Xbox Game Pass has over three hundred games on it. Yep, you read that right. How on Earth are you ever meant to figure out what’s worth playing when there’s so many games to choose from?
And naturally, you’re going to gravitate to the bigger games you’ve already heard of and know are excellent. Forza Horizon 4. The Yakuza series. Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, those are some of the best games on Xbox Game Pass. But they’re not alone. Within those 300-odd games are tonnes of hidden gems; game titles you might not have heard of before, but are just sat there, waiting for you to discover them.
Because we’re good people, we’ve done some of the hard work for you. We’ve played the vast majority of games on Xbox Game Pass, so we’re here to tell you what’s worth your time. We’ve picked out seven games that you might not have heard of, but that we think are worth playing. Well, we love them at least. And we hope you will too.
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The Wild at Heart
When two young kids decide they’ve had enough of life at home with their broken families, they make a pact to run away, with the hope of finding something better out in the world. They don’t expect to find an entire secret civilisation out in the forest, however. Complete with magical creatures, a group of strange but lovable guardians and a horde of adorable Spritelings waiting to aid your every move, the world of The Wild at Heart is a weird one, but one that’s packed full of so much charm. Engage in combat, solve puzzles and soak in a touching story – you’ll love every moment of it. | Read more
Going Under is a roguelike with a difference. These aren’t your usual dark, dank dungeons you’ll be exploring. Oh no. Instead, Going Under is set entirely within the corporate workplace. It pokes fun at itself and ridicules the corporate lifestyle in a way that anyone who’s ever worked in an office will groan and chuckle at. It’s bold, it’s colourful, it’s wickedly funny – and a hell of a lot of fun to play. Put it this way; there aren’t many other games on Game Pass that will let you whack a goblin to death with a laptop, are there? | Read our full review
Call of the Sea
When Norah’s husband goes missing on an overseas expedition, there’s only one thing she can do: follow in his footsteps and try to find him. Her trail leads her to a mysterious island in the South Pacific; her husband has been there, but where is he now? During Call of the Sea‘s five-or-so hour runtime, you’ll explore a gorgeous island, take in the breathtaking scenery and try to figure out just what the heck is going on. That means solving puzzles, and piecing together Norah and her husband’s story. Trust us, once you start, you won’t be able to put Call of the Sea down. | Read our full review
How do you feel about an adventure game where you piece the world together yourself? That’s Carto, an adorable puzzle-adventure that has you placing down tiles in order to create the world around you. How and where you place those tiles will affect where you can travel to, so you’ll frequently have to swap and change how your map is laid out. That mechanic alone makes for a fun puzzle aspect, but it’s Carto‘s narrative, and its truly wonderful protagonists, that will keep you hooked. There’s nothing else quite like this on Xbox Game Pass, and we love it. | Read more
Like holes? Like putting things in holes? (Get your mind out of the gutter – we don’t mean like that.) If yes, Donut County is worth a look at. It’s sort-of a reverse Katamari; rather than rolling up the world into a big ball, you instead make everything around you disappear into a black hole. Starting out with a small hole in the ground, it gets larger and larger the more items you put into it. Before you know it, trucks and barns are falling down into your gaping abyss. Oh, and it’s got talking raccoons, so what more could you want? This is a quirky, colourful game that’s more fun that it has any right to be, and one of our favourite games on Xbox Game Pass. | Read our full review
Knights and Bikes
With a touching story, a gorgeous art style and two protagonists you can’t help but fall in love with, we don’t have a bad word to say about Knights and Bikes. And hopefully, if you delve into it on Xbox Game Pass, you won’t either. It’s an adventure set on the fictional British island, and it’s packed with small details that will make you nostalgic for your own childhood. Explore, solve puzzles, ride bikes, overcome hazards and search for treasure – what’s not to love? | Read our full review
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a mountain-biking game. But it’s so much more than that. You don’t have to be a cycling fanatic to eke enjoyment out of this game; even if you’ve never, ever put your foot to a pedal in your life, you’ll get a huge kick out of making your way through Lonely Mountains: Downhill‘s gorgeous environments. Each level is a simple task of getting from A to B, but doing so requires you to puzzle out the best route, keep steady on your bike, and avoid any obstacles. Getting to the end is always a huge achievement – but the journey alone makes it a worthwhile trip.