Which Gears 5 Xbox One edition should I buy?

Which Gears 5 Xbox One edition should I buy?

Best answer: Most people should get the Gears 5 Standard Edition, which grants access to the full game, covering all campaign and multiplayer needs. However, Xbox Game Pass is an ideal alternative for fans of the heavyweight shooter, currently packing over 100 games for one buck, including the Ultimate Edition.Preorder today: Gears 5 for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($50 at Amazon)Some exclusives: Gears 5 Ultimate Edition (opens in new tab) ($80 at Amazon)With a drone: Gears 5 Collector's Edition (opens in new tab) ($270 at GameStop)Play four days early: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (opens in new tab) (From $1 at Microsoft)

All Gears 5 Xbox One editions and contents

Gears of War makes an anticipated return on Xbox One this September, reviving the Locust-ravished world through the eyes of Kait Diaz. Lancer-revving action once again takes center stage in its next installment, bringing deeper gameplay to its signature modes. And headlining Microsoft's in-house Xbox lineup this fall, three editions represent Gear 5's store presence, each with distinct propositions for buyers.

The Gears 5 Standard Edition (opens in new tab) unlocks the full package on September 10, positioned as the most affordable and accessible pick. Boasting the "largest" Gears campaign to date alongside Horde and Versus multiplayer, it's the complete launch experience, with free future updates. Amazon has already cut its physical disc preorders to $50, undercutting rivals at a sixth of the retail price. Gears 5 is also included under Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One and PC, expanding the Netflix-style subscription service for gaming.

For most budding Gears 5 buyers, the base game is your high-value entry point into Microsoft's latest shooter. Bundling the full story-driven campaign and accompanying multiplayer modes pitches a package brimming with content, with premium editions best suited for diehard fans.

Gears of War fans can also upgrade to the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition (opens in new tab), a higher-tier package granting exclusive benefits at a $20 premium. Buyers obtain the base game alongside a roster of goodies, including an exclusive character pack, experience boosters, and four-day early access on September 6. The Ultimate Edition also boasts a Gears 5 SteelBook and sticker sheet, but digital buyers waive these benefits for convenience. For Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition is included under your subscription.

However, there's also the Gears 5 Collector's Edition (opens in new tab), a limited-edition package with a hefty accompanying price tag. Unlike the statue included with Gears of War 4, Gears 5 offers up a replica remote-controlled JACK Drone plucked from the universe. Benefits of the Ultimate Edition, art prints, and patches accompany the flying companion too; all contained alongside a themed box. This GameStop-exclusive bundle doesn't come cheap though, priced at $270.

While Gears 5's disc brings affordability and capability for reselling, digital copies from the Microsoft Store boast exclusive benefits. Hooking into the Xbox Play Anywhere program, purchasing digitally grants access to Xbox One and PC licenses, with progress and multiplayer bridged between platforms. It's worth considering if undecided, especially when gaming across systems.

The Xbox Game Pass alternative

While Gears 5 spans three distinct flavors, don't overlook the value of Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's affordable subscription for games. Well-established on Xbox One and recently expanding to Windows 10 PCs, the Netflix-style service packs an ever-changing lineup under a flat $10 monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass for Console (opens in new tab) will grant Gears 5 access on September 10 alongside an additional library of over 100 Xbox One titles.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (opens in new tab) touts added benefits this September, with Gears 5 Ultimate Edition included under the subscription. The $15 monthly fee unlocks Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One and PC alongside Xbox Live Gold, wrapped into unmatched value and convenience for most. Best of all, it's reduced for a limited-time promotion, keeping you covered for Gears 5 at launch for just $1.

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.