×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Xbox Game Pass Games That Will Blow You Away In 2023

Xbox Game Pass remains one of the best deals in gaming, giving players access to an ever-growing library of great games for a low monthly price. Third party titles and indie gems are more than enough, but the fact that newly released Xbox exclusives hit the service on launch day feels like a dream come true.

There are many games that will blow players away in 2023, and many of them have already been confirmed as Game Pass additions in the coming year. While many release dates are up in the air, knowing that Game Pass will continue to grow is cause for excitement. And even during periods when Xbox isn't releasing a ton of exclusives, there is plenty of content to go through!

Whether consumers are into racing games, fighters, or hardcore action titles, Game Pass offers a wide selection for all kinds of gamers when they sign up. Here are the Game Pass titles we're most looking forward to this year.

Persona 3 Portable & Persona 4 Golden

Outside of "Persona 4 Arena," Xbox has had little to do with the beloved JRPG series. But with the arrival of "Persona 5 Royal" — and soon "Persona 3 and 4" — the console is getting its fair share of the "Shin Megami Tensei" spinoff series. Not only have the mainline games been announced as getting Xbox ports, but they will also be joining Game Pass. "Persona 5 Royal" has been on the platform since October 2022, but 2023 is looking to be a real game-changer with its predecessors following suit. 

Although the fifth entry is arguably the most modern-feeling "Persona" game, "Persona 3" and "4" offer unique settings and soundtracks. "Persona 3" is infamous for its hip hop-oriented music, whereas "Persona 4" opts for more pop influences. They also contain wildly different stories, with "Persona 3" incorporating dreamlike supernatural elements and "Persona 4" feeling a bit more like a murder mystery.

It's important to note the specific versions of these games being added to Game Pass, too. "Persona 3 Portable" is a more trimmed-down version of "Persona 3," but it also adds a female protagonist. Meanwhile, "Persona 4 Golden" is an expanded version of the original game, adding additional confidants, dungeons, and quality of life changes throughout.

  • Release Date: January 19, 2023
  • Genre: JRPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Monster Hunter Rise

"Monster Hunter Rise" was initially a Nintendo Switch exclusive. A PC port was released in 2022 and now the game is headed to Xbox in 2023. It's a good thing, too, because this is a port that has it all, including new performance modes, voice chat, and 3D audio. "Monster Hunter Rise" was a bit more limited on the Switch in comparison, but the newer versions feel almost like a whole new game!

On its own merits, "Rise" is a fantastic iteration on the tried and true "Monster Hunter" formula. Combat and exploration are elevated with the inclusion of the Wirebug, a tool that acts as a multi-use grappling hook. Mounts allow players to ride up walls and get to hunts much faster, cutting out some of the long stretches without action. 

"Monster Hunter Rise" is all about refining what worked before, while the many quality of life changes made to the port mean that Xbox players will find a much tighter experience than the original release. It's a perfect place to start with the "Monster Hunter" series.

  • Release Date: January 20, 2023
  • Genre: Action-adventure, Role-playing
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Atomic Heart

Continuing the trend of new indies coming to Game Pass is "Atomic Heart," one of the zanier-looking games coming in 2023. Seemingly inspired by FPS giants such as "BioShock," "Atomic Heart" takes place in a pseudo-futuristic version of the 1950s. In this alternate history, the Soviet Union has been elevated in status through its technological innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence. Developer Mundfish claimed to GamingBolt that the original concept for the game has been in some form of development for years, and "Atomic Heart" looks to meet expectations after a long production schedule.

A large variety of weapons and robotic enemies have been seen in the many trailers for "Atomic Heart," as well as supernatural abilities including electric and telekinetic powers. The main character can wield makeshift melee weapons and a number of guns to obliterate cybernetic opponents.

According to Mundfish, "Atomic Heart" lends itself to deeper strategies than running and shooting, and gamers can try out multiple playstyles. The game aims for a 20-hour long campaign with an immersive open world, meaning "Atomic Heart" should give Game Pass players their money's worth.

  • Release Date: February 21, 2023
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

From the producers of "Nioh" and "Bloodborne" comes a brand new Souls-like experience, but instead of taking place in 1600s Japan or the Gothic city of Yharnam, "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is set in 184 AD China. Much like "Nioh," it seems "Wo Long" will combine historical influences with the supernatural, resulting in fast-paced combat and engrossing storytelling.

It wouldn't be a Souls-like game without epic enemy encounters, of course. In the action-packed trailer for "Wo Long," a gorilla-like creature attacks the player character with acrobatic flips and dropkicks, then drags them around the arena and mauls them. Not to be outdone, the footage then transitions to the player character's formidable moveset as they unleash flurry attacks while dual-wielding swords. Additional abilities include a "death from above" stab and an impressive parry.

Koei Tecmo is a company that pretty much always delivers on combat-centered games, so there's little doubt that "Wo Long" will hit its mark. A limited time demo was released back in September 2023, but Game Pass subscribers who missed out will be able to play the full game on release day in March. 

