These are the games you can play for free on Xbox Live Gold this month

Don't miss the next Games with Gold haul

What does an Xbox Live Gold membership grant you? Free games. Loads and loads of free games.

Each and every month you'll find a handful of gratis games to download on Xbox One, as well as a couple for Xbox 360, and they're yours to keep so long as you keep paying for the subscription. However, there is one catch to the Games with Gold promotion: they're only available to download for a few weeks apiece, and then you won't find them free again.

Fortunately, we've got you covered: these are the free Xbox Live Gold games that will be available in August 2017, across both consoles. And stay tuned, because we'll keep this space updated with each month's new picks.

On Xbox Live Gold in August 2017

Slime Rancher (XB1)

Currently in preview but seeing a full release on 1 August, Slime Rancher is a game that finds you wrangling and then raising various slime creatures, all of which is done from a first-person view. Don't let the cutesy, cartoonish look fool you: Slime Rancher's sandbox experience can be deeply addictive, and the game has seen glowing praise from players on PC.

Trials Fusion (XB1)

Remember the awesome Trials HD from Xbox 360? Well, Trials Fusion is more of the same, albeit with a flashier look, sending you off on your motorbike to try and make it to the end of loads of complex platforming challenges. If taking down friends on the leaderboards isn't enough, you can also create your own courses now. Trials Fusion is free from 16 August until 15 September.

Runbow (XB1)

Launched on Xbox One on 16 July and still available until 15 August, Runbow is a speedy side-scrolling racer that lets up to nine players sprint to the finish. The intriguing hook here is that as the background colour changes, so too do the environments and obstacles. It was well received when it first released on Wii U, so hopefully the fun holds up here too.

Bayonetta (360/XB1)

Didn't catch Sega's super-eccentric Devil May Cry-like adventure back when? Well, now's your chance to savour this bizarre hack-and-slash shooter, starring the namesake heroine whose hair is a weapon and who has guns in her boots. The sequel is only out on Wii U, unfortunately, but you can snag the original for free on Xbox 360 and Xbox One from from 1-15 August.

Red Faction: Armageddon (360/XB1)

Remember Red Faction? This 2011 entry has the inglorious reputation of being both the final entry and a bit of a flop, but if you're up for a linear, mindless shooter, it can be pretty fun – especially given the destructibility of the terrain. Red Faction: Armageddon hits Games with Gold on the latter half of the month, and is free from 16 August until the month ends.

If you missed July's picks...

Microsoft still has a couple of last month's freebies available until the end of the month, so in case you haven't grabbed them yet, be sure to download these games before August arrives.

Grow Up (XB1)

Despite looking like a quirky indie game, Grow Up actually hails from Ubisoft – and is the sequel to 2015's Grow Home. As in the earlier game, you'll play as a red robot named B.U.D., and this time you'll have to recover your crashed ship's parts by growing massive, skyward plants, as well as using a jetpack and other abilities to maneuver yourself around. It's free throughout July.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (XB1/360)

If this summer's new Pirates movie didn't fill your quota for the year, then maybe Disney's older Lego Pirates of the Caribbean will do the trick. The familiar family-friendly Lego action approach is applied to the characters and scenarios of the franchise's first four films, and you'll be able to snag this one free on the back end of the month starting from 16 July.