diablo 3 isn’t your simple pick up and play game however – instead it’s a game that many would refuse to play just to ensure their controllers live to see another day.
But despite the crushing difficulty, there is indeed a quality game there too, and those that can look past the constant punishment received and learn from their mistakes are the ones that can attest to this being a great game.
With classic dungeon delving gameplay and a heavy loot system, Diablo 3 is a game that can keep players coming back for hours. Its hours of content and the included expansion pack, Reaper of Souls, providing an extension to the already heavily in-depth storyline of the base game, ensures that Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is a one of a kind masterpiece that really should be experienced by all gamers – after all, we didn’t put it in our top Xbox One fantasy titles for nothing! – even if that means bowing to the forces of evil.
For our final entry, we could have chosen many things. After all there are so many top-quality titles available, that really we’d be quite happy with most things. But one title that deserves the love of the Xbox community is Halo. I’m not on about the latest iteration with its amazing multiplayer. I’m talking the home of Xbox gaming, the series that launched the Xbox brand. I’m talking Master Chief.
The Halo: Master Chief Collection (MCC) is a title that started life horribly on the Xbox One. But through the several patches and various fixes, Halo: MCC has finally begun to shape into what we expected to see back at its launch. With every Halo adventure from 1 through 4 included, as well as each and every multiplayer map all in one place, this really should have been the collection that had players stuck to the controller for years. Unfortunately, even with the fixes the crowd were a tough one to please, so my biggest wish for Games with Gold is to see the Chief given a proper voyage to the homes of every Xbox One player, giving this great title a chance to show that now it really is the ultimate collection on Xbox One.
Even without the bonus Halo: ODST campaign, this would really be a big coup for any gamer with a gold subscription.
So there we have it, the top nine games we’d love to see given away with our Xbox Live Gold subscription via Games With Gold. Do you agree with our list? Or is there something you’d like to see make its way to the scheme that we’ve missed off the list? Let us know in the comments below.