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

Celeste, Lara Croft, and Far Cry lead January 2019's freebies

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.

Luckily, we've got you covered: these are the free Xbox Live Gold games that are available in January 2019, across both consoles, and we'll keep this space updated with each month's new picks. And if you still haven't snagged December's free games, then you'll find those listed at the bottom. Hurry!

On Xbox Live Gold in January 2018

Celeste (XB1)

What a way to kick off 2019! Celeste is one of 2018's best-reviewed games across all platforms, and the acclaimed indie has been praised equally for its challenging platform-action tests, brilliant retro atmosphere, and affecting storyline about a girl overcoming anxiety. It's free all month in January 2019.

Never Alone (XB1)

Never Alone is a distinctive side-scrolling adventure created in collaboration with the Iñupiat Alaskan Native people, and it infuses their stories and culture within an emotional game about a girl and a young fox seeking to stop a threatening blizzard. This one is free from 16 December until 15 January 2019.

WRC 6 FIA World Rally Championship (XB1)

Hit the dirt with WRC 6 FIA World Rally Championship, the latest entry in the long-running racing simulation series. It's not quite on the same quality level as Dirt Rally, but it's a solid racer – and it's hard to argue with free. Grab this between 16 January and 15 February.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (XB1/360)

Before the Tomb Raider reboot series came along, Square Enix had a surprise gem with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, an isometric shooter/action game that keeps the essence of the old adventures while adding in co-op play. It's free from 1-15 January.

Far Cry 2 (XB1/360)

Not enough Far Cry in your life lately? If you missed out on Far Cry 2 on the Xbox 360 back when, now's the time to loop back. It has a bit of a different tone than the other games, with an African setting and rather smart enemies, and is considered by some to be a cult classic. Snag this one between 16-31 January.

Still available in December 2018

It's not January yet... at least not as of this writing. If the calendar page hasn't dropped yet, then be sure to grab these free games before December ends.

Q.U.B.E. 2 (XB1)

Q.U.B.E. 2 comes from the Portal school of game design, delivering an immersive first-person puzzler in which you'll manipulate the environment and items around you to progress through the challenges. It's probably not as funny, however. Snag this one throughout December.

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (XB1/360)

Here's a curious offering: Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is actually an original Xbox game, and the open-world action affair works on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Whether you'll actually want to play a 2005 open-world game in 2018 is your call to make, of course. It's free from 16-31 December.