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Best PC Game Pass Games

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Fuuta charging up her Theurgy ability in the shape of a ball

Xbox Game Pass is firmly established as gaming’s definitive subscription service, a reputation built upon years of goodwill. Each month, Microsoft adds a few games to the service, ensuring subscribers always have something new to check out. While slightly overshadowed by its console counterpart, PC Game Pass is a great option for people who prefer to play on a computer rather than an Xbox.




Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass offer many of the same games, which reflects Microsoft’s desire to cater to its whole customer base rather than just those who own consoles. That said, there are differences between the two, including some great titles that are only on the PC iteration. What are the best games on PC Game Pass?


In case someone prefers physical Xbox copies, links will be provided to the games’ Amazon pages.


Persona 3 Reload

Metascore: 88

Persona 3 Reload

Released
February 2, 2024

Developer(s)
P-Studio

Genre(s)
JRPG

Persona 3 is a JRPG that was beloved by fans, and now it’s back in a remade package with Persona 3 Reload. Players once again step into the shoes of a transfer student who is forced to contend with a slew of enemies during a special hour each day between one day and the next. The title has been reimagined for the modern era and includes a lot of quality-of-life upgrades, as well as updated visuals and a beautifully stylized UI that features the signature Persona style.


Thanks to its lengthy storyline, engaging characters, and fun RPG combat, players will get hours of enjoyment out of this genre-defining game that has become a beloved staple in both Japan and North America.

Palworld

Metascore: N/A

The single shot rifle in palworld

Palworld

Released
January 19, 2024

Developer(s)
Pocket Pair, Inc.

Starting 2024 on an exciting note, Palworld launched directly on Game Pass, although it is still in Game Preview (basically, early access). An open-world survival game where players catch monsters and engage in third-person shooter action, Pocket Pair’s title sounds like a fever dream that haphazardly blends inspirations, genres, and selling points to create a malformed mess weighed down by ambition; except, it is pretty great.


Related

6 Things To Do First In Palworld

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Although still an in-development project, Palworld is already an easy recommendation thanks to its addictive gameplay loop, immersive world, a robust selection of Pals, and accessible but engaging survival mechanics. The latter arrives in the form of base building and meter management, both of which are enhanced through Pals that can fulfill roles within their master’s home. Battles are chaotic and fun, especially when played in co-op. While still too early to say, Palworld should go down as one of the best PC Game Pass games of 2024.

Dead Space (2023)

Metascore: 87

dead-space-remake-isaac-stasis

Dead Space (2023)

Released
January 27, 2023

Genre(s)
Survival Horror

How Long To Beat
12 Hours

Available through EA Play (and Game Pass Ultimate), the Dead Space remake revamps the 2008 sci-fi horror classic, delivering a package that honors its predecessor while still taking enough risks to present a fresh experience. While the story hits most of the same beats, the journey itself can feel wildly different due to the implementation of a more open-ended map and the distribution of items like weapons and suits.


Newcomers who have never played a Dead Space project can jump directly into the remake without feeling lost. Meanwhile, long-time fans who adore the 2008 masterpiece should give the remake a try since it is not simply the same experience with a fresh coat of paint.

Starfield

Metascore: 86

Starfield character looking at Starborn Guardian ship

Starfield

Released
September 6, 2023

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

Regardless of its reception, which started positive but steadily became more mixed, Bethesda’s sci-fi open-world game was one of 2023’s most significant releases. Throughout its pre-launch life, Starfield was kind of presented as Skyrim in space, and while not inaccurate, that description is not reflective of the experience. For better or worse, Starfield is its own beast that takes ideas from Bethesda’s past without repeating them verbatim. The result is a game that might not immediately hit the mark with long-time fans who are specifically searching for sci-fi Elder Scrolls or Fallout, a fact that is not helped by the campaign’s slow start. However, once things open up, the game becomes something special.


