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The Best XBOX Game Pass Games to Play in 2023

Adnan Juzar Kachwala

xbox game pass poster

XBOX Game Pass has a lot of cool games one can play and never get bored. It has all kinds of genres and games that can rival the most well-known AAA Games. This guide will look at the best titles you can find in the Game Pass.

Microsoft’s most premium gaming service, the XBOX Game Pass ensures that there are games for everybody. With the most recent deal and the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, Microsoft’s Game Pass has way more value than people give it credit for, rivaling the PS Plus subscription.

That being said, it is difficult to narrow down some good ones you should start on because of the sheer variety of options you find. That is why, this list will break down the best titles you can find in Microsoft’s gaming subscription service.


  • The Best Games to Play in the XBOX Game Pass: Top 10 Picks
  • 10. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • 9. Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • 8. Death Stranding
  • 7. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 6. Persona 5 Royal
  • 5. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  • 4. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • 3. Forza Horizon 5
  • 2. Minecraft
  • 1. Starfield

The Best Games to Play in the XBOX Game Pass: Top 10 Picks

As a rule of thumb, we are going to take a look at the titles which are both for the XBOX and the PC Pass. This ensures that both of the users of the Pass can take advantage of the availability of the titles. Most of these are AAA games with the best graphics and a huge budget.

They are well-known within their community and have a lot of following. We will look at 10 different picks that have passed the test of time and are universally praised. Without further ado, let us look at the best picks in the Game Pass.

10. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

An image of the MC of AC Odyssey
(Image via Ubisoft)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

Perhaps not the most popular Assassin’s Creed title, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is still worth playing due to its world-building and how vast the map is. Set in Ancient Greece, the game has tons to offer the player in addition to paying homage to the Greek culture. It is the sequel to Origins which was released a year prior and was set in Egypt.

The game prioritizes combat and exploration more than stealth, unlike previous titles that feature Ezio Auditore and bring back Naval combat which was received well by the fans of the franchise. The story of Layla Hassan continues in this edition and the players take control of a Mercenary. Alexios or Kassandra are the choices given to the players to select. They are descendants of Leonidas I.

Players can either fight as Athenians or Spartans filled with signature Assassin’s Creed open-world magic. There are NPCs that do not feel like NPCs and lots of side missions aside from the main quests that will keep you occupied for hours on end. There are limited-time contracts and you can also participate in gladiatorial bouts.

However, combat and traversal aren’t the only important parts of the game. In some instances, it is up to you to make a decision that affects the entire story. A chain of the kind of decisions you make determines the ending of the game. That is the most appealing quality of any story game. The actions of the protagonist should not be all for naught, there should be consequences and rewards according to each of them.

9. Microsoft Flight Simulator

An image of a plane
(Image via Microsoft)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

One of the most popular simulator games out there, the Microsoft Flight Simulator is a game that is worth experiencing at least once due to its realism. It is a good title especially if you want to experience traveling the world while sitting on your favorite chair in the comfort of your own house. It is the best gift for someone who loves flying or traveling.

The game franchise returned to screens after a 14-year hiatus and it is stronger than ever. With over 1000 simulated surfaces and AI-simulated environments, this game has rendered the earth’s surface perfectly for players to experience. Due to the game’s release during the Covid-19, it received critical acclaim. Taking off and landing can be a nightmare for newer players but once you are in the air, everything but the view disappears and it is truly a peaceful experience.

There are multitudes of vehicles you can hop in ranging from machines manufactured by Diamond Aircraft and Textron Aviation. The game’s engine obtained petabytes of data to create the life-like world that you see in the game with tons of impressive detail. In fact, it has so much realism that you can view various species of animals from above. You can also chase and interact with storms as they occur.

8. Death Stranding

An image of the Death Stranding Poster
(Image via 505 Studios and Sony)
  • Game Pass: PC
  • Developer: Kojima Productions
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, 505 Studios

With an amazing star cast featuring names like Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Troy Baker and Lindsay Wagner, Death Stranding is one game you cannot afford to miss out on due to its movie-like cinematics. Set in the United States after a cataclysm causes monsters to roam the earth, players take control of Sam Porter who is a courier of sorts.

The enemies include a catalog of different enemies ranging from rogue cult-like bandits to the monstrous creatures that roam the earth. The debut installation of Kojima Productions, this game is undoubtedly weird, but that is what makes it so much fun to play. Dive right into a story filled with emotion, horror, and sci-fi elements, each character is carefully weaved and fits well within the story.

