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Xbox Games with Gold brings NHL 19, Portal in June

Plus Earth Defense Force 2017 and Rivals of Aether

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NHL 19 - John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs hoisting the Stanley Cup
Something that hasn’t happened since the Pearson government, and won’t happen this year.
EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Xbox Live’s Games With Gold for June 2019 include EA Sports NHL 19, coinciding with the underway Stanley Cup Finals between Boston and St. Louis, and Portal: Still Alive, the Xbox 360 re-release of Valve’s original puzzle platformer.

NHL 19, for Xbox One, will be available June 1 to June 30. Portal: Still Alive will be available June 1 to June 15. The other two games are Rivals of Aether (June 16 to July 15) and the Xbox 360’s Earth Defense Force 2017 from June 16 to June 30. All Xbox 360 titles are compatible with Xbox One.

This makes the second month in a row for a current-year sports title being offered on Xbox Live Games With Gold. May saw The Golf Club 2019 (which is still available to June 15). But licensed, annual sports titles on this service are exceedingly rare; the only others were WRC 6 in January, WWE 2K16 in August 2016, and F1 2013 in 2015.

NHL 19 launched in September, bringing with it the “World of Chel” suite of online multiplayer, which we enjoyed a lot. The Stanley Cup Finals are currently tied at one game each between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, with games scheduled through June 12 if the series goes seven.

Portal: Still Alive was an Xbox 360 exclusive going back to the primordial days of Xbox Live Arcade. It features the original Portal, plus new challenges and achievements. Released in October 2008, it was noteworthy for being a very large download at the time. Valve had offered the original Portal as a downloadable game for Xbox 360 but Microsoft turned it down because Xbox Live Arcade downloads were capped at 50 MB in 2007. That was later expanded to a roomier 150 MB in early 2008.

Earth Defense Force 2017 is also the second straight Earth Defense Force game on Games With Gold. Last month also saw Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon but it left May 15. Marooners for Xbox One and Comic Jumper for Xbox 360 and Xbox One are still available until tomorrow.

Xbox Live Gold normally costs $9.99 per month (or $24.99 quarterly, $59.99 annually), but new subscribers can get their first month for $1.