Cloud gaming’s potential is undeniable. It frees gamers from endless upgrade cycles, ensures you can play your games no matter where you are, and even provides true cross-platform compatibility.
Not to mention that there’s just something undeniably amazing about starting a game on your console, heading out for the day, and firing it up again on your smartphone during lunch.
Various companies are trying their hand at cloud-based gaming. But Microsoft has a particularly appealing implementation of the idea.
Xbox cloud gaming taps into custom Xbox gaming cloud hardware located in data centers all over the world and is available for free to people with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
This widespread distribution ensures you’re always able to stream your games at the best possible speeds while keeping latency to a minimum.
But that raises an important question. Just what games are available on Xbox Cloud Gaming?
Well, wonder no more. Because you’re about to discover 10 of the best and most popular cloud gaming xbox games.
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Fortnite is one of those rare games that essentially defined an entire genre. The game was an instant smash hit when it was initially released in 2017.
Right now, Fortnite is even free on Xbox Cloud Gaming platform.
You could definitely find a wide variety of multiplayer battle royale-style games before Fortnite.
However, none of them really caught on well enough to popularize the genre as a whole. But when Fortnite was released people instantly fell in love.
One of the biggest initial draws came from the game’s style. Fortnite’s characters have an undeniable appeal to them that instantly draws people into the experience.
And this was in large part what really helped get people to try the game out for the first time. Fortnite has something for almost everyone. The gameplay is fast pace and strategic. The multi-player angle helps to keep things unpredictable. And there are even a fair amount of updates. All of these areas and more come with style.
You’re not just using a new weapon or exploring a new area. You’re doing so while being entertained by art and writing that has a uniquely appealing flair.
2) Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Mass Effect is widely regarded as one of the best action role-playing franchises of all time.
The series might not be as expansive as some other long-running series. But the first three games in particular were able to weave a strongly interconnected narrative that worked perfectly with its engrossing gameplay.
One of this futuristic sci-fi shooter’s greatest strengths stems from the fact that each game of the main trilogy led directly into the next.
Mass Effect isn’t so much three separate games as one single, huge, story that was released in three parts.
The Mass Effect Legendary Edition finally puts all three of those parts together into a single package. And it’s now available through Cloud Gaming.
One of the most notable benefits of this collection stems from the fact that Mass Effect is so story-oriented.
When you’re reading a good book you want to be able to carry it with you. And the same goes for enthralling, and quite long, story-based games.
Now you can leverage Cloud Gaming to bring Mass Effect with you just as you would a good novel. You might start playing the game on your PC. But you could keep going during lunch on a Chromebook.
And if you found yourself waiting somewhere later in the day you could fire up Xbox Cloud Gaming on your phone to continue the adventure. And with anywhere between 55 to 133 hours of gameplay, there’s a lot of story to enjoy.
3) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
The fact that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is on Xbox Cloud Gaming shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Skyrim is renowned for its longevity and the number of times it’s been ported. Skyrim was first released all the way back in 2011.
A graphically enhanced edition followed in 2016. And minor iterations have become the norm over time. And, likewise, ports.
Since 2011 Skyrim has been ported to most of the major platforms. And this of course includes Xbox. Just as you’d expect, the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform has full support for Skyrim.
It’s important to keep in mind why Skyrim has remained popular for so long. The Elder Scrolls has a reputation for huge worlds to explore. And Skyrim took that idea to a whole new level.
It doesn’t just feel like a video game. Skyrim puts a full living world in front of the player. You can take on a wide variety of different roles. From stealth-based strategy to frontline fighter, to a mage conjuring up minions to fight on his behalf.
People have put hundreds upon hundreds of hours into the game and still find themselves presented with new discoveries and mysteries.
This makes it an ideal match for Xbox Cloud Gaming. The always-on and always-available nature of the cloud means that you can easily dip into a Skyrim session anytime and anywhere.
4) Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a simulation game that puts players in charge of a rundown farm in the eponymous valley.
The game presents players with the challenges that you’d expect from a farming simulator. For example, you’ll need to grow crops and take care of livestock.
