The Top 10 Best Games on Xbox GamePass (According to Metacritic)
Xbox GamePass provides something most gamers have longed for since they picked up their very first controller – a library of games accessible at their fingertips.
The ‘Netflixification’ of games has been inevitable since it became technically possible, and Microsoft have been the first to give it a go with GamePass, bringing a vast selection of games to the service, including every single first-party title, with all future titles from in house teams made available day of release. And all for a low monthly fee.
It’s a great value service, but what are the ten best games available? Here are the top ten, according to their Metacritic scores.
This list will be updated as titles come and go from the service.
10. Yakuza 0
The Yakuza series has often been branded as essentially ‘GTA Japan’ – but that does something of a disservice to this excellent franchise, which has always been a much tighter and more narrative-driven experience than Rockstar’s series.
Set in a fictional version of 80’s Tokyo, Yakuza Zero is mainly about beating up as many guys as possible, and playing as many mini games as possible. Two pastimes the game presents extremely well.
Good for: Fans of Japanese culture, and the Shenmue series.
Not-so-good for: People expecting GTA Japan.
Metacritic Score: 90
Grab it here on Amazon.
9. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I was surprised to find The Witcher 3 only at the number 10 spot, as it’s a masterful game, considered by many to be the best RPG ever.
You take control of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher – a sort of monster-slayer-for-hire, and embark on quest to find your adopted daughter Ciri. Geralt’s adventure takes you across a vast open world, perhaps the most meticulously crafted and beautiful ever made. Decisions you make in the various side quests have a big impact on what happens later in the game, with the player being presented with often difficult choices with no clear right answer.
Good for: Any fan of high-fantasy, anyone who’d played an adventure/action-RPG game before and even mildly enjoyed it.
Not-so-good for: People with not a lot of time on their hands. This is a massive, sprawling adventure and gets better the more hours you pour into it.
Metacritic Score: 91
8. What Remains of Edith Finch
You’d think the Finch family would stop procreating – they suffer a curse that ensures that every member of each generation will die in strange circumstances, with the exception of one. You play as one such exception, Edith, as she explores her childhood home and learns about her relatives lives and subsequent deaths.
It’s a unique narrative experience like no other, with slow, methodical first-person gameplay as you explore the house, with each memory played out in a different way, adopting different types of playstyle.
Good for: Mystery fans, fans of slower-pace, narrative driven experiences.
No-so-good for: Players looking for action, or games you can switch your brain off to.
Metacritic Score: 92
7. Forza Horizon 4
The pinnacle of the arcade racer, Forza Horizon 4 takes everything that has made the series exceptional so far, refines them and places you in a beautifully rendered United Kingdom, which is yours to explore and race through in your vehicle of choice.
It’s no surprise to see it feature in this list, as it’s considered by many to be the greatest racer ever made.
Good for: Racing fans and non-racers alike. Forza’s driving is spectacular but also ‘arcadey’ and accessible enough that you don’t have to be an engine-head to love it, and its open world will appeal to any adventure fans.
Not-so-good for: Players who want to fine-tune their car to the nth degree. There are good customisation options available, but this isn’t a true racing sim.
Metacritic Score: 92
On the surface, Braid looks like any other indie platformer. But play for a couple of minutes and you’ll discover a remarkable game that subverts your expectations at every turn.
Players must manipulate time and space to navigate through a series of levels, each with a specific gimmick that encourages the player to think outside the box, and help the hero save the princess – or so they think!
Good for: Players looking for something a bit more thought provoking than the average platformer. Puzzle-solvers.
Not-so-good-for: Replayability. Once you’ve solved the riddle of each level there’s little reason to replay.
Metacritic Score: 93
5. Gears of War 2
Gears 2 had big shoes to fill, being the follow-up to what was considered the first true next-gen experience that was the first Gears of War.
Fortunately what we got was more of everything that made the first game great, with an excellent campaign, the addition of the much imitated Horde Mode, and graphics that wouldn’t look out of place on current-gen hardware. Enhanced for Xbox one this looks the business. Gears 2 is the gold standard of third-person shooters.
Good for: Co-op lovers. Gear 2 has the best campaign of the series, and is a joy to play through with a buddy. If you enjoy shooters, this is one of the finest.
Not-so-good for: If you haven’t played the first one, the story might go a bit over your head. If you’re keen, check that one out first.
Metacritic Score: 93
4. Gears of War
The game that truly solidified the Xbox 360 as the console of choice for many during its generation, the original Gears of War still holds up today as a tight, cinematic third-person shooter experience.
