Is Game Pass on Xbox One worthy of your time, or should you give it a pass?

There’s no denying that the digital world of gaming is slowly but surely taking over. Yes, we all love holding a physical game in our hands, but the ease and access to a huge library of digital games makes it a winning recipe in the current era we find ourselves in. Microsoft recently launched Game Pass in South Africa, so what does this mean for you as an Xbox One owner?

Those familiar with a service such as Netflix will have a good idea what Game Pass has on offer. By subscribing to the service you get access to 100 games (made up of Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles) that you can download and play as you please. Every month new titles are added to service so that you have something new to try on your Xbox One. So think of it as an ever-revolving list of titles you have access to for a minimal fee. As long as you’re subscribed you can play any game as much as you’d like, but cancel the service and you lose access to the various games. It’s a straight-forward agreement. So, about those games…

Is the library any good?

No, you are definitely not going to find titles on the service that’s been released in the last year or so. Right now you’ll get access to Xbox One games such as Dirt Rally, Halo 5: Guardians, Sunset Overdrive, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, ReCore, Resident Evil Zero, NBA 2K16, Mad Max, Gears of War Ultimate: Edition, F1 2015, Dead Rising 3 and more. Xbox 360 backwards compatible classics such as the Gears of War and Bioshock series also make a showing. Fans of retro games will even find the entire SEGA Vintage Collection series along with the Mega Man Legacy Collection available for download on the list.

I also found that I was downloading games I’d probably never pay for, but always wanted to give a go. This opens you up to little gems you would never have had access to. There really is a great variety of games. Once you’ve downloaded any of these games you’ll also get an additional 10% discount on any DLC you might want to buy for any one title. Keep in mind that unlike PlayStation Now games are downloaded. You won’t be streaming anything.

That’s great, but is it as simple as it sounds?

Find a title you’d like to play, hit the download button and the game is automatically added to your library and starts downloading. It’s a simple process, though you have to get accustomed to waiting for your titles to download as you would with Games with Gold. It’s also with Games with Gold that a few questions must be asked. Is it worth your money when you consider that you already receive 4 games per month at no additional cost with Gold Xbox Live subscription? This answer will differ from person to person.

Most the games on offer are games I’ve already bought or have access to via previously released Games with Gold games. However, if you just recently bought your Xbox One then this service is the perfect entry point for you. By subscribing to Game Pass and a Gold Xbox Live subscription (so you can play online multiplayer games) you get access to a huge variety of games, considering of course that you have the internet line at home to handle what’s coming its way.

It feels a little cheap to recommend the service to those of you who have had access to the Xbox One since launch. The chance that you own most games that are on offer is very likely. The service is still in its infancy and I expect it to improve over the coming months and it’s then that veteran players should get something from it. For now it’s a fantastic service for new Xbox One owners at R159.99 per month. Newcomers should not pass up on this offer. In fact, I’d say it’s just about compulsory and the best value for money.

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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