The Xbox Game Pass is a gold mine for gamers. Some of the best games, old and new, can be found in the subscription service, and there are some real gems at your fingertips. We’re picking the best games on Xbox Game Pass available to play, so keep your eyes peeled for our monthly updates.
Prey – NEW
In Prey, a first-person horror game, the player controls Morgan Yu as they explore Talos I, a creepy space station. Sharing a lot of DNA with Alien: Isolation, this shooter from Betheshda Studios is tense and perfect for some Halloween gaming.
Injustice 2 – NEW
We all love the heroes of DC, but what if you could customise them to kick even more ass? Well, you can in Injustice 2. Choose your hero, power them up and get cracking. The concept is simple; two characters fight it out and only one can come out on top.
Amnesia: Rebirth – NEW
The Amnesia games have a reputation of being particularly brutal on the player’s nerves and I, for one, can vouch for that. Amnesia: Rebirth, the third Amnesia game and sequel to 2010’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent, will take you into deserted caves and tombs as you control Tasi Trianon, who is looking for her friends.
Scorn – NEW
Scorn is a brand-new game, having been released on October 14 and available to play as part of Game Pass, making it a right treat for those in the mood for a surreal horror survival game. With visuals that are reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s body horror, Scorn features the player controlling a silent protagonist who must find out more about the strange world they have awoken in.
A Plague Tale: Requiem – NEW
A sequel to 2019’s A Plague Tale: Innocence, Requiem finds siblings Amicia and Hugo de Rune looking for a cure for Hugo’s blood disease. They also must evade soldiers from the Inquisition as well as rats spreading the black plague. Jolly, but Requiem is as tense as it is emotional.
SOMA – NEW
SOMA is a game from the developers of Amnesia: Rebirth so we already know we’re in for some truly spooky stuff. Leaning more on sci-fi, SOMA promises to be a story about identity and the human condition as you explore an underwater facility called PATHOS-II
Love Doom? Can you beat all your friends at Guitar Hero? Well, don’t we have the game for you? Metal: Hellsinger seems just too wacky to be true, but this gem can be found on GamePass. Slay your enemies Doom-style to the beat of the music playing. And there’s no Taylor Swift or Drake to be heard here. It’s all metal.
From the makers of Dishonoured comes Deathloop. In this first-person shooter game, two gifted assassins are stuck in a time loop. One of them is trying to break it, and the other would do anything to preserve it. Let the mayhem begin.
Remember Honey, I Shrunk The Kids? Well, Grounded is kind of like that, except way more dangerous and fun. In this game, you have to survive the terrors of an ordinary garden after you’ve shrunk to the size of an ant. You can play with up to three of your mates to collect food and try to avoid nightmarish spiders.
Slime Rancher 2
Return to Rainbow Island to discover more fascinating slimes in Slime Rancher 2, the sequel to the popular Slime Rancher! You play as Beatrix LaBeau as she explores the island and its strange resources and encounters a lot of slime. It’s colourful, fun and easy enough. Enough said.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
We all love a good Assassin’s Creed game, and with more on the way, this is the perfect time to give Odyssey a go. Set in ancient Greece, you play as a Spartan mercenary, the Eagle Bearer, during the conflict between Sparta and Athens. The Eagle Bearer plays for both sides, and the player can explore the beautiful and vast open world.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
Help out familiar faces to restore their town to its former glory in this Disney life-sim game. You’ll encounter all your favourite characters and princesses as you tidy up, plant things and trade valuables. Careful, though, it’s a tad addictive, and the game mimics your own time. Playing at night time? It’ll be night in the game, and some things you can only complete in the morning.
Sam Barlow’s new game Immortality is particularly fascinating and addictive. Once again, the player watches hours and hours of footage and tries to navigate it and make sense of it. In this case, you are tasked with determining what happened to actress Marissa Marcel. You can also check out our interview with Barlow and producer Natalie Watson here.