But the real draw of Stardew Valley is its atmosphere. This farm simulator doesn’t just put you in charge of work-related activities. You’re really put into the shoes of a character who’s just moved into a new area and a new job.
You’re taking care of a farm, but also managing the character’s life and social activities. Your character can even romance townspeople, marry, and have children.
The game is often celebrated as a relaxing journey. It combines a slow but engaging play style with immersive music and charming graphics.
This makes it an ideal match for cloud gaming. Any time you want to relax you can instantly log into Xbox Cloud Gaming and enjoy some time in Stardew Valley.
5) Forza Horizon 5
Forza is one of the world’s most popular racing franchises for good reason. The franchise takes authenticity very seriously. This is often reflected by real-world accurate cars, locations, and performance.
Though the Horizon subseries usually introduces fictional elements as well. But even within that mix of fact and fiction authenticity reigns supreme. And in Forza Horizon 5 players get a chance to experience what it’d be like to race in Mexico.
Different parts of the larger game map have a wide variety of weather patterns. This makes it really feel like you’re in a living ecosystem that behaves just like you’d expect in the real world. And this also makes it a great match for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Whenever you find yourself wanting to see the beautiful landscapes and weather of Mexico you can simply log into your account and fire up your Forza Horizon 5 session.
6) Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo is another example of a game that almost defines a genre. The first Halo game was one of the biggest selling points for the original Xbox. People bought an Xbox just to play Halo.
It introduced players to a whole new take on the first-person shooter experience. The game had everything from an engrossing story to amazing graphics and frantic gameplay.
The Halo: The Master Chief Collection celebrates that long history by bringing the first five main Halo games into a single package. But this isn’t just a straight port. The Halo: The Master Chief Collection also contains some impressive graphical and quality-of-life updates.
In fact, Halo 2 received an HD redesign for both cutscenes and audio which is exclusive to this collection. Older fans can enjoy the many new additions to the franchise.
And new players can experience this groundbreaking series for the first time with significant quality-of-life improvements.
7) Fallout 4
Fallout 4, like Skyrim, is an open-world role-playing game created and published by Bethesda. Fallout 4 was originally released in 2015. But don’t let the game’s age fool you.
At the time of release Fallout 4 was one of the most expansive and detailed open-world games. And it hasn’t had much competition since. It’s estimated that a full 100% completion would take about 160 hours.
And that playtime would be filled with constant exploration, combat, and discovery. The post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 might paint a grim portrait of the future.
But it makes for an amazing environment to explore within a video game. And, likewise, this makes it an ideal match for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
These types of expansive open-world games are even more fun when you can log in to play anywhere you want and with almost any device.
8) Gears of War 3
Gears of War is one of the more popular third-person shooter franchises. And Gears of War 3 marks an important point within the series.
This title takes many of the great ideas found in the first two games and polishes them into something truly extraordinary. This was possible in large part because of what really defines a Gears of War game – strategy.
Many third-person shooters can be best defined as a “run and gun”. That kind of frantic action can be fun. But Gears of War 3 instead puts emphasis on squad tactics along with intelligent use of both cover and weapons.
9) Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the 4th and most recent entry into the Batman: Arkham series. As with many of the best titles on Xbox Cloud Gaming, it’s an open-world action game with a strong strategy element.
In this case, players get the chance to take on the role of Batman as he attempts to discover exactly what the supervillain Scarecrow is up to.
Batman: Arkham Knight features solid gameplay which smoothly mixes stealth and action together. But the real draw of the game is its setting.
Any Batman fan will find a lot to love about the game. It’s filled with both major and minor characters from the franchise. And it even features voicework from actors involved with the animated series.
10) Far Cry 5
Mention first-person shooters and a discussion of Far Cry will be inevitable. The franchise is notable for expansive wilderness locations painted with impressive graphical fidelity.
Far Cry 5 falls solidly within that theme. But it also provides a surprisingly poignant story that touches on the damage caused by extremist philosophies.
As you’d expect, there’s a wide variety of native wildlife to fight or avoid. But as a deputy sheriff in a rebellious enclave, you’ll also need to aid resistance members trying to liberate the area.