The full list of 36 games for Xbox Live Gold’s replacement, Game Pass Core, has been revealed a day ahead of its launch. And they’re…they’re really good.
18 years of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold comes to an end tomorrow, September 14, when it will be taken out behind the company’s Redmond, Washington headquarters and shot dead. An anachronistic hangover of the pre-Game Pass era, Gold and its Games with Gold monthly downloads have recently been limping into obscurity, and at this point it’s a kindness to let it go. In its place will arrive the bouncing new-born puppy, Game Pass Core.
Core, essentially an equivalent to Sony’s PlayStation Plus Essential service, is to be the budget incarnation of Game Pass, lacking access to the service’s full library of hundreds of games, but instead offering a curated selection of 36 titles, along with the somehow still toll-gated access to online gaming. But here’s the thing: they’re 36 really decent games.
We previously learned what 25 of the games would be, but Microsoft kept Goldmembers waiting until the last second to learn the full details of what their accounts would be converting to. Stand-out new titles include Stardew Valley, Vampire Survivors, Among Us, Firewatch, and Dead Cells. Joining the likes of AAA titles such as Dishonored 2, Doom Eternal, and Forza Horizon 4, it’s an eclectic collection that really doesn’t feel like the pile of leftovers a cynical person might have expected. (Hello.)
Core will be priced the same as Gold, at $10 a month, and current customers will be automagically converted over. It’s a confusing price-point, given the fuller version of Game Pass is just a dollar more, and includes all the same games plus literally hundreds more. However, you can also pick up a full year’s worth of Core for $60, which would halve the price, while no such discounts appear to exist for the higher tiers. And honestly, as much as I’d love to gripe, $60 for 36 properly good games is rather good. Meanwhile, Game Pass Ultimate recently upped its price a couple of bucks a month to $16.99.
The catch is, games will only be added to Core two or three times a year, rather than Gold’s system of offering two different games each month. However, as we mentioned, it’s a fine list of games. Here’s the lot:
- Among Us
- Dead Cells
- Dishonored 2
- Doom Eternal Standard Edition
- Fable Anniversary
- Fallout 4
- Fallout 76
- Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition
- Gang Beasts
- Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition
- Golf with your Friends
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars 2
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Human Fall Flat
- Ori & the Will of the Wisps
- Overcooked! 2
- Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
- Powerwash Simulator
- Psychonauts 2
- Slay the Spire
- Spiritfarer: Farewell Edition
- Stardew Valley
- State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
- Vampire Survivors
Keen games players will likely have already picked up most of these that interest them in the last couple of years, but then this service really isn’t aimed at you. Think of Core as the version of Game Pass you get your aunt when you buy her her first console, a taster menu of the possibilities of gaming. Heck, just Powerwash Simulator and Fallout 4 would keep most people’s evenings busy for the first year.
Meanwhile, it still sucks beyond comprehension that consoles are still somehow charging monthly tithes for online access. Over at PC Land, it’s all free!