There is a turning point in ever gamer’s life when, suddenly, there are too many games but not enough time. Unfortunately, Xbox Game Pass is not able to give you more hours in the day. But, if you have an Xbox, it can change the way you play games, especially if you’ve been looking to broaden your horizons, but just haven’t had the bandwidth to figure out what to try.
Xbox Game Pass is, essentially, Netflix for games (for Xbox and Windows PC owners). For the price of $10 a month (or $15 if you’d like to add Xbox Live Gold for online play), the Game Pass gives you access to a sizable library of games to play for free and, perhaps more crucially — try on a whim and guiltlessly abandon if you’re not feeling it. It’s best asset is the lack of commitment it requires, either to the monthly service, or to the games you try on it.
The libary, while not comprehensive and which does have turnover month-to-month, is always an impressive mix of oldish blockbusters you’ve heard good things about but never got around to, and up-and-coming indie darlings. Unless you have been absolutely devouring games, there will almost certainly be something in there you’ve been meaning to get around to.
I’ve been a subscriber for a few months now. Last month, I spent most of my time tackling Outer Wilds, a terrific space exploration adventure I’d heard good things about in 2019 but never actually picked up. Last weekend, I tried and then immediately gave up on 2015’s acclaimed Mortal Combat X when I remembered why I don’t like fighting games, before moving on to a fun little mountain biking simulator called Lonely Mountains: Downhill, an unexpected joy to play in fits and starts. You can see all the games currently on Game Pass here.
Right now, Microsoft is offering a promotion where you first month is just $1 if you’re a new subscriber, which is too good a deal to not try, though you would be right to be worried you might be hooked. Still, even at $15 a month, that’s the equivalent of buying one full priced game every four months, or three a year, for a much wider selection.
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