Xbox Game Pass 2021: Is it worth the money?

Xbox Game Pass 2021: Is it worth the money?
Which games are including with the Xbox Game Pass, and is it worth it? We look at the best deals you can get

The so-called “console war” between Microsoft and Sony has been going on for years – now, it is being fought on a new front. While the PlayStation has long proved the dominant force when it comes to gaming consoles, Microsoft recently revealed the ace up its sleeve: the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

Launched back in 2017, Game Pass was widely billed as gaming’s answer to Netflix. The service offers players a library of more than 100 games, which subscribers are free to download and play at their leisure.

This includes a core of proprietary games, published by Xbox Games Studios – such as the Halo and Gears franchises – as well as a rotating set of third-party releases.

The catalogue includes current-gen games as well as older games, on the Xbox 360 and original Xbox, which are made available through backwards compatibility.

With Game Pass, the only limit to the number of games you are able to download is storage space – otherwise, players are free to download and play as many different games as they want. As well as being available on all current and last-gen Xbox consoles (Xbox one, Xbox one X, Xbox series X and Xbox series S), Game Pass is also available for Windows 10 and Android users.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the Xbox Game Pass, including the best deals to shop right now.

How much does Xbox Game Pass cost?

The standard console-only version of Xbox Game Pass costs £7.99 (or $9.99) per month. The PC-only version also costs £7.99 a month.

Xbox Games Pass Ultimate, meanwhile, costs £10.99 per month, or $14.99 in the US. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate covers both the console and PC versions of Game Pass, plus Xbox Live Gold, as well as a host of bonuses.

At no extra cost, the Ultimate package contains an integrated subscription to EA Play, Electronic Arts’s own subscription service. It also includes access to Microsoft’s cloud service, xCloud Gaming.

Is Xbox Game Pass worth the money?

As of now, the answer is a pretty definitive “yes”. Even with the pricier Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which offers by a margin the better value for money), the service is, at the moment, an extremely attractive proposition for gamers.

When you consider the high (and incrementally rising) price of new blockbuster game releases – now as high as £69.99 for some of the biggest games – the chance for hundreds of games at a fraction of the cost seems like a no-brainer.

The catalogue is big enough to offer a lot of variety, from lengthy open-world epics and multiplayer hits to smaller indie games. Xbox are now releasing their biggest games on Game Pass on the same day they go on sale- which includes Halo Infinite later this year.

Xbox’s recent acquisition of Bethesda – the company that produces the Doom, Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, as well as a forthcoming Indiana Jones game – also sweetens the deal considerably. Game Pass is going to be the go-to way of playing a number of the biggest releases in gaming.

There’s also the added bonus of discounts on all the games in the Game Pass library, should players wish to purchase them permanently.

It’s not without its caveats, however. Once a game leaves the Game Pass catalogue, you are no longer able to play it without purchasing it on the Xbox store (or waiting until it arrives on Game Pass again in the future).

It is also widely expected that Game Pass will increase in price at some point in the future. Some analysts have suggested that the current service is being offered at a reduced price to encourage subscriber growth, with the intention of raising the price at a later date.

The best deals on Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft is currently offering a trial fee of just £1 for the first month of Game Pass Ultimate, which will then revert to a regular subscription if not cancelled before the second month.

The best deals on both the standard Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions are usually found via third-party retailers, however.

Currently, a six-month subscription to basic Game Pass can be purchased on Amazon for £47.49. At Currys the price is matched, so a six-month subscription costs £47.49 there too.

Similar deals are available for Game Pass Ultimate, with a three-month subscription costing £32.99 on Amazon

How to cancel Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass can be cancelled by signing into your account and selecting “Payment & billing” under the Xbox Game Pass section.

The service will then give you the option of ending the subscription on its expiration date, without paying any further fees. 

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