With a subscription to PC Game Pass, you have access to a whole library of games in one fell swoop. But what are the gems that you really should play? We’ve rounded up the best games on the PC Game Pass for you.
Forza Horizon 5
Summer seems to have finally arrived in the Netherlands with high temperatures and nice sun. If you also want to enjoy the sun and beautiful environments in games, then Forza Horizon 5 on the PC Game Pass is a perfect recommendation.
In the latest title of the Forza franchise, you take a plane to Mexico, to race on and off the asphalt with lightning-fast cars. The world of Forza Horizon 5 is the largest in the series ever, with an area that is a whopping 50 percent larger than Forza Horizon 4. And enough pomp and circumstance to keep your eyes flowing.
There is also a lot to experience in the digital version of Mexico. There are all kinds of activities in the world, from ‘normal’ races to a battle royale mode and the brand new Horizon Arcade. Just be careful, because once you’ve started Forza Horizon 5, you won’t want to go outside for a while.
If you say Game Pass, then of course you can’t ignore Halo Infinite. Since the first Xbox, Master Chief has become the mascot for Microsoft’s gaming division and an icon in the gaming world.
After a long wait, Master Chief’s story finally resumed in December when the Halo Infinite campaign launched. This time, the lone hero finds himself in the ringworld Zeta Halo, where he must face the Atriox, the leader of the Banished.
Zeta Halo has the largest open areas in a Halo game to date and Master Chief, fortunately, gets a handy tool to traverse the world. With the Grapple Shot, you can easily reach high areas and it is also a powerful weapon in the many firefights with aliens. And when you’re done with the story, an extensive multiplayer mode awaits you too!
Talk about a long wait. After more than sixteen years, there is finally a sequel to Psychonauts. Just like in the original, players take control of Raz, a Psychonaut who can invade the minds of others to solve problems or thwart evil plans.
In the first Psychonauts, you already had to deal with bizarre and surprising levels, but developer Double Fine Studios has taken everything to the next level for Psychonauts. You will also have to deal with unique levels, very memorable characters, and crazy humor that creator Tim Schafer is known for. If you’re a platformer fan, you should definitely try Psychonauts 2 on the PC Game Pass.
Age of Empires IV
Microsoft has been doing a lot of work of reviving old franchises lately. Despite the fact that Ensemble Studios no longer exists, a brand new Age of Empires has recently appeared. Microsoft has enlisted the help of Relic Entertainment, pretty much the developer of RTS games in 2022.
Relic Entertainment has therefore not done half the work with Age of Empires IV. The strategy game feels exactly like the titles of yesteryear in terms of gameplay, but the studio has made the strategic options a little more streamlined. This way you can better focus on the battles themselves.
You can also get started with no fewer than four different single-player campaigns, where you can relive important moments in history. For example, you can fight in the Hundred Years War between England and France or help the Mongols build one of the greatest empires of all time.
It Takes Two
If you’re a fan of co-op, there’s one title you should download right away through the PC Game Pass. It Takes Two is not just a co-op game, as the name suggests, the game can only be played with two players. There is no option to let the computer control the other character.
In the game from Hazelight Studios, the players take on the role of Cody and Mary, a married couple who decide to get a divorce. Their young daughter Rose just disagrees and supernatural circumstances turn Cody and Mary into two dolls.
Together, the couple will face many obstacles in the suddenly very big world. It’s all about working together and using Cody and May’s unique skills if you want to get past the puzzles and other challenges. It Takes Two is a brilliant co-op game and has won many awards at the Game Awards.
Crusader Kings III
The royal houses of Europe have long been controlled by only a few families. Even the current kings are often related to each other. In Crusader Kings III, you are tasked with creating your own dynasty and leaving an indelible mark on the world.
You can start the adventure in 867 or 1066, where you also get to choose where the origin of your dynasty lies. A campaign also doesn’t end when your custom character dies, in which case you can take control of your heir to continue the dynasty. Over the years, you must expand your family and gather as much empire as possible, until the end in 1453.
To achieve that, you have to use the same strategies that were used in the past. For example, you can marry to gain power, but you can also marry off your children. Or, of course, you can start wars or send assassins to gain land with a heavy hand. Religion also plays an important role, because without the approval of the church you are nowhere. As well as when you are unlucky enough to have half your family wiped out by the plague.
No Man’s Sky
The start of No Man’s Sky was not perfect to say the least. Developer Hello Games promises too much and delivered too little. Since then, the studio has only put a lot of effort into it, so that the game is not only as shown in the trailers at the time, but offers a lot more content!
Hello Games comes continuously with new, free updates, with which the game is continuously expanded in terms of options and activities to do. And that’s on top of No Man’s Sky’s impressive base.
In the game, you crash with your spaceship on a planet and you will first have to collect materials and learn the basics before you can explore space. And don’t expect to be bored in space for a while, because the planets are procedurally generated and in theory endless. Add to that the ability to build bases, engage in space battles, discover new flora and fauna, and collect an entire fleet of starships and it’s clear that No Man’s Sky won’t be finished anytime soon.
In recent years, the 2D side-scrolling genre has been experiencing a true renaissance. The games are popping up like mushrooms, with a number of modern classics right away. A game that certainly deserves the title is Dead Cells, which you can play via the PC Game Pass.
In Dead Cells you play as the nameless Prisoner, who ends up on a dangerous island. Just like in the Dark Souls games, little information is given and you will have to invent a lot yourself. That’s not the only similarity with FromSoftware’s titles, either, as Dead Cells is quite challenging. For example, you will lose all your Cells – which you need for upgrades – when you die.
You will also have to learn the attack patterns of enemies if you want to defeat them successfully. So don’t be surprised if you die a lot at the beginning, but gradually you will become stronger through your experience and defeat apparently unbeatable enemies. The sense of triumph that you then feel, few games can give you.
If you can’t get enough of airplanes, there’s only one game you need to play on the PC Game Pass. Microsoft has been making flight simulators since 1982, but the publisher has delivered a gem with the most recent edition. A lot of time was spent on development because there was a gap of fourteen years between the last two Flight Simulators.
In the game, you can get behind the wheel of more than twenty different aircraft, from a small Cirrus SR22 to a large Boeing 747. All aircraft are realistically recreated, right down to the cockpit.
Where Flight Simulator really takes a big leap in realism is the environments you fly over. That is the earth itself, in great detail. Microsoft uses more than two petabytes of world map data from Bing Maps. That information is also updated every 28 days so that everything remains up-to-date. In addition, some landmarks have been added by hand, so that you can recognize cities like Amsterdam and Paris directly from the air.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Games based on movies are not often a big success. Sometimes only a gem pops up that is the exception to the rule and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one of them. The game managed to amaze friends and foes alike, especially since the game came out not long after the flopped Marvel’s Avengers.
Developer Crystal Dynamics has chosen not to follow the films, but to tell their own story about the unlikely heroes. This way players know what to expect in terms of dynamics between the characters and humor, but the story is one big surprise.
Another golden decision is to let the player control only Peter ‘Starlord’ Quill, rather than the entire group. As a Starlord you can use your pistols, dodge attacks, and use special abilities, but you are also a group leader. This way, other Guardians will fight next to you and you can direct them to use skills for the right situation. And when it gets really hot underfoot, you can get everyone together for an encouraging speech. This way the Guardians really feel like a team and the gameplay is very tight!
Want to know more about the PC Game Pass? Then visit our special page, where we will keep you informed of all the news about the service from Microsoft!