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While Starfield‘s main story is by no means bad, it is merely a small part of the overall package and can be ignored for hours on end. Once players receive a ship and are allowed to do their own thing, they can simply go wherever they please. Explore, investigate, speak to NPCs, and just see what this universe has to offer. Using procedural generation, the game has more than a thousand visitable planets that can be used as a base for an outpost. They do not all have things worth discovering, but they can serve as settings for some fun events. Starfield‘s existing cities are also grand and impressive. The game’s gunplay is Bethesda’s best so far, and it is genuinely enjoyable even when compared to other sci-fi RPGs.

Since its release, Starfield‘s reputation has notably declined, to the point of garnering a fair amount of backlash. Ultimately, this sci-fi adventure is not on the same level as Bethesda’s greatest RPGs, which also happen to be some of the best games of all time. Nevertheless, this title is regularly good and occasionally great, even if it is far from a masterpiece.


Lies Of P

Metascore: 84

Lies of P How to Get the Bad Ending

Lies of P

Released
September 19, 2023

Developer(s)
Round8 Studio , Neowiz

Genre(s)
Soulslike

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

Lies of P is a Soulslike inspired by Pinocchio, with players taking control of the eponymous puppet as they find themselves in Bloodborne-esque hellscape where death lurks around every corner. Boasting a gorgeous visual style and satisfying combat, Round8’s project succeeds in crafting its own voice despite sharing quite a few similarities with the genre’s most beloved properties.

Set in the city of Krat, Lies of P nails its atmosphere and enemy designs, with the latter producing a few truly terrifying bosses. The combat system rewards fast and aggressive play, and while dodging is an option, guarding is arguably more important. Ultimately, Lies of P is an indie project when compared to FromSoftware’s titles, but it still manages to hold its own against that developer’s masterpieces.


Metascore: 83

Manchester City menu in Football Manager 2024

Football Manager 2024

Released
November 6, 2024

Genre(s)
Management , Simulation , Sports

How Long To Beat
N/A

Sega’s Football Manager is arguably the most popular sports sim active today, at least when it comes to the management side of things. Despite being reasonably successful by most metrics, the franchise is still undoubtedly niche since it caters to an audience that loves to get lost in the nitty-gritty details while consuming sheet after sheet of data. If it clicks with someone, FM can be downright addictive and deeply satisfying.

FM24 delivers quite a few considerable changes and improvements, including enhancing things like set pieces, the match viewer, and transfers. While certainly not for everyone, Sega’s release is one of those games that can justify a subscription on its own for people interested in it.


Cocoon

Metascore: 88

Cocoon container creature

Cocoon

Released
September 29, 2023

Developer(s)
Geometric Interactive

Genre(s)
Puzzle , Adventure

How Long To Beat
5 Hours

Short but sweet, Cocoon is novel, innovative, and endlessly charming. Players control an insect as it travels through a desert-like world filled with orbs containing their own micro-universe. A cool concept executed brilliantly, Cocoon is a fantastic and well-paced puzzle game that regularly introduces new ideas to keep things feeling fresh.

2023 produced bigger releases than Geometric Interactive’s project, but it didn’t produce many games actively better than Cocoon. If someone is looking for something short to play in between Starfield and Lies of P, this title should be perfect.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Metascore: 80

Capcom Announces New Ace Attorney Trilogy Apollo Justice


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Released
February 7, 2012

How Long To Beat
70 Hours

Capcom’s Ace Attorney has been around since 2001, and while niche, the series has garnered a dedicated fan base and a fair amount of mainstream success. The franchise has proven popular enough to spawn multiple spin-off game series, a live-action movie, and an anime adaptation. While there are not all that many entries in the main series, newcomers can experience the original trilogy through this compilation package, and the games hold up very well, particularly their writing and storytelling.

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As the eponymous attorney, players will take on multiple trials as they steadily build up their cases, culminating in over-the-top and captivating final acts within the courts themselves. All three Ace Attorney games are an absolute blast to play through thanks to their compelling characters and captivating mysteries. These games were originally released on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, and their handheld console origins shine through in the remaster; however, it does not impact their enjoyment all that much.


