7. Mad Max
Mad Max is deeply overlooked, having released the same day as Kojima’s juggernaut Metal Gear Solid V in 2015. Unfortunate as that may be, my time spent with Mad Max has been surprising, fun, and exhilarating. For an apocalyptic wasteland setting, Avalanche Studios managed to litter the open world with an abundance of things to do. It’s best feature is the vast vehicle customization and intense car combat. Being able to target specific parts of an enemy car and tear it up piece by piece is a blast, and the physics and steady performance keep the action brisk and heated. It isn’t perfect (controlling Max and hand-to-hand combat could use some work) but as far as open world licensed games, this is one of the better ones.
6. Mega Man Legacy Collection
Okay, so this one is a bit of cheat but who can argue with a compilation featuring Mega Man 1 through 6? That is a lot of quality games and one that absolutely shows off just how great these NES classics are, especially Mega Man 2. If you’ve somehow missed out on the greatness that is Mega Man or you’re just itching to get back to them (like me!), then the Legacy Collection is a no brainer. Whether it’s part of Xbox Game Pass or not, you owe it to yourself to play this one.
5. Ms. ‘Splosion Man
I would love for another entry in this weird, explosive series by Twisted Pixel Games. The original ‘Splosion Man was both crazy and smart in its puzzle design and exploding mechanic. The sequel upped the ante with even crazier puzzles and new gameplay additions to make it more difficult but highly rewarding. I’m hoping both ‘Splosion games make an appearance within Xbox Game Pass as either one is worthy to go in this spot. If anyone from Twisted Pixel is reading this, please consider another ‘Splosion game. Maybe ‘Splosion Kid?
A Super Mario 64 killer, some may say when talking about Rare’s N64 3D platformer, Banjo-Kazooie. Whether the bear and bird duo really are capable of trumping everyone’s favourite Italian plumber is a topic for another day, but there’s no denying that Banjo-Kazooie takes some serious cues from the classic N64 launch game. I remember the joy I felt playing it all those years ago, and I can attest that it holds up remarkably well even today having replayed it on the Rare Replay collection. This version is also the HD remaster that released on Xbox 360 so it’s at least optimized for high definition displays. N64 games can look awfully muddy these days, but Banjo-Kazooie manages to hold up quite nicely.
Click on through to page 3 for the top 3 games on our list…