Microsoft announces Xbox Game Pass Core, a pared-down, cheaper subscription option

This new subscription tier follows the recent $2 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate price hike

Xbox Game Pass Core

Microsoft has announced Xbox Game Pass Core, a cheaper subscription option with far fewer titles than the standard Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate memberships.

Game Pass Core gives players access to “over 25 games” across Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One for $11.99/month or $69.99/year (at launch, it only features 19 games).

“At launch,” all current Xbox Live Gold members will automatically become Game Pass Core subscribers. Microsoft is killing off its Xbox Live and Game with Gold offering on September 1st with this new Game Pass subscription tier, meaning Game Pass Core (or higher) will now be required for online play instead. Xbox Live Gold currently costs $11.99/month in Canada.

All previously redeemed Games with Gold titles will remain available to players as long as they subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate or Game Pass Core. All Xbox 360 titles redeemed through Games with Gold will also remain in players’ libraries.

Below are all of the titles coming to Xbox Game Pass Core at launch (Microsoft says more are coming in the future):

  • Among Us
  • Descenders
  • Dishonored 2
  • Doom Eternal
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Inside
  • Ori & The Will of the Wisps
  • Psychonauts 2
  • State of Decay 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

While not every game in this list is a first-party title — for example, Among Us, Inside and Ori & The Will of the Wisps aren’t — Game Pass Core seems to feature Microsoft Studios titles primarily.

In late June, Microsoft increased the cost of the Xbox Series X and Game Pass Ultimate in Canada to $649 ($50 price hike) and $18.99 ($2 price increase), respectively. A standard Game Pass subscription increased to $12.99/month from $11.99/month.

While a cheaper Game Pass subscription tier is a good move on Microsoft’s part, especially given the recent price hike of the base offer and Ultimate, several great games are missing, and players also don’t get access to EA Play titles. Microsoft says that its other Game Pass subscription tiers off “over 100” titles.