Earlier this year, Xbox launched a ‘games on demand’ service offering over 100 games available to fully download and play while the subscription is active. At £7.99 per month the value on offer here is pretty good, but here are 5 games that are definitely parting with just under 8 quid for that you could probably get through in a month. If you are new to the Xbox family then these 5 choices are must play games that you should experience. If you are a long term Xbox family member then there might be games that you’re not sure of and I aim to give you a little insight as to why I recommend them.
Gears of War 4
The newest and arguably the biggest addition to games pass is Gears of War 4. Launched in 2016 to really good reviews (read our review here) Gears 4 continues the story 25 years on from Gears of War 3 and sees James Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix, fighting a new breed of Locust with his father by his side and a new team of COG soldiers. With an excellent campaign, the best Horde mode to appear in any Gears game and an ever evolving Multiplayer aspect, Gears of War 4 is a must play game and even if you play it just for the campaign alone which can take around 8 hours to complete, you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time with it. It is also worth noting that this title has also been enhanced for Xbox One X and boasts Native 4K and HDR visuals that look absolutely fantastic. Well worth the monthly price of Game Pass on its own. As an added bonus, if you are yet to experience the Gears franchise then the whole back catalogue is also available on Game Pass including the remastered edition of the original.
Released in 2015, Mad Max is developed by Avalanche, the developers behind the Just Cause series and published by Warner Bros.Games. Mad Max was somewhat of a sleeper hit when it was first released and surprised even the most dubious of gamers with its fantastic single player campaign. Offering a huge dynamic open world, players take control of Max who is left for dead in the desert, with everything taken from him and sets out to seek his revenge. Players will need to build up Max’ inventory by upgrading his weapons, vehicles and develop skills to take down various bases across the open world, taking down each boss one at a time and reclaiming his status. With a fantastic hand to hand fighting system, similar to the Arkham games and brilliant, action packed vehicular combat, Mad Max is a much underrated game that delivers a decent narrative and some lovely visuals including dynamic sandstorms and certainly deserves to be higher regarded than it currently is.
It is hard to think that the original Mass Effect was released 10 years ago but is not so hard to understand that its story still holds up really well even now. A third person narrative driven, space sci-fi RPG, Mass Effect sees players take control of Commander Shepard and lead him in to the battle against corruption and war. Assigned to command the SSV Normandy, Shepard is sent to retrieve a Proethean Beacon by order of the Citadel and the adventure that unfolds still lives long in my memory and still remains one of my favourite story driven games ever along with the much loved sequel Mass Effect 2 (my overall favourite game in the series). The original, while not technically as good as the games that followed is simply fantastic and despite its clunky gameplay, offers a brilliant experience with a choice system that impacts how the story unfolds depending on the decisions you make. If you are yet to experience a Mass Effect game then you should most definitely check this out.
If for some reason you have never played Limbo by developers Playdead, there is a good chance that you may have been living under a rock for the last 8 years or you probably just haven’t fancied it, but if it’s the latter then you are seriously missing out. Despite being available on every single gaming platform going at the moment, Limbo still deserves a mention on this list. It is a side scrolling puzzle platform game that is simple in its design but leaves a long lasting effect in its delivery. Even by today’s standards, Limbo offers an experience that is hard to forget and has since influenced many games of a similar style, but none have managed to capture the essence that makes this game special. It is a relatively short game to complete and one that is fairly simple to play but it is such an intriguing yet impactful game that once you start playing, you will find it hard to put down and will be saying ‘just one more go’ quite a few times. Its visual style upon its release was original, offering a dark yet beautiful atmosphere and is most definitely a must play.
Arguably the most underrated game of 2014 and possibly of this console generation, Sunset Overdrive is a whacky third person action game that oozes fun from its crazy open world, fantastic gameplay mechanics and completely over the top story not to mention its fantastic weapons on offer. Developed by Insomniac Games, Sunset Overdrive offers an experience that is like no other and is as addictive as it is loopy. Set in an alternative apocalypse it offers gameplay features that involve using everything possible in the world to your advantage including zipping along telephone lines, bouncing around off vehicles and sliding along railings as well as crafting new obscure weapons while fighting off hordes of mutated beings. It plays brilliantly and looks fantastic too and offers a visually vibrant fun to play experience that will have you hooked from the off. If Jet Set Radio had a baby with the Dead Rising series, it would be called Sunset Overdrive and I urge you to play this game if you haven’t already because it is a brilliant game that everyone who has an Xbox One should play, without a doubt.
These are just 5 of the games that I have picked out for December but there are a lot more that I could talk about and maybe I will in the future but for now these 5 games are definitely worth your time and are most certainly worth the £7.99 that you will pay for a month’s worth of Xbox Game Pass and don’t forget, you will have a 14 day trial to use too if you haven’t already, so that is 6 weeks of games that will keep you busy while digesting your turkey over the festive period.