Xbox Free Games With Gold For August Announced, Best Selection Yet?

Microsoft’s free game offerings for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers as part of the Games with Gold promotion has routinely been criticized when compared to Sony’s Instant Game Collection for PS Plus subscribers. Will August finally be the month that silences those complaints? The selection looks like the strongest so far with Xbox One owners receiving Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero while Xbox 360 owners will get Dishonored and Motocross Madness.

The free offerings for the Xbox One will continue the trend of the next-gen consoles solely receiving downloadable titles for now. The library of retail releases for both consoles is not yet large enough to support giving them away yet.

Crimson Dragon was one of the launch titles for the consoles and received mixed reviews. The $20 cost was part of the reason for the bad reviews but that won’t be an issue when it is free.

“Available Aug. 1-31, ‘Crimson Dragon,’ originally an Xbox One launch title, and acts as a spiritual successor to the much-beloved ‘Panzer Dragoon’ saga. It’s a fact-paced rail shooter set in a beautiful fantasy world, where you can join with up to three other players for online co-op battles. You have a half-dozen majestic draconian steeds to choose from, and they level up as you progress through the game’s epic story. ‘Crimson Dragon’ also features a killer soundtrack, courtesy of ‘Panzer Dragoon’ composer Saori Kobayashi.”

Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut started out as a Kickstarter backed game for the PC before it was ported to both the PS4 and Xbox One. It also received mixed reviews and received criticism for how it controlled.

“Also available Aug. 1-31, ‘Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut has its origins in crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and was the first title from the ID@Xbox program. You take on the role of a pilot of the titular suit, flying it against aggressors in epic space battles. One of the key hooks is that you are only a small part of these battles, with huge ships duking it out around you, and your objectives within them clearly defined – but it’s up to you to accomplish them as you see fit. With fantastic ship design, gigantic battles, and plenty of weapons and enemies to deal with, ‘Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut’ gives space-sim fans on Xbox One plenty to chew on.”

Dishonored was originally released to the Xbox 360 in October 2012 but became a surprise hit due to its style and the varied way players can complete missions. The stealth action-adventure gameplay was inspired by the Thief series, but Arkane Studios was able seemingly able to outdo the recent Thief release. If you haven’t tried Dishonored out yet, August will be as good a time as any.

“[A]vailable Aug. 16-31, Xbox 360 owners get to experience ‘Dishonored,’ an award-winning steampunk stealth/action title. You play Corvo, erstwhile bodyguard of the Empress, turned assassin. Your job is to protect the princess, take out the bad guys who are trying to take over the Empire, and do it all undetected. You have an arsenal of gadgets, weapons, and magical powers to help you, but the most important is your own brain. Challenges in ‘Dishonored’ often have multiple solutions, so lateral thinking is more important than a quick trigger finger. You can blast your way through, too, to be sure – there’s something for everyone here – but cleverness is rewarded more than aggression.”

Finally, Motocross Madness will lead off the month of August for the Xbox 360 and is Microsoft’s Xbox Avatar spin on dirt bike racing. It’s another title that received mixed reviews but you’ll be able to race online against friends or just tool around maps trying to obtain collectibles.

“Available Aug. 1-15, back on earth Xbox 360 gamers get to tool around the dirt tracks and mud pits of their imaginations with ‘Motocross Madness,’ an off-road motorcycle racing game. Racing against the clock (or other racers) is just a small part of this one, as you’ll be able to perform tricks, run through obstacle courses, or just motor around big maps and explore as you please. Asynchronous multiplayer via social networks means you can involve your friends, even if they’re off doing something else while you’re playing. Unlimited potential!”

An Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is required to receive the free games. Subscriptions start at $59.99 for a year but can usually be found for $50 or less through retailers.

What do you think of August’s selection of free games for the Xbox One and Xbox 360? Has Microsoft upped its game?

[Image via Microsoft]