The Xbox Games with Gold July 2019 picks have some strong contenders and a few oddballs, so it's business as usual for the overall lineup. The clear standout this month is Inside, the side-scrolling platformer game that eschews fun powerups and colorful obstacles for so much existential dread. If you prefer more backtracking and loot collecting in your platformers you'll be pleased to find Castlevania: Symphony of the Night rounding out the selection for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 players.
Remember: any games you claim during their availability period will remain accessible so long as you have an active Xbox Live Gold membership. And don't forget that any Xbox 360 games made available through Games With Gold are also backwards compatible with Xbox One, letting you keep everything on one console. If you need a new membership, here are the best Xbox Live deals today.
July 2019 free Games With Gold games
Inside (Xbox One) - Available July 1 - July 31
The next game from the studio behind Limbo is at once familiar and strange, affecting and gruesome. Much like its predecessor, Inside is a deceptively simple platformer where you control a small boy in a big, very dangerous world. Though some parts are challenging (and difficult to watch), the biggest appeal of Inside is the uncommonly intricate way it explores its themes with ambience and suggestion rather than straightforward dialogue. To say much more would be to spoil its biggest surprises, so just play it already!
Big Crown: Showdown (Xbox One) - Available July 16 - August 15
Big Crown: Showdown is a four-player action game about cruising down a course and slamming into your friends - but instead of driving go karts, you're all controlling little cartoon knights. The faux-isometric camera scrolls along the level automatically, and anyone who can't keep up as they dodge around obstacles and course hazards is taken out. So is anybody who gets slammed off the course and into oblivion by somebody they thought was their friend. Just be careful you don't slam yourself right off the course instead.
Rivals of Aether (Xbox One) - Available June 16 - July 15
Xbox never really got its own version of Super Smash Bros. (discounting Small Brawl), but Rivals of Aether is the next best thing. This 2D fighter features a nicely varied roster of anthropomorphic animals duking it out, rendered in gorgeous, smoothly animated pixel art that really pops. Rivals of Aether has all the nuance, flow, and technical depth you'd expect from a high-caliber fighting game, with a fast and furious pace of play. If you can start a Rivals of Aether fight club with a few pals, you'll be well on your way to hours of furry fisticuffs fun.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Xbox One, Xbox 360) - Available July 1 - July 15
The game that forever changed the fate of the Castlevania series (and roughly half of all indie platformers) is now yours to play for free. The Xbox 360 version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is also playable on Xbox One, and you aren't really missing out on any big graphical upgrades since the game first came out in 1997. Whatever you do, make sure you don't stop playing before things go topsy turvy.
Meet The Robinsons (Xbox One, Xbox 360) - Available July 16 - July 31
Yes, it's a video game based on a movie that came out in 2007, and it plays exactly like you'd expect: collecting stuff, playing minigames, interacting with characters from the movie. If you've never seen Meet The Robinsons it could be fun to make up your own headcanon about why all these kooky characters are traveling through time, I guess?
June 2019 free Games With Gold games you might've missed
- EA Sports NHL 19 (Xbox One)
- The Golf Club 2 Featuring PGA Tour (Xbox One)
- Portal: Still Alive (Xbox One and Xbox 360)
- Earth Defense Force 2017 (Xbox One and Xbox 360)
If you need more room to store all these free games, check out the best Xbox One external hard drive deals.