Xbox Cloud Gaming is one of Xbox Game Pass’ coolest features, letting you play many of your favourite titles from the service an a wide array of different devices. Here’s a selection of games that are a great fit for cloud play.
Xbox Cloud Gaming lets you play a wide variety of supported Xbox Game Pass games on pretty much any device, so long as you’re a Game Pass member — Xbox consoles (to save you dealing with huge install sizes), smartphones, tablets, computers, some smart TVs… the list goes on, and keeps getting longer as Microsoft and its partners roll out more and more options. Similarly, the number of countries where Xbox Cloud Gaming is available is growing all the time, so if it’s not available where you are yet, fingers crossed MS opens the gates for you soon, as it’s a really useful option.
Xbox Cloud Gaming works best with an extremely fast internet connection, but cloud gaming in general still introduces at least a minor amount of latency. This means that things like twitch shooters, music games, and fighters where precision is key don’t tend to be good fits for the service, but fortunately, the library is loaded with games that will work just fine, even if the connection isn’t perfect. Let’s take a look at some of the best games you can play using Xbox Cloud Gaming today.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Turn-based games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon are always going to be well-suited for cloud gaming, as even major latency issues won’t be able to get in the way of the fun. Even though there’s still a degree of open-world exploration to this RPG — which saw the Ryu Ga Gotoku team trade the usual action-based combat of the Yakuza series for turn-based battles — it’s generally low-risk enough that it doesn’t require even remotely precise inputs outside of a couple of mini-games. True to form for the series, there’s also a massive emphasis on story so there’s a lot of time spent watching the brilliantly produced and performed cutscenes. These can get quite long at times so you might need to be careful not to hit any major story beats if you only have limited time to play via the cloud, but it’s a game loaded with so much other stuff to do that you’ll easily be able to while away whatever time you have in this superb JRPG, whenever and wherever you like.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Russian and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles available in early 2021 via patch update.
Game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and Xbox Series X|S title when available.
Stardew Valley hits a winning combo of being both a slow-paced game where connection issues are unlikely to ruin your experience, as well as being something you can just drop into any time you like for a quick burst of virtual village life. In fact, it’s actually a little dangerous to have Stardew in your pocket, playable anywhere and just begging to make you miss your stop on a train ride because you’re just too absorbed by it. This chill life sim is one of the most beloved indie games of the modern age, and with good reason — it’s a wonderful blend of farming, exploration, social interactions, and so much more that lets you play at your own pace and focus on the areas that interest you most while dabbling in the others to help keep the game fresh for the hundreds of hours a full completion will take.
You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Like the above games, Assassin’s Creed Origins is an example of an absolutely massive game which is arguably best played little and often in order to avoid burning out on it too fast. Again, that’s a great fit for cloud gaming, and despite it being an action-RPG, the combat is generally forgiving enough that it doesn’t require the same kind of precision as some more technical examples of the genre. If things do get a bit laggy, you can always drop the difficulty without worrying about not unlocking achievements as they’re not tied to difficulty, so you can tweak it however and whenever you like. You may not get the full effect of the beautiful recreation of Egypt if your connection isn’t good enough to keep the resolution up, but having the option to chip away at a gargantuan game like this any time may be worth it.