Remnant 2

Metascore: 80

Remnant 2 - Example Of Multiplayer Lobby

Remnant 2

Released
July 25, 2023

Genre(s)
Soulslike , Third-Person Shooter

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

PC Game Pass has both Remnant titles, and they are among the service’s better Soulslikes. They are also third-person shooters that work well with a keyboard + mouse setup, something that cannot be said for most Dark Souls-style projects. As the first entry in the series, Remnant: From the Ashes deserves a mention since it has aged quite well since its 2019 debut. Newcomers who prefer to get the full experience should start with the original title, especially since the game’s rougher edges might seem more pronounced if compared directly to its sequel. That said, Remnant 2 is superior in nearly every way, and it serves as a prime example of a sequel done (mostly) to perfection. Although not completely detached from its predecessor, the 2023 release is accessible to beginners as well.


Remnant 2 sends players on a wild adventure as they visit multiple worlds that are falling prey to the Rot. Utilizing procedural generation, the game is designed to be replayed multiple times since players cannot experience everything in a single playthrough. Fast-paced and action-packed, the gameplay moves at a quicker pace than most Soulslikes and also emphasizes crowd control. When it comes to character build variety, Remnant 2 starts decent and expands from there, and that is just referring to the standard archetypes (classes) and not all the customizable weapons and items that are also available.

Guilty Gear Strive

Metascore: 85

Guilty Gear Strive Gameplay


Guilty Gear -Strive-

Released
June 11, 2021

Genre(s)
Fighting

How Long To Beat
5 Hours

Guilty Gear Strive is Arc System Works’ latest entry in its anime fighting franchise. While overshadowed by Dragon Ball FighterZ, Guilty Gear is arguably the developer’s primary license, and Strive stands toe-to-toe with the best fighters on the market. Balancing style and substance, the game offers fast-paced and skill-based combat that is immediately enjoyable but difficult to master.

Early entries in the series did not do a great job of introducing beginners to all the games’ systems, but Strive shows improvement in this area. That said, there is still a fairly steep learning curve, particularly if someone plans to jump online. While there is an arcade mode to keep solo players busy, Strive does not have too much to offer in the single-player department. Consequently, this title should only be installed by people who plan to embrace multiplayer.

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

Metascore: 89

Resident Evil 2 Remake Spotlight


Resident Evil 2 (2019)

Released
January 25, 2019

How Long To Beat
9 Hours

PC Game Pass only has one Resident Evil title; fortunately, the solitary pick is among the franchise’s strongest entries. Although not the license’s first remake, the 2019 release started Capcom’s recent trend of revisiting classics to give them modern makeovers that go beyond just a graphical coat of paint. Transforming the PS1 masterpiece into a behind-the-shoulders horror epic, Resident Evil 2 retains the original’s anxiety and tension while also making it more enjoyable to play (at least, by current standards).

With two main playable characters who each have campaigns, RE2 offers a great deal of content that can keep someone busy for a long time. Unlike some of the franchise’s other recent remakes, this release is a proper survival horror experience with light action elements.

Hi-Fi Rush

Metascore: 89

hi-fi rush z-shielding


Hi-Fi Rush

Released
January 25, 2023

How Long To Beat
10 Hours

From the developer behind The Evil Within and the polarizing Ghostwire: Tokyo, Hi-Fi Rush is a colorful and high-octane action romp built on music. Through a series of unfortunate events, Chai winds up with a music player in his chest, which means his actions naturally get a boost when he times them to the beat. This proves handy when he is taking on the campaign’s colorful and challenging bosses.

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Hi-Fi Rush pops off the screen with vibrant cyberpunk environments and beautifully designed characters. The game is a looker that also plays and sounds great. The combat system starts satisfying and gradually extends its complexity; when not engaging in stylish battles, players can look forward to enjoyable platforming that also complements the rhythm mechanic.

Tango’s
Ghostwire: Tokyo
is also on Game Pass, and while not as decorated as
Hi-Fi Rush
, the first-person action-adventure title is certainly worth trying.


