Over Christmas, many of you might have received a shiny new games console under the tree, whether it be an older Xbox One or a new Xbox Series S | X.
The consoles themselves are brilliant for entertainment, with thousands of great games to play and a wealth of TV show and movie apps like Netflix, Sky Sports, Spotify or NOW TV all available to download.
But is there more you can get from your Xbox? Speaking of all those subscription services above prompts us to talk about Microsoft’s own subscription service, Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: What is it?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the combination of two services offered to gamers by Xbox: Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold. You’ll get both services for one monthly fee rather than paying out for the two modes separately, which will save you money and hassle.
Game Pass is the bit that gives you access to Microsoft’s bulging library of games across the history of the console. A huge list of games will become free for you to download and play at any time, with no limits to what you download or how much you play, so long as you continue to subscribe.
Some of the games on this list are even top-tier titles, like Sea of Thieves, Senua’s Sacrifice, or any and all games from the Halo, Gears or Forza series.
And if any of these games are part of the Xbox Play Anywhere system, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps, you can switch over to play them on your PC or smartphone and continue your progress elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Xbox Live Gold is the online multiplayer aspect of Microsoft gaming, though there are a few other benefits to signing up.
The multiplayer aspect is the big part of Live Gold. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to form and join voice parties with friends, send messages and play online friends.
However, Microsoft also gives you the chance to download and play four additional games every month. Two of them will be Xbox One titles, and the other two will be backwards compatible games from the history of Xbox.
You’ll also get exclusive discounts in the Xbox Game Store, helping you save a small percentage on games, apps, movies, and more each month. This doubles up with the access to EA Play, which has a partnership with Microsoft and gives you free access to their library of games, like FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21 and Star Wars BattleFront 2.
Again, these two services are normally separate, but signing up to Game Pass Ultimate gets you both for one price.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Price
Game Pass Ultimate is usually £10.99 a month, but Microsoft is running an offer which will help you get the service for just £1, helping you save a whopping 91%.
You’ll also get your next two months subscription for free with this deal. You can sign up to this on the official Microsoft store, and it really is great value for the amount of access you get with the subscription.
Once those three months have been used, you can then sign up either through your Xbox and just set up a direct debit, or you can buy vouchers which can often help you save a bit of cash on multiple month-bundles at once.
There are plenty of vouchers available during big sales periods like Black Friday or Christmas where you can get several months worth of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for less so keep your eyes peeled.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Is it worth it?
The short answer is: yes, most definitely Game Pass Ultimate is worth it, particularly if you’re only paying £1 for your first three months.
There’s a basketful of value from the service and it’s quick and simple to sign up.
Looking just at the free games you get to play, there are well over 100 titles you can download and play whenever you want, ranging from small independent games to triple-A top-end titles. Even if you download just three of those games, you’re easily earning your money back per month.
And the selection of games you can download are top-notch. Sail the open seas in the incredibly fun Sea of Thieves, or explore space with Master Chief in any of the Halo games.
And if you can’t find any games you like in that list you can explore EA Play for a number of great sporting games. And after that, you can check out the Xbox games store and enjoy anywhere from 15%-75% on the latest games.
We also really enjoy the heavy discount on the multiplayer part of Live Gold as playing online with friends is arguably the best part of gaming.
If you’ve just got an Xbox or you’re looking for a little more from your console, sign up to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now.
Digital Spy’s digital magazine is back! Check out issue 6 – including an exclusive chat with Ant & Dec – plus all past issues with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy’s weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don’t forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io