The best Game Pass games for Xbox (September 2023)

Can't decide what game you want to play on your Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, or PC next? Here are some of the best games on Game Pass to help you out.

The best Game Pass games for Xbox (September 2023)
Tom West

Tom West & Sean Carey


If you're subscribing to the service, you no doubt want to make sure that you're playing the very best Xbox Game Pass 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 games coming to Game Pass every month.

Using a combination of site review scores, your community ratings, and our own opinions, here is our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games.


It probably surprises nobody that Bethesda's space RPG has made it onto this list after its ridiculously strong start earlier this month. Even before the game had fully released, early access players unlocking Starfield achievements had pushed it to the top of our Gameplay Chart, which is no easy feat at all. Much like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which can be found further down this list, Starfield is an open-world (universe?) RPG, which offers you a sandbox to practically become anything you want. Fancy terrorizing other space travellers? Become a space pirate. Want to see each one of the more than 1,000 explorable planets? Dedicate your time to exploration. It's up to you, and with the option of NG+, even finishing the main story isn't the end of your adventure. It's fantastic in almost every way — just check out our Starfield review —and should definitely be played by anyone and everyone!


The platforming action of Inside brings a little darkness to this list, but shines with a TrueAchievements user rating of 4.2/5. It's developed by Playdead, the developer behind another awesome Game Pass platformer, Limbo, and sees you playing as a young boy attempting to escape a dark project. It's narrative-driven and features a host of puzzles and action-based platforming set within a twisted world. If you fancy giving it a go, it should only take around four hours to unlock all 14 Inside achievements, so you'd not need to commit too much time for a completion if you don't vibe with it.

Sea of Stars

Another newcomer, Sea of Stars launched on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC in August, hopping straight into the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass libraries. Developer Sabotage says that Sea of Stars "aims to modernize the classic RPG in terms of turn-based combat, storytelling, exploration, and interactions with the environment." Chronicling the adventure of two Children of Solstice, Sea of Stars sees you wielding the power of the sun and moon to take down an evil alchemist, The Fleshmancer. It's received a ton of praise since it launched, earning a rating of 4.6/5 from TrueAchievements users unlocking the Sea of Stars achievements. If you've not checked it out yet, our interview with Sabotage's creative director saw us delve into Sea of Stars, as well as uncover the developer's approach to achievement design.

Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar's open-world crime game made a surprise return to Xbox Game Pass in July, offering subscribers a chance to play the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One versions of the game, offering yet another stack of Grand Theft Auto V achievements. While GTA V probably doesn't need any introduction at this point, we'll give you a brief run down anyway! The GTA series has always been known for offering over-the-top single-player experiences, allowing you to delve into all manner of debauchery in the criminal underworld, and this game is no different. Following the rise and fall of Mike, Franklin, and Trevor, GTA V sends you on bank-robbing escapades, high-speed police chases, chaotic shootouts, and more. It's as open-world and 'sandboxy' as the other games in the series, so you're free to get up to as much trouble as you wish as you attempt to make the trio wealthier than Dr. Dre — who happens to feature in the online mode. GTA Online comes packaged here and is Rockstar's golden child, having been supported with heaps of content since the original GTA V launched in 2013. The mode functions similar to the single-player world of Los Santos, but also throws in players to mix things up, and that mix has kept GTA V afloat for years!

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 quickly jumped into the list of highest-rated Xbox Game Pass games and has a rating of 4.6/5 from the TA community — you can also check out Luke’s Psychonauts 2 review to see why he thought it merited a 9/10! You play as Raz, a young psychic who has managed to join the ranks of the Psychonauts but who soon finds out things are in complete disarray — there is a mole somewhere in the Psychonauts, and the platform-adventure game has you making your way through different mindscapes to find your foe. Psychonauts 2 launched to general praise and has been deemed both a worthy successor to Psychonauts and a stellar game in its own right — so it had to be on our list.

