The best Game Pass additions of 2022: November
We’re almost all caught up with our Game Pass recap of 2022 as we arrive at November, which brought with it a bunch of great new Xbox and PC titles to join the service. Which of these were your favourites?
November saw a smattering of new games join the ranks of the best Games on Game Pass, from first-party delights to big third-party surprises. Here’s a look back at arguably the best of the bunch… how many of these have you played so far?
2022 may not have had a huge amount going on in terms of first-party Xbox exclusives, but while it may have been lacking in terms of quantity, the same can’t be said of quality. Obsidian’s Pentiment proved to be one of the best Xbox games of the year — a historical narrative adventure where your choices help shape how the mysteries play out, and one whose novel art style and phenomenal attention to detail really help it stand out as a rare treasure of a game. The sheer amount of love poured into the entire experience by the small team is palpable, with fantastic characters and writing backed up by a small-scale storyline that encourages players to drill down into the minutiae as they solve murders and savour one of the most accessible history lessons to ever grace a console. A low-key masterpiece that demands to be savoured.
Return to Monkey Island
Fans initially thought industry legend Ron Gilbert was just messing around when he announced his return to the ever-popular Monkey Island series earlier this year — that’ll happen if you announce a new game on April Fools’ Day — but it wasn’t long before a trailer made it clear that Return to Monkey Island was very real, and a PC and Switch release followed shortly after. It wasn’t clear when or even if an Xbox launch might be on the cards until the game made a surprise appearance among November’s new Game Pass additions, with that brief wait after initial launch offset by launching straight into the subscription service here on Xbox. The new art style proved somewhat divisive, but the whimsical comedic backbone of a classic Monkey Island adventure was very much intact, making this surprise return a definite November Game Pass highlight.
Return to Monkey Island is an unexpected, thrilling return of series creator Ron Gilbert that continues the story of the legendary adventure games.
Dune: Spice Wars
PC Game Pass users enjoyed a loaded plate in November, with this early access 4X strategy game being just one of a handful of great gets for the service over its console equivalent. It’s still relatively bare-bones by genre standards, with a lot of elements set to arrive at full release down the line, but the basics of a solid strategy game are already in place, so fingers crossed Spice Wars both evolves into something even better and sticks around in the service for a while after it does so even more players can enjoy the game at its best.
Dune: Spice Wars (Game Preview)
This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game.
A real-time strategy game with 4X elements, from the developers of the critically acclaimed Northgard. Set in Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking Dune universe, you must lead your faction and battle for control and dominance over the harsh desert planet of Arrakis.
Football Manager 2023
One for both console and PC players next, with both versions of this year’s big footie management sim launching into Game Pass in November to replace the previous year’s iterations. It’s great to see such a popular sports sim become a Game Pass mainstay, and Sega in general seems to be a big supporter of the service, adding the likes of several Total War games, Two Point Campus, and Persona 5 Royal in 2022 and with two more Persona titles to follow next month.
Take the next step this season as innovative new additions empower you to build your dream squad and make the club your own as you look to join the managerial elite.
Pre-order for 20% off.
Football Manager 2023 brings you closer to the beautiful game, from the supporters that live and breathe every match to your board, scouts, players and opposition managers.
Earn the backing of the fans by outsmarting your rivals and delivering success on the pitch.
Pre-purchase for 20% off and Early Access*.
The Legend of Tianding
Now for something a little more low-key, as we hit up early 20th century Taiwan for a stylish action-platformer that puts us in the shoes of a local folk hero. The Legend of Tianding’s flashy combat looks and feels great, but the player count here on TA is relatively low by Game Pass standards, with less than 20,000 tracked players having started the game in the eight weeks since it was added to the library. It should stick around for a good while yet so hopefully that player count still has plenty of time to climb, as this is something quite different to most other stuff on Game Pass, so give it a look!
The Legend of Tianding is a sidescrolling action game about Liao Tianding, the legendary Taiwanese Folk Hero. Explore the dazzling streets of Colonial Japanese Taiwan in the early 20th century.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Console players are still waiting to get involved with this 40K twist on the popular Vermintide multiplayer format, but PC Game Pass users have been able to jump in since the tail end of November and it seems to have gone down pretty well. As expected, the achievement list will prove pretty demanding, with a bunch of lengthy grinds joined by plenty of skill-based and situational achievements that demand a full squad of players who both know what they are doing with their chosen class and can work well in a team dynamic — most of the game’s achievements on TA are sat on unlock rates of 2% or lower, which should give you some idea of what you’re up against here.
Take back the city of Tertium from hordes of bloodthirsty foes in this intense and brutal action shooter. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is the new co-op focused experience from the award-winning team behind the Vermintide series.
As Tertium falls, Rejects Will Rise.
We were impressed with New World Interactive’s realistic FPS when we offered our Insurgency: Sandstorm first impressions late last year, and were delighted to see it arrive on Game Pass just over a year after launch to throw open the doors for a bunch of new players to jump in and see what all the fuss was about. If you enjoyed the tension of the classic Clancy games and haven’t found a modern shooter that feels quite as deadly, Sandstorm could be just what you’re after… and seeing as it’s included with Game Pass, you can give it a go for yourself to see if it can fill the gap that other modern FPS titles might not.
Battle in the war-torn environments of a contemporary conflict through a series of intense co-op and PvP multiplayer modes. Feel every bullet and fear every impact in fierce close quarters combat as your team fights toward victory.
We’ll be back with the last of 2022’s Game Pass highlights soon, but for now, we’d like to know if you’ve had a chance to play any of these games. Let us know what you think of them, or if you plan on playing them, down in the comments!