Ten Games You Need to Play on Game Pass

Game Pass is incredible value, there’s no doubt about that. Offering a huge range of games on both your Xbox Console and your PC, what’s not to love? It’s often dubbed the ‘Netflix’ of games, but there’s a problem that brings. We’re all guilty of spending hours scrolling through these streaming services looking for something to do until we are so tired that sleep seems like the best option. To help you make the most of your Game Pass subscription, here are my Ten Games you need to play on Game Pass!

Oh, and 9/10 of them are on Game Pass PC so whether you’re on Xbox or PC, this is the list for you!

State Of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

State of Decay 2 released in May 2018 and received average reviews, being criticized for its many bugs. Many players also found it too easy and said that it lacked depth. However, the game received updates following launch for almost two years. Then, in March 2020, the game made a huge comeback. Undead Labs released the Juggernaut Edition Update and now it’s fantastic.

Adding crossbows and a variety of other new weapons kept the gameplay fresh and gave new options for stealth and open combat. The Juggernaut Edition added two-handed melee weapons to mix this up even more, like sledgehammers. They feel great to use, making you time your swings to hit the target hard. You’ll need these weapons to help you survive the new Nightmare Difficulty Mode (which is genuinely as brutally hard as it sounds).

There are four unique maps in which you can fight back against the zombie hordes, including a desert town and a foggy valley. The maps are all full of buildings and other points of interest to explore, as well as various sites you can mark as a base. From this base you’ll be managing your camp of survivors, making decisions to help them survive. The combat and management systems come together nicely by forcing you to go on scavenging runs for supplies – be careful out there though. If one of your survivors dies, they won’t be coming back. There’s no better time to jump in to State of Decay 2 either, following the recent announcement of State of Decay 3!

Astroneer

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

In Astroneer you are an astronaut who must explore the solar system and unravel its many secrets. The worlds of Astroneer are filled with resources to help you on this journey. You’ll start on the equivalent of Earth, which luckily gives you just the right resources to build a rocket (if you look hard enough)! With this you can jet off to other planets and start harvesting gas, metals and organic materials to help build up outposts across the solar system.

Astroneer is great fun with friends. You’ll need each other to explore the deepest depths of the planets. Uncovering the solar systems mysteries isn’t easy – you’ll need to watch your oxygen meter to make sure you can make it back to base alive! But together, you might just be able to stay alive. It is a challenging game, but it’s hugely satisfying. Building up your base to become fully automated is a great feeling. The mechanics can be hard to learn but once you understand them, you’ll have an amazing time exploring the many unknown worlds. It certainly deserves a place amongst the ten games you need to play on game pass.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Available on: Game Pass for Xbox

Ace Combat 7 puts you in the cockpit of fighter jets and lets you engage in thrilling battles over a gorgeous world. I didn’t expect to like Ace Combat 7 – I’m usually awful at flying planes in games – but it is fantastic. The campaign is filled with intense dogfights as you’d expect. There are also exciting base assaults in which you’ll be making strafing runs over enemy camps and convoys. The controls are fairly simple and intuitive which is a welcome surprise. However, you’ll definitely feel yourself improve as you start to pull off more daring maneuvers later in the game. There’s a wide range of planes to choose from too, both modern and futuristic. Each one can be upgraded with new weapons and armour to suit your play style.

The storyline can be a bit cheesy sometimes, but I must admit the dramatic events did grip me. By the end I was invested in the characters which I certainly didn’t expect. The story is told in two ways – lengthy cutscenes before each mission, and radio chatter between the pilots during missions. The short radio chatter whilst flying around felt a lot more natural and engaging than the cutscenes, which didn’t catch my interest.

Regardless of whether you enjoyed the story or not, you’ll probably want more thrilling dogfights. The online mode offers just this, letting you go head to head with other players to test your skills. I thought there’d be a high skill ceiling here, but it’s actually quite accessible. If you’re looking for more exciting combat, online mode will provide.

Grounded

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

Grounded is still in early access, so I didn’t know what to expect. But, if you’ve read my impressions you’ll know that I loved it. It’s unique sense of scale and surprisingly scary atmosphere make the game stand out above the crowd. For early access it’s extremely polished, unlike most survival games that enter the market as an early access title.

The developers have promised monthly updates to the game, adding more to the story as well as exciting new gameplay features, so there’s a lot to look forward too. But don’t wait for the updates! There’s a lot to love right now so go throw yourself into Grounded‘s huge backyard. If you like survival games like me, you definitely won’t regret it! There’s no doubt it already deserves a place amongst the list of ten games you need to play on game pass!

No Man’s Sky

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

No Man’s Sky. It’s been a hot topic in the gaming world since it launched way back in 2016. It promised so much, yet followed through on so little. But wow has it made a comeback. The team at Hello Games deserve a lot of credit for their endless support of this title, and now it really is fantastic. Since launch it has received numerous updates, adding features such as base building, freighters, farming, exocraft land vehicles, full multiplayer, underwater environments, derelict ships to explore and so much more.

