3 Xbox Game Pass titles you should play this weekend (May 10-12)

Chai in Hi-Fi Rush.
Bethesda Softworks

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

Chai slashes a robot in Hi-Fi Rush.
Bethesda

Tango Gameworks kicked off 2023 with the surprise release of Hi-Fi Rush, a rhythm-action game unlike anything the studio had made before. It follows a boy named Chai as he takes on an evil megacorporation called Vandelay Technologies after being cybernetically enhanced and merged with a music player by accident. It’s a fun Saturday morning cartoon romp with a quirky cast of characters, but Hi-Fi Rush shines because of its vibrant visuals and combat. To be successful during combat, players need to hit enemies on the beat, and it’s surprisingly intuitive to get on the game’s rhythmic wavelength.

It’s one of the best single-player first-party games Microsoft has released over the past decade. There’s nothing else that plays quite like it out there, and the entire adventure is full of memorable moments, fantastic songs, and creative gameplay ideas that are refreshing to see from a AAA publisher like Bethesda. It’s a shame Microsoft’s management did not see the value and potential of Hi-Fi Rush as a potential new pillar franchise, but you can by giving the game a shot on Xbox Game Pass this weekend.

Hi-Fi Rush is available through Xbox Game Pass on PC and Xbox Series X/S. It’s also available on PlayStation 5.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Using magic in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Bethesda

If Hi-Fi Rush didn’t already prove how big of a loss shuttering Tango Gameworks is for Microsoft, then Ghostwire: Tokyo should. This game, set in the titular city after a supernatural event causes a flood of spirits to invade the city and whisk away the souls of its population, is more in line with Tango Gameworks’ roots. The studio was founded in 2010 by Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil. The first two games it worked on were The Evil Within and its sequel, which followed in Resident Evil’s footsteps as survival horror titles. Ghostwire: Tokyo, on the other hand, was a riskier play.

It is more of a horror action title with magical combat that plays out from a first-person perspective. First-person shooters where magic is the primary form of combat are surprisingly rare, and Ghostwire: Tokyo is quite fun to play and a visual stunner to look at. It once again demonstrates how talented the developers at Tango Gameworks are.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is available on PC and Xbox Series X/S through Game Pass. Originally a timed PS5 exclusive, it’s also available on that platform.

Prey

A character holds a gloo gun in Prey.
Bethesda

Prior to its disastrous 2023 vampire multiplayer shooter Redfall, Arkane Austin made a fantastic sci-fi immersive sim game. That game was Prey, which was released and became a bit of a cult classic in 2017. Like any good immersive sim, Prey gives players a lot of different gameplay options in terms of how they want to explore the delicately handcrafted spaceship the game is set on. Prey’s eerie atmosphere and worldbuilding are also immaculate, and the roguelike Mooncrash content gives it some more replay value.

This was a studio that made top-notch single-player adventures, but Bethesda ended up tasking it with chasing the multiplayer live service game trend with Redfall rather than making Prey 2 or another original single-player immersive sim. The failure of Redfall and the studio’s subsequent closure will likely tarnish how Arkane Austin is remembered, but playing through Prey this weekend can help serve as a reminder that the studio was still very capable of making great games.

Prey is available PC and Xbox One via Xbox Game Pass. You can also pick it up on PS4.

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