Xbox Game Pass is one of the best ways to discover new video games, with Microsoft’s latest Xbox subscription packing countless hours of content for a single monthly fee. It’s often considered one of the best deals in gaming, with high-profile additions expanding the lineup on the regular, including top Xbox exclusives on launch day.

But the ever-growing Xbox Game Pass library can prove daunting, with hundreds of games on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, PC, or even mobile via the cloud. We’ve rounded up the best Xbox Game Pass games, and all included with your subscription in 2021.

Best Xbox Game Pass Games

What’s included with Xbox Game Pass in 2021?

Xbox Game Pass is now a staple subscription for Xbox gaming, with members unlocking access to hundreds of downloadable titles from Microsoft and third-parties. It now touches Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles, coupled with additional PC gaming and Android streaming services. The all-inclusive Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier also contains Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, plus promotional perks like Disney+ and Spotify, as one of the best-value deals in gaming.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

Microsoft positions Xbox Game Pass as the future of the Xbox brand. You’ll see new Microsoft-developed games like Halo Infinite and Forza Motorsport included from release, with recent acquisitions like ZeniMax Media with Bethesda Game Studios set to bolster that output. Third-party publishers regularly add new Xbox Game Pass games, from established AAA franchises to experimental indies. Partners like EA Play also bring over 100 more Electronic Arts games to its Ultimate-tier members at no additional cost.

Xbox Game Pass has rapidly established itself as the one-stop subscription for gaming, with high value across its supported platforms. Xbox Game Pass starts at $10 per month on console and PC, including over 100 games each, with new additions monthly. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription combines Xbox Game Pass for all platforms, with Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, and other exclusive perks for $15 per month.

Microsoft also has one month for $1 promotion right now, one of the best Xbox Game Pass deals right now, available to new Game Pass subscribers.


Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Logo

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass is one of the best ways to play, with access to hundreds of video games for a single monthly fee. The Ultimate-tier subscription is ideal for any avid gamer, geared to Xbox, PC, and mobile, including games, an online membership, and other exclusive perks.

1. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: Reach MultiplayerSource: Microsoft

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Microsoft’s legendary shooter franchise remains an Xbox staple in 2021, with its six-part compilation the best way to experience two decades of Halo titles. The collection now includes the complete saga, spanning Halo: Combat Evolved through Halo 4, accompanied by its Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach spin-offs. And with Halo Infinite headed to Xbox Game Pass debut later this year, there’s no better time to experience the complete package in its best form yet.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes every mainline Halo campaign, excluding Halo 5: Guardians, delivering its greatest hits through the sci-fi universe. It also contains the original competitive and cooperative modes, plus creative tools like the Forge map-builder and Theater playback system. Microsoft has upgraded every game with visual enhancements, from 1080p at 60 FPS on base Xbox One consoles, climbing up to 4K at 120 FPS across the new Xbox Series X|S family.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection overcame its rough launch with ongoing updates, delivering crazy value as an Xbox Game Pass title. It’s a steady-growing platform, including its newly-launched Season 5 update, adding Halo 3 and Halo: Reach content over ten years since their respective releases. It’s an ideal entry-point for newcomers and a nostalgia trip for returning fans, delivering the best Halo experience to date.

Pros:

  • Incredible value
  • Hours of campaign and multiplayer content
  • Frequent content updates
  • Upgraded for modern hardware

Cons:

  • Old games show age, especially for newcomers

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Jump in with the Halo franchise’s greatest hits, bundling six campaigns and two decades of multiplayer content into one affordable package.

2. Grounded

GroundedSource: Microsoft

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Grounded is the latest experimental project from a slice of Obsidian Entertainment, a studio revered in role-playing circles for titles like The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas. This fun-sized sandbox takes a fresh approach to survival gameplay, leveraging the same scaled-down premise as classic movies like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Either single-player or experienced cooperatively with friends, fight back the creepy crawlies, and build a backyard shelter for the nights ahead.

While Grounded’s underlying survival gameplay loop treads familiar territory to titles like Rust and ARK: Survival Evolved, it’s the shrunk setting that proves most alluring. You’ll explore your backyard like never before, and from baseballs to juice boxes, even mundane objects stow secrets when you’re a couple of inches tall. The insects and birds that call this micro-world home may also pose a threat, and you’ll need a fort and tools to stand your ground.

