Xbox Game Pass Ultimate review

2 months ago 27

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is an evident acquisition for anyone readying to play games connected some Xbox and PC. It's cheaper than paying for each platform’s room separately, and includes online play for the console, which would beryllium worthy the monthly interest alone. However, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate besides includes discounts, a reward system, entree to EA Play and Xbox Cloud Gaming. For gamers and non-gamers alike, it’s beauteous wide that Microsoft is changing the crippled with its subscription service.


  • +

    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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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is fundamentally aggregate services bundled into 1 monthly payment. The broader subscription is often called ‘Netflix for games’.

For the archetypal time, you don't adjacent request to ain an Xbox oregon PC to play your favourite games. You tin watercourse them from the unreality connected your telephone oregon adjacent your Oculus Quest 2 oregon Meta Quest Pro successful the future. Microsoft had plans to usage it for an Xbox Streaming Stick, though these plans person been pushed back. The work is specified a halfway pillar of Xbox’s strategy that you tin bargain caller consoles with it done Xbox All Access.

Streaming Xbox games via Xbox Cloud Gaming means that the Xbox ecosystem is present accessible to those who wouldn't adjacent see buying a console. That's presently disposable connected Android, iOS, PC, and straight done Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

What is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

Master Chief speaking to Cortana successful  Halo Infinite

Get Halo Infinite connected Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.  (Image credit: Microsoft)

While Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass are 2 antithetic services, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundles some unneurotic and past a slew of other goodies connected top.

While Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass volition acceptable you backmost $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$10.95 each, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers some for $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month, and besides includes Xbox Live Gold (now lone disposable annually successful galore territories, which costs $60.00 / £50.00 / AU$80.00). You besides get EA Play, which costs $4.99 / £4.99 per month, and Xbox Cloud Gaming astatine nary other cost.

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.

Subscribers tin download immense titles connected the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC similar Doom Eternal, Forza Horizon 5, and Gears 5. You tin past play whenever you’d like, and effort retired backward compatible titles from some the archetypal Xbox and Xbox 360 console generations, acknowledgment to Xbox’s extended backward compatibility program.

Since you get Xbox Live Gold included, too, you’ll beryllium capable to hop consecutive into a lucifer of Rainbow Six Extraction oregon immoderate different multiplayer rubric successful the work similar Sea of Thieves. PC players won’t request to wage to play online, but they tin inactive prime a wealthiness of games to download. Releases similar Crusader Kings 3, alongside first-party hits similar Halo: The Master Chief Collection, tin beryllium recovered connected the Xbox app for Windows 10.

Add successful the EA Play catalog, and you’ve got the likes of Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Skate, too. Previously a $4.99 / £4.99 added cost, it’s present escaped of complaint for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. 

Oh, and did we notation that 20 Bethesda games are present connected Xbox Game Pass arsenic well? As portion of Microsoft's acquisition of the company, you tin present entree games similar The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, Prey, Fallout 76 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood to sanction but a few.

Mass Effect connected  Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Play the archetypal Mass Effect connected EA Play. (Image credit: EA / Bioware)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate besides offers its ain unsocial perks, with integer goodies for free-to-play titles similar Warframe, arsenic good arsenic gaming-adjacent bonuses similar Discord Nitro and Spotify memberships. Speaking of extras, players tin implicit ‘Quests’ by trying caller games and ticking disconnected Achievements, redeemable towards giveaways and acquisition cards – though it’ll instrumentality clip to get. Still, it’s a bully inducement to effort caller games.

While games aren’t permanently fixed successful the service, you’ll get plentifulness of announcement earlier titles leave. If you privation to adhd them to your postulation permanently, you’ll get a 20% discount, and you’ll besides prevention 10% connected immoderate DLC for games successful the Game Pass room too.

As we've mentioned above, players tin adjacent play galore of the included titles connected their phones – astatine slightest if you’ve got an Android device. Over 50 games present enactment touch-controls, too, truthful you don't adjacent request to link an Xbox Wireless Controller oregon fork retired for a dedicated gamepad for mobile gaming similar the Razer Kishi.

You’ll request a coagulated transportation (and 5G is apt to boost your chances of a lag-free experience), but it’s thing that opens up the Xbox ecosystem to millions much imaginable players, and is simply a bully bonus to those who already play connected Xbox oregon PC.

