10 Xbox Game Pass Games Worth Playing

Microsoft’s subscription service includes captivating titles like Potion CraftMetal: Hellsinger, and Pentiment.

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Aesthetic Alchemy

Potion Craft

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Ship Shape

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

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Beat Slayer

Metal: Hellsinger

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Local Artist

Pentiment

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Xbox Game Pass is one of the few subscriptions I’ve kept around while other services got the chop. The $15 monthly fee for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate feels worth it because I get to choose from over 100 titles and regularly download new additions. In a year, the cost breaks down to about the price of three AAA games.

An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription comes with access to EA Play and Xbox Live Gold. If you’re not interested in online multiplayer games, Microsoft offers a more budget-friendly tier that costs $10 a month. For gamers not on Xbox, PC Game Pass ($10/month) has many of the same titles. (Got a PlayStation or Switch? Check out our guide to the most popular game subscription services.)

To help you choose which ones to download first, WIRED sifted through the Game Pass catalog and rounded up outstanding titles we think you’ll enjoy. From recent releases to excellent throwbacks, our genre-spanning picks for the best Game Pass games have a little something for all players.

  • Courtesy of NicePlay Games

    Aesthetic Alchemy

    Potion Craft

    Get your mortar and pestle ready! In Potion Craft, you collect the tastiest mushrooms and the smelliest herbs to mash, blend, and sell to the townsfolk. Be prepared to haggle with stingy customers who drive a hard bargain. Also, don’t hand out mediocre concoctions often or your alchemist’s reputation will suffer. The idyllic business management sim is a soothing way to spend an evening.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of EA Games

    Ship Shape

    Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

    Although the next installment for the Mass Effect series remains in the distant future, this remastered trilogy from BioWare is an engaging set of games for science fiction aficionados. Returning players may find satisfaction in revisiting the 2007 release; new players might enjoy playing an accessible piece of history that continues to impact contemporary games. If you can look past a cumbersome user interface, the overall experience is worth it.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of The Outsiders

    Beat Slayer

    Metal: Hellsinger

    Original music meets Doom-style gameplay in Metal: Hellsinger. Successfully slay your enemies by attacking in sync with the pounding rhythms of hell. Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, but the short game from The Outsiders refuses to overstay its welcome. Now only if we could play the game backwards to expose the hidden, demonic messages …

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment

    Local Artist

    Pentiment

    Pentiment is the best game released in 2022 you might have missed. In this adventure game, you are an intrepid artist living in 16th-century Bavaria who wants to uncover the truth about a murder. Visually striking and narratively complex, it’s a top-tier title that only takes a couple of weeks to finish. Check out WIRED’s interview with Pentiment’s director, Josh Sawyer, for an in-depth discussion about the game.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Two Point Studios

    Dean Duties

    Two Point Campus

    An admirable successor to Two Point Hospital, Two Point Campus is a lighthearted business management sim where you build multiple universities and attempt to keep students happy as they study everything from robotics to wizardry. Between creating lavish dorm rooms, hiring the best faculty, and designing the outdoor shrubbery, make sure to keep an eye on the campus coffers. Budgeting while you’re attending college is a slog; budgeting while you’re playing Two Point Campus is rather rewarding.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Tribute Games Inc.

    Kick Shell

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

    While it’s impossible to perfectly recreate the childhood feeling of sitting too close to the TV on a Saturday morning, chomping down a sugary breakfast and watching cartoons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge comes pretty darn close. Developed by Tribute Games, the button-mashing fun of Shredder’s Revenge references a bygone era of TMNT animation and video games. Brawl through levels by yourself or with up to five other people in multiplayer mode. It’s radical.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Microsoft

    Classic Campaigns

    Halo: The Master Chief Edition

    Relive the campaigns that started it all. Halo: The Master Chief Edition is a collection of six games reaching all the way back to the original Xbox launch title, Halo: Combat Evolved. Forget about Space Force, the United Nations Space Command patrols the skies and fights off interstellar attacks in Halo. The game was a cultural phenomenon in the early 2000s and remains a prime example of a single-player campaign at its finest.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Playground Games

    Zooming Around

    Forza Horizon 5

    An open-world racing game set in Mexico, Forza Horizon 5 will keep you engrossed and behind the wheel for hours on end. The smooth handling and pristine graphics make Forza Horizon 5 one of the best racing games of all time. Build a collection of iconic cars, customize the vehicles, and hear the engines purr during racing events and aimless explorations of the expansive map. An online battle royale mode, “The Eliminator,” is thrown in for good measure.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of Square Enix 

    Space Shooter

    Outriders

    Balancing elements of an RPG and third-person shooter, Outriders is another sci-fi adventure worth your time. Traverse the dystopian planet of Enoch in a customizable convoy and use your unique skill set to take on formidable foes. The co-op campaign is perfect for hours of monster-blasting fun with friends. Curious about the Outriders Worldslayer expansion? It’s not included with the subscription service, but you can play the original experience on Game Pass before deciding to buy additional content.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

  • Courtesy of NetherRealm Studios

    Crushing Blows

    Mortal Kombat 11

    The bloody, one-on-one battles in Mortal Kombat 11 are enjoyable whether you fight as classic characters (like Scorpion and Sub-Zero) or newer additions (like Geras and Kollector). Defeating your opponents with gruesome fatalities is definitely part of the appeal, but you don’t need to memorize finishing moves to have a great time with Mortal Kombat 11—button mashing is OK! Challenge friends to intense face-offs, and be prepared to test the limits of your relationships.

    Available on Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Reece Rogers is WIRED’s service writer, focused on explaining crucial topics and helping readers get the most out of their technology. Prior to WIRED, he covered streaming at Insider.

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