20 of the Best Xbox Game Pass Games Available Today

By Dave Horobin, 21 days ago
If you're subscribing to Xbox Game Pass, you no doubt want to make sure that you're playing the very best games that the service has to offer. From highly anticipated Xbox exclusives that release straight into the program to the ID@Xbox games that take you by surprise, there are more great titles arriving into Xbox Games Pass library every month.

Choosing which Xbox Game Pass title to play next might seem like a daunting task, so we're here to help you narrow down the choice by using a combination of site review scores and your community ratings to put together our list of the 20 best Xbox Game Pass games that you should be checking out today.

Forza Horizon 4

E3

By this stage, it should come as no surprise that Playground Games finds a way to raise the bar for each release in the Horizon series, and they've once again found another gear in Forza Horizon 4 that leaves its competitors trailing in the dust. The roster of cars is bigger than ever, the setting of Britain is stunningly recreated down to the finest detail, the shared online world is a resounding success, and the addition of seasons adds something completely new and unique to the series both in terms of the gameplay and the aesthetics of the world. I don't know how they do it, but Playground Games has once again set the standard for other racing games to strive for.

Download from Microsoft Store

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Some games do a few memorable things in an otherwise disappointing package, and some games are greater than the sum of their parts. Then some games are like Hellblade, where everything is done so well that it stands up to nearly all criticism. The puzzling and combat are both well designed even if neither is genre-redefining, and the audiovisual experience is a consistent spectacle. The ways it never cuts to loading screens and hides its UI makes it feel unique too, like we are right there with Senua every step of the way, but it's because of the story that Hellblade is forever cemented as something special. Senua is fierce and imperfect in a way that will have you rooting for her like few characters ever garner. Her journey is pretty much unceasingly filthy, violent, tragic and horrific, yet it's not a story of suffering, but rather one of perseverance. Senua is a remarkable character who instills all of her energies into the player in such a way that will never be forgotten.

Download from Microsoft Store

Rocket League

Rocket League

The simplistic design of Rocket League makes it extremely easy to pick up and play for newcomers, while at the same time allowing players to develop their skill and understanding of the game through practice. There is an issue with the game occasionally locking up, but that shouldn’t detract from the enjoyment and excitement that the game provides on a far more often basis. If you've already played the game extensively on other platforms prior to its launch on the Xbox One then there's nothing new on offer. For anyone that hasn’t tried Rocket League yet, it’s an absolute masterpiece of a multiplayer game that really has to be experienced to be truly understood.

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DOOM

DOOM

As one Bethesda employee put it: "If you're not into violent, bloody games… DOOM's probably not a game for you". For everyone else, it’s impossible not to recommend trying it. The campaign is where DOOM really shines with its fast-paced, slick, brutally bloody and exhilarating action that mixes old-school gameplay with modern design. DOOM is back and it’s hellishly good.

Download from Microsoft Store

Sunset Overdrive

SO main

Sunset Overdrive is a blast to play; it looks great, it feels great, it pushes the limits of both the player and the console without straining either. It may not be much more than a wacky, immature and explosive adventure that tries too hard to poke fun at itself and dazzle its players with gimmicks, but Sunset Overdrive has it where it counts. It's plain and simple while over-the-top ridiculous, charming while offensive, exceptional while exceptionally tacky, in short, it knows what it is. Sunset Overdrive is fun.

Download from Microsoft Store

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians is the game that 343 Industries needed to release to regain the confidence of gamers in both themselves and the Halo franchise. The campaign is a fast, action-packed battle through a host of beautifully designed locations, that offers brilliant pacing and some stunning set pieces. The story may well be confusing – especially for newcomers – and many characters are sadly lacking in depth, but that doesn’t detract from how fun shooting your way through the game’s fifteen missions is when playing solo and even more so with three friends. The multiplayer stays true to the core elements that have made Halo what is today, whilst at the same time adding new mechanics that bring it in line with what you’d expect to see from a modern first-person shooter. The addition of Warzone alone will keep you coming back for more as every game feels different and unique. If you own an Xbox One, subscribe to Xbox Game Pass and have any interest in first-person shooters, Halo 5: Guardians is quite simply a must play.

