As we’re drawing closer toward the end of the year, we thought it would be a good time to revisit Xbox Game Pass, if only to source some fresh survival IPs to see us through the pre-winter months. From survival-crafting favorites to survival-horror cult classics, Game Pass has been known for producing some of the best and most popular titles on the block, which of course gives us reason to believe that this month won’t be any less impressive. Question is, which of the countless games on the carousel are currently worth playing? Well, if you have just activated your subscription, and are looking to delve into some of the best survival games on Xbox Game Pass, then be sure to read on.
5. Dead Space (2023)
If you’re looking to revisit the gloomy corridors of the USG Ishimura as none other than Isaac Clarke, the galaxy’s most unfortunate engineer, then consider picking up the newly refurbished reboot of Dead Space—a survival-horror that, in all honesty, doesn’t really need an introduction to rattle a few bones. It isn’t a traditional survival-crafting game, as such, but it does tap into a great portion of its elements, including inventory management and upgrading. What’s more, it also delivers one of the most enthralling horror storylines in modern sci-fi history — so you’d be a fool to brush it beneath the rug.
If you’ve yet to experience Dead Space in all its glory, then just know this: the USG Ishimura has gone dark, and it’ll be your job, as the local engineering prodigy, to climb aboard and right its wrongs. Easier said than done, though, what with the whole of the ship being a vessel for a horrifying alien outbreak. But don’t let us spoil all the fun — you can get your hands on Dead Space over on Xbox Game Pass right now.
4. This War of Mine: Final Cut
If the bullets and haze of a war-torn frontline are starting to burn a hole in your eyes, then consider opting for This War of Mine, a dollhouse-style survival game that takes all of the elements from a classic war-themed indie, and uses them to develop a whole other perspective. Instead of taking control of a soldier, you’re instead invited to oversee the day-to-day lives of a small commune of civilians during the darkest days of a seemingly endless war.
This War of Mine tasks you with managing resources, scavenging for food and supplies, and staying beneath the radar as the world around you crumbles beneath the iron footprint of an invading army. Question is, how far will you be willing to go to save your neighbors?
3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
As it currently stands, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of, if not the best asymmetrical survival-horror games on Xbox Game Pass. Like Dead by Daylight, the premise is simple: have a team of survivors and a three-piece team of killers duke it out over a selection of themed maps. As one of the two teams, players must either work to overcome several locked doors and environmental puzzles to escape the confines of a nightmarish locale, or set traps and other barriers to whittle down the surviving members and essentially wipe the slate clean. It’s all very in-your-face — and it’s exactly the love letter to the cult classic movie series that fans have been searching for.
The good news is, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is still in its infancy, which means we’ve still got numerous other seasons and add-ons to work through over the next several months, and perhaps even years. So, if you’re all for jumping on the bandwagon, then be sure to check in with Leatherface and the Sawyers the next time you get the chance to scrub the Game Pass catalog.
2. Wild Hearts
Wild Hearts falls under the category of survival-crafting, and as such, takes a leaf out of the likes of Monster Hunter World’s book. Similar in concept, the idea behind the game is that players are instructed to take to a series of vast open playgrounds and duke it out with colossal foes for weapons, gear, and rarities. Granted, it isn’t the easiest game in the world, but if you’re after a strenuous experience that is both challenging and rewarding at the same time, then you’re in for a real treat.
In Wild Hearts, you take on the role of a hunter—a magic-wielding warrior who is tasked with exploring a world that’s lost in turmoil and under the thumb of monstrous beasts and sky-high foes. Armed with a selection of weapons and skills, you must brave the unknown and establish a foothold in the feudal Japan-based society. There’s plenty of crafting, upgrading, and more confrontational moments than you could dare shake a stick at. So, if hunting is your cup of tea, then you needn’t look any further than Electronic Arts’ latest IP.
While you could quite easily discard Don’t Nod’s Jusant as more of a story-driven adventure than a traditional survival game, there’s definitely a reason for it to fall under the same umbrella as its peers. Sure enough, it’s a climbing simulation game at heart, but it also features the odd element that involves maintaining stamina, health, and a limited supply of rope and other tools. It isn’t the most challenging game in the world, but it is, in all fairness, an adventure you’ll want to check out, regardless.
Jusant is all about finding the source of a dehydrated summit—an enormous tower that, prior to your arrival, housed a lost civilization that fled to a faraway land. Your goal, really, is to ascend the mountain and find clues that explain the whereabouts of the colony, and more importantly, breathe new life into the dry bones of the sky-high tower. No pressure.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five survival favorites on Xbox Game Pass this month? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.