Best Xbox Game Pass titles you can play right now

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Hi-Fi Rush is one of the best first-party gems currently on Xbox Game Pass (Image: Tango Gameworks)
Hi-Fi Rush is one of the best first-party gems currently on Xbox Game Pass (Image: Tango Gameworks)

Make the best use of your Xbox Game Pass subscription by zeroing in on some of the best free games that the service has to offer.

Even though the pipeline of AAA Xbox first-party exclusives has been a bit lacklustre of late, there’s no denying that Microsoft’s premier game subscription service – Xbox Game Pass – is one of the very best deals in gaming. From just £7.99 / $9.99 / AU$10.95 per month, members get access to a rotating library of top-tier AAA and indie titles, giving the platform a slight edge over rival services like PS Plus and Nintendo Switch Online.

The expansive Xbox Game Pass catalogue is both a joy and a curse, as it can often leave you in a state of paralysis about which game to boot up. Fortunately, we’re here to somewhat ease the stress of an incredibly first world problem by listing the best Xbox Game Pass games you should delve into.

Of course, there are countless games on the service worth your attention, but these are the titles we’d recommend you play first if you've yet to give them a try. You’re guaranteed a good time on Xbox Series X|S with any of them.

It Takes Two

When it comes to two-player co-op games played in glorious split-screen there really is only one choice. It Takes Two is a wholesome experience that casts players in the roles of soon-to-be divorced couple Cody and May, who find themselves shrunken down and forced to navigate all kinds of oversized household puzzles and obstacles in true Honey, I Shrunk the Kids style. It’s playable either locally or online but having two people is essential, so don’t miss it if you’re in need of a co-op experience on Xbox Game Pass.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Although it had a rather rocky start when it first launched on Xbox One back in 2014, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has since evolved to be a generous package that offers players access to every single Halo game leading up to Halo 5. It even includes Halo Reach, which was added and souped-up to current-gen standards at a later date. If you want to experience the story of Master Chief in the best light possible, this compilation is an Xbox Game Pass must-play for both its single-player and multiplayer suite.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Yes, we know. There’s a fair chance you’ve already played Bethesda’s wildly popular fantasy RPG. But if you haven’t, Skyrim being on Xbox Game Pass makes it one of the most feature-complete and expansive titles on the service. Plus, it serves as a good primer before Starfield launches on Xbox later this year, swapping out spaceships for dragons and interstellar travel for spellcasting and shouts. Skyrim might be one of the most ported games ever made, but even 10 years on it's still considered to be one of the best RPGs ever created – and rightly so.

Hi-Fi Rush

Xbox players got a shock at the start of 2023 thanks to the surprise release of Hi-Fi Rush, a cell-shaded third-person action game that challenges players to fight to the beat of the soundtrack. Doing so enables you to deal more damage to enemies, but if you’d rather just treat this as a normal action game you can very much do that too. Hi-Fi Rush features a stellar list of tracks that ranges from The Black Keys to Nine Inch Nails, all of which makes this vibrant colourful world a blast to breeze through.

Monster Hunter Rise

Despite originally releasing on the Nintendo Switch, the utterly excellent Monster Hunter Rise truly comes into its own when played via Xbox Game Pass thanks to improved visuals, a higher framerate and faster load times. This is a more bite-sized take on Capcom’s longstanding Monster Hunter series, getting you to the hunt in teams far quicker and being a lot more satisfying for it. Although not as expansive as its predecessor, Monster Hunter World, Rise is a great introduction to the series for newcomers due to the increased pace and slightly smaller scale, made all the better by rideable dog mounts now, too.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Metroidvanias are a dime a dozen these days, but there’s a handful that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Ori and the Blind Forest is one of these, casting you in a beautiful luminous world, challenging you to save a precious loved one. No game (aside from the sequel, of course) looks or feels quite like Ori and the Blind Forest. To play it is like looking at a watercolour painting in motion, but don’t let this fool you into thinking it’ll be an easy ride – there’s plenty of challenges in store in this indie gem on Xbox Game Pass.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Prior to the bloat of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla, there was Assassin’s Creed Origins. This was a bold reinvention of Ubisoft’s tentpole series, taking the stealth-action approach of old and replacing it with an open-world RPG structure that’s more akin to The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt as opposed to any prior Assassin’s Creed entry. Bayek of Siwa is an engaging character to play as, and Egypt is a beautiful world to be in that never feels overwhelming. If you want to sink your teeth into a meaty open-world game, look no further than Assassin’s Creed Origins on Xbox Game Pass.

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 isn’t just a good arcade racer, but one of the very best arcade racing games ever made and therefore one of the best Xbox exclusives ever. Developer Playground Games builds on the foundation it laid across previous series instalments, placing you within a fully driveable version of Mexico that makes unlocking cars incredibly fun and never a bore. The genius of Forza Horizon 5 is that it’s not just for avid fans of racing games; it does away with all the systems tweaking in favour of a joy-fuelled experience that captures the thrill of driving.

Aaron Potter

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