Xbox Game Pass Review

The Xbox Game Pass provides tremendous value with very few downsides, functioning as an all-encompassing streaming service for gamers. Games are constantly being added to the service, with the brunt of Bethesda’s (Fallout, Skyrim, DOOM) and EA’s (Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dragon Age) libraries of games now a part of the library, along with other one-offs, like Outriders, Control and Grand Theft Auto V.

That being said, a good majority of the Xbox Game Pass’ library is made up of games from yesteryear, and might not appeal to the modern, latest-hit-craving gamer, writes Zachariah Kelly.

Xbox Game Pass: A massive library of games

10 years ago, if you had told me that the Xbox Game Pass would exist (and offer big-title games such as those listed above) I would have not believed you. Over the past decade, the big-budget games industry saw a massive shift away from offering premium experiences for some $80+ per game, along with $60 of optional content, and in the direction of value for money. These days, while premium games are still priced upwards of $80, you’ll also get free optional content bundled in or released later on. When premium games aren’t upwards of $80, they’re usually free to play, like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends.

Xbox Game Pass seems to continue this trend, offering a massive library of more than 100 titles for as little as $10.95 per month, including major games like Grand Theft Auto V, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Doom Eternal. It’s a deal with value rarely seen in the gaming space, where hardware often costs hundreds (if not, thousands) of dollars – so to have access to this massive amount of games is amazing.

The Outer Worlds, available on Xbox Game Pass
The Outer Worlds, available on Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass: Pros and Cons

There’s a lot of good content in the Xbox Game Pass, but it’s not without problems.

Xbox Game Pass Pros

  • Great price for more than 100 games
  • Includes EA Play and Microsoft-published games
  • Works on Xbox One, One X, One S, Series X and Series S consoles

Xbox Game Pass Cons

  • Includes lots of older games
  • Requires an Xbox console
  • The games must be downloaded (a high-speed internet connection is recommended)
Control, available on the Xbox Game Pass
Control, available on the Xbox Game Pass

What is the Xbox Game Pass?

The Xbox Game Pass is a subscription-based video game service, kind of like a “Netflix for games”. Instead of streaming movies, users can download and play games included in the Xbox Game Pass.

Launched in 2017, the service is still quite young, and like with any streaming service, content is constantly being added (and removed). It’s a great value package, and is almost an essential if you’re an Xbox user.

The Xbox Game Pass is only available on Xbox consoles (listed above), and isn’t available on Nintendo or PlayStation. Although PC users can get the ‘Game Pass for PC’, which has a similar library of games (with some notable exclusions), if you want the Xbox Game Pass you’ll need an Xbox console.

NBN plans for Xbox gamers

Unlike Netflix, you’ll need to download and install the games of your choice to play them, rather than stream them on demand. This is because the file sizes are much bigger, so it makes sense – just make sure you’ve got a good enough internet plan to handle massive file sizes. Personally, I use an NBN 50 internet connection, and I was able to download 40GB games in less than four hours with the Xbox Series S I used to review the Game Pass, but results may vary.

You can find a wide range of NBN plans for gamers in the table below – just select the tab that best suits you.

Gaming-ready NBN plans compared

The following table shows a selection of published gaming-ready NBN plans from Telstra and Aussie Broadband on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Cheap NBN plans compared

Not every gamer needs the fastest internet, and some people like it cheaper. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 25 and NBN 50 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

NBN 50 & NBN 100 plans compared

If you’d like your gaming experience to have a little extra kick, these plans will do the job. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

NBN 250 & NBN 1000 plans compared

If you want an NBN plan with some serious power, an Ultra fast NBN plan is for you – albeit more expensive. The following table shows a selection of published unlimited NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Superloop logo

Unlimited Superfast 250/25

  • Superfast 250/25 Speed (NBN 250)
  • BYO modem
  • Special offer: $99.95 for the first six months, then $119.95 ongoing

min. cost $119.95 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $119.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Platinum Unlimited

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $116.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $128.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $128.90 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $128.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power User

  • Home Superfast Speed (NBN 250/25)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)
  • Special offer: $99 for the first six months, then $129 ongoing

min. cost $129 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Superfast NBN