Celeste

Metascore: 94

Madeline swimming in the water in Celeste

Celeste

Released
January 25, 2018

Developer(s)
Extremely OK Games

Genre(s)
Platformer

How Long To Beat
9 Hours

There are roughly a billion indie 2D platformers. Some of them are fantastic, a few are awful, and most are utterly forgettable. Celeste firmly belongs in the first category, and it was arguably among the independent scene’s greatest achievements of the 2010s. So, does this make it a must-play for anyone with a PC Game Pass subscription? Well, yes and no. If someone loves 2D platformers, they owe it to themselves to try Extremely OK Games’ title. However, Celeste is a hard-as-nails precision platformer that can be exhausting for anyone who is not really looking for an especially difficult challenge. It is not particularly accessible.


Unlike quite a few entries in the genre, Celeste has a pretty in-depth story. Players control Madeline, a woman who goes on a soul-searching journey to climb Celeste Mountain. Touching upon mature themes like depression, the platformer is surprisingly character-driven, and its punishing gameplay reflects Madeline’s journey.

Cassette Beasts

Metascore: 84

cassette beasts hltb

Cassette Beasts

Released
April 26, 2023

Developer(s)
Bytten Studio

How Long To Beat
18 Hours

Pokemon will never come to Xbox Game Pass, so monster-taming fans must look elsewhere to get their fix. Debuting in April 2023, Cassette Beasts instantly declared itself as a fantastic alternative to Nintendo’s flagship property. As the name suggests, the turn-based RPG revolves around beasts that can be recorded via a cassette tape; if successful, which is hardly a guarantee, players gain the ability to transform into that monster during battle.


Cassette Beasts‘ combat blends the familiar with the novel to create a battle system that is both accessible and challenging. Although not its only interesting mechanic, combat presents the option to fuse monsters, creating a superpowered entity that will be very useful against the campaign’s harder enemies. Narratively, Bytten Studio crafted a fascinating story set on a mysterious island cut off from the rest of reality.

Pentiment

Metascore: 88

pentiment-hardest-decisions-gameplay-obsidian

Pentiment

Released
November 15, 2022

Genre(s)
Adventure

How Long To Beat
15 Hours

Pentiment is a grandiose adventure through 16th-century Bavaria. Those looking for a narrative-driven adventure that features puzzle elements should find tons to enjoy about Pentiment. Featuring beautiful and artistic graphics, along with wonderful sound design and an engrossing landscape, this title should keep players on the edge of their seats from the start.


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Players will have to explore their surroundings, engage with NPCs, and solve puzzles sprinkled around each plot line to progress through each of Pentiment‘s exciting “acts.” Although not as “big” of a release as some of Obsidian’s other projects, Pentiment represents the developer at its creative peak, particularly when it comes to the game’s stellar writing.

Like A Dragon: Ishin!

Metascore: 79

Sakamoto in Like a Dragon Ishin!

Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Released
February 21, 2023

Genre(s)
Action-Adventure

How Long To Beat
25 Hours

PC Game Pass subscribers have plenty of Yakuza games at their fingertips. In fact, they can play through the entire mainline entries, including Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Sega’s franchise has delivered consistent quality for years now, and all these games are worth playing since they tell great stories that feature unforgettable characters. The gameplay tends to be solid as well. However, if someone wants to experience Kiryu’s full journey (to this point), they are looking at hundreds of hours of gameplay, which can be a daunting task. Therefore, as an alternative, they can just play the standalone Like a Dragon: Ishin!


Set during the Edo Period, Ishin! takes the likeness of Yakuza‘s famous characters and drops them into a new era, giving them new (historical) names in the process. Although very much a non-canon campaign, Ishin! still has all the hallmarks of a core project in the series. That means players can look forward to a lengthy and engaging narrative, fun combat, and a dense open-world filled with optional content. There are not all that many games set during this part of history, and Ishin! does an admirable job of bringing it to life.

