Best Xbox Game Pass games to play in 2024

Raz wears goggles as he runs towards the camera. Set against a psychedelic music background featuring a microphone and speakers
(Image credit: Double Fine)
What games are coming to Game Pass in 2024?

2024 is shaping up to be a great year for Xbox Game Pass. Avowed will be arriving at some point, and then there's Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Beyond that, there's Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, as well as this year's Call of Duty, which has yet to be fully announced.

The best Xbox Game Pass games offer some gaming experiences you might not necessarily purchase for yourself, all for one affordable monthly cost. Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s gaming subscription service continues to be a success in 2024, thanks to day one availability of Xbox Game Studio’s own games on the service, bringing you big games like Forza Motorsport, Starfield, and Halo Infinite immediately at launch for a reasonable subscription fee.

Since launch the service has only grown, now including EA Play and modern hits like Hellblade 2 and Persona 3: Reload. Xbox Game Pass is a cost-effective deal whether you own an Xbox Series X|S or PC. Even better – if you want to enjoy Xbox Game Pass games both on your console and PC, as well as streamed through Xbox Cloud Gaming, then Xbox Game Pass Ultimate lets you access both libraries, giving you even more choices and making it easy to jump between platforms when you’re playing a game.

Xbox Game Pass regularly adds and removes games from its line-up, keeping things fresh while giving you enough time to finish a game you’ve had your eye on. The only thing you have to do is choose, and this list of the best Xbox Game Pass games will help you.

Best Xbox Game Pass games 2024

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Darkness and desolation

Hellblade 2 was one of the more highly anticipated Xbox-owned titles to release in the last couple of years. A large part of this fervor was down to just how absolutely gorgeous the game looked in previews, something that developer Ninja Theory managed to nail in the final release. The game is simply stunning to behold, and clearly one of the best examples of next-gen gaming we've seen on the newer suite of consoles.

Gameplay is a little less interesting however, though it's largely on par with the first Hellblade title. Really, you're playing this one for a more cinematic experience, and in that regard Hellblade 2 is a must play for Game Pass subscribers. Senua is once again a very captivating protagonist indeed, propelled by a brilliant performance by actor Melina Juergens. You'll make your way through a dark and menacing world, where nothing is quite as it seems, all the while battling the demons that persist in Senna's mind.

Triggering an all-out-attack

(Image credit: Atlus)

Persona 3 Reload is a very welcome addition indeed for Xbox Game Pass. It's been completely rebuilt, with visuals that top Persona 5 in some ways, making it the best way for newer fans to play what is often cited as the series' best.

You'll play the new kid, who's immediately thrown into a dark alternate reality where schoolmates must summon powerful creatures called Personas to battle foes. In your spare time, you'll live out a full school year, as you build stats and foster Social Links which boost your battle capabilities when it's time to duke it out. It's a careful balancing act between sim-style life systems and excellent turn-based combat.

If you're looking for a new RPG to sink your teeth into, there's few better than Persona 3 Reload, especially as it boasts over 100 hours in its initial playthrough. You can choose whether you want to be the class clown, a straight A student, or a dangerous, demon wielding force of nature. Try it out if you're into games like Final Fantasy, especially if you like your turn-based combat to be oozing with style and flair.

Jesse stretches her left hand outwards, on a red swirling background of powerful energy

(Image credit: 505 Games)

9. Control

Objects of Power

Control wowed fans and critics alike when it release back in 2019. It's set in the same universe as Alan Wake, and follows a bureaucratic agency tasked with the investigation of mysterious objects. You play as Jesse, who wakes in the lobby of the company's office, with no memory of who she is.

As you explore the many halls of the Department of Control (DoC), you'll use supernatural abilities to dart around and defeat powerful foes. Objects of Power must be traced down, all while Jesse unravels the mystery of who she is, and what her connection to the DoC is. 

Control features some of the finest action gameplay of the last decade or so, with players able to pick up and throw any object in the heavily destructible environment. It's part thriller, with a good bit of humor and horror thrown in. Absolutely for fans of X-Files, Twin Peaks, and  SCP Foundation.