  • Superfast Speed (NBN 250)
  • Typical evening speed: 215Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard.
  • Special offer: $140 per month for the first six months, then $180
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $3,459 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $140Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Kogan Logo

Diamond Unlimited

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Modem available for $69 upfront
  • Special offer: $134.90 per month for the first 6 months, then $148.90 per month ongoing. Terms apply, offer available until withdrawn.

min. cost $148.90 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $148.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site

Power House

  • Home Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000/50)
  • Optional modem from $149 ($15 P&H)
  • Special offer: $119 for the first six months, then $149 ongoing

min. cost $149 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $149Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Superloop logo

Ultrafast 1000/50

  • Ultrafast 1000/50 Evening Speed (NBN 1000)
  • BYO modem
  • Special offer: $119.95 for the first six months, then $139.95 ongoing

min. cost $139.95 over one month

3TBMax Data**/billing period $139.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Ultrafast NBN

  • Ultrafast Speed (NBN 1000)
  • Typical evening speed: 250Mbps
  • $216 modem (free when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: $99 connection fee waived (online only)
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE Standard.
  • Special offer: $140 per month for the first six months, then $180
  • Unlimited local, national & mobile calls included

min. cost $4,419 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $180Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

How much is Xbox Game Pass?

The Xbox Game Pass has three different plans available: Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass for PC and Game Pass Ultimate. We’ve broken down the differences in the table below.

Subscription Inclusions Devices available on Cost
Xbox Game Pass
  • Access over 100 Xbox video games
  • New games added over time
  • Access Xbox Game Studios games on day one
Xbox consoles $10.95/mth

Game Pass for PC

  • Access over 100 PC video games
  • New games added over time
  • Access Xbox Game Studios games on day one
  • Access to EA Play library of games
Windows 10 PCs $10.95/mth (First month is $1)

Game Pass Ultimate

  • Access over 100 Xbox and PC video games
  • New games added over time
  • Access Xbox Game Studios games on day one
  • Access to EA Play library of games on both PC and Xbox
  • Includes Xbox Live multiplayer access
Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs $15.95/mth (First month is $1)

If you’re interested in picking up the Xbox Game Pass, click the button below to head on over to the Xbox website.

Shop Online with Xbox^

What games are on the Xbox Game Pass?

The Xbox Game Pass includes a range of major games, including Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Doom Eternal, Outriders, Minecraft, Control, Fallout 76, Grand Theft Auto V, and NieR: Automata. The service is in no short supply of big titles, and there’s an undeniable amount of games available to play at any time.

Included in the Xbox Game Pass are several pillars of gaming that might interest you. Firstly, as Microsoft owns Bethesda and its studios now, you get access to a wide range of Bethesda-published games, such as Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Elder Scrolls Online and Dishonored. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate customer, you get EA Play as a part of your subscription – EA Play being a subscription service for older EA games, such as Battlefield V, A Way Out and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.  There’s also a massive range of independently published games included, such as Undertale, Ape Out and Donut County.

The Xbox Game Pass also has a wide variety of older titles. The original DOOM and DOOM II are included in the pass, along with the Dead Space, Mass Effect and Crysis trilogies (these require Ultimate). It’s also worth mentioning that, just as there’s a lot of content that you’d never watch on Netflix, there’s also bound to be games on the Xbox Game Pass that don’t click for you. That’s not to undercut the games that are there and worth your time, as they’re in abundance and available for a low price, but is just something to be aware of.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection, available on Xbox Game Pass
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, available on Xbox Game Pass

Should I get the Xbox Game Pass?

I recommend Xbox Game Pass if you’re an Xbox user – there’s a massive range of games ready to play for only $10.95 per month. If you’re playing games from the service often, you easily meet the value for justifying owning it, as $10.95 per month costs far less than the one-off costs of most of these games. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is also great value for $15.95, with the extra EA Play games added on.

Microsoft has announced that all Microsoft exclusives and Bethesda-published games (with a few exceptions) from now on will be added to the Game Pass at no extra cost, so even for new games, the value is very noticeable.

Product used for review/testing was a free sample provided by Xbox. 

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