Xbox Game Pass gives gamers the opportunity to experience some amazing games. These are the best RPGs added to it according to Metacritic.
By Tristan Jurkovich
Updated May 09, 2021
2020 has been a crazy year for a number of reasons one does not even have to mention. Thankfully video games continued to rollout but there were dead months, like over the summer, where there was not a lot to play. Thankfully Xbox Game Pass was around to remind gamers of how good of a deal it continues to be.
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With an ever expanding library, one will hopefully literally never be without something cool to check out. And if one wanted to get lost in an RPG this year there were plenty of new additions added to the first time to Xbox Game Pass, even if they were older titles. It should also be noted that only one game per series was chosen to help diversify the group.
Updated May 5th, 2021 by Tristan Jurkovich: 2020 was a baller year for RPGs, and the same sentiment is true for Xbox Game Pass’ delivery last year. Microsoft killed it. It’s so true that?one run? through of all the games available?cannot possibly explore all of the potential that is out there. So, here are more recommendations for the RPG fans out there.
There are more than what many think of as RPGs too. There are hardcore action examples for those that want a challenge. Underrated games that perhaps launched at the wrong time. Metroidvanias to scratch that itch until the next big one launches in 2021. The list goes on so let’s not delay a second longer.
This was Bandai Namco’s attempt at creating a more anime inspired Dark Souls game. It was also them branching off from FromSoftware, testing the grounds on what they were capable of accomplishing without them. The results were mixed. Those that stuck to it really enjoyed it even though it was like a rough first draft in what hopefully turns into a bigger action RPG series.
This game’s developer, Spiders, and its publisher, Focus Home Interactive, are often forgotten in the realm of video games. They’re big, smaller companies that put out content regularly but just isn’t well covered. GreedFall may not hit the heights of The Witcher 3, but it was an ambitious if not somewhat buggy RPG. It didn’t have a lot of room to breathe when it launched so now that it’s free, there aren’t many excuses to not at least check it out.
Microsoft wanted to capture the Japanese market harder with the Xbox 360 than they did with the original Xbox. That’s why they locked down exclusive games from heralded Japanese companies and Tales of Vesperia was one of these gets. Among them all, like Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, this still remains a great RPG. This remaster proves it, making the cel-shading really pop on new hardware.
This came out on PC in 2018, but it finally made its way onto consoles this year. Not only that but it was free around the launch which put it above the other consoles. Anyway, CrossCode takes place within a MMO like .hack, the combat has a feel for Chrono Trigger, and there are puzzles akin to Wild Arms. It’s a mix of some of the greatest RPG series in a neat indie package.
Indivisible is also an indie game that borrows heavily from some of the all time greats. Particularly it has a lot in common with the 2D platforming and combat from Valkyrie Profile.
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What really makes this game stand out and makes it worth at least a look is the art style. It’s all hand drawn like a cartoon come to life all with fluid animation.
This is the penultimate RPG from Bethesda. While the games they’ve put out since have received praise, nothing compares to how far reaching Skyrim was in 2011 or how well supported it is ten years later. While Nintendo won’t downright admit it, this game was clearly the inspiration for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That’s how huge it was. That game might be the new Skyrim actually or at least could be if Nintendo published it on other platforms.
There were a ton of Final Fantasy games that came to Xbox Game Pass this year. Among them, Final Fantasy XV just beat out its predecessors. It was a controversial title when it finally came out. Was it worth the wait? That’s what most of the debates were about but now that’s it’s free, this is the best opportunity to jump in and judge it for oneself.
When Fallout 3 came out, hardcore fans of the previous games were disappointed that it had become a shooter. That’s why spiritual successors popped up like Wasteland to harken back to Fallout’s top-down perspective. The developer, inXile Entertainment, is comprised of people that worked on the older games so who knows better than them? The point is Wasteland 3 will not disappoint even if it too is a little different.
This is part of the Touhou series, which is a very niche franchise of games and other anime influenced products. All one needs to know ignoring that history though is this is as close to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as one could get. It’s an open 2D Metroidvania RPG. It even looks the part from the level design to the character animations. Like most Metroidvanias, once started, it’ll be hard to put down.
Thanks to EA Play coming to Xbox Game Pass, subscribers now have a ton of games to check out. This is especially true for RPG fans. Dragon Age: Inquisition may be old as an early PS4/Xbox One game, but it is still highly regarded as the best in the series. While one waits for the sequel now may be a good time to try this out for the first time or to brush up on lore before said sequel comes out.
All of the Kingdom Hearts games came to Xbox Game Pass this year. For Xbox One players that only got Kingdom Hearts III without knowing any context in 2019, this is a godsend albeit delayed. There is hours upon hours of content to get into. Among all collections on Xbox Game Pass this remaster of the first three games stands out as the highest rated.
Another more modern Square Enix classic is NieR: Automata. This version is actually what Xbox One owners got a year after this was a PS4 exclusive.
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That is to say it is jam packed with even more disturbing RPG action. This game demands a lot from players in terms of time investment but those that already beat it know that those hours are well worth it. It is an RPG unlike any other.
The history of Dragon Quest XI is rather unusual. In Japan it released on PS4 and 3DS. Both games were the same but different. When it first released over here it was just the PS4 version on console. Then, after that, the Switch version had the console and handheld versions combined plus even more extras. This version then is the last of the last efforts and the very first time the Dragon Quest series is hitting an Xbox console. This is momentous seeing as it is free too.
The Yakuza series struggled for years to make a splash in the West. While it had its niche fans, it wasn’t until Yakuza 0 wherein more people started to jump onboard this whacky brawler RPG. One, it was a prequel meaning that there was no barrier to entry. Two, it was just that good of a game for the series from the action to the dramatic story. This is the one to play on Xbox Game Pass.
As it was said earlier, EA Play has opened up a wide array of games for RPG players to get into on Xbox Game Pass. Mass Effect may be from two generations ago, but it is still a high peak for BioWare, EA, and RPGs everywhere. Yes, there is a remastered collection coming out next year so it might be good to wait. That said, for those impatient, this should always be here for curious Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
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About The Author
(736 Articles Published)
Tristan Jurkovich began his career as a journalist in 2011. His childhood love of video games and writing fuel his passion for archiving this great medium’s annals. He dabbles in every genre, but he’s particularly fond of RPGs and portables. Secretly he enjoys the Just Dance series a little too much. Aside from writing, Tristan also hosts a plethora of shows on his YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.
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