Xbox Game Pass is constantly proving that it is one of the most valuable subscriptions in Gaming, and the start of 2022 is no different. Microsoft has been providing gamers with new games, old games, Xbox exclusives, and more for a decent price, alongside some of the upcoming and anticipated games coming out in 2022!
The Best Games to Play on Game Pass in January 2022
These aren’t games limited to the January releases, but out of the whole catalog available right now! Whether you’re wanting a co-op adventure or an indie delight, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
Stray Bombay’s first video game, The Anacrusis, is already looking to fill the Left 4 Dead hole in many hearts, but without being a simple copy of Valve’s legendary title. Set on a massive starship, The Anacrusis tasks up to 4 players against alien hordes, which are placed strategically by an AI Director.
The Anacrusis is currently launching in an Early Access state, with a full launch landing in late 2022. However, many first previews of the game say it’s a lot of fun, so we’re excited to try The Anacrusis and hopefully, survive.
We know that Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer portion is Free-to-Play, but the campaign is available via Xbox Game Pass, so we think this counts! Halo: Infinite is the latest in the Halo franchise, and after a fairly disappointing game with Guardians, Infinite seeks to make amends with the fanbase with successful results.
343 Industries took on the monumental challenge of being able to appease the existing fans, but also introduce newcomers to the series on their brand new Xbox Series consoles. While the story may miss a few beats, the tried and true Halo formula works wonders in an open-world setting, and grapple hooks are always welcome.
If the campaign isn’t for you, the multiplayer is classic Halo fun. 343i has proven to listen to a lot of player feedback over the last few months, and it seems that the multiplayer side of Infinite is going to see many updates for the years to come. But why not jump in now?
If you haven’t had the chance to play Dead Cells, you should give it a go. A blend of rogue-lite, Metroidvania, and souls-like may sound like it has too much going on, but how developer Motion Twin achieves this unique mix of genres is exciting, and more importantly, addictive.
Dead Cells has an incredible art style, fun and engaging combat alongside a lot of loot and a lot of challenges. Exploration is also key, allowing players to find new shortcuts as well as new mini-challenges to earn new and better loot. And thanks to upgrades that are purchasable after finishing each area, dying gives you more of an edge the next time around.
Sea of Thieves
Rare’s Sea of Thieves took a few years to get to a place where it was in a good state, but in part due to Game Pass and numerous updates, this chaotic, adventurous pirate game has thrived since its launch.
Whether you set sail on the ocean with a few friends or take it on alone (warning: we recommend having friends), you’ll find a lot of interesting islands, take on enemies human and undead, as well as a lot of hilarious moments which you can talk about with others. Sea of Thieves has gained a good following now, and for good reason.
It Takes Two
If you have a friend, whether in your home or online, It Takes Two is one of the best cooperative games on the market. Cody and May, parents who have lost their love and decide to divorce, are turned into their daughters’ dolls before being set on an adventure through their own home, finding missing parts of their relationship as well as understanding each other a bit more throughout the game.
Each player decides upon a character to play, and in each area, is given unique and interesting gameplay mechanics which keep the story at a good pace. Hazelight Studios, who also developed A Way Out, have perfected their formula for co-op games and It Takes Two shows it. It’s a lovely, well-crafted game with a lot of heart and passion.
Rainbow Six: Extraction
At the time of writing, this game hasn’t been released yet (both itself or on Game Pass), but Ubisoft has provided numerous betas of the game with success. And playing a brand new AAA game at launch, without paying any money for it, is pretty good value.
Rainbow Six: Extraction is the PvE equivalent of the tactical multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six: Siege. A team of players is tasked with taking out a parasitic alien threat. Many players may find themselves enjoying Extraction more than Siege because the former is a more relaxed game compared to Siege’s competitive nature.
If you’re in the market for a game that enables co-operation but still want to shoot some aliens and work as a team, Extraction will sound like a good fit. If not, Rainbow Six: Siege is also available on Game Pass too!
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
Star Wars and Souls-like sounds like a weird combination on paper, but Jedi Fallen Order has proven it’s anything but. Introducing the players to Cal, a Jedi who survived the Order 66 purge and went into hiding as a youngling, he is thrust into finding a way to locate other surviving Jedi in an attempt to stop the Empire. Unfortunately, there’s Sith after him, and it’s a challenge to take on Alien creatures, Sith Inquisitors, and an army of Stormtroopers.
Jedi Fallen Order is both a good entry for fans and people unaware or uninterested in Star Wars alike. It explains the story easily without relying on the existing lore but has enough surprises that people who love Star Wars will love this game. They also balance the Force Powers with the Souls-like genre extremely well, giving the player a sense of power without making it too easy.
Winner of many, many Game of the Year awards in 2020 and beloved by countless players, Hades is one of the most interesting, thoughtful, and incredible indie games to date. Rogue-likes usually struggle to balance the repetitive nature and the story, usually opting for the gameplay, but Hades takes both of these elements into consideration and highlights them equally.
The cast of characters that you find in Hades is all extremely well-acted, with great dialogue. The gameplay is addictive and has enough elements to keep it interesting on each playthrough but not too many that it overwhelms the player. It’s not without its shortcomings, but Hades is a blast to play, and you’re in for a Hell of a good time.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
The Mass Effect trilogy has long been a series that is put on a pedestal. This Science-Fiction RPG has dialogue choices, consequences to your actions, relationships to make or break, and more, alongside an intricate and beautifully written story.
The Legendary Edition of the trilogy is exactly that but remastered for newcomers too. With a wide range of improvements, from graphical to gameplay, Mass Effect has found new life on both last generation and current generation consoles without losing anything which makes it special. While some elements of the trilogy have seen more upgrades than others, it’s still a great package.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an extremely unique game. Its story is crafted and cleverly written around mental health, and its gameplay links perfectly with this captivating story. You play as Senua, a warrior with a condition called Psychosis, on a trip to Helheim to save the soul of her dead lover from Hela.
Playing with headphones on is a psychologically terrifying experience, which only heightens the experience. Ninja Theory uses every element of the game to develop a sense of intrigue, suspense, and horror, enough to entice the player into continuing the adventure but just enough that sometimes, you need a moment to breathe. And you can play it on Game Pass in time for the sequel this year.
These were the 10 best Game Pass games to play in January 2022. But if you’ve played some of these already, there are plenty of other games available on the service for you to try out. There may even be some that you missed out on when they were released.
Nevertheless, whether you take a trip into Hell, take down aliens with friends or find yourself with a lightsaber in hand, you’ll be sure to find value in Game Pass.