Xbox Game Pass  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Xbox Game Pass  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Xbox Live Gold’s Price Hike Reversal is a Big Win For Players, But Reveals Microsoft's Endgame Sun, 24 Jan 2021 11:58:34 -0500 Dylan Webb

You’ve likely seen by now that Xbox Live Gold was getting a price hike. Confirming the news on Friday, Microsoft said the move came after a periodic assessment, one meant to examine what value the service offered.

We’re used to seeing small price increases with services like these, but no one expected Microsoft would outright double it, raising an annual subscription from $60 to $120 for almost no increased benefit. Unless you count Microsoft adding an extra game to February’s Games With Gold lineup, which I’m not. Not really.

Understandably, many Xbox Live Gold subscribers and Xbox users, in general, were not happy.

To start with, the timing for the price increase was incredibly poor. We're in a pandemic and many of us are struggling financially. Such a price hike, especially one so considerable, doesn’t sit well — and that's put politely.

It can be argued that there are more important things than video games to consider in times like these, but more people than ever are gaming. It's helped connect friends and families for decades, making online multiplayer one of the few avenues we currently have for social interaction. We shouldn't be expected to spend more money for little gain.

By comparison, the price hike made the PlayStation equivalent of Xbox Live Gold — PlayStation Plus — look more appealing; a PS Plus membership remains at $60 and offers complimentary games every month. That's not to mention some free-to-play titles have always been and remain available to play online without a membership, something Microsoft has perhaps not just considered, but something Microsoft has just now implemented. 

Sure, Microsoft’s move wouldn’t have affected existing 6-month or 12-month subscriptions, but monthly subscribers and new subscribers would have borne the brunt of this increase. At a time when Microsoft only recently launched the Xbox Series X|S  and, again, doing so in a worldwide pandemic  it was an ill-timed, self-defeating move.

To see the company immediately reverse this planned increase so quickly was unexpected. Considering retail cards for Xbox Live Gold carrying the new prices were printed, it doesn’t seem like this was some type of stunt either.

On top of reversing the price hike, Microsoft revealed that free-to-play games would no longer require a Gold membership. It's a huge improvement when you consider games like Fortnite don’t have this type of gatekeeping on PC, Switch, or PlayStation.

So why did Microsoft risk putting themselves at such a disadvantage? It clearly wasn't the need for a quick influx of cash, considering they could afford $7.5 billion for Bethesda last September. 

The goal is clear, as it has been for years, and it all revolves around Game Pass.

Microsoft have made a tremendous push for the games subscription service these last few years, also offering Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass in one package, Game Pass Ultimate, a package that would have remained unaffected by the price increase, staying at $14.99 per month.

By guaranteeing Day-One access to their first-party lineup via Game Pass, any short-term losses are and would be minimized by long-term investment. 

Once players sub to the service, it becomes much easier to persuade them about Game Pass’ enduring value because of its catalog of games. By hiking Gold’s annual pricing to $120, Microsoft could have persuaded more players into joining Game Pass, especially since the monetary gap was to be so small compared to what it had been. 

After all, it's only a little increase, right? What’s $60 for an additional subscription and access to more than 300 games and xCloud access? On paper, it's a shrewd move. In practice, right now, it's something.

The biggest point, though, is this: We’d have had less real choice between services when it comes to Xbox consoles if Microsoft had gone through with the increase, and there wouldn’t have been much way around it.

I’m pleased to see Microsoft have changed their minds here; it's a clear win in the battle against anti-consumer practices. But it shouldn’t have happened at all, and certainly not right now.

Ultimately, it's Microsoft's goal to sign as many people onto Game Pass as possible; with big games like Halo Infinite getting delayed, that's what’s keeping them going. But perhaps there's another way to do it without alienating a large group of the playerbase. 

Update: Microsoft Will Not Increase Prices for Xbox Live Gold Subscriptions Fri, 22 Jan 2021 14:02:10 -0500 Dylan Webb

Update 1/23/21: Microsoft released a statement today saying that they will not increase subscription prices for Xbox Live Gold. The reversal comes after Microsoft announced yesterday that it would make changes to the price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions (as seen in the original story below). 

In an update to the original Xbox Wire post announcing the price increase, Microsoft said: 

We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day. As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing.

