5 must-play Xbox GamePass titles you might have missed – all gaming greats

Load up these gems now

Phoenix Point
(Image credit: Snapshot Games)

It's no secret that Xbox Game Pass is one of the best deals in gaming. It gives you access to hundreds of top titles on PC and Xbox for one subscription fee. What's more, if you subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate you also get access to the pick of titles on EA Play and cloud gaming, to skip those pesky downloads. 

There are some big-name titles on the service from franchises like Forza, Halo, Far Cry and Fallout, but if you only stick to these big series, you'll be missing out. Here are 5 games on Xbox Game Pass you should be playing but may have missed out on. 

1. Cassette Beasts

Now I'm a big lover of the Pokémon games, but we've seen a few new names in the monster catching genre appear recently. Of course Palworld has been one of the biggest successes of 2024, and is also on Game Pass, but a few months before that a truer Pokemon successor arrived. 

Cassette Beasts is a love letter to the early days of Pokémon. Boasting gorgeous pixel art and classic turn based battling. There are a wide range of monsters to collect, not with balls but by making a copy of them on your magic cassette player. 

Surprisingly, it also has a story far better than it needs to be and an open world with metroidvania elements that is genuinely a joy to explore. A hidden gem. 

2. The Outer Worlds

If you've got a Fallout itch that you just can't scratch with the increasingly dated games (and the vastly different Fallout 76) then you should check out The Outer Worlds. Made by Obsidian, the team behind Fallout: New Vegas, it's basically another game in the Bethesda franchise but with better graphics and combat mechanics. With multiple endings and playstyles, it's worth several playthroughs too. 

Set in space, this is basically a more narrative-focused Starfield and that's no bad thing. But will you save the galaxy or sell out to the galactic mega corporations in this FPS/RPG hybrid? 

3. Maneater

If you've ever watched Jaws and hummed along to the iconic music (so, everyone) then Maneater is the game for you. Play as a bloodthirsty shark out to get revenge on overzealous fishermen.

Most interestingly it reminds me of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series of games, with added fins. Each area sees you tasked with new challengers to assert your dominance, be it scaring people off, battling other predators or sinking ships even.

The story is actually very funny (and narrated by Chris Parnell) while there are also plenty of different upgrades to tailor your shark to you. Not the longest game but great for a cheeky half-hour session. 

4. Need for Speed: Unbound

Ok, so it's odd to describe an installment in one of the biggest racing franchises of all time as a hidden gem, but Unbound was criminally overlooked and is the best game in the franchise for ages.

Full of your regular mix of street racing, and police chases, this is definitely more of an arcade racer but that's no bad thing at all. Unbound even has its own  sense of style with cartoony animations for drifting and boosting that actually fit the aesthetic well. 

Away from the track, if you just want to kit out a car in all kinds of decals and liveries, I've yet to find a game as easy to produce something beautiful on as this. 

5. Phoenix Point

A game I have poured way too many hours into. After Xcom 2 got me sucked into tactical RPGs I never thought I'd find a similar game to scratch that itch, then along came Phoenix Point. 

From one of the creators of the original Xcom this game wears its influences on its sleeve. But it also adds a host of improvements like more interactive aiming mechanics, the ability to combine two classes on the same soldier and a considerable diplomacy element between missions. Not only do you have to fight off an alien force, but also keep the peace (or not) between three factions with conflicting ambitions and ideologies. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.