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Xbox Live Games With Gold for January leads with Celeste

Acclaimed indie game joined by backward-compatible Far Cry 2

Celeste - reaching for flying strawberry art Matt Makes Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Celeste headlines the free games offered by Xbox Live Games With Gold for January 2019. It will be available all month, along with Far Cry 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and WRC 6.

Celeste launched in January on a slew of platforms, Xbox One included. It earned four nominations at The Game Awards earlier this month, winning two, including Best Independent Game, and also took an award at the Independent Games Festival back in March. The platformer is also No. 5 on our list of best games of 2018.

Celeste and WRC 6 are the Xbox One titles for Games With Gold next month. Celeste is available Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, and WRC 6, a licensed rally racing game from 2016, is free to download Jan. 16 to Feb. 15.

Far Cry 2 and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light are the Xbox 360 games, compatible with Xbox One. Far Cry 2 became backward compatible a year ago; it’s available Jan. 16-31. Far Cry 2 was widely acclaimed when it launched in 2008 and has since influenced many games in several genres.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, an action-adventure spinoff of the the Tomb Raider franchise, was likewise well received when it launched in 2010. That game is available Jan. 1 to Jan. 15.

The free games still available this month are physics puzzler QUBE 2; Never Alone, a puzzle platformer from 2014; and Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.

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