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Rule the cosmos (or a small town) with this week’s free Xbox games

This week’s Xbox Free Play Days games let players create their own empires at a local and galactic scale.

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Xbox Free Play Days - Stellaris
Paradox Interactive / Xbox / Thumbsticks

This week’s Xbox Free Play Days games let players create their own empires at a local and galactic scale.

Two top strategy games published by Paradox Interactive get the Xbox Free Play Days treatment this weekend.

First up is Cities: Skylines, the excellent city-building simulation developed by Colossal Order. Six years after its PC debut, the game has firmly established itself as the premier city sim on the market with a wealth of content updates and enhancements. Cities: Skylines also scales beautifully, bringing the player with it as a small town slowly grows into a sprawling metropolis. The console port from Tantalus Media is superb, making a complex game surprisingly accessible.

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If you want to think bigger, you should also download Stellaris, the 4X grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studios. The game is an absorbing blend of galactic empire-building, diplomacy and warfare underpinned by a compelling emergent narrative.

Both games are free to download and play for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members until the stroke of midnight on March 14, 2021. Save data and achievements earned will transfer over to purchased copies of each game.

Here are the details of this week’s Xbox Free Play Days discounts.

This week’s Xbox Free Play Days Deals

Cities: Skylines

  • Standard Edition – 75% off
  • Mayor’s Edition – 75% off
  • Cities: Skylines + Surviving Mars Bundle – 75% off

Stellaris: Console Edition

  • Standard Edition – 67% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 67% off

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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe.