Game with Gold is beating the Xbox 360, but not before to feature one of the console’s best games.
On September 16, Games With Gold will receive its final Xbox 360 game in the form of Portal 2. If you have an Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One and you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you will be able to download. And play Valve’s classic puzzler via backwards compatibility at no extra cost on your subscription.
Earlier this year, Microsoft said it would support retiring for Xbox 360 games on Games with Gold service. Starting October 1, more Xbox One games will replace them. While it is possible that we may still see some of the original Xbox games featured through the service.
Portal 2 isn’t the only game on the September docket. It will include fantasy adventure gods Will Fall, Shoot ‘Em Up Double Kick Heroes, and theme park manager Thrillville. But Valve’s puzzler is far and away the best of the four, even if it’s being emulated from older hardware. That means a lower resolution, 30fps framerate cap, and longer load times.
Was it all worth it?
Since the advent of Xbox Game Pass, games with Gold Service have always felt like a damp squib. Of course, with many games in mind that service features are often available on Game Pass as well, for longer periods.
Games with Gold has often been criticized as an afterthought. Most of the time, it certainly doesn’t keep up with PS Plus’ free monthly games, which often dazzle us with its high-profile offerings.
I’m personally not sure why Microsoft feels the need to get a grip on Games with Gold as a service. Xbox Game Pass achieves much of the same, albeit with a much larger library with no shortage of Triple-A blockbusters, indie darlings, and Day-One releases.
In the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft discontinues Games with Gold altogether. Hopefully for the feature until it’s out of Xbox One games, otherwise it’ll likely be around for decades.
And as for Portal 2, of course, it’s available on several other platforms, including PC and Nintendo Switch. But if you only own an Xbox One, and have yet to play Valve’s mind-bending adventure, set aside a few afternoons. It’s one of the best puzzle games ever, and the brilliantly witty script will have you hooting and hollering throughout its 8-10 hour runtime. Oh, and you can even grab a friend for one of the best co-op experiences out there.