20 Bethesda games are now on Xbox Game Pass — here’s what to play

Now that Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax has been finalized, 20 Bethesda games have launched on the Xbox Game Pass. Here are five great titles to get you started on the catalog.

Prey is sci-fi horror game where anything can kill you

Prey takes place in 2032 in an alternate future where humanity has invested deeply in space exploration. Unfortunately, what they discovered was a hostile alien race called the Typhon that can transform into anything. What appears to be a coffee mug or a chair could actually be a shapeshifting monster ready to kill.

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You play as Morgan Yu, a scientist working on the space station Talos I when the Typhon your team has been studying manage to break free.

If you’re a horror fan, this is a must play. Extra points for starring an Asian American protagonist.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fantastic reboot of the grandfather of FPS games

Wolfenstein 3D from 1992 has two proud legacies: Popularizing the first-person shooter genre (it’s often described as the grandfather of FPS games) and fighting Nazis.

Those are some big shoes to live up to, but thankfully, Wolfenstein: The New Order delivered. While it takes place in the same continuity as Wolfenstein 3D, New Order completely revamped the combat system into a satisfying mix of tactical play and the grindhouse action the original was famous for.

Once again, players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, a Polish American commando who wakes up to a hellish version of 1960 where the Nazis won the war and rule the world using improbably advanced technology. As B.J., you aim to end that.

Fallout 4 is a sprawling epic set in post-apocalypse America

Bethesda sure seems to have a thing for games set in scary alternate futures.

The Fallout world yet another divergent timeline where the the microchip was never invented (but atomic technology flourished) and a protracted war between the United States and China ended in a global nuclear holocaust.

In Fallout 4, the player wakes up as either Nate (a retired Army veteran) or Nora (an attorney). After waking up from a cryogenic chamber hundreds of years after the Sino-American War ended, the Sole Survivor travels the ruins of Boston in search of their abducted son.

Expect a lot of Americana, oldies music, and a big cast of zany characters. Fallout 4’s main campaign was just, well, okay. Where the game really shines is in its DLC, particularly Far Harbor story.

Try out the game. If you like it, I can’t recommend Far Harbor enough. 

Dishonored mixes steampunk, court intrigue and dark mythology

Dishonored is the story of Corvo Attano, a disgraced bodyguard who is wrongfully accused of murdering his benefactor and lover, the Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. As Corvo, you will travel through the Empire of the Isles on your shadowy quest to track down the Empress’ true killers and bring them to justice.

The game also happens to have an intriguing supernatural character, The Outsider. In the world of Dishonored, The Outsider is both worshipped or condemned in hushed whispers. He typically appears as a rather mundane young man, aside from his all black eyes.

Neither good nor bad, The Outsider appears to Corvo and blesses the former soldier with his Mark. Through it, Corvo is capable of unnatural abilities such as teleportation, spectral sight and control over rats. It’s up to the player to decide whether or not Corvo will use The Outsider’s “gifts.”

Pick this one up if you’re into stealth and steampunk. Bonus points for having a cool, morally ambiguous trickster god.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is the definitive version of the classic

Skyrim has won a lot of awards. Like a whole lot of awards. It’s so popular that it’s been re-released six times.

In Skyrim, you play as the Dragonborn, one of the rare mortal souls who can wield the power of dragons. The big bad dragon Alduin is preparing to destroy the world and it’s up to you to stop him. Being an open world game, how you do that in Tamriel (the continent which the Elder Scrolls games are set in) is completely up to you.

A big part of why Skyrim is so popular is also because of its thriving modding community. There’s thousands and thousands of free DLC you can download from amateur developers. These range from cosmetic improvements, player-made campaigns and general gameplay improvements.

If nothing else, you should play Skyrim just for the mod that replaces all the dragons with Macho Man Randy Savage.

And those are the five Bethesda titles you should check out on the Xbox Game Pass! Happy gaming.

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If you liked this piece, check out our comparison of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5.

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