Saturday, October 24, 2020
Tech

Why Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in PC gaming

Why Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in PC gaming
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When I say an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription is the best deal in gaming today, that’s no idle recommendation. I have a deep-seated hatred of today’s subscription culture. Yes, many streaming and subscription services are worth every penny, but in general, I hate that everything from Microsoft Office to Adobe’s Creative Cloud to freaking underwear tries to tie you up with monthly payments. So when I say Game Pass is worth it, I really mean it. Step aside, Humble Bundles.

At first, I actually refused to pony up for Xbox Game Pass for PC, because again, I’ve had just about enough of subscriptions. But I succumbed to its siren song when Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds debuted, thanks to its day-one inclusion on the service. The service’s hooks sunk deeply and quickly. Paying a mere $5 a month for access to over a hundred games during the beta period was a ludicrously good value, and it remains so even at the full $10 price. Now, Xbox Game Pass for PC is just as much of a mainstay in my house as Spotify and Netflix. I can’t see ever letting my subscription lapse.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Day-one access to Microsoft games

Gears Tactics IDG / Hayden Dingman

The superb Gears Tactics costs $60, but it was on Xbox Game Pass for PC on day one.

Historically, most gaming subscription services offered access only to ancient games that you’ve probably played before. Microsoft’s first-party exclusives come to Xbox Game Pass for PC the day they release, meaning Xbox Game Pass for PC members can start playing new titles in the Halo, Forza, and Gears franchises immediately, among others. More specific to PC gamers, Microsoft now owns Obsidian and InXile studios, two of the most celebrated developers of modern CRPGs, so you can dive into The Outer Worlds and the hotly anticipated Wasteland 3 as part of your subscription.

Xbox Game Pass for PC also includes hot games from other developers, like Yakuza 0, Ark: Survival Evolved, No Man’s Sky, and Metro: Exodus. Its stockpile of big-budget games from other publishers isn’t nearly as deep as its first party selection, but that’s mitigated by my next point. You can see the full list of Xbox Games Pass for PC titles here. As I write this, it stands at a whopping 193 games.

It’s going to get even deeper soon. Later this year, EA will bring its EA Play (formerly Origin Access) subscription games to Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost. Microsoft says it will add “More than 60 of EA’s biggest and best console and PC games like FIFA 20, Titanfall 2 and Need for Speed Heat, as well as titles from some of EA’s most popular franchises like Battlefield, Mass Effect, Skate, and The Sims,” along with extended trials for newer games like Madden 21.

2. Abundant, excellent indie games

frostpunk xbgp Brad Chacos/IDG

Excellent indie games like Frostpunk abound on Xbox Game Pass for PC.

For PC gamers who like deep cuts, Xbox Game Pass for PC offers an incredible selection of critically acclaimed indie games, spanning a wide variety of genres. If you like giving quirky new games a whirl or don’t feel comfortable paying full price for games from lesser-known studios, Xbox Game Pass for PC is your answer. (Seriously: Go play A Plague Tale: Innocence, Frostpunk, Slay the Spire, and Dead Cells if you haven’t already!)

The vast selection of indie games makes Xbox Game Pass for PC much more appealing in my eyes than rival subscription gaming services like EA’s Origin Access or Ubisoft’s Uplay+, whose libraries tend to include only games from those specific developers. Microsoft’s subscription offers a wider range of games, though Origin’s plan also includes a nice indie selection.



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