5 Game Pass Games You Need to Try and Some You Don’t
As the world changes, there are some things that used to be normal that should be a last resort now, such as taking a plane, there are also some things that seemed like a good idea before but are now essential. For Xbox One owners, this encapsulates my feelings about Game Pass. Game Pass has always been a great service but now that there’s little else to do but game, an extensive library that’s available at the click of a button offers me peace of mind that I won’t run out of things to play. While I’ve been enjoying games on other platforms such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch and Persona 5 on the PS4, these Game Pass games have been holding my attention during social distancing.
5. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The Witcher has become a successful Netflix television series and as a result, has become more of a pop cultural phenomenon than simply a lengthy game. The Witcher trilogy began in 2007 as CD Projekt Red brought the world created by Andrzej Sapkowski to life, but The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is the pinnacle of the series. Each game continued to improve the formula created in the first game and The Witcher 3 is the formula perfected. Fans of historical fiction, fantastical worlds and detective style gameplay will enjoy every moment of this instant classic RPG. The world offers many various locales across vast open areas that are among the most beautiful vistas on current-gen consoles. The Game Pass edition of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt includes 16 free post-launch DLC packs but it doesn’t include The Blood and Wine or Hearts of Stone DLC so fans who really enjoy the game may want to invest more into the paid DLC. Gamers can expect to spend over 100 hours in the continent.
4. The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is the best non-Fallout Fallout game that’s ever released and when it came out, it was met with almost universally positive acclaim. Our very own Alexander Thomas gave it nearly a perfect score and for good reason, it’s nearly a perfect open world game. While The Witcher III is perfect for fantasy fans, The Outer Worlds is perfect for science fiction fans. Anyone who enjoyed Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and/or Fallout 4 should definitely give this title a try now that it’s on Game Pass. Build your ideal character, pick your favorite companion, specialize in your favorite guns and explore uncharted planets as you progress through the sandbox open worlds scattered around the solar system. Similar to Fallout, The Outer Worlds offers a retro-futuristic setting, with some elements feeling familiar and others being completely out of this world. Because of the customization options throughout the game, The Outer Worlds is endlessly replayable and I’ll definitely be doing more than one playthrough of this Game of the Year quality adventure.
3. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is the essential pirate simulator and although Rare Studios had a lot to live up to with their track record of Donkey Kong, Perfect Dark and Viva Pinata but they knocked Sea of Thieves out of the park and across the seven seas. While Rare replay is on Game Pass as well and it offers most of their best titles across decades of work, Sea of Thieves is the pinnacle Rare experience on the subscription service. When the game released, it felt unfinished but over the two years it’s been on the market, Rare has fleshed out this game in every way. Combat has been improved, companion pets have been added, more factions have joined the fight and pirates can become emissaries for their favorite one now. There are raids to delve into, sunken ships to dive through and plenty of treasure to plunder. My favorite addition to the game is the megalodon, with an interesting questline leading you to the horrific aquatic beast that absorbs canon fire like the most intense bullet hell boss encounters. I’ve always wondered what the pirate life was like and Rare Studios have finally brought me the game I’ve wanted since childhood.
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
When the original Halo released in 2007, it was an instant hit, selling Xbox units as the definitive shooter at the time. Since then, every Xbox console has featured at least one title in the series and many units have been sold on the back of Master Chief. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the definitive Halo game as it follows all four of the mainline Halo titles (minus Halo 5: Guardians which is also on Game Pass) as well as Halo Reach and Halo 3 ODST. Not only will the campaigns of each game take you around 80 hours across all of the games, but the multiplayer is where Halo really shines and it’s been the case since the original one released. The online multiplayer offers various playlists across each title, making the multiplayer endlessly replayable as you transition from one Halo game to another. The Xbox One had two Halo titles, but if you’re only going to check one of them out, it’s definitely Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Any FPS fans who have never tried Halo over the years need to check out this game.
1. Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is the game that inspired this collection of titles as I’ve torn it apart every day since social distancing began. I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe but now that it’s an impossibility, I’m exploring the landscape through all four seasons in this definitive driving game. While I can’t drive through all of Europe in Forza Horizon 4, it features the changing landscape of Great Britain and Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios have crafted a beautiful open world version of the British countryside. There are around 450 cars included in the base version of Forza Horizon 4, with more being added through DLC. The game often prompts me to purchase the DLC packs and shows me trailers for them, it doesn’t seem too intrusive and it certainly doesn’t hinder my appreciation for this racing title. Historically I’m more of a kart racing fan than a racing simulation fan and Forza Horizon 4 is like a blend of the two. In the open world portion of the game, I can do all sorts of wacky things from doing donuts on a frozen lake with a suped up Jeep to leaping school buses with an F1 car. In this regard it’s like a hot wheels simulator, but in every other way, Forza Horizon 4 is a racing simulator similar to the Forza Motorsport games. The changing seasons make a difference on how each vehicle drives, each vehicle is part of a class and you’ll have to swap between classes as you compete in various races and cars can be customized similarly to most Forza titles. Out of all the Forza games I’ve played so far, Forza Horizon 4 is the best experience and it’s part of the Game Pass lineup.