Best Game Pass games: the 20 best games you can download now

Our pick of the 20 best Game Pass games you can play with your subscription.

Game Pass is pretty incredible for the user. A monthly subscription grants you access to hundreds of games, many of which are genuinely great.

Here, we've picked out the 20 best Game Pass games you can download right now. But don't read this as a canonical list - we're not into that - and instead look at it as 20 games that cover the impressive range of the subscription. Game Pass is about flicking through a library and trying something out you might have skipped, or finding a hidden gem you might have completely missed altogether. There are some big hitters we've left out, but that shouldn't really be a surprise. Everybody knows Gears of War is a Game Pass game and everyone's already bought GTA 5 three times. What are the 20 games you really should play?

Before we dive in, too, note that you can pick up a single month starter subscription for just a pound here, or you can top up a subscription if you already have one here.

This list includes games that are available on either Xbox consoles or PC or both (most variations of the subscription cover both!), but for a list of absolutely everything available - just in case you want to rightfully berate us for missing a favourite - you can peruse our full Xbox Game Pass games list.

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What Remains of Edith Finch

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

When we are gone our books will still be piled up in the hallways and our clutter will still spill through the house. This is the premise of What Remains of Edith Finch, an inquest by way of exploration. It works because the writing is vivid and the setting is astonishing: a family home that has become progressively more addled with each code-violating extension. Really though, what surprises is how this sad little game about death is so staggeringly filled with life. Stellar.

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Want to read more? See our full What Remains of Edith Finch review.

Outer Wilds

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

Even if you couldn't leave the starter planet in Outer Wilds it would still be special. The atmosphere! Pine trees and firs rising into the darkness, a cluster of wooden houses, and the invitation right at the start to sit a spell and roast a marshmallow. But you can leave the starter planet and each of the worlds awaiting you out there are just as detailed and melancholy and richly evocative. This is exploration at its most dynamic and thrilling. Give in to it.

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Want to read more? See our full Outer Wilds review.

Halo: Master Chief Collection

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

The quintessential Game Pass game for obvious reasons, the Master Chief Collection is about as good a deal as it gets. Several of the best shooters ever made, combining some of the best campaigns, the best levels, the best local co-op fun you can casually have and the best high-skillcap online multiplayer maps, too. Beautiful, nostalgic, and genuinely essential playing. It's a boring choice, yes, but a fantastic one. Note that the PC version only includes the first Halo and Halo: Reach for now, but more are coming.

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Want to read more? See our full Halo: Master Chief Collection review.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

The soundtrack really sells this: windy solitude with the twittering of birds, the creaking of branches, the scrape of gravel under your tyres. Lonely Mountains may be a game about bombing around in a bike, but it's also about the world you're bombing through - nature at its empiest and most moving, all delivered with low-poly visuals and a devious wit when it comes to track design. Beat times and unlock bike parts if you fancy, but the setting is the star here. This is a game to load up just to spend time in its world.

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Want to read more? See our full Lonely Mountains: Downhill review.

Sunset Overdrive

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

So many jokes - and many of them hit their marks. But also so much cheer and colour and zip. Before Insomniac mastered its open-world superhero schtick with Spider-Man for the PS4, the Xbox got this, a wonderfully zany shooter that delights in the pleasures of movement as you zip around, bounce across the rooftops and unlock deliriously odd weaponry. Deep down this is a big budget version of The Floor is Lava. It's a real treat.

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Want to read more? See our full Sunset Overdrive review.

Scourgebringer

Game Pass Platforms: PC, (Xbox coming soon)

Scourgebringer's the kind of game you install and never have to delete - so compact it barely takes up any room, so vivid it's always in rotation. Room by room rid the world of horrible pixelated foes in this kinetic and violent pocket roguelike. The world is richly detailed and the enemies are horribly memorable, but the real thrill here is in the movement. Fantastic.

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Want to read more? See our full Scourgebringer impressions.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

Game Pass is great for stuff like this - the welcome discovery of two classics that you might otherwise have to nip into the loft for. Why bother tracking down a PS2 and all those cables when you can simply load this up, and you're back in the jungle or one the rain-lashed decks of the oil tanker. Both these espionage adventures left video games the richer, and both are moody and magnificent even now.

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Want to read more? See our full Metal Gear Solid HD Collection review.

eFootball PES 2020

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

We've all got one: that one mate who plays eFootball PES 2020 instead of FIFA, who probably also insists on calling it by the full name of eFootball PES 2020 and probably also supports Borussia Mönchengladbach because "the Bundesliga is all about real football". Anyway, this year's PES is pretty solid, as ever, features some whopping licenses like Manchester United and Juventus, and can of course be easily topped-up to look like the real thing, if you're on PC, with an option files patch. More importantly here though, it's just great that you can get a bona fide proper football game with all its many, never-ending modes as part of Game Pass. Two players, one sofa, infinite head-to-heads. Job done!

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Want to read more? See our full eFootball PES 2020 review.

Demon's Tilt

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

You might not normally have considered spending your time on an Occult Pinball Simulator, but hey that's the beauty of Game Pass - it makes it all the easier to discover gems such as this, the spiritual successor to Devil's Crush that came out earlier this year.