The world itself is terrifying and selfish and gives a feeling of dread every moment you are in the game. The voice acting is stellar and there are concepts of time and alternate realities subtly hinted at which will bend your mind. You will not regret playing this game due to the sheer amount of detail present in it. Sure it is a bit lengthy but that is the least of your concerns when playing a game of this caliber.

The game received positive reviews and won many awards for its creative process. The game also has a sequel in the works with Troy Baker returning. A trailer for the same was teased at the 2022 Game Awards.

7. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

An image of the GOTG Poster
(Image via Square Enix)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Eidos Montreal
  • Publisher: Square Enix

No one expected this game to be as good as it was but it delivered and then some. When it was revealed that players would not be able to play as the other Guardians but only Star-Lord, fans were disappointed. But considering how the game was built and the thought process behind the story, it fits in perfectly. In fact, we would go so far as to say that it is Star Lord’s game rather than anyone else’s.

However, the game does give our beloved Guardians some moments of character development through quips, jokes, on-spot decisions, interactions, and much more. The dysfunctional space family does what it does best, blow up stuff, run from enemies and authorities alike, and get into trouble… a lot. The game features all of the Guardians and then some. With characters like Mantis and Adam Warlock making a cameo, the game is a blockbuster ride with lots of twists and turns.

The gameplay has you controlling Star-Lord and acting as a leader, using the Guardians to slash, dash, and kill whenever you want. The Guardians all have unique sets of skills and strengths you can use in various situations. The story is linear and is one of the best ever told, especially because it fits the misfits of the Marvel universe pretty well. Star-Lord himself has his signature guns which harbor a variety of elemental attacks ranging from Plasma, Lightning, and Ice.

All in all, it is a game worth playing, especially because it portrays the Guardians in their natural element, absolute chaos.

6. Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 poster
(Image via Atlus)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: P-Studio
  • Publisher: SEGA and Atlus

Persona 5 Royal was a step up from Persona 5 and for good reason. It introduced two new characters and made the Phantom Thieves of Hearts much more livelier. Persona 5 continues the legacy of the previous Persona games in grand fashion. In fact, it has received its own anime just like the other editions of the franchise and has add-on games like Persona 5 Strikers and Persona 5 Tactica which will also be coming to the Game Pass soon.

In traditional Persona fashion, players take the role of a Male High Schooler. The Protagonist’s codename is Joker as he and his friends unearth the mystery of evil itself and decide to take it upon themselves to change their nature. Thus, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts were born featuring fan favorites that changed the Persona Franchise.

The game has a day and night cycle, it allows you to free-roam around the world and do activities such as going on dates with your fellow Phantom Thieves, working in shops, buying supplies, helping people out, training, attending classes, and so on. By spending time with your friends and confidants, you can raise your friendship levels which gives you passive powers in battles.

However, we must warn you. Once you get addicted to the Persona franchise, there is no turning back. If you are a beginner, Persona 5 Royal is the perfect game to dive right into the franchise.

5. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

skyrim poster
(Image via Bethesda)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

The infamous Elder Scrolls has a special place in each gamer’s heart. Most of us discovered modding through this game or through Minecraft, take your pick. However, Skyrim isn’t just known for its dazzling customization system and endless quests. It has much more to offer than just a free-roaming experience in the medieval where dragons and other mystical creatures exist, although that is definitely part of the appeal.

Even though the game was released in 2011, it has still continued to provide tons of fun. People are starting the game even today as the game is beloved all around, especially by the modding community. The game can be played from the first and the third person’s perspective. Players take control of a mythical race and you can fully customize each element of your apparel.

The skill tree is the most legendary thing to be featured in any popular game. There are eighteen different skill trees you can choose to upgrade and there are tons of weapons you can use to face enemies in the world. There are weapons ranging from swords and axes to bows and arrows. The customization, world-building, NPCs that are lively and the medieval feeling this game gives is second to none.

Even if you start the game today, Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is a good place to start that has everything you need from RPG to action and adventure.

4. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Masterchief Collection poster
(Image via XBOX)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: 343 Industries
  • Publisher: XBOX Game Studios

Halo is one of the most beloved franchises of all time and for good reason. It has a formula that works and it has stuck to it, providing addictive gameplay through decades and lots of titles. The Master Chief Collection was first released for the XBOX One in 2014. However, since then it has come out for the current-gen XBOX X/S and Windows.

The Master Chief Collection in itself has six different Halo Titles in one collection mainly: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. The primary reason why we included this version and not any other is because it provides everything you need in a Halo experience.