Midnight Fight Express
You’re in charge of ensuring the city isn’t taken over by criminals at dawn. No pressure, but your name is also Babyface. Your moves are minimal but the job needs to be done. Midnight Fight Express is very indie and very fun and challenging and most certainly worth your time.
You’ve heard of Goat Simulator and Powerwash Simulator is currently collaborating with a mental health study, but now, get ready for… Cooking Simulator! If you’ve never worked in a kitchen, this is your chance to experience how stressful and frustrating, but also fun it can be. Prepare delicious meals, serve up, hope for the best, and try not to kill anyway.
Batman: Arkham Knight
As we eagerly await news about the return of Robert Pattinson’s caped crusader as well as Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, you can experience the grimy and perpetually wet streets of Gotham through playing Batman: Arkham Knight. Sure, it’s a slightly older game, but it still holds up as a tense and engaging. In this game, you battle Scarecrow and the titular, mysterious Arkham Knight.
Zombie games are wildly popular and it’s hard to beat something like The Last of Us I and II, but DayZ gives them a run for their money. Set in a harsh, post-apocalyptic world, you must survive and scavenge supplies while avoiding or straight up killing the zombies in your way.
Far Cry 5
It’s mandatory that this list always includes a new first-person shooter game and this month’s pick is Far Cry 5! The fifth instalment in the popular series, the game has you mostly shoot your way out of a cult led by the charismatic Joseph Seed. This time around, you can also customise your character a lot more.
Middle Earth: Shadow Of War
Amazon’s new The Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, finally arrives next week, but you can get in tune with the world of Middle Earth with Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This is a sequel to Shadow of Mordor and you play as Talion as you take on the armies of Sauron.
As Dusk Falls
This is a brand new game, and you can get your hands on it through Game Pass today (July 19) at 5pm. Much like The Quarry, this is a choice-based game with a fascinating, distinct visual look and follows two families across thirty years as their lives are intertwined and complicated by a crime.
Listen, this wasn’t originally among my picks for this month. We’ve already done the Goat Simulator on this list, so why would I do another one? Yet, here we are. We downloaded it by chance and found that Powerwash Simulator is insanely fun and addictive. It’s exactly what you think it is; you powerwash things, but trust me when I say it’s very satisfying.
Dead By Daylight
Dead By Daylight is an online multiplayer horror game, in which one player controls a sadistic killer and the others are trying their best to not be killed by said killer. Do we need to say more? The killers range from completely original to well-known horror characters such as Leatherface or the Pig Lady from Saw.
The Evil Within
Another horror game! In The Evil Within, you play as Sebastian Castellanos, a brooding, a handsome detective investigating a massacre at Beacon Mental Hospital. The narrative doesn’t exactly break new ground, but I’m currently stuck in a room full of clowns, and I’m too terrified to continue to game, so I can vouch for its scare factor.
Fallout 4 won several Best Game awards in its year of release and deservedly so. The story of the Sole Survivor who has been frozen alive and awakens only to witness the brutal murder of their spouse and the kidnapping of their child is a doozy. You must seek answers and find your kid while exploring the game’s spectacular open world design.
Firewatch is probably the shortest game we’ve featured on this list. It’s a little indie gem that’ll change your life. You play as Henry, who has been fired to work as the titular firewatch. He stumbles upon an unsettling mystery deep in the Wyoming woods and, through exploration and choice-based dialogue, will uncover some disturbing secrets.
You can’t beat a good first-person shooter game and Halo Infinite is certainly one of the best and most effective ones. It’s the sixth entry in the Halo series and to have a game of that calibre included in the Game Pass is a real pleasure and a privilege.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is an exploration-based adventure game where your character explores the Finch house, guided by a journal of the titular Edith Finch. See, the Finch family seem to be under a curse that brings untimely death to the members of the family and the player needs to figure out what is going on.
Sniper Elite 5
Yes, we already put Halo here as a shooter game, but Sniper Elite 5 is a third-person shooter so we’re allowed. There’s also a greater emphasis on stealth in Sniper Elite than in Halo. Released in May 2022, Sniper Elite 5 made its way to Game Pass fast so this is your chance to play a game that’s already been critically acclaimed.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed is one of the most durable game series in the history of the industry and Origins is the tenth instalment and a damn good one at that. Released in 2017, Origins has held the test of time and the player controls Bayek of Siwa in ancient Egypt. The game was praised for its unique maps and locations.