  • Release Date: March 3, 2023
  • Genre: Action
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Guilty Gear -Strive-

Sure, new games steal the show when it comes to Game Pass, but getting ports of great existing games added to the lineup is also a treat. "Guilty Gear -Strive-" released on PC and PlayStation back in 2021 and was easily one of the best fighting games of that year. The anime-styled fighter was praised for its stunning art, smooth online matches, and revamped gameplay. And now, Xbox players will be able to hop in at the best possible time for the game.

"Strive" received a patch in December that added the long-awaited option of cross-play, meaning Xbox players will be able to link up with PlayStation and PC gamers. Cross-play increases the community size and player-base, so when the Arc System Works fighter eventually releases on Game Pass, there will be more players than ever!

Content is still going strong for "Guilty Gear -Strive-," too. Each new season pass packs in more characters and stages and costs players $24.99, but the beauty of Game Pass is trying out the game and deciding if buying the extra content is worth it. Regardless, "Strive" is a must-play fighting game for subscribers.

  • Release Date: Spring 2023
  • Genre: Fighting game
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Starfield

To say "Starfield" is highly anticipated is an understatement, since Bethesda's last major single-player RPGs were "Fallout 4" back in 2015 and "Skyrim" in 2011. This upcoming sci-fi epic is slated for 2023 and set to blow players' minds. "Starfield" was initially trademarked in 2013 and officially announced in 2018, so folks have been waiting. Though the development timeline has been a lengthy one, "Starfield" did finally unveil gameplay in 2022, showing players a taste of what to expect.

The aforementioned gameplay reveal showed off exciting features like an environmental scanner, mineral mining, and outpost creation, as well as first-person and third-person viewing modes. During the presentation, game director Todd Howard spoke at length on player choice and decision-making, revealing that the game's character creation options aren't just about "how your character can look, but how your character plays and develops."

Howard also spoke with IGN and discussed the ways in which "Starfield" would differ from "No Man's Sky." For one thing, there won't be seamless travel between space and planetary exploration. Instead, Howard claimed that "Starfield" will be more streamlined and allow players to jump right to the exciting stuff.

  • Release Date: Sept. 6, 2023
  • Genre: Action, RPG
  • Game Modes: Single-player

GoldenEye

The return of "GoldenEye" was a huge shock. Originally shown off during a Nintendo Direct, "GoldenEye" was reported to be coming to Nintendo Switch Online, and Xbox Game Pass. The Nintendo 64 classic is finally back on consoles, this time without the original wonky N64 controls. "GoldenEye" is widely regarded as one of the best shooters of all time due to its tight mission structure and innovative multiplayer, and now it's coming to a whole new generation.

The new port was detailed in an excited post from Xbox Wire, in which Rare studio head Craig Duncan hyped up the return of the classic campaign, split-screen mode, and even the original cheats. In other words, this port brings the original game to Xbox, completely intact. In an odd move, however, online play is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of "GoldenEye." Still, that shouldn't deter too many fans from diving into the game. 

What comes as a nice consolation, however, is that those who bought the compilation title "Rare Replay" will receive "GoldenEye" for free. "Rare Replay" is also available on Game Pass, so fans of the developer are truly in luck. Although online multiplayer is absent, the N64 James Bond game is famous for its local modes, which will receive a facelift with 16:9 resolution and 4K options.

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Metroidvanias have become commonplace in the indie space, and thank goodness for that. The genre is constantly innovating and bringing forth solid experiences for players. "Hollow Knight" contained rich lore and game design that made fans fall in love with it back in 2017. Team Cherry has been hard at work on the follow-up for a few years, and it looks like players will finally get "Hollow Knight: Silksong" in 2023.

Despite looking rather similar to the first, "Silksong" has many changes from "Hollow Knight," including the use of former enemy Hornet as the main character. She is bigger and faster than the Knight from the previous game, resulting in some fun new acrobatic movements. In the first trailer for the game, Hornet utilizes an air slash that increases momentum, which opens up all kinds of traversal possibilities.

One of the more recent updates arrived via an Xbox trailer, which detailed a day one Game Pass release. Aside from the Game Pass announcement, players also get quick looks at new elements, like Hornet's impressive drill move. "Silksong" is shaping up to be an even bigger undertaking than "Hollow Knight," making Game Pass all the more essential for side-scrolling aficionados.   

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: Side-scroller, Metroidvania
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Redfall

"Redfall" is a new co-op FPS from Arkane, the studio behind "Dishonored," and it looks to cram tons of vampires and action into its open world. What sets "Redfall" apart is that its campaign can be enjoyed in single-player or multiplayer sessions. Arkane's Harvey Smith explained to IGN that solo play is the standard mode, but co-op in "Redfall" is fast-paced and offers more of a challenge. Players can choose from four different characters to make their way through this vampire-ridden world.

A Halloween trailer has offered some exciting glimpses at the shooting mechanics. Vampires will often get up close and personal, meaning players must shake them off and quickly shoot them down. A few of the varied environments were also shown off, including eerie homesteads and vibrant amusement parks.