Obsidian Entertainment has launched Grounded as an early-access endeavor, with just the initial foundations of an intertwined story mode and core survival gameplay. While the studio continues to expand its narrative and overall game content for long-term play, it’s one to try with your Xbox Game Pass membership today.

Pros:

  • Great building and survival mechanics
  • Fun combat
  • Creative setting
  • Frequent content updates

Cons:

  • Early access bugs
  • No dedicated servers

Grounded

Grounded

This endearing survival game lets you imagine run wild, exploring a supersized backyard, and building a shelter from the bugs that roam down below.

3. Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4Source: Microsoft

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Microsoft’s racing franchise holds pole-position as the de facto in Xbox racing, with its most recent endeavor, Forza Horizon 4, an open-world playground to beat. The latest virtual motoring celebration heads to Great Britain, now featuring over 700 cars from across the decades, with an abundance of activities to push their limits.

While the mainline Forza Motorsport line veers closer to realism, Horizon 4 developer, Playground Games, cooks up a toybox for petrolheads. You can cruise the country lanes while completing various races and challenges, awarding in both speed and the style you choose. It’s not afraid to have fun with its festival setting either, with Lego, Hot Wheels, and Halo collaborations all putting unique spins on racing conventions.

While the next Forza Motorsport installment has taken extra years to develop, that’s seen Forza Horizon 4 updates with over two years of content as the best Xbox One racing game to date. The Forza Horizon car list has grown into the hundreds, with new racing content opening opportunities to play for years to come. Whether car fanatic or driving newcomer, this game has something to love.

Pros:

  • Best Xbox racing series
  • Rich, varied open world
  • Play with hundreds of cars
  • Tons of racing activities

Cons:

  • Better alternatives for realism

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4

Tour all corners of the UK with this vibrant racer, with hundreds of cars now available, touching miles of rolling hills, flowing rivers, and race-ready lanes.

4. A Way Out

A Way OutSource: Electronic Arts

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

This classic prison escape raises the bar for cooperative storytelling, both a cinematic blockbuster that pushes the medium and innovative twist on the possibilities of two-player gaming. It follows inmates, Leo and Vincent, breaking from their cells and reuniting with family. You’ll need to explore and work together to solve puzzles and topple threats, assembling a must-try coop experience for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers through EA Play.

A Way Out successfully embraces its two-part cast down to its fundamental gameplay systems, playable exclusively with one partner, including a permanent split-screen effect both locally and over Xbox Live. Headed by established director Josef Fares, it utilizes this to push experimental cinematography while also reminiscent of couch co-op classics.

Hazelight Games compounds Hollywood signatures with traits from all-time multiplayer hits, providing several hours to remember. It also shines with movie-like pacing, sneaking out of prison and entering police shoot-outs, or catching fish and bonding over board games. It’s all wrapped up in a revenge story, building up to a climactic pay-off.

Pros:

  • Unique co-op gameplay
  • Multiple choices with interesting outcomes
  • Creative mix of genres
  • Engaging story

Cons:

  • Some mechanics may feel “clunky”

A Way Out

A Way Out

Partnering up with your buddy, break out of prison, seek revenge, and reunite with family. It’s the ideal tale for two.

5. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Daher Socata TBM 930Source: Microsoft

Available on: PC

Microsoft Flight Simulator makes its return after an over decade-long hiatus, leveraging the company’s fast-growing cloud empire to deliver a 1:1 digital double of the globe. The best in mapping data and artificial intelligence are fundamental pillars, replicating every inch of the planet with unseen accuracy.

The latest entry represents a drastic improvement thanks to readily-available Microsoft Azure cloud technology, allowing over two petabytes of data to be streamed to players on the fly. It also has a real-time edge, from up-to-the-minute weather data and aerodynamics simulations to air traffic plucked from the real world. A few dozen highly-accurate aircraft models will join your voyages, alongside a growing roster of handcrafted airports and landmarks.

The result is a stunning visual showcase that even pushes the best from high-end PCs, with an Xbox Series X|S version also headed to market in 2021. This simulator’s realism has a steeper learning curve than many games, albeit with a flight training program to help onboard new pilots. It’s among the best-looking games of all time, perfect for traveling the world throughout the pandemic.

Pros:

  • Breathtaking 1:1 realistic world
  • Fly literally anywhere on Earth
  • Accurate simulation mechanics
  • Highly detailed aircraft and locations

Cons:

  • Extremely steep learning curve
  • Taxing, even on modern PCs

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft delivers a striking recreation of the real world, mirroring landscapes down to the trees, with faithful climate and air traffic simulations. It’s all wrapped up in a rich aviation sandbox, steadily expanding on the regular.