We’re turning this moment into an opportunity to bring Xbox Live more in line with how we see the player at the center of their experience. For free-to-play games, you will no longer need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play those games on Xbox. We are working hard to deliver this change as soon as possible in the coming months.

If you are an Xbox Live Gold member already, you stay at your current price for renewal. New and existing members can continue to enjoy Xbox Live Gold for the same prices they pay today. In the US, $9.99 for 1-month, $24.99 for 3-months, $39.99 for 6-months and $59.99 for retail 12-months.

Thank you.

Original Story:

Rumors have been circulating since yesterday that Microsoft were planning to increase the cost of Xbox Live Gold. As spotted by VGC, redeemable cards for 6-month memberships at $60 had been found, what amounted to a 50% increase on the original price of $40. Releasing a statement several hours ago, Microsoft have now formally confirmed this price increase is happening. 

The increase won't affect everyone, however, and it appears to mostly affect new subscribers, who now face yearly memberships of $120. Existing subscribers won't be affected, and Microsoft have outlined how this will work:

  • If you’re an existing online 12-month or 6-month Xbox Live Gold member, there’s no price change. If you choose to renew your membership, it will renew at the current price.

  • The price of a 1-month Gold membership is increasing $1 USD and the price of a 3-month membership is increasing $5 USD or the equivalent amount in your local market.

  • If you’d like to upgrade your Gold membership to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate your remaining Gold time will also convert directly to Ultimate (up to 36 months). For example, if you have 11 months of Xbox Live Gold now, and you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, those 11 months convert to 11 months of Ultimate at no additional cost.

Likely aware of the backlash this will bring, Microsoft are offering to convert Xbox Live Gold memberships to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost, up to 36 months. 

At the same time, they've also confirmed February's Games With Gold lineup will include five games as opposed to the usual four. Both make a welcome bonus here but seem unlikely to smooth things over in the long run with new adopters. We'll keep you posted on any further developments, so stay tuned to GameSkinny as this situation unfolds.

The Best Xbox RPGs You Can Play on Xbox Series X|S Mon, 28 Dec 2020 10:43:31 -0500 George Yang


Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2


This cowboy epic is some of the best storytelling to come out of games in recent memory. Red Dead Redemption 2 is hailed as one of the best games of the last generation, and through the Series X hardware, boasts some technical improvements including faster loading times.


In Red Dead Redemption 2, you follow the story of Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang. As the age of cowboys and the Wild West decline, Arthur must come to terms with where he's at in the world. The game explores themes such as mortality, friendship, and loyalty. It's a must play title for any gamer.


The first Red Dead Redemption on Xbox 360 is also playable on Series X|S through backwards compatibility as well! It's also important to note that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the first game, despite having the number 2 in the title.


Are there any other RPGs you think should be included in this list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!


Dead Space 1, 2, and 3


One of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, all three Dead Space games can be played on Xbox Series X|S through backwards compatibility. Not many other games match Dead Space's incredibly creepy atmosphere, frightening enemies, and fascinating lore.


As Isaac, you explore the futuristic 23rd century when Earth's natural resources have mostly dried up. When scientists discover an alien artifact called the Marker, they think that it could sustain Earth with unlimited energy. But little do they know, something more sinister is afoot.


The Dead Space series is absolutely fantastic, and it's a shame that there aren't any signs of a new entry coming at all. However, the three games are available to play and are regularly on sale for cheap.


BioShock: The Collection


Three fantastic games in one package, BioShock: The Collection offers some great first-person shooter combat with fantastic narratives to boot. BioShock 1 and 2 take place in the underwater city of Rapture, while BioShock Infinite's setting in the floating city of Columbia.


You can enjoy the BioShock series either through the remastered collection mentioned above, or if you have the original copies on Xbox 360, they are also playable on Xbox Series X|S through backwards compatibility.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition


This is one of the best open world games of all time, and it's basically on every modern platform available. As the Dragonborn, you are on your quest to destroy Alduin The World Eater. You can customize your own character and explore Skyrim. Enhance your skills, engage in combat, and take on quests throughout the world. Truly, the world is at your fingertips here.


In the off chance you haven't played Skyrim yet, it is available on Xbox Game Pass. Or maybe you want to go back to playing this game again. It's really that good.


Code Vein


This game is aptly described as "anime Dark Souls" and it's easy to see why. Code Vein's gameplay is inspired by it, and it's gritty atmosphere certainly reminds someone of the Dark Souls series.