Subnautica: Below Zero
Subnautica: Below Zero is the sequel to 2018’s Subnautica. The open-world survival adventure game forces you to adapt to your surroundings and survive the harsh world of the planet 4546B and its deadly creatures, including one called Boneshark. Spooky.
Yes, it’s another sequel, but bear with us, Psychonauts 2 is a great little platform game. You play as Raz, a Psychonaut with psychic abilities who encounters a mole amongst the Psychonauts, and there’s something fishy going on with their leader too. Expect cute and quirky missions and plenty of thrills!
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Nicely in time for the release of Jurassic World: Dominion, you can now play Jurassic World Evolution 2. This sequel game involves the player once again constructing and managing a Jurassic World park of their design, this time on the mainland US of A.
Farming Simulator 22
The OG Farming Simulator is sadly leaving Game Pass but fear not! Farming Simulator 22 is available and will cure all your farming needs, whatever those might be. Play either single-player or get up to 15 of your mates to share a map and let those crops grow, baby!
Back 4 Blood
Do you like first-person shooters? Enjoy getting those zombie headshots in? You’re in luck because Back 4 Blood caters to exactly that. You can either play as a part of a team of four to kill the mutated zombies or play in Swarm-mode, which allows you to either play as a survivor or as one of the zombies.
Loot River is fun in all its simplicity. You move puzzle-piece -type platforms around to get around the map, and as you do so, you also slash your way through some pretty funky enemies. But if you’re smart enough, sometimes you don’t need to hack your enemies to pieces if you move around cleverly enough. It’s old-school, it’s clever, it’s great fun.
Alien: Isolation just has it all. It’s terrifying, pretty challenging, but cinematic, with a great story. Play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda and defeat, or at least evade, the deadly alien as well as the Working Joe androids.
It’s a classic for a reason! Set after the 2016 game, Doomguy is once again forced to save the Earth from literal hell and all the creeps that come with it. It’s all very straightforward, but it’s well-made and fun, with great graphics. That’s all we need from a Doom game.
Life Is Strange: True Colours
The third main instalment in the Life Is Strange series, True Colours follows Alex Chen, a troubled young woman who moves to the idyllic town of Haven Springs. Alex can experience the emotions of others, which often leads to violent outbursts and as Alex, the player will uncover a mystery from Alex’s past. The gameplay is largely exploring and making choices on Alex’s behalf, so if that’s your thing, we recommend this.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
If you love the comics or James Gunn’s film adaptation of this lovable ragtag team of space criminals, you’ll love this game. You play as Star-Lord and have your trusted team of Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket to rely on as you adventure through the galaxy and defeat the evil Church.
Ever wanted to be a goat? Yeah, me too and thankfully, we can now live our best lives as goats in Goat Simulator! There’s not much else to the game; you exist as a goat and wallop around the map, mostly jumping on, headbutting or licking things. It’s dumb, but it’s fun!
Time loops have been popular in popular culture for a long time, but they’re difficult to pull off in video games. However, Twelve Minutes, which stars James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe, does it pretty brilliantly. The player is stuck in a time loop, forced to make decisions which alter the game’s ending.
Undertale is the 2D indie game hit that took over the gaming world in 2015. You control a small child who falls to the Underworld and obviously encounters enemies. The catch is you don’t have to kill any of them. Your choices influence how the narrative plays out.
Forza Horizon 5
For fans of racing and car games, Forza Horizon 5 delivers big time. The game was recently named the best British game at the Bafta Games Awards, so this would be an ideal time to see what all the fuss is about. Speed around a fictionalised Mexico and customise your car while participating in multiplayer races and playing the campaign mode.
World War Z
Sings of the Sojourner
Two Point Hospital
What Remains of Edith Finch