6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six SiegeSource: Ubisoft

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Android

Ubisoft rekindled its counterterrorism squad with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, now firmly cemented among the decade’s multiplayer greats. This first-person shooter doubles down on competitive online gameplay, with its five-versus-five setup pitting terrorists against the law in various objective-centered modes. With precise gunplay and no respawns, it’s all about outsmarting the other team and keeping your cool as the action heats up.

Operators define Rainbow Six Siege, various playable characters, each with unique weapon loads and gameplay-altering gear. Intelligence also plays a fundamental role, tapping into a network of surveillance cameras and drones, while destructive environments add new variables to every locale. It results in a complex web of synergies and counters, introducing a steeper learning curve but endlessly rewarding for hours to come.

Ubisoft’s latest hit is now over five years old, with over 70 million players and counting. It receives free quarterly updates adding new Operators and maps, coupled with limited-time seasonal events with distinct themes. Everything is earnable in-game, only supported by paid cosmetics, but Xbox Game Pass subscribers have the Deluxe Edition with 16 bonus Operators off the bat.

Pros:

  • Precise, smooth gunplay
  • Varied Operators and gadgets
  • Competitive multiplayer maps
  • Free updates all year round

Cons:

  • Sharp learning curve for newcomers

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

This hit tactical shooter has captured millions over half a decade on the market, defined by deep combat that evolves with each encounter. The game is continually fed with new Operators and maps, making it a valuable time sink to master.

7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild HuntSource: CD Projekt S.A.

The Witcher 3 is arguably the best action RPG of the past generation, making it a must-play with Xbox Game Pass. Based on a popular series of fantasy books, The Witcher 3 puts you in the role of Geralt of Rivia. Witchers are a sect of alchemically-enhanced warrior monks that travel the land, removing curses, eliminating monsters, and dealing with magical criminals. Witcher’s power often lands them entwined in regional political intrigue as well, and Geralt is no different.

The Witcher 3 is an expansive RPG set in a large and detailed open world, with dense, high-quality side missions and top-tier character acting and writing. The title also supports visceral combat that rewards methodical players with incredible setpiece battles and a rich progression layer.

The Witcher 3 will last you for dozens upon dozens of hours and, even more, if you pick up the excellent DLC packs. This is one of the best Xbox One games, if not the best, and well worth your attention.


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 takes an expansive open world to a whole new level, laced with opportunities to learn and explore. It’s one of the best RPGs in history, with hours of content right here.

8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the WispsSource: Microsoft

Ori and the Will of the Wisps presents a mystical journey, equal parts heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring, pushing the medium with an experience to remember. It’s a creation packed with meticulously handcrafted environments and creatures, with robust platforming gameplay that gels with the enchanted themes.

Developer Moon Studios constructed a painting in video game form, taking you across enthralling locations, from lush forests, creepy caves to sky-high mountains. The upshot is both an art piece and robust side scroller that’s not afraid to pose a challenge, unlike anything on Xbox Game Pass. It shines best in 4K HDR, showcasing every ounce of love and emotion poured into this tale.

Pros:

  • Stunning visuals
  • Rewarding platforming gameplay
  • Incredible soundtrack

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

This heartfelt platformer shows a ton of personality, both visually stunning no matter your system and among the Xbox Game Pass titles to remember.

9. Destiny 2

Destiny 2Source: Bungie

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Android

This looter shooter has defined developer Bungie following a split from the Halo franchise, delivering an interplanetary sci-fi adventure, fighting aliens, and keeping Earth safe. It’s a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game steadily refined over the years, with robust gunplay mechanics and a growing content lineup that elevates this over the competition. Bungie has cooked up a new partnership with Microsoft, base game and expansions now stocked in Xbox Game Pass, including the latest Beyond Light DLC.

Destiny 2 embraces the shared pillars of any loot-driven shooter, with a multitude of player classes catered to playstyles, followed by the constant grind for color-coded drops. The player-versus-environment quests make up the bulk of the content, from story missions to multi-hour raids, while arena-style multiplayer offers a competitive switch of pace.

While already positioned among the most-played shooters, its inclusion with Xbox Game Pass has proven a big score for the service. The bundled Legendary Edition includes every expansion, usually costing an additional $80, providing the full experience in early 2021.

