4 Games Free to Xbox Live Gold Members in July 2016

Xbox One and controller

Source: Microsoft

Being an Xbox Live Gold subscriber means you get free games each month. The service costs around $60 per year, but the games are worth far more than that, even if you’re only interested in playing a fraction of them. (If you’re a PlayStation owner, check out Sony’s similar service, PlayStation Plus.)

Each month, Microsoft gives away two games apiece for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Thanks to backwards compatibility, you can play all of the Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, which means Xbox One owners effectively get four free games each month instead of two.

It’s also worth noting that even if you don’t have an Xbox One yet, you can redeem your free games either on Xbox.com or your Xbox 360. Then if you buy an Xbox One in the future, you’ll be able to find those games in your account and download them for free.

Without further ado, here are the free Games With Gold for July 2016.

1. Banner Saga 2

Platform: Xbox One
Metacritic score: 83
Original price: $19.99
Available: July 1 – 31

If your interests range from Vikings to turn-based strategy games, The Banner Saga 2 will be right up your alley. Your army sets out on a desolate march across the land, taking on opposing armies to gain the upper hand and eventually achieving victory. It’s a fairly standard strategy game, but it’s wrapped in a bleak but touching story — much like its excellent predecessor. Thankfully, the characters are wonderful, and the graphics and presentation are top notch.

2. Tumblestone

Platform: Xbox One
Original price: $19.99
Available: July 16 – August 15

Tumblestone is a new indie game that offers competitive puzzle battles. It’s a block-matching game that has you trying to zap groups of three like-colored blocks out of the game as new rows of blocks appear onscreen. You can play it solo in the story mode or you can go up against other players in a race to see who can clear the screen first. It’s not out yet, so no reviews are available, but it doesn’t look all that compelling. If nothing else, perhaps the game’s silly trailer will offer a few minutes of entertainment.

3. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Metacritic score: 82
Original price: $19.99
Available: July 1 – 15

This game rocks. You take charge of an elite team of counterterrorists who have to stop a bunch of bad guys from ruining the vacations of everyone who decided to go to Sin City one unfortunate day. Anyone who thought previous entries in this series of tactical shooters were too slow can rest assured that this sequel has many of the conveniences of fast modern shooters, including regenerating health bars, a great cover system, and a run button. And it has tons of action set pieces that take place in iconic environments you’ll know if you’ve been to the movies. If you didn’t catch this one during its original 2008 release, be sure to download it.

4. Tron: Evolution

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Metacritic score: 58
Original price: $14.99
Available: July 16 – 31

They can’t all be winners. This middling action game from 2010 is set between the two Tron movies and features light cycle riding and disc-throwing combat. It also has parkour-style movement, complete with crazy acrobatics like wall running, but the animations are more stiff than fluid. The game is just undercooked, but it may appeal to any Tron fanatics who missed it the first time around.

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