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After the Xbox Games Showcase, play these Game Pass greats this weekend (June 14-16)

Marcus in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
Xbox Games Studios

We’re coming off a fantastic week for Xbox. Although this has been a rough year for the company and game reveals don’t make up for all the developers Microsoft has laid off, the Xbox Games Showcase did feature lots of promising games and helped reaffirm the feeling that Xbox is here to stay in gaming. As I returned from Summer Game Fest and wondered which Xbox Game Pass games to recommend this weekend, I looked to games that will give you more context to some of the best announcements from 2024’s Xbox Games Showcase.

One is a remaster of the first game in a hallmark Xbox franchise that’s getting a prequel soon. After that, there’s the Dragon Age game that you need to check out so you’re all up to speed whenever Dragon Age: The Veilguard launches later this year. Finally, we have a retro first-person shooter from Rare that still holds up today, getting a revival by The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gameplay from Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
Xbox Game Studios

The final announcement of 2024’s Xbox Games Showcase was Gears of War: E-Day, a prequel that will go back and tell the story of when the Locust Horde first attacked the surface of Sera. Gears of War is one of the pillar franchises of Xbox, so if you’ve somehow never played one before the announcement of Gears of War: E-Day, it gives you the perfect excuse to revisit the original. While the game still holds up on Xbox 360, the Xbox One and PC remaster Gears of War: Ultimate Edition that released in 2015 will be your best choice to experience this classic.

No other third-person shooter quite matches the intensity and brutality of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and its story is surprisingly gripping. Although we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait to see the series come full circle with Gears of War: E-Day, it’s always a great time to start a new playthrough of this entertaining Xbox staple.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is available now for PC and Xbox One through Xbox Game Pass.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

A dragon in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
EA

Dragon Age: The Veilguard was a major announcement during the Xbox Games Showcase and impressed at Summer Game Fest. As such, you should play Dragon Age: Inquisition, the game its story is directly tied to. Released in 2014, this is a massive BioWare fantasy RPG with lots of open hubs for players to explore as they make their way through a long quest and build up the titular Inquisition to save Thedas. It was the last great game by BioWare before the misfires that were Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.

While I personally think Dragon Age: Origins is a bit better, the plot of Inquisition will be a lot more specifically relevant to The Veilguard. Solas, the Dread Wolf and seemingly main villain of The Veilguard, is actually a party member in this game. Characters that will return in The Veilguard like Varric and Harding also pop up in this game. You’ll definitely want a refresher on the characters and events of Inquisition before you start playing The Veilguard. Plus, Inquisition is pretty long, so you might as well start replaying it (or checking it out for the first time) now.

You can check out Dragon Age: Inquisition on PC or Xbox One via EA Play if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The game was also released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PS4.

Perfect Dark

A screenshot from the original Perfect Dark.
Rare

While GoldenEye is the most fondly remembered shooter from Rare, 2000’s Perfect Dark is arguably its real masterpiece. Originally released for Nintendo 64, this is a slick sci-fi thriller where players go up against a mysterious alien threat as the badass secret agent Joanna Dark. Its story is surprisingly entertaining for the time it was released, and Perfect Dark’s open-ended level design and shooting still feel surprisingly engaging for a game that is now over 24 years old.

Years ago, Microsoft confirmed that its studio The Initiative was reviving the Perfect Dark franchise, which hasn’t seen a new entry since the Xbox 360 launch title and prequel Perfect Dark Zero. The revival, also named Perfect Dark, had a stunning gameplay debut during this year’s Xbox Games Showcase and reminded me that more people need to check out the original. While Perfect Dark is a Nintendo 64 game, 4J Studios remastered it for Xbox 360 in 2010, and it’s included in 2015’s Rare Replay.

Because of its inclusion in Rare Replay, the Xbox 360 version of Perfect Dark is available on Xbox consoles via Game Pass. You can download this specific game independently of the rest of the collection, though.

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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