However, it definitely has some things that make it stand out. Firstly, it has it's own anime aesthetic, complete with a more vampiric inspiration rather than a gothic look. Secondly, it's storytelling is much more in line with a typical JRPG, with exposition everywhere. Whereas in Dark Souls, the storytelling is much more environmental.


Either way, if you like anime and Dark Souls, give this a shot. Given that both categories have fans with specific tastes, Code Vein may not resonate with everyone, but with it recently being added to Game Pass, there's no harm in checking it out.


Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3


This is one of the best trilogies of all time. Spanning three games, Mass Effect provides an epic space-faring adventure to take down the Reapers, an ancient alien race that's bent on destroying all life in the universe.


As Commander Shepard, you'll recruit many different characters throughout the three games, and you'll come to love each and every one of them. Even starting from the first game, the choices you make have ramifications on playthroughs of Mass Effect 2 and 3.


The game has been approved through each subsequent title, and the cast of characters remain solid throughout. Luckily, all three titles are playable via backwards compatibility on modern Xbox consoles. Additionally, a remaster of the trilogy, called Mass Effect Legendary Edition, is scheduled to release in 2021. 


If you don't want to wait, the trilogy was also made available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers recently through Microsoft's partnership with EA Play. 


Blue Dragon


This is another one of Xbox 360's JRPG exclusives. Blue Dragon's art style is very reminiscent of Dragon Quest's, and offers similar turn-based gameplay. 


Blue Dragon follows Shu and his friends, Jiro, Kluke, Zola, and Marumaro. With the evil ruler Nene watching over the Gran Kingdom, it's up to Shu and his comrades to find a way to take him down.


Like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon is another great Japanese title that deserves another chance. Fans and newcomers can still enjoy the game on modern Xbox consoles through its fantastic backwards compatibility function.


Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection


Can Xbox's most iconic franchise be considered an RPG? Well, you certainly play the role of Master Chief, as he goes around shooting aliens. Spanning multiple entries, Halo is the definitive franchise that people think of when they think of Xbox, so it'd be remiss not to include it on this list.


Halo is a pioneer of first person-shooter gunplay on consoles, and it's memorable stories, characters, and multiplayer make it one of the most recognizable franchises in gaming history.


While Halo 5's story got a mixed reception, its multiplayer is still incredibly fun. If you're itching for the classic Halo games, they're available through Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The first four games, in addition to Reach and ODST, are included in this single package. Overall, there are seven incredible Halo titles available on Xbox Game Pass while we wait for the release of Halo Infinite in 2021.


Lost Odyssey


Speaking of JRPGs, the Xbox 360 had several exclusive ones, including the excellent Lost Odyssey. This turn-based game follows Kaim as he navigates the world going through a magical industrial revolution. There are several nations at war with each other, and Kaim's journey will have him crossing paths with many different characters that join him.


Lost Odyssey has been loved by many fans. While it looks like we won't be seeing a sequel to this game any time soon, it is playable on modern Xbox consoles through backwards compatibility.




Remedy's latest game is a mindbending, gravity-defying adventure. Take control of Jesse Faden as she explores the Oldest House in search of her brother and uncover its dark secrets within. Filled with paranormal creatures called the Hiss, Jesse must face them while using her abnormal powers such as telekinesis and levitation.


Control is certainly an interesting premise, and it's third-person combat is definitely fun as you go around picking up objects to throw at enemies. The lore is fascinating as well as you learn more about the Oldest House.


The regular version of Control is available on Xbox Game Pass. There are also two DLC story expansions: The Foundation and AWE. If you end up enjoying Control, definitely consider purchasing the extra content!


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice


One of the studios that Microsoft purchased back in 2018 was Ninja Theory, the team behind Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. The narrative revolves around Senua, and delves into themes like psychological horror and is a metaphor of psychosis. While the combat isn't anything to write home about, the dread filled atmosphere really sells the game.


And yes, you're seeing a PlayStation trailer on an Xbox article! This is most likely the first, last, and only time players will see Senua on a PlayStation platform.


Microsoft announced a sequel, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, back in 2019 for Xbox Series X|S. You can play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on Xbox Game Pass while waiting for the future sequel!


Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition


Let's be honest, Xbox hasn't really been known for Japanese games. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't any on the platform. Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition is one of the very few titles in the Tales series that is available on Xbox. You play as Yuri Lowell, who ventures out in the world of Terca Lumireis as he explores the world, gains new companions, and eventually saves the planet.


Tales of Vesperia was actually an Xbox 360 exclusive in the west back in 2008. An updated version of the game was released, but never made its way outside of Japan until it was ported to modern consoles in 2019.


This is a classic JRPG through and through. With its exciting real-time combat and fun cast of characters, Vesperia is a grand adventure. It's also available on Xbox Game Pass!


Gears 5


The latest entry in the fantastic Gears series, Gears 5 made some fresh changes to the formula by adding open world sections, as well as providing us with a new perspective and story focusing on Kat Diaz. The game is a complete package: smooth third person shooting gameplay, a fantastic narrative-driven campaign, and robust multiplayer modes.


Now, Gears 5 has received some additional single-player story content in the form of Hivebusters. The new Xbox hardware also boosts the game's framerates and visuals, and Hivebusters is a great way to get back into the title. As with all of Microsoft's first party titles, Gears 5 is available on Game Pass.


Fallout 3 & 4


Speaking of Bethesda, another one of its iconic franchises is Fallout. In Fallout 4, explore Boston, Massachusetts in a post-apocalyptic setting called "The Commonwealth", set 10 years after the events of Fallout 3.


You play as the "Sole Survivor" who has been frozen and asleep in Vault 111. You search for missing son after seeing your spouse killed, and The Commonwealth has many places for you to explore and quests to take on. You can manage settlements and craft items to help you along your journey.


Fallout 4 was available on Game Pass in the past, but has since left the subscription service. Hopefully, along with 2016's DOOM, Fallout 4 could also be added back sometime in the future. Fallout 3 is backwards compatible with modern Xbox consoles, so that's a great title to play as well.


DOOM Eternal/DOOM (2016)


Microsoft dropped the incredible news earlier this year that it would be acquiring Zenimax Media, which also includes developer Bethesda. The studio's biggest release this year, Doom Eternal, also launched on Xbox Game Pass only several months later.


Undoubtedly one of the most ambitious games of 2020, the sequel to 2016's DOOM is one hell of a time. Play as the Doomslayer as he rips through demonic hordes of enemies.


While the 2016 game left the Xbox Game Pass service a while ago, hopefully the new acquisition means that it could come back sometime in the future. If you've already played it, now is a great time to try it out on Microsoft's game subscription service.


Over the past few years, Microsoft has made Xbox the best place to play in terms of backwards compatibility. During the middle of last generation, Xbox put more effort into that initiative, allowing us to play new games while also being able to enjoy old favorites without always having to bring out an older console. Thus, many classic Xbox 360 and even original Xbox titles are playable on the new Xbox Series X|S.


Many of these games include RPGs, and with Microsoft's other programs such as Xbox Game Pass, you can enjoy many of them for a low monthly price. This is by no means a complete list, but these are 15 great RPGs you can play on Xbox.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Members Get Free Month of Disney+ Mon, 09 Nov 2020 19:10:48 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get to try 30 days of Disney+ for free starting now. Adam Harris, Xbox's Product Marketing Manager, said Disney+ on Game Pass is part of the Perks system, but the offer only lasts until January 31, 2021.

The Game Pass Disney+ trials is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Subscribers can find it by viewing the Perks Gallery either on the console or the Xbox App and then claim it from there.

After the 30-day period ends, the perk ends too. Disney+ remains available through the Microsoft store but at its usual price of $6.99 per month. Note too that after activating the trial, the subscription is set to renew automatically unless it's disabled.

Disney+ features a wealth of content, including classic Disney movies, Star Wars movies and shows, and Marvel films. The Game Pass Ultimate trial coincides with The Mandalorian's second season and also with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order heading to Game Pass with EA Play.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

Rainbow Six Siege Infiltrates Xbox Game Pass in October Mon, 19 Oct 2020 12:52:21 -0400 GS_Staff

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege may have launched way back in 2015, but it's enjoyed continued popularity over the past five years. A quick look at Steam Charts shows that average monthly players for the game on Valve's platform alone have mostly increased since late 2017. To date, the game has "more 60 million registered players" across all platforms.

