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.
CelesteFrom 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. 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.
Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.
Psychonauts 2Psychonauts 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.
Combining quirky missions and mysterious conspiracies, Psychonauts 2 is a platform-adventure game with cinematic style and tons of customizable psychic powers.
Assassin's Creed OriginsNow, 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.
Assassin's Creed® Origins
ASSASSIN’S CREED® ORIGINS IS A NEW BEGINNING
Ancient Egypt, a land of majesty and intrigue, is disappearing in a ruthless fight for power. Unveil dark secrets and forgotten myths as you go back to the one founding moment: The Origins of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.
A Plague Tale: RequiemThe highly anticipated sequel to A Plague Tale: Innocence, Asobo Studio's A Plague Tale: Requiem is now 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.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
Embark on a heartrending journey into a brutal, breathtaking world, and discover the cost of saving those you love in a desperate struggle for survival. Strike from the shadows or unleash hell with a variety of weapons, tools and unearthly powers.
TunicAction-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. It’s a real Xbox Game Pass gem, and more than deserves its spot on this list.
Explore a land filled with lost legends, ancient powers, and ferocious monsters in TUNIC, an isometric action game about a small fox on a big adventure.
Yakuza: Like a DragonWhat a game to have on Xbox Game Pass. If you ever wondered how much random ridiculousness you could fit in a game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon has 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.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Russian and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles available in early 2021 via patch update.
Game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and Xbox Series X|S title when available.
Halo: The Master Chief CollectionA 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, 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, Halo Infinite.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Six games, one epic saga. The Master Chief's entire story is brought together and optimized for Xbox Series X|S. : Featuring Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST Campaign, and Halo 4, this is the definitive Halo experience.
DoomThe 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 while barely taking a scratch. How much more metal could it be? None. None more metal.
Now includes all three premium DLC packs (Unto the Evil, Hell Followed, and Bloodfall), maps, modes, and weapons, as well as all feature updates including Arcade Mode, Photo Mode, and the latest Update 6.66, which brings further multiplayer improvements as well as revamps multiplayer progression. Developed by id Software, the studio that pioneered the first-person shooter genre and created multiplayer Deathmatch, DOOM returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience.
Hitman World of AssassinationHitman 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, as well as the latest Freelancer mode. 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 997, so World of Assassination will continue to be the most up-to-date Hitman experience you'll be able to play for a while.
HITMAN World of Assassination
Become Agent 47 in the ultimate spy-thriller adventure across more than 20 locations.
HITMAN World of Assassination brings together the best of HITMAN, HITMAN 2 and HITMAN 3, including the main campaign, contracts mode, escalations, elusive target arcades and HITMAN: Freelancer.
Forza Horizon 5Once 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. 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.
Forza Horizon 5
Your Ultimate Horizon Adventure awaits! Explore the vibrant and ever-evolving open world landscapes of Mexico with limitless, fun driving action in hundreds of the world’s greatest cars.
Age of Empires II: Definitive EditionFor 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. 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!
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular strategy games ever, now with stunning 4K Ultra HD graphics, and a fully remastered soundtrack. Age of Empires II: DE features “The Last Khans” with 3 new campaigns and 4 new Civilizations. Frequent updates include events, additional content, new game modes, and enhanced features with the recent addition of Co-Op mode!
The Outer WorldsThe Outer Worlds is just a huge amount of fun to play. It's a sci-fi, space-western RPG mashup, which should tell you everything you need to know about the game's tone. If ever a game were to deserve the descriptor "wacky," it would be this one. It's often viewed as a sort of spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas, but while it has a similar sense of humor, it very much stands on its own two feet. The Outer Worlds doesn't want you to take it too seriously — it wants you to explore space, maybe blow some stuff up, and maybe help take out an all-controlling evil corporation. You know, just if you have the time. The Outer Worlds unites in-depth dialogue options and an incredibly complex and branching story with that wacky humor and some seriously gorgeous planets. It's rated at 4.38 out of 5 on our site, while our The Outer Worlds review gave it a 4.5/5.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is a new single-player sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special EditionYou 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.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition
Winner of more than 200 Game of the Year Awards, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim celebrates 10 years of adventuring in stunning detail. The Anniversary Edition includes a decade worth of content: the critically acclaimed core game and add-ons of Skyrim Special Edition, plus pre-existing and new content from Creation Club including quests, dungeons, bosses, weapons, spells, and more.
MinecraftMinecraft, 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. Minecraft is also updated regularly with new content and new 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.
Explore randomly generated worlds and build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles. Play in creative mode with unlimited resources or mine deep into the world in survival mode, crafting weapons and armor to fend off the dangerous mobs.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive EditionOri 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. Ultimately, we cannot recommend this game enough — it is a must-play, as is its excellent sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, Ori must journey to find courage and confront a dark nemesis to save the forest of Nibel. Experience a visually stunning, hand-crafted adventure with a deeply emotional story in the Definitive Edition of Ori and the Blind Forest from Moon Studios.
PentimentPentiment 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 EditionHollow 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, Hollow Knight is definitely one to try out.
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
Descend into the world of Hollow Knight! The award winning action adventure of insects and heroes. Explore twisting caverns, ancient cities and deadly wastes. Battle tainted creatures and befriend bizarre bugs. Uncover ancient history and solve the mysteries buried at the kingdom's heart.
Persona 5 RoyalAtlus' 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 playing through this fantastic JRPG. 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.
Persona 5 Royal
Don the mask and join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts as they stage grand heists, infiltrate the minds of the corrupt, and make them change their ways!
Slay the SpireSlay 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. Slay the Spire does have that one danger, 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
Slay The Spire
We fused card games and roguelikes together to make the best single player deckbuilder we could. Craft a unique deck, encounter bizarre creatures, discover relics of immense power, and Slay the Spire!
Hellblade: Senua's SacrificeSome 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.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness.
Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.
Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into Senua’s mind.
Stardew ValleyCan 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 enjoying the game’s wonderful soundtrack. 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.
You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!
Vampire SurvivorsVampire 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.
Vampire Survivors is a time survival game with minimalistic gameplay and roguelite elements.
What are your big Game Pass recommendations or favorite games on this list? Let us know down in the comments!