The Best Free Games On Xbox Series X/S (Right Now)

·3-min read
Master Chief's helmet from Fall Guys sits in between a Splitgate soldier and Tom and Jerry.
Master Chief's helmet from Fall Guys sits in between a Splitgate soldier and Tom and Jerry.

Last year, Halo Infinite launched with a fully free-to-play multiplayer mode—a first for Xbox’s flagship series. But there are a number of other free games worthy of your time on Xbox. And it’s not just the obvious ones, from the battle royales about world war whatever to that weird metaverse game about Goku beating up Darth Vader. The following offer the best bang for no buck.

MultiVersus

Stephen Universe, Clark "Superman" Kent, Tom, and Jerry fight in Multiversus.
Stephen Universe, Clark "Superman" Kent, Tom, and Jerry fight in Multiversus.

It’s not quite Super Smash Bros., but WB Games’ MultiVersus is a competent clone of Nintendo’s seminal platform fighter. Rather than a litany of Mushroom Kingdom mainstays, you play as characters from across Warner Bros.’ properties: AdventureTime, Rick and Morty, the DC extended universe, and so on. The catch is that, to play with anything more than a barebones roster, you will unfortunately need to pay. But pro tip: In Kotaku’s testing, if you stick to local multiplayer—more fun for these sorts of games anyway—you can play with the whole current roster for free.

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Download From: Microsoft Store

Asphalt 9: Legends

A driver tears a Koenigsegg down a metropolitan arterial in Asphalt 9: Legends.
A driver tears a Koenigsegg down a metropolitan arterial in Asphalt 9: Legends.

Asphalt 9: Legends is the rare mobile arcade racer that feels like a full-fledged console game a la Need for Speed or Burnout. So it’s no surprise that the console port both feels and looks amazing. To be clear, it doesn’t offer the limitless freedom—nor the eye-wateringly beautiful visuals—of Xbox’s first-party hit, Forza Horizon 5. Still, it’s nevertheless fun AF to drive top-flight cars from some of the best-known luxury auto manufacturers on the planet on tight race tracks modeled, or, uh, inspired rather, by real world locales.

Download From: Microsoft Store

Hitman

Agent 47 walks away from an explosion in Hitman 2.
Agent 47 walks away from an explosion in Hitman 2.

IO Interactive’s recent Hitman games aren’t just stealth masterpieces: They’re a collection of fascinating experimental sandboxes, each one an intricate clockwork puzzle to solve. If you haven’t tried them yet, you can test out some of the opening levels for free. Starter packs for both Hitman 2 (featuring the terrific Hawke’s Bay level, set in a beachfront mansion in New Zealand) and Hitman 3 (a fun but not as visually thrilling level in a training facility) are available for free on Xbox.

Download From: Microsoft Store

Splitgate

A soldier aims a rifle in a space station in Splitgate.
A soldier aims a rifle in a space station in Splitgate.

Yes, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is free-to-play, and it’s amazing. But Splitgate puts an intriguing twist on the classic arena shooter: In addition to basic firearms—an arsenal that’s shamelessly copied from Halo, as it were—you can also create portals on the fly. You can shoot through them, jump through them, close one behind you as you escape with a sliver of health. Splitgate’s raw first-person shooter mechanics are competent and familiar, but it’s the addition of portals that makes it really stand out.

Download From: Microsoft Store

Fall Guys

A bean dressed as Master Chief battles other beans in Fall Guys.
A bean dressed as Master Chief battles other beans in Fall Guys.

Fall Guys’ pivot to a free-to-play model earlier this year was a massive boon. The effervescent platformer royale has always been popular. Following the switch, though, it hit stratospheric heights, amassing more than 50 million players, who bounce around in a rotating series of physics-based mini-games. If you fell off it following the first season of covid lockdowns—or never got around to playing in the first place—now’s the best time to hop into Fall Guys. Bonus: It’s the only modern game where you can see Master Chief and the Arbiter together in the same place.

Download From: Microsoft Store

Rumbleverse

A bunch of wrestlers stand in front of stairs in Rumbleverse.
A bunch of wrestlers stand in front of stairs in Rumbleverse.

Xbox is already a hotbed for battles royale like PUBG, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone. But those are all well-trod ground for most players. Enter Rumbleverse, a battle royale that puts a focus on melee combat over firearms. Though it only features 40-player matches—compared to the 100-player lobbies of its gun-heavy competitors—Rumbleverse is a breezy change of pace to the grim tones and nail-biting stress you typically get with such games. It might not become your next massive time sink, but it’s definitely worth giving a spin.

Download From: Microsoft Store