Thanks to the power of cloud streaming, it’s easier than ever to play Xbox games without needing to even own the console. So long as you have a screen and a stable internet connection and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you’re good to go, as Microsoft’s magic beams a game directly into your chosen device. A significant chunk of the games in the Xbox Game Pass library can be played via cloud streaming on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop/laptop PCs. Some of the games even feature touchscreen controls, so you don’t have to bring a controller with you while on the go. We’ve rounded up the best Xbox Cloud Gaming games available now.
While many of the games on this list we chose specifically because they are ideal for mobile with touchscreen controls, there are some games that translate well to mobile devices that either require a controller or are better with a controller. Plus, if you want to feel like you are playing a console game, a traditional control scheme is the way to go. You can use the Xbox Core wireless controller and pair it with a phone clip. Alternatively, we’d highly recommend the Backbone One or Razer Kishi. Both controllers turn your smartphone into a Nintendo Switch-style handheld, and they are compact and good for travel.
For this list, we looked at multiple genres and tastes to create a roundup of dozens of games. If you’re in the mood to try something new or take full advantage of your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, there’s bound to be something that will keep your eyes hooked to a smaller screen. Of course, there are plenty more Game Pass games that are worth playing via cloud streaming or on an Xbox or PC. For a comprehensive look at the Game Pass library, check out our roundup of every Xbox Game Pass game available now. And for suggestions on what to play on your actual Xbox, take a peek at our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games.
Note: We’ve placed an asterisk next to the title of each game that supports touchscreen controls.
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling*
Follow the adorable Vi, Kabbu, and Leif as they explore the Land of Bugaria in this fun adventure. Inspired by the likes of Paper Mario, developer Moonsprout’s cute game is rich, colorful, and adaptable for any level of skill.
A great city-building simulator keeps you hooked for hours as you figure out the best design for your urban sprawl, and Cities: Skylines more than lives up to those expectations. Rich in metropolitan detail and easy to learn, you’ll be whipping up new skyscrapers while dealing with bureaucratic nonsense in short order once you’re in the city council hotseat.
Read our Cities: Skylines review.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Edition*
Danganropa: Trigger Happy Havoc is all about investigating murders, memorizing key facts, and preparing yourself for a few twists, turns, and betrayal in this war of words. There’s only one way to survive, and that’s to expose the truth in this cult classic that has been reborn with improved gameplay systems and visuals. If you enjoy Trigger Happy Havoc, the second game in the series, Goodbye Despair, is also available to play via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Read our Danganronpa review.
Ever wondered what would really happen if you were forced to explore a dungeon filled with terrible monsters? Darkest Dungeon examines that long-running trope of the fantasy genre, and shows just how battling nightmare fuel creatures could have a severe mental impact on your party in this disturbing adventure where hope is in short supply. Darkest Dungeon is a great RPG to play with touchscreen controls on your phone or tablet.
Read our Darkest Dungeon review.
An action-packed mix of metroidvania exploration and roguelike combat, Dead Cells is constantly challenging but never anything less than thrilling. Developer Evil Empire added some forgiving difficulty settings and a training room to the standout indie last year, so now Dead Cells is more approachable to newcomers.
Read our Dead Cells review.
Tightly-constructed and sporting an adorable crow as its lead protagonist, Death’s Door isn’t just a fun adventure game with eye-catching design; it’s also a surprisingly fascinating exploration of death that packs a punch with its deep dive into the great beyond.
Read our Death’s Door review.
Dicey Dungeons is a roguelike deck-building dungeon-crawler framed as a game show presented by hostess Lady Luck. That’s a mouthful of a description, but once you jump into it, you’ll see just how brilliant it is at combining cards, dice, and luck to create something that is both stylish and charming.
Read our Dicey Dungeons review.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age*
The eleventh time was the charm for Square Enix’s long-running RPG series, as Dragon Quest XI finally found massive mainstream success in the west. Gigantic in scope, this particular version adds additional scenarios and new modes to create the definitive Dragon Quest adventure. You can even play the entire game from a top-down perspective with 16-bit graphics if you’re feeling nostalgic.
