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Xbox Game Pass: 10 Best Games With Touch Controls | ScreenRant

Gamers weren't sure what to expect when Microsoft first announced their Game Pass program, a subscription service that grants members unlimited access to a mixture of first and third-party games on Xbox consoles and PCs. The program has proven to be incredibly popular, and, since its debut, many new features have been added to the program that give players more ways to enjoy the games on the service.

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While gamers have been able to play several games on mobile devices with a connected controller for quite a while, some games can now be played with modified controls right on a touch screen. This increased accessibility is great for customers, but it's important to know which games play well without physical buttons or controllers.

10 Celeste

Ultra-punishing platformers saw a resurgence after the success of Super Meat Boy, but Celeste's positive narrative set it apart from others in the genre. Celeste sees the player character, Madeline, attempt to climb Mount Celeste throughout nine narrative chapters and hundreds of platforming levels.

Madeline can jump, cling to walls, and change directions mid-air, and the simple controls translate exceptionally well to a mobile device screen. Players looking for one of the most challenging platformers of all time will find plenty here to love, but it's also surprising how emotional and compelling the game's narrative becomes.

9 Gears of War 5

Gears of War 5 may have been released for the Xbox One, but its next-gen update has made it one of the best-looking games on the Xbox Series X|S consoles. Playing something on a mobile device that looks as good as Gears 5 does showcase the impressive technology behind Game Pass' Cloud Gaming service.

This may be the fifth entry in the Gears of War franchise, but it's a great narrative starting point for new fans. Despite the game being a fast-paced first-person shooter, Gears 5 plays incredibly smoothly with touch controls.

8 Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire takes two popular genres—roguelikes and deck builders—and combines them into an addictive turn-based fantasy horror game. Slay the Spire is perfect for short sessions on the go, and the controls actually work better on a touch screen than on a traditional monitor.

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Moving cards around is smooth, and, with no time-sensitive decisions to make, players don't need to worry about interruptions to play. Slay the Spire is also available to download on mobile devices via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but the Microsoft loyal can save $10 by opting to stream the game through Game Pass instead.

7 NieR:Automata BECOME AS GODS Edition

NieR:Automata was released in 2017 to near-universal critical praise and received several nominations and victories for Game of the Year awards. The game's original version only launched on the PlayStation 4, Steam, and the Windows Store. It was released a year later on the Xbox One as the BECOME AS GODS Edition, sporting slightly improved graphical fidelity.

NieR:Automata is a third-person action game with quick combat that works well with touch controls. Playing on Game Pass may mean that NieR:Automata's best mods are unavailable, but the game's story is one of the best in the medium and is worth experiencing on any screen.

6 Monster Train

Monster Train is a roguelike deck-building game that takes several cues from Slay the Spire, but it adds enough to keep the experience feeling fresh and fun. Players must defend a train that is flying through hell as enemies from heaven attempt to stop the vehicle. Each encounter takes place on a vertical playing field with four floors, and players must prevent enemies from ascending to the top floor and damaging the friendly spire.

Each floor can hold two defenders, and choosing placements and order on each floor adds satisfying strategic elements to fights. Monster Train's simple controls make this fantastic roguelike game great for mobile devices, and the short levels are perfect for playing during quick breaks throughout the day.

5 Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice mixes elements of Norse and Celtic culture and mythology to present a haunting narrative about fear, loss, and the challenges of self-discovery. Gameplay is split between environmental exploration, puzzles, and combat, and the fairly simple controls mean that the experience works well on a touch screen.

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Senua's Sacrifice makes excellent use of narration and spatial audio, so it's critical to play the game with a pair of headphones. Listening to the audio via mobile device speakers will rob the game of one of its most powerful narrative tools.

4 Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

Square Enix's latest entry in the Dragon Quest franchise was originally released on the 3DS and PlayStation 4 in 2017, but the game's Definitive Edition made its way to the Xbox One in 2020. Fans shouldn't worry about the large number in the game's title; critics praised Dragon Quest XI for being an excellent onboarding point for newcomers to the series.

There are quite a few Western RPGs available on Game Pass, but Dragon Quest XI is one of the few available JRPGs, and its sprawling story and tight turn-based gameplay will keep players busy for dozens of hours. This definitive edition is the best way to play, as it adds the option to listen to an orchestral version of the score, expanded missions, and an optional retro 2D mode.

3 Cities: Skylines

The Sim City franchise was once the de facto top of the city-builder genre, but the most recent entry largely left fans disappointed. Fortunately, City: Skylines came out and delivered the straightforward, focused building experience that players wanted.

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The game's relaxed paced and user interface work extremely fluidly with touch controls, and the genre is well-suited for short play sessions during breaks or commutes. The number and price of DLC packs may be intimidating for some players, but the core experience has plenty of content and replay value.

2 Pillars Of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire isn't as pick-up-and-play friendly as many of the best touch-enabled games on Game Pass, but players willing to put the time in to learn the game's systems will be rewarded with an amazing RPGDeadfire takes the solid foundation that Obsidian established with its predecessor and refines it into something a bit more fluid without losing the old-school difficulty and chaos that made the first game such a success.

In Deadfire, players control a party of five through dungeons and newly-added naval combat. Furthermore, players looking forward to Avowed may want to experience Pillars of Eternity, as they both take place in the same universe.

1 The Bard's Tale Trilogy

The three games in The Bard's Tale Trilogy are classic RPGs featuring swords, wizards, and dungeons. In each game, the land is in danger, and the heroes must loot items, build their stats, and take down the bad guys.

When these old-school adventures were remastered for modern hardware, Krom Studios perfectly blended the games' difficulty with a few modern quality of life improvements. Players now only have to solve puzzles once across all three games, and, most importantly, dungeons feature auto-mapping. Characters and gear persist across all three games, as well, giving the whole series an epic, connected feel.

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