It used to be that if you bought a game on a PC, you had to buy it separately for a console, or vice versa. Microsoft happens to be the maker of both Windows 10 and the Xbox One, and is taking advantage of that with Xbox Play Anywhere. The service, currently limited to 12 existing and upcoming games, lets you buy a digital copy for both platforms without the cost of purchasing it twice and lets you sync your progress, achievements and DLC.
Here are the 12 Games you can Play on Xbox Live Anywhere.
Forza Horizon 3
Rev up your engines, gearheads. Playground Studios' Forza Horizon 3 features a giant, open-world environment set in the great Down Under of Australia. There are 350 cars available to players, who are in charge of the Horizon Festival, a celebration of loud music and fast cars. Customize your cars, choose your drivers and build some maps — you have a car show to put on. The game allows for cross-platform play between Windows and Xbox, so you can play anyone when you play anywhere.
Why doesn't waking up from cryosleep ever work the way it should? When Joule Adams wakes up early on the Far Eden colony, she finds that some of the Corebots sent from Earth to make it habitable have turned a bit nasty. You play as Joule, who shoots her way through enemies and solves puzzles on an adventure through a colony that isn't ready for humans just yet.
Whether you purchase just the free game and Season 3 or the Definitive Edition, you can play Double Helix and Microsoft's reboot of the legendary gory fighting game on both your Xbox and PC. Switching between the two is no longer a combo-breaker.
A quarter of a century after the original Gears trilogy, humanity is fighting to survive a series of horrible storms around the world, despite not being able to use fossil fuels. Marcus Fenix's son JD has to live up the family name and fight off a new threat to humanity. The game brings back old favorite weapons, such as the Lancer, a gun with a chainsaw blade. It also introduces new ones, such as the Dropshot, which can fire around cover.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me! Rare's Sea of Thieves is an open-world pirate game, in which players band together to start crews, sail the open seas and battle other bands of pirates on the open water.
Halo Wars 2 picks up where Halo 5 left off, but instead of a first-person shooter, it's an action-packed real-time strategy game. Command Spartan armies in 13 missions and in competitive and multiplayer modes with up to six players.
PlatinumGames' Scalebound is an action RPG that focuses on Drew, a young boy that meets Thuban, the last dragon of its kind. Together, they journey across the planet Draconis to battle foes who pose a threat to both that planet and Earth.
Could you withstand the zombie apocalypse? State of Decay 2 makes players join together to create a community of survivors with their own skills and personality. You and up to three of your friends can explore the dilapidated landscape, or you can go solo at your own risk and brave the wilderness, and the threats it presents, on your own.
Ark: Survival Evolved needs a special note: It might never be done. The survival game, which lets you train dinosaurs, farm for food and explore the wilderness, is in previews. If and when the game is finished and available on both Xbox One and PC, it will be a part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
Also in preview, We Happy Few is on Xbox One but isn't on PC just yet. The game takes place in an alternate 1960s London that's been put together in an impossibly beautiful way following the end of a war. The game combines elements of survival, stealth and first-person fighting for a romp through a strange, eerie dystopia that's not as nice as it seems.
Cuphead looks like a Disney game, but it's way more intense. After the titular character and his friend, Mugman make a deal with the devil, the two have to jump, run and brawl their way through a wild 2D world of crazy characters to pay back the debt.
The Agency is back in Crackdown 3 and it's time to dispense more justice. The city is your sandbox, and you’ll need to race, climb and use your superpowers to put the beat down on a criminal enterprise. Microsoft will use its cloud-based Azure for destruction, so you can expect a ton of stuff blowing to bits in spectacular fashion.
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.