Although it’s the Metacritic score for the original that lands it on this list, the remastered version is also available on GamePass, and offers the better experience.
Good for: Fans of shooters, co-op, and if you’re after a cinematic action experience.
Not-so-good for: Players who are looking for a game with longevity. Gears’ campaign is tight, but it can be finished in about 10 hours or so. Other games in the series are better in this department.
Metacritic Score: 94
3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Oblivion was a huge success when it launched on the 360, truly bringing the Elder Scrolls brand into the mainstream after the somewhat-cult status of the brilliant Morrowind.
Giving you a huge open world to explore with an unparalleled sense of freedom, players can be or do whatever they want in this high-fantasy world. Even though it’s over a decade old, it’s still worth playing if you haven’t already and are a fan of Bethesda’s other work.
Good for: Players with time on their hands, and fans of high-fantasy. Few games have the power to immerse the player and suck them in like Bethesda games, and Oblivion is one of the best at doing so. Its side-quest quality and narrative remain the best in the Elder Scrolls series.
Not-so-good for: Those who lack patience for dated controls and graphics. For its time, Oblivion was unmatched in the technical department, but now does look dated in places. The controls are much better than Morrowind’s, but aren’t as fluid as Skyrim’s.
Metacritic Score: 94
2. Metal gear Solid V
After the prologue that was Ground Zeroes gave us a taster of the open-ended MGS experience, MGSV gave us the full main course. A revolution for the Metal gear series, players now have a large open world to explore, and can tackle missions in any way they see fit with one of the best sandboxes in gaming.
Coupled with Kojima’s trademark bizarre narrative, it makes for a unique experience not to be missed.
Good for: Lovers of the series, and fans of games that allow you to adopt different approaches to situations MGSV’s sandbox is brilliantly designed to allow players to tackle missions in different ways. lovers of Kojima’s style.
Not-so-good for: Fans of the more linear, mission-based design of the prior games in the series, and those who are a little fatigued with large open-world games. Also avoid if you aren’t a fan of cutscenes.
Metacritic Score: 95
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Straight in at number 1 when introduced in May 2020, replacing the former number 1 GTAV is Rockstar’s other juggernaut franchise Red Dead Redemption 2.
Possibly the most realistic open world ever created, RDR2 is a prequel to the original, boasting a massive Western world to explore. There’s so much to do in RDR2 that it’s impossible to summarise in a couple of sentences, but suffice to say if you enjoyed the original or fancy a Grand Theft Auto but in the Wild West, then it’s a must-play.
Good for: Western fans (obviously), fans of immersive open worlds. if you have a lot of hours on your hands there’s few better experiences out there.
Not-so-good for: Players looking for quick accessibility. the first few hours of RDR2 are a bit of a slow burner to say the least. But once you break through and the game clicks, there’s few out there like it.
Metacritic Score: 97
These are games that used to be in GamePass and have been removed, or games that have since been knocked out of the top ten but remain in the service. We’ll keep this list updated month-by-month, so there will be an archive below of the former greats:
Grand Theft auto V
One of the best selling game sin history for good reason, GTAV is the best in the series and a technical marvel. The huge city of Los Santos is your playground as you take control of three characters this time around, and embark on a series of heists/basically every other criminal activity as you progress through the story.
The level of freedom is unparalleled, and the incredible detail of the city really does need to be experienced. It also has the best controls in the series, which is typically a weakness in Rockstar’s headline franchise.
Good for: Fans of any other GTA game, as this really is the pinnacle. Lovers of action, driving, freedom and massive, detailed worlds.
Not-so-good for: This one is a definite time-sink, and does take a while to get going story-wise. It’s well worth the investment, but you need a lot of hours. The multiplayer is also very tough to get into.
Metacritic Score: 97
Fallout 3 represents Bethesda at the height of their powers, fresh off the heels of the impeccable Oblivion, they revisited the world of Fallout and game it the Elder Scrolls treatment, creating one of their finest ever games.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll traverse the wastelands of Washington DC on a mission to find your father – an adventure that will take you through many locations, meeting many people, and forcing you to make many terrible choices.
Good for: RPG fans, fans of other Bethesda work such as the Elder Scrolls series. It’s essentially a futuristic Elder Scrolls.
Not-so-good for: Players who enjoy an attractive, lush world. As you’d expect, Fallout 3’s world is bleak and harsh – no luscious green fields available here.
Metacritic Score: 93