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It's a high energy mash-up of shmup intensity and knockabout pinball action, all with an incredible soundtrack and muscular metal visuals. Download this now.

Forza Horizon 4

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Playground's Forza Horizon series is more than just the complete racing game - it's a joyous, celebratory game of exploration with appeal beyond fans of the genre. This latest entry has a beautiful map of the UK as its base, a plethora of online features and expansions, a wonderfully eclectic selection of cars to collect and an almost overwhelming amount of stuff to do, updated weekly in line with its moody seasonal changes.

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Want to read more? See our full Forza Horizon 4 review.

Fallout: New Vegas

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

Bang, you're dead. That's pretty much the start of Fallout: New Vegas, which gives you one hell of a motivation to roam the wasteland in pursuit of your would-be killer. Very much alive, you'll not only shape the lives of individuals and small communities, but engage in a complex power struggle to determine the future of the Mojave desert - and who oversees it. Riddled with snarky dialogue and creative ways to complete quests, taking advantage of the post-apocalypse has never been more enjoyable.

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Want to read more? See our full Fallout: New Vegas review.

Yakuza 0

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

When a series has been around as long as Yakuza, it's easy to be intimidated by it all. How exactly to pick an entry point when there've been so many entries? Well, Yakuza 0 turns out to be just about perfect - a prequel that requires no prior knowledge of the various goings on in Sega's epic, silly and hugely enjoyable series. And if you have played plenty of Yakuza before this? No worries - what you're getting is a coke-snorting 80s-tinged take on the formula that's arguably the series' very best.

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Want to read more? See our full Yakuza 0 review.

Doom (2016)

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

Doom's a shooter that knows nobody is playing for plot or characters or shock twists. It's a game about dealing with hellish beasts by blasting them or ripping them to pieces. It's built around a truly stellar finishing system that ties beautifully into the no-thrills traversal and the whole thing blasts along at a glorious pace. And along the way, while it may not have much plot or many twists, it really does develop a loveable character of its own.

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Want to read more? See our full Doom (2016) review.

Sea of Thieves

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Rare's take on the ocean wave is a beautiful game that revels in everything people want from a pirate adventure while also finding the time to be strange, sparse, beautiful and freeing. Take a ship, head out for the horizon and see what kind of a name you can make for yourself. Simple systems power a game that is dazzlingly good at emergent surprises, and even when things are slow there's the rolling, crashing, luminous sea to sit and watch. Lovely!

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Want to read more? See our full Sea of Thieves review.

Stellaris

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

4X games work beautifully in space where there's no limit to the worlds that you can conquer. Even so, Stellaris is special, with a genuine sense of adventure driving you forward into its textured, thought-provoking and sometimes brutal universe. This is a game that eats evenings and weekends if you let it. And once it's over it's so tempting to head back out there and see how far your empire can spread this time.

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Want to read more? See our full Stellaris review.

Rocket League

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

It's not hard to see why Rocket League conquered the world so easily - it's all there in the sense of control as you fling your footballing car around a roomy pitch, boosting, stunting, and scoring goals. Even now it's a delight to play, each match offering the chance to see something special, each arcing curved delivering the thrill of pure movement.

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Want to read more? See our full Rocket League review.

Devil May Cry 5

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

DmC wasn't exactly a misstep, but it was a step into new territory for Capcom's action series that proved divisive, so it's little wonder they decided to return to more familiar ground for Devil May Cry 5. This is an unabashed throwback to the PS2 era of action games, with meaty combat that feels brilliant under the fingers. It's no retrograde step, either - what you're getting here is Capcom operating at the top of its game, embellishing the systems of the much-loved Devil May Cry 3 with imagination, creativity and aplomb.

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Want to read more? See our full Devil May Cry 5 review.

Sniper Elite 4

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One

Sniper Elite 4 is the ultimate Game Pass fodder - perfectly formed, perfectly entertaining and complete with the kind of schlocky shocks that are ideal for a few evening's worth of mindless fun. To call Sniper Elite a guilty pleasure would be a bit unkind, though - over the years Rebellion has built the series up, embellishing and polishing the formula until it now offers open world stealth that's up there with the genre's very best.

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Want to read more? See our full Sniper Elite 4 review.

Moonlighter

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

It's Zelda with economics. Kind of. Moonlighter sees you exploring procedural dungeons, battling creatures and gathering loot. Fine. But then you head back to town, open up your shop and try to sell the loot you've found in order to make money so you can go back and do the whole thing over again. It works beautifully, two different gaming takes on the pleasures of acquisition. All tied up with a lovely art style too.

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Want to read more? See our full Moonlighter review.

Super Lucky's Tale

Game Pass Platforms: Xbox One, PC

There's something wonderful about Super Lucky's Tale, a game that only really wants to be a beautiful old-fashioned 3D platformer that the whole family can have a go at. The cartoon worlds you visit are filled with invention and colour and simple pleasures, and the bosses keep things moving forward at a nice pace. Lucky's one of those mascots who never really had his moment, but playing this - or the VR original - is a reminder that craft and good intentions offer many delights.

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Want to read more? See our full Super Lucky's Tale review.

For more curated best-of lists like this, feel free to argue in the comments section of the following, too:

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About the author

Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.

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