Xbox Game Pass review

2 months ago 26

There’s nary uncertainty that Xbox Game Pass has a batch to connection if you’re an Xbox One oregon Windows PC gamer. With the room increasing period by month, a large twelvemonth of first-party releases, positive a caller Xbox Series X console and unreality streaming to play through, we can’t hold to spot what happens next.


  • +

    First-party titles connected time one

  • +

    Redesigned PC app is overmuch much stable

  • +

    Great premix of titles

  • +

    EA Play added astatine nary other cost

  • +

    Stream to Android and iOS devices for free


  • -

    Fewer titles than PS Plus

  • -

    Price bump for some PC and console

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Xbox Game Pass launched successful 2017, but it’s undeniably the ‘killer app’ for Microsoft’s caller Xbox Series X/S hardware. Often referred to arsenic a ‘Netflix for games’, it’s a beauteous close moniker.

Microsoft’s subscription means you whitethorn ne'er request to bargain a game, particularly for the new-gen Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S hardware. At a tenable monthly price, players get entree to a wealthiness of third-party games, with Microsoft’s first-party offerings landing connected time one. If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, that includes the EA Play games list, too, meaning players tin bask a wealthiness of EA's backmost catalog and drawback escaped 10-hour trials of caller releases.

You tin besides acquisition unreality streaming straight done your Xbox One oregon Xbox Series X/S, and adjacent Oculus Quest 2 oregon Meta Quest Pro successful the future. While Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plays a cardinal portion successful Xbox Streaming Stick, that project's been unluckily pushed backmost successful caller times. 

Xbox Game Pass

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is simply a work that offers a immense fig of Xbox and PC titles for players to download and play connected their Xbox console oregon Windows PC (or watercourse to their Android telephone oregon tablet) astatine the outgo of a azygous monthly interest ($9.99 / £7.99 / AU$10.95 connected console, oregon the aforesaid connected PC).

While the PC subscription outgo has fundamentally doubled since leaving beta, it’s each portion of Microsoft’s mode of nudging users towards the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which includes some platforms for $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month.

If you're hoping to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for an adjacent cheaper price, we've got bully news. While this is presently being trialled successful conscionable the Republic of Ireland and Colombia, Microsoft is looking to motorboat an Xbox Game Pass household plan, allowing you and 4 players to leap successful for a monthly outgo of €21.99 – which comes to astir $21.99 / £19.99 / AU$32.99.

Whichever rank you spell for, you’re successful for a wide array of titles from some archetypal and third-parties from each procreation of Xbox hardware. Thanks to backward compatibility, you tin leap from the latest releases similar DOOM Eternal to classics similar Alan Wake and Ninja Gaiden 2, to the likes of Fuzion Frenzy, a crippled that launched alongside the archetypal Xbox console.

While PC players don’t get rather arsenic galore titles, they bash get entree to a wealthiness of indie darlings similar Katana Zero, AAA-quality games similar Gears 5, and everything successful between. Playing immoderate of the games connected each level volition gain Achievements and Gamerscore arsenic you would usually, and a “Quest” strategy lets you crook successful rewards based connected trying caller games oregon completing acceptable tasks.

Xbox Game Pass splash surface  with idiosyncratic    holding a controller

Games travel and go, but Xbox is everlastingly (Image credit: Shutterstock/Miguel Lagoa)

EA Play offers implicit 60 EA titles, too, and volition beryllium disposable arsenic a escaped perk. Usually a $4.99 / £4.99 a period acquisition connected its own, EA Play is conscionable different drawstring to Game Pass’ bow. It’s a amusive mode to incentivize breaking retired of your gaming comfortableness zone, and there’s nary hazard of buyer’s remorse since the games are included with your membership.

Of course, you tin opt to acquisition games outright. First-party games look to enactment indefinitely, but others don’t – and a 10% discount for those astatine hazard of leaving Game Pass is simply a bully inducement to prime it up for good. You’ll besides prevention connected DLC and immoderate add-ons oregon microtransactions, too.

So that’s console and PC, but what astir Cloud Gaming? Well, Microsoft’s game-streaming work doesn’t outgo thing other but is present disposable successful 22 countries. So arsenic agelong arsenic you person an Android telephone moving mentation 6.0 of Google’s OS oregon later, you’ll beryllium capable to watercourse your favourite titles connected the move. iOS enactment was aboriginal added too, truthful each you’ll request is simply a beardown net connection.

While Sony had made decent strides successful catching up with its PlayStation Now service, that's present been retired. Instead, unreality streaming has been merged into Sony's highest tier of the revamped PlayStation Plus, PS Plus Premium. While that gives you an other room beyond the monthly PS Plus escaped games, that inactive comes successful astatine £13.49 / $17.99 monthly, and Australia isn't supported. 

Xbox Game Pass: plan and interface

Gears 5 cardinal  art

Gears 5 (2019) (Image credit: Microsoft)

Previously tucked distant successful a country of the Xbox Store, Xbox Game Pass tin beryllium recovered astir beforehand and halfway connected the Xbox dashboard. Simply scroll down to find a fistful of contented blocks with precocious added titles, suggestions, oregon adjacent a benignant of “shuffle” diagnostic for erstwhile you’re not definite what you’re successful the temper for.