Download from Microsoft Store

DiRT 4

DiRT 4 Rallycross

Inevitably, comparisons will be drawn between DiRT 4 and Dirt Rally. When stacking one against the other, it feels like Dirt Rally is the elder, more scholastic, and slightly serious sibling. Dirt 4 on the other hand, is the younger, outgoing sibling who, whilst not exactly bouncing off the walls, still knows how to have a little fun. It allows for an awesome and technical approach if you find yourself among those who crave the purest racing simulation worthy of Codemasters' reputation, but Dirt 4 now invites others less experienced to the table with alternate driving modes. They have listened to the critiques of their previous games and created a rally game that truly is for everyone.

Download from Microsoft Store

State of Decay 2

12/06/17 - Screens

If you walked away from the original game feeling flustered from the constant micromanagement of everything, State of Decay 2 isn't going to change your mind. All of those aspects return and in many cases are made deeper. For a game to do so much at once you'd reasonably expect more bumps in the road than how few are found here. Story, voice work, and animations are all still goofy, but throw in co-op multiplayer, better endgame content, and more reasons to replay it, and State of Decay 2 is the type of game with which certain players will fall in love. There's always something to do and in a classically sim style, it's hard to know when to stop. It's the most realistic zombie apocalypse simulation in the world and that's a beautiful thing.

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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

Screenshot

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a superb example of a relatively simple game done exceptionally well. Difficulty spikes aside, there is very little to fault with the title. Unless you really dislike the old style Castlevania type of games, there is a great deal of fun to be had with Guacamelee. Gamers of all levels, be it casual or hardcore, will find the title incredibly enjoyable to play. In its simplest form, it is a blast that will appeal to the casual gamers. However, attempting to find and retrieve all of the collectibles will tax even the most hardcore and dexterous of players. With the game being included in Xbox Game Pass, there's simply no reason for not adding this game to your collection.

Download from Microsoft Store

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Achievements

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a sequel that does a lot well, although its biggest detriment is how safely the developers seemed to play it. A lot of the game will feel like more of the same, which for some may start to wear thin three lengthy games into the series. If you're not yet fatigued by the familiarity, or if you focus on spending your skill points on the great but weirdly missable new stuff, it's a much more enjoyable game. It has the flavor of a summer blockbuster. You know what you're getting with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and while you can't say it breaks through any boundaries or leaves you stunned for long after the credits roll, it's fun while it lasts and remains an exciting third act to Lara's reimagined origin story. It's a perfect fit for Xbox Game Pass.

Download from Microsoft Store

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 promised a new beginning — a new cast of characters, a new threat to humanity and the chance for a new developer to make its mark. While the gameplay and storyline certainly aren't lacking and will likely keep Gears fans amused, The Coalition seems reluctant to let the past go and to move on. Away from the campaign, there are tweaks to competitive multiplayer that include a couple of new game modes, but the real focus of the title is the improved Horde mode. It is here that players will spend the majority of their time and where the real enjoyment lies.

Download from Microsoft Store

Mortal Kombat X

Scorpion

Mortal Kombat X excels in the field of gory action, gruesome sound effects, gameplay mechanics, the Tower mode and building up the alternate timeline's universe. Fans of the series and players just picking up the game can enjoy dismembering one another. It's not without downsides — lengthy expositions, unnecessary QTEs, redundant online match types and a short storyline to name a few. It's not exceptional, but playing in Xbox Game Pass is a good way to get your Mortal Kombat experience before digging into the 11th instalment.