Assassin’s Creed® Origins
ASSASSIN’S CREED® ORIGINS IS A NEW BEGINNING
Ancient Egypt, a land of majesty and intrigue, is disappearing in a ruthless fight for power. Unveil dark secrets and forgotten myths as you go back to the one founding moment: The Origins of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator makes the list not just for being a great game, but being an example of a benefit to Xbox Cloud Gaming that we’re only going to be seeing more of in the coming years. You see, Flight Simulator is an Xbox Series X|S-only console release, meaning that if Xbox One players want to get airborne, their only option to do so is to use the cloud. The game itself is naturally not the best fit for mobile cloud gaming, but if you’re using a console or computer, you should be able to sink as much time into this fantastic sim as you would any other game. There’s an additional benefit here as well, and it’s another common reason people like to use Xbox Cloud Gaming to play Game Pass titles — Microsoft Flight Simulator is a huge install and those with smaller storage devices or lots of games they can’t bring themselves to delete (or indeed those with data caps who can’t just keep downloading massive games) don’t need to worry about that thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Jurassic World Evolution 2 certainly has the slow pace for a great cloud game, but it’s not something that will work all that well with every screen size — small escaped dinos can be a bit tricky to spot on a massive 4K screen, so picking them out on a small phone screen probably wouldn’t be a good time. Still, if you do have a larger screen for cloud action (or superhuman eyesight or world-class hidden object game skills), you’re in for a treat and can slowly develop your dino-fuelled super-attraction over as many short sessions as you like, or work on it for longer if you’ve got the time and the means to do so. JWE2 only joined Game Pass in May when it replaced the original, so you should still have plenty of time to work on it, and it’s just as well — this is one long ol’ completion with some really tough achievements that will really test your park management skills.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to Frontier’s highly successful Jurassic World Evolution. This bold new era in the Jurassic World Evolution game franchise builds upon the ground-breaking and immersive 2018 management simulation.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition is more or less a visual novel, so it’s got that chilled pace working for it. You can also save at any time, so you don’t need to worry about losing any progress, even if you have to stop playing in the middle of a trial or long story sequence… and those are not uncommon. Once you’re done with the main story (which is brilliant, by the way), the achievement list demands a lot of repeat play in the additional School Mode so chipping away at this a little at a time can really help those runs feel less grindy. The sequel is also on Game Pass so you have even more murderous student action to dive into when you’re done, and both games even support touch controls, and are games extremely well-suited to controller-free play.
While Xbox Cloud Gaming may not be the best way to play the mainline Gears games due to how chaotic they can get, fans can still get their big buff bro fix with the cloud thanks to superb spin-off, Gears Tactics. It’s a tactical turn-based strategy game that plays out in a much more considered way, slowing down the same kind of intense, over-the-top cover-based combat to create a smart twist on the series’ usual fare. It also has that level-based structure working in its favour, so you can just jump in for a stage or two if you’re playing on the move, or you can sit down and really get stuck in long-term if you’re cloud gaming from home. It’s another game that you won’t be getting completed any time soon, mind, and a challenging and invested completion that will keep you coming back to the tactical turn-based violence for 100+ hours.
Gears Tactics is the fast-paced, turn-based strategy game from one of the most-acclaimed video game franchises – Gears of War. Outnumbered and fighting for survival, recruit and command your squad to hunt down an evil mastermind who makes monsters.
It’s dangerous enough having a game as difficult to put down as Vampire Survivors on a console, but being able to boot it up on your phone any time? Nothing is getting done ever again. Poncle’s chaotic roguelite benefits from the cloud platform as its controls couldn’t be much simpler — you move, and that’s it. With no virtual buttons to block the screen, it’s just as easy to get a run going as with a controller, and while you’re certainly not going to want to see any connection issues (you’ll likely be dead by the time they sort themselves out), you can squeeze in a Hurry mode run in quarter of an hour so it’s not the end of the world if you lose one run every now and again due to tech gremlins. Sure, there’s a native mobile version of the game now, but can you earn Xbox achievements in that? Exactly.
Vampire Survivors is a time survival game with minimalistic gameplay and roguelite elements.
Slay The Spire
There are plenty of good roguelites in Game Pass, but few are better suited to Xbox Cloud Gaming than the excellent Slay The Spire. Once you get into the swing of things, runs of this deck-builder can get to be extremely quick and well-suited to little-and-often play via the cloud in whatever downtime you might find yourself with. But, like Stardew Valley, there’s also the possibility that you’ll get on a streak and not be able to put it down, as if Slay the Spire gets its hooks in, it carries a very real risk of turning into an obsession. If you’ve got a top-tier connection then action roguelites such as Hades might be viable options, but if you’re noticing any kind of tangible latency, a turn-based variation such as this is likely to prove a much better fit.
Slay The Spire
We fused card games and roguelikes together to make the best single player deckbuilder we could. Craft a unique deck, encounter bizarre creatures, discover relics of immense power, and Slay the Spire!
Planning on playing any of these using Xbox Cloud Gaming? Got any cloud recommendations of your own to share? Let us know!