One of the best Xbox Game Pass games is leaving at the end of the month

A bioluminescent creature in Outer Wilds
(Image credit: Mobius Digital)

Eight games will leave Xbox’s subscription service on December 31, including one of the best games released in the past decade.

First-person sci-fi adventure Outer Wilds is among the names being axed from Xbox Game Pass. It won many awards when it made its 2019 debut, and 2022 saw it released on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S for next-gen gamers to give it a go.

Luckily, you still have two weeks to get a quick playthrough in before Outer Wilds and seven others are pulled from the service, making way for two Persona games and Monster Hunter Rise to arrive in the new year.

Outer with the old

Outer Wilds

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Outer Wilds is a time loop story set in a galaxy filled with mysteries. When you start the game, you only have 22 minutes to explore the solar system in your homemade spaceship before the sun goes supernova, wiping out every planet in the sky. However, rather than be zilched into space dust, time reverses, and you are free to start your exploration all over again.

To unravel Outer Wilds’ mysteries, you have to use your 22 minutes well, but your reward is a unique sci-fi game. The dense open-world format and immersive soundtrack make for a sumptuous backdrop to your discoveries, so it’s no wonder that Outer Wilds took home three BAFTAs in 2020 for Best Game, Best IP, and Best Game Design.

If spacey mysteries aren’t your bag, check out Secret Neighbor for seasonal multiplayer stealth offerings. Taking place in the Hello Neighbor world, this puzzle game pits you up against your grouchy neighbor Mr Peterson as you work as a team to rescue one of your friends from a shady basement; the catch, however, is that one of you is actually the bad guy. Think Among Us, only scarier.

Here is the full list of games leaving Xbox Game Pass on December 31:

  • Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
  • Tropico 6
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Secret Neighbor
  • Outer Wilds
  • Gorogoa
  • The Pedestrian
  • Embr

cheap Nintendo Switch game deals sales

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Sure, it will be sad to see one of the most critically-acclaimed sci-fi adventures bidding us farewell at the end of the month – but it’s not all bad news, though. January promises a slew of new games to get stuck into as we usher in 2023; JRPG fans will be able to console themselves with Personal 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden, which are due to make an appearance on January 19. 

We’ll also get Monster Hunter Rise making its release on the service on January 20. The Nintendo Switch essential from Capcom is finally landing on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X│S devices as a special late Christmas treat, so there are plenty of reasons to pick up a Game Pass subscription if you haven’t already.

Jasmine is a freelance writer and podcaster based in the UK. Whether it's a Sims 4 lore deep-dive or a guide to securing kills in Dead By Daylight, her work is featured on TheGamer as well as the door of her mother's fridge. When she's not aggressively championing the Oxford comma on Twitter, you can find her scoping out the local music scene or buying gaudy Halloween decorations all year round.