Despite a somewhat rocky start last year, Google Stadia is arguably now in a stronger position than it’s ever been. If you’re lucky enough to have a stable internet connection (or you don’t mind devastating your mobile data), then Stadia represents a huge leap forward for technological innovation in gaming. It offers remarkable graphical fidelity without needing any hardware whatsoever, and is arguably a significantly better-quality experience than its rivals in PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming. We’ve gathered together the 10 best games you can stream on Google Stadia right now. Some of these may be available to Stadia Pro subscribers, while others will need to be purchased outright. Onward!
Nobody expected SteamWorld Heist to be as good as it was. That’s not to say Image and Form’s SteamWorld franchise hadn’t impressed up to that point, but SteamWorld Dig was little more than a rather charming proof-of-concept, so to see Image and Form rock up with a complete 2D tactical turn-based RPG was impressive. With likeable characters, a rock-solid combat system, and SteamWorld’s unique aesthetic holding it all together, Heist is an excellent starting point to the franchise.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
From Software’s overlooked (well, not really, but we still don’t think it gets the love it deserves) magnum opus transports the classic Souls formula to Sengoku-era Japan. The combat is more frenetic and parry-based than Sekiro’s shield-loving cousin, and the exploration element gains another dimension thanks to Sekiro’s grappling hook, which injects a little verticality into the game world. Otherwise, it’s business as usual; grueling, rewarding action-RPG combat with beautifully obscure background lore.
Wonderfully, Destiny 2 supports cross-saves for Stadia, which is ideal for a free-to-play title. This means you can continue the game’s epic adventure across multiple platforms without needing to sacrifice the hours you’ve put in. If you find yourself somewhere without the capability of bringing your beefy gaming PC or beloved console, Destiny 2 on Stadia is a stable, satisfying experience. It’s the same RPG-inflected FPS you’ve come to know and love, only now, there’s no hardware holding you back. Spooky!
Stadia’s killer app is a delightfully creepy narrative horror-puzzle title. If you love Silent Hill 2, you’ll feel right at home in Gylt’s weird-tinged world. It won’t last you very long, and it won’t challenge you if you’re a fiend for reflex-based gameplay, but Gylt is a memorable experience while it lasts and well worth checking out. This one’s unlikely to leave the Stadia Pro program any time soon, so if you’re a subscriber to the base Stadia tier, you should check it out.
Let’s get one thing straight right now: Doom Eternal kicks butt. Anyone who suggests otherwise may be inured to its visceral, brutal charm, but those people aren’t worth talking to. Doom Eternal is first-person shooters as they should be; inordinately violent, fast-paced, and uninterrupted. It also throws some well-implemented parkour and platforming mechanics into the Doom 2016 stew, making for a truly delicious concoction indeed.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is almost terrifyingly huge. Unless you have a ridiculous amount of spare time, you’ll struggle to complete its myriad side activities and diversions, but don’t let that dissuade you; it’s more of a world in which to immerse yourself than a game in which you should aim for 100% completion. The tale of Arthur Morgan and his outlaw gang is well-crafted, but it’s the insane attention to detail that will keep you coming back to Red Dead Redemption 2.
Naysayers will cry that Borderlands 3 simply delivers more of the same, to which enthusiasts will cry “indeed it does!”. Borderlands 3 is a superb distillation of Gearbox’s winning FPS RPG formula; it delivers more looting, shooting, and exploration for fans of the previous games in the series and makes pretty much no attempt to win over the unfaithful. If you didn’t love Borderlands before, 3 won’t change your mind, but it’s a superb effort for the converted.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Where 2013’s Tomb Raider felt like a proof of concept in search of a game and 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider was too overstuffed, 2015’s Rise perfected the reboot formula. It featured more of the Uncharted-influenced action-adventure gameplay that 2013’s reboot provided, but with more refinement and complexity. It’s also a visual marvel, so Stadia’s buttery-smooth streaming will render it glorious on whatever display on which you choose to play it.
Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 is the famed fighting series at its most maximalist and most violent. Fatalities are just as ridiculously over-the-top as ever, and the roster is full of classic favourites and newcomers alike. As you would expect from Netherrealm, the fighting is fast, fluid, and easy to learn; this system thrives on extended combos but also allows newbies to get to grips with special moves so they can pull off flashy sequences quickly and easily.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
It still seems faintly ridiculous that you can play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey without the kind of beefy hardware it needs to maximise its potential. This open-world Greek adventure leans more RPG than stealth, but it’s still a satisfying jaunt through an endlessly fascinating period of history. Some will baulk at the excessive RPG mechanics and the impotence of the hidden blade; others will thrill to Odyssey’s loot-gathering and exploration.