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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a fantastic way to play new Xbox, Bethesda and more games on release, with hundreds of other excellent titles accessible to enjoy at any time. If you can only afford one subscription service, this is the clear winner.


  • An exceptional library of quality video games
  • Xbox and Bethesda games on day one
  • Solid network for online multiplayer
  • Amazing value for money


  • Clunky UI
  • Cloud gaming performance is not there yet

Key Features

  • Xbox exclusivesEvery game from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks is available to play on day one.
  • EA PlayAccess a selection of games from developer EA, such as Madden, F1, Star Wars and more.
  • Cloud gaming (beta) Play across console, PC, tablet, mobile and certain smart TVs via cloud gaming.


Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has been reshaped, reformed and reinvented several times since it was first introduced to the world back in June 2017.

Now six years on, Game Pass is split into two products: Xbox Game Pass for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One as well as PC Game Pass for those on Windows. This combines together – along with EA Play, the ability to stream via the cloud on console or mobile and lots of extra deals and discounts –  to make Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

The two things that have made Game Pass such a winning formula are the price and the vast number of quality games available to download and play at any time. That’s not changed – in fact, it’s only getting better. 


  • Prices starts from £12.99/$16.99 per month
  • All Access bundles in an Xbox console too

A subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes in at a price of £12.99/$16.99 per month, which for the amount you get in return is extremely competitive. It’s a deal so good that if you’re on a fixed budget or a teenager with a monthly allowance, I’d dedicate it all to this. The treasure trove that awaits behind this entry free is simply the best in the market. A £1/$1 trial for 14 days is also available. 

Xbox All Access is another great option that gets you an Xbox Series S console (512 GB) and 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at £21.99/$24.99 a month. This can be upgraded to an Xbox Series S (1GB) for £22.99 or even an Xbox Series X for £31.99/$34.99 a month. The options for different payment plans are huge in this day and age, considering many of us shudder at the thought of shelling out over £400/$500 in one go. 


  • Access to over 400 games
  • Xbox and Bethesda games available from day one
  • Activision games to arrive in the future

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers access to over 400 games (467 to be precise, at the time of writing) from the world of Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks to EA Play and Riot Games with plenty of top-quality indies thrown in for good measure.

Xbox gamesCollage of various Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games.
Credit: Microsoft

Many of these can be played via Cloud support. It can’t be understated how impressive this collection is, one that will only improve now that Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. With so much to play and the catalogue being regularly updated, you will never run out of things to play.

Some of the highlights include Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Starfield, Hi-Fi Rush, It Takes Two, Minecraft, Valorant, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Cocoon, Lies of P, Solar Ash, League of Legends, Deathloop and A Plague Tale: Requiem. 


  • Game Pass performance is great for downloaded games
  • Cloud Gaming can have very long waiting times
  • Requires fast internet speeds for optimal cloud performance

Utilising a 67.9 Mbps download speed and 5.39 Mbps upload speed (that’s close to the average in the UK), I’ve been testing the Xbox network through the console over a two-week period and online multiplayer works extremely well.

Dips in frame rate or latency issues are rare, meaning you can be rest assured when playing fast-paced titles like Apex Legends or Call of Duty that your gameplay won’t be hampered.

Screenshot of Xbox Cloud Gaming loading screen
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The same can’t be said for cloud gaming. The main benefit flaunted for use of the technology is being able to jump into a game immediately, without needing to download and install it to your console.

The reality is a far cry from this. My experience differed depending on what time of the day I decided to play. For instance, if I booted a game up during an afternoon midweek, I would get into a game pretty instantaneously. On the other hand, if I tried the same on a Sunday evening or any other time when most were at work, the wait times were incredibly long. 

My average time during these sessions came to 32 minutes. That’s not good enough. That’s half an hour of game time lost. Many people only get that amount of time to play games, so having to wait that long is simply not an option. I get that it’s in beta stage, but don’t sell it under your top tier if so. 

Screenshot of Batman: Arkham Knight via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming

Performance was all over the place too when I finally got in. Single-player experiences like Batman: Arkham Knight were pretty passable, bringing about decent picture quality all things considered.

But anything multiplayer was unplayable. A match of FIFA at one point looked like a CRT TV from the 90s with the number of wavelengths drowning the image.

Screenshot of FIFA via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud gamingCollage of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play game tiles.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s worth noting that Xbox recommends 5ghz for a solid connection, however, as many parts of the UK don’t have strong internet capacities, this technology is still not viable for many. 

Streaming via remote play is impressive, though again requires a stable internet connection. Playing Starfield on the go is very cool, mind. 


  • UI can feel a little clunky
  • Game Pass Ultimate is easy to set up
  • Play Later list to keep track of your backlog. 

I’ve never been a fan of the Xbox’s UI, which at best can feel a little disorganised and at best can feel like a Picasso painting. It’s clunky and crashes more often than I’d like as well. It’s weird how Xbox Game Pass doesn’t have an entry on the left-hand navigation bar in the Microsoft Store either, though there is one in the Home menu. 

UI of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Setting up Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is straightforward and takes no time at all. Head to the store, sign up/redeem your code and everything is unlocked. Once in, you can either choose to download a game or jump in via cloud gaming (if the option is available). A nice touch here is a way to curate a ‘Play Later’ list to keep track of your backlog. 

Aside from the masses of games accessible under the service, there are some additional bonuses: in-game currency, skins and limited subscriptions to the likes of Crunchy Roll and Discord Nitro. It’s nothing special, and I’d argue what’s offered here is the equivalent of what is offered to PS Plus subscribers at its lowest tier. 

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Should you buy it?

If you’re on a budget or love Xbox

Xbox’s first-party library is slowly improving but really, Game Pass is the deal of the century and if you’re working to a budget this is the game subscription to get.

You prefer blockbusters or multiplayer games for all the family

If you prefer regular big blockbusters then PlayStation would suit your needs more, or if you favour games aimed at everyone of all ages then Nintendo can’t be beaten.

Final Thoughts

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the gold standard for video game subscription services in terms of its primary offerings: video games. There is so much here for so little in exchange, making all of its competitors severely lacking in comparison.

Having the option to play Xbox or Bethesda games on the day they release cannot be understated, with anyone on a budget surely having to opt for this subscription service. Sure, cloud gaming might not be there yet but that’s a small blemish on what is undoubtedly a fantastic package.

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How we test

We test every video game streaming service we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Played multiple games on the service.

Tested the cloud streaming feature on average UK broadband connection.

Tested all available settings.


What does Xbox Game Pass Ultimate include?

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate provides access to a regularly updated library of 400-plus games, as well as the ability to cloud stream, play on mobile and play Xbox and Bethesda exclusive games the same day they release.

How much is 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate?

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is priced at £12.99 a month, so that’s £311.76 for 24 months. Another option is to get a console via Xbox All Access at £21.99 a month which throws in 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This equals to £527.76 which is a saving of £33.99 if you purchase the console at its £249.99 RRP.

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