There are tons of different services out there that provide what essentially is, “The Netflix of Games.” With EA’s Origin Access, the upcoming Google Stadia, the recently announced Ubisoft+, Discord’s Nitro offerings and so on and so forth. But let me tell you about what might be the best and most exciting one of all, Xbox Game Pass — specifically, the one for PC.
A few days ago at their E3 conference, Microsoft unveiled their $15 a month Game Pass bundle that includes both Xbox and PC Game Passes, plus an Xbox Live subscription. A few years earlier, they announced their play anywhere initiative, which said that all first party games will be playable on Xbox and PC. Now that both of these announcements have come and gone, and the Xbox Game Pass PC version (what a name) is available for only $5 a month, it leaves little reason for me to ever own another Xbox again.
But that isn’t the point here. What is the point is how good the offerings are on the Game Pass PC. I won’t go through the entire list here, but there are some bangers on here.
I really enjoyed Astroneer when it was in early access. Since it released, I shamefully haven’t tried it out, but I recommend anyone who is looking for a chill space, survival game, immediately check out Astroneer.
GEARS OF WAR 4/ULTIMATE EDITION
With the sequel only a few months away, now’s a great time to revisit the incredibly fun yet forgettable, Gears of War 4. Admittedly, I never finished it, but, now I have an avenue to do so should I ever want to.
Also, the remaster of the first Gears of War is on the service too. Just saying.
ORI & THE BLIND FOREST
The incredibly fun and challenging platformer, Ori & The Blind Forest is available too, which is good considering the sequel isn’t too far away and will also be on Game Pass. Also, this game will make you feel things. So watch out.
Prey was always one of those games that I wanted to try but never got around to. With shades of Bioshock and System Shock poking through, the game offered what many critics considered a fun, yet occasionally terrifying game with a great story.
I won’t attempt to defend Shenmue as a franchise, but it did have some pretty impressive stuff in it for the time. The clockwork world, quick time events, the densely populated areas where you can interact with everyone. All of it was ahead of it’s time and deserves that praise. Was it fun to play though? Not really. But you can experience the infamous hunt for sailors for yourself in preparation for the impending sequel.
STATE OF DECAY 2
While State of Decay 2 wasn’t the game for me, I acknowledge that for a lot of people, the zombie survival/management sim that released, was. It’s a game full of bold ideas, all of which circle around the concept of base building, and personnel management. Also there’s zombies everywhere.
I really wanted to try out Vampyr for a while now. If I remember correctly, you’re a doctor who has been turned into a vampire, and has to investigate something? I don’t remember. What I do remember though is that you talk to a bunch of citizens, and shoot werewolves a bunch. It’s an action RPG in a setting we just don’t get enough of.
I think we as a people need to once again embrace the idea that eradicating Nazis is cool and not taboo. What better way to remind yourself of that fact, than by playing a game where you go around an alternate history version of America where they lost WW2 and the filthy Nazis took over? Oh, I should mention that you’re killing them with guns and bombs and stuff in order to free America from the Nazi menace. It’s fun and patriotic.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “eh, none of those games did it for me,” and I get that. But there might be something on the list that might sway you. And look, I’m not doing this cause I want to advertise the service or anything, this was all spurred on because I genuinely enjoy the service. That, and the upcoming titles look great. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Look man, I was gonna play this game one way or another, and knowing that I don’t need to buy a new console to enjoy it is all the better. When Halo Infinite launches next year, I’ll be there.
HALO THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
What’s that you say? You don’t need Game Pass till the next Halo launches? But what about The Master Chief Collection then? Yeah buddy, you’re gonna get access to that entire package when it begins to roll out in a few months. Hot damn.
AGE OF EMPIRES I, II & III DEFINITIVE EDITIONS
In the past, I’ve heard people go nuts for this franchise. I’m actually curious to see what all the fuss is about. Considering the last actual RTS game I played was Rise of Nations, I’m curious if this will scratch a similar itch.
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR
Shut up, I think it looks cool and fun. I wanna fly some sick-ass planes and do it in a world powered by Google Maps. I want to fly a plane over my house and go somewhere nicer, so I pretend I’m leaving here. Shut up.
That isn’t all of the upcoming games, that list has a few more on it. But more interestingly is what games they don’t have announced, that they’ll add to the service. Only a few days ago, critically acclaimed new releases like Void Bastards and The Outer Wilds were added to the list, so you never know what new game is going to make the cut.
Out of all of the available services, Xbox Game Pass PC has the best selection of games that I want to play on it. Also, I think it’s the cheapest of the offerings at only $4.99 a month. I’m enjoying Game Pass, and I just wanted to sing it’s praises a bit as we become more and more over encumbered with similar services.