Sony's PlayStation Plus put Xbox Live Gold on the ropes a couple years back, but Microsoft's response with Games with Gold was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, almost all of the decent games in the program have been on Xbox 360, and even then that's been stretched to the limit some months. So here's ten games that Microsoft should offer, both on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
I've already spoken at length about why Splinter Cell: Conviction is one of the best Xbox 360 exclusives. It's got a snappy, rock solid stealth-action vibe that rewards swift, decisive action, and manipulating your enemies. The portable EMP gadget is a neat little wrinkle, as is the Mark & Execute system that lets you take down multiple foes quickly. If Microsoft actually released it for free with Gold, you could even play the multiplayer again.
Contrast is a rare game that could be offered for either 360 or Xbox One. Either way, the stunningly beautiful puzzle platformer deserves to be played by more gamers, and it's not like it is selling like hot cakes. It could also be released for both, if Microsoft wanted to emulate Sony's recent cross-buy focus with PlayStation Plus.
Another game that feels like a no-brainer for the Xbox 360 is Borderlands. GameSpy may be dead and gone to skag heaven, but that doesn't mean it isn't one of the best local-co-op games on the Xbox 360. Re-releasing it as a Games with Gold title could also hook players in so that they try the Handsome Collection when they upgrade to Xbox One.
The Evil Within was not the record-breaking, utterly mind-blowing hit that everyone expected. It was, however, a decently received third-person survival stealth/shooter hybrid. So, rather than just let it languish, now that all its downloadable content is released, Microsoft could re-release it as a Games with Gold game. They could even put the Season Pass and individual DLC episodes on sale, for those who find the game to their liking.
Let's face it, this gag has run its course, and it's time to be taken out to pasture. Anyone who was going to buy it already has, so instead let's make it a novelty game for Games with Gold on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. It will prove a passing interest, and at least be something more interesting than yet another month where Pool Nation occupies one of the Xbox One slots.
What? Why is there a mobile port here? Because Badland is arguably one of the best games to come out on mobile in recent memory, and really should be on Games with Gold. It has local and online multiplayer. It has a simple yet deep and addictive style of gameplay. It is one of the most beautiful games in recent memory. I struggle to think of any reason not to offer it. Once again, a much better hold-over option than Pool Nation.
With the Xbox One lacking Bloodborne, the closest competition, short of Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, is Lords of the Fallen, which Microsoft should totally bank on. Offering a hardcore third-person action-RPG could bring in the crowd normally more interested in Sony platforms. It also would generate a lot of interest for the upcoming sequel, and make gamers feel a bit more inclined to get it on Xbox One.
Remember how Badland was a great game that would utilize multiplayer? Well, so would Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. The four player co-op shooter/puzzler/platformer hybrid is a perfect way to get players playing with friends, using their local controllers for something other than paper weights, and actually playing online. It also released only a few months ago, so it'd be a relatively new title they could put on offer.
Shadow Warrior took everyone by surprise. It was a really fun, smart first-person shooter full of "wang" jokes, yet also telling a compelling story. It also features one of the most detailed gore systems to date. Yet hardly anyone's bought it on consoles, and it's sitting usually around fifteen to twenty dollars. So, let's give shooter fans something to do with their fancy new consoles.
Gat Out of Hell is a standalone spin-off to Saints Row IV. Similar to inFamous: Festival of Blood, it works both as a singular game and as a DLC expansion. While many gamers played Saints Row IV, not many have tried Gat Out of Hell. So let's fix that. It has two player co-op, so we once again get to highlight online capability, on top of a sizable open world. There's also a musical number like out of Disney, sung by the devil. I don't know what else needs saying after that.
Well, that's my list, but are there any games you'd like to see with Games with Gold? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!