Most of the “deals” you come across in gaming aren’t really deals at all. From the loot box fiasco to most DLC, publishers have spent the last decade-plus finding ways to trick players into spending more of their hard-earned cash on games they already own, usually through a mix of discounted rates, limited time windows, and FOMO. (Do you really need a cool arctic camo outfit? Well, you’ve only got 13 hours left to decide!) Then there’s Xbox’s Game Pass. Like a Netflix for video games, it gives you a lot more of what you’re actually missing out on: gameplay.
Not to be confused with Xbox’s Live or Gold memberships, which get you online and into screaming matches with 13-year-olds, Game Pass is a $ 9.99-per-month subscription that grants you access to over 100 different titles. These aren’t demo samplers like you’d find in the PC Gamer pages of yore; they’re all there in full, immediately available to download from a list that updates each month.
Where Game Pass really shines is discovery. The titles run the gamut of 2018’s “best of” lists (Forza Horizon 4!) to retro classics from gaming’s past. Hell, even the Sega CD gets some long overdue love. Just about every genre is represented, so while you’ll find plenty of what you already love, there is ample opportunity to give new experiences a shot. Maybe sci-fi RPGs like Mass Effect are your thing, but you’ve always wondered what it would be like to play Farm Simulator. Or perhaps you’re addicted to Fortnite but always wanted to see if PUBG players had more fun. As of January 2019, you can try them all. And before long, there will be a whole new batch of games to discover.
Personally, I love it. I’ve caught up on titles I missed like Fable III and experienced what Human Fall Flat is all about (it’s fucking great). For $ 9.99 a month, I’ve played my way through games I would have potentially spent more money on to play once and forget. I can ditch the games I don’t like, minus the Buyer’s Remorse, and if a game I really like expires from the service, former Game Pass titles are 20 percent off on the online store. So yeah, there’s a lot of value. Did I mention your first month is only a buck?
If you’re ready to ditch the vicious cycle of spending your paycheck on meaningless outfits, weapons, and perks, cop a Game Pass and get back to actually playing games. It’s the real deal.