Pros:

  • Rewarding gameplay loop
  • More content than ever
  • Rich world and narrative

Cons:

  • Loot grind doesn’t suit all

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Destiny 2

Fight back the darkness, traveling the galaxy, and defeating its biggest threats. Upgrade your skills through new weapons and armor, mastering your powers as you process.

10. Control

ControlSource: 505 Games

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Remedy Entertainment demonstrates its cinematic know-how with Control, a paranormal world-bending adventure, and a visual joyride of the uncanny. Heroine Jesse Fayden steps into the Oldest House, a world-bending realm uncovered inside a government building, skewing the conventions of physics and reality.

Control emits its cryptic tone from the outset, steadily uncovering where its cross-dimensional experiments went wrong as you move deeper into the facility. A mysterious enemy dubbed the Hiss puts up a fight with powerful abilities and weapons to collect over time. Expect to find yourself lost in this sprawling maze of corridors and brutalist spaces, also proving a challenge over time.

The game is equally an atmospheric adventure, journeying through a shapeshifting complex with brutalist architecture that restructures as you explore. The game proves a visual tour de force, presenting its concrete-lined fortress with influence from Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. The base game is now available via Xbox Game Pass, with additional expansions if you get hooked.

Pros:

  • Excellent story premise
  • Creative combat mechanics
  • Unforgettable atmosphere
  • Gorgeous visuals

Cons:

  • Some mediocre characters
  • Mixed performance on some systems

Control

Control

This abstract adventure travels all types of stunning yet strange environments, finding your way through a physics-warping complex and fighting back a mysterious force.

11. Outer Wilds

Outer WildsSource: Annapurna Interactive

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Outer Wilds taps into your childhood dreams of exploring the skies, embarking on an interstellar trek across the solar system. It’s an ever-changing galaxy that evolves as you play, reshaping its worlds with new discoveries and hazards as time passes. You’ll uncover new mysteries throughout your travels, locked in a time loop and searching for answers to the universe.

But the Outer Wilds is an experience like nothing you’ve played before, with puzzle-solving and action wrapped into a stellar overarching premise. It’s a title that’s hard to even discuss for fear of spoiling the premise that separates this from your usual sci-fi tale. This is a space adventure you’ll remember for years to come — go in blind; you won’t regret it.

Pros:

  • Charming world ideal for exploring
  • Stellar writing
  • Unique gameplay mechanics

Cons:

  • Open-ended gameplay not for all

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds

No game taps into the passion for exploring like Outer Wilds, touching the far reaches of the system and uncovering the true meaning of your world.

12. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderSource: Electronic Arts

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order allows players to fulfill their Jedi dreams, assuming the role of Padawan Cal Kestis in an official canon story, spanning all corners of the galaxy. This action-adventure tale fits right beside the movies, developed by Respawn Entertainment, the same studio behind Apex Legends and Titanfall.

Fallen Order launched as one of the best-received Star Wars games to date, with its rich single-player offerings, both cinematic and narrative-heavy, akin to the movies. That all comes down to robust lightsaber battles that demand skill and patience, coupled with slower platforming puzzles that require attention to detail. It’s wrapped up in a 3D Metroidvania-style delivery, with influence from titles like Dark Souls making this challenging yet rewarding.

Electronic Arts delivered an experience that felt genuine to the franchise’s legacy, best suited to Star Wars movies fans, yet equally enjoyable as a standalone title. It’s bundled up in EA Play, included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, perfect with talk of a sequel in development.

Pros:

  • Original Star Wars story
  • Robust lightsaber combat
  • Balanced action and exploration
  • Fun to explore each new location

Cons:

  • Combat will challenge casual players

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

It is a genuine Star Wars adventure, both a perfect fit for franchise diehards but equally a strong action-adventure tale with robust and rewarding up-close combat.

13. Descenders

DescendersSource: No More Robots

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

This fast-paced playground for downhill mountain biking is mellow yet frantic, coasting down smooth trails, stringing tricks, and hanging on for survival. A straightforward sprint will evolve into sloped labyrinths, pushing the limits of your bike and abilities. Descenders isn’t your average racing game, making it uniquely suited to anyone with a need for speed.

Descenders takes a simple premise, over time learning new tricks and improving how your bike control. Its procedurally-generated tracks mean you never know what exactly lies ahead, making it both gripping in single-player but providing endless fun with multiplayer friends. It’s all tied up with a hard-hitting licensed drum and bass soundtrack, setting the tone for the action.

