The Netflix of video games, Xbox Game Pass has over 100 titles, including many Xbox One exclusives, on its service to download and play for subscribers. That is an overwhelming number of choices that could easily paralyze those bad at making decisions.
For people looking to play multiplayer games, co-op or competitive, the service offers a ton of options, but not all of them are worth your time. Like other services, Xbox Game Pass has a wide range of games, including a wide range of quality. Here are some of the diamonds in the rough, the 15 best multiplayer games on the service.
Updated January 10, 2021 by Thomas Bowen: The rate at which Microsoft is adding new titles to its Xbox Game Pass service is really quite incredible. Subscribers now have access to more than 300 titles, many of which are among the best of the past decade. Given the huge selection though, it can sometimes be difficult for subscribers to know what’s actually worth playing and what’s just glorified shovelware that’s been added to inflate the numbers. To make the process simpler, let’s go through some of the best multiplayer titles on the service.
15 Titanfall 2
They may not have lived up to the early expectations, but the Titanfall games still have plenty to offer. While both are currently available through Xbox Game Pass though, it’s the second of the pair that players should be adding to their download queues.
It improves upon its predecessor in almost every way while also addressing many of the complaints levied against it. Unfortunately, the game has not been optimized for Microsoft’s newest machines, although it should still run at native 4K with dynamic resolution thanks to its Xbox One X enhancements.
14 No Man’s Sky
Multiplayer gaming was one of the more noticeable omissions when No Man’s Sky launched back in 2016. Thanks to the tireless work of Hello Games, however, that’s no longer the case. In fact, the current version of the game is almost unrecognizable when compared to the one that crash-landed almost half a decade ago.
For as improved as the game may be though, its online functionality still feels a little light when compared with some of the other games on the service. That’s not to say that it isn’t enjoyable, but the eight player limit, in particular, does hold it back quite a bit. Thankfully, this player cap is increased to 32 when playing on the new Series machines.
13 Sea Of Thieves
Anybody who has ever dreamed of taking to the high seas and engaging in a spot of piracy would do well to check out Sea of Thieves. This swashbuckling open-world action-adventure game sailed onto the service at launch and currently has around a quarter of a million active players. With this in mind, finding people to play with shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Although it’s possible to play the game solo, Sea of Thieves is at its best when played with others as four players are needed to effectively man a ship. The game does support cross-play though, so they won’t all need to be Xbox owners. As with many of the other games on the service, Sea of Thieves has also been optimized for Series S and X consoles, meaning that early adopters should see a noticeable improvement over the Xbox One version.
12 ARK: Survival Evolved
Thanks to the success of games like Rust, the growing market for survival games has led to some wonderful titles over the past few years. ARK: Survival Evolved is one of the better examples and continues to expand and improve with every new update. This makes for a highly enjoyable game, and the inclusion of tamable dinosaurs is every bit as fun as it sounds.
The Explorer’s Edition found on Xbox Game Pass includes the season pass and all of the game’s DLC so subscribers have access to just about everything that the game has to offer. It’s also been optimized for the latest consoles, allowing owners of the Series S or X to enjoy ARK in stunning 4K resolution.
11 Overcooked! 2
The cartoonish art style on display in Overcooked! 2 might suggest to some that it’s a carefree game designed for kids. This couldn’t be further from the truth though. The game can be incredibly stressful and requires plenty of organization and planning in order to overcome its many challenges. Trying to do so with friends only makes for a more hectic and chaotic experience.
Team 17 has always excelled when it comes to multiplayer games and the Overcooked titles are yet another example of this. Unlike in the Worms series, in Overcooked, players must work together in order to ensure that orders are fulfilled on time rather than blowing each other up with an assortment of bizarre weapons. For those who prefer the sound of the latter, Worms W.M.D is also available on the service.
10 Dead By Daylight
The asymmetrical horror game, Dead By Daylight, features four survivors trying to escape a horrible nightmare while a villainous Killer tries to, well, kill them. The game itself is relatively simple at face value, with tons of perks and customization for both parties, allowing you to get really into the weeds if you want to.
