I’m not sure about you, but I hardly buy video games anymore. For that, you can credit (or blame) Games with Gold.
Just like Sony’s PlayStation Plus program, Microsoft’s carrot on the stick for Xbox Live is a monthly selection of free games. As long as your subscription ($60/year, but can usually be found for much cheaper) is active, you get two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games each month to download and keep forever (unlike Sony’s system, which requires an active subscription to play at all times). Sometimes the games are great, sometimes they’re subpar, but they’re always free and 100% worth grabbing. Seriously, free games, people.
So let’s look at the 10 best offerings Xbox Live customers had to choose from in 2017. And to be clear, these games are no longer free–you missed your chance. But it’s a good way to see what kind of selection your Live subscription offers you.
1. Tales from the Borderlands (Xbox One / Nov-Dec)
One of the best games of 2015, Telltale’s take on the hit FPS series surprised the gaming world with its superb characters and storytelling.
2. Oxenfree (Xbox One / Sep-Oct)
Games with Gold is one of the best ways to sample indie games that often fly under the radar, and Oxenfree is one of the best in recent years.
3. Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox One / Sep)
This iteration of Microsoft’s flagship racing sim launched with the Xbox One in November 2013.
4. The Walking Dead: Season Two (Xbox One / Apr-May)
Season 2 of Telltale’s smash hit series is a few years old now, but it still packs quite the emotional punch.
5. Battlefield 3 (Xbox 360 / Sep)
Sure, it’s six years old now, but Battlefield 3 is still the best Battlefield EA DICE has churned out in those six years. There are even a few people still playing the fantastic multiplayer mode.
6. Rayman Origins (Xbox 360 / Jan)
Arguably one of the finest platforming games of all time, Rayman Origins oozes charm and beauty at every step.
7. Child of Eden (Xbox 360 / Dec)
A rhythm-action game that uses the Kinect camera, Child of Eden is brief, bright, and borderline breathtaking.
8. Trials Fusion (Xbox One – Aug-Sep)
The first Trials game for this current generation of consoles, Fusion takes the classic easy-to-learn-but-a-lifetime-to-master gameplay and gives it a nice coat of polish.
9. Gone Home (Xbox One / Oct)
A first-person adventure-exploration game, Gone Home lets you slowly unravel a family mystery set during the mid-1990s. If you’re looking for story over action, it’s worth your time.
10. Watch Dogs (Xbox One / June-July)
Sometimes patience pays off. Watch Dogs was hyped heavily before its November ’14 release but left a little to be desired. For those of us who didn’t drop $60 on it, getting it for free last summer was sweet satisfaction.
A pretty solid Top 10 for sure, with honorable mentions like Ryse: Son of Rome, Evolve, and Bayonetta just missing the cut.
Want to look back in time even further? Here’s the list of every ‘Games with Gold’ game ever offered.
Also Read: The Best Free Video Games of 2017