Xbox Game Pass is absolutely packed with great games, even more so if you're an Ultimate subscriber and get all those EA Play titles included in the service as well. But which are most worthy of your time? In this new feature series, we'll be trying to help you find the answer to that recurring question.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes over 100 high-quality games for console, PC, phones and tablets, all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, and an EA Play membership, all for one low monthly price. Play together with friends and discover your next favorite game. See more below.
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Best of Xbox Game Pass is our attempt to make finding the service's must-play games easier than ever, breaking down the vast catalogue by genre and with the TA news crew weighing in on what they think are the games in each field that you won't want to miss. The plan is to update these articles as the Game Pass library changes, whether when something featured here leaves the service, or when a new arrival comes along that perhaps bumps one of our personal picks down to being an honourable mention. As well as individual picks, we'll also run down a selection of the other best examples of the genre in question, which might include super-obvious picks that have already been discussed to death, or low-key highlights from the indie scene.
Kicking things off, we've got RPGs, and fans of meaty, stat-packed adventures are spoiled for choice with Game Pass. As a bonus, all of these will help towards our inaugural set of TA Targets — the RPG and daily unlock ones should be fine, but you might want to look elsewhere for your completions. These things tend to be pretty massive!
Xbox Game Pass: Best RPGs
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Like previous games, though, the latest mainline Yakuza title isn't afraid to go to some pretty heavy places, and it's amazing just how well it manages to strike a balance between serious beats and its madder moments without causing too much of a disconnect. It helps that the game is absolutely massive, so when you get into one of those hard-hitting scenes, the fact that you appointed a chicken as CEO of your new company is too distant a memory to interfere with its impact, and this tonal ebb and flow continues throughout this superb adventure to surprisingly solid effect. Yokohama isn't the biggest open world setting the series has known, but the slower nature of combat here compared to earlier games means that's not necessarily a bad thing, plus it feels densely packed with story and side content that will keep you going for hundreds of hours. If you're going after those Yakuza: Like a Dragon achievements, though, be prepared for a bit of a grind getting the final few ticked off...
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Russian and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles available in early 2021 via patch update.
Game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and Xbox Series X|S title when available.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
However, Inquisition really succeeds with its smartly designed hub world structure. If you struggle with something like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla because it is too much, then Dragon Age: Inquisition knows how to parcel up its world into neat, separately-contained areas to much better effect. Each part of Thedas serves up bite-sized narrative arcs with less strenuous exploration than the Ubisoft epic. Each story tends to come with a different biome — mountains, low-hills, desert, and so on — which really gives developer BioWare the space to flesh out the world in many different tangential directions. Each zone is normally filled with things to do and check off like normal, as well as a cool boss fight or secret passageway. The combat is glorious, running in real-time or in an RTS-style with turn-based attacks. With a great mix of classes, weapons, armous, special abilities and revives, you will spend plenty of brain space working out which party-member to take on a mission.
You see, the real good stuff in Inquisition is the strong cast of interesting companion characters. An elven archer named Sera, for example, is an absolute delight. Every now and again the Robin-Hood-like gal will shout wonderful nonsense like “eat it, you lop-eared, son of an arse-nut rot-suck piece of...ugh!" These episodes of story and constant chatter work to make the whole game meaningful as the player starts to agonise over every multi-pronged choice that might end up losing you a favourite friend along the way. On the side, your interpersonal attachment gives combat an added layer of purpose, while giving you an exciting sense of trepidation as you embark on a mission with your fellow squad mates. The DLC is varied and arguably better than the main story at points, so don’t miss out on that either. Anyway, I highly recommend you jump into this well-crafted RPG — it is a solid experience with plenty of fun ideas that will help fill a fantasy hole!
Discover the ultimate version of Dragon Age: Inquisition which includes all DLC and add-ons.
Explore the epic adventure that has been awarded over 130 Game of the Year awards. Take your place as the Inquisitor and lead a team of heroes to save Thedas from the brink of chaos.
The Outer Worlds
We can lead a crew of companions; a motley bunch made up of those we’ve found scattered throughout the galaxy, and we’ll explore everything from space stations to settlements, wielding an array of bizarre weapons, and causing confusion as we try to decide the fate of the Halcyon colony. The imagination that went into the game makes each world feel alive with potential, and the wacky sense of humour keeps things fresh throughout. The Outer Worlds is ridiculous fun, and it’ll keep you engrossed for quite some time — plus, you can brush up on your skills before The Outer Worlds 2 arrives!
The Outer Worlds is a new single-player sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Set aside some time if you plan on tackling The Elder Scrolls Online achievements, though, because it’s a beast that will require you to invest thousands of hours. Is it worth the time investment? Well, that’s a personal choice, plus the goalposts continuously move due to ZeniMax regularly adding new content, but we’re all for it. If you’re looking for a game to act as your one constant go-to, which you can pick up and put down at will, and that is filled with rich Elder Scrolls lore, then The Elder Scrolls Online is well worth your time — who knows? Maybe it’ll become your new favourite game to play...
Includes The Elder Scrolls Online base game and the Morrowind Chapter. Join over 18 million players in the award-winning online multiplayer RPG and experience an ever-expanding story in a persistent Elder Scrolls world.
Optimized for the Xbox Series X|S with Console Enhanced, bringing a new level of fidelity and performance—free for all ESO players.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
The Legendary Edition makes numerous visual and gameplay upgrades to the trilogy and several quality-of-life improvements. Not only do all three games support 4K/60fps on Xbox Series X, but BioWare went in and updated a lot of the games’ textures, characters models, environments, and lighting. BioWare also overhauled Mass Effect’s combat, the Mako’s handling, and created a whopper of an achievement list — the Mass Effect Legendary achievements offer a total of 2,915 Gamerscore.
The Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition includes single-player base content and over 40 DLC from the highly acclaimed Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 games, including promo weapons, armors, and packs – remastered and optimized for 4K Ultra HD.
If MMOs aren't your style, Xbox Game Pass also has three more famously quite good Elder Scrolls games available in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. Sci-fi more your scene? There's another trio of Bethesda classics for you in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 all included in the service. Maybe it was the humour of The Outer Worlds you liked rather than the setting? The first-party Fable series is all there and typically played for laughs, so check those out, or there are the fantastic Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II offering a fantasy setting played much straighter, if you'd rather. For JRPG fans, when you're done with Like a Dragon (see you in 200 hours...) there are some heavy hitters in the form of Dragon Quest XI and Final Fantasy on offer. The latter has seen its legacy titles cycle through Game Pass, with current highlights being FFX (which, annoyingly, shares a 1K list with its divisive sequel) and FFXIII-2 — the best of the XIII trilogy, all of which are currently available. Hardy Tarnished who have bagged all the Elden Ring achievements and are seeking their next Souls-like fix could do a lot worse than Mortal Shell, while folks looking for something a little less obvious (and a bit faster paced) than some of these choices should definitely give the likes of Archvale and Nobody Saves the World a try. Shoutout to Undertale too, with its inventive deconstruction of RPG mechanics and killer soundtrack.
Got any of these sitting on your backlog, or newly finding their way onto it? Any other Game Pass RPGs that you might care to recommend? Let us know below!