Best Xbox Game Pass games for console and PC - October 2021 - Dexerto
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Best Xbox Game Pass games for console and PC – October 2021

Published: 22/Oct/2021 10:54

by Lloyd Coombes

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Xbox Game Pass is full of titles across dozens of genres, all available for a monthly fee. Here are the best Xbox Game Pass games for console and PC.

Xbox Game Pass is one of the most exciting shakeups to videogame pricing in years, offering Xbox and PC games for a low monthly cost. With Microsoft first-party titles, alongside indie titles and even AAA third-party titles, there really is something for everyone – but that can make it tough to pick out the absolute best games on Xbox Game Pass.

Thankfully, we’ve put together this list to cover our favorites, but the joy of Xbox Game Pass is that you can sample a bit of everything. If you’re looking for the full list of everything available, Microsoft has a full list. For now, though, let’s jump into the best Xbox Game Pass games for console and PC.

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Contents


Xbox Game Pass logo on a black background
Microsoft
Xbox Game Pass offers plenty of games each month for console and PC players.

Best Xbox Game Pass games for console and PC

All games noted as console compatible will run on Xbox One, as well as Xbox Series S|X  – and we’ve denoted which ones are optimized to take advantage of the new hardware, too.

Back 4 Blood (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Back 4 Blood image showing a group of players approaching a sealed door
Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros
Back 4 Blood captures much of what made Left 4 Dead so popular

Back 4 Blood is, in many ways, a much prettier, more modern Left 4 Dead. That’s no bad thing, though, and while it may seem derivative on the surface, there’s depth to be found in its deck-builder style perk system, as well as its customizable weapons and characters with their own perks.

Want to know more? Be sure to read our full review.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Console)

Batman fighting enemies in Batman Arkham Knight
Rocksteady/Warner Bros
Arkham Knight may have launched in 2015, but it remains gorgeous to look at.

The Batman Arkham franchise may have been mostly dormant since 2015’s Arkham Knight, but the game remains an excellent action-adventure title. Gotham City has never looked (or felt) more frightening, and while the Batmobile was a contentious addition back at launch, we still enjoy crashing through walls like they’re made of paper.

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Sure, the plot twist can be seen a mile off, but Arkham Knight was a fitting end for the franchise – at least until we get to play as the Suicide Squad.

Battletech (PC)

Battletech screenshot showing a character next to a mech
Harebrained Schemes/Paradox Interactive
Battletech puts giant robots into a turn-based strategy title

The Battletech/MechWarrior franchise has been around for years, but Harebrained Schemes took the series’ staple of rampaging robots filled with enough ammo to wipe entire continents off of the map and put it into a template closer to the XCOM series.

Turn-based strategy ensues, as your band of mercenaries fights its way across the solar system, picking up missions to pay the cash and keep the engines in your upgradable mechs running.

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Crusader Kings III (PC)

Crusader Kings 3 screenshot
Paradox Interactive
Crusader Kings 3 lets players grow their stature by any means necessary

If you ever watched Game of Thrones and enjoyed the political (and sometimes literal) backstabbing, then Crusader Kings III is worth a look. Neighboring leader look at you funny? You could woo their spouse, and have your bastard rule when they’re gone. Or you could simply have them killed.

Players have even reported multiple spouses being killed off by a character that ended up being revealed as their evil twin – it really is a great generator for unique stories.

Destiny 2 (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Destiny 2 Glassway Strike boss
Bungie
Destiny 2 and all of its current expansions are included in Game Pass

Destiny 2 may be free-to-play on all platforms now, but Xbox Game Pass subscribers get access to the last three major expansions, too; Forsaken (the best one), Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light. Bundling together an incredible amount of content, along with the game’s recently added crossplay feature, means players can now enjoy a ton of content with friends on any platform.

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With some of the best shooting mechanics around, it’s perhaps no surprise that Destiny 2 makes it onto our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games.

Dishonored 2 (PC, Console)

Dishonored 2 screenshot showing a player engaging in combat with guards
Arkane/Bethesda
Dishonored 2 remains one of the best stealth games ever made – but combat is fun, too.

Dishonored was a great game, but Dishonored 2 improves on Arkane’s immersive sim in almost every way. Players choose to step into the boots of Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin, and are tasked with tackling usurpers to the throne using stealth, magic, and plenty of player choice.

Targets can be eliminated in all kinds of ways, while the city of Karnaca remains as much of a joy to explore today as it was back in 2016.

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Doom Eternal (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Doom Eternal screenshot showing the player fighting a large enemy
iD Software/Bethesda
Doom Eternal is tough, but incredibly satisfying.

If Doom’s 2016 revival was dragging the granddaddy of FPS games into the modern era, Doom Eternal is that same, chainsaw-wielding ball of fury all grown up. iD Software’s sequel is bigger, brasher, and gorier than its predecessor. Its environments are more ambitious, its platforming is actually pretty fun, and it brings back the unique “push and pull” of combat that made the reboot so loved by newcomers and longtime fans alike.

It also looks positively stunning on Xbox Series S|X, meaning it’s worth another playthrough even if you’ve already finished it.

Gears 5 (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Gears 5 screenshot showing Kait and Marcus
Xbox
Gears 5 tells the franchise’s most personal story yet.

Gears 5 remains a showcase for the Xbox Series S|X consoles, and for good reason – The Coalition’s third-person shooter has never looked, or played, better. Players take control of Kait Diaz in the game’s campaign, with stunning set pieces and even a more open-world-inspired section.

In multiplayer, players can enjoy Horde, Versus, and new mode Escape, meaning there’s plenty for players to enjoy. Oh, and yes, there are still chainsaw guns.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Halo Master Chief collection multiplayer screenshot
Xbox
Once you’re finished with the campaign, there are hundreds of hours of fun to be had in multiplayer.

From one iconic Xbox franchise to another, and despite Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s botched launch, 343 Industries has drastically improved the game – all while adding Halo 3: ODST and the incredible Halo Reach to the mix.

Now spanning six entries in the franchise, it’s the perfect way to get caught up ahead of Halo Infinite – and once the campaign is over, there are hundreds of multiplayer match types to get stuck into.

Jade Empire: Special Edition (PC)

Jade Empire screenshot showing combat
Bioware
Jade Empire remains one of Bioware’s finest RPGs.

Bioware may be best known for Mass Effect and Dragon Age these days (both franchises are on Xbox Game Pass, too), but back in 2005, it released this mystical, martial arts-themed RPG. Leaning on systems built for Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire weaves Bioware’s signature storytelling through a world inspired by Chinese mythology and with real-time combat.

If you’ve played KOTOR and the studio’s later franchises, then Jade Empire is a piece of RPG history you’ll want to check out.

Outriders (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Outriders character classes
People Can Fly/Square Enix
Outriders offers loot-based chaos.

If you like the idea of mixing Gears of War’s shooting mechanics with superhuman abilities that make enemies pop like gore-stuffed pinatas, Outriders may be just what you’re looking for. This shooter sees players exploring a new planet ravaged by wild storms that see them infused with wild abilities.

With four classes to choose from, Outriders is a great co-op shooter – and with Xbox Game Pass, everyone can download it as part of their subscription.

Psychonauts 2 (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Psychonauts 2 screenshot showing Rasputin
Double Fine/Xbox
Psychonauts 2 picks up where the first game left off – despite a 16-year gap

The original Psychonauts may have launched in 2005, but its 2021 sequel doesn’t skip a beat. In fact, it picks up right where its predecessor left off, reintroducing Razputin “Raz” Aquato. Players will jump into the fractured psyche of multiple characters, with each world offering a unique playground Raz can experiment with using his Psi-Powers.

If you’re a fan of platformers or developer Double Fine’s unique mix of the whacky and heartfelt, Psychonauts 2 is a must-play.

Rainbow Six Siege (Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Rainbow Six Siege image showing an Operator shooting through a wall
Ubisoft
Rainbow Six Siege has consistently grown since 2015

Rainbow Six Siege launched to middling reviews in 2015, but now into its sixth year of content, the game has gone from strength to strength. Offering tense, tactical combat in maps where walls, floors, and ceilings can all be shredded to pieces, nowhere is safe.

While the PC version isn’t on Xbox Game Pass, Rainbow Six fans on Xbox get the Deluxe Edition – meaning you’ll unlock a handful of Operators to build out your roster.

Scarlet Nexus (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Scarlet Nexus screenshot showing a character with a sword
Bandai Namco
Scarlet Nexus is so good-looking, it’s almost like a playable anime

Scarlet Nexus is a gorgeous, futuristic action RPG with lightning-fast combat. Not sold yet? Ok, what if we told you that your two protagonists can use psychokinesis to wield the environment against monsters in a cyberpunk world and that there are two campaigns to play through, too?

Throw in other party members with their own combat styles, and you’ve got a recipe for chaos that’s absolutely dripping in anime swagger.

Sea of Thieves (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Sea of Thieves image showing a ghost ship
Xbox
Sea of Thieves even has Pirates of the Caribbean story content as of 2021.

Sea of Thieves may have had a rocky launch, but Rare has continued to build on its systems since it launched. Adding more things to do and items to earn, Sea of Thieves is best experienced with friends, fighting off enemy ships and Krakens while singing shanties, drinking ale, and scooping water out of your ship’s hull.

Add to that a new series of Tall Tales featuring Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow, and Sea of Thieves is well worthy of being on our best Xbox Game Pass games list.

Sunset Overdrive (PC, Console)

Sunset Overdrive image showing the protagonist grinding a rail while shooting at enemies
Insomniac Games
Sunset Overdrive might be the funniest game on this list

Taking Deadpool-style pop culture references and fourth-wall-breaking comedy, Sunset Overdrive showcases Insomniac Games’ penchant for explosive weaponry and fluid traversal, marrying the best parts of the developer’s Ratchet and Clank and Spider-Man titles.

If you haven’t bounced off of car bonnets onto rails, all while shooting explosive teddy bears at enemies, then we think you’ve found your next Game Pass download, don’t you?

Star Wars Battlefront II (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Star Wars Battlefront 2 image showing Yoda fighting Darth Maul
EA/Lucasfilm
Following launch woes, Battlefront 2 is a must-play for Star Wars fans.

Yes, Star Wars Battlefront 2 launched as a mess, and it may never recover from the stink of the microtransaction-laden progression that was infamously pulled hours before launch. Thankfully, though the Battlefront 2 of 2021 is a much better game, and more complete, too.

In the four years since launch, EA and DICE have added Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker content, Clone Wars updates, and even content from Solo (remember that one?). It’s essentially a Star Wars toybox, and there’s never been a better time to jump in.

Star Wars: Squadrons (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

Star Wars Squadrons image showing an X-Wing under attack
EA/Lucasfilm
Star Wars Squadrons offers incredible dogfights.

Sticking with Star Wars, while Battlefront 2 offers great space-based combat, 2020’s Squadrons is the best way to experience flying an X-Wing or TIE Fighter. In fact, it’s the closest any game has come to the classic X-Wing franchise from the nineties, and lets players dogfight for both the Alliance and the Empire in its lengthy campaign.

Hop online, though, and you’ll want to master custom loadouts and advanced techniques if you’re going to become an ace pilot.

Titanfall 2 (Console)

Titanfall 2 image showing players using ziplines
Respawn Entertainment/EA
Apex Legends is great, but for many, Titanfall will never be forgotten

Apex Legends has been a huge success for Respawn, but we’d be lying if we said we aren’t holding out hope for a third Titanfall game. While the first game offered an incredible multiplayer mode, Titanfall 2’s single-player campaign is an all-time classic, constantly shifting expectations while maintaining rock-solid gunplay and traversal.

Then there’s the multiplayer, which is no slouch – and helped form the basis of Apex Legends’ superlative battle royale combat.

What Remains of Edith Finch (PC, Console) (Optimized for Xbox Series S|X)

What Remains of Edith Finch screenshot showing an abandoned house
Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive
What Remains of Edith Finch is an emotional experience.

There are few games that are as atmospheric as What Remains of Edith Finch, a tale of the last surviving member of the Finch family. Edith returns home to explore the family estate, with each of the Finch family having passed away in mysterious or tragic circumstances.

Piecing together her family’s history through playable vignettes, What Remains of Edith Finch is touching, but more than a little dour. Still, it leaves an indelible message about life and death that’s hard to forget.

How to buy Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass can be purchased via Xbox’s official website for both PC and Xbox consoles.

The pass comes in two tiers:

  • Standard: Includes access to hundreds of games, as well as Xbox exclusive games on release.
    • PC players can also get their first month for $1 (£1.)
  • Ultimate: Everything that comes with the standard edition, but also includes Xbox Live Gold, the ability to play games via the Cloud, and free in-game content.

There are the best Xbox Game Pass games available right now. For what’s coming up, be sure to check out our guide to November’s games.

Make sure to check out our other best lists, covering all things gaming:

Best MMORPGs and MMOs | 7 best PC games of 2021 | Free horror games to play | New games coming out in 2021 | 10 best Call of Duty games | Best multiplayer horror games | 6 best co-op games for couples