Competitor Sony has since retired PlayStation Now, it's erstwhile subscription service, merging into a precocious revamped PS Plus instead. As such, you'll request to subscribe to the apical tier, PS Plus Premium, instead, which doesn't warrant time 1 entree to Sony's catalog. Even if you lone opted for the modular Xbox Game Pass, you're inactive getting a batch much for your wealth with Microsoft.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: plan and interface

Ori and the volition  of the wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is disposable connected Xbox Game Pass. (Image credit: Microsoft Game Studios)

Because Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is made up of respective elements, it doesn’t needfully person a unified interface. Instead, there’s the Xbox app connected PC, arsenic good arsenic a conception connected the Xbox dashboard (which is present unified betwixt Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X consoles).

For console users, it’s hard to miss – Microsoft has enactment Game Pass astir beforehand and halfway connected the location screen. With conscionable a mates of fastener presses, users tin commencement browsing the catalog. Each crippled has a trailer, screenshots, and the record size listed, truthful you tin battalion arsenic overmuch onto your hard thrust arsenic possible. You tin besides spot astatine a glimpse if it has immoderate enhancements for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

You tin besides filter by genre, spot what friends are playing, inquire the app to "surprise me", oregon flick done recommendations. It's akin to Netflix and besides shows games that are precocious added oregon leaving soon, too. The 'My Games and Apps' paper volition amusement which titles are from Game Pass oregon EA Play, too, truthful you tin easy spot them amongst games you’ve purchased.

For PC users, you’ll find Game Pass wrong the existing Xbox app, meaning you won’t person to interest astir downloading immoderate other launchers. Games don’t person to beryllium launched from the app either, meaning you tin negociate installations from the Control Panel, conscionable arsenic if you’d installed the crippled from the Microsoft Store (which, incidentally, is wherever games are updated from).

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: contented library

Xbox Game Pass

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

Taking the perks, the Quests, and the Xbox Live rank retired of the equation, it’s clip to reply the question: what is determination to play?

Xbox Game Pass offers astir 470 titles connected console, each of which are capable to beryllium downloaded and played locally, portion PC players person astir 440 to enjoy. That fig continues to turn arsenic implicit 20 Bethesda games are present connected the service, and EA Play has besides inject implicit 50 much titles into the mix.

Both Xbox Game Pass connected console and PC get a steadfast premix of genres and games, truthful expect the likes of indie darlings similar Slay The Spire and Dead Cells to beryllium alongside Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and Sea of Thieves connected some platforms. Some games volition lone beryllium disposable connected console oregon PC, however.

Then determination are big-budget third-party titles, with the likes of the aforementioned Doom Eternal and Rainbow Six: Siege connected console, portion PC players tin bask caller releases similar Wasteland 3 and fashionable titles similar ARK: Survival Evolved. Destiny 2 is besides disposable for console players, with the Beyond Light enlargement launching into Game Pass.

Not lone is Microsoft looking to drawback up plentifulness of upcoming content, but Game Pass offers plentifulness of backward-compatible titles to get your teeth into arsenic well, doubly truthful with EA Play adding everything from Plants vs Zombies to Peggle to sports titles and Need For Speed. Some backwards compatible titles person besides been enhanced acknowledgment to FPS Boost, which has the imaginable to quadruple a game's framework rate.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: what we liked

Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S: an affordable Xbox Game Pass console. (Image credit: Microsoft)
  • A simple, all-in-one, subscription work that offers unthinkable worth for money
  • EA Play bolsters an already ample room of titles
  • Plenty of added perks, including escaped integer contented and discounts
  • Xbox Live Gold included, allowing online play, arsenic good arsenic unreality gaming connected mobile

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: what we disliked

  • Cloud Gaming won't suit everyone

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: verdict

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is an evident acquisition for anyone readying to play games connected some Xbox and PC. If you ain an Xbox oregon person adjacent the slightest involvement successful Microsoft's first-party games, it's astir intolerable not to urge Xbox Game Pass.

It's cheaper than paying for each platform’s room separately and includes online play for console, which would beryllium worthy the monthly interest alone. But erstwhile you adhd successful discounts, a reward system, EA Play, unreality gaming, escaped integer goodies for gamers and non-gamers alike, it’s beauteous wide that Microsoft is changing the game.

Whether it’ll entice radical to bargain an Xbox Series X oregon Xbox Series S is different question entirely, but it’s besides astir beside the point: marque nary mistake, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is Microsoft’s existent absorption for next-gen, and arsenic it stands, is easy the champion woody successful gaming. 

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A instrumentality postgraduate with an exceptional way grounds successful contented instauration and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating transcript for assorted exertion sites and besides established his precise ain award-nominated video games website. He’s antecedently worked astatine Nintendo of Europe arsenic a Content Marketing Editor and erstwhile played Halo 5: Guardians for implicit 51 hours for charity. He is present an exertion astatine The Shortcut.

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