Grounded

Metascore: 83

The Haze In Grounded

Grounded

Released
September 27, 2022

Genre(s)
Survival Horror , RPG

How Long To Beat
23 Hours

Players who enjoy games like Minecraft and Terraria should definitely consider hopping into Grounded. This microscopic adventure sees players entering a backyard landscape after being shrunk down to a fraction of their former size. Players will have to battle against hordes of vicious bugs to collect various materials to strengthen their armaments and increase their survivability.


Along the way, they will uncover an underlying storyline that will have them traveling all over the backyard to collect a variety of specialized computer chips. Players can embark on this journey by themselves or join in with up to three other friends.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Metascore: 82

lucas-beatrice-hugo-amicia-a-plague-tale-requiem

A Plague Tale: Requiem

$21 $60 Save $39

Released
October 18, 2022

Genre(s)
Action-Adventure , Stealth

How Long To Beat
17 Hours

Asobo Studio’s highly anticipated sequel to 2019’s A Plague Tale: Innocence is finally out, and Requiem is just as brilliant as its predecessor. Once again cast as Amicia, players find themselves heading out on a harrowing journey to find a cure for Hugo, the protagonist’s younger brother, during the French Inquisition and black plague.

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A Plague Tale: Requiem sticks close to the blueprint established by the first game, all the while improving upon a few elements. The sequel has a far superior combat system that presents Amicia with a wider variety of options. The story is also fantastic and builds up nicely.


Vampire Survivors

Metascore: 87

Big Trouser in Inlaid Library in Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors

Released
December 17, 2021

Developer(s)
Luca Galante

Genre(s)
Roguelike

How Long To Beat
6 Hours

After spending almost a year in early access on Steam, Vampire Survivors made its full debut on October 20, 2022. The top-down roguelike has been nothing short of a colossal hit, and the game has received plenty of updates over the last year.

After selecting one of Vampire Survivors‘ available characters, players drop into a stage where they are bombarded by waves of enemies. The goal is to simply survive until the time limit while upgrading weapons, unlocking power-ups, and gaining gold coins. Vampire Survivors is a great PC Game Pass game since its gameplay loop is perfect for a subscription service that encourages playing multiple titles simultaneously.


Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Metascore: 86

Lara Croft in a Hoodie in Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Released
November 10, 2015

How Long To Beat
14 Hours

Somewhat randomly, the middle entry in Lara Croft’s Survivor trilogy was added to PC Game Pass toward the end of 2023. At this point, most people have probably experienced 2013’s Tomb Raider since it is not exactly a hard game to get a hold of, but players who have not experienced the reboot might be hesitant to jump into its sequel. Although it does reference things that happen in its predecessor, Rise of the Tomb Raider works well enough as a stand-alone adventure, and it is arguably the best chapter of the trilogy.

Blending set pieces with open areas that encourage exploration, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a well-rounded package, offering great platforming, decent puzzles, solid gunplay, beautiful visuals, and a fun story. Any subscribers looking to go on an adventure will struggle to find anything better than Crystal Dynamics’ title on PC Game Pass.


Monster Hunter Rise

Metascore: 86

Gaismagorm emerging from an abyss in Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise

Released
March 26, 2021

How Long To Beat
22 Hours

Originally a Switch exclusive, Monster Hunter Rise eventually made its way to other platforms, including PC Game Pass. People familiar with Capcom’s franchise will feel right at home with the 2021 release, especially if they experienced Monster Hunter World; however, Rise is still a unique beast that stands well on its own two feet. Opting for smaller scale maps and missions than its predecessor, Rise strips back some of the fat in order to emphasize Monster Hunter‘s core appeal: the combat.

While Rise has something of a story, it is merely there to guide players toward the end game when they can focus on grinding monsters to unlock better loot (which can then be used to grind even deadlier monsters). This gameplay loop has worked for decades, and Rise is no exception.


