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The days are getting shorter, and the darkness begins cutting deeper and deeper into the time we call our own. It's time to start cuddling up with a few little gaming-related treats. Kick back. Turn on a lamp. Grab some hot chocolate. Let's talk about free games you can play right now, and fantastic new additions to the most-popular subscription services out there.
This week, there are some absolute gems on Game Pass, as well as a few delights from all corners of the gaming world. Whether you're a PC player or a mobile menace, I have something you'll enjoy here.
The Next Guardiola
I'm starting with Game Pass because they've absolutely smashed it this week. Ever fancied yourself a bit of a tactical mastermind? Have you sat in front of a football match and thought to yourself, "I could do better than this chump". Believe me, I have. Many a Reading FC manager has fallen victim to my overzealous confidence and misguided beliefs of my own nous and understanding of the beautiful game.
Football Manager 2022 is out on Game Pass PC right now, and blimey, it's the best one so far. With a brilliant suite of features that'll appeal to both new players and superfans of the series, FM22 is the ultimate football simulation. I'll bring my beloved Reading to Champion's League glory soon enough, mark my words.
Check out some fantastic Football Manager guides by yours truly over on our sister site SPORTbible if you want some tactics tips, ideas for the best saves, or advice on the best wonderkids to sign, I have you 100% covered. Or, for a bit of moneymaking inspiration, you can have a look at Will McCue's adventures as manager of newly-loaded Newcastle United - it's a great read of an absolute rollercoaster of a season.
You Got A Fast Car
Another banger available on Xbox Game Pass is Forza Horizon 5. What an absolute delight for Game Pass subscribers. With a host of gorgeous landscapes and the option to group up in a convoy with your friends, Horizon 5 was enjoyed by record numbers pre-release, and Dean absolutely loved it.
In his review, he said, "It’s fun to play, stunning to watch, and even while writing this all I want to do is jump straight back into it. Whether you’re a fan of racing games or not, Forza Horizon 5 is a must play".
I've been playing it recently thanks to Game Pass, and I couldn't agree more with Dean's assessment. There are so many cars to unlock, challenges to complete, tracks to race, and it's just as delightful to lose yourself in exploring the gorgeous-looking areas of Mexico the game brings to life amazingly.
There's so much the devs managed to pack into Forza Horizon 5. It's a triumph, and made me genuinely enjoy a racing game for once.
Epic Games Does Borderlands
Borderlands 2's original DLC is now a free game on the Epic Games store until November 16th 2021. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-shot Adventure is available for free right now and takes inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons to tell a fantasy story adjacent to the Borderlands universe.
There's new content here for fans of the Borderlands series too. If you've already played Borderlands 2, some missions will be carried over from there, and there's some new Kite Shields, which push enemies back when broken. There's even Loot-a-pults, which launch loot across the map. If you're one of those people who just can't get enough of lootin' and shootin', the Epic Games store has you covered this week.
Pikmin, Not Pokémon
Are you a fan of Pokemon Go, but have had enough of Team Rocket's shenanigans? Pikmin Bloom, from developers Niantic, is a fresh Pikmin-themed coat of paint on the tried-and-tested augmented reality formula. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, Pikmin Bloom isn't what you want if you're looking for Pikmin 4.
What it is though, is a nice, chill companion for when you're out on a walk. As you walk, Pikmin show up and start following you around as if you're Olimar pressing Neutral-B, and you can beautify your route as you wander. The little lads will accompany you as you walk and track your progress, for the low low price of £0.
Grand Theft Auto Is Back
Finally, a little treat from Rockstar Games to you. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy has come out, with remastered graphics and improved controls for new-generation consoles. You'll have to pay for the entire trilogy, but if you want the Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - The Definitive Edition, you're in luck. It's on Game Pass right now.
Get back into CJ's shoes (here we go again), and make sure you follow the damn train as you fight to reclaim the streets of San Andreas. We don't know whether the other two games will be coming to Game Pass, but fans can hope that GTA III and Vice City make it for free at some point.
Enjoy your weekend, and try not to let the dark weather get you down! I'll be having a big ol' sleep and doing some cooking (along with the gaming, of course). I'm going to try making a doner kebab-style meal out of seitan from scratch - wish me luck.
Featured Image Credit: Playground Games / Rockstar
Topics: Free Games
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