As 2018 starts to wind down, Microsoft has announced the first free games Xbox Live users can expect in the new year. As usual, the January 2019 lineup for Games with Gold will be staggered throughout the month. This means that people who might have missed out on some of the titles in the Games with Gold for December 2018 will still be able to grab a few of the games from this month at the beginning of January 2019.
On January 1, 2019, Celeste will be available for free on Xbox One through Games with Gold, while Laura Croft: Guardian of Light will be available for both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One thanks to Microsoft's backward compatibility program. On January 16, Far Cry 2 will replace Lara Croft and WRC 6 will be offered on the Xbox One.
As many may agree, the Games with Gold lineup for January 2019 offers some solid choices. At the very least, they stack up rather well with last month's lineup as far as scores on Metacritic go:
- Celeste (94%) vs Q.U.B.E. 2 (78%)
- Lara Croft: Guardian of Light (85%) vs Dragon Age 2 (79%)
- WRC 6 (66%) vs Never Alone (66%)
- Far Cry 2 (85%) vs Mercenaries (86%)
One interesting wrinkle in next month's Games with Gold is that Guardian of Light has already been offered up before. With this being the case, Xbox Gold members aren't likely to be too thrilled by the idea that one of the free games available in January 2019 is one that is already in many of their libraries.
On the flip side, Celeste is on many game of the year lists, including our own list for Best Indie Games of 2018. By providing a beloved game from this year alongside a much older title such as Far Cry 2, it's possible Microsoft will be able offset any potential backlash against the other choices in January's Games with Gold lineup.
The next batch of titles in Xbox's Games with Gold program will start to go live on January 1, 2019.
Source: Xbox – YouTube