Disney Dreamlight Valley

Metascore: N/A

how to save minnie in disney dreamlight valley

Disney Dreamlight Valley

Released
December 5, 2023

Genre(s)
Life Simulation

Prior to its Early Access release, Disney Dreamlight Valley was a difficult project to pin down. Set in a Mickey Mouse-themed world, the sim tasks players with rejuvenating a village by convincing Disney’s iconic characters to move into the area. While the project is still in development, the current version is fun and rewarding.

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Ultimately, a person’s appreciation for this title will primarily come down to their interest in Disney and Pixar properties. Non-fans might still enjoy Disney Dreamlight Valley as it is a solid life-sim with adventure elements such as quests, but a pre-existing love for these characters certainly helps.


Tales Of Arise

Metascore: 87

tales of arise gigant

Tales of Arise

Released
September 10, 2021

Genre(s)
Action RPG

How Long To Beat
40 Hours

Bandai Namco’s Tales is a step below the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest in terms of exposure and influence, but the franchise is still a cornerstone of the JRPG genre. Known for its real-time combat, the license has produced some all-time great projects like Symphonia and Vesperia, neither of which are on Game Pass at the moment; however, subscribers can check out 2021’s Tales of Arise, the latest new entry in the series. Since each game is set in a separate universe, newcomers can jump into this title without reservations, and they will find a polished and lengthy campaign that tells a satisfying and fairly mature story.

Tales lives and dies on the quality of its combat, and Arise sits firmly among the franchise’s best efforts. Fast-paced and challenging, the gameplay gradually introduces new mechanics at a good pace, allowing players to take in everything without feeling overwhelmed. As with all Tales games, Arise has multiple playable characters that slot into archetypal roles/classes, and they are quite different from each other.


Inside

Metascore: 87

Inside Boy Climbing A Hill To Get To The Base

Inside

Released
June 29, 2016

Developer(s)
Playdead

Genre(s)
Puzzle , Platformer

How Long To Beat
3 Hours

Playdead’s Inside is a dark and unsettling 2.5D platformer about a boy traveling across a dystopian world. Utilizing ambiguous storytelling that focuses more on atmosphere rather than twists, this 2016 indie darling is a triumph of level and environmental design.

In terms of gameplay, Inside does not necessarily do anything all that unique, but the game executes its puzzles so well that it still manages to stand out. This is one of those projects that simply needs to be experienced by everyone interested in gaming, and Inside is one of the best PC Game Pass games.

Limbo
is also on PC Game Pass.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Metascore: 84

teenage mutant ninja turtles shredder's revenge against bebop

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Released
June 16, 2022

Developer(s)
Tribute Games Inc.

Genre(s)
Beat ‘Em Up

How Long To Beat
3 Hours

The heroes in a half-shell are back in a modern beat ’em up that harbors back to arcade classics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, and this adventure delivers far more than just a nostalgia trip. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge presents a delightful modernization of the side-scrolling brawler formula, one that preserves and enhances that old-school ’90s charm of when these styles of games were inescapable.

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Featuring six playable characters who each feel unique and 16 stages that pay homage to the TMNT franchise, Shredder’s Revenge is a must-play for long-time fans of the franchise or simply any PC Game Pass subscriber looking to try out an awesome title.


Cities: Skylines

Metascore: 85

A large city in the Nintendo Switch version of Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines

Released
March 10, 2015

Developer(s)
Colossal Order

Genre(s)
City Builder

How Long To Beat
50 Hours

Cities: Skylines 2 is available on PC Game Pass, and die-hard fans of the original game should give the sequel a try as it brings plenty of fascinating ideas to the plate. However, the game has rough edges that make it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend in its current state; consequently, its fine-tuned predecessor gets the nod.

Cities: Skylines has been among the most addictive city builders for the best part of a decade, and it is relatively accessible compared to some other projects in the genre. While its successor is on its way to greatness, Cities: Skylines achieved that standard a long time ago.