Assassin's Creed Origins

Now, for me personally, it’s got to be Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. But Assassin’s Creed Origins is rated 0.03 better than Odyssey and goes first on the list of highest-rated Xbox Game Pass Games, and I do as the list guides, so here it is: (trumpet fanfare) Assassin’s Creed Origins! Origins takes us to Egypt as Bayek of Siwa, who, together with his wife Aya, fights to safeguard the people of Egypt and to eliminate the Order of the Ancients, letting us explore the origins of the Assassin’s Brotherhood in the process. Origins marked a shift away from the previous games, and was the forerunner of the type of Assassin’s Creed game we now expect with Odyssey and Valhalla. It offers a sizeable chunk of content too, with just the base Assassins Creed Origins achievements requiring at least 60-80 hours of your free time. I am loyal to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but there’s no denying that Assassin’s Creed Origins deserves its place on this list.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

The highly anticipated sequel to A Plague Tale: Innocence, Asobo Studio's A Plague Tale: Requiem achievements are available and offers more stealth action, more death, and even more rats! It continues the journey of siblings Amicia and Hugo as they attempt to navigate their way across a war-torn and plague-ridden France. Requiem builds upon its predecessor's stealth gameplay by offering you numerous ways to sneak past dangerous situations, a rich skill tree to unlock, and New Game+. Sean said that "Asobo has created a fantastic sequel here that demands a playthrough" in his A Plague Tale: Requiem review. The story takes a moment to gain pace, but once it does, you're in for a thrilling ride across what is a very bleak-looking country. If you're looking for something that leans heavily into cinematic adventure and deep story beats, A Plague Tale: Requiem is certainly worthy of your time.


Action-adventure game Tunic was a breath of fresh air when it launched into Xbox Game Pass. We play as a small fox in a big land full of secrets and mystery. Tunic doesn’t bother with a more traditional type of tutorial, but simply unleashes you into that world to fare as you will. Tunic is absolutely packed with hidden pathways, mysterious items, and secret shortcuts — as well as more than its own fair share of challenging bosses. Two of its greatest strengths are its gorgeous visuals, and the use of a mysterious language, coupled with the fact that you can discover scattered pages of the game’s instruction manual. Tunic creator Andrew Shouldice told us how important that mystery is to the game, likening its mischievous mystery to sneaking into an older sibling’s room and loading into somebody else’s saved game. Tunic brings back all that sense of a childhood adventure, while also pelting you with challenges that’ll test you whatever your age is when collecting the Tunic achievements. It’s a real Xbox Game Pass gem, and more than deserves its spot on this list.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

What a game to have on Xbox Game Pass. If you ever wondered how much random ridiculousness you could fit in a game, the Yakuza: Like a Dragon achievements have the answer, and it’s fantastic. It’s all about Ichiban Kasuga, who’s just been released from an 18-year stint in prison (for a crime he didn’t commit) only to realize his clan is gone, and he’s been betrayed by his idol. He then sets out on a mission to figure out what happened. That, technically, is what the game is about, but you might forget that after you stumble onto the sheer amount of stuff there is to do in Like a Dragon. It’s nearly impossible to go from point A to point B without getting sidetracked by side missions, minigames, or random snippets of conversation. Soon you’ll be running a business (where your best employee is apparently a chicken?) or fighting to stay awake while REM rams (creepy sheep-men) attempt to lull you to sleep. Yes, really. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is just sheer fun to play — and is just one of many great RPGs on Xbox Game Pass — and it’s a safe bet that you won’t regret starting this up while it’s in the Game Pass library.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

A best Xbox Game Pass games list wouldn’t be complete without Halo — one of the most iconic first-person shooters of all time. And with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection achievements, you’re getting a whopping six games that have either been remastered or optimized for both PC and Xbox Series X|S consoles and all bundled into one neat little package.

Aside from the collection’s six stellar campaigns that will keep you busy for hours, Halo really comes into its own when playing with others — whether that’s taking the fight to the Flood and the Covenant in a co-op campaign or battling it out in one of the many different PvP modes in multiplayer. The collection offers a staggering amount of content that will have you hooked for a long time (even more so if you’re an achievement hunter). Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the perfect starting point for beginners new to the franchise who maybe want to see what all the fuss is about before playing the next entry into the series,


Minecraft, at this point, is a game that should need no introduction, thanks to it capturing the attention and imagination of millions of players since its inception in 2009. It’s the open-world sandbox game that gives you the tools to make grand fortresses, quaint villages, deep cavernous lairs, sky-high metropolises, or absolutely anything in between. Almost anything is permitted in the blocky builder, and it’s been used to create an incredible number of masterpieces and mini-games, as well as learning aids. It is also updated regularly with new content and new Minecraft achievements. It’s an awesome game that has more than earned its place on any best-of list and seeing as it can be enjoyed by anyone, from children to adults, it’s a perfect addition to the Xbox Game Pass library.