A survivor fights monsters in Vampire Survivors

(Image credit: Poncle)

8. Vampire Survivors

Outnumbered, but not outgunned

Vampire Survivors was an absolute phenomenon when it first released on PC. Since the, it's been ported just about everywhere, allowing players on all platforms to take down hundreds of ghouls and goblins. Vampire Survivors is a rogue-like, where you'll move across a handful of maps, as your character automatically fires weapons. Throughout each run, you'll steadily upgrade and unlock new abilities, as more powerful monsters spawn. 

If you're a fan of bullet-hell games, or ones that require little input, Vampire Survivors is absolutely one of the best. You only really press two buttons, instead using the left stick to move around the map while firing automatically. There's a seriously moreish loop here, as you slowly learn the best weapon and skill combinations for each particular level. 

Quick to pick up, but difficult to master, Vampire Survivors is well worth trying out. Here at TechRadar, we still load up the game every now and then, clearing just one more run after another as the minutes turn into hours.

A corrupted ogryn in Warhammer Darktide

(Image credit: Fat Shark)

7. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Innocence proves nothing

Acting as somewhat of a spiritual successor to the hugely popular Warhammer 40k: Vermintide 2, this co-op shooter pits you and your friends against endless hordes of mutated monsters.

Set in a world below ground devoid of hope, Warhammer 40k: Darktide is what is says on the tin, a fight for your life in the merciless world of Warhammer. For all of its grit, Darktide looks and feels amazing. 

Combat is hugely satisfying, especially at melee range, thanks to a large selection of interesting weapons. Progression is slow but easy enough to achieve, and the Warhammer community is a close-knit group of people who love to slay together, and thus, of course, stay together.

Darktide is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games because it lets you get a good look at a game that's still growing. if you're on the fence about Darktide or co-op in general, what better way to give it a go?

Siblings Hugo and Amicia looking at something in the sky, a crowd behind them. Hugo is sitting on Amicia's shoulders

(Image credit: Focus Interactive)

6. A Plague Tale: Requiem

Nowhere is safe

Like it's predecessor A Plague Tale: Innocence, this stealth adventure follows the siblings Amicia and Hugo, two children trying to survive on their own in 14th century France. Of course they aren't just two normal children – Hugo carries a mysterious superpower/curse, which has put him on the radar of the French Inquisition.

Amicia is trying to keep their brother safe, and while she is just a girl and has limits, A Plague Tale: Requiem has a lot more fighting and even more intricate stealth sequences than the first game. However, it is just as sad and occasionally shocking as before, so be ready for a very emotional trip. One thing is sure – Requiem is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games currently available for fans of a good story.

The Knight stands in a green area on a small platform, illuminated by distant cave lights

(Image credit: Team Cherry)

5. Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Hi-ho, into the depths we go

This may be the perfect game to play on Xbox Game Pass in order to give it a try first, especially if you don't know if metroidvanias are for you. Hollow Knight is one of the most beloved indie metroidvanias around, and for good reason – it has exactly the kind of world you want to explore in a metroidvania, acquiring and using new skills in different situations is fun, and the story-light approach conveys a sense of mystery that's fun to unravel.

Add to that beautiful visuals, music, and a memorable bug-like hero, and you may think Hollow Knight is a relaxing affair, but far from it. To travel deeper, you have to take out a number of tough bosses and often jump blindly into the dark, and that takes patience and stamina. Hollow Knight rewards your bravery however, one of the reasons fans are impatiently awaiting the sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong, set to land on Xbox Game Pass day one.

Ray runs across a blue walkway, towards a green psychedelic landscape

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

4. Psychonauts 2

Mind takes over matter

Whether you’re a fan of the original who’s waited over a decade for the sequel or have never heard of the series before, Psychonauts 2 is an absolute must-play from the Xbox Game Pass lineup. This action platformer dazzled us with its superb approach to mental health-related subjects and its unique worlds bring a much-needed freshness to the collectathon genre.