Seriously, forget what you heard about this game all those years ago and go download it right now. It’s fantastic, the exploration is endless and the world is full of things to do. The game even has cross-platform multiplayer, so you can connect with all your friends no matter what platform they are on.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is yet another game that had significant issues at launch. Endless bugs and matchmaking issues meant the game was a nightmare. But, just like No Man’s Sky, the game has been supported with countless bug fixes and now it’s every Halo fans dream. You can experience the entire Master Chief story from Halo: CE to Halo 4, including Reach and ODST, with remastered graphics. Not only that, you can also experience the classic multiplayer from every game and see what made the franchise so loved.

Over the past year, 343 Industries have been hard at work porting the entire series over to PC as well. Everything from Halo: CE to Halo 3 is playable on PC now, and Halo 4 will wrap things up before the end of the year. Cross play will also be added to the Master Chief Collection in 2020, so whether you’re on PC or Xbox you’ll be able to play with all your friends. The Master Chief Collection has come a long way, and it’s the definitive way to experience the Halo series.

Fallout 76: Wastelanders

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

Continuing the trend of launch disasters is Fallout 76. Now this one is still very divisive. I played it at launch, it was disappointing. The world felt lifeless, a shell of former Fallout games. Now, following the Wastelanders update, the game has been transformed. Appalachia feels alive, with NPCs across the wasteland making it feel special. Part of why I love Fallout is it’s wacky stories and characters, and that’s truly back in this update. It makes the Wasteland exciting to explore again and that makes it a must for any Fallout fan. There are other improvements that fans will love too: dialogue trees with choices and skill checks, and a brand new main storyline complete with interesting factions to choose between.

It might not be as great as Fallout 3 which we all remember so fondly. But, with Fallout 4‘s beautiful graphics and the ability to explore with your friends, Fallout 76 really is a great experience. If you haven’t given it a second chance since launch, now really is the time, especially with the Brotherhood of Steel arriving soon.

Slay The Spire

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

Slay The Spire made a lot of buzz when it released too, but not for the same reasons as the last few games I’ve mentioned. Slay the Spire received critical acclaim thanks to it’s unique blend of the roguelike and card game genres. It’s a fantastic turn-based single player deckbuilder in which you work you way up the spire, battling opponents whilst developing your deck of cards to fit your preferred strategy. It’s accessible for newcomers, whilst offering plenty of challenges for card games veterans. So, whether this is your first card game or you think you’re a pro, this is the game for you.

By blending this deckbuilding mechanic with the roguelike genre, it offers endlessly replayable fun. Each battle rewards you with something, building you up for the tough boss battles throughout the spire. If you win you can progress to the next floor. If you lose, you’ll be eager to jump back in and give it another go. The only problem with this game is how hard it is to pull yourself away. It really is a fantastic, addictive experience that I’ve fallen in love with and I’m sure that you will too.

Sea of Thieves

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

Sea of Thieves has been on everybody’s hard drive lately. It’s dominated the Summer, earning a place in all of our hearts thanks to it’s simple, yet fun gameplay. It needed to be on this list, just to make sure the last few who aren’t playing it make the leap.

The world of Sea of Thieves is a joy to explore. Sailing with your friends is a mix of feelings. Excitement will fill you as you approach a new island, eager to discover its many mysteries. Playing music together on the game’s many instruments will relax you whilst sailing back to the nearest outpost. You’ll be thrilled whilst battling hostile players or evil skeleton ships. The Kraken’s roar will make you nervous as it echoes in the distance. But no matter what, the whole time you’ll be having fun.

Sea of Thieves isn’t like other games. It doesn’t offer any progression – there’s no way to upgrade your ship, no way to get better weapons and no new abilities to unlock. Instead, completing missions will give you gold with which you can buy cool new outfits, figureheads and weapon skins. If you’re looking for deep progression systems this game isn’t for you. But we all need to relax every once in a while, and this is the perfect game for that. It deserves a space on everyone’s system for this reason alone. It’s not a chore you have to be committed to. It’s simple, relaxing fun.

Mudrunner

Available on: Game Pass for PC and Xbox

I first discovered Mudrunner by watching my brother play it. Honestly, I thought it looked boring. But, jump into a truck and it won’t be long until you’re hooked. The thrills of navigating the muddy Siberian landscape are surprisingly engaging. Most of the time you’ll get stuck and be forced to winch yourself out of the mud, or lose all of your cargo. Or, you can play it slower by planning out your route and taking safer ways to your drop-off point. Either way, Mudrunner is a lot of fun and it’s something everyone should try.

The game isn’t just driving point-to-point. It has an advanced physics engine which makes every bump in the road a danger to navigate. Managing the weight and movement of your vehicle whilst overcoming muddy terrain and raging rivers is a real challenge. Mudrunner takes the standard trucking simulator experience and dials it up to ten, adding danger to every turn. It’s way more fun than you’d expect so give it a go. I promise that before long you’ll be addicted too.

Are you excited to jump into one of these games for the first time? Or maybe they already have a permanent place on your hard drive! Either way, let me know in the comments section below! There are plenty more games joining Game Pass soon, such as Battletoads or Halo Infinite. If you’re still not signed up for Game Pass, go do it now! For all the latest Xbox news, make sure to stick with us at Generation Xbox.

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