The slightly more methodical gameplay loop of sequel Doom Eternal might be more to some people’s tastes, but for us, the purity and chaos of 2016’s Doom reboot still takes some beating. The breakneck pace of the game, the heavyweight punch of the varied arsenal, the visceral close-quarters finishers that allow you to replenish on the fly… everything about Doom just feels right. It may have come a long way from its humble sprite-based beginnings, but this reboot perfectly captures and expands on the tone and feel of the 1993 original. Mick Gordon’s metal soundtrack is brilliantly brutal, and for anyone familiar with the older games, grabbing the shotgun as the familiar chugging of At Doom’s Gate kicks in will have you punching the air in delight. Doom can be extremely challenging — especially if you’re brave/stupid enough to crank up the difficulty — but it’s oh-so-rewarding when you manage to carve a path through a horde of Hell’s finest to unlock the Doom achievements while barely taking a scratch. How much more metal could it be? None. None more metal.


From the creators of Towerfall, Celeste is a narrative-driven adventure game that sees us helping a young girl called Madeline make her way to the top of a mountain as she battles with her inner demons. It's a platforming game at heart, with well over 700 levels to navigate, all played out to a soundtrack of chilled piano pieces and synth beats — plus B-slide chapters for even more challenging puzzles. As you help Madaline on her adventure, you'll meet a host of charming characters, offering you brief respites from the simple, yet rigorous platforming gameplay found when going for the Celeste achievements. It's available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, and currently holds an impressive rating of 4/5 stars here on TrueAchievements.

Hitman World of Assassination

Hitman World of Assassination offers the best of Agent 47's escapades from Hitman, Hitman 2, and Hitman 3 in one killer bundle. It started out as Hitman 3, but after years of continuous support from IO Interactive, the developer rebranded it as a hub for recent games. World of Assassination offers up all of the games' campaigns, contracts, elusive targets, and more, and offers a fresh stack of Hitman World of Assassination achievements. Whether you want to sneak through the shadows, position yourself at a distance with a sniper rifle, or play dress up and waltz through a party in disguise, the Hitman games offer over 20 fantastic playgrounds for you to explore when taking down your prey. IO Interactive has currently put the next Hitman game "on hiatus" while it focuses on Project 007, so World of Assassination will continue to be the most up-to-date Hitman experience you'll be able to play for a while.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

For the strategy game buffs out there, look no further than Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition, one of the most defining games in the genre. This classic celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, and to commemorate the occasion, the Definitive Edition was released on PC, followed by an Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One launch in January 2023. It features all of the original game's best parts, as well as packing in 4K visuals, all of the original DLC, and the new Last Khans DLC, offering three new campaigns to explore and four new civilizations, as well as Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition achievements. This is by no means a small game, with completion estimates placing it at well over 200 hours, but if a nostalgic trip or a first look at a classic game is what you're looking for, this beast definitely has you covered!

Forza Horizon 5

Once you remove EA Play titles from the mix, the number of racing games included with Xbox Game Pass is actually pretty slim, but that doesn’t matter when you have one of the best sim-cade racers taking up pole position in the service: Forza Horizon 5. This time around, the Horizon Festival takes us to the diverse land of Mexico, where we have deserts, canyons, swamps, farmlands, towns, jungles, and a volcano to thrash some of the world’s most expensive cars around. Visually, you can’t fault Forza Horizon 5 — it truly is a stunning game, and Playground Games has really put a lot of love and effort into putting together a game world as detailed and varied as Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico. How Playground managed to get the game to look this good without tanking performance, I’ll never know. If you’ve played the previous entry into the series, this one will feel very similar. Not that much has changed in the gameplay department, but why mess with a recipe that already produces such delicious cakes? That’s not to say there isn’t anything new here: you’ll find a bunch of new interesting stories and activities, as well as the new Accolades system, which will keep completionists busy for hours on end while providing a decent sense of progression when unlocking the Forza Horizon 5 achievements. If you’re after a racing game that you can easily dip in and out of or spend hours hooning around in, look no further than Forza Horizon 5. It’s muy bueno.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

You couldn’t really have a 'best of Xbox Game Pass' list without including Skyrim, so here it is. There’s not really another game like Skyrim for all-absorbing awesomeness. You’ve already got so much with the base game, but the Special Edition also includes all the add-ons and a bunch of graphical improvements like volumetric god rays, just to make it even more impressive. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition[ offers you hundreds of hours of content to sink your teeth into, and with its 10th Anniversary Edition having added even more content, we're not sure if you'll be able to escape the frozen landscapes of Skyrim once you start collecting the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition achievements!