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Halo Wars: Definitive Edition

HWDE Logo

To this day Halo Wars remains the most accessible RTS game to have ever been released on a console, and while it may lack the depth of some of its PC brethren, as an introduction to the genre it is still at the top of its class. The addition of playing it on PC is a welcome inclusion and something for which many people have been asking since the game was originally released in 2009. Halo Wars: Definitive Edition doesn't offer much more over its Xbox 360 counterpart — which is already playable on the Xbox One thanks to Backwards Compatibility — but with its inclusion in Game Pass, it's the most cost-effective version to recommend.

Download from Microsoft Store

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Screenshot

Ori and the Blind Forest is arguably one of the biggest success stories on the Xbox One. Visually it is gorgeous and has a beautiful soundtrack to complement it. The lack of load times helps the flow of the game, and the platforming gameplay is fluent and precise all the way through. Difficulty spikes bring a challenging edge, and the escape sections are some of the most hectic portions of any platformer game. Ultimately, we cannot recommend this game enough, it is a must play.

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The Walking Dead

Clementine

The first, and arguably the best, release in Telltale's The Walking Dead series was a huge success when it originally released on the Xbox 360 back in 2012. Telling the emotional tale of Lee, Clementine and a group of survivors, The Walking Dead is a game that is game that will stick with you long after the final credits begin to roll. By now, most people will have likely played through the game at least once but if you've been holding off for any reason, the inclusion of the ported Xbox One version of the game is Xbox Game Pass is too good to miss.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Game of the Year Edition

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Game of the Year Edition

Overall, Shadow of Mordor is a really great game. While it's a tad short for an open-world game, praise has to be given to Monolith for keeping within the lore of Middle-earth while still crafting their own unique storyline. Its biggest asset is the Nemesis system, something we will likely see other games adopt in some form or fashion. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the best experiences in Middle-earth to date.

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Sky Force Reloaded

Sky Force Reloaded

At a time when development budgets are skyrocketing in order to bring us the shiniest graphics, the most immersive single-player campaigns, and multiplayer game modes to suck us in for hours, Sky Force Reloaded is a fantastic reminder of a classic genre that is seemingly becoming rarer and rarer with each passing year. Filled with stunning visuals, simple yet challenging gameplay, and a ton of content to keep you coming back for more. It won't be for everyone, but if you're not afraid of some grinding, Sky Force Reloaded will more than scratch that shoot-'em-up itch.

Download from Microsoft Store

Ryse: Son of Rome

ryse  title 2

Ryse: Son of Rome might not have been very well received by critics when it released as a launch title on the Xbox One back in 2013, but don't let that put you off giving this game a try. Sure, it's not without some issues, but if you're looking for a hack-n-slash game that will let you chomp off enemy limbs and heads with gory finishing moves, a solid campaign, stunning visuals, and a surprisingly fun co-op mode, Ryse is well worth checking out — especially as part of your Game Pass subscription.

Download from Microsoft Store

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gear of War: Ultimate Edition

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition stands as a shining example of how a remaster should be done. From the ground up the game has been redesigned to make it look and feel perfectly at home on the Xbox One, and The Coalition has managed to combine remaining true to the original game, whilst at the same time adding improvements. By staying true to the original Gears there are moments where the game shows its age, but they aren’t frequent enough to spoil the overall experience, and you’ll be more surprised by how well the story and gameplay mechanics stand up to today’s standards and quite often overshadow them. If you're not a fan of third-person shooters or the previous Gears of War games, there's nothing for you here. For everyone else the name says it all — this is the Ultimate way to experience Gears of War. Whether you're a newcomer to the franchise, or if you’re looking for any excuse to return to Sera and chainsaw Locusts into tiny pieces, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a must play.

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Life is Strange

episode3 1

Life is indeed strange. Meddling with time is not as easy as you would think and this engaging story does a great job of driving that point home. The moral decisions that players make really do have an affect on the story's future. The game's time-rewinding mechanics mean that all options can be considered and those all-important decisions need not be rushed. If you're a fan of the Telltale formula, the first season of Life is Strange is definitely worthy of your time.

Download from Microsoft Store
Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.