With today's modern technology, jumping into an adventure game can feel as real as stepping into a home away from home. Today's visuals are near-perfect, so much so that they reflect nature and life to the finest detail. Combat is immersive, with a challenging yet rewarding system that encourages you to keep aiming high. Narratives have dusted themselves off with great performances and writing. And best of all are the open-world settings that portray entirely new worlds you can’t help returning to.
Together, these gameplay elements help create adventure games that are simply too hard to resist, whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer. And with an active Microsoft Xbox Game Pass subscription, you can access some of the most critically acclaimed adventure games on the market at no additional cost. From action adventures to RPG games, from blockbuster AAA titles to indie hits, here are the best adventure games on Xbox Game Pass you won’t want to miss out on.
5. Grand Theft Auto V
In the mood to do crime in the streets of San Andreas? Check out Grand Theft Auto V, a game that Xbox Game Pass had removed a while ago but returned to the list due to public demand. What’s more? GTA V’s overwhelmingly popular online mode is available on both consoles and streaming over the cloud. For those who aren’t in the know, GTA V is an action-adventure game previously released in 2013 as the seventh main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. Its take on contemporary America gained so much popularity that developer Rockstar Games upgraded it for next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series consoles.
In the grand scheme of things, the GTA series is most known for glamorizing crime, greed, and gang violence. GTA V is no different, as players take on the role of hardened criminals, building their careers by orchestrating heists and armed robberies and managing businesses like nightclubs. Then, stack up enough in-game currency to climb the social ladder by buying cool houses and cars. You’re free to roam freely in the city and enjoy a surprisingly detailed and immersive open world. Pretty much anything goes in San Andreas, so it’s completely up to you to build the lifestyle you want.
4. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Alternatively, consider Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, an adventure game incorporating story-driven and puzzle-platformer gameplay. The best part about this game is the story, which takes a surprisingly personal and painful turn of events. All along, it's highlighted by vibrant backdrops and a charming musical score. Additionally, it has simple physics puzzles that can be great for kids, along with an emotionally-charged story that encourages empathy.
I love the immersive nature of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. At first, players follow an unassuming pair of brothers. So far, so good in their not-so-urgent trek to find a cure for their father’s illness. They take a wrong turn, though, into the unknown, and it's from here that the adventure truly begins. It’s the kind of story that lets you prioritize reaching the destination first. It's almost like ticking off a task on a checklist. Until you unexpectedly sink down a rabbit hole and realize that the game was never about the destination but rather the journey itself.
3. Yakuza 0
Another action adventure you may want to consider is Yakuza 0. It takes you back in time to before the events of Sega’s Japanese Yakuza crime saga. The game has a consistent theme of crime and violence. Although the writers still found clever ways to inject healthy doses of strange humor and silliness. In fact, I’d call it an intertwining of drama and action.
At certain points, you’ll find yourself caught in a real estate turf war. And your only way out is to punch your way through a gang of street thugs. All along, seemingly loose ends in the Japanese underworld began to weave together to create a tangible society. But just as the crime drama unfolds, the game asks you to take a breather to sing karaoke and dance to an ‘80s power ballad. All in all, Yakuza 0 combines a compelling story, brawling, and silly mini-games in a way that sets itself apart from most action-adventure games on the market today.
2. Batman: Arkham Knight
Among the games in the Batman: Arkham gothic adventure series, Arkham Knight is the better counterpart on nearly every level. It’s a bigger entry that’s practically the great send-off to the great dark knight. It tells the story of a fallen hero and his struggle to overcome darkness. It’s quite a tough spot to witness as Batman is pushed to the breaking point. Test after test, he falters, so much so that by the end of this tragic tale, you almost want to look away.
Fortunately, Gotham is at its finest, empowering you to beat up thugs, soar through the skies, and punch the gas on the Batmobile. The mechanics are also improved, with polished, precise hits. You’ll spend time investigating the murders of a mysterious serial killer and puzzle-solving puzzles that sum up into a wholesome, resounding delight.
1. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Finally, check out Rise of the Tomb Raider, an action-adventure that is the 11th main entry in the Tomb Raider series. This time, Lara Croft embarks on an epic adventure packed to the brim with hidden treasures. Infused within it is a satisfying crafting and upgrade system, coupled with fun combat and a gorgeous world, tying the whole package up with a bow.
Both stealth and action come in handy. However, the gunplay can be wonky at times. Still, it curates a thrilling minute-to-minute romp that both newcomers and veterans will enjoy. So, if you’re up for another Lara adventure, hunting down the “Divine Source,” which is an artifact that grants immortality lost someplace in the city of Kitezh, hurry on and get your copy, including all-new season pass content on Xbox Game Pass now.