Microsoft’s overarching business plan for its Xbox Series X|S consoles isn’t too difficult to decipher. The company has a clear vision to get as much of its player base onto their Game Pass service as possible, with hopes that the platform will have similar success to Netflix or Disney+. Microsoft’s advertising and promotion of the service has become far more aggressive in recent months, with numerous titles being frequently added and further day one releases being promised, such as Square Enix’s Outriders.
One of the most notable moves that Microsoft has made recently has been the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of gaming juggernaut Bethesda. The acquisition has added even further value to Game Pass, with the promise of upcoming day one releases being supplemented by a wave of new titles added to the service. Although the majority of games added were ones that players most wanted, there are a few titles that certain sections of the Xbox fanbase would love to see included. The 10 games on this list didn’t reach the success of titles like Fallout: New Vegas or Oblivion, but they’re still enjoyable games that could all offer something to the service.
WET was released by Bethesda in 2009 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game was developed by Artificial Mind & Movement, which is today known as Behaviour Interactive. The game is known for its over-the-top action, as the game supplemented its violent sword and gun fighting with acrobatic movements and cinematic slow-motion moments.
A sequel, simply titled WET 2, was confirmed to be in development back in November 2010. However, very little has been heard about the game since, so it’s either the best-kept secret in gaming, or it has sadly been canceled.
Brink isn’t a stranger to featuring on top 10 lists, though the title usually has the word “disappointment” in it. The game received a ton of hype and was expected to rejuvenate the first-person shooter genre back in 2011. However, it was met with lackluster fan reception and mediocre reviews exemplified by its Metascores ranging from 68 to 72.
Despite this, Brink has started to get some appreciation in recent years. The game isn’t being excused for its faults; instead, it’s appreciated for how ahead of its time it was. The fast-paced action, squad-based gameplay, and layered lore have been seen in some of the gaming industry’s top multiplayer titles of recent years, like Apex Legends and Overwatch. Consequently, it would be great to have Brink on Game Pass so that its influence can be appreciated without gamers having to pay for a product that does have its shortcomings.
8 IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition
One of the best things about Game Pass is that generally speaking, it has something for everyone. However, there are some genres that are currently more prominent than others, one of which is Racing. Game Pass is a fantastic service for fans of racing games with titles like Dirt 5 and Forza Horizon 4 being available alongside the offering from EA Play such as Need For Speed Heat.
It’s fair to say that IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition wouldn’t be one of the top titles if it landed on the Game Pass service, as the game received a mediocre reception upon release. However, the original Xbox title would offer something different to the racing games currently available on the service, with its old-school gameplay and drag-racing theme.
7 Star Trek: Legacy
The recent announcement that Star Wars: Squadrons is coming to EA Play and subsequently Game Pass may deter Microsoft and Bethesda from putting Star Trek: Legacy onto its service. However, this would be a shame as the game can provide an enjoyable experience for the Star Trek franchise’s large fanbase.
2006’s Star Trek: Legacy was developed by Mad Doc Software, who are today known as Rockstar New England, following Take-Two Interactive‘s acquisition of the company in 2008. The studio has since offered supportive roles in developing some of Rockstar’s largest titles, including Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2.
6 Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge was released in 2011 and drew interest for its immersive and well-crafted dark fantasy setting. The game follows two protagonists, Caddoc and E’lara, as they search for an artifact that appeared to the former in a vision. As the use of two protagonists suggests, the game can be played co-operatively.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge was developed by inXile Entertainment, who released Wasteland 3 last year to critical acclaim.
5 Pirates of the Caribbean
Back when the Pirates of the Caribbean video game was released in 2003, movie tie-in games were prevalent, with memorable titles like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King releasing around the same time. However, the movie tie-in genre would only be prominent in the gaming industry for a few more years, as gamers soon released that these releases often had to be developed by strict deadlines, resulting in rushed products.
The Pirates of the Caribbean game was released shortly before the film, implying that it would suffer similar issues. However, the action-RPG didn’t feel rushed, likely because it was initially developed as a sequel to Sea Dogs, giving it a more natural development cycle.
4 Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Game Pass has its fair share of horror games on the service already, with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, The Evil Within, and the deceivingly terrifying Subnautica all trying their best to keep players up at night. However, the horror genre continues to be one of the gaming industry’s most prevalent, so it may be worth Bethesda and Microsoft considering the inclusion of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was initially released on the original Xbox in 2005, before coming to PC the following year. The game was ahead of its time by giving players no weaponry to begin with, similar to titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Outlast. Players will eventually find firearms, though like in any good survival horror game, ammunition is scarce.
3 Quake 4
Quake 4 was initially published by Activision in 2005, though Bethesda handled the 2012 re-release, making its inclusion on Game Pass a possibility. The game would be a perfect inclusion for those looking for multiplayer fun with friends, as the Quake franchise has been providing such entertainment for many years with its fast-paced Deathmatch and Capture The Flag game modes.
Quake 4 was well-received by critics, receiving Metascores of 75 and 81 on PC and Xbox 360 respectively.
2 The Evil Within 2
Much like Quake 4, The Evil Within 2 isn’t forgotten in the sense that most gamers have never heard of it, but that the game seems perfect for the Game Pass service but has been overlooked. It’s possible that the game is being held back so that Microsoft can announce another AAA Bethesda game in the future, though until then, it will be seen by many as the most disappointing exclusion.
The Evil Within 2 was well-received by fans and critics, with much of the praise being directed to the game’s open-world, which was likely implemented to differentiate the sequel from its predecessor.
Rage feels like a forgotten child, much like The Evil Within 2, as the series’ other entry is currently on Game Pass. The decision to include Rage 2 but not its predecessor is an especially odd choice as the original game was better received than its sequel, exemplified by the Xbox 360 game scoring nearly ten points higher than its successor on Metacritic.
Rage certainly wasn’t without its faults, but the open-world game provides an enjoyable post-apocalyptic experience that will appeal to people looking for a similar experience to Bethesda’s Fallout games, many of which are currently on the service.