Another month, another batch of Games With Gold. As always, these games are only “free” if you have an active Xbox Live Gold membership, or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Without further ado, August 2021’s Games With Gold are:
- Darksiders III (August 1 through August 31)
- Yooka-Laylee (August 16 through September 15)
- Lost Planet 3 (August 1 through August 31)
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves (August 16 through September 15)
Darksiders III, first released in 2018, is the standout here. Though the hack-and-slash game is, by Kotaku’s own admission, somewhat of a mess, it still offers some mindless fun—one of those games you throw on and zone out to for an hour or two. Plus, you gotta give it up for the local co-op. Yooka-Laylee, the irresistibly charming (if glitchy) 3D platformer, also has a local multiplayer component. Hear, hear for games that let you post up the couch with your friends!
Xbox Live Gold, Microsoft’s premium monthly subscription, costs $10 a month, and allows Xbox players to play games online. For basically ever, you needed to sign up for the service even if you wanted to play free-to-play games like Fortnite online, though Microsoft lifted that restriction earlier this year (but only after some very vocal public blowback). You also get a bundled-in subscription to Gold if you sign up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the higher of two tiers of Microsoft’s games-on-demand service. That costs $15 a month.
In months past, Games With Gold has put up four or five games spread across various console generations. We don’t seem to be at the point yet where it includes next-gen-exclusive games, likely because there are so few. But if you look to the horizon, you’ll note that the majority of next-gen-only games are landing on the Xbox Series X/S rather than the PS5. In the wake of Game Pass Ultimate’s popularity (and perks), the value proposition for Gold has undoubtedly dwindled. If anything could prop it up again, it’s the prospect of getting next-gen exclusives at no extra cost.