I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to games. So much so that it’s become an ongoing joke with my community that I “change games more often than I change my underwear”. I think it’s partly because I’m a variety streamer but also because I’m just really… fickle about how I spend my time and I’m hyper aware of how expensive gaming as a hobby can be.
When it comes to spending 60 dollars or more on a AAA release I don’t usually leave my comfort zone of fantasy RPGs and sci-fi FPSs. If I try something new and it doesn’t click, I find myself feeling bad for not sinking hundreds of hours into a game I paid full-price for. It seems kind of silly but I’m the first to admit that there’s a certain amount of guilt that comes along with one’s backlog growing as you add a barely played game to your pile of shame.
So, when Xbox announced Game Pass, a Netflix-esque digital library of over 100 games with a low, monthly fee of $9.99 USD, it felt like the perfect way to get over my gaming hangups and try something new.
In the 17 months that I’ve had Game Pass, it has let me explore games that I once considered out of my depth or uninteresting with little to no risk. I download something, I give it a shot and if it doesn’t catch my attention: I uninstall it. It’s that simple (and my pile of shame remains the same size).
And as it turns out, being able to dabble in “foreign” genres like puzzle games, platformers, horror experiences, etc. without guilt looming on the horizon makes me MUCH more open to diversifying my game library. Who would have thought? So far, some of my favorite Game Pass discoveries are Stacking, Hue, Layers of Fear, Quantum Break and The Book of Unwritten Tales 2.
Now I find myself taking a closer look at upcoming releases, even if they don’t have dragons or energy swords on the cover, to see if they’re something I’ll enjoy thanks to my newfound appreciation of different genres.
And while Game Pass is busy making me a well-rounded gamer, it also comes with other perks like access to new, first-party Xbox titles as they launch, discounts on games and DLC and a selection of Play Anywhere titles that I can play on my Xbox or right on my Windows PC.
So, just like it’s important to expand your horizons when it comes to the other aspects of your life: travel, skills, social circles, etc. I think it’s equally important to expand them as a gamer and Game Pass is the best way for Xbox users to do just that.
Before you go, if you do decide to sign up for Game Pass, make sure you check out Oxenfree, Fallout 4 and Fable Anniversary. They’re 3 of my favorite games (of all time) and shouldn’t be missed!