Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft costs $9.99 per month, and gives you access to dozens of games on an all you can eat basis, similar to Netflix. There are over two hundred games on the pool now, and navigating through the awesomeness can be a bit daunting. If you've already played the heavy hitters, here are some of our suggestions for hidden gems among the big names that are worth a try.
Deadlight: Director's Cut
Deadlight is a side-scrolling action game with an emphasis on platforming and stealth, which takes place in a 1980s zombie apocalypse. You play as a father searching for his missing family in zombie-infested Seattle, using scarce ammo and melee weapons.
Deadlight has detailed environments and tight, satisfyingly gory combat. It's not too long too, so can be enjoyed in a relatively short burst between other games. Well worth a look.
Enjoyed the look of Stardew Valley but felt it wasn't dark enough for your gothic sensibilities? Then Graveyard Keeper is for you.
With charming pixel art and tongue-in-cheek comedic writing, Graveyard Keeper is a management game with RPG elements where you, the Graveyard Keeper, must build up and manage your very own graveyard. It's not all about the corpses though, you'll also be tasked with building up the local cathedral, battling monsters in the catacombs, and doing other tasks on your quest to become a profitable undertaker.
Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is a cult narrative adventure horror game set in a terrifying mansion.
Following the madness of a painter, Layers of Fear unravels a haunting mystery that examines a dysfunctional family full of dark secrets. Layers of Fear is quite a short game at around 3-5 hours, but will leave a lasting impression.
Ruiner is a violent top-down action game with gorgeous art, set in a crime-riddled high-tech dystopia.
While Ruiner launched to widespread praise, the game was unfairly overshadowed by titles like Destiny 2 and Cuphead in an extremely busy September 2017 launch window. It's one of the more unique titles on Xbox Game Pass, and will certainly scratch that dystopic sci-fi itch for anyone waiting for Cyberpunk 2077. It's also Xbox Play Anywhere, so your progress and access will sync to PC.
Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
Given that Microsoft just purchased inXile Entertainment, Wasteland 2 has been getting a lot more attention recently. If you're looking for something bigger to really sink your teeth into, Wasteland 2 is a large-scale tactical RPG with XCOM-style combat, and classic CRPG-style branching narrative. Wasteland is an apocalyptic series that would go on to inspire the early Fallout games, set in a world destroyed by nuclear fire. If you enjoy classic CRPGs or titles like XCOM, this is well worth your time.
The Final Station
Final Station is a unique management, side-scrolling shooter which puts you in command of one of Earth's last trains.
Travel across a dying world rescuing the last survivors, maintaining your train's facilities while battling hordes of mysterious infected. The Final Station is a casual survival experience fans of the genre will love.
Massive Chalice is an intriguing turn-based strategy game with some unique ideas. Faced with complete annihilation, the population of an unknown world resort to genetic manipulation in order to create more powerful descendants. In this war spanning centuries, your favorite heroes will die of old age, and it's up to you to pair up the right people to pass on their best traits to future generations.
Xbox Game Pass represents some serious value, especially considering you can get all of Microsoft Studios' games in there as part of the monthly fee, including heavy hitters like Forza Horizon 4 and the entire Gears of War catalogue.
Every month, new titles are added as Microsoft aims to keep the library feeling fresh, with Mutant Year Zero, Ashen, and Crackdown 3 on the horizon as notable additions. For $9.99 per month, it frankly feels like a bit of a steal.
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