So you’ve signed up for Xbox Game Pass, a service that lets you download hundreds of free games for just $10 a month. Now what? Where do you start when hundreds of AAA titles, cult classics, and indie masterpieces are at your fingertips? Well … you could start with the best!
Here are 15 of our favorite games on Xbox Game Pass in no particular order. All these titles are available on the new Xbox Series X, the Series S, or the Xbox One, and many of them work on PC with a Game Pass PC or Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Sea of Thieves
The Outer Worlds
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Gears 5 (or Any Other Gears of War Game)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Any Halo Game, They're All Pretty Good
Forza Horizon 5
Monster Hunter: World
Rare Replay (Nintendo 64 Games!)
Some of Our Favorite Oldies
A massive open-world game with fantastic multiplayer gameplay, Sea of Thieves lets you experience the life of a pirate. You sail from shore to shore, looting ships and fighting mythical beasts along the way. You might even become a legendary pirate after accumulating loot and building a reputation among Sea of Thieves’ vast community of over 15 million players.
Sea of Thieves is constantly updating and evolving. Start playing now for the chance to be a part of pirate history!
If you haven’t played The Outer Worlds, you’re in for a treat. It’s a first-person space-faring RPG full of sharp writing and social commentary.
Developed by Obsidian, The Outer Worlds is basically Fallout in space. You can meet companions, join warring factions, or shoot everything like an absolute madman. If you’re a fan of games like Fallout or The Elder Scrolls, you’ll love The Outer Worlds.
When’s the last time that you fired up an open-world game and just explored? That’s the idea behind Outer Wilds, a game where you explore a planetary system and try to uncover its strange, dangerous secrets.
Outer Wilds is an exploratory game without guns or combat. Be warned, though: your character will likely die a lot. It’s really a perfect game for people who spent their childhood wandering around open-world games, leaving no stone unturned.
There’s a reason why everybody loves Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It’s truly a masterpiece, with unique, challenging gameplay, beautiful art, and a simple plot that tugs at your heartstrings. If you’re into platformers (and especially modern platformers like Super Meat Boy), then you have to give this one a spin.
You can also play 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest, a predecessor to Will of the Wisps, on Xbox Game Pass.
If you’re tired of playing the same old shooters, then it’s time to fire up Titanfall 2. With a lightning-fast multiplayer and unique use of titans (basically mechas), Titanfall 2 is just one of those games that feels exhilarating every time you pick it up.
Titanfall 2 came out in 2016, but its online community is still going strong thanks to Game Pass. Now’s the time to dive in and experience a groundbreaking shooter in its prime.
Experience the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a game set 15 years after the original Alien film. You play as Amanda, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, navigating through a decommissioned trading station and trying your best to survive past the Alien.
Alien: Isolation is notable for its survival-horror mechanics, stellar graphics, and fantastic Alien AI, which feels dynamic and alive as it reacts to your actions in-game. Whether you’re a fan of the movies or just a run-of-the-mill gamer, Alien: Isolation is an experience you’ll remember.
Gears 5 is the biggest Xbox exclusive, and it’s free with your Game Pass subscription. Like the previous Gears of War games (which are also on Game Pass), Gears 5 is a fantastic third-person shooter with fun dialog and muscular characters. It’s the first Gears game to feature a female protagonist, and its open-world sections and RPG elements are a welcome addition to the Gears formula.
If you’re a fan of shooters and great graphics, then Gears 5 is the game for you. You don’t need to play the first four games in the series to understand what’s going on, so feel free to jump in and enjoy yourself.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may be one of the most important games released in the 2010s. It’s a vast open-world title where every action impacts the rest of the story. And with fantastic RPG elements, dialog, and combat, this is the kind of game that should appeal to fans of Fallout, Skyrim, GTA, and other massive iconic games.
You don’t need to play the first two Witcher games to understand the story of Witcher 3. That said, you might want to clear your calendar because Witcher 3 is a very long game.
Looking for something more old-fashioned? The Metroidvania-styled Dead Cells is a beautiful throwback to old games, with tons of exploration, combat, and non-linear progression. Dead Cells takes place in an ever-changing castle full of secrets, and with no checkpoints, the possibility of permadeath is always lurking nearby.
