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Is Xbox Game Pass Worth It? A Review of Microsoft’s Game Service

Gaming nowadays can be a very expensive hobby. And with the upcoming release of the next generation of consoles, games are said to increase in price. With numerous games coming out each year, costs can add up quickly. But what if there was a service that could give you access to a size-able catalog of games for a low monthly price? 

Enter Xbox Game Pass. This service was created by Microsoft that makes the Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and the upcoming Series X and Series S console and games more accessible for gamers. But as good as this sounds, is Xbox Game Pass worth it? 

In this post, I’ll go over what the service is, how it differs from the flagship tier Game Pass Ultimate and more. Let’s dive in!

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Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s monthly subscription service for Xbox, dubbed “The Netflix of gaming” that gives access to a huge library of first party Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games as well as third party games from publishers for a monthly fee of $10. Not only is Game Pass available for Xbox, but it’s also available for PC with its own library of games. 

As a subscriber, You’re able to download multiple games to your console or PC to play as long as you remain a subscriber rather than paying for each game at full price.

What Is the Difference Between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

The Difference between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is that Game Pass Ultimate takes the features of the regular Game Pass subscription and lumps it with Microsoft’s online subscription program Xbox Live Gold. 

On top of that, this membership also grants you access to the PC subscription really making this the ultimate membership. In addition to the benefits that come with each subscription, you have the ability to buy any game played through Game Pass at a 10% discount.

What Games Can I Play On Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass has a wide variety of games ranging from indie games, to fighting games from the original Xbox all the way up to Xbox One. So first party games such as Halo and Gears of War from Microsoft as well as third party games like The Walking Dead: The TellTale Series and Outer Worlds are playable. Microsoft is constantly adding new games to this service, however, for every game they add, they also remove games. 

A bonus of using Game Pass is that all first party games from Microsoft are permanently on the services and any future first party titles that are released on the system will be available on day one for subscribers. Every month, Microsoft is changing up the lineup of their library, so if you’re interested in keeping up with the list of Xbox or PC Game Pass games, check out the Xbox Game Pass list of games on the official website.

If I Cancel My Subscription Do I Still Have Access to the Games?

Members of Xbox Game Pass have access to content as long as they maintain a subscription. Once you cancel your subscription or you let your subscription lapse, all the games you downloaded as well as access to the library will no longer be available. 

Any DLC content that you may buy from the Microsoft Store will still be yours but will not be active until you either buy the respective game or access the game through an active Game Pass subscription.

The Game Pass Interface

From my experience of using the Game Pass menu, overall, it seems intuitive, although my first time using the menu, was a bit confusing to navigate which is a bit of a negative when it comes to the overall UI of Xbox. 

When you open up the Game Pass menu, you’ll find some games recently added to the library. As you move down you’ll find the most popular section which really just shows 3 popular games and an option to show all the games available on Game Pass.

Halfway down the menu, you’re greeted with the Game Pass quests section which is an interesting feature that kind of helps make Game Pass a bit more engaging by giving you daily quests as well as weekly and monthly quests to achieve or gain points towards redeeming Microsoft points.

The list is pretty much section after section that gives you more choices as well as options to check out the library.This leads to the last section of the Game Pass menu which is a list of suggested games you may want to play, organized by genre.  

The Xbox Game Pass Smartphone App

An awesome thing, when you buy a subscription, is access to the Game Pass app available on both iOS and Android devices. Inside the app, you can track the games you are currently playing as well as games you plan to play later. 

Also you can take a look at games recently added to the service, games that are leaving the service, search games by genre, the complete list of available games, and track active, daily, weekly, and monthly quests. 

I thought the app was easy to navigate and the quest tracking a fun and engaging experience. One of my favorite things to do is browse the list of games, find a game I want to play next, click the product page, and hit the install button. 

While the app works on both smartphones, Android users, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users specifically, can stream games to their smartphone via the cloud. 

Game Pass Device Compatibility

The following devices are compatible with Game Pass:

  • Xbox One X
  • Xbox One S
  • Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series S
  • Windows 10 PC

Xbox Game Pass Pricing Comparison

Let’s go over pricing. 

The standard tier of Game Pass for consoles costs $9.99 a month. The PC version used to cost about $5 a month but recently Microsoft doubled the price of the PC subscription cost to $9.99. 

The Ultimate service costs $14.99 a month, a $5 savings over buying the Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions separately. Over time, you could save up to $60 a year which is the price of a full price game. 

While you can purchase monthly subscriptions from the Microsoft website and through your console, you can also purchase 1, 3, 6, and 12 month digital subscriptions from places like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other online retailer stores. 

If you’re on the fence about trying the service, new members can sign up for a month of Game Pass Ultimate for $1. This is not only a great way to test out the service, but you can also test out Xbox Live Gold for a month as well. 

Can I get Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S?

With the next generation of Xbox consoles releasing November 10, 2020, some of you may be wondering if Game Pass will be available. Fortunately, Game Pass will be available for the upcoming consoles and will work the same way to avoid any sort of confusion. 

This is a major positive considering the potential cost of games increasing with this new generation. Access to the Game Pass service will help guarantee gamers will have something to play along with the limited lineup of new Xbox games released with the console.

This proves especially beneficial if you’re on a budget. You can buy an Xbox Series S and bundle it with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and have over 100 games to play and have access to online multiplayer with Xbox Live Gold. 

Is Xbox Game Pass Worth It?

Xbox Game Pass is an online subscription service that grants you access to a variety of games and genres for a monthly price. With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get the benefit of the regular tier as well as access to Xbox Live Gold. 

So, is Game Pass worth it? In short, as a service, yes! It’s totally worth it. If you’re looking to play a bunch of games without having to fork over $60-$70 for each game, you should get this service.

I’d recommend Game Pass Ultimate as the overall better value if you are looking to save money on buying games to play both on and offline. Not only will you save about $60 over the course of a year, but you’ll potentially be saving even more by not buying every single first party game that comes out for Xbox. 

This makes gaming on an Xbox console extremely affordable while being able to continue an already expensive hobby. 

However, if you’re a gamer that prefers a more single-player offline experience the base tier of Game Pass will work just fine.