So how on earth, you may ask, am I meant to know where to start with all these games? What should I play? I'm confused and I need to lie down. Well, relax dear, because here at Pure Xbox we've gone ahead and listed what we consider to be the very best games on Xbox Game Pass right now. Chosen from a wide range of genres in order to satiate a wide range of tastes and appetites, what you'll find here is the absolute cream of the crop (in our humble opinion).
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive / Developer: Asobo Studio
Release Date: 18th Oct 2022 (USA)
/ 18th Oct 2022 (UK/EU)
Available On: Xbox Game Pass (Until TBA)
Well, the original A Plague Tale: Innocence might not be available on Xbox Game Pass anymore, but the much newer sequel launched day one as part of the service, and the good news is that A Plague Tale: Requiem is even better than the first game! We had an absolute blast while playing this for review, ultimately giving it an "Excellent" 9/10 score. We recommend playing the first game if you can as well, but you could always just jump into this sequel first and see what you think. Here's a bit from our review:
"Requiem is exactly the kind of new AAA narrative adventure we've been craving for a while on Xbox Game Pass, and we can't wait to see what this developer does next. Asobo Studio is really hitting its stride."
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Developer: Relic Entertainment
Release Date: 28th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)
Xbox fans had been begging for a console version of Age of Empires for such a long time, and then we got an announcement for two of them at once! The first to arrive on Xbox was Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, and the good news is that it plays extremely well with a controller on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Then, we got Age of Empires IV on Xbox, which is just as essential as AoE 2 if not more so! These are both fantastic strategy games that can also be played with mouse and keyboard, so it's definitely worth checking them out ASAP.
Release Date: TBA
We're sure you all know what Among Us is at this point — the game has proved to be a massive success for developer Innersloth, and finally made its debut on Xbox consoles in 2021. It's a multiplayer effort in which a team who assume the role of The Crew of a dinky little spaceship is required to complete tasks whilst trying to identify the other team's Impostors. The Impostors' job, on the other hand, is to try and kill the crewmates and frame bystanders. It leads to some surprisingly hilarious and strategic fun, and if you've got a big enough bunch of friends for it - or even if you're playing with a random bunch of strangers, we highly recommend giving this one a try.
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Publisher: Wired Productions / Developer: Nosebleed Interactive
Release Date: 11th Aug 2022 (USA)
/ 11th Aug 2022 (UK/EU)
Imagine an arcade simulator where you can run your own arcade, play the games, expand with new games, and ultimately grow your hobby into a fledgling business. Now, imagine a laundromat simulator in which you have to wash and dry customers' clothes and pick up garbage. That's what you get with Arcade Paradise!
That last bit might sound a little dull, but it's actually really addictive, and the laundry side of things becomes less and less of a factor as you progress in the game. The idea is to start small and build a big arcade business, and the developers have done a great job at creating something really unique here. A hidden gem on Xbox Game Pass!
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 27th Oct 2017 (USA)
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Origins was a really nice surprise addition to Xbox Game Pass in June 2022, and it's one of just two Assassin's Creed games on the service. Better yet, Ubisoft dished out a free 60fps update for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S to mark its arrival on Game Pass, making it play better than ever on consoles.
If you haven't tried this one yet, it's definitely worth checking out. This is one of the very best Assassin's Creed games of all time, and undoubtedly one of the best games on Xbox Game Pass. Origins marked the start of a fresh new beginning for the franchise, and really gave it a new lease of life. Don't overlook this one, it's worth a play!
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Release Date: 5th Oct 2018 (USA)
/ 5th Oct 2018 (UK/EU)
As if the arrival of Assassin's Creed Origins wasn't enough, Ubisoft also treated us to Assassin's Creed Odyssey on Xbox Game Pass a few months later, which was first released back in October of 2018. This instalment challenges you to "write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero", and it's an absolute blast!
In our review, we called it the "best" Assassin's Creed game yet - at least until Valhalla came out!
