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3 new Xbox Game Pass games to play this weekend (June 28-30)

This June has been quite a busy one for Xbox as it unveiled a variety of exciting new titles at the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this month. Comparatively, this month’s Xbox Game Pass additions were quieter than some other months, but several worthwhile games still came to Microsoft’s gaming subscription service this June. Three in particular stand out to me.

One is a fantastic throwback RPG that’s in the HD-2D style that Square Enix is using for the Dragon Quest III remake. After that, I’m recommending an indie platformer centered around digging that’s one of the best games in the wider SteamWorld franchise. Finally, for the sports fans out there, EA Sports’ latest soccer game just got added to Xbox Game Pass in the middle of UEFA Euro 2024.

Octopath Traveler 2

Square Enix makes plenty of big-budget AAA role-playing games still, but my favorites from them recently have been the smaller-scale ones. These typically sport an art style called HD-2D that emulates the pixel art look of SNES classics but uses more modern lighting features. The first game to feature this aesthetic was 2018’s Octopath Traveler, which is also now on Xbox Game Pass. I’m recommending its sequel, Octopath Traveler 2, which launched in 2023 and came to Xbox Game Pass alongside its predecessor earlier this month.

It’s a classic turn-based RPG where the main hook is that players can start their adventure as one of eight different characters. Each has a unique introduction, storyline, and path action they can use to interact with NPCs. Who players choose to start with and recruit thereafter has a large impact on the game. As a sequel, Octopath Traveler 2 builds upon what made the original great with stronger writing, deeper interactions between party members, more reactive NPCs and questlines, and the ability to increase the speed at which the turn-based battles play out. Any RPG fan on Xbox needs to download it and give at least one character introduction from this game a chance this weekend.


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