Xbox Game Pass launched to much praise in 2017, and has since become a great addition to the Xbox experience, allowing gamers access to over 100 titles for a low monthly price. We have seen some absolutely excellent additions to the library over the last twelve months and just recently Microsoft began releasing first party titles like Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 to members of the service from day one. In celebration of the first anniversary of the service, join us as we take a look at five of the best titles currently available.
5. Metro Last Light Redux
Metro 2033 came out of nowhere to become not only one of the best looking games of 2010, but also one of the most atmospheric experiences ever available.
Last Light built upon those foundations in almost every way, bringing with it a beautiful graphical fidelity that at the time was hard to top, along with an engaging and genuinely tension filled plot. The Russian metro system is once again the star of the show, with tense and tight corridors that hide all manner of nasties around every bend. There are also small ramshackle encampments full of genuinely interesting characters and side quests, whilst occasionally venturing outside to take in the rather beautiful post apocalyptic Russian city brings with it all new challenges.
The Redux version comes with higher quality graphics, tighter controls and a whole host of fixes and tweaks not available in the original.
4. Halo 5
After 343 took over as caretaker for the Halo series they set about modernising the look of the franchise, all whilst trying to maintain that unique feeling that Halo is so well known for.
Halo 4 ended up being good, but missed the mark on keeping the tight smooth feeling.
Halo 5 however brought it all back including that unique Halo vibe. Not only is the single player campaign a real push in the right direction showing the world that 343 are willing to push new boundaries in the larger Halo universe, but it also has one of the most comprehensive multiplayer suites in gaming, easily standing next to Halo 2 as the best multiplayer experience of the series.
It offers up old favourites alongside new experiences that even brought with it a PvPvE mode that is a joy to play.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again, Limbo is absolutely an experience unlike anything else… and unlike anything that has come since.
Playdead took the platform genre and built a wonderfully eerie, monochrome landscape, partnering it with clever puzzles and a genuinely mysterious vibe that combined to not only keep you on your toes the entire way through, but also left you wondering just what it was all about – something you wouldn’t really understand until you finally reached the end.
Peppered with brilliant chase scenes and genuine moments of horror, Limbo is a game that everyone should experience.
2. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics brought the Tomb Raider series back in to the limelight with Lara’s origin story in 2013’s original. Here they have refined and polished that formula, adding much larger areas and richly detailed tombs. They listened to the fans and acted, managing to remove or minimise just about every issue players had with the original.
From the excellent intro through to the climactic ending, Rise of the Tomb Raider is an absolute heart pounding joy to play; full of moments that can genuinely get the adrenaline running.
With Shadow of the Tomb Raider shaping up to be one of the premier games of 2018, now is the time to go back and check this out. It is also one of the best games to show off the power of the Xbox One X with an enhanced patch that brought three excellent options for graphical fidelity.
1. Gears of War 2
The original Gears of War is a game that popularised the “cover shooter” genre with tight controls and well polished mechanics, using the Unreal Engine to show off exactly what the Xbox 360 was capable of.
With the sequel though Epic Games took the original, bumped the visual quality up to a whole new level and developed a campaign that is equal parts harrowing as it is fun. One minute you can be hacking your way out from the digestive system of a giant worm, while the next you see yourself weeping for Dom and his long lost wife.
The game is a testament to Epic and their ability to flesh out a story with strong emotional moments and thundering brutal gunplay, and it is in Gears 2 that we find Epic making the best balance of this. That isn’t to discredit the rest of the series, but the second game found a brilliant balance between story and gameplay that hasn’t quite been replicated since.
It looks like Microsoft may have some Gears of War announcements at this year’s E3, so now is a great time to jump in and meet Marcus and friends!
So there we have it, some of the best games currently available via Xbox Game Pass. If you have a subscription, make sure you check them out – and if you don’t, then make sure you at least take up a month’s worth of the service to see what goodies are in store. As always, let us know your thoughts on the best games available via Xbox Game Pass by posting in the comments down below.