Xbox One’s Game Pass is one of the best things hard-core gamers could invest in on a modern console. Acting as a Netflix for games, players are given a pretty decent backlog of content to go back to and play, and that catalog is consistently growing month-by-month.
Currently, Microsoft is offering the service for $1 a month for your first three months, and later this year, the service will combine with Xbox Live Gold to make Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, so this is the best time possible to jump in. With that in mind, we’ve listed our five favorites that you need to play when you do.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo has been the Xbox’s bread and butter since their first console, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a celebration of the storied first-person-shooter. This compilation includes remasters of the original trilogy along with Halo 4, making this one of the best bargains in gaming.
Those that grew up playing split-screen co-op in their basements will find that these games have kept their original feel, yet visually, they’ve been painstakingly updated while staying faithful to the original — this is especially true for the cut scenes. Still, even for those who have never picked up a Halo game in their entire life, these games are classics that should be on your “must play” list.
Gears Of War 4
Much like Halo, Gears of War is another big exclusive franchise in Xbox’s pocket, and the fourth entry may be one of the best. Developed by Coalition, this is the first game in the series not developed Epic Games, but it doesn’t feel any different.
Taking place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, players are introduced to Marcus Fenix’s son, J.D. — don’t worry though, our favorite protagonist still plays a big role here — as a new enemy, The Swarm, comes onto the scene.
Still, with all that’s new, the core gameplay is still true to the original trilogy, making this one heck of a comeback for the series.
Not every game on Xbox Game Pass is new. In fact, some of the best are classics from the Xbox 360, and Fable II is one of them. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better game from that generation.
Taking place 500 years after the first game in the franchise, Fable II takes on a more colonial aesthetic, giving players access to guns on top of the traditional magic and swordplay.
The plot is pretty engaging too, as players try to stop a megalomaniac from building a structure that will give him insane powers. Along the way, decisions gamers make will shape how the general population views you, but it's not as simple as good and bad. Instead, there is a public perception meter, and a morality gauge as well. Meaning, a player could be evil, but moral, and loved. Or good, immoral, and hated. For its time, it was a pretty deep mechanic.
Not only that, but you get a dog!
Just Cause 4
Just Cause 4 got overlooked during the 2018 holiday season, but it's not hard to see why. Going up against Assassin's Creed Odysseey, Super Smash Brothers, Spider-Man PS4, and God Of War, it's not surprising it didn't get the spotlight we think it deserves.
Still, the fourth entry in Square Enix's mayhem-fueled sandbox is the best in the franchise, upping the action to 11 as players take control of Rico Rodriguez as he liberates the South American location of Solis.
Monster Hunter: World
Anyone looking for solid multiplayer action, you won't find an experience much better than Monster Hunter: World. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, here's a simple rundown. Players pick up quests to take down giant creatures. Prospective hunters will have to track down the monsters by finding footprints or tracks, and once the creature is found, all hell breaks loose.
This is an incredibly deep game with some fantastic mechanics that makes each hunt rewarding in its own way.
When Capcom developed this entry in the long-running series, it had Western audiences in mind, so a lot of the intimidation factor is gone, making this one of the most welcoming in the series.