Xbox Cloud Gaming is a feature of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, giving you access to dozens of Xbox games streamed from the cloud. Many of the games also sport touch controls, meaning you can game right from your phone without pairing up an Xbox Bluetooth controller. For this roundup, we're looking at the best games for playing Xbox on the go. Some of these aren't necessarily the best Xbox games of all time, but they are games that play great on your phone, either with touch or while accounting for the added latency inherent of cloud gaming.
Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 4 is an essential beat 'em up revival from SEGA. The classic Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in North America) was among the most influential games of its time, featuring addictive action combat in decaying urban environments.
After years in hiatus, Sega recently revived Streets of Rage with partner studio DotEmu, modernizing the formula while staying true to what made the original so incredibly beloved.
Play as one of several new and returning characters and take the fight to gang bangers in a vast criminal underworld. Combos, special moves, a huge variety of weapons, enemies, and bosses await, complete with fully bespoke touch controls exclusive to Xbox Cloud Gaming. Streets of Rage 4 is one of Sega's best games of recent years and well worth your time.
- Vibrant visuals with responsive gameplay even from the cloud
- Custom touch controls mean you can ditch controllers
- Large variety of content accessible
- Enemies can be harder to track on smaller displays
Beat 'em up on the go
Streets of Rage 4 (Dotemu)
Back street brawler
Streets of Rage 4 is great on Xbox Game Pass cloud, owing to bespoke touch controls that make the experience ideal for all scenarios. Streets of Rage 4 is the latest installment in the decades-old classic franchise, bringing you dozens of enemies to smash across a variety of urban stages.
Surprising everybody, Octopath Traveler hit Xbox Game Pass in 2021, complete with touch controls for native cloud play.
Set in the medieval fantasy land of Orsterra, Octopath Traveler is a JRPG that puts players in the shoes of eight separate heroes, each with their own tales and backstories. After finishing each of the character's stories, their fates intertwine as the game's true villains are revealed, who potentially threaten the entire world.
With stunning "HD-2D" art style that combines modern 3D depth with classic SNES-era sprites, Octopath Traveler revives JRPG traditions oft-abandoned by the industry at large, showcasing them for a new generation. Thanks to the game's simple but effective art style and turn-based combat, Octopath Traveler is an excellent option for Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming.
- Fun and strategic turn-based combat
- Interesting story and characters
- Stunning art style
- Fonts can be hard to read on a smaller display
Dragon Quest XI
Dragon Quest XI is the latest entry in the storied JRPG franchise, and it's an ideal experience for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
In Dragon Quest XI, you play as the luminary, a legendary hero fated to save the world from encroaching darkness. Or at least, that's what the prophecy says. There are those in power who believe the luminary to be a dark omen, and will stop at nothing to vanquish you, and all of your loved ones in the process.
In what starts off as a relatively light-hearted JRPG becomes dark and dramatic fairly quickly, as you work to unravel a national conspiracy while the threat of darkness looms in the background. As a turn-based game, Dragon Quest XI is an ideal game for latency-sensitive situations.
- Strategic turn-based combat with touch support
- Deep story with dozens of hours of gameplay
- Vibrant visuals and art style
- Fonts are hard to read on a small display
Become the luminary
Dragon Quest XI
Slay the slimes
Dragon Quest XI is another great addition to Xbox Game Pass for cloud, complete with touch controls, so you don't need to bring a controller along with you. Dragon Quest XI is a classic JRPG from a legendary franchise spanning decades, complete with dozens of hours of turn-based gameplay, ideal for low-latency play.
Star Renegades is an excellent strategic turn-based RPG with heavy JRPG and roguelite influences, and stunning "HD 2D" art.
Set in a futuristic world, Star Renegades pits you and your allies against a trans-dimensional army hellbent on galactic tyranny. The only thing standing between them and total domination is the Star Renegades, who travel across multiple timelines to reconnoiter the threat, grow their ranks, and ultimately win.
Star Renegades' tactical combat is incredibly well realized, giving you a huge range of skill interactions in a reactive system that rewards forethought and planning. The game is also gorgeous, with sprite art elevated with modern lighting techniques. It also supports touch controls.
- Great art and design
- Excellent turn-based combat system
- Game gets a bit repetitive
Save the universe
Star Renegades (Massive Damage Inc.)
Across space and time
Star Renegades also has touch controls, making it great for situations where you might not have a controller. Star Renegades is a turn-based strategy game with gorgeous art pitting you and your team against an inter-dimensional galactic army. Star Renegades is an addictive and engaging combat puzzle waiting to be unlocked.
As casual but deep mobile-optimized games go, this might be the best Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming has to offer right now.
Monster Train is an excellent tactical card battler, with good touch controls and a very brief gameplay loop, making it ideal for quick commutes or short games on your phone.
In Monster Train, you command the armies of hell in their resistance against the heavens. You ride a train, literally full of monsters of your own choosing, in randomly generated challenges as you progress across the land.
