GTA 5 coming to Xbox Series X and your phone — thanks to Xbox Game Pass

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Get ready to pull fast-paced heists and supercar hijinks on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S as GTA 5 is coming back to Xbox Game Pass on April 8. 

Almost a year ago Rockstar’s latest entry in its crime/modern-life parody franchise was pulled from Xbox Game Pass on the same day Red Dead Redemption 2 arrived on Microsoft's game subscription service. But very soon GTA 5 will be back on Game Pass and will also be eligible for Xbox cloud streaming if you have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

As it stands, both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are not on Game Pass currently. The latter popped onto the service for a while last year but then left it, presumably as a means to get people who enjoyed the game to pay for a permanent version in digital or physical form. 

What’s prompted the return of GTA 5 to Game Pass isn't clear but it’ll be a welcome addition. In a world awash with stay-at-home directives, having more games to play, especially one based around a satirical take on Los Angeles, is a boon. And GTA 5 is also a stunning game, complete with vast amounts of things to check out, vehicles to steal, crimes to commit and large parts of the LA-like Los Santos to explore. Oh, and you can also steal a fighter jet, which is a lot of fun.

There’s a minor catch in that the version being added back to Game Pass will be the standard Xbox One version. That’s an enhanced version of GTA V, which launched on the Xbox 360, but there's no hint of any Series X or Series S enhancements. 

By default, GTA5 will load faster thanks to the speedy SSDs in the Series X and Series S. But it won’t have any extra visual enhancements, though the Series X’s power could help smooth out any frame rate issues that could pop up during hectic bouts of action. 

An enhanced version is coming for Microsoft's new game consoles, as well as the PS5, though, we don’t expect to see that until later on in the year. 

 Xbox Game Pass boost 

Xbox Game Pass

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft also revealed it’s adding a clutch of other games to Game Pass from NHL 21 to cartoon-like cardboard adventure Rain on Your Parade. 

And some 50 Xbox games will be available to play on Android phones via touch controls, meaning you don’t need to pair an Xbox Wireless Controller with your smartphone of choice. Xbox touch controls are available with Sea of Thieves, Gears 5, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Slay the Spire, as well as Minecraft Dungeons. 

Furthermore, the likes of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Gears 5, Among Us and Grounded are getting new features. The former is getting a suit of extra content in the form of the season 6 update, while Among Us will get the Airship update, and Grounded will get a photo mode in single-player games. 

In short, Xbox Game Pass is getting better from month to month. And it’s basically a must-have if you manage to find where to buy an Xbox Series X

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.