We adored absolutely everything in Psychonauts 2 from its gameplay to its quirky characters, so we aren’t surprised that many see it as one of the best Xbox Game Pass games or even one of the best games in general. Once you’ve spent an hour or two playing as Razputin Aquato, you’ll understand the hype, too.

A character in a mask setting a bomb in front of them with a device on their wrist

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

3. Rainbow Six Siege

Getting in by any means necessary

Fans of first-person shooters might be bummed that there aren't any Call of Duty games on Xbox Game Pass, but between the Battlefield series and Ubisoft's outstanding first-person shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, there are plenty of other options. 

What we like most about Siege is that it relies less on twitch skills and more on tactical planning. Where you lay explosive charges, how you cover corners, and when you move between rooms all matter, and it's decisions like those that give the game a high skill cap. If you're a first-person shooter fan, you can't miss it. 

If you're looking for a slightly different Rainbow Six Siege experience, the co-op standalone Rainbow Six Extraction, where operators take on aliens, is also available on Game Pass.

Two ghost pirates lunge to attack two pirates, who sit next to a fireplace

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

2. Sea of Thieves

Yo ho, etc. etc.

Rare's swashbuckling adventure Sea of Thieves lets you take on the role of a pirate sailing the seas of a fantastical world, either alone or as part of a crew of up to four members.

It's up to you whether you choose to focus on trading, treasure-hunting or plundering the loot of others. Who of us doesn't want to be a pirate? Sea of Thieves is great fun to explore, even though some players can take the freedom to plunder others a bit far, and you don't have to take quests in order to occupy itself.

Now, several seasons in, Sea of Thieves has gotten better and better, and while some areas, such as its storytelling, could still use some work, the team at Rare is hard at work to keep the pirating longtime fun.

Several cars driving down a dusty desert road, craggy mountains in the distance

(Image credit: Microsoft)

1. Forza Horizon 5

Viva la Mexico

After the immense success of Forza Horizon 4, making Forza Horizon 5 available at launch on Xbox Game Pass was to be expected. This game is definitely one of the best Xbox Game Pass games, simply because it's a high-quality, content-rich racing game.

Forza Horizon 5 combines stunning visuals, beautifully rendering Mexico as a racers' paradise, with a driving system that both veterans and newbies to the series (or racing games in general) can enjoy. Whether you're taking a specific challenge or simply race to be first, the many cars and customization options allow you to make yourself a vehicle you love to drive around in. If the series gets its story right there is nothing stopping it on the way to the pole position. If you already love Forza, you may also be interested in our list of the best racing games.

Best Xbox Game Pass games: FAQs

Xbox One Controller in front of an RGB keyboard

(Image credit: TechRadar)

How often does Game Pass add new titles?

Game Pass tends to add new titles into its mix around twice a month, so it's worth keeping an eye on to see which games are being added or removed. New titles will be announced in advance, alongside which games will be leaving the service, so you'll be able to prepare for which games you'll lose access to also. 

Is it worth getting a PC Game Pass too?

The PC Game Pass will occasionally feature titles unavailable on the standard console Game Pass, so if there's a title you're desperate to sink into, it's worth checking out both libraries if you aren't prepared to pay for the Ultimate subscription. We've highlighted which games in our list are exclusive to the PC Game Pass, but it's always worth looking at in more detail if you are looking for something in particular. 

How we made our best Xbox Game Pass games list

The team at TechRadar Gaming are avid fans of Game Pass, and as a collective we have spent hundreds of hours exploring which titles it has to offer. As a team of gaming experts, we know exactly what to look for when narrowing down the best of the bunch, and Game Pass is home to loads of titles worth jumping into. Within our list, our picks tend to cover games available across both console and PC, but if there's a particular stand out exclusive title, we've labelled which subscription it is available on. 

To make our testing more in-depth, the team we have cover almost all bases when it comes to genre. Whether you're on the hunt for an FPS game, a more wholesome indie experience, or a horror to keep you up at night, someone on the team will have played it. As a result of our experience, you can trust our opinions and advice on what to play next. 

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Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.

With contributions from