It’s been a rainy start to 2021 here in Sydney, which has sadly meant I’ve had to spend more time inside… playing computer games… sad… Fortunately, the good people at Microsoft have been busy securing some excellent games for the best value gaming in town – Xbox Game Pass for PC! Below are my top picks for The Best of Xbox Game Pass for PC – January 2021!
Disclosure: This article contains products provided to Blog of Dad free of charge. Any thoughts expressed about the products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, read the Disclosure Statement.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
It had been a few years since I last played a Halo game, but it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing of things. Halo is much loved and for good reason.
It took me a bit of time to get used to keyboard and mouse controls, but I quickly came to appreciate the precision they offer. The graphics are great, the single player campaigns are engaging (especially Reach, which I played through for the first time) and multiplayer is glorious fun!
The first few times that I played online multiplayer I was unceremoniously reminded how rusty I have become. However, playing Halo is like riding a bike and I was soon back to my mediocre best – even managing to land a kill every now and then!
Forza Horizon 4
This game continues to dominate my downtime. It is seriously good fun and easy to pick up for a few minutes of racing mayhem each night before bed. The seasonal challenges keep the game fresh and you can never have too many cars in your garage.
The graphics are stunning, the gameplay is intense and the sound effects are cracking, especially through the EPOS SENNHEISER 601 headset. There is always something new to master – drifting is my current challenge.
I seriously recommend Forza Horizon 4 to any car-loving dads who want to live out their hooning fantasies (in the safest possible way).
Sometimes, you just have to mangle some demons…
The original Doom was one of the most significant games in video game history, defining the first person shooter genre. I doubt there are too many gamers of my age who haven’t played it. I still have very fond memories of those early days, even if my parents weren’t big fans of the extremely high levels of graphic violence.
Naturally, graphics processors have improved a little bit since the first iteration of Doom, so be warned, Doom Eternal turns the gore up to 11. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, the easily queasy, or for playing in front of the kids. Need an example? You can tell how much damage you have inflicted on a demon by how much skin and muscle they have left. Gory.
Doom Eternal is like a visit from that weird old high school friend. You don’t necessarily want to introduce them to the wife and kids, but it’s a blast catching up over a beer and seeing what they have become!
Among Us has been around for a while, but it has recently exploded in popularity. Why not jump on the bandwagon and find out what all the fuss is about?
Play as a crew member attempting to return to Earth. One (or more) crew member has been replaced by a parasitic, shape-shifting alien who wants to eliminate the rest of the crew before the ship reaches home. The imposter has to sneak about, sabotage the ship, deceive everyone and kill off the rest of the crew. Simple!
When a death is reported, the surviving crew can openly debate who they think the imposter is, and then vote for someone to leave the ship.
Among Us is great fun with friends or strangers.
Forza Motorsport 7
I’m pretty well addicted to Forza Horizon 4. However, sometimes the burning desire for realistic track racing overcomes the action-packed arcade racer and I fire up Forza Motorsport 7.
Where Horizon is all about drifts through stone walls and knocking over small shrubbery in the name of the fastest possible route to the finish line, Forza Motorsport is all about precision. Learn how to brake hard on the correct line, kiss the apex of each corner and accelerate out to close the gap between you and the next car, and you will have a good time in this game! There is a mind-bogglingly large amount of cars to collect and races to win. It is the type of game that might just convince me to investigate steering wheel and pedal setups.
Moto GP 20
If you have a need for speed, but cars aren’t your thing, the recently added Moto GP 20 is worth a look. As someone who hasn’t played a Moto GP game for many years, I found the learning curve of career mode to be pretty steep… and that’s before even getting the bike on the track. The intense learning continued on the track – motorbike riding is very different to car driving in both the real and virtual worlds.
However, once you get the hang of it, Moto GP 20 is a blast! I’ve never been keen to ride a motorbike in real life, but when the harsh (and permanent) consequences of my mistakes are removed, I’m all for it!
In the coming days I will be publishing my 2021 PC build article, and I’m very excited about it! Fancy a sneak peak? Check out the components below:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5600X
- Cooling: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
- Motherboard: MSI B550 TOMAHAWK
- Memory: 32GB (2x16GB) XLR8 DDR4 3200MHz
- Graphics: PNY GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition
- System Drive: 250GB Samsung 980 PRO PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
- Game Drive: 500GB XLR8 CS2311 2.5″ SATA III SSD
- Storage Drive: 3TB WD Blue 3.5″ HDD
- Case: be quiet! Silent Base 801
- Sound: EPOS SENNHEISER GSP 601 Gaming Series headset and EPOS GSX 300 External Soundcard