Now Rainbow Six Siege is coming to Xbox Game Pass for console and Android on October 22. While Siege will be available to all Game Pass subscribers on console, only those who subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate will be able to play Siege on Android devices through xCloud. 

There's currently no word if Siege will make it to Game Pass on PC.

According to Microsoft, players will have to unlock some of the game's content, including operators and renown boosts, but a Game Pass sub softens the monetary blow just a bit.

You can use your membership discount to get up to 10% off in-game items – including the Year 5 pass to unlock new operators, renown boosts, and more.

Ultimately, there's quite a bit of content available in the base game  enough to get players started. There are 11 base maps, as well as five different modes to choose from, including solo modes, co op multiplayer modes, and PvP modes to take part in. 

If tactical shooters aren't your thing (but they probably are since you're here reading this), several other titles have already hit Game Pass in October, including Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition, Katana Zero, and Tales of Vesperia. More are coming on October 21 and October 22. You can see the full list of what's being added and removed here

[Source: Microsoft]

Everything Coming to and Leaving Game Pass in October 2020 Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:30:51 -0400 GS_Staff

Xbox Game Pass is consistently one of the best deals in gaming, and one that seems only to get better as time marches on. Now that we're almost halfway through October, Microsoft has shared all of the games coming to and leaving the service this month.

Some games will be coming to both console and PC, while others will only release on one or the other. One will be coming to Android.

Games Coming to Game Pass in October

Five games will release on October 15, one on October 21, and two on October 22. Per the Xbox Wire, here's what you can expect. 

October 15
  • Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition (PC) 
  • Heave Ho (PC) ID@Xbox
  • Katana Zero (Android, Console & PC) ID@Xbox
  • Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Console & PC) 
  • The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse (PC) 
October 21
  • ScourgeBringer (Console) ID@Xbox
October 22
  • Cricket 19 (Console)
  • Supraland (Console) ID@Xbox 

Games Leaving Game Pass in October

Five games will leave the subscription service on October 15. Six games will leave on October 30. Here's what's leaving. 

October 15
  • Felix the Reaper (Console & PC)  
  • Metro 2033 Redux (Console & PC)  
  • Minit (Console & PC) 
  • Saints Row IV Re-Elected (PC) 
  • State of Mind (PC) 
October 30
  • After Party (Console)
  • LEGO Star Wars III (Console)
  • Rise & Shine (Console)
  • Tacoma (Console & PC)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game (Console & PC) 
  • The Red Strings Club (PC)

On top of the additions above, Bethesda and id Software's Doom Eternal released for the console version of Game Pass on October 1. It will be coming to PC sometime later, though neither Microsoft nor Bethesda have said when as of this writing. 

With Age of Empires 3 invading the service, the entire remastered Age of Empires franchise is now on Game Pass (can we expect Age of Mythology any time soon?). Tales of Vesperia DE joins Dragon Quest XI S, Disgaea 4 Complete+, and Final Fantasy IX, among others, to round out a growing catalog of JRPG selections. And Katana Zero and Scourebringer add to a hefty collection of indies on the service. 

Game Pass is available in several packages. The console version of Game Pass costs $9.99 a month, while the PC version costs $4.99 a month. Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles the console version of the service with the PC version, as well as xCloud, costs a measly $14.99.

Doom Eternal Rips Onto Game Pass for Xbox in October Fri, 25 Sep 2020 19:01:08 -0400 GS_Staff

Following Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda last week, we knew that many of Bethesda's most popular titles would be making their way to Game Pass at some point. It just wasn't clear how soon that would begin to happen. 

Turns out, pretty quickly. 

Doom Eternal, which released earlier this year for PC, PS4, and Xbox One before jumping to Google Stadia, will be heading Game Pass for console on October 1. Bethesda says that the frenetic first-person shooter will be on Game Pass for PC sometime in 2020, though there's no firm date quite yet. 

The sequel to 2016's Doom has sold incredibly well, shifting "3 million digital units" in March, the month of its release, according to SuperData. 

In our review for Doom Eternal, David Jagneaux said: 

Doom Eternal absolutely delivers on all-fronts by blasting us with one of the most intense and satisfying single-player shooter campaigns in years.

Aside from Doom, there's no word on when other Bethesda games, such as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim will come to the service or, in the case of Fallout 4, return. Fallout 4 was removed from Game Pass in April.  