For some players, a minus against the game is that it will be one of the first Xbox Series X games to receive a price hike, along with "Forza Motorsport" and "Starfield." But for Game Pass members, it's just another regular release for the platform. 

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Age of Empires 4

Two "Age of Empires" games are actually coming to Xbox Game Pass, with both "Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition" and "Age of Empires 4" arriving in 2023. It's a long time coming, and the trailer for both games makes that abundantly clear, highlighting the countless comments asking for the series to come to Xbox. The dream is now a reality, and "Age of Empires 4" is the best place to dive in.

As the fourth entry, "Age of Empires 4" had a lot of expectations to meet, and it impressed critics with its streamlined design and revival of classic series elements. The game features a number of civilizations and historical figures, from Genghis Khan to Ivan the Terrible, all of which engage the player in different types of warfare.

"Age of Empires 4" launched with four different single-player campaigns, each of which take place in different points of history and offer a variety of perspectives. Die hard Xbox gamers can finally find out why this series is so beloved by RTS fans.

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: Real-time strategy
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

"Warhammer 40,000: Darktide" came out for PC on November 30, 2022. It gained positive reception, but received some criticism for feeling unfinished. Digital Foundry concluded that it's visually impressive, but the game's occasional crashes and graphical issues would need sorting out. The Xbox version has been delayed, so its eventual release could serve to be the polished product fans are looking for.

The co-op first-person shooter contains four classes: Skullbreaker, Preacher, Psykinetic, and Sharpshooter. Each is equipped with their own playstyle like the Sharpshooter's high-volume fire power and Skullbreaker's tank-like combat. Talent trees increase the complexity, and stat boosts to cooldowns and melee combat are unlocked as players level up.

Overall gameplay has been well-received, with PC Gamer noting the combat is better than "Warhammer: Vermintide 2," even with a lack of crafting abilities. "Darktide" is all about customizing and outfitting characters, shaping everything from their appearance to their backstory in between all the action. It's already a decent outing for "Warhammer" fans, but hopefully the game will be in a more finished state by the time it hits Game Pass.

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Minecraft Legends

Microsoft bought "Minecraft" and Mojang Studios back in 2014, and the acquisition has definitely paid off. "Minecraft" is still going strong to this day, with even its spinoffs becoming big hits. The brand has seen variations of dungeon-crawling and ARG games, while "Minecraft Legends" delves into the strategy genre.

The big hook to "Minecraft" is uniting with past "Minecraft" enemies to defeat piglins. Though players may be thrown off by allying with creepers and skeletons, these bonds are crucial for battles. But there's even more to it than RTS combat. In the title's announcement trailer, players also learned that the game will offer plenty of the exploration and construction fans love about "Minecraft."

During Gamescom 2022, Mojang Studios explained the development timeline and what it took to even begin production on this massive title. One big challenge was finding the right developers to create the game, since Mojang doesn't have experience with making strategy titles. Eventually, Blackbird Interactive was hired to create "Minecraft Legends" and give fans a truly unique adventure in the "Minecraft" mold.

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Forza Motorsport

"Gran Turismo" and "Need for Speed" both saw a resurgence in 2022, and now "Forza" is mounting a comeback. Although the series has arguably become more associated with the "Forza Horizon" spinoff series in recent years, "Forza" has first and foremost been a racing simulator. As technology has improved over the years, the team at Turn 10 is promising the new "Forza Motorsport" will be "the most technically advanced racing game ever made."

In an impressive demonstration, Team 10 unveiled a first look at the game. Dynamic weather was featured prominently, as well as how race tracks can change over time. For instance, during the day, typical branded tents fill the screen — but at night, they are replaced by amusement park rides and fireworks. The game will also feature raytracing, meaning the game's lighting and reflections will make vehicles pop like never before. Meanwhile, extra attention has been paid to the damage taken during races, with the team focusing on the smallest scratches and dents of a car to produce realistic effects. 

Microsoft and Team 10 have yet to go into gameplay specifics, but from what has been seen in its tech demo, fans can be sure this title will certainly look great.

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: Racing simulation
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Ark 2

That's right, this is the game with Vin Diesel in it. "Ark: Survival Evolved" was already one of the most played games on Game Pass for a time (per GamesIndustry.biz), delivering addictive survival gameplay in solo sessions and PVP servers. Now, nearly a decade after its release, a full-fledged sequel to "Ark" is on its way.

"Ark 2" was revealed in a trailer during The Game Awards back in 2020. No gameplay was displayed, but it turned the heads with its high production value and starring role for Vin Diesel, who is apparently heavily involved in crafting the game's story and coinciding animated series. 

There aren't a ton of details about "Ark 2" but a developer interview has hinted at what's to come, including improved visuals and the aim to deliver a "film-level" product. Studio Wildcard is already hyping this game up as "the definitive next-gen survival experience," so this is definitely one that Game Pass subscribers will want to check out on day one. 

  • Release Date: TBA 2023
  • Genre: Survival, Action
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Recommended