On each turn, you get a variety of cards that can be combined and played in various ways. Your goal on each level is to defend your train's energy core from waves of strange heavenly beings, playing your cards tactically as you go. The further you progress, the more powerful your card combos can get, as you face off against increasingly powerful entities in this unique and intriguing tactics game.
- Unique tactical turn-based combat
- Large variety of cards to unlock and explore
- Short gameplay loops with good touch controls
- Fonts can be small and tough to read
Minecraft Dungeons could be the quintessential example of a game built with Xbox Cloud gaming in mind, owing to touchable menus, a custom touch UI, and fixed-perspective gameplay that is ideal for latency-intensive situations.
Minecraft Dungeons is an action RPG based on the popular block 'em up of world acclaim. Set in the titular Minecraft universe, you and up to four friends can battle, loot, and level up across a huge variety of biomes, with mountains of equipment, spells, and other abilities to acquire.
Minecraft Dungeons serves as an example of the full potential of Xbox Cloud Gaming, and it's honestly a shame that it's the only game on the service with touch-native support right now. Regardless, it's an awesome game that syncs your progress across multiple devices, letting you take your experience anywhere and everywhere.
- Frantic and satisfying action RPG combat
- Pleasant visuals inspired by Minecraft
- Native touch-based controls and menus
- DLC packs aren't included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox Game Studios)
Minecraft meets Diablo
Minecraft Dungeons is absolutely the first game you should try with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, given the fact it supports touch controls if nothing else. Additionally, the fixed camera angle makes it light on any potential latency issues, and the accessible, yet satisfying gameplay is a fun adventure for the entire family.
Two Point Hospital
Two Point Hospital is an excellent revival of the classic franchise Theme Hospital, with many developers who worked on the original classic.
Two Point Hospital is a strategy and business simulation game, where you're tasked with the day-to-day finances and growth of various medical facilities, combating a wide array of fun and fictional viruses and ailments.
Two Point Hospital has passive gameplay with speed controls, ideal for mobile play. It also has full-touch gamepad capabilities, meaning you can leave your Xbox controller at home.
- Fun and addictive sim gameplay
- Passive gameplay with adjustable speed
- Lots of variety in mission types and content
- Potentially fiddly controls with touch
- Better on larger displays owing to small fonts
Manage a hospital
Two Point Hospital (Two Point Studios)
Run a hospital
Two Point Hospital is an excellent option for Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming, with passive (if oftentimes stressful) gameplay with manageable game speed, and bite-size pick-up-put-down gameplay ideal for short travel sessions with your phone. In Two Point Hospital, you manage your very own medical facility, crammed with various challenges and wacky illnesses to manage.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an unlikely spin-off of the famous brawler franchise, taking the series in an all-new JRPG-styled direction. Turn-based combat, crazy "spells" and abilities, and even summonable allies join the fray, with epic results.
You play as young Yakuza Ichiban, who takes the fall for a crime he didn't commit. After getting out of prison, you discover a drastically altered criminal landscape, with your clan absorbed and dissolved, with your mentors denouncing you. Ichiban forms unlikely friendships with an ex-cop and a homeless guy to find out exactly what went wrong, with combat inspired by Ichiban's obsession with Dragon Quest. Very meta.
The turn-based play and touch gamepad make this an excellent game for playing on the go, although you may find yourself dedicating a lot of time to cutscenes, making brief gameplay spurts while commuting a bit tough.
- Wild storyline with piles of endearing characters
- Fun turn-based combat with wacky abilities
- Touch controls for mobile-only play
- Long cutscenes may not be suitable for brief gameplay bursts on mobile
Game on the go
The service formerly known as Project xCloud is now known as Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming, giving access to over 150 games right on your Android device. Microsoft hasn't got the service onto iOS natively yet due to Apple's anti-competitive practices, but you can access it via your browser at xbox.com/play.
Games like Star Renegades and Monster Train make for great titles in environments where you don't have the best pings. Since they're turn-based, you can be sure that an inopportune lag spike will get you killed, and you can play at your own pace. The same thing goes for Two Point Hospital and Dragon Quest XI, which have relatively low-stakes, slower-paced play. For better connections, you can run more action-packed games like Streets of Rage 4, which benefit from fixed camera angles for better responsiveness from the video feed.
The game at the top of the list, though, is possibly Minecraft Dungeons, which is one of the few games to support full touch controls. As an action RPG, Minecraft Dungeons lets you and up to three other friends jump into Minecraft's famed blocky world, tackling various adventures that threaten the innocent villagers of the land. Create epic builds, find rare gear, and do it all from your phone, with save files that sync directly to your Xbox console at home too.
Be sure to take a look at our roundup of best Xbox One controller phone mount clips to attach your Xbox controller for xCloud gaming, too!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jez Corden is a full-time writer for Windows Central, focusing on Xbox, Surface, and Windows PC. He spends the vast majority of his time gaming or writing about gaming, with a mission to provide gamers in the Microsoft ecosystem the best and most up-to-date info possible.
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