Currently, there are some other Bethesda developed and published titles on Microsoft's subscription service, including Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Fallout 76Rage 2, and Dishonored 2, all of which have been available for some time.

Bethesda recently revealed Doom Eternal's first DLC, called The Ancient Gods, at QuakeCon 2020. Part of the game's $29.99 season pass, The Ancient Gods will see Doomguy take on new demons in brand-new locations. For those not willing to plunk down the money for the season pass, The Ancient Gods will be available separately for $19.99. 

Bethesda has said that fans will not need to own Doom Eternal to play The Ancient Gods, though it does continue the storyline of the game. 

Stay tuned for more on Doom Eternal, The Ancient Gods, and Game Pass. If you're wondering how Microsoft's subscription service differs from the recently-announced PS Plus Collection for the PlayStation 5, we've got you covered here.  

Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Plus Collection: What is the Difference? Tue, 22 Sep 2020 13:05:10 -0400 Mark Delaney

We now know everything we need to know about the PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S as we head toward their exciting November launches. Prices have finally been revealed, specs were shared long ago, and launch lineups have been determined, barring a few last-minute moves. 

With the PlayStation Plus Collection revealed at Sony's most recent online showcase, some are wondering how the PS Plus Collection compares to Xbox Game Pass. For those answers, we break down everything they share in common as well as all the ways they're different.

Here's what you need to know about PS Plus Collection vs. Xbox Game Pass.

Are PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass Worth It?

Both the PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass are gaming libraries, but to really understand their value, it's best to start with how players can gain access to each of them.

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a $9.99 per month subscription on Xbox consoles or Windows PC that gives players what Microsoft advertises as "over 100 games" to play for as long as they subscribe to the service.

There's also Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a $14.99 per month version of Game Pass that bundles Xbox Game Pass for console, PC, and Android devices via the cloud, Xbox Live Gold, and EA Play (EA's own subscription service).

It's worth noting that for many consecutive months and still to this day, the Xbox Game Pass library actually includes more than 200 games with over 150 of those now available on phones and tablets via xCloud

The library of games is ever-shifting, with games coming and going at a pace of at least every few weeks. But normally, when a game hits the Game Pass library, it remains there for at least several months and often over a year. You can find the full list of current Game Pass titles on

Game Pass also includes many indie games, as well as every Microsoft first-party game on their launch days for no additional fee. This includes upcoming games such as Fable, State of Decay 3, Halo Infinite, and Gears Tactics among many more.

What is PS Plus Collection?

Unlike Game Pass, which first arrived in 2017, the PS Plus Collection is a new incentive program offered at the launch of the PS5 this November for all PS Plus subscribers.

Sony has bundled 18 of the PS4's most critically acclaimed games, including The Last of Us Remastered, Persona 5, and Batman Arkham Knight, into a single package available for PS5 players who subscribe to PS Plus, Sony's equivalent to Xbox Live Gold. PS Plus is available for subscription at $9.99 per month.

The PS Plus Collection differs from Xbox Game Pass considerably, but above all, it's a difference in volume. While most avid PlayStation players and virtually all those buying a PS5 at launch will already be PS Plus subscribers, making it a seamless collection to claim with your PS5, the library of games is limited to only 18 games, at least for now.

Sony has not clarified whether the PS Plus Collection will grow over time or if it's meant only to reward early adopters with backwards compatible games to play when the PS5 arrives this holiday season. 

It seems more likely that PlayStation will continue to grow its PS Now subscription service rather than the PS Plus Collection, as PS Now is their Game Pass analog. However, until Sony confirms one way or the other, this is honestly our best guess. For now, here's every game included in the PS Plus Collection.

PS Plus Collection games list
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Bloodborne
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • God of War
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Until Dawn

PlayStation has promised that 99% of PS4 games it's tested for backwards compatibility have worked without a hitch, so these titles are just some of the most exceptional PS4-era games players will have access to when the PS5 arrives. 

Though it contains a dozen PS4 games, the PS Plus Collection is a PS5 program, so these games won't be available to PS4 owners. Think of it as an instant grab bag of great games to play day one on PS5 alongside other new titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls, Godfall, and Destruction All-Stars.

How long will the PS Plus Collection be available? 

