Xbox Live Gold members are used to getting a few free monthly games with their paid subscription, and for August 2018, Xbox fans will get their hands on a big name Xbox exclusive, a multiplayer favorite, and two last-gen cult classics which didn't get enough love back in the day.
Xbox One players will be treated to Forza Horizon 2 - 10th Anniversary Edition (available from August 1-31) and For Honor (from August 16-September 15). The Forza series has long been one of Microsoft's top tier annualized franchises, and 2014's Horizon 2 is one of the best. For those who haven't played any of the fast-paced racing titles, Horizon 2 is a great place to build hype for the impending release of Forza Horizon 4 this October. Meanwhile, since its launch in February 2017, For Honor has emerged as a top-tier fighting game for hardcore fans and casual players alike. The game has been bolstered by an extensive suite of DLC content, but only the base game is being offered as part of Games with Gold.
Related: Don't Expect VR to Come to Xbox One
Two Xbox 360 games are also on offer this month: Dead Space 3 (available from August 1-15) and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (August 16-31). Dead Space 3 took the acclaimed survival horror series in a different direction, allowing the entire story to be played in two-player online co-op, and shifting the focus away from horror and more in an adrenaline-pumping action direction. While many longtime fans of the series were turned off by the new changes, Dead Space 3 still stands as a great action game, if not the sequel the series deserved. On the more family-friendly side of the spectrum, Epic Mickey 2 added co-op multiplayer to its predecessor's platforming adventure formula, as well as a handful of charming musical numbers.
This is rather strong and diverse month for Xbox Games with Gold, especially for fans of multiplayer titles. For Honor and Forza both earned critical acclaim for their extensive online suites, the former which gets substantial support and content additions from Ubisoft, and Epic Mickey 2 is a great couch co-op title for players looking for something to play with the kids. Dead Space 3's online co-op has a clever hook, in that certain moments of the game are significantly different than when played solo. The Player 2 character, John Carver, has his own personality and character arc which is entirely absent in single player, and the story features many asymmetrical multiplayer scenarios, adding replay value to an already beefy experience.
Microsoft is performing admirably with regards to their selection of free-with-subscription Games with Gold offerings. In just the past several months, they've brought some serious heavy hitters to the table, from big-budget blockbusters like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate to cult classics like Vanquish and The Witness. Here's hoping they can maintain their momentum through to the end of 2018 and beyond.