January’s Xbox Games With Gold features Celeste and the best Far Cry game ever made

It’s almost 2019, and that means a whole new year of free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. With December’s Games With Gold lineup finally winding down, January’s selection have been announced and they are very bloody good indeed.

The month’s selections are four games, divided as always into two Xbox One titles and two Xbox 360 titles.

For Xbox One owners, you’ll be getting the brilliant, beautiful, tough-as-nails indie platformer Celeste. If you haven’t played it yet, it’s a game about a girl climbing a mountain and the misadventures she embarks on along the way. It’s one of 2018’s very best games and you owe it to yourself to play it. It’s free! You literally have no excuse not to download it!

You’ll also be getting WRC6, so you can get some mud on your tires as you vie for rally championship supremacy, should offroad and rally racing be your thing.

Xbox 360 owners are set to get brilliant couch co-op twin-stick shooter Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, perfect for four player couch gaming. We reviewed the sequel, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, a few years ago on our now defunct sister site The Iris and absolutely loved it. Trust us, it’s a good one.

But by far the best game of the lot, at least as far as we’re concerned, is 2008’s Far Cry 2. Widely considered to be the best game in the series, Far Cry 2 was Ubisoft’s first crack at the franchise after founding developer Crytec decamped to EA to work on Crysis. Though its format is familiar today, Far Cry 2 was wildly different to the island-bound, sci-fi themed original. It leaned into the realism and survivalism that became the hallmarks of the series. It featured a rugged, hostile African landscape and was the first game in the series to introduce dynamic wildfires. Your character is stricken with malaria which means you have to manage his condition as you battle against armed militias, all of whom actually work together and want to survive as badly as you do. It’s all rather brilliantly executed, and it’s a survivalist dream in a way that the Far Cry series hasn’t been in some time. We urge you to play it if you haven’t before — it’s a decade old and still holds up. A remarkable achievement in game design.

Celeste will be available all throughout January, while WRC6 will be available from January 16 to February 15. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will be free from January 1st-15th and Far Cry 2 will be available from January 16-January 31. Xbox One owners will, as always, have access to all four titles, including Lara Croft and Far Cry 2 via backwards compatibility.

All you need to access these titles for the low, low price of Zero Dollars is an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

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David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously worked as a freelance games journalist and critic, appearing on PC World Australia. He tweets at @RhunWords and plays the odd game at twitch.tv/RhunWords when the internet works.