Earth is pretty cool, and impressively Microsoft Flight Simulator managed to pack all of it into one game. This recreation of the planet has every sight and vista you could hope to see; some generated from map data and others hand-crafted by the developers for that added touch of accuracy. But accuracy doesn’t stop there—without a doubt, this is the most realistic flight sim ever, and you can fly everything from smaller bi-planes to large commercial jets. Everything is extraordinarily detailed, and whether or not you have an interest in planes, you’re sure to have a good time.
If you’re disappointed in how a lot of modern games blend together, then Control is sure to set itself apart thanks to its striking visuals and impactful third-person gameplay. Set in a universe filled with interdimensional monsters and other supernatural threats, Control always has something new to blast through. The smart use of lighting and camera angles lends the game a cinematic flair, and whether you’re here for the story or pure gameplay, you’re sure to have a good time.
Prepare yourself for Halo: Infinite (both the free-to-play multiplayer and paid campaign) with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which contains all previous games in the series with online play! Game Pass also has the Halo Wars and Halo: Spartan Assault games, which are strategy games that turn the typical Halo formula upside-down (or top-down). Either way, the Halo games are pretty fun, and they’re all available on Game Pass.
Forza Horizon has quickly become one of Microsoft’s most significant series, and the fifth entry takes you to a beautifully condensed version of Mexico for some fast-paced racing fun. Masterfully blending realistic racing sims with arcadey game modes and off the walls events, Forza Horizon 5 has a little something for every type of racer.
There’s plenty to do in the main campaign offline. Plus, if you’re the competitive sort, then you’re sure to spend hours duking it out with the best racers from across the globe in the super fun online multiplayer.
CrossCode is a love letter to action RPGs. In it, you play as Lea, an avatar in a video game who’s lost her voice and memories. You must traverse a strange world, participate in real-time combat, and solve puzzles to unlock your origins. CrossCode has the style and music of a classic SNES or Genesis game, but with buttery-smooth movements and fresh mechanics. If you’re a fan of 16-bit games (and especially action RPGs), then it’s time to give CrossCode a spin.
Are you looking to sink hundreds of hours into a game? Monster Hunter: World is an exceptional RPG where you slay ferocious monsters to fulfill quests and craft new gear. You’ll find yourself hooked on the tight adrenaline-fueled combat, and you’ll always come back to fight just one more beast.
Monster Hunter World has a great single-player mode, but it really shines when you play online with friends or strangers. If you have a friend with Game Pass, tell them to play Monster Hunter with you!
Subnautica is a terrifying game wherein you explore the depths of an alien sea. As you descend in your submarine or scuba suit, you’ll encounter wildlife, volcanoes, coral reefs, and a dangerous mystery that could kill you. The actions that you take in-game can affect the ocean ecosystem, and you can build cool underwater bases as you accumulate supplies and underwater vehicles.
There’s always time for Minecraft. Whether you missed this generation’s biggest game or just never bought a copy for Xbox, Minecraft is available now with your Game Pass subscription. Download it now to enjoy Creative mode with your family, or start up Survival mode and see how the game has changed since you last played.
Keep in mind that Minecraft is cross-platform, so you can play with family or friends online no matter which console they own. (That said, PC gamers need Minecraft for Windows 10, which is different from the original Java Edition, to play cross-platform—both versions on available on Game Pass for PC.)
One of the best, most overlooked Xbox One releases is Rare Replay. It’s a compilation snapping Rare‘s 30-year history, and it includes 30 video games spanning multiple consoles—including the Nintendo 64. This is one of the only ways to play Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Battletoads, and other favorites on a modern console, and you can do it for free, thanks to your Game Pass subscription.
Looking for more great games? We took a look through the Game Pass library to pick out some of our favorite oldies. Most of these games were released before the Xbox One launch in 2013, but they’re still worth playing if you don’t mind going a little old-school.
- Dragon Age, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age Inquisition
- The Battlefield series
- The FIFA series
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Skate 3
- Burnout Paradise
- The Mass Effect series
- The Kingdom Hearts series
- Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve 2
- Goat Simulator
For more excellent Game Pass titles, check out the official Game Pass Library online or pull up the Game Pass Hub on your console.