Game Pass has become something of a bastion of pride for Xbox gamers as of late, what with its library now housing some of the most popular exclusives on the market. And although Xbox isn’t known for its wide selection of console exclusives, it certainly staples premium quality to every rarity it employs. And what’s more, each title is usually added to the Game Pass front, making it a one-stop shop for all things Microsoft.
It’s August, meaning Game Pass will once again open the floodgates to several new additions, some of which will be exclusive, some of which will not. But as for the here and now, there are really only five video game series you should be playing. And so, try and take it from us. Here are, in our opinion, the five best Xbox exclusives on Game Pass right now.
5. Sea of Thieves
Rare’s critically acclaimed open-world MMORPG Sea of Thieves is an ode to the golden age of piracy and its many, many wonders. It’s also one of Xbox’s most popular games on the current market, with a rough fifteen million sailors filling out its competitive waters. With that, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the multiplayer world is doing something right. Including Jack Sparrow as one of the game’s many DLC characters probably has something to do with that, to be fair.
Sea of Thieves hands you the opportunity to embark on an epic voyage across the open seas. As a pirate warlord born with the tools and traits to shuffle icebergs, you must gather your crew, build a vessel that Davy Jones himself would consider seaworthy, and depart from your tiny harbor hometown in search of treasures that go way beyond your wildest dreams. The only downside, of course, is that the sea isn’t exactly short of overly ambitious up-and-coming pirate folk. It’s your role, as one of the many ravenous privateers that flesh out the borders, to find a place among the legends of old and new.
4. Gears 5
Following the launch of the Xbox 360, Gears of War played a pivotal role in the development of the third-person shooter genre. Fast-forward several years, and the series went on to span multiple consoles and quality spin-offs. And luckily for us, The Coalition has yet to call it a day with the immensely popular shooter, meaning there’s still plenty left to see and do.
Gears of War sinks into an anarchic tale comprised of high-octane bullet storms and close-quarter wall-to-wall combat. Set during the aftermath of Emergence Day, Gears 5 picks up with Kait, a rogue mercenary whose purpose is to find her mother, Queen of the enemy army known as the Swarm. For those who aren’t clued up to this point, though, should probably start with Gears of War 4, the first chapter of the second trilogy. Or just go one further and play the whole series, seeing as they’re all plastered on the Game Pass front, spin-offs and all.
3. Forza Horizon 5
Playground Games is on the precipice of revolutionizing open-world racing games — and it’s clear as day. Thanks to its jaw-droppingly beautiful Forza Horizon series, developers all over the globe are now shifting focus over to the torchbearer, eager to follow in its footsteps and learn directly from the wizards themselves. But why all the hype, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple, really.
You see, Forza Horizon has a strong history of presenting players with enormous open-world playgrounds that stretch way beyond the usual limits. And rather than leaving them void of any character whatsoever, they’re usually filled with oceans of diverse mission types, effectively making it a fully comprehensive package, rather than a one-note ordeal. And if you want to pay your respects to the best of the best — then the series’ fifth chapter is by far the most immersive to date.
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
It’s hard to believe that some players have yet to embrace the world of Halo and its treasure trove of story arcs and unique characters. Given the fact that the original basically rocked the online world and piloted a whole new style of gameplay, it’s definitely a bitter pill to swallow. And yet, we know for a fact that there are millions of other unfortunate souls out there that are without Master Chief and his many, many words of wisdom.
The good news is, The Master Chief Collection gives subscribers the chance to scrub through the entire journey from beginning to end. Playing as none other than the green giant himself, players will be able to buckle in for one of the most memorable experiences ever captured in a video game format. Let the rest be nothing more than a slew of surprises.
1. Rare Replay
Unless you have an old Nintendo 64 knocking about, you’re probably not going to get another opportunity to play some of Rare’s all-time favorites. That is, of course, unless you have Game Pass, in which case you’ll have the luxury of sifting through its many treasures on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. And to be fair, seeing as the beloved Rare Replay comes bundled with about thirty or more games, it does make for one of the most essential plays on the platform.
It doesn’t matter if you’re heavily into your arcade platformers or your farming simulators, because the fact is, Rare Replay offers a wide enough variety to spoil even the pickiest gamers. If, however, we had to choose just one game from the package, then it’d have to be Conkers Bad Fur Day — every time, without fail.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five exclusives? Are there any Xbox exclusives you’d recommend? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.