Both catch and accessible, it’s no surprise that Descenders regular joins the most-played Xbox Game Pass games. It’s easy to get started, but with hours of learning ahead, as you master your craft.

Pros:

  • Natural, responsive controls
  • Attractive visuals
  • Easy to get started

Cons:

  • Procedural tracks see mixed results

Descenders

Descenders

There’s only one way down in Descenders, letting go and following the adrenaline-fuelled rush of gravity.

14. Among Us

Among UsSource: InnerSloth LLC

Available on: PC

Among Us has proven a multiplayer hit in an era of social distancing, a back and forth of trust and deception, with a keen eye for the unusual. This social deduction game sees ten players onboard a spaceship tasked with completing various tasks within a time limit. One or more players are assigned imposter roles, traitors in the group, which must kill the crew unnoticed and sabotage their efforts. Other players must keep an eye out, identify suspicious activity, and vote on who should be ejected into outer space.

Spend just five minutes with friends in Among Us, and the operation falls apart fast. With nobody to trust, the crew must complete their tasks with the constant fear of danger ahead. Imposters will need to act quickly and have an alibi if questioned, manipulating shipmates to maintain cover. These inter-crew politics make Among Us gripping with every round, best played beside close friends.

With Among Us more popular than ever, its inclusion in Xbox Game Pass makes this a must-play with a PC subscription. Among Us for Xbox also launches in summer 2021, included with Xbox Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles.

Pros:

  • Takes social gaming to a new level
  • Gripping, tense gameplay
  • Accessible

Cons:

  • Available content is limited
  • Requires a dedicated group for the best experience

Among Us

Among Us

This spaceship isn’t big enough for the ten of us. There’s no friend or foe in Among Us, with its stellar social multiplayer ideal for our distanced modern world.

15. DOOM Eternal

DOOM EternalSource: Bethesda Softworks

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Android

Bethesda and id Software opened 2016 with a modern-day DOOM reboot, delivering a gore-tastic spin on the legendary franchise. The reimagining birthed a new chapter for the series, retaining its defining arcade-style combat, while a cinematic masterwork on modern hardware. The result stayed faithful to its early-90s origins but also a standout shooter for the Xbox One era.

That returns with DOOM Eternal, serving the same hellish combat in a beefier follow-up. Eternal retains much of what made the predecessor so memorable, but with upgraded combat that feels satisfying, touring all types of demonic structures in the process. Coupled with more action, improved movement, and levels lined with details, it’s an ideal entry-point even for those who skipped earlier entries.

While first-person shooters exploded with new concepts in recent decades, DOOM still finds itself cemented in its past. While a new ride for returning fans, it also holds a purity you won’t find elsewhere in the genre. It’s the best Xbox Game Pass title to sit back, relax, and slay monsters.

Pros:

  • Fluid, industry-leading combat
  • Stunning locations
  • Phenomenal soundtrack

Cons:

  • Platforming can disrupt gameplay flow

DOOM Eternal

DOOM Eternal

DOOM Eternal amps the violence up to the maximum, tearing through hordes of demons, leaving no evil creature intact. The revival of a classic, fostering infiltered chaos.

The best of Xbox Game Pass gaming in 2021

Xbox Game Pass now includes more titles than ever, with hundreds of titles spanning Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles, Windows PCs, and even mobile, through streaming. That single monthly payment grants incredible value, providing the cheapest way to building a vast gaming library without the daunting upfront cost. And while Xbox Game Pass makes it hassle-free to try all types of titles, we’ve rounded up the best Xbox Game Pass games you shouldn’t miss.

The available variety has proven one of Xbox Game Pass’s best traits, with titles spanning all genres and suitable for any age. Whether you’re eager for memorable single-player experiences or gripping multiplayer experiences with friends, your subscription has a ton to offer. The full list of Xbox Game Pass games changes regularly, but all the best of future titles will join this roundup.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate remains the best way to play, with both Xbox and PC libraries bundled into one membership, with Xbox Live Gold and EA Play sweetening the deal.


Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Logo

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass is one of the best ways to play, with access to hundreds of video games for a single monthly fee. The Ultimate-tier subscription is ideal for any avid gamer, geared to Xbox, PC, and mobile, including games, an online membership, and other exclusive perks.

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