We're still waiting to learn more details about the PS Plus Collection such as how long it will be offered, but for now, it's understood that anyone who is getting a PS5 at launch who also has an active PS Plus subscription will unlock these 18 games for play digitally.

How much is the PS Plus Collection? 

The PS Plus Collection is free for PlayStation Plus Subscribers. As noted above, PlayStation Plus costs $9.99 a month, though there are discounts for subscribing to more than one month at a time, as there are with many other subscription services. There is also a 14-day free trial for new subscribers.

Here are the packages available:

  • 1 month: $9.99
  • 3 months: $24.99
  • 12 months: $59.99

If you're getting a PS5 on launch day, it's extremely likely you already have a PS Plus subscription, and therefore it costs you nothing extra to enjoy this collection, making its value obvious even if you've played many or most of these games already. And if you're new to the subscription, it may be that you've played few or none of these games, thus making it an even more attractive offer.

Simply put, it's worth it in either case. Having said that, it's also quite obvious that it doesn't really hold a candle to Xbox Game Pass. 18 games versus 200+ just can't reasonably be compared, plus if you factor in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's many other perks, such as cloud gaming on mobile, EA Play subscription, and more, it becomes a better deal.

Consider third-party "Perks" such as free trials to Discord Nitro, Spotify Premium, and Postmates Unlimited, and Game Pass is the far-and-away industry leader in gaming subscription services.

That's a trend we expect to continue into the next generation. In fact, we're writing this story just hours after Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, and all its properties and IP, including eight more studios. The likes of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein are now under the Microsoft umbrella and will also come to Game Pass at their respective launches.

PS Now will look to grow too, in order to one day keep pace with Game Pass, but for now both the PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass offer great values for what they are, even if the differences make them pretty lopsided for anyone on the fence.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is Coming to Xbox Game Pass Wed, 14 Nov 2018 09:55:17 -0500 William R. Parks

Fans of turn-based tactics delight -- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a tactical adventure game that our writers have described as a cross between Fallout and X-COM, is coming to Xbox Game Pass on December 4.

Mutant Year Zero is based on a Swedish tabletop RPG that goes back to 1984. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the Earth, players will assume the role of mutants (who have supplanted humans as the dominate biped). "A duck with an attitude problem" or "a boar with anger issues," Mutant Year Zero will offer players the chance to meet a cast of off-kilter characters as they explore this new world -- one filled with the ruins of human civilization.

At the center of Mutant Year Zero is a "tactical combat system inspired by the X-COM games." However, this game has its own unique approach, allowing players to explore (and use stealth) in real-time. This real-time aspect shirks the traditions established by most tactics games of the past and will hopefully serve to give Mutant Year Zero some added depth of play.

While we have been expecting a December 4 release of Mutant Year Zero on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, the addition of the game to Xbox Game Pass is an exciting new development. Last month, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption was released through Game Pass, and Mutant Year Zero looks to be another promising indie for subscribers to be excited about.

Along with this announcement, the game's publisher has also shared a new video that showcases the game's stealth and tactical combat systems in a never-before-seen area.

We are looking forward to Mutant Year Zero here at GameSkinny, and the developers are keeping us excited with these new details. If you are also in the market for mutant-helmed tactics, pre-orders of the PC version grant access to the game three days before release, and those that spring for the Deluxe Edition will get immediate access to a Beta version featuring the first hours of the game.

Stay tuned for more news on Mutant Year Zero as it develops.

5 Reasons Why Sea of Thieves Will Be A Huge Success Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:53:33 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

Sea of Thieves is due to come out in March, and after a successful closed beta, most people are excited for it. Microsoft needs Sea of Thieves to succeed for them, and as of right now, it looks like it will, in fact, be a success. Let's take a closer look at the different factors that are helping to position Sea of Thieves to be the best game it can be.


Microsoft doesn't have as large a pool of exclusive games as Sony does, and that makes a difference when people decide what platform they use to play games. Fortunately, Microsoft and Phil Spencer have been making several good decisions in a row to benefit gamers. After the cancellation of titles like Scalebound and Fable, Microsoft redoubled their efforts to bring new first-party titles to Xbox and PC. Titles like Gears of War, Halo, and Forza have kept Microsoft afloat long enough to obtain new exclusives that include PUBG, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Sea of Thieves.

