Recently, Microsoft announced that it had acquired gaming giant Bethesda, plus all of that company’s subsidiaries. This is a pretty massive deal; Bethesda is the developer and owner of a huge amount of beloved fan franchises, and seeing those franchises move to Xbox and PC exclusivity could be jarring for a lot of fans. That said, Xbox Game Pass is ludicrously good value, and the prospect of more Bethesda games appearing on the service has us extremely excited. Here are 10 Bethesda games we want to see on Xbox Game Pass.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
We know that Skyrim has become something of a meme recently, but we still think it’s a superlative open-world Western RPG. Having Skyrim on Game Pass would give the three people on Earth who haven’t played the game a chance to experience it. Right now is the best time to do so as well, with all the patches and other fixes that have been implemented to rectify some of Skyrim’s nastier bugs. Throw in mod support and you’ve got a sure-fire winner for Game Pass.
2. Fallout: New Vegas
While many are still playing Fallout 4, the latest single-player game in the long-running post-apocalyptic franchise, New Vegas is the best game in the series for our money. Obsidian’s writing pairs with Bethesda’s excellent open-world gameplay to create a solid, well-crafted adventure with plenty of moral nuance. The five DLC packs for New Vegas range from fine to unmissable, too, so if the full version makes it onto Game Pass, we’ll be over the moon.
3. Dishonored 2
It’s true that Dishonored 2 does little more than iterate on the successes of its predecessor, but those successes were so great that an improved version of Dishonored is still welcome. The sequel sports bigger maps, more options per target, and better powers, but it’s still the same Thief-style first-person stealth-’em-up you grew to love the first time around. We’d love the whole series on Xbox Game Pass, but particularly Dishonored 2.
4. Wolfenstein: The New Order
Easily the best of the new-era Wolfenstein games, The New Order reimagines series hero BJ Blazkowicz as a jaded, tired soldier given new hope by a scrappy resistance full of compelling, well-drawn characters. The gunplay is excellent, too, giving showcase to id Software’s new engine which would make Doom such a runaway success just two years later. With open-ended levels, sympathetic writing, and a cheeky sense of humour, The New Order deserves to be experienced by everyone.
There’s something about Arkane Studios’ design philosophy that leads us to adore them. Not only are the Dishonored games incredible, but their stab at a sci-fi immersive sim in the form of Prey paid massive dividends, too. It’s the story of Morgan Yu, an engineer tasked with battling an alien threat aboard a sprawling space station. All of said station is, of course, open for exploration, and you’re free to build Yu however you like; combat, engineering, or even psychic alien death rays are all yours to command.
6. The Evil Within 2
While the first The Evil Within was something of an ambitious mess, the sequel refined all of its ideas and presented a much more tight, focused survival horror experience. The narrative sadly still isn’t much to write home about – protagonist Sebastian Castellanos is still about as appealing as a sandwich with no filling – but the gameplay has opened up a little and feels less unfairly stacked against you than in the first game. Xbox Game Pass is the perfect home for this Resident Evil-inspired curio.
7. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
As Lovecraft adaptations go, Dark Corners of the Earth isn’t a particularly successful one. However, as first-person stealth shooters inspired by Half-Life and System Shock go, it’s excellent. The twisty, winding level design of Innsmouth and later locations which we won’t spoil make for great encounters, and although the narrative is perhaps a little too silly for Lovecraft, it has its moments. All in all, Dark Corners of the Earth is a fine first-person game and a great potential addition to Xbox Game Pass.
Not many people remember Wet, we’re betting. It was an over-the-top action game inspired by the grindhouse aesthetic beloved of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The gunplay was superlative, the platforming was compelling and well-crafted, and the soundtrack was quite simply brilliant. We don’t think Wet was necessarily worth paying full price for back in 2009, but as an addition to Xbox Game Pass, it would be hard to fault this one.
9. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Morrowind remains the dark horse of the Elder Scrolls series. Nowhere near as accessible as Oblivion or Skyrim, Morrowind’s deliberate standoffishness with regards to the player gives it an organic feel that will appeal to lovers of the Souls games. Don’t get us wrong; Morrowind’s core systems are pretty broken, and it doesn’t look great by today’s standards. Still, there’s a peerless open-world adventure in here waiting for anyone who’s willing to overlook those issues.
10. Rage 2
We’re cheating a little by including this one. Rage 2 is already available on Game Pass, but we’re hoping it doesn’t depart the service anytime soon, because we think this much-maligned open-world shooter deserves another shot. While the ancillary structures may not be much to write home about, Rage 2 has such incredible core gunplay that you can almost forgive its myriad issues. Xbox Game Pass is the best way to experience this flawed gem by far.