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Xbox Game Pass: 5 Games You Should Play Before It’s Too Late (August 2021)




It's nearly that time again. Xbox Game Pass will once again align the cogs and shift its carousel, effectively losing sight of another batch of video games over the coming weeks. The good news, of course, is that new titles will step up to ride the Game Pass train in their place. The bad news, however, is that most new games don't tend to come with a fixed expiry date. So, that basically means there really is no telling how long you'll have full access for.

Winding back just a smidgen, we have been sifting through the library in search of honourable mentions. And the good news is, we've found another five incredible games that are open to exploring. The bad news, as you can probably guess, is that they're ticking time bombs, with only a matter of days or weeks left before sounding off. So, if you've got a spare weekend in the diary, then these should definitely make it on your list before it's too late. And if you haven't purchased or renewed your Game Pass subscription yet, then let these be the persuasion pills you need to sway you to the checkouts.


5. Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 - Official Launch Trailer

With Playground Games gearing up to put Forza Horizon 5 into maximum overdrive, it does beg the question of whether or not the current release (Horizon 4) will last much longer on the Game Pass front. Of course, being one of the most popular racing games on the system, it's unlikely for it to be removed for an extended period of time. But with that said, Microsoft has pulled popular games from the catalogue before — with some even vanishing in the midst of peak season.

Forza Horizon 4, like previous entries, puts you behind the wheel of some of the most enchanting vehicles on the planet. With an enormous library of cars, bikes and other modes of transport at your disposal, you're left to traverse the luscious English countryside in search of eternal glory on the Horizon stage. To get to the podium, however, you'll have to tackle some of the boldest and most death-defying trails ever designed for a racing game. Get there, of course, and you'll reap all sorts of rewards — including luxurious homes to stash your collected cars in. So, definitely a journey worth putting into gear if you ever find the time.


4. Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation - Launch Trailer

There's one thing Xbox Game Pass isn't exactly short on — and that's horror games. Dead Space, The Dark Pictures, The Evil Within, to name but a few. They're all clustered neatly around the library, with an ocean of originality soaked up into each. And then, of course, there's Alien: Isolation, another great survival horror chapter that also brings a lot to the table. Combined, subscribers to the Game Pass world aren't exactly short on bone-shattering horror. But with that said, Alien: Isolation has been floating about for a while now, meaning it could very well be nearing its departure date.

Alien: Isolation, unlike previous instalments to the series, puts a major emphasis on its stealth gameplay, where hovering and hiding really are your only two viable options when going toe-to-toe with the forces that surround and adapt to your every move. Through outsmarting the wandering Xenomorphs, you'll be able to navigate the alien-infested Sevestapol Station without suffering the consequences and, ultimately, locate the source of the happenings before being completely outnumbered. Finding the information and closing your mission, on the other hand, won't be a complete walk in the park, seeing as your defences are practically non-existent, to begin with.


3. Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds - Official Reveal Trailer

As far as innovative concepts go, Outer Wilds truly is a one of a kind experience, with all the source material needed to construct an entire franchise — movies and all. But what is it? And, above all, what were the reasons for it being one of the best games of 2019? Well, in terms of structure, if you think along the same lines as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask — then you'll definitely be in the right ballpark. That's because, like Hyrule, the world you explore sits on a timer, with a mere 22-minute countdown before going supernova. It's your job, however, to try and stop it or, failing that — somehow understand it.

Outer Wilds puts you in the shoes of an unnamed alien astronaut, who's set on making the first solo expedition into the galactic province. However, after discovering that the whole galaxy rests on a real-time 22-minute time loop, it's up to you to dig up clues and piece together the events that tie in with the sorrowful climax of the planet and its network of worlds. But fear not, because although there are only 22 minutes on the clock, you'll have an infinite number of tries to go back and construct the whole picture, be it a missing conversation or a surreptitious crevice.


2. A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence - Official Story Trailer

With Asobo Studio announcing the follow-up title to A Plague Tale: Innocence, Requiem, it seems only natural for Game Pass to keep the original tucked away for players to get up to speed with its plotline. But, like Kingdom Hearts 3, once it launches, previous chapters will more than likely fall from the library, meaning you may only have a few months left before losing access to the origin story. But you can probably take that one with a grain of salt, to be honest.

A Plague Tale: Innocence throws you into a war-torn French province, where the Black Plague has swept the lands and painted the surrounding regions in blood and chaos. Unfortunately, the rats that evolve from beneath the earth have also swarmed the lands, tearing the world apart and everything that stands before them. But as for you, Amicia de Rune, a noblewoman who's been latched to younger brother Hugo, the future rests on your guidance and ability to foster a potential cure to the scorched land.


1. Alice: Madness Returns

Alice: Madness Returns - Launch Trailer

Boot up the Xbox Game Pass library and you'll immediately clock the first title that sprawls out on the frontline. Alice: Madness Returns, gorged with its twisted humour and alternative take on the joyous Wonderland setting we've all come to know and love, rests there, beckoning to be explored. And while its cryptic sequel Asylum hasn't quite landed on our laps just yet, Madness Returns definitely seems to be coursing towards its expiry date on the Game Pass front. After all, it has been there for quite some time.

Alice: Madness Returns picks up from the 2000 chapter of American McGee's distorted series, with the angsty Alice delving back into the rabbit hole for another bleak excursion through Wonderland. Through spontaneous visions, Alice submerges into the misshapen world, bound to a certain entity known as the Infernal Train, a locomotive that aims to destroy all in its wake. It's your goal, as the headsprung Alice, to travel the deformed regions and locate a method for freezing the blazing inferno. However, by doing so, you'll have to face not only your nightmares — but also your looming insanity.


Looking for more content? You could always take a look at one of these lists:

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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.