Read our Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age review.
Still the biggest game on the planet, Fortnite today is a mixture of awe-inspiring world-building, classic action, and big events that make every season feel special. After Fortnite was removed from the App Store, it was only playable if you already had it downloaded–plus, you were stuck with an old version of the game. But now you can play Fortnite on iOS via Xbox Cloud Gaming. It’s also the first game to be playable via Xbox Cloud Gaming without a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Read our Fortnite review.
Forza Horizon 5
Microsoft’s long-running racing series has become a thrill ride of petrol power over the years, and the latest incarnation of Forza Horizon sees the racer burning rubber in a beautiful Mexican sandbox. Constantly fun and rewarding, Forza Horizon 5 is firing on all cylinders. It’s our pick for the best Forza game of all time. Just make sure you have a particularly solid and fast internet connection for this one.
Read our Forza Horizon 5 review.
For those of you who are interested in a Gears experience that is more cerebral, Gears Tactics is a great blend of aggression, strategy, and introducing the Locust to the business end of a chainsaw rifle. Every move matters in this game of gory chess, and that proves just how flexible the Gears of War franchise is when it comes to new game genres. Turn-based tactics games tend to work quite well on mobile, and Gears Tactics is a fine example of just that.
Read our Gears Tactics review.
Art appreciation is never a bad idea, but Gorogoa amps up the idea with a level of interactivity, multiple layers, and puzzles that’ll make you feel genuinely clever once you solve them. Stunning art, fantastic atmosphere, and devious puzzles make for an intriguing and unique puzzle game. Gorogoa has been available on mobile devices since its 2017 launch, so it’s an easy recommendation for Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Read our Gorogoa review.
Next time you’re waiting for your Uber, take a quick trip into the Greek Underworld with Hades. Beautiful to behold and riveting to play, Hades puts a great spin on the roguelike genre by ensuring that every run, no matter how small, always rewards the player with new tools, experience, and knowledge.
Read our Hades review.
Master Chief’s return to Xbox is the biggest adventure yet for the brand’s most iconic hero. Halo Infinite plays out across a wide sandbox filled with mystery and intrigue, and the move to an open-world design works exceedingly well. We’re recommending Halo Infinite for Cloud Gaming mainly for its campaign. While only multiplayer is playable, you’re likely to experience performance hiccups that can put you on an uneven playing field.
Read our Halo Infinite review.
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
Returning once again to the roguelike metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight dives deep into that well and sticks the landing with its elegant visual design, pulse-pounding combat, and haunting atmosphere. Perfect for on-the-go action or while you’re chilling at home.
Read our Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition review.
Kentucky Route Zero
A game that was almost a decade in the making, the complete Kentucky Route Zero package is a point-and-click masterpiece with an impactful story, stellar characterization, and a beguiling world. Don’t let the minimalist aesthetic fool you, because every frame of this story-driven title is a subtle look into a narrative that eventually reaches a thrilling climax.
Read our Kentucky Route Zero review.
Busting out of the confines of the ubiquitous sandbox game, Minecraft Dungeons reimagines the core game as a breezy dungeon-crawler for newcomers and veterans alike. It’s entertaining, expands on Minecraft elements, and has a goofy charm to it.
Read our Minecraft Dungeons review.
Taking inspiration from Slay the Spire, Monster Train adds a locomotive spin to the deck-building roguelike sub-genre as you navigate a train filled with all kinds of weirdness. One champion, many monsters, and plenty of fun to be had.
Nobody Saves the World*
A fiendishly compelling action-RPG with creative ideas, Nobody Saves the World creates a compelling loop of combat, exploration, and a wild assortment of masks for Nobody (the protagonist) to don to hook you into its world. With all of those various elements at play, Nobody Saves the World effortlessly merges them into a thrilling combination.
Read our Nobody Saves the World review.
An old-school RPG at heart, Octopath Traveler’s turn-based spell-slinging and well-designed touch controls make it a perfect AAA ambassador for cloud gaming. It also looks incredible thanks to its unique visuals; each battle feels great thanks to the game’s signature rhythm; and it can easily gobble up dozens of your gaming hours.