Tunic

Metascore: 85

tunic fox with sword feature


Tunic

Released
March 16, 2022

Developer(s)
Andrew Shouldice

Genre(s)
Adventure

How Long To Beat
12 Hours

Calling back to classic adventure games such as The Legend of Zelda, Tunic wears its influences on its sleeve, and the 2022 release does justice to them. Set in a meticulously crafted world, this adventure tasks players with exploring the land and dungeons all the while collecting new weapons and items.

Do not be fooled by the adorable visuals, Tunic can be quite challenging, both in terms of the standard enemies and the array of bosses that are fought along the way. A delightful indie game that succeeds in feeling modern while paying tribute to classic titles from yesteryear, Tunic is certainly not a game someone wants to miss.

Mortal Kombat 11

Metascore: 82

mortal kombat 11 fighters feature


Mortal Kombat 11

Released
April 23, 2019

Genre(s)
Fighting

How Long To Beat
6 Hours

Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the better entries in NetherRealm Studios’ highly-regarded fighting franchise. Ever since the 2011 release, MK has been on a tear, delivering entertaining over-the-top narratives with deep gameplay and a lot of online content.

MK11 slows down the combat considerably, crafting an experience that prioritizes precise and strategic movements over button-mashing. The game’s competitive scene can be quite overwhelming, especially now that MK11 has been out for more than two years. However, the single-player campaign is plenty of fun and can also be completed within a weekend.

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Metascore: 87 (Standard Edition)

Hollow Knight voidheart boss battle

Hollow Knight

Released
February 24, 2017

Developer(s)
Team Cherry

Genre(s)
Metroidvania

How Long To Beat
27 Hours

The indie scene has become flooded with Metroidvanias in the last decade or so, and few games have done a better job of capturing the genre’s magic than Hollow Knight. Set in Hallownest, players guide a knight through a complex, beautiful, and frequently haunting world filled with tough enemies, secrets, and lore.


Hollow Knight does not handhold players, opting to emphasize the importance of exploration and discovery. Although not overly complex, Hollow Knight‘s combat system knocks it out of the park and manages to remain enjoyable for the entirety of the campaign’s length.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard 40th Anniversary Edition

Metascore: 91

microsoft-flight-simulator-sunset

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Released
August 18, 2020

Genre(s)
Flight Simulator

How Long To Beat
37 Hours

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a niche product that is also one of the reasons to pick up a PC Game Pass subscription. Permitting someone’s computer can run it, Microsoft Flight Simulator offers an experience unlike anything else on the market.

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With Earth as its open-world, the flight sim allows pilots to plot courses and head out into the skies, traveling above vistas that could pass for real-life photographs. Ambitious, complex, and addictive, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a technical masterpiece and a triumphant work of art.


Forza Horizon 5

Metascore: 91

Forza Horizon 5 - Hennessey Venom GT - Player driving in the rain

Forza Horizon 5

Released
November 9, 2021

Genre(s)
Racing

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

Playground has yet to drop a dud when it comes to Forza Horizon, and the 2021 entry marks a new high point for the beloved racing series. Set in Mexico, Forza Horizon 5 unleashes players on a massive and varied map filled with races, cars to unlock, jumps to make, and challenges to complete.

Visually stunning and boasting a respectable soundtrack, Forza Horizon 5 is an arcade racer with almost no peers. Going by previous releases, the 2021 game should have a lifespan of at least a few years, so drivers have a lot of time to enjoy Mexico’s biomes.

2023’s
Forza Motorsport
is an option for players who prefer sim rather than arcade racers. The game has a mixed reputation so far, largely thanks to launching in a less-than-immaculate state.


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Metascore: 87

Art From Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Released
October 15, 2018

How Long To Beat
45 Hours

Ubisoft has added quite a few of its projects to Sony and Microsoft’s subscription services. PC Games Pass has Assassin’s Creed Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla, three open-world action-adventure games that will collectively keep somebody busy for over a hundred hours. These titles are generally fantastic, and personal preference for the games’ settings is likely to dictate which release is considered superior.