It has every game that made Halo with fast-paced combat, everyone’s favorite protagonist, and multiplayer features. The best part about this collection is that there are no redesigns. It has everything for fans both old and new to experience what it was like back in the day, today. The nostalgia factor itself is worth downloading this version because this collection is what made FPS gamers what they are today.

The campaign missions and the perfect multiplayer are what make the Halo games what they are. It is the perfect start for an FPS fan who is currently playing Valorant or CS to experience what it was like back in the early 2000s and how gaming has changed since then.

3. Forza Horizon 5

Two cars
(Image via XBOX)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Publisher: XBOX Game Studios

Diverting from FPS and action-adventure-themed games, we are diving right into Forza Horizon 5 which is a racing game to be remembered. Before you experience the franchise with Forza Motorsport, we recommend that you get a feel for this game that puts all of the other ones to shame due to its realism. Forza Horizon 5 had tons of features going for it aside from tons of cars that the racing world is obsessed with.

Forza Horizon 5 is much more than a racing game. It has lots of free-roam capabilities with the largest map so far in the Horizon series with active volcanoes, Mayan temples, and so on. Aside from that, we can find cars from various popular manufacturers such as Chevrolet, BMW, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and so much more.

In addition to that, there was also a Hot Wheels expansion pack featuring multiple cars from the franchise. There is an arcade mode in this game as well filled with lots of new mini games. The ray tracing and graphics of this game are top-notch and has the best animation out of any racing game on the market. The game also has dynamic weather changes that vary from dust storms to rain and hardcore sunlight.

The game received universal acclaim and won many awards. It is a good blueprint to follow for the Horizon franchise because it has a formula that works.

2. Minecraft

minecraft poster
(Image via Mojang)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Mojang Studios
  • Publisher: Mojang Studios, XBOX Game Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Minecraft is a game that you should enjoy with your friends because it is meant to be played that way. With endless customization options, Minecraft is a cut above the rest with lots of mobs, weapons, dungeons, dimensions, resources, and missions to keep you occupied for hours. In essence, it is a game that promotes building but it is much more than that.

There are lots of game modes to explore as well which you can experience with your friends. Not only that, but the community has tons of content should you get tired of the vanilla game. Explore mods, story missions and so much more that the community has built to keep themselves occupied. There are several skins one can equip from a variety of pop culture franchises like Marvel, DC, and more.

Due to the success of this game, Mojang, the developers of the game were prompted to make other Minecraft-related games such as Minecraft Dungeons, Minecraft Legends, and Minecraft: Story Mode. The game recently hit 300m in sales which is unheard of since it was released in 2011. The game has been pumping out updates and patches and the community is alive and well.

Even if you decide to join in 2023, it still has a community that is welcoming and will treat you well no matter what skill you have. This is one game you should experience if you are a hardcore gamer who likes co-op.

1. Starfield

starfield poster
(Image via Bethesda)
  • Game Pass: PC and Xbox
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Starfield is the latest sensation and is the biggest game on the XBOX Game Pass right now. The game allows you to switch between first and third-person perspectives just like Skyrim. Coincidently made by the same developers, Bethesda has hit it out of the park with this game. Starfield allows you to travel to outer space and experience what the Milky Way is like.

The open world of this game is solid and does everything well ranging from the NPCs and the setting to the exploration. The game has procedurally generated landscapes with over 1,000 different planets and moons you can visit. You can encounter lots of NPCs and bring them aboard as part of your crew just like you can in Outer Worlds. Yes, it is possible to romance some of them as well.

The game’s Main Character is a silent protagonist and players have the ability to customize everything for them ranging from their apparel to their facial features, background, and traits as well. The game does everything right which is a reason why it has received critical acclaim. Starfield is the game you should play first before all the others if you want to experience the best of what XBOX Game Pass has to offer.

About the author

Adnan Juzar Kachwala

Adnan Juzar Kachwala


Adnan Kachwala is a Gaming Journalist working as a Content Writer at The SportsRush. Adnan started covering Valorant when he watched Shroud dominate public matches with his aim. He wanted to write about Call of Duty ever since his first Nuclear in Black Ops II. He has an expertise in FPS games like Call of Duty and Valorant and has been covering them along with other games for more than two years. He has written more than 600 articles on both of those games along with other popular AAA titles. He has a Mass Media Degree with a Specialization in Journalism. Adnan has an expertise writing listicles related to Gaming and reviewing newer releases. When he is not making content, you can find him reading books, creating videos and watching Valorant Esports on Twitch.

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