Like a lot of modern gamers, I’m an Xbox Game Pass subscriber. I get a lot out of the subscription service, using it to play everything from Microsoft’s first-party exclusives to smaller indie sensations like Citizen Sleeper. There’s just one downside to that: I don’t own any games I play on it. If Microsoft decided to pull a game like Forza Horizon 5 one day, I’d have to shell out if I ever wanted to continue my progress. It’s a peculiar side-effect to the gaming subscription era, one that still makes me eager to buy any Game Pass title I love.
If you’re in the same boat as me, Steam can help. The PC storefront is currently running an Xbox Publisher Sale, which features major discounts on some of Microsoft’s biggest titles. From now until May 4, you’ll find heavy hitters like Halo Infinite and Gears 5 discounted. What’s particularly eye-catching is that tons of excellent games are currently on sale for $20 or less — with some of Xbox’s best exclusives selling for as low as $5. If you’re looking to buy some of your favorite Game Pass titles, here are seven deals you should know about (you can grab all of them for just over $86).
Psychonauts 2 is one of the Xbox Publisher Sale’s crown jewels. The award-winning title was one of the best games of 2021 thanks to its creative visual set pieces and a moving story about mental health. The sale comes at a particularly great time, though. Developer Double Fine just recently released a massive documentary about the game’s creation, which offers one of the rawest and most intimate looks at game development ever. It’s a must-watch series and it’ll make you want to revisit the adventure game alongside it.
If you’re a fan of strategy games, Gears Tactics is one of those games you don’t want to miss. And if you’re not familiar with the genre, the $14 price tag here should be enticing. The tactics game takes the intense action of the Gears of War series and perfectly translates it to turn-based combat. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t sound like it should work, but Gears Tactics turns the slow strategy genre into something that feels high-octane.
Xbox didn’t have a major AAA release in 2022 thanks to Starfield and Redfall‘s big delays, but the console still had perhaps the best exclusive of the year. Pentiment is a gripping narrative RPG that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I played it. Aided by an impactful choice system, the 16th-century murder mystery is exceptionally well-written, delivering a thoughtful story about how small actions can shape history. Currently on sale for under $14, it’s a fantastic deal on a game that’ll stick with you long after you’ve beaten it.
While all eyes are on Redfall and Starfield, Xbox actually has another major exclusive lying in wait. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is currently in development and is likely next in line for a release. While we wait for an official date, it’s a great time to play its predecessor, the fantastic Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The haunting action-adventure game follows the titular Senua, a woman suffering from psychosis who’s on a quest to save her dead lover’s soul. It’s a harrowing depiction of a very real disease, making for the kind of experience that’s simply one of a kind.
If you’re looking for a true steal during this sale, look no further than Sunset Overdrive. Insomniac’s Xbox One classic may be almost 10 years old, but it still holds up incredibly well. It’s an over-the-top zombie shooter about a hero who’s simply thriving during an energy drink apocalypse. Games like Dead Island 2 have come close to capturing its spirit in the decade since its launch, but nothing quite hits its blood-soaked optimism quite as well. For only $5, it’s a true no-brainer.
In addition to individual game sales, there are a few notable bundle discounts available. For instance, you can grab Pentiment, As Dusk Falls, and Tell Me Why for under $23. The absolute best package deal, though, is Ori: The Collection, which is 80% off during the sale. The package includes both Ori and the Blind Forest and its excellent sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Both are gorgeous Metroidvania titles with emotional stories and satisfyingly fast movement. Whether you’ve never played them before or just want to own them, $10 is a low price worth capitalizing on.
It wouldn’t be an Xbox sale without some big Halo discounts, right? While you can grab Halo Infinite’s campaign for just $30 on Steam right now, the better value comes in the form of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The package is 60% off currently, retailing for just $16. For that price, you’ll get the first four Halo games, plus Reach and ODST. If you only want a few of those games, each individual title in the collection is discounted to $4. Considering that Halo Infinite is still struggling with its content roadmap, you might as well return to the classic campaigns and multiplayer of classics like Halo 3.
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