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One of the best strategy games is leaving Xbox Game Pass soon

You've just over a week to give this game a go.

Image credit: Firaxis Games

It’s that time of the month again, and some great games are being booted from Xbox Game Pass this September. In their place, we’ll be receiving games like Starfield, Lies of P, and Solar Ash, so you still have plenty of new and great games to give a whirl.

Popular turn-based strategy game Sid Meier's Civilization VI is one of the nine games leaving the subscription service on September 15. And I don’t know about you, but I am pretty gutted about it.

Anyone who knows me in the slightest will know how I feel about strategy games; I vehemently dislike them. They’re just not my type of game. I like sleuthing my way through horror games and shooters, being right in the middle of any and all combat, and immersing myself the whole time. Put me in a room with nothing but Age of Empires and I’d rather give up games entirely.

That said, I was convinced to give Civilization VI a whirl by some friends a few years ago, and found myself pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was the competitiveness against friends that had me hooked, or the freedom that Civilization VI actually gives you to do whatever you want as you form your empire.

Civilization VI has you pick one of multiple diverse civilizations, each with their own unique abilities, structures to build, and leaders. It’s then up to you to go about expanding your empire while forming alliances with others, or opting to go to war with them. This is only a small part of how deep Civilization VI’s gameplay goes, and only a tiny portion of how you’ll spend your time in-game.

Image credit: Firaxis Games

Campaigns in Civilization VI can last for hours, days, or weeks even depending on your game’s settings and, well, the friends or fellow empires you’re playing with. It’s the sort of game you want to set aside time - and snacks - for, so that you can spend all your time watching those trade routes stack up money, or witnessing war play out between your neighbors.

That said, Civilization VI does have a steep learning curve. My first campaign saw me p**s off a friend, who I’d accidentally built around so that they couldn’t expand. War ensued, and I did not win. But I learnt from my mistakes, spent time finding a Civilization that fit what I wanted to do as a Ruler of the World, and then researched what I needed to do to keep ahead of the curve. It all shaped up to be incredibly rewarding as I watched myself - and my empire - do better with each campaign.

It’s something that, a few years ago, I’d never seen myself doing, let alone enjoying. Alas, Civilization VI is a beautiful game, and one that I’m endlessly trying to rope friends into playing with me - its place on Xbox Game Pass being a huge part of how I’d persuade them to play.

Every game of Civilization VI sees you learning more about your empire, historical events, and each piece of the strategical puzzle that you need to place in order for your empire to not completely crumble. Its content, especially if you dabble with its DLCs, feels endless and the more I write, the more I’m itching to go back and play. Maybe that’s what I’ll do this weekend...

I can’t neglect the soundtrack for Civilization VI, either. Depending on the era you’re living through, or civilization you’re playing as, the music will regularly change to fit. It’s relevant, dynamic, and so varied; it makes playing a new civilization more exciting than it already is.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI will leave Xbox Game Pass on September 15, so if you fancy trying it before buying it, or giving it a whirl with friends, now’s your best and last chance to do so for free.

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