Microsoft changed its Games with Gold free games program several months ago to include a different free game for Xbox 360 during the first and second halves of the months. The Xbox One free games are consistent for the entire time. So, now that we’ve entered the tail end of the month, the Xbox free Games with Gold list for September has changed.
For these next two weeks of September 2014, Halo: Reach is the new Xbox 360 free Game with Gold. Halo: Reach replaces the previous free games for September, Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine. That title, a top-down team-based game that has players solve puzzles stealthily, was the Games with Gold free game through September 15. It was replaced yesterday but Halo: Reach.
Xbox One owners won’t notice any change to the Xbox free Games with Gold list for September 2014. As stated above, Microsoft’s next-gen console sees two games all month long.
The free Xbox Games with Gold list for September 2014 on Xbox One includes Super Time Force, a retro-style shooter, and Crimson Dragon.
Super Time Force pays homage to the classic side-scrolling shooter Contra. However, it has a neat time-reversal mechanic whereby if your character dies you can simply press a button to rewind to a point where you can retry. The neat twist is that a ghost of your character pre-death will still fight alongside you while you play.
The second free game in September is Crimson Dragon, a spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon. This is technically the second month Crimson Dragon has been part of the Xbox One free Games with Gold list. The game debuted on Games with Gold in August and is a sort of “holdover” from last month to this.
Seeing Halo: Reach on the Xbox free Games with Gold list for September is both impressive (it’s a great game) and overtly strategic on Microsoft’s part.
Making the game free for September is guaranteed to drum-up interest in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which ships for Xbox One later this fall. Microsoft needs more people to upgrade from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, so by getting people re-hooked on the franchise, the company may inspire a few extra Xbox One purchases when The Master Chief Collection release date rolls around on November 11.