2022 Could Be The Biggest Year Yet For Xbox Game Pass

You’ve heard it a billion times. Xbox Game Pass is the Netflix of video games, it’s a tired adage that might finally be outdated as I’d make the argument that there’s far more value in Microsoft’s cloud-capable, streaming service than ever before.

No matter which way you shake it, subscribers ate heartily in 2021.

Not only was the third-party support there at launch for titles like Outriders, MLB The Show 21, and Back 4 Blood, but Microsoft’s first-party cannons, after so much prepping, began to fire toward at the year’s tail end with titles like Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite all dominating the conversation in a fourth-quarter where the competition was uncharacteristically quiet.

It’d be foolish to expect Microsoft to throw down their anchor now with so much momentum behind the service and its millions of users, and it does appear there’s already a lot on the calendar for Xbox Game Pass as we enter this new year.

But bear in mind, it’s only January. We expect there’s still plenty to be announced, and plenty of deals still being brokered in what is a perpetual third-party power grab between Xbox and PlayStation. If this past week is any indicator, there’ll be a heap of support as we’ve had confirmation of Rainbow Six: Extraction, Hitman Trilogy, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and The Outer Wilds both coming this month alone.

Here are the games confirmed as coming to Xbox Game Pass this year:


The Anacrusis

Release Date: Just dropped

The Anacrusis is an ultra-stylish four-player co-op shooter set in outer space where everyone is dressed in 60s chic. It’s got style, it’s got flair, it’s there. It’s the Anny.

Rainbox Six Extraction

Release Date: January 20

Just announced this week, Rainbox Six Extraction is coming to Game Pass at launch. Another big coup for the service.

Pupperazzi

Release Date: January 20

Do you love dogs? Do you love ‘Paparazzi’ by Lady Gaga? Then this is the game for you. I assume.

Windjammers 2

Release Date: January 20

I’ve seen Windjammers described as a mix of Pong and Street Fighter so we’re absolutely there for this sequel that’s decades in the making. It has Dodgeball Academia vibes and that game was an unappreciated gem.

Shredders

Release Date: February

Shredders looks like it’ll be to Amped what Session was to Skate. Time to hit the powder.

A Memoir Blue

Release Date: February 10

Get the tissues ready for this interactive poem about the all-encompassing love between a mother and her daughter. Annapurna are proving to be the Pixar of this industry.

Edge of Eternity

Release Date: February 10

This strategy-based JRPG looks to bridge that gap in the Game Pass market.

Total War: Warhammer 3

Release Date: February 17

As a real-time tactics and strategy game, Total War is set to fill another hole traditionally found in the console market.

Weird West

Release Date: March 31

This dark and twisted take on the Frontier is set to arrive after a bit of a delay, but we’re excited based on what we played of it.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Release Date: Q2

There’s war with hammers (and guns) and heavy armour, and it certainly looks tonally grim. Looks like a genuine blast.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

Release Date: December

Heart of Chernobyl promises to be the technical showpiece of the first half of the year, as everything we’ve seen so far looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Midnight Fight Express

Release Date: Q3

While referencing Hotline Miami, Modern Warfare 2, and Manhunt, Midnight Fight Express emerges as one of the coolest looking games on this list. A real pugilist’s delight.

Redfall

Release Date: Q2/Q3

Redfall is the first Arkane game to release exclusively under the Xbox banner, and it looks like another creative pivot from a developer that never rests on its laurels. This co-op open-world vampire-slaying shooter is sure to sink its teeth in.

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Deathloop

Release Date: September

Likely to come in September following a year of exclusivity on PlayStation, Deathloop has been a critical darling for Arkane and in a year full of time loop titles is the best of the lot.

Scorn

Release Date: October

Scorn, with all of its phallic imagery, was revealed so long ago it feels like it could have released twice by now.

Starfield

Release Date: November 11

Whether it’s reasonable to expect Skyrim among the stars or not, Starfield is Bethesda’s first new IP in decades and it’s exclusive to Xbox.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Release Date: TBD

Although I no longer trust rats, I loved A Plague Tale: Innocence when it came out and I’m particularly keen to see what Asobo can do with its sequel.

Atomic Heart

Release Date: TBD

Another game that feels like it’s been in the works forever, Atomic Heart looks like a stunning blend of BioShock and Fallout in this alternate history shooter set in the high noon of the Soviet era.

As Dusk Falls

Release Date: TBD

This interactive drama promises to be the Boyhood of game narratives as three decades of secrets entangle the lives of an Arizonian family.

Dead Static Drive

Release Date: TBD

Although we’re only hopeful Dead Static Drive will finally launch this year, at least we know the Lovecraftian homegrown horror title is coming to Game Pass when it does.

Bushiden

Release Date: TBD

After the success of Cyber Shadow, I’m excited to see even more games like this emerge. The sprites are gorgeous and the smooth animation is something to behold.

Chinatown Detective Agency

Release Date: TBD

Another in a long line of noir cyberpunk point-and-click adventures, but the vibe is certainly right.

She Dreams Elsewhere

Release Date: TBD

This striking surreal role-playing game evokes Undertale as it explores how our dreamscapes often mirror our reality.

Crusader Kings 3

Release Date: TBD

Further proof that Xbox is striving to be the place to game, regardless of genre.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Release Date: TBD

This game has a sword-wielding kangaroo. And that sentence is just too much to take in.

Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery

Release Date: TBD

Although it looks like a meme come to life, I dig the style and hope for a fun little detective romp.

Hello Neighbor 2

Release Date: TBD

After the original game managed to reinvent stealth-horror in a fun way, we’re keen to see what this sequel does differently.

Loot River

Release Date: TBD

Having played the demo on Xbox, I’d say the ‘Tetris meets Dark Souls’ impressions are pretty spot on. It’s brutal.

Nobody Saves the World

Release Date: TBD

“From the makers of Guacamelee…” — Stop. Stop right there, I’m in.

Party Animals

Release Date: TBD

It’s like Gang Beasts only much, much, much cuter.

Pigeon Simulator

Release Date: TBD

Assume the role of a bloodthirsty pigeon, hellbent on causing chaos and upending the status quo. I mean, it’s dumb fun.

Replaced

Release Date: TBD

How does a game going for a retro art style manage to look better than every other game on this list? Replaced is the cleanest use of pixel art I’ve ever seen.

Signalis

Release Date: TBD

This retro-tech horror game looks like Dead Space if it had been released fifteen years earlier. Stirring.

Slime Rancher 2

Release Date: TBD

This colourful, wiggly adventure looks like catharsis and therapy in game form.

Sniper Elite 5

Release Date: TBD

Now he said, Shoot ’em, boy!” But what I heard was, “Chopper! Shoot balls!”.

Somerville

Release Date: TBD

As a huge fan of both Limbo and Inside, I’m unreasonably excited for this game.

Trek to Yomi

Release Date: TBD

Trek to Yomi is likely to be the inevitable Devolver Digital gem that catches everybody off guard. It looks like an interactive Kurosawa film with realistic and bloodsoaked swordplay.

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