The game also allows for you to pick matchmaking specifically for being the Killer or being a survivor, so if you prefer one over the other the game caters to that.
9 Forza Horizon 4
On top of being an incredible racing game, Forza Horizon 4 features a wide variety of multiplayer events from competitive and cooperative racing to Forzathon events, where racers work together to complete tasks. The racing in the game feels phenomenal and the car customization is incredibly deep.
The open-world itself features other people driving around in it and all races in the game can be opened up for multiplayer so other people can join you. The majority of the game can be played with other people if you so choose.
8 Gears 5
The fifth main release in the Gears of War series is one of the best releases this year and came to Xbox Game Pass day one. The multiplayer in this version is excellent, extremely well refined, and provides options for every type of player.
The game still features the staple selection of ranked playlists for the Gnasher lovers out there but also features an arcade playlist that is a more casual and faster-paced TDM style mode. Horde makes a return with an improved skill system over Gears of War 4 and Escape makes more an interesting enough break from the other modes.
7 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
After having time to get fixed, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the best Halo multiplayer experience available and it’s on Xbox Game Pass the game has co-op for all five campaigns currently in it and has multiplayer from three very excellent Halo titles and also Halo 4 is there.
The game also is getting Halo Reach added, albeit whenever they decide that is ready to go in. The multiplayer matchmaking has been updated so now there are very customizable options for types of matches you get into and the matchmaking works extremely well now.
6 Mortal Kombat X
While playing fighting games that are not the most recent version isn’t always the best experience, Mortal Kombat X is an extremely well-made fighting game and is simple enough to prevent you from getting destroyed for too long.
The game has tons of characters on the main roster and features a nice selection of online modes, so you don’t have to immediately jump into a ranked playlist. You can also play local against your friends for a much more casual experience. Overall this is a great game to play online, even this far out from its launch.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is one of the forefathers of the modern Battle-Royale games, to the point that it was sighted as inspiration for Fortnite’s mode. While the newer titles might have refined the formula and made it more popular, PUBG still has an unmatched style.
The game is much more about survival, the long haul, than the quicker, action-packed newer games. It’s more interested in long, far more tactical, matches than the other versions. The Xbox version has come to a point where it works well, if not the most polished title.
4 Rocket League
Rocket League is one of the most popular competitive sports games on the planet and is still really incredible to play. As the title has had time to adjust to players’ reactions, the game has become incredibly refined. Playing some fun chaos modes or the very serious ranked playlists, the game offers modes for every type of player while not neglecting the other modes. The ranked grind rivals the ranked grind of some of the most serious games and it might be RC car soccer but in the absolute best way possible.
UPDATE: Rocket League was removed from Xbox Game pass in September 2020 and is now free to play for all Xbox Live subscribers.
3 Shadow Warrior 2
One of the lesser-known titles on this list, Shadow Warrior 2 is a Borderlands style title game, full of humor and looter-shooter. The entire game can be played in 4 person co-op and it is a blast to play through. The shooting and all of the weapons feel incredible to use and the story is both very funny and interesting enough to keep you engaged.
The game dives fully into the “games are fun” mentality and makes for an excellent romp for 4 people to blast their way through. It is an excellent and underplayed game.
2 World War Z
World War Z has captured the Left 4 Dead gameplay pretty well in a modern title and makes for some very fun co-op zombie killing. The game allows for single-player but should never be played like that. The game is at its best with 4 player zombie survival chaos.
The game also has a great progression system, that makes for a great uphill fight into the harder difficulties that get extremely hard. The game has great matchmaking and makes it extremely easy to get together with other people.
1 Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter is a very obtuse series to get into but Monster Hunter World does an excellent job of not shoving systems into your face immediately, allowing for new players to get into it. Pretty much the entire game can be played in 4 person co-op hunting parties and while the game can be difficult about playing with friends, especially when it comes to story missions, hunting monsters with other people is an absolute blast.
Every hunt feels unique and seeing the many other weapons and playstyles of other players is almost as much fun as bringing down those massive beasts.