What does an Xbox Live Gold membership grant you? Free games. Loads and loads of free games.
Each and every month you’ll find a handful of gratis games to download on Xbox One, as well as a couple for Xbox 360, and they’re yours to keep so long as you keep paying for the subscription. However, there is one catch to the Games with Gold promotion: they’re only available to download for a few weeks apiece, and then you won’t find them free again.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered: these are the free Xbox Live Gold games that will be available in July 2017, across both consoles. And stay tuned, because we’ll keep this space updated with each month’s new picks.
ON XBOX LIVE GOLD IN JULY 2017
Grow Up (XB1)
Despite looking like a quirky indie game, Grow Up actually hails from Ubisoft – and is the sequel to 2015’s Grow Home. As in the earlier game, you’ll play as a red robot named B.U.D., and this time you’ll have to recover your crashed ship’s parts by growing massive, skyward plants, as well as using a jetpack and other abilities to manoeuvre yourself around. It’s free throughout July.
Launching on Xbox One on 16 July and available from from then until 15 August, Runbow is a speedy side-scrolling racer that lets up to nine players sprint to the finish. The intriguing hook here is that as the background colour changes, so too do the environments and obstacles. It was well received when it first released on Wii U, so hopefully the fun holds up here too.
Watch Dogs (XB1)
Ubisoft’s open-world action affair has a unique hook: not only can you go anywhere and shoot or steal pretty much anything, but you can also use your smartphone to hack electronics to your advantage, or do a bit of surveillance. The sequel is better, but if you missed the original, now’s your time to play it for free. It’s available until 15 July.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (XB1/360)
After the disappointing original game, IO Interactive’s Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days was a huge upgrade, offering more stylized action as the unhinged duo attempt to stay alive while being pursued throughout Shanghai. It’s gritty and gruesome, and looks like you’re watching the action from a security camera feed. Dog Days is free from 1-15 July.
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (XB1/360)
If this summer’s new Pirates movie didn’t fill your quota for the year, then maybe Disney’s older Lego Pirates of the Caribbean will do the trick. The familiar family-friendly Lego action approach is applied to the characters and scenarios of the franchise’s first four films, and you’ll be able to snag this one free on the back end of the month starting from 16 July.
IF YOU MISSED JUNE’S PICKS…
Microsoft still has a couple of last month’s freebies available until the end of the month, so in case you haven’t grabbed them yet, be sure to download these games (and Watch Dogs above) before July arrives.
SpeedRunners is free for Gold subscribers until the end of June. This uproarious indie game finds you sprinting and swinging across 2D stages in both online and offline multiplayer battles. If Super Mario were a race with agile, superhuman characters, it might play something like this.
Dragon Age: Origins (XB1/360)
Well, they certainly dropped some massive games for June, didn’t they? BioWare’s first entry in its fantasy role-playing saga is available free on the back end of the month, from 16-30 June, and is playable on both consoles. Many fans still call the original the best of the bunch (Inquisition is the latest), and it’s certainly plenty epic.