Odyssey is gorgeous, ambitious, and narratively engaging. Building on Origins‘ gameplay, Odyssey fine-tunes the melee combat to create a satisfying experience that packs quite a punch. Focusing more on RPG mechanics than its predecessor, the game has developed a somewhat mixed reputation among long-time fans due to departing from the franchise’s roots, a process that was continued further by Valhalla. Still, in isolation, Odyssey is impressive and features one of Ubisoft’s most captivating open-worlds.


Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Metascore: 85 (Xbox One)

Halo Combat Evolved Master Chief Marines The Silent Cartographer

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Released
November 11, 2014

Genre(s)
First-Person Shooter

How Long To Beat
60 Hours

The entirety of the Halo franchise took a lengthy hiatus from PC after its initial outing with Combat Evolved, but all of that finally changed in 2019 — when the Master Chief Collection finally migrated to PC. Now mouse-and-keyboard warriors can follow the whole of Spartan-117’s saga and indulge in the full suite of multiplayer offerings alongside their Xbox brethren.

The MCC is virtually a crown jewel on the Xbox side of Game Pass, and it loses very little of that status in its transition to PC. All the entries hold up well and rank among the best console FPS games of all time.

Halo Infinite
is a good game as well, even if it has its issues.


Deep Rock Galactic

Metascore: 85

Shot of Engineer, Scout, Gunner, and Driller.

Deep Rock Galactic

Released
May 13, 2020

Developer(s)
Ghost Ship Games

How Long To Beat
N/A

If someone is looking for a bombastic and lighthearted cooperative shooter that manages to avoid sacrificing depth or action, then they need to look no further than Deep Rock Galactic. Players saddle up as one of four distinct classes of deep-delving Dwarves to plunge into various intergalactic caverns and plunder them of their valuable resources.

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Of course, said caverns are usually inhabited by voracious alien species that have a taste for Dwarf flesh — but it’s nothing an impressive arsenal of weapons and repurposed mining tools can’t handle. Deep Rock Galactic is an absolute blast and a must-play for weekend gaming groups and dedicated co-op partners.


Pillars Of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Metascore: 88

pillars of eternity 2

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Released
May 8, 2018

How Long To Beat
42 Hours

Pillars of Eternity (and more specifically, Pillars of Eternity 2) is for gamers who either missed out on or are looking to relive the golden years of Baldur’s Gate’s heyday. Taking place several years after the first installment, players return to the role of a “Watcher” (a sort of spiritual medium in the game’s world of Eora) to hunt down a vengeful god.

As mentioned, Pillars of Eternity evokes strong nostalgia in the vein of classic CRPGs, featuring satisfyingly deep role-playing opportunities and progression mechanics alongside smartly developed skill and attribute systems.

No Man’s Sky

Metascore: 61

no man's sky explorer cover art


No Man’s Sky

Released
August 9, 2016

How Long To Beat
30 Hours

Thanks to numerous updates, No Man’s Sky is not the game it once was when it was first released; it is so much more. PC games excel as living titles that are updated regularly, and no game has made such a comeback thanks to this work-in-progress model than No Man’s Sky.

Players can take to the stars and explore countless planets at their leisure, building bases and searching for resources the entire time. The freedom afforded by the scope of No Man’s Sky’s universe is breathtaking. Being able to explore the far reaches of space all from the comfort of your gaming chair makes this game a must-play title in the Xbox Game Pass library.

Gears 5 Game Of The Year Edition

Metascore: 82

Gears 5 Game Of The Year Edition kait


Gears 5

Released
September 10, 2019

Genre(s)
Third-Person Shooter

How Long To Beat
11 Hours

Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition includes the base game, the Hivebusters expansion, 30 days of Boost, and the Halo: Reach character pack. Building on the fourth entry, Gears 5 blends the franchise’s hard-hitting third-person shooter gameplay with a couple of open sections similar to Halo Infinite, albeit nowhere near as vast as that game.

Kait Diaz takes center stage as the franchise’s new protagonist, and Gears 5 does a stellar job of exploring her connection to the Locust. Along with Gears 5, PC Game Pass also has Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Gears of War 4, along with the Gears Tactics spin-off.

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