Within the Game Pass menu, you tin cheque retired games by genre, oregon look astatine the afloat database of included titles to prime your adjacent title. There’s besides a “Leaving Soon” section, truthful you tin program immoderate purchases you whitethorn privation to make.

As we noted earlier, quests besides springiness players rewards points to crook in, which successful crook tin beryllium redeemed towards giveaways and acquisition cards from retailers. Sure, it’ll instrumentality you a portion to grind for the rewards with much monetary value, but it’s a large mode to support players invested successful the work arsenic good arsenic the games wrong it.

When exploring your “My Games and Apps” page, you’ll besides spot which games are portion of Game Pass (or EA Play) membership, truthful you’ll cognize which work each crippled comes from.

Forza Horizon 5 a car   blasts done  a sandy biome

Xbox Game Pass has astir 200 titles to take from (Image credit: Microsoft)

From “My Games and Apps”, you tin caput into your afloat room and entree Game Pass contented there. Microsoft truly wants to get the work nether your nose, and it does truthful successful a tactful way. Each crippled has a description, trailer and screenshots, making it casual to constrictive choices. You tin besides spot the download size, useful if you person a usage headdress oregon simply privation to compression arsenic overmuch arsenic you tin connected your hard drive.

While jumping into a PlayStation Plus league without needing to download a crippled is inevitably quicker than downloading a immense title, the accrued stableness and reduced input lag marque Game Pass consciousness sturdier. On the PC front, Microsoft has improved the app experience. Refined from the beta period, the Xbox app offers a cleanable paper that shows disconnected each disposable games, positive what your friends are playing.

There are immoderate occasional hiccups (phantom notifications look to beryllium common), but for the astir portion it’s overmuch amended than the anterior version. Once you instal a game, it’s added to your PC arsenic if it were purchased from the Microsoft Store. So, portion you tin motorboat Game Pass games successful the Xbox App, it’s not mandatory, and it feels refreshing to not person to woody with a launcher.

Xbox Game Pass: contented library


Oh look, indie darlings too! (Image credit: FInji)

It sounds similar a cliche, but Xbox Game Pass truly does connection thing for everyone wrong its 400-or-so beardown lineup.

Between large hits similar DOOM Eternal, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, and galore more, there's an awesome first-party showing here. That doesn't adjacent origin successful older hits similar Forza Horizon 4 oregon Gears 5. Third-party titles are dispersed betwixt azygous and multiplayer games. Players tin leap into a fewer rounds of multiplayer juggernaut Rainbow Six: Siege oregon galore indies, too.

Then determination are Xbox 360 and archetypal Xbox classics, with Fable, Fallout New Vegas, and Mass Effect astatine your fingertips. EA Play volition lone bolster the lineup further, adding caller releases similar Need For Speed: Heat and Battlefield V, arsenic good arsenic classics similar Dragon Age: Origins and Skate 3. Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, too, should mean we get an extended proviso of Fallout and Elder Scrolls games for the service.

While the PC database is simply a small slimmer, players tin bask the likes of ARK: Survival Evolved, Crusader Kings III, Forza Motorsport 7, and more.

Xbox Game Pass: what we liked

 Master Chief successful  armor looking down   astatine  a tiny  hologram of Cortana

Halo Infinite (release: 2021) (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
  • Having a wealthiness of gaming contented astatine our fingertips, without worrying astir further purchases, inactive feels revolutionary.
  • EA Play is simply a large bonus astatine nary other cost.
  • The robust room connected some platforms is great, and the PC app present feels overmuch much capable.
  • Compatibility with Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and archetypal Xbox titles.

Xbox Game Pass: what we disliked

  • Larger games volition undoubtedly instrumentality clip to download, truthful if you privation an contiguous burst of action, you’ll apt similar PlayStation Plus.
  • Much cheaper to opt for Game Pass Ultimate if you privation to play connected some platforms.

Xbox Game Pass: Verdict

Xbox Series X

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Game Pass is what Microsoft is looking to bent its chapeau connected with the adjacent console generation, and it’s casual to spot why. Between each of the publisher’s first-party titles landing connected the work connected time one, to awesome third-party support, and the summation of EA Play, the work feels conscionable arsenic important to the level arsenic an Xbox Gold membership.

Android users tin play a immense fig of games connected the go, too, meaning you whitethorn privation to dip into the work conscionable to play games connected the go. Microsoft is gathering Game Pass into its basal level and tying each of its hardware and bundle to it, and that committedness tin lone beryllium a bully thing.

Lloyd Coombes is simply a freelance tech and fittingness writer for TechRadar. He's an adept successful each things Apple arsenic good arsenic Computer and Gaming tech, with erstwhile works published connected TopTenReviews,, and Live Science. You'll find him regularly investigating the latest MacBook oregon iPhone, but helium spends astir of his clip penning astir video games astatine Dexerto (opens successful caller tab).

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