Games With Gold Gets Its Best Month Yet

January is looking up for Xbox Gold members.  After a string of rather unspectacular games with Microsoft’s Games with Gold program, they are starting out the new year right with two high-quality games.  Starting in January, Xbox 360s users can expect to get Sleeping Dogs and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for free.

I’ve been fairly critical of the Games with Gold program in the past (even though they are giving away games for free), but gamers (and even me) should have little to complain about this month. These are both excellent games that, while not particularly new or sexy choices, show Microsoft is willing to give quality, third-party titles to loyal subscribers.

Starting January 1st, Gold members can download Sleeping Dogs.  You can check out Ron’s glowing review of it for the full rundown, but it is a vastly underrated open-world spiritual successor to the True Crimes games.  With fun combat, engaging sidequests, a strong story and a beautifully realized Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs is a title that everyone should play, and getting it for free is obviously a huge plus.  Assassin’s Creed II and Deadrising 2 are both great, but this may be the best title to hit the service since its inception.

From Jan. 16th to the end of the month, you can download Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.  Unlock her other console brethren, this version of Lara is an isometric cooperative brawler that clocked in at #14 on our list of the best downloadable games of this generation.  So yeah, we are pretty high on both of these titles.  The best part is, unlike PlayStation+ Plus, you can keep these games indefinitely, even if you unsubscribe for Xbox Gold.  Trust me, it would totally be worth the ten bucks to nab both these titles.

Personally, I’m pumped to see such quality from the program.  I’ve been a bit of a bad sport about the program so far, but January’s offerings made me light up like a Christmas tree.

Are you as pumped for these titles as we are?  Or maybe not?  Leave us a comment with your thoughts!