We may be nearing the end of the current console generation but there are still plenty of games to be played while we hungrily consume each scant morsel of next-gen news. What’s more, if you’re an Xbox Live Gold or Gamepass Ultimate subscriber, you have four free games to while away the hours between Series X updates.
Like Playstation Plus, you can add titles to your library to play later but they will only be accessible with an active Gold or Gamepass Ultimate membership. Unlike PS Plus, Gold freebies tend to swap in and out during the course of the month, so be sure to grab them all before they’re gone!
Looking more than a little like Minecraft, Portal Knights is a tongue-in-cheek sandbox action RPG that can be played alone or co-operatively. Level up your character, craft weapons and gear to take the fight to the enemy or, when you’re not adventuring in the tall grass, build whatever you like, as complex as you like.
Available for download from August 1 to 31.
Next up is an OG 2004 Xbox classic that puts you astride a moto-cross dirt bike with the firm intentions of grabbing air and getting mucky with it. Thanks to the boffins at Microsoft you don’t even have to dust off your old first-gen Xbox, just download the game and, through the miracle of backwards compatibility, you’ll be making rooster tails in no time. MX Unleashed set a benchmark for the niche genre at the time and features a story/campaign mode as well as a free style challenge mode.
Available for download from August 1 to 15.
OVERRIDE: MECH CITY BRAWL
Deep down within each of us is a burning need to see giant robots knocking seven bells out of each other and levelling the odd city into the bargain. Mech City Brawl sates this desire by putting you in the giant metal boots of one of a series of robots – each with their own distinctive play style, special moves and finishers – to defeat all that threaten your territory! Once you’ve shown the single-player campaign AI enemies who’s the boss, clean the clocks of human friends and foes alike with the local and online versus mode. Perhaps one of Override‘s most fun and inventive features is the 4-player co-op mode that lets each player command part of the same mech, demanding the ultimate test of team-work!
Available for download from August 16 to September 15.
RED FACTION II
Continuing our brute force down memory lane, we set the Way Back Machine to 2003 and come to our second original Xbox title, Red Faction II. Sequel to the 2001 FPS, RFII casts you as a nanotech-enhanced Martian super soldier who sides with a rebellion against a fascist dictatorship. Once again, highly destructible environments (courtesy of the Geo-Mod system) are the key to prevailing in firefights or even negotiating your way around obstacles like locked doors. Once you’ve quashed the dictatorship and saved the day in the single-player campaign, there are hours of fun to be had taking advantage of the deformable environments in a suite of multiplayer modes that can be populated with human or customisable bot opponents (or both).
Available for download from August 16 to 31.
So there you are, an eclectic offering of games that surely has something for everyone, be it adventure, racing, shooting or knocking the bolts out of your mates. Make sure to check in at the end of the month to find out what’s slated for September’s Games with Gold.