Skip to main content

3 Xbox Game Pass games to play over Memorial Day weekend (May 24-27)

Senua carries a torch in Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.
Tomas Franzese / Xbox Game Studios

This was a big week for Xbox as it received its first console-exclusive first-party game of the year in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. We’re also approaching a holiday weekend where you’ll have a lot more time to play video games if you so choose. As such, there’s one really easy recommendation I can make to people looking for what to play this weekend. Hellblade 2 is a very dark and mature game that depicts what it’s like to have psychosis, though, so my other recommendations are a little more lighthearted.

The first is an indie game that launched in Xbox Game Pass earlier this month, where players control a cat exploring a city. The other is a collection of classic Pac-Man games that is leaving Xbox Game Pass very soon. Those two are worth checking out if you want some more relaxing, gameplay-focused fun this weekend after the intense experience Xbox Game Studios’ latest offers.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

Senua runs through a storm in Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.
Tomas Franzese / Xbox Game Studios

Released on May 21, Hellblade 2 is a sequel to Ninja Theory’s critically acclaimed action-horror game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which acutely and respectfully depicted what it’s like to have psychosis through its main character, Senua. Its sequel is no different, although this adventure is more about Senua making connections in the real world and accepting how her mental health conditions shouldn’t cause her to constantly live in fear of herself. It’s a compelling story, and Ninja Theory depicts it with industry-leading Unreal Engine 5 visuals and top-class sound design.

Make sure you play Hellblade 2 with headphones on. Hellblade 2 is a linear narrative experience that takes around seven hours to complete, so it’s definitely something anyone can beat over the course of this extended holiday weekend. We’re in the middle of a rough patch for Xbox, with the future of first-party studios like Ninja Theory being uncertain. It’s nice to at least get a great new Xbox console exclusive during this period that’s easily accessible on Xbox Game Pass.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is available on PC and Xbox Series X/S through Xbox Game Pass. Also, check out my four-star review of the game to see more of my detailed thoughts on its narrative and gameplay.

Little Kitty, Big City

A cat holds bread in Little Kitty, Big City.
Double Dagger Studio

The gaming tonal opposite of Hellblade 2 is Little Kitty, Big City, an indie game from Double Dagger Studio that launched into Xbox Game Pass on May 9. As its title suggests, you’re a cute cat who gets lost in a big city after falling off the windowsill that they are sleeping on. From there, an adventure reminiscent Untitled Goose Game plays out as the cat completes tasks, oftentimes messing with people, as they search for their way back home. While I’m not a cat owner, I fully respect Little Kitty, Big City for committing to the bit like Stray and paying very close attention to detail in how they depict the attitude and actions of cats.

It’s hard to not have a smile on your face when playing Little Kitty, Big City because it’s such a cute game. As a result, it becomes a perfect chaser to more intense games like Hellblade 2 that might leave you anxious. Little Kitty, Big City can be beaten in around three hours as well, so it’s yet another game that you’ll most likely be able to beat over Memorial Day weekend.

Little Kitty, Big City is available on Xbox Game Pass across PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It’s also on Nintendo Switch.

Pac-Man Museum+

Pac-Man walking around the museum hub in Pac-Man Museum+
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Hellblade 2 and Little Kitty, Big City are more delicately crafted experiences with linear narratives. If you’re just looking for some arcade fun this weekend, then you should check out Pac-Man Museum+ before it leaves Xbox Game Pass at the end of the month. You’ve almost certainly heard of or played a Pac-Man game before, and this collection bundles many of its greatest arcade hits into one place. The original Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Land, Pac-Mania, Pac-Attack, Pac-In-Time, Pac-Man Arrangement, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Pac-Motos, Pac ‘n Roll Remix, Pac-Man Battle Royale, and Pac-Man 256 are all included here.

My particular favorites in this collection are the original Pac-Man, which is an undisputed all-time classic, and Pac-Mania, which brought the series into 3D while still retaining the simple maze-navigating gameplay that made the original so fun. Pac-Man Museum+ also presents all these classics in a novel way. They are all placed in an arcade museum, and it’s possible to earn coins by playing them. These coins can then be spent on collectibles and furniture items that further customize the museum. This is the best way to play Pac-Man on modern gaming platforms.

The PC and Xbox One versions of Pac-Man Museum+ will be included in the Xbox Game Pass catalog until May 31. After that, you’ll have to buy the game on those platforms, PS4, or Nintendo Switch.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
3 new Nintendo Switch games you should try this weekend (May 10-12)
Two players play Nintendo Switch.

If you only tend to follow the biggest video game releases, it may seem like the Nintendo Switch is currently in a game drought. The system has only gotten a handful of niche releases last year, like Endless Ocean: Luminous, that haven't been Zelda-level hits. Zoom out a bit, though, and you'll find that Nintendo's aging system is still thriving. That's thanks to vibrant indie and third-party scenes that are keeping the platform engaging.

If you're looking for a new Switch game to play this weekend, you actually have more to choose from than you might realize. The system got several games this week, from a chaotically fun Pac-Man game to a genuine game of the year contender. Here are three games to check out on Switch, all of which are worth picking up this weekend.
Animal Well

Read more
3 Xbox Game Pass titles you should play this weekend (May 10-12)
Chai in Hi-Fi Rush.

This may feel like an odd weekend to play Xbox Game Pass because it has been such a devastating week for Xbox. It shuttered four studios that fell under Bethesda's umbrella, with Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks being the most notable closures. Although it can be tough to enjoy playing games during a time when the game industry is so clearly hurting, it also offers us an opportunity to look back at what these developers created and appreciate hard work. That's how I chose the three titles I'm spotlighting today.

First is the last game from Tango Gameworks, a critically acclaimed rhythm-action game that had the potential to be a new franchise for Microsoft had it not shut the studio down. Then there's a Tango Gameworks title that's more in line with the studio's horror roots and shows just how varied the studio's game output could be. While Arkane Austin's reputation has been sullied by Redfall, the last entry on this list is a much better game from the company. It's a sci-fi immersive sim that played right into the studio's greatest strengths before it chased the multiplayer game trend.
Hi-Fi Rush

Read more
This precious Game Pass adventure let me see the world through my cat’s eyes
A cat holds bread in Little Kitty, Big City.

I recently moved into a new apartment, graduating from a boxy one-bedroom to a much larger two-bedroom railroad-style space. It’s been a great change for me, but it's my cat who is thriving. She’s no longer a paperweight glued to my couch. She spends the days bouncing between rooms, jumping off of furniture, sneaking into cabinets, and peering out windows. Her entire world has tripled and she’s become a new creature because of it.

As fate would have it, that would also be the subject of the first game I played in my new apartment. Little Kitty, Big City is an adorable new indie game about a black housecat accidentally finding itself lost in town after falling off its windowsill. Had I played it in another context, I might have been tempted to write it off as a cute, but light indie curiosity (the kind of game that's perfect for Xbox Game Pass). Instead, it’s a classic case of the right place, right time for me. For one precious afternoon, I could see my cat’s big new world through her eyes.
On the prowl
Little Kitty, Big City is sure to draw some immediate parallels to Stray thanks to its feline hero. The two share plenty of DNA, but the big difference is that Little Kitty, Big City is more of a Saturday morning cartoon than the brainier sci-fi of Stray. As soon as I gain control of my fallen hero, I’m let loose in a small open city where I can get up to the same slapstick hijinks that my own cat annoyingly seems to love.

Read more