Xbox Game Pass Review

The new subscription service on Xbox One is… simple.

As far as reviews go, this is probably one of the easiest ones that I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. For any subscription service however, there are a number of factors that play into what makes a service like this worth the cost of admission.

Sure, it’s a little early in the life of the service to have a review out, but it’s a dream to use as far as subscription services go.

SELECTION

There are a little over 100 games available for download which include indie to AAA games, from both the 360 era and Xbox One. There’s a decent selection for launch. For the purposes of this review, I picked out several games to put it to use.

  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Braid
  • Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
  • Farming Simulator 15
  • Mad Max

I went from signing up for the free trial to downloading the games I wanted to try in less than an hour.

There are other titles available, like Sunset Overdrive (which I recommend), XCOM: Enemy WithinTerrariaResident Evil 0Halo 5: Guardians, and the Gears of War series. The selection right now is pretty slim, but it’s also the beginning of the service so the catalog will expand as time progresses.

One thing to keep in mind is that any games that are downloaded will work as long as they’re still part of the catalog, so Xbox gave themselves an out by stating that there’s a possibility that games can be removed from the list of available titles. Some have taken this as an indication that the service’s catalog will be culled each month, though the wording in the service’s description appears to indicate that it will be similar to Netflix; that games will only be removed if the publisher pulls the license.

EASE OF USE

Xbox One Game Pass Brothers.jpg

One of the many things that make the Xbox Game Pass easy to use is that it functions very similarly to the Xbox Live Games With Gold and EA Access services. If you subscribe to the service, downloading games is as easy as… well, downloading them. Finding the eligible games is also rather simple since all you need to do is access the “Memberships” tab under “My Games & Apps”.  From there, you can find the Xbox Game Pass store link and browse the list of available games.

Furthermore, if you decide that you want to keep the game in your collection, you can purchase it at a 20% discount (though Xbox 360 titles are excluded), as well as a 10% discount on DLC and microtransations*. It’s not a bad deal for a game subscription service, and it’s entirely possible for the subscription to pay for itself.

The best part of the service is that it’s remarkably easy to use. Unlike the PlayStation equivalent, the games are downloads, not streamed. If you don’t have access to a fast internet connection (like myself here in podunk western Oklahoma), then being able to download the games is going to sound like a godsend. Additionally, you can browse the list of games available to members easily without being a member, giving you the opportunity to decide quickly if the service looks like a good investment.

AFFORDABILITY

The price of entry for the service right now is $9.99 (US) a month, though there is also a two week free trial on offer for new members. Whether or not the subscription is worth that price is a matter of opinion, and will heavily depend on what games you want to play.

Revelations

Right now, it’s a decent service for the price paid. What’s nice about it is that Xbox Live Gold subscribers can try the service for two weeks, for free, leading up to the June 1st launch. Because it’s a subscription service though, anyone looking to try it out will need to have an active credit card on file with Xbox Live before they can access the free trial.

As I said in the beginning of this review, this was rather easy to write, but only because the service itself is extremely simple and a breeze to use since it’s integrated into the Xbox One Marketplace. It could stand to have the catalog expanded a little, but it’s still early in the game so far (it’s the first day I’ve had access to it after all).

Regardless, the factors that matter are all ones that need to be taken into consideration before plunking your credit card down for the subscription. It’s important to consider the games in the catalog. Obviously, if the titles available aren’t of interest to you, you shouldn’t buy in. However, if there are even a few games in the list that look good to you, it’s worth trying out.

*As of the writing of this review, I’m attempting to determine if games purchased with the discount are kept if the subscription lapses. I will update this post once I know for sure.


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8 thoughts on “Xbox Game Pass Review

  1. Wow you certainly did get this up pretty quick. Glad to hear it’s working good so far. I’m kind of intrigued by this whole subscription based gaming model, as it works well for me for music and movies. It seems like a great way to sink in a fraction of the cost to play some older games that you’ve probably missed. It will be interesting to see how everyone else follows this model. I’d certainly like it for older games that I simply want to catch up on, or short game I’ll only ever play once.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s a strange phenomenon and the name is escaping me, but it happened to me with emulators when I set up a Raspberry Pi as a MAME system. It has to do with the inability to pick something when you have too many choices. I’m curious if this sort of thing happened to you when you started the subscription? The first thing I would say if immediately handed 100 games to play is “I don’t want to play any of these games.” Not ragging on digital either – I’m intrigued by the concept for certain circumstances, particularly where it gives you access to out of print games on older consoles that you may not have.

    Personally I think a subscription model is pretty cool for old games on deprecated consoles that are difficult to come by that you missed, as Imtiaz said up above, or they are stupidly expensive to buy used copies. For example, if I could pay $5 a month on the Switch to rent 1 GameCube game at a time that I may have missed, I’d take up that offer. But if I was immediately offered access to a 100+ game library? I wouldn’t be able to commit to anything. Weird, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As of right now, I don’t think the library offers the value I would need out of it, but it seems like a step in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It definitely sounds similar to EA Access, which also offers a 10% purchase discount, so I’d imagine any games purchased through the program are yours to keep. $10 per month is definitely reasonable. I’ll have a look at the list of available games and see if it’s worth it for me. EA Access sure was.

    Like

  5. I am going to click the trial, but before I did, I went through the list… 40 XB1 titles against 73 360. Moreover, the XB1 titles include a number of indie titles and the remaining aren’t top-shelf, with a few exceptions. I don’t feel that it’s a terrible selection, but I’m guessing seasoned gamers won’t be impressed. As a mature gamer, I feel that it’s a good program. Sidenote; my guess is, we’ll never see an EA title included…

    Liked by 1 person

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