Xbox Game Pass … the magical monthly subscription service from Microsoft adds a ton of varied games on a weekly basis, which can cause certain uprising titles and memorable classics to be overlooked, in favor of the more trending ones. Therefore, in this article we try to shine the spotlight on some games that we think should not be missed, especially because of how their stories are written and how emotional & influential they could be.
It’s not every day we get to experience a truly horrifying experience, that doesn’t only freak us out momentarily, but forces us to stare deeper into our souls, at the things that we did not even know we were afraid of before. Visage should be your next game of choice, as it’s not just a spiritual successor for Kojima’s P.T. experience, but it utilizes the absence of light in creative ways to create many paranormal and psychological threats that will surely send a shiver down your spine.
If you want something with a heavier story and outside of the first-person perspective, you can opt for the more permeant choices Like the psychological mind-warping series from Bethesda: The Evil Within 1 & 2, the unique space horror shooter trilogy: Dead Space 1-3, which is getting a remake very soon, and Alien: Isolation is never a bad choice for a game that is one of the few faithful adaptions to its source material.
It’s never too late to go on an adventure, as Xbox Game Pass has been making great strides recently to include more Japanese developers and games, who are pretty known for their distinct style of role-playing games, which involve many fantasies and otherworldly concepts that might be unknown to today’s generation. They may not include the variety of choices in western RPGs, but you can expect a solid concrete story from any of them.
Your first choices should always be the games made from Square Enix, particularly Final Fantasy X and Dragon quest 11. These two are the best in their respective series and each of them has a complete well-told story with multiple emotional beats and very large stakes. Kingdom Hearts III is also a very good pick if you want more fluid combat and a story that can resonate with not only adults but children due to the amount of Disney movie crossovers that are bound to touch the hearts of everyone.
If you are already used to these famous titles, and still searching for something more neo-classical, then look no more because there are developers keen on capturing the magic of the past with today’s mechanics and technical advancements. Our recommendations from Xbox Game Pass’s current selection are Astria Ascending, Octopath Traveler, and Cris Tales. each of them has amazing hand-drawn art and some unique playing styles that will satisfy even the most curious players.
Sometimes we feel burned out from everything, and we need to spend some time by ourselves to recharge our batteries and reconnect with the people around us and the world in much healthier ways. Video games can be an amazing tool to help you do just that, just like Signs of the Sojourner, which is heavily based on using your experiences and the connections you made in physical and meaningful ways.
Lost words: Beyond the Page is also a very touching game that lets you create your own storybook and see the words you have chosen for your story come out to life. It’s also one of the personal recommendations of Phil Spencer himself. A contrast with similar messages is Spiritfarer, a game about dying, creating lasting memories and better final moments for your cherished friends. It’s important to live freely, but it’s also equally important to think about what will you leave behind when you go.
Outside the Comfort Zone
I personally tend to get tired sometimes from stories that feel scripted, or in which I am not included as someone who should be reading or playing the story. There isn’t that “voice” that speaks to me and makes me feel embraced. Hence we felt the need to add some games in which the writing can go in very weird directions, but with individuality and uniqueness that makes them different from other games.
Xbox Game Pass games that I would like to suggest from this criteria are Undertale, Echo Generation, and Wild at Heart. Each of them feels like a pretty grounded experience that defies the normal storytelling tropes and goes beyond the normal conventions other authors tend to avoid. They are also reminiscent of the iconic game Earthbound, and how it was very different from any other RPG because of its unique and charming style.
But if you want something even beyond that, there are many breathtaking experiences that you can’t put a name on the feelings you get from them. The Artful Escape and Genesis Noir are two of our primary choices that will take you on a journey across space and time, and leave you with a portion of much-needed food for thought, that is bound to keep you intellectually stimulated for weeks after finishing each of their respective stories.