In addition to refocusing on more first-party content, Microsoft has doubled down by promising to provide these titles via Game Pass on day one for free. This is huge for a game like Sea of Thieves, which might not have enough pull to bring in an audience of its own. Sea of Thieves can expect a much bigger player base at its beginning, which will ensure a stronger community, which is essential to multiplayer games. The larger player base will almost certainly lead to more financial success for the game, as more people without Game Pass will either opt-in to Game Pass to try it or buy the game in full to join their friends already playing the game.

Sea of Thieves should be a big hit on Game Pass

Microsoft has also done a nice job of providing players with the Looking For Group feature so players can find other people to play games with.

Pirates and Whimsy!

There have been a surprisingly low number of pirate-themed video games that have come out compared to other subjects, like ninjas or mechs, for example. There are even fewer successful pirate games that have made their mark. I want to quickly mention four that stand out:

All four of these games are about pirates, and they did something that made them a success. These titles captured a different aspect of pirates that people find so whimsical. Sid Meier's Pirates! brought a complete pirate experience, from navigating waters  to sword fighting. Its open nature provided players with multiple ways to play the game, and Sea of Thieves is no different, giving players the freedom to go where they please. Sea of Thieves improves on this formula with its riddle-based treasure hunting that doesn't simply give players a waypoint to go to. The fun is in the journey, not necessarily the destination, and Sea of Thieves nailed that part of the experience. 

If we look at LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and the movie franchise itself, we come away adoring the silliness of pirates. Sea of Thieves is a tremendously silly game. Coordinating with friends to make sure your ship doesn't sink is an endeavor sure to bring about laughs. If that's not enough, the ability to load yourself into a cannon further adds to the fun.

Black Flag made waves (excuse the bad pun) when it came out in 2013. While treasure hunting (which I think Sea of Thieves refines) was fun and ship combat was cool, people remember the sea shanties more than anything else about the game. Now in Sea of Thieves, everybody has a musical instrument in their inventory so they can sing and dance with their friends! Black Flag also had a ton of customization options, which Sea of Thieves should take note of going forward. It'd be a ton of fun to customize our boats and pirates like we could in Black Flag.

Puzzle Pirates is THE pirate game in my opinion, unless Sea of Thieves can prove me wrong. It offered players the opportunity to run their own ships, be part of a crew, run different shops on their own islands, go on raids against sea monsters, and even engage in massive PVP ship battles. It had a fantastic community and great support from the developers. If Rare follows the Puzzle Pirates example and truly makes their game open world, where players can do almost anything they can think of as pirates, then Sea of Thieves will be set for a rewarding multiplayer experience.


If you gave the Sea of Thieves Beta a shot, you'll have noticed that the game is beautiful. The cartoonish look of the game is pleasing to look at -- especially the water. It's the best water I've ever seen in a game, which is really important for a game about pirates. Any game that draws your attention is much more likely to bring people into it, and every bit of polish that helps make a game stand out graphically certainly helps.

Co-op Gameplay

From navigating with your compass and physically pulling down the sails to patching holes and dumping out water with a bucket, Sea of Thieves wants you to work with other players. Sure, you can head out in a tiny ship on your own, but the cooperative experience the game offers makes it shine. Like Overcooked, the chaotic and silly nature of working with others will make this game stand out against its competitors. YouTubers and other content creators swarmed to play this game on their channels during the beta. Games with the support of these influencers often have much longer lifespans. Garry's Mod and Minecraft probably wouldn't have the success they do if people didn't continue to make content about them. As long as Sea of Thieves keeps entertaining via YouTube -- in addition to its own gameplay -- it will have a consistent stream of people checking it out.

The Unknown

There's supposedly a lot of content we did not get to see during the closed beta for Sea of Thieves. If there is one thing the game needs, it is more content, and hopefully we'll get a lot more of it upon release. If players are able to reach some kind of end game or obtain cool new weapons, ships, and even cool cosmetics, the game will further its chances at success. The gameplay of this title feels solid, so the only thing that will limit it is what players can or can't do. This unknown part of the game, if properly handled, should help build hype for the game and ultimately lead to more sales.


It is with all these different things in mind that we go into Sea of Thieves. So grab a friend, old or new, drink some grog, and set sail! Treasure and adventure are on the horizon, and it's up to us to get there!

Sea of Thieves is expected to come out on Xbox One, Game Pass, and PC March 20th, 2018.