Xbox's August freebies will leave you wondering if Game Pass is killing Games with Gold

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One’s getting better as the other gets worse

Xbox Game Pass is an excellent subscription service that offers one of the best (if not the best) values in gaming. Xbox Games with Gold, on the other hand, has been on a steady decline over the past several months.

That trend doesn’t change in August, as there’s no clear-cut headliner out of the bunch. On Xbox One, it’s Minecraft-like Portal Knightsand fighter Override: Mech City Brawl. There’s a double dose of original Xbox nostalgia for the backward compatibility games as 2004’s MX Unleashedand 2002’s Red Faction IIround out the month.

Is there a correlation between Game Pass’ ascent and Games with Gold’s descent? Is Game Pass’ ever-expanding library snuffing out candidates for future Games with Gold freebies? The business side of it all is obviously confidential and unclear. But one thing is increasingly apparent: Games with Gold is routinely underwhelming while Game Pass becomes more and more of an essential service.

Here’s the full Xbox Games with Gold breakdown for August:

  • Portal Knights(Xbox One, available August 1 through August 31)
  • Override: Mech City Brawl(Xbox One, available August 16 through September 15)
  • MX Unleashed(Xbox, available August 1 through August 15)
  • Red Faction II(Xbox, available August 16 through August 31)