"With deep RPG elements, tons of loot, unlockable skills and an overwhelming array of side quests and activities surrounding an epic main campaign that's set in one of the most impressive game worlds we've ever seen, this one is an essential purchase for AC fans and anyone who loves an epic RPG adventure."
Publisher: Warner Bros / Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Release Date: 12th Oct 2021 (UK/EU)
Turtle Rock Studios' spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead series arrived in October of 2021 and, although it might not quite hit the heady heights of the best of L4D, it's still a tight and absorbing thrill ride for a squad of friends or randoms to blast through online.
Yes, although the solo and PvP elements of Back 4 Blood one aren't quite there yet, the main meat of this horror shooter is the co-op campaign and in this respect Turtle Rock Studios have done a top job. The action looks and feels great - it's truly relentless stuff - there's tons of variety introduced through the unique card system for perks, mutations and so on, and a surprising amount of flexibility in how you choose to face the hordes - heck, you can even try for a pacifist run here. Back 4 Blood is one of the best games on Xbox Game Pass that nails the all-important need for clever teamwork in order to survive. This one comes highly recommended.
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Release Date: 20th Aug 2020 (UK/EU)
The revival of the classic Battletoads was always going to have to live up to major expectations, and we felt it did a great job here at Pure Xbox, scoring it an 8/10 in our review and calling it "one of the funniest games of this generation, and a pretty nifty beat 'em up to boot." The only real downside? There's no online co-op, just local multiplayer.
If you've got one or two friends to play it with on the couch, you're going to have a great time with this one. The art style is fantastic, the combat is fun, and as mentioned before, it's a genuinely funny game. Oh, and the best bit? It's not as brutally difficult as Battletoads used to be, so it's a much more accessible outing for the toads this time. It does have a few downsides, but Battletoads is still one of the best games on Xbox Game Pass for sure.
Publisher: Raw Fury / Developer: Bytten Studio
Release Date: 26th Apr 2023 (USA) Available On: Xbox Game Pass
If you're looking for the best Xbox Game Pass game to scratch your Pokemon itch, Cassette Beasts might be the answer! It has a lot in common with Nintendo's famous series, serving as a turn-based open-world RPG in which you'll need to record monsters to cassette tapes and then play them back in order to unleash them into battle.
It's fair to say Cassette Beasts went under the radar pretty much entirely until it launched on PC Game Pass back in early 2023, but its extremely impressive 84 Metacritic rating made Xbox fans sit up and take notice very quickly. If you like the look of it, it's definitely worth a try - the install size is very small as well.
Publisher: Matt Makes Games / Developer: Matt Makes Games
Release Date: 26th Jan 2018 (USA)
This 2018 hard-as-nails platformer drew massive critical acclaim back at launch in 2018, and it's since become a fan favourite on Xbox Game Pass. In Celeste, you play as a young girl called Madeline as she attempts to climb Celeste Mountain, with a goal of "surviving her inner demons" as she makes her way to the peak.
As mentioned, Celeste is not for the faint hearted! This is a platformer that requires a lot of trial-and-error in order to overcome the many challenges you'll face. However, it does also come with some excellent assist features that will allow even the most novice of gamers to enjoy the experience as well. Definitely worth a download, this one!
Publisher: Deck13 / Developer: Matthias Linda
Release Date: 8th Dec 2022 (USA)
It might not seem like much on the surface, but Chained Echoes debuted on Xbox Game Pass to absolutely incredible reviews in December 2022, making it one of the best-rated Game Pass launches of the year. This SNES-style RPG will probably go under the radar for a lot of people, but it's definitely worth your time if you like the look of it.
This isn't a short-and-sweet adventure, either — you're looking at 30 to 40 hours of gameplay in which you'll "travel around the vast continent of Valandis to bring an end to the war between its three kingdoms". There's really no reason not to give it a try on Xbox Game Pass, especially considering it's a very small download!