Read our Octopath Traveler review.
A detective game like no other, Paradise Killer gives you free rein to pursue a murder mystery at your own leisure. Imagine Columbo in Breath of the Wild mixed with eclectic visuals, and you’ll have a good idea of this wonderfully strange world that requires you to connect a few homicidal dots together.
Read our Paradise Killer review.
Double Fine’s sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts is a visual mind-trip that showcases the studio’s talent for creating artistic and touching video games. Psychonauts 2 also adds to its unique style with plenty of substance, and the end result is a fun platformer filled with tons of heart, humor, and compassion.
Read our Psychonauts 2 review.
Sea of Thieves*
Ever fancied a bottle of rum, treasure, and open seas? Digitally, you can grab all of that in Sea of Thieves, a rip-roaring oceanic sandbox developed by Rare. It’s all about charting your own adventure in the turbulent currents out there, and after having sailed the Xbox seas for a few years now, there’s a whole lot of content to experience in this fun world of piracy.
Read our Sea of Thieves review.
Slay the Spire*
Slay the Spire has an eclectic mix of genres–roguelite and deck-building to start with–but they’re combined into a package that elegantly wields the strengths of these game categories to full effect. Constantly fun and full of just-one-more-try appeal, Slay the Spire’s loop and fine-tuned gameplay have turned it into one of the biggest breakout indie hits of recent memory.
Read our Slay the Spire review.
For those days when you’d rather harvest turnips instead of fresh skulls, Stardew Valley will easily scratch that itch. Stardew Valley is the type of game that you can play for 15 minutes each day and feel like you got something fulfilling out of it. It’s one of the best farming sims ever made, and you don’t need a controller to enjoy it via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Read our Stardew Valley review.
Have you worked your way through Death’s Door and find yourself craving similar but fresh action within that genre? Tunic’s another great example of how the Xbox is home to fantastic Zelda-likes; although this game wears that influence more proudly on its sleeves. Tunic is littered with secrets to uncover, giving you a real sense of adventure all throughout your journey across its captivating world. Magical and wonderfully crafted, Tunic is probably the closest that the Xbox will get to Nintendo’s Triforce-powered franchise barring the mother of all acquisitions.
Read our Tunic review.
SteamWorld developer Image & Form Games knows a thing or two about creating fascinating worlds thanks to the SteamWorld series, and The Gunk is proof that the studio can easily shift from 2D to 3D. Gritty space haulers, a strange new planet, and a cathartic clean-up operation make for a soothing mystery to explore once you start mopping up the world around you.
Read our The Gunk review.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
A passionate parody of The Legend of Zelda but also a solid action-adventure in its own right, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion doesn’t pull any punches with its silliness. A fun romp with some great dungeon design and hilarious writing, Turnip Boy is a short and sweet love letter to one of the most influential franchises in gaming.
Read our Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion review.
Cozy and intimate, Unpacking’s house-sorting appeal and chill soundtrack makes for relaxing content. There’s no rush as you sort out the inventory of several boxes into new homes over the years, but the real magic here is how each item tells a story as you find the perfect spot to place those treasured physical memories. Unpacking is a cathartic and moving game that isn’t really like anything else out there.
Read our Unpacking review.
What Remains of Edith Finch*
Straddling a fine line between joy and sorrow, What Remains of Edith Finch is an incredible story-driven game that’s both melancholic and joyful. Stick through the mystery, revel in the art design, and prepare yourself for an emotional haymaker when you reach the end.
Read our What Remains of Edith Finch review.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon*
Yakuza: Like a Dragon trades in the more immediate fisticuffs of its predecessors for a turn-based RPG format, but everything else from the Sega series remains intact. Equal parts Japanese gangland soap opera and dynamic fantasy in an urban setting, the game’s greatest strength is a protagonist who steals the spotlight from the Dragon of Dojima who headlined the previous Yakuza games.
Read our Yakuza: Like a Dragon review.