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Ori and the Blind Forest is utterly gorgeous, with a beautiful soundtrack to complement it. The lack of load times in Blind Forest helps the flow of the game and eases the frustration of the more difficult segments, while 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 when unlocking the Ori and the Blind Forest achievements. Ultimately, we cannot recommend this game enough — it is a must-play, as is its excellent sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.


Pentiment is the narrative adventure game from Obsidian, and blends light RPG elements with stunning manuscript-style artwork. You're given full control of the game's protagonist, Andreas Maler, choosing every piece of dialogue he engages in, rightly or wrongly, and it leads to a story that will wildly vary from player to player. Luke called the game an "artistic triumph" in his Pentiment review, and for good reason; Pentiment is part history lesson and part original narrative, blending both into an entertaining story with heaps of visually pleasing style. Will you join the growing number of TA members that have unlocked all of the Pentiment achievements? We think you should.

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition seems to constantly crop up as one of the best recent platforming games there is, and is currently rated at 4.40/5 on the site. It's a metroidvania which delves into underground caverns filled with insects — some friendly, some decidedly not — and gorgeous visuals. It makes you work for every scrap of story you find, and it presents a definite challenge, but if you're a fan of platformers, it's definitely worth working through the Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition achievements.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire definitely earns a spot on this list just for the sheer number of hours you can sink into it. No matter how much you play, Slay the Spire never loses that attraction. It’s a simple premise done masterfully well, and although you die a lot, the unlocks of new items, relics, and characters keep it from feeling even a little stale, as does the fact that each time you set out to slay the Spire, you’ll follow a different path. There is one danger when working through the Slay the Spire achievements, though; you might promise yourself to play “just a few minutes,” and then look up to see you’ve somehow time-traveled and it’s hours later than you thought it was.

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: Senua's Sacrifice, 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 with an urgency that 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. You should definitely have a look at unlocking all of the Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice achievements.

Stardew Valley

Can a “best of” list exist and not have Stardew Valley on it? Stardew Valley is a beautiful game, in which you take over a rundown farm and build it up from nothing, getting to know the valley and its people as you do. The day is yours in Stardew Valley — you can farm, fish, mine, explore, build relationships, and do whatever takes your fancy while unlocking the Stardew Valley achievements. You’ll find yourself getting more and more invested as you go on, and it’s definitely one of the harder games to put down for any length of time. Your character can only stay up so late and has limited energy, both of which provide the perfect amount of pacing; you’ll soon notice yourself planning out strategies for each day and each season as you work to wring the most productivity out of it as you can. Stardew Valley is a magical game, and being on Xbox Game Pass only makes it that much better.

Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors has been a hit since it launched on PC, offering minimalistic gameplay in a roguelite-style race against the clock. Your only goal is to survive as long as you can against hordes of enemies, collect gold from their corpses, and spend it on upgrades before going again. You are the bullet hell in this chaotic game, featuring a ton of playable characters with different weapons and abilities, unlockable items, and 140 Vampire Survivors achievements to unlock. You'll probably be playing through this one for a while, but judging by the reception, it'll be a bloody good time.

Persona 5 Royal

Atlus' much-loved game series has finally made its way to Xbox, and you can play Persona 5 Royal now with Xbox Game Pass. This version of the game packs in all of the previously released DLC, so you can make the most of your time when unlocking the Persona 5 Royal achievements. It's a turn-based game that allows you to explore Tokyo as a high school student by day and as a Phantom Thief by night, changing the hearts of the cruel and the unjust with your team of unlikely allies. Additionally, if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can play Persona 5 Royal via Xbox Cloud Gaming with touch controls or a controller.

What are your big Game Pass recommendations or favorite games on this list? Let us know down in the comments!
Written by Tom West
Tom has been playing video games since he was old enough to hold a controller, experimenting with a number of systems until he eventually fell in love with Xbox. With a passion for the platform, he decided to make a career out of it, and now happily spends his days writing about that which he loves. If he’s not hunting for Xbox achievements, you’ll likely find him somewhere in The Elder Scrolls Online or fighting for survival in Battlefield.
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