Game Pass Recs

5 best Xbox Game Pass games to play when Series X launches

Now that Xbox Series X is out, these are five games that you need to play on Xbox Game Pass as soon as possible.

If you're getting an Xbox console for the first time this Tuesday with the launch of the Xbox Series X and S, you're probably wondering which games you should play.

While some entertaining full-price games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Assassin's Creed Valhalla are available, there are also hundreds of games you can play with an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

If you want to experience some hidden gems and see what Xbox Series X has to offer, Inverse recommends checking out the following 5 games.

5. Gears Tactics

This console port of April’s turn-based strategy game Gears Tactics is Microsoft’s most notable “new” game for the Xbox Series X launch. The new console version includes brand new characters and enemies, and the interface has been optimized to function well on a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard like the PC version. It serves as a prequel to the mainline Gears series, following Cait Diaz’s father Gabe.

If you don’t have a gaming PC and are looking for something new from a major Microsoft franchise, Gears Tactics is the best thing the Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X has for you at release. It’s a fun game too, with Inverse’s review calling it “a solid first attempt at a strategy game with a few niggles.”

4. Forza Horizon 4

Developer: Playground GamesMicrosoft

While Dirt 5 and WRC 9 are filling the void left by the lack of a new Forza game at launch, Microsoft is also upgraded Forza Horizon 4 to work on Xbox Series X.

While you might not thinking much of racing games, Forza Horizon 4 is one of the best of the last generation, sporting a large open-world that changes with the seasons, beautiful graphics, and responsive driving mechanics.

While the game came out in 2018, it’s getting enchanted for Xbox Series X to support 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second gameplay. It’ll be one of the best racing games on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S day one, so you definitely shouldn’t miss this one on Game Pass if you like that genre.

3. Tetris Effect: Connected

While we haven’t had a chance to try out the new multiplayer modes yet, Tetris Effect was already a fantastic puzzle game when it came out on PS4 in 2018. It takes Tetris and bedazzles it with exciting visuals that will only look better at 4K 60 FPS on Xbox Series X. I’m personally excited to take this for a spin, and it comes with some new modes as well.

When it comes to traditional versus modes, you have Zone Battle, where players can use the time-slowing Zone mechanic from the main campaign, as well as Score Attack where players compete independently for the highest score. There’s also a tournament-ready versus mode and the titular “Connected” mode where three players work together to take down a boss. This Xbox Game Pass game should scratch that puzzle itch on Xbox Series X day one!

2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Developer: Respawn Entertainment EA

On November 10, EA Play is getting added to Xbox Game Pass, and with it comes a ton of great EA games like Battlefield 1 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is also getting added to the service on November 10, and in turn, it means that it will be on Xbox Game Pass that day.

If you’ve been waiting to hop into this Soulslike Star Wars game set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, you now have a good chance. Even though it isn’t getting any next-gen enhancements like Star Wars: Squadrons, it will still benefit from auto HDR and improved loading times.

1. Yakuza 0

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a launch title for Xbox Series X but sadly isn’t included as part of Xbox Game Pass. That said, if you want to see what the series is all about, Inverse recommends checking out Yakuza 0 first. This game is a prequel that delves into the origins of series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and gives a great overview of Kamurocho, the fictional Japanese city in which every game in the series is set.

While it doesn’t have any specific next-gen enhancements, this bombastic beat ‘em up adventure still benefits from better loading times and auto high-dynamic range to make the visuals pop. Once you beat Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2, the next game’s chronologically, are also on Xbox Game Pass. Then, if you’re willing to branch out of Game Pass after trying all of these games, you can give the turn-based Yakuza: Like a Dragon a shot.

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