Gears 5: Ultimate Edition dethrones Fortnite as most-played Xbox One game

What you need to know

  • Gears 5 is a third-person shooter from The Coalition.
  • The game features a lot of new additions to its campaign and multiplayer.
  • Its Ultimate Edition beat Fortnite to become the most-played game on Xbox One.
  • You can purchase Xbox Game Pass through Amazon (opens in new tab).

Gears 5 is a third-person shooter from The Coalition, the Xbox Game Studios team responsible for the acclaimed Gears of War franchise. It launched in early access last week as an Ultimate Edition, and this week, the Standard Edition became available to everyone else.

For many months, Fortnite has been the most-played game on Xbox One by miles. Titles like NBA 2K20 have come close, but none have been able to surpass the free-to-play juggernaut. However, that changed a few days ago. If you go to the "Most played games (opens in new tab)" section of the Microsoft Store, you'll see that Gears 5: Ultimate Edition is at the top. This is quite a feat and is thanks to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which gives players access to the Ultimate Edition if they subscribe to the $15-a-month service.

Given the fact that Fortnite is the most popular game in the world, and a free-to-play title, the sheer number of players needed to dethrone it are probably astronomical. Luckily, Gears 5 was the hit Xbox Game Pass needed to gain more subscribers. Hopefully, they'll continue to remain subscribers. It'll be interesting to see how many players have experienced the game when Microsoft reveals launch figures on Friday or next week.

Related: Gears 5 known bugs and launch issues

In Windows Central's review, Jez Corden wrote, "as a benchmark for visual excellence balanced against stellar performance, Gears 5 is technical wizardry. It also bridges platforms and storefronts... complete with... cross-play. The fact that Gears 5 manages to jam a... 12 to 18-hour campaign, several multiplayer modes, a map editor, and the promise of post-launch support represents one of the best deals in gaming right now. It's an even better value when you factor in Xbox Game Pass."

Excellent and affordable Xbox accessories

Up your Xbox experience with one (or all) of these budget accessories, all of which are approved by the gamers of Windows Central.

PowerA Play & Charge Kit for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($15 at Amazon)

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Love these type of topics that gives no actual numbers. I would think one of MS's major exclusive would top this at launch. It would be crazy to think otherwise.
    As for actual numbers Gears 5 isn't too hot on Steam. According to Steam 5K people are currently playing it worldwide and it's peak was less than 10K.
  • Why would anyone buy it on Steam when you can get it through Xbox Game Pass on PC? That costs $5 a month right now instead of $60 to $100.
  • That's the basic math for sure. Microsoft want everyone to think like you. I agree FYI
  • Maybe those who don't want to rent the game?
    Those who aren't on Win10 or don't want to use UWP?
    It's funny how you made a topic about how this topped the sales charts on steam just few hours after it launched, but now you want to downplay steam...
  • We wrote about it because it was surprising. Didn't think anyone would actually buy it on Steam.
  • You seriously thought that ANY other game would sell better than Gears 5 the moment it was launching? LOL
    I guess you are also surprised that one of the most important MS game is played the most just after it launched. lol
